Over the summer, the Israeli media highlighted a phenomenon that is both intriguing and encouraging: a movement among Israel's Christian Arabs advocating that their community be drafted, along with the country's Jewish and Druze citizens, into the Israel Defense Forces.
Historically, Israel's Arab citizens have been exempted from mandatory conscription. There have been exceptions-many Bedouin, for example, have served in the IDF with distinction-but those who actually volunteer are a tiny minority. At the same time, many Arabs have complained, not without justification, that the exemption marginalizes them from fully participating in Israeli life.
That now appears to be changing, against the background of a broader reassessment of the conscription policy. Earlier this year, a Knesset committee headed by Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry approved measures that would draft the majority of haredi men-another minority that has largely avoided military service-with criminal sanctions waiting in the wings in the case that draft quotas are not met. more >>
An evangelistic event, "Count it Right," began last night in Egypt where thousands of Christians are expected to attend over the course of three-days despite the very real possibility of facing persecution.
The event is being held 70 miles north of Cairo, and although 26,000 people are anticipated to appear, event organizers fear that Islamic extremists may have also purchased tickets for the conference to carry out acts of violence.
"Because the organizers do not know how many Muslims may have purchased tickets for the rally, please pray for them that their lives may be changed to know Jesus as their Savior by the love they will feel from the staff and by the life changing-messages," wrote Open Doors, a California-based ministry that aids Christians in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, on its website. more >>
WASHINGTON – More Christians were killed in Northern Nigeria last year than in the rest of the world combined, according to the head of a human rights organization.
Ann Buwalda, executive director of the Jubilee Campaign, told The Christian Post on Thursday that an estimated 1,200 Christians were killed for their faith in Northern Nigeria.
"We documented 1,200 Nigerian Christians in the North of Nigeria who were killed, some by Boko Haram, some by Fulani herdsmen. These two types of attacks are persistent within several of the Northern Nigerian states," said Buwalda, who participated on a panel on Christian persecution in Nigeria. more >>
While it is no secret that the so-called mainstream media habitually fails to report on the international phenomenon of Christian persecution, few are aware that they sometimes actively work to undermine the efforts of those who do expose it.
Consider a new report by the BBC titled Are there really 100,000 new Christian martyrs every year? by Ruