The press gave a lot of coverage last week to Meghan Markle’s first public appearance with the Queen.   She was also seen singing “God save the Queen” for the first time ever.   Her attire was, of course, described in great detail and contrasted with what her future sister-in-law was wearing.

I didn’t see anything on the actual event the royals were attending.

It was a church service for Commonwealth Day, a day few will be aware of. One American news commentator, clearly bewildered, said it was “Queen Commonwealth Day.” Well, yes, the Queen is Head of the Commonwealth, a loose association of 53 countries, almost all of them former British colonies. Outside of the Commonwealth, many people think the queen does nothing – in contrast, it can truthfully be said that without her the Commonwealth would not exist.   She has worked tirelessly during her reign to keep the organization alive at a time when successive British governments have ignored it.

Until now.

Suddenly, once again, the Commonwealth is becoming important.

Thanks to Brexit.

The United Kingdom (also held together by the Queen) is set to exit the European Union a year from now, though there will be a transition period of 21 months following that exit. By the end of 2020, the EU will exist, after almost fifty years, without the UK.

Before Britain entered the EU (then the European Community), most of the country’s trade was with EFTA and the Commonwealth. EFTA is the European Free Trade Area. Fifty years ago, it had many members, but most left to join the EU, a much more centralized and controlling bloc of countries.


Within the Commonwealth, Britain did a lot of trade with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, through a system known as Imperial Preferences, a preferential trading agreement between the nations, which were then called the Dominions, fully independent countries within the Commonwealth who shared a joint allegiance to the Crown. (South Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961, but continued to enjoy the preferential trade.) In addition, there was a great deal of trade with former colonies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, all now fully independent countries. These countries entered a preferential trading agreement with the EU in 1975 – they are unlikely to want to exchange those ties for closer ties with their former colonial power.

When Britain entered the European Common Market she turned her back on her former trading partners. To put it bluntly, she betrayed the countries she once ruled.

Now, she hopes to get that trade back.

Australia and Canada have both offered a new trade deal, but the UK is dragging its feet, seemingly hoping to salvage something from its trade ties with Europe.   Britain’s reluctance to put Europe behind her could mean she will miss out on good trade deals, at a time when the world seems headed toward a trade war.

Australia’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) in London on Monday encouraged the British people and their government to be more optimistic about their post-Brexit future. Alexander Downer was interviewed on London’s LBC radio station.

“Look you may have voted for Brexit, or you may have voted for Remain, but if Australia ends up in a difficult situation like that, and we did when the UK joined the European Union, we have an expression in Australia which is ‘she’ll be right’.

“So we’ll work it out somehow and she will be right, in our case we’ve always done pretty well as a country because we run our country well.

“You’ve always done pretty well as a country, you’ll work your way through it and there’s no need to be too pessimistic.”

The Australian High Commissioner also called on the Government to do more to promote post-Brexit optimism in Britain.” (“There’s no need to be pessimistic,” Darren Hunt, Daily Express, 3/21).

Mr. Downer pointed out that when Commonwealth trade ties abruptly ended with Britain entering the European Community, Australia suddenly faced enormous challenges, but met them all and has continued to thrive.

There are some in the UK who are optimistic about the future. In some cases, people are hankering after the glory days when Britain had the world’s greatest empire and the Royal Navy dominated the globe.

This is not going to happen again. Let me explain why.


It’s been 400 years since the British Empire started to form. It started under the first Queen Elizabeth back in the sixteenth century – and it had a lot to do with religion.   Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, had broken away from Rome and a power struggle followed between Catholics and Protestants. His daughter, who many consider to be the country’s greatest monarch, secured the Protestant Reformation against the major European Catholic powers, Spain, France and the Holy Roman Empire. The Pope had proclaimed Elizabeth a “heretic,” which meant that any Catholic who killed her would receive a reward in heaven.

By not marrying, the throne passed on her death to her closest relative, King James VI of Scotland. He relocated to London and became James I.   England no longer faced a threat from the north as it had done for centuries when Scotland was an independent country.

Having secured the nation’s freedom, the country had to look beyond the seas for trade. Trading posts were gradually established around the world, leading in time to the founding of colonies.   More wars were fought to maintain the country’s religious and political freedom.   In 1864, the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada asked for independence. This they received as a Dominion of the British Empire in 1867.   Other countries followed and became the Commonwealth.   These nations, sometimes referred to as “Britannia’s daughters,” were the free world’s first line of defense through two world wars and many other conflicts.

“If the day should come when the supremacy of Britain on the high seas is challenged, it will be the duty of all the daughter nations to close around the old Motherland and make a rampart to ward off any attack.”
Sir Wilfrid Lauirer, Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada – Canadian Courier, Toronto, 3 April 1909

After World War II, Britain started to dismantle her empire, partly to focus on problems at home.   Resources were redirected into the National Health Service and the nationalization of the coal-mines, steel and railways, leaving little money for defense. After four centuries, the Royal Navy was no longer a priority. Instead of protecting the kingdom from European powers that frequently turned despotic, Europe was pursued as the solution to all the nation’s problems.

Now, Europe is seen more as the problem, as many warned it would be fifty years ago.

But, a divorce after 50 years of marriage, does not mean you can go back to your youth as if nothing has happened.

The driving force behind the formation of Empire, at least initially, was a strong belief in God, the God of the Bible. Under the Catholic Church, the Bible had not been accessible to the British people; even the priests did not have copies.   After King Henry VIII lifted the ban on the Bible following the break from Rome, there was an enormous enthusiasm for the scriptures. In his last speech to parliament, the King even corrected the people for being too enthusiastic, as many had taken to studying the scriptures in the country’s pubs.

This enthusiasm led zealous Christians to want to spread the gospel to the rest of the world. Jamestown and the Plymouth Colony, both founded under James I. were driven by strong religious beliefs.

Many Englishmen saw themselves as fulfilling biblical promises. To some, the British Empire was the Kingdom of God; to others, the multitude of nations promised to Joseph’s son, Ephraim, in Genesis 48:19.  Certainly, after Elizabeth’s heir, James, took the throne and authorized an official translation of the Bible (the 1611 King James Version), there was a profound zeal in those who took the Bible into other lands.   This continued right up to the end of the nineteenth century when Victorians saw themselves as bringing light into darkness, stamping out slavery in Africa and introducing primitive societies to the rule of law and basic Protestant Christianity.

All of this is now forgotten.   Any television documentaries on the Empire made now will focus on negatives in an attempt to ridicule and dismiss it.

Having written all the above, it would still be a good idea for Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand to build stronger ties; but they will never be what they were – not without God and the Bible. Constitutional monarchy has worked well for these nations, giving them maximum freedom with the rule of law.   They worked together in the past in preserving freedom, most notably in the two world wars. They need to work together again. Or, given time, they will cease to exist as they are, as demographic trends threaten them all.



Chamberlain (right) shakes hands with Mussolini after signing the Munich Agreement while Hitler and other European leaders look on, 30 September 1938. Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

It’s DEJA VU all over again!

The world is starting to resemble the 1930’s, which ended in WWII.

1) ITALY may not seem important.  But In 1922 the fascists came to power and Mussolini proclaimed a revival of the Roman Empire.   That was the beginning of World War II in Europe.   Fascism was a major force in a number of European countries in the thirties.

The country had an election last Sunday.  The result stunned Europe — two populist parties got most of the votes.   The two parties are widely seen as the equivalent of the fascist party that ruled Italy up to and during WWII.

This follows an election a few months ago that had a similar outcome in Germany.  The AfD there is now the main opposition party.   These parties in Germany, Italy and elsewhere in Europe are often labeled “far-right.”   They are all “populist” parties that have gained support at the expense of mainstream political parties.   They are anti-EU and anti-immigrant, as well as very nationalistic.

2)  There is increasing talk of a TRADE WAR on both sides of the Atlantic.   What started out as retaliation against unfair Chinese trade policies is spreading into a full-scale trade war between the US and the EU.   The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 followed the stock market crash and put high tariffs on US imports.   It is considered a major development on the road to the GREAT DEPRESSION, which led in turn to WW2.  It is difficult to see how the western alliance can hold together with increasing conflict over trade.

Historically, trade wars increase unemployment;   while unemployment leads voters to turn to the right, becoming more nationalistic.   A trade war will strengthen populist parties everywhere.

3) GERMANY REARMING  — President Trump has been pushing  for this to force Germany to contribute more to western defense.   Germany now has a military presence in the Sahel,  Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and Baghdad.  Germany is also at the forefront of calling for a united European military force.

4)  UK & GERMANY AT LOGGERHEADS — In 1938 the British government was seeking to appease Germany; it still is, though this time there’s no talk of war. Just TALK, TALK, TALK over trade following Brexit. It does not look good for Britain as I write.

5)   GROWING ANTI-SEMITISM.    There have been a number of attacks on Jews in France, so many, in fact, that French Jews are leaving in record numbers for Israel; the Polish parliament has passed a law that forbids people from claiming Polish involvement in the Holocaust, even though it’s known that 200,000 Poles helped the Nazis round up Jews during World War II and assisted in the extermination camps; thirdly, Iceland has just banned male circumcision, while other countries are considering it.   This action will affect Muslims as well as Jews.

6)  RUSSIA IS MAKING THREATENING NOISES UNDER PUTIN, just as it did under Stalin.   Could Russia and Germany repeat the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?    Both China and Russia now have dictators for life.   A prominent spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church is calling for the restoration of the monarchy in Russia.  He seems to have Putin in mind as Czar.  Whatever happens domestically in each country, the US will likely be in confrontation with both in the future.  In the 1930’s Stalin’s threats were ideological;  now the threats are just plain old-fashioned nationalism.

7)  AMERICA FIRST – in the 1930’s it was AMERICAN ISOLATIONISM, now it’s called AMERICA FIRST. And it’s not just Trump – America is focused on itself.   There is little foreign news on TV and most people just aren’t interested in what’s happening overseas.  It took Pearl Harbor to wake Americans up.   What will it take this time?


History repeats itself.  But it does not repeat itself exactly.   It remains to be seen how future events play out.  But the similarities with the 1930’s are definitely there.

There are, however, two big differences.

During the 1930’s the world’s only superpower was the British Empire.    This no longer exists.   There is also no Winston Churchill warning of the dangers ahead.   Without a warning message it is doubtful nations will make the changes needed to change course and avoid the mistakes of eight decades ago.

The above is a speech I’ve prepared for Men’s Speech Club  tomorrow.   I decided to post it to my blog.







For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem.” (Zech 14:2)

Sheldon Adelson offers to help pay for Jerusalem embassy — report

State Department lawyers investigating legality of private donation to cover costs said to be over $500 million ( Times of Israel * 23 Feb 2018)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of a new US embassy in Jerusalem, four US officials told The Associated Press.

Lawyers at the State Department are looking into the legality of accepting private donations to cover some or all of the embassy costs, the administration officials said. The discussions are occurring as the new embassy clears its final bureaucratic hurdles. On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended weeks of delay by signing off on a security plan for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, according to the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly and demanded anonymity.

In one possible scenario, the administration would solicit contributions not only from Adelson but potentially from other donors in the evangelical and American Jewish communities, too. One official said Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and staunch supporter of Israel, had offered to pay the difference between the total cost — expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars — and what the administration is able to raise.

Under any circumstance, letting private citizens cover the costs of an official government building would mark a significant departure from historical US practice. In the Jerusalem case, it would add yet another layer of controversy to Trump’s politically charged decision to move the embassy, given Adelson’s longstanding affiliation with right-wing Israeli politics.  Trump’s administration has been sifting through options for fast-tracking the Israel embassy’s relocation.

The US has looked at several possible sites.  The most likely plan involves a phased approach to opening the embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood at an existing US facility that handles consular affairs like passports and visas. The US could initially retrofit a small suite of offices in that facility to accommodate Friedman and one or two top aides such as his chief of staff. That would allow the administration to hang an “embassy” sign over the door and formally open it, perhaps in the next few months. The ribbon could be cut in time for Israel’s Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, which takes place in April.



Netanyahu to invite Trump to inaugurate US embassy in Jerusalem in May

PM thanks US president for his leadership and ‘strong friendship,’ will reportedly ask him to visit Israel for ribbon-cutting ceremony (Times of Israel * 24 Feb 2018)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to invite US President Donald Trump to Israel in May to inaugurate the US embassy, which Washington announced on Friday will be relocated to Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day, Hadashot TV news reported on Saturday. In a video statement posted to his social media channels on Saturday night, Netanyahu said the US announcement to relocate the embassy, which follows Trump’s historic declaration in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, marked a “great moment for the State of Israel.”


The US State Department notified Congress on Friday that the Jerusalem embassy will open in May, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence. The State Department confirmed the timing of the move, with an official telling The Times of Israel: “The Embassy will initially be located in Arnona [in south Jerusalem], on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem. At least initially, it will consist of the ambassador and a small team.” 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May. Israel proclaimed independence on May 14, 1948. According to Channel 10 and Hadashot news, the ceremony could be held on May 14 to honor that date. (Israel celebrates its anniversary of independence according to the Hebrew calendar; Independence Day — Yom Ha’Atzmaut — falls on April 19 this year.)




A May opening appears to represent an earlier time frame than what had been expected. (BY JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS / FEBRUARY 23, 2018)

The US embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 14, in honor of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence, according to Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Israel Katz. Katz tweeted on Friday saying, “I would like to congratulate Donald Trump, the President of the US @POTUS on his decision to transfer the US Embassy to our capital on Israel’s 70th Independence Day. There is no greater gift than that! The most just and correct move. Thanks friend!”

The date has not yet been confirmed publicly by the White House. However, an unnamed US official told Reuters on Friday that the US is expected to open its embassy in Jerusalem in May. A May opening appears to represent an earlier time frame than what had been expected. While speaking to the Knesset last month, US Vice President Mike Pence said the move would take place by the end of 2019. Trump announced in December that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, setting in motion the move of the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.  (Jerusalem Post, 2/28)       (http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Report-US-embassy-Jerusalem-move-date-decided-543465)


Iran threatens to ‘level Tel Aviv,’ — and kill Netanyahu — if Israel attacks Senior Iranian official dismisses PM’s ‘unwise’ speech, in which he brandished an Iranian drone and threatened military action  – Times of Israel * 20 February 2018

Tel Aviv will be “leveled to the ground” if Israel attacks Iran, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not escape with his life, a senior official in the Islamic republic’s regime threatened. His comments came in response to Netanyahu’s speech on Sunday at the Munich Security Conference, in which the prime minister brandished a piece of an Iranian drone downed in Israeli airspace and threatened direct military action against Iran. “About Netanyahu’s unwise words, I should say that if they carry out the slightest unwise move against Iran, we will level Tel Aviv to the ground,” Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council and former chief of the country’s Revolutionary Guards, told the Hezbollah-affiliated Arabic-language al-Manar TV channel Monday.

Adding a personal threat to the Israeli leader’s life, Rezaei added that Tehran “will not give Netanyahu any opportunity to flee,” Fars News reported.



Embracing relations with China and Russia, Ayatollah Khamenei signals Tehran has given up on hopes of establishing a detente with the United States   Times of Israel * 26 Feb 2018 * TEHRAN, Iran (AFP)

Iran’s supreme leader has signaled a decisive shift in favor of relations with China and Russia, indicating that patience is running out with efforts to improve ties with the West. 

One of the most popular slogans during the 1979 revolution was “Neither East nor West,” a defiant vow that Iran would no longer favor either of the world’s major forces at the time — American-style capitalism or Soviet Communism. It was therefore striking to hear its current leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declare on February 19 that: “In foreign policy, the top priorities for us today include preferring East to West.” Analysts say this does not change the basic idea that Iran refuses to fall under the sway of outside powers. But it does suggest that the latest attempt at detente with the United States — represented by the 2015 nuclear deal in which it agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions — is running out of steam.

“Khamenei has repeatedly outlined that the 2015 nuclear deal was a test to see if negotiations with the West could yield positive results for Iran,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “The leadership perceives the US as acting in bad faith on the deal. Khamenei’s statement signals a green light for the Iranian system to focus greater diplomatic effort on deepening ties with China and Russia,” she said. Khamenei’s comments come at a critical moment, with US President Donald Trump threatening to tear up the deal and reimpose sanctions unless Iran agrees to rein in its missile program and “destabilizing activities” in the Middle East.

Even before Trump, Iran felt Washington was violating its side of the bargain as it became clear that remaining US sanctions would still hamper banking ties and foreign investments, even blocking Iranian tech start-ups from sharing their products on app stores.  …“If the Europeans don’t have the courage to stand up to the US then they shouldn’t expect to be partners with us,” said Marandi. “If some doors are closed and some doors are open, we are not going to wait outside the closed doors forever.”




From a German Euro to a German European Central Bank    (German-Foreign-Policy.com newsletter * 22 Feb 2018)

The EU finance ministers’ decision to appoint the Spaniard Luis de Guindos to be vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), will boost the chances of German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann to become its next president.  Berlin has welcomed the decision for Spain’s current Minister of the Economy Guindos, considered to be one of the fathers of the Spanish real estate bubble. Subsequent to his designation as vice-president, a northern European is expected to be given the post of ECB president, due to the EU’s proportional regional representation. According to observers, a conceivable deal may be reached with Germany’s Weidmann at the helm of the ECB and the post of EU Commission President going to France. The current German Bundesbank president is unpopular in Southern Europe because he has been systematically trying to prevent current ECB President Mario Draghi’s bond buying programs, considered to be vital for the crisis stricken countries.

With Weidmann as ECB president, Germany would further tighten its grip  on the euro zone’s financial institutions.

more…      https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/news/detail/7542/


TRADE WAR ESCALATES  (Financial Times UK briefing: 23 Feb 2018)

— The ECB is scared of Trump. Mario Draghi and company are worried the US is trying to start a deliberate global currency war, according to the central bank’s latest minutes.


German Left Party voices support for military rearmament and war

As the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) work to form a new grand coalition government, whose central aim will be the rearmament of Germany in pursuit of neocolonial war and great power conflict, the Left Party has expressed its categorical support for German rearmament.

By Johannes Stern * 26 Feb 2018 * Copyright © World Socialist Web Site

Last Monday, Stefan Liebich, a Left Party representative in the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, enthusiastically greeted the speech of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) at the Munich Security Conference. “That’s long overdue; I honestly said that and that’s what our party advocated when we had much friendlier governments there [in the US] because we’re no longer living in the Cold War era,” he said on the political talk show “Unter den Linden.” Germany is “a sovereign country with its own interests, which very often coincide with the interests of the United States, but sometimes not.” In Gabriel’s war speech in Munich, the Social Democrat blustered about foreign policy “carnivores” and a common European “power projection in the world.” He made it clear that a new edition of the grand coalition with the Christian Democrats will massively upgrade the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) and develop an independent great power policy. …Liebich left no doubt that what he means is military intervention.

…The militaristic tirades of a Liebich or Bartsch are not lapses, but show the core right-wing and pro-imperialist character of a party that has been deeply integrated into the structures of the capitalist state and its intelligence and military apparatus for many years.  (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/02/26/left-f26.html)


German Chancellor promotes rearmament and war in speech to parliament                                                                                                                           By Johannes Stern * 24 Feb 2018 * Copyright © World Socialist Web Site

Merkel focused in particular on strengthening Europe’s common military and great power policies so as to enable Germany to pursue its economic and geostrategic interests in conflict zones around the world. At the beginning of her speech, Merkel stated that Europe is “exposed due to its geographic location,” because “these wars and conflicts in Syria, Libya and Ukraine are not taking place somewhere else in the world but only a few hours flight from Berlin.”  She is “therefore convinced that, firstly, the world won’t wait on us—neither in Germany nor in Europe—and secondly, we urgently need European answers to the major problems of our time.” For this reason, it is “no accident that the first chapter of the coalition agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD is devoted to Europe,” Merkel said. At stake is “our national response to the European agenda.”

Merkel left no doubt about the fact that this “national response” includes rearmament and war.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/02/24/merk-f24.html (World Socialist Website)


Let’s work together on defense, France and Germany tell Europe   (Reuters Staff * 16 Feb 2018)

In a speech to the Munich Security Conference, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said Europe’s countries would not be able to respond nimbly enough to global challenges if they were stymied by the need to decide joint foreign policy approaches unanimously.

“Europe has to up its pace in the face of global challenges from terrorism, poverty and climate change,” she said. “Those who want to must be able to advance without being blocked by individual countries.”  Her French counterpart Florence Parly said any such deepened cooperation would be complementary to the NATO alliance, which itself was based on the principle that members contributed differently depending on their capacities.

…Von der Leyen pledged to spend more on its military and the United Nations, but called in return for other countries not to turn away from mulitlateralism.  The pledges come as the EU seeks a new basis on which to cooperate with Britain, traditionally one of the continent’s leading security players, after its vote to leave the EU.  Earlier on Friday, the leaders of the three countries’ security services said close security cooperation in areas like terrorism, illegal migration, proliferation and cyber attacks, must continue after Britain’s departure.

“Cooperation between European intelligence agencies combined with the values of liberal democracy is indispensable, especially against a background of diverse foreign and security challenges,” they said.




 NATO in Baghdad (German-Foreign-Policy.com newsletter)

(Own report) – Today, Thursday, NATO’s defense ministers begin their preparations for the war alliance’s Iraq mission, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced in light of the ministers’ meeting ending today in Brussels. The mission is in accordance with US demands, which not only seek to empower Iraqi armed forces to permanently suppress IS, but particularly, to scale back Teheran’s significant influence on Baghdad. Iran owes its new influence in Iraq and other countries of the region – from Syria to Yemen and Qatar – to the failed and bloody wars and various aggressions by the West and its closest Middle East allies. Teheran could not have achieved its current influence in Baghdad, without the 2003 US invasion and subsequent extensive destruction of the country. Berlin signaled its interest to participate in the upcoming NATO mission to Iraq.



Double Standards — German Foreign Policy

(Own report) – The German government is increasing political pressure, in its efforts to have a greater impact in the power struggle over Syria. In view of the civilian population’s horrible situation in the fiercely contested region of East Ghouta, east of Damascus – dominated by an al Qaida offshoot and several of its allied militias – Chancellor Merkel is accusing the Syrian government of not waging a war “on terrorists” but on “its own people.” Similar accusations have already been raised during the battle to retake Eastern Aleppo, which cost the lives of nearly 3,500 civilians, according to western sources. No such accusations, however, were raised against the anti-IS war coalition – with German Bundeswehr participation – when at least 1,400, and from 9000 – 11,000 civilians were killed in their battles to retake Raqqa and Mosul respectively. Double standards are typical for politicians and media in countries involved in war, particularly when they face defeat.




Britain has a German Brexit ally…but it’s the AfD. Germany’s new Bundestag – which features the far-right AfD for the first time – had its first full debate on Europe ahead of an informal EU27 summit in Brussels today. Handelsblatt sums up the heated debate in an unusually rancorous German parliament. Divisions included whether Germany should help out Italy’s unemployed youth, and coughing up for a bigger EU budget. On Brexit, AfD co-leader Alice Weidel called for Berlin to go easy on the Brits and backed an EEA-style deal.  (FT Brussels Briefing, 2/23)


The Munich Security Forum — UK Prime Minister May warns EU against freezing Britain out of defense developments              (Defense News * 17 Feb 2018)

MUNICH — The United Kingdom’s prime minister sent a subtle message to the European Union that going it alone in defense development efforts without full cooperation with the U.K. would be a step backward in regional security. 

Theresa May focused much of her speech at the Munich Security Conference on reassurances that an exit from the EU by the U.K. does not translate to an abandonment of collective European security. But in terms of defense research and development, May was pointed about the U.K.’s contributions. “The U.K. spends around 40 percent of Europe’s total [investment] in defense research and development, and this provides a sizeable stimulus to improve Europe’s competitiveness and capability, and this is to the benefit of us all,” May said. “An open and inclusive approach to European capability development, that fully enables the British defense industry to participate, is in our strategic security interests.”

…She also pointed to the NotPetya cyberattack perpetuated by Russia against Europe as an example of why development cooperation in network security is so critical. And in the space domain, May noted that “the U.K. hosts much of Europe’s cutting edge capabilities on space,” with a leading role on the Galileo program as one example. “The key for this is to continue as part of our new partnership, but as is the case more widely, we need to get the right agreements concluded, which will allow the U.K. and its businesses to take part on a fair and open basis.”




“A Catholic priest said on state TV that it was hard to like Jews.”

Polish Jews stunned, scared by eruption of anti-Semitism (Associated Press•February 17, 20180

Poland’s Jewish community is the surviving remnant of a vibrant and diverse Polish- and Yiddish-speaking community that numbered 3.3 million on the eve of the Holocaust. Only 10 percent survived the German genocide, while postwar violence and persecution in the first decades of communist rule forced out many of the survivors. 

Anxieties have been creeping in amid a global rise in xenophobia that was also felt in Poland. Matters escalated a few weeks ago when Israeli officials sharply criticized new Polish legislation that criminalizes blaming Poland as a nation for crimes committed by Nazi Germany. They accused Poland of seeking to use the law to whitewash the role of the Poles who helped Germans kill Jews during the war. Amid Israeli criticism, a prominent Polish right-wing commentator used an offensive slur to refer to Jews. Rather than being punished, he was welcomed on TV programs, including a state television talk show where he and the host made anti-Jewish comments, including jokes about Jews and gas chambers. The negative comments just kept on coming. A Catholic priest said on state TV that it was hard to like Jews, and his words were then quoted by the ruling party spokeswoman. An adviser to the president said he thought Israel’s negative reaction to the law stemmed from a “feeling of shame at the passivity of the Jews during the Holocaust.” Commentators have also suggested that opposition to the Holocaust law was a cover for Jews wanting money from Poland, a reference to reparations that international Jewish organizations seek for prewar Jewish property seized by the communists. The current wave of discrimination comes just weeks before the 50th anniversary of an anti-Semitic campaign orchestrated by Poland’s communist regime in March 1968. That campaign began with rhetoric eerily similar to the things being said today and ended up with 20,000 Jews forced to relinquish their possessions and their Polish citizenship and flee the country.



Poland freezes Holocaust survivors’ property restitution bill 73 years after World War Two ended, restitution for lost Jewish property has not yet been regulated in Poland, with new bill dealing with issue put on hold, possibly due to ‘death camp law’;                        (Ynet news * 15 Feb 2018)

‘Survivors can’t wait,’ says Jewish organization; Polish Senate speaker also appealed to Poles living abroad to report to the authorities any statements hurting ‘Poland’s good name.’ The government of Poland has decided to reexamine a draft bill on restitution for Holocaust survivors whose property was confiscated during World War Two.

The bill was put up for inspection by the country’s Justice Ministry, and may be shelved altogether.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned as “outrageous” his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki’s remark Saturday that ‘Jewish perpetrators were also responsible for the Holocaust’.  Both were at the Munich Security Conference 2018  (Times of Israel * 17 Feb 2018)


Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and Poles took an active part in their murder. The Israeli government must be here for the millions murdered and strongly condemn the Polish prime minister’s words,” he said.  Tzipi Livni, a Zionist Union MK and former foreign minister who was in the audience, said it was “moving to hear Ronen Bergman asking/attacking the Polish prime minister over the law that forbids mentioning the participation of the Polish nation in the Holocaust, as [Bergman] told his family story and received applause from the audience.”  Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, one of the most vocal Israeli critics of the Polish law, said Morawiecki’s statement is “anti-Semitism of the oldest kind.”  “The perpetrators are not the victims. The Jewish state will not allow the murdered to be blamed for their own murder,” he said, while calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recall Israel’s ambassador to Warsaw.



Netanyahu:  A Great Prime Minister – Despite Everything                 By Vic Rosenthal * Feb 27, 2018

It’s hard to imagine a clearer case of the media appointing itself judge, jury and executioner.

Netanyahu has his flaws; but his claim to have dedicated his career and his life to the security of the state of Israel is indisputable.



Report: Anti-Semitic incidents in US soar by 57% in 2017

In highest total since 1994, Anti-Defamation League reports 1,986 incidents last year, including vandalism, harassment and bomb threats and even physical attacks; ADL director says increase fueled by emboldened far-right extremists as well as the ‘divisive state of our national discourse.’



Columbia, SC Imam Muhammad Adly Warns Muslims Not To Send Children To Non-Muslim Schools: Gay And Lesbian Teachers Might Pass It On To Your Child (MEMRI # 6426)



Somali-born ex-Muslim author Ayaan Hirsi Ali “asks why do we loudly defend a woman’s right to wear the hijab but when it comes to supporting Muslim girls who refuse to wear it, feminism is strangely quiet?” (Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images)



Proverbs 23:2 ESV : “And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.”

Many adults ‘don’t know signs of eating disorders

The charity Beat says the main signs to watch out for are: 

  • becoming obsessive about food
  • changes in behaviour
  • having distorted beliefs about their body size
  • often tired or struggling to concentrate
  • disappearing to the toilet after meals
  • starting to exercise excessively

People with eating disorders can become very secretive as they try to hide the extent of their problem.   (http://www.bbc.com/news/education-43140176)




An image grab taken from Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV on November 5, 2017 shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon’s militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location in Lebanon. / AFP PHOTO 

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that it’s desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).

Special Dispatch No. 7328

Pro-Hizbullah Lebanese Website:  “Hizbullah Has 70,000 Iranian Missiles Across Syria Ready To Launch Into Israel;  In A Year It Will Have 500,000”  (MEMRI, 2/12)


Iran has 10 military bases in Syria, two near Israel border — analyst

Up to 20,000 fighters trained by Tehran are in country, now focused on Israel, after neutralizing IS threat, NY Times reports                                   Times of Israel * 19 Feb 2018

Iran operates 10 military bases in Syria and is training militias loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime for a possible battle with Israel, with two key facilities located near the border with Israel, an analyst for an American think tank said in an article published Monday.  Up to 20,000 fighters from various militias throughout the war-torn country have been trained by Iranian military personnel, giving Tehran its “true muscle” in Syria, according to the Monday report in The New York Times.   Israel has been warning for years that Iran is seeking to entrench itself militarily in Syria.   According to Israeli political and military assessments, Tehran, which has shored up Assad in the Syrian civil war, has been working to create air and naval bases in Syria, from which it can arm the Lebanon-based terror organization Hezbollah and other Shiite groups, as well as carry out attacks of its own against the Jewish state.   Monday’s report said hundreds or thousands of Iranian military officials are in Syria and that about 6,000 of the Iran-trained combatants in the country are members of Hezbollah, with the rest coming from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.   Most of them view the battle against non-Shiite Muslims and against non-Muslims in the region in religious terms, the report added.




DW remains an excellent source of European news.  The German news program is shown on PBS on weekday evenings.

On Monday it reported the appointment of Chancellor Merkel’s “heir apparent”, Annegret Kram-Karrenbauer, as General Secretary of the conservative Christian Democrats.   This is a role that Mrs. Merkel had before becoming Chancellor – the same development could happen again.   Already, the media has dubbed her “Mini-Merkel”.

On the same evening news program, it was reported that the latest polls show support for the left-wing Social Democrats is plummeting.   At the same time, the “extreme right wing party, AfD, continues to rise dramatically.   DW’s Oliver Sallet commented that “this is unheard of.   It has never happened before in (the Federal Republic of) Germany.   The general trend continues, which is the rise of the Right in Germany.”



Prior to the above news item, the program reported the launch of a new party in the United Kingdom.   “Renew” is dedicated to reversing the Brexit decision.

Britain remains very divided on whether the country should restore its independence, or further immerse itself in the German dominated European Union.

It’s also reported that the American billionaire George Soros has donated 600,000 pounds to try to ensure Britain does not go ahead with Brexit; at the same time, the CEO of Bank of America is speaking out against it.   Neither of these men is British.   In the US, the nightly news frequently brings up Russian interference in the last US election.   It’s time the British government condemned outside interference in Brexit.   This is a British matter for the British people to decide.



Chart du jour:   Donald Trump, look away now

The EU’s trade surplus with the US jumped in 2017 and Donald Trump won’t be happy about it.   Having already dubbed Germany a potential “currency exploiter,” the White House will be wincing at new figures which show EU exports to the States jumped 3 per cent last year to €375bn.  Bloomberg reckons the figures could further strain trans-Atlantic trade ties between the two economic giants.  (FT 2/16)



Friends recommended “When Calls the Heart,” which is available on Netflix.   The show is now in its fifth season on Hallmark.

It centers on the development of a small town “the other side of the Rockies” and the relationship between a Canadian Mountie and an adventurous school teacher from a wealthy family.   It’s a very good family show.

Prior to watching it, I was saying to my wife that we have watched good programs from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, but nothing from Canada.   Now, finally, here’s a series set in Canada.   That’s not the same as being “Canadian.” Hallmark, a US based channel, has left its prints all over it.  Even the Mountie is an import from Australia!

King Edward VII conferred the title “Royal” on the Mounties in 1904, six years before the series is set.   At the time, all outposts of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would have displayed a photo of the King in their office.   Schools would, too, as any reader of “Anne of Green Gables” knows.  (Perhaps, we can overlook this as the school in the series meets in a saloon!)   The government is referred to as “the federal government,” whereas Canadians refer to the government in Ottawa as the “Government of Canada.”   Additionally, the only time any political subject has come up in the series, it’s been about US presidents.  Also, New York, San Francisco and Hollywood have received special mention, as if they are a part of the same province.

In other words, a very uplifting series is slightly marred by historical error, which could have been avoided.   Hallmark missed an opportunity to teach Americans about their bigger neighbor to the North.

It’s not very often that Philippians 4:8 comes to mind when watching a television series.  But it did with this one:

Philippians 4:8 NKJV – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

There is no bad language in this series, no sex and minimal violence.  My wife and I recommend it as good family viewing, suitable for our grandchildren.

One final comment:   famously, Mounties always get their man, but the Mountie in this series is taking a very long time to get his woman!  It’s sometimes painful watching what must be one of the slowest courtships in dramatic history.  It’s good, though, for teens today to see how people used to court the opposite sex.

Watch it and see for yourself.







(Photo: John McCall, AP)

After yet another school shooting in the United States, the 19th this year, Pat Buchanan wrote a brilliant analysis.   The following is a quote from his article, posted this morning.

“Another factor helps to explain what happened Wednesday: We are a formerly Christian society in an advanced state of decomposition.

“Nikolas Cruz was a product of broken families.  He was adopted. Both adoptive parents had died.  Where did he get his ideas of right and wrong, good and evil?   Before the Death of God and repeal of the Ten Commandments, in those dark old days, the 1950s, atrocities common now were almost nonexistent.    (“The Motives behind the massacre,” Pat Buchanan, 2/16)

Deuteronomy 28 is the classic Bible chapter that should help us all think.   In summary, what it says is that the more we obey God, the greater our society will be; the more we turn away from God, the worse it will become.   As Mr. Buchanan points out, “before the death of God and repeal of the Ten Commandments, in those dark old days, the 1950s, atrocities common now were almost nonexistent.”



It’s not just that US schools are unsafe, it’s clear to the rest of the world that America is a very violent country, with a governmental system that doesn’t work any more.   As one writer put it, the US has an eighteenth century constitution in a twenty first century world.

Most countries already have a bad impression of the current US president.   But, when Mr. Trump spoke following the shootings and talked about mental illness, that impression only worsened.   Mental illness was (and usually is) a major factor, but what differentiates America from other western countries is easy access to weapons. Even the mentally ill can walk into a gun dealer and buy an assault rifle!

Parkland will not be the last school mass shooting.



Sheikh “Abu Qusay” delivered a Friday sermon in Jerusalem, in which he said:

“Oh dweller of the White House, let me tell you, from the pulpit of the Prophet Muhammad, that this is the promise of Allah and His Messenger:   Jerusalem is the heart of the land of Islam.   We will storm your White House, stomp on your head, kill your soldiers, and capture your land.   This is the promise of the Prophet Muhammad.” The sermon was posted to the internet on December 22nd.   (MEMRI)


Nervous Rex?  Tillerson in Turkey

The war in Syria has already tested and destroyed many alliances. Turkey’s relationship with America may be next.   Having launched one army offensive against Kurdish insurgents in north-west Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government says it will soon order another, this time in the north-east.   There, the militants are flanked by American troops, who are supporting them in their fight against Islamic State.   It will be up to America’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who arrives in Turkey today, to calm nerves and prevent the diplomatic row between the two NATO allies from exploding into an armed one.   That will not be easy.   After an American general warned that his forces would retaliate against any attack on their positions inside the Kurdish strongholds, Mr Erdogan said the United States “had clearly never received an Ottoman slap.” Slap or no slap, Mr. Tillerson’s ears will be ringing by the time he gets back to Washington. (Economist, 2/15)


German government plans massive military expansion in Iraq        By Johannes Stern, 13 February 2018

The new grand coalition in Germany is planning a massive expansion of the German army (Bundeswehr) mission in Iraq. 

This was announced by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) in the course of her trip to the Middle East last weekend.  Von der Leyen praised Germany’s cooperation with the Peshmerga [Kurdish military forces] during her visit to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in northern Iraq.   The Bundeswehr has been arming and militarily supporting the Kurdish force for three and a half years.   It was “impressive to see the great success of the Peshmerga training mission,” she said, thanking “Bundeswehr soldiers” on the spot.  Von der Leyen then announced that in future the Bundeswehr would be deployed throughout Iraq.

There will be “another mandate,” she said, “a mandate with a new balance … between Baghdad and Erbil on equal terms on both sides.” The defense minister made no concrete statements about the planned operation, but left no doubt she envisaged a long-term military engagement throughout Iraq.   “Both in Kurdistan, as well as in the central government in Baghdad,” there is “a request above all to help in the implementation of reforms, in the construction of ministry structures,” the minister said.   In Erbil, for example, “the construction of an entire sanitary unit is necessary,” but this also involved “of course the entire planning, organisation, recruitment and training.”   There is also “considerable demand” for logistics. Germany wanted to “make its contribution” to provide Iraq with “independent, loyal operational forces for the long term.”

The Socialist Equality Party rejects the coalition pact, which focuses on the return of Germany to an aggressive foreign and great power policy, and calls for the disclosure of all the talks.   Under conditions of escalating warfare in Syria and Iraq, and US preparations for war against North Korea, which threaten to provoke a Third World War, this demand, along with the demand for new elections, is becoming increasingly urgent.


Special Dispatch No. 7339

Hamas, Palestinian Factions In Response To Israel’s Airstrikes In Syria:   ‘Any Israeli Attack, On Any Front, Will Be Answered With A Comprehensive War On All Fronts’ (MEMRI 2/15)


Macron Vows to Reform Islam in France
“It is time to bring in a new generation”

by Soeren Kern, February 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The overall objective of President Macron’s plan is to ensure that French law takes precedence over Islamic law for Muslims living in the country.
  • The plan, as currently conceived, is vague and short on details, but appears to involve three broad pillars: determining who will represent Muslims in France; delineating how Islam in France will be financed; and defining how imams in France will be trained.
  • “It is time to bring in a new generation.   We have seen fifteen years of debate to defend the interests of foreign states.” — Hakim el-Karoui, a French-Tunisian expert on Islam who is advising Macron on the reforms. (Gatestone)



A New Élysée Treaty – Berlin and Paris are seeking a “new Élysée Treaty.”   On the 55th anniversary of the original 1963 Élysée Treaty, in which the Federal Republic of Germany and France committed themselves to hold “consultations” on major political issues, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron announced the drafting of a new treaty aimed at “deepening” cooperation between the two countries and “strengthening” the EU.   In a declaration, the parliaments of both countries called for harmonizing almost the “complete range of policy issues.”   This would amount to massively enhancing the “German-French axis.”



Transatlantic Rivals

(Own report) – In Washington serious warnings are being raised against an independent German-European military policy aimed at weakening NATO.   The militarization of the EU is being supported as long as “it is complimentary to NATO,” a senior Pentagon official was quoted.   However, Washington would intervene if Berlin and the EU were to pull military resources away from NATO and use them for their own wars.   This statement was made in light of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting that begins today, which will include a decision on the establishment of two new NATO headquarters.   One will be established in the United States, to secure the military supply routes from North America over the Atlantic to Europe.   A second will be established in Germany, to optimize rapid redeployments of West European troops eastwards across the continent.   At the current stage of planning, this will be under German sovereignty and available also for use outside of the NATO framework.

More… https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/news/detail/7531/



Despite its loss in U.S. trade court against Bombardier, Boeing believes 2018 will be a turning point in its lengthy WTO challenge to Airbus over government subsidies.   The threat of hefty tariffs could redraw the playing field — or trigger a trade war among traditional allies.   (Dominic Gates,The Seattle Times 2/10)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday rejected the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to a group that would have included Chinese investors, capping a two-year battle over a deal that sparked political opposition in Congress, reports the WSJ’s Dave Michaels. (2/16)



Some like it hot:   America’s economy

The White House will announce its infrastructure plan today.   It is expected to call for $200bn more in government spending to encourage private investment, hoping for a total of $1.5trn towards spending on roads, bridges, ports and more.   Were Congress to pass such a plan without cutting spending elsewhere, it would be the third recent salvo of fiscal stimulus.   Last week lawmakers passed a budget that will raise spending by $143bn (0.7% of GDP) this year; in December President Donald Trump signed into law tax cuts worth about $280bn in 2019.   America’s budget deficit will probably reach $1trn (5% of GDP) that year.   All this will stimulate an already hot economy.   Unemployment is just 4.1%, and real-time estimates of GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018 are as high as 4%.   The natural question is:   when will inflation take off?   This strangely timed fiscal experiment will reveal the answer.   (Economist Espresso, 2/12)



China, Maldives: Beijing’s Boats Send a Message to India — China’s increased military presence in the Indian Ocean gives the country more options to respond to the crisis in the Maldives, in addition to challenging New Delhi’s influence in the region.   (Stratfor, 2/16)



Finally, Mo Ibrahim has found an African president worthy of the $5 million prize the Sudanese billionaire offered to any leader who would step down after losing an election.   The prize goes to Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.   It’s been eleven years since the prize was established.   “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took the helm of Liberia when it was completely destroyed by civil war and led a process of reconciliation that focused on building a nation and its democratic institution,” said the head of the prize committee.

Liberia’s gross domestic product was only $550 million when Mrs. Sirleaf became president in 2005.   At the end of her tenure in office it had increased to $2.1 billion.   (Wall Street Journal, 2/14)



Can charities be truly bad?   It seems perverse to say that they are, but the Oxfam abuse scandal has revealed a sinister side to international aid — and about time, too.   In our cover package this week, Harriet Sergeant argues that, in Africa and elsewhere, NGOs often do more harm than good.   Mary Wakefield, meanwhile, who wrote about rapist aid workers in the magazine a fortnight ago, well before the Oxfam story broke, asks why polite society prefers to ignore scandals which relate to organisations that people want to believe are good.   (The Spectator, UK, 2/15)



Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils — Berlioz


Bible prophecy is focused on the Middle East and Europe.   There’s a lot happening in the latter right now, as the following news items show.   Poland’s holocaust denial is likely to be followed by other European countries given time, as a new generation takes over and does not want to be blamed for the sins of their fathers.  

“Watch therefore and pray always.” (Luke 21:36)


A few years ago, I visited Auschwitz and Krakow in Poland.   I remember asking the tour guide about Polish involvement in the Holocaust.  He admitted that many Poles had aided the Nazis in rounding up the Jews and worked in the camps, helping the Nazis in killing Jews.

The upper house of the Polish parliament has now made it illegal to say such things.  Revisionist history now says that Poles played no role in the Holocaust.  Note the following from the Wall Street Journal:

“Poland’s parliament passed a libel bill imposing jail sentences for accusing the Polish population for collaborating in the Holocaust or other war crimes, sparking concerns from Israel and the United States that a close ally was limiting free expression and flirting with anti-Semitism.

“American and Israeli diplomats condemned the legislation, passed by the upper house of the country’s legislature on Thursday which would set up to three year’s imprisonment for blaming the wartime murder of roughly six million Jews on the Polish state or people.”   (“Poland pushes controversial libel law,” Wall St Journal, 2/2/18)

Under the new legislation, it will become illegal to write or talk about ‘Polish death camps.’

In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Alan M. Dershowitz of Harvard University, wrote the article:   “Poland seeks to censor history.”   Here’s a paragraph from the article:

“True, the Germans built Auschwitz and other death camps on Polish soil.   But the Germans could not have murdered the Polish Jews, and millions of other Europeans imported to death camps in Poland, without the active assistance of many Poles in identifying and rounding up victims.   This complicity was incited by generations of anti-Semitic church sermons.   Poles also murdered Jews during and after the German occupation – including in the Jedwabne pogrom in July 1941 and in Kielce in July 1946.”


Merkel warns of rising anti-Semitism on Holocaust remembrance day  (AFP / 27 January 2018)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of rising anti-Semitism in her country on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling the need to protect Jewish buildings “shameful.”   “It is inconceivable and shameful that no Jewish institution can exist without police protection, whether it is a school, a kindergarten or a synagogue,” she said.    The chancellor also reaffirmed her support of creating the position of anti-Semitism commissioner in the next German government, if her party can finalize tortuous negotiations to forge a coalition.  The commissioner would be appointed to counter growing hate speech against Jews and Israel in German from both its home-grown far-right and some recent migrants in the Muslim community.



‘Verbal attacks have become part of everyday Jewish life in Germany’

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany argued in an interview that much more educational work needs to be done in schools to combat anti-Semitism.  (25 January 2018 / The Local Germany)

Dr. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews, spoke with the founder of the initiative Faces of Democracy, Sven Lilienström, about the importance of German democracy,   Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and modern anti-Semitism in Germany.   Surveys have shown for decades that about 20 to 25 percent of the population have anti-Jewish resentment.   However, these attitudes have been articulated more openly for some time now.   The internet plays a major role here.   In the social networks we find a verbal lack of inhibition which is dangerous, especially on the far-right of the political spectrum. Therefore, it is good that the Network Enforcement Act now provides an instrument to better prevent “hate speech.”

Unfortunately, however, an anti-Israeli attitude is also spreading in society.   It is then no longer a matter of factual criticism of Israel, but Israel’s right to exist is called into question, or Jews in general are held liable for the policies of the Israeli government.   That’s anti-Semitism.



Germany’s AfD is ‘destructive power,’ Jewish leader warns

The ex-president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, says the party Alternative for Germany endangers democracy.

 It could soon become the biggest opposition party in the German parliament.


©27 Jan 2018 Deutsche Welle


The former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, has expressed her concern at the fact that the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has entered the German Bundestag. “It pains me that a party that tolerates not just historical misrepresentation and anti-Semitism but also racism, far-right extremism and populist nationalism in its ranks was able to become the third-strongest in Germany,” Knobloch told the Passauer Neue Presse in an interview published on Saturday for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Here, an anti-modern, anti-democratic and anti-liberal destructive power is at work that challenges the prevailing collective consensus” formed on the basis of the lessons of history, Knobloch said. Knobloch also warned of what she described as a “very strong and very aggressive” form of anti-Semitism present among Muslims living in Germany and called on Muslim associations and institutions to combat radical elements in their own communities. (http://www.dw.com/) 


Son of Nazi leader’s warning about Germany — HARDtalk interviews Niklas Frank, son of Hans Frank, brutal Nazi Governor of Poland executed for war crimes 

Germany could return to authoritarianism if the economic conditions were to seriously worsen in the country, the son of Hans Frank the governor general of Nazi occupied Poland during World War Two, has told BBC Hardtalk.   “As long as our economy is great, and as long as we make money everything is very democratic,” said Niklas Frank, but “if we have five to 10 years heavy economic problems the swamp is a lake, and is a sea and will swallow again, everything,” he added.

Niklas Frank said he “despises” his father for the crimes he committed while he was governor-general of Poland from 1939 to 1945, and tours Germany giving speeches about his father and the legacy of the Nazi era.  Hans Frank was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and executed in 1946.  (Released:  25 April 2017)


Germany’s push for EU army:   Merkel developing networks with EU members for military union

Germany has been pushing for greater military co-operation amongst European Union member states, setting up a network between the Bundeswehr and other Brussels partners.  (29 Dec 2017 * Express UK)

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been working on establishing the groundwork for an European Union army, in particular developing a network of co-operation between troops from Germany and others from countries that are part of Pesco – Permanent Structured Co-operation.  The bloc comprises 25 EU countries with only Denmark, Malta and the UK remaining outside. The move largely comprises of co-operation in training the troops, with the Bundeswehr training a number of soldiers from various EU countries and similarly,   German troops visit their counterparts.  But the plan does not just comprise the army but also the navy and air force.   The aim is deeper European integration in defence, which could already be realised ahead of the aims of Pesco.   The German Ministry of Defence has said it is open to the creation of a single EU academy for its military elite but there has been no firm commitment to such a project due to concerns that Germany could end up paying the bulk of the cost to train soldiers from around the bloc. . . .   The move by Ms. von der Leyen comes after Brussels announced EU military cooperation is a now a “tangible reality” after signing off a huge new project . . .   The European Defence Fund has received its first grant from the bloc for a €1million research programme called Pythia.   Named after the Priestess of Ancient Delphi, Pythia will see countries including France and Italy join forces to research cutting-edge military technology.   The UK also forms part of the programme, despite leaving the bloc in 2019, alongside Bulgaria, Poland and Romania.   A further €90million will be dished out from the EU budget in the next two years as Brussels chiefs look to strengthen military ties across the bloc.



Austrian right-wing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz welcomes Hungary’s Orban, says tensions have grown in the EU since the migrant crisis.  (AFP•January 30, 2018)

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Tuesday that he aimed to ease east-west tensions within the European Union, as his new right-wing government welcomed Hungary’s incendiary Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna.   “In particular since the start of the migrant crisis (in 2015) tensions have grown in the European Union,” Kurz told a joint news conference with Orban in the Austrian capital. “Our great aim in Austria is to be a bridge-builder in this respect between the Visegrad states and the countries in western Europe,” the 31-year-old conservative said.

. . .  A rift has emerged in recent years between Brussels and the Visegrad group of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia — and in particular with Warsaw and Budapest.   A sweeping revamp of state institutions by the nationalist governments in both countries have raised worries about the rule of law, judicial independence and media freedom.   Both have been the subject of legal action by the European Commission and they have refused to take part in a scheme to share out migrants around the 28-nation bloc.

. . .  Orban has called immigration the “Trojan Horse of terrorism” and earlier this month called migrants “Muslim invaders” of a Christian Europe.   “The biggest danger today to the hopeful future of central Europe is migration of peoples,” Orban told the news conference with Kurz on Tuesday.   “When I say that the future needs to be protected I mean that we have a culture, a Christian culture . . .   We have a way of life, and we want to protect this way of life,” Orban said.




“215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution” around the world, according to Open Doors, a human rights organization.   On its recently released World Watch List 2018, which ranks the world’s 50 worst nations wherein to be Christian, 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 abducted, and 1,020 raped or sexually harassed on account of their faith; and 793 churches were attacked or destroyed.

The Islamic world had the lion’s share of this persecution; 38 of the 50 worst nations are Muslim-majority.   The report further cites “Islamic oppression” behind the “extreme persecution” that prevails in eight of the 10 worst nations.   In short, the overwhelming majority of persecution that these 215 million Christians experience around the world — especially the worst forms, such as rape and murder — occurs at the hands of Muslims.”  (215 million Christians persecuted – mostly by Muslims,” Raymond Ibrahim, MEF, 1/21)



The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has not been an Israeli refusal to concede, or an American unwillingness to bend: it has been the ongoing Palestinian rejection of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.   (E.J. Kimball, The Daily Caller, Middle East Forum, 2/2)



“Idlib province is home to a wide range of groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.   His efforts to crush rebels there come after the government successfully reasserted control over large parts of the country, thanks to firepower from the regime’s Russian and Iranian allies.   But the offensive on Idlib is moving into risky territory, with foreign powers maneuvering in proximity to each other as alliances that used to fight Islamic State fray.”   (“Syrian Offensive strains foreign powers”, WSJ, 2/5/18).



In a TV interview, Egyptian historian and Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa downplayed the Holocaust, saying that the figure of six million Jews killed was “disputed among historians” and that “at the time, there weren’t six million Jews in the world.”   “How come nobody talks about the ‘counter Holocaust’? he asked, claiming that after Hitler’s defeat, “the Jews in Europe captured the Germans, put them in camps, and started to kill them.”   The interview aired on the Egyptian Mehwar TV channel on December 17, 2017.   (MEMRI)



All that matters is immigration

Republicans who treat immigration as a backburner issue should be required to run on the issues they consider more important — in California.   See how your arguments fare in a state that’s already been transformed by immigration.   That’s your new country.  (Steynonline)

How stupid do you have to be to carry on about taxes, defense spending, ISIS, abortion or the Ten Commandments while intentionally losing on the one issue that will determine the outcome of all these other issues?   Too stupid to be of any real help.   (Ann Coulter, January 2018)

  • In Germany, 47% of Muslims believe Sharia is more important than German law.   In Sweden, 52% of Muslims believe that Sharia is more important than Swedish law.
  • The studies are supported by European intelligence reports. In Germany, intelligence agencies warned in the early fall of 2015 that, “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law.”
  • A recent Belgian study, in which 4,734 Belgians were polled, showed that two-thirds of Belgians feel that their nation is being “increasingly invaded.”

(Europe: Making Islam Great Again. Gatestone 2/3)


Special Dispatch No. 7305

Former Basij Commander Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi:  ‘The European Continent Is Gradually Giving Way To The Asiatic And African Genes; In The Next Century, They’ll Have To Look For The European Gene In Museums’

THE COST OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION                                                          By Ruthie Blum, Gatestone 2/5/18

  • “At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens.” — Matt O’Brien and Spencer Raley
  • It is also rather more than the single payment of $25 billion that it will cost to build a wall — five and a half times more, and every year.
  • “Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans.   They also tend to commit more serious crimes. . . . ” — John R. Lott.
  • In 2015, included in the DEA’s drug-threat assessment was the fact that drug overdoses killed more people in the United States than car accidents or guns. Many of these drugs [were] smuggled in large volumes by drug cartels.”


An Italian man went on a shooting spree in the central town of Macerata, wounding six African immigrants before getting out of his car and doing the fascist salute, police said.

“The 28-year-old suspect drove through Macerata on Saturday, shooting in an area where police had arrested a Nigerian man suspected of killing an 18-year-old Italian woman, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.” (WSJ, 3/5)



Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants from Italy should his centre-right coalition enter government after elections on 4 March, as tensions simmer over the shooting of six Africans by a far-right extremist on Saturday.

The 81-year-old rightwing former prime minister said in a TV interview that immigration was a “social bomb ready to explode in Italy” and that the shooting in Macerata posed a security problem.

“Immigration has become an urgent question, because after years with a leftwing government, there are 600,000 migrants who don’t have the right to stay,” said Berlusconi.   “We consider it to be an absolute priority to regain control over the situation.”

Berlusconi’s Forza Italia has forged an alliance with two far-right parties, the Northern League and the smaller Brothers of Italy, for the elections.   (The Guardian, 2/5)


Consternation has been expressed this week that the US currently has no Ambassador to South Korea, at a time when war between the US and North Korea is a definite possibility.  Nothing has been said about the fact that the US has no Ambassador to the European Union, also at a very critical time.

On Sunday, in a British television interview, President Trump described the EU’s trading policies as “unfair” to the US and threatened increased tariffs on imports from the 27-member nation trading club.

The US president, Donald Trump, claimed in an interview with ITV broadcast on Sunday that the EU had been “very unfair” on American exporters, and that it would “morph into something very big” that would “turn out to be very much to [the EU’s] detriment.”

Washington is currently examining the case for protecting US economic interests on national security grounds, including the imposition of import tariffs on aluminum and steel.

Responding to Trump’s comments, a spokesman for the European commission told reporters in Brussels that the EU was ready to hit back if its importers were made to suffer.

The spokesman said:   “For us trade policy is not a zero sum game.  It is not about winners and losers.  We here in the European Union believe that trade can and should be win-win.

“We also believe that while trade has to be open and fair it also has to be rules-based.  The European Union stands ready to react swiftly and appropriately in case our exports are affected by any restrictive trade measures by the United States.”

(“Brussels prepared for trade war with US if it restricts EU imports,” Daniel Boffey, The Guardian, 29th January, 2018).

There is an assumption in the United States that America is the biggest trading power in the world and can dictate to others when it comes to trade.   This may not be the case.

“The adjusted GDP of the 28 EU member nations is bigger than both China and the US, the traditional list of world’s economic super powers.

“In nominal U.S. dollar terms, the European Union (plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland) accounted for 25.4% of world output in 2014 according to data from the International Monetary Fund.  That was greater than America’s share (22.5%) and well in excess of China’s—13.4%,” said Quinlan.

(“Europe is bigger than the US”, Bob Bryan, Business Insider, 30th June, 2015).

These facts will have changed in the 2 ½ years since this was written. When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union next year, the figures will need to be further adjusted.   But the figures do convey that the US, the EU and China are each roughly on a par when it comes to the size of their economies.

What is not conveyed here is how powerful the European Union is through its trading agreements.   Whereas the US has twenty major trading partners, the EU has eighty.   These countries will all likely side with Brussels if a trade war worsens.

Nobody is likely to benefit from a trade war.   The latest tariffs the US imposed on Chinese washing machines, for example, will increase the cost of purchasing a washing machine in the US.   This will apply to thousands of products as tariffs are increased by all three economic powers.

There’s a lesson from history here.  The Smoot-Hawley Act, passed by Congress in 1930, raised tariffs on over 20,000 items imported from other countries.   One side effect was that US trade decreased by over 50% increasing unemployment.   This period became known as the Great Depression.

The first shots have been fired in a new trade war.   It’s not likely that the US will come out ahead here, certainly not in the long term.   Putting “America First” will mean the rest of the world coming together in a renewed commitment to globalization, leading to the new global economic system predicted in Revelation 18.

Note the following just after Angela Merkel’s speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Wednesday “protectionism is not the answer” to world problems, addressing the Davos economic summit before US President Donald Trump appears to defend his “America First” agenda.

“We think that shutting ourselves off, isolating ourselves, will not lead us into a good future.   Protectionism is not the answer,” Merkel said in a speech in the Swiss resort.

She spoke a day before the arrival of the US president whose aggressive trade policies have raised concern among defenders of globalization.

“Let us not shut off from others, let us keep pace with the best in the world and let us canvas for this multilateral approach,” Merkel said.”


Headline in WIN (World Israel News)

German FM in Israel rejects US Jerusalem move, warns of European ‘frustration’ (1st February)

During a visit to Israel, German FM Sigmar Gabriel blasted those who oppose a Palestinian state, demanding a two-state approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



We went to see “Darkest Hour” recently.   Although not perfect, the movie is a fairly accurate attempt at showing what Winston Churchill was up against when he suddenly became Prime Minister in May, 1940.  Forgotten now is how close Britain came to being invaded by Hitler’s armies.   The future of the world depended on what was to follow – if the UK had fallen, other nations would have had to sue for peace on Hitler’s terms.   Those “other nations” included the United States, which was totally unprepared for war in 1940.

Britons like to say that they “stood alone” against Hitler.   Certainly, in Europe that was true.   But forgotten now is a simple fact:   at the time, Britain ruled a quarter of the world’s people.   All these nations fought with Britain.   Two and a half million Indians were in the British Army, plus hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and the Caribbean.   Additionally, the British dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia) played a major role.

In the event of another threat to Britain, none of these countries will be likely to come to her aid.

Watching the movie, you can also see clearly the similarities with today.   Whereas, in 1940, Britain was faced with an enormous military threat from Germany, today it’s an economic threat – from the German dominated EU.   As the Brexit negotiations continue, the EU has the advantage, because the Brits are allowing them to.  There seems to be a lack of backbone in standing up to Brussels, Berlin and Paris.  The FT’s Philip Stephens today described the mess as “Britain’s nervous breakdown.”

Sadly, there is no Winston Churchill waiting in the wings!


Note the following headline from the British Daily Express newspaper following an incident were young leftists stormed the Churchill café, screaming that Churchill was a racist.   Nigel Farage is the man who led the Brexit campaign.   Churchill was an Empire-loyalist, an unforgiveable sin in today’s Britain!

“Nigel Farage TEARS APART ‘pig-ignorant’ lefty gang who terrorized Churchill café.  NIGEL FARAGE aimed a furious tirade in the direction of a group of protesters who burst into a Winston Churchill-themed cafe in London while chanting Britain’s wartime leader was a “racist.”



You will remember that Donald Trump reportedly described African countries as “****hole countries.”

At least two countries on the Dark Continent are capitalizing on this.

Namibia is promoting tourism with posters proclaiming that “Namibia is Africa’s Number One ****hole country.”

Namibia is not the only country to take advantage of Trump’s words.

According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, “A Facebook page run by a marketing group promoting tourism in Zambia – famed for the Zambezi River that feeds the spectacular Victoria Falls – includes a slogan welcoming visitors to “****hole Zambia.”   “Where beautiful vistas and breathtaking wildlife are our Trump card!” says an accompanying post.



Some entertaining posts on FaceBook . . .


"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened." — Sir Winston Churchill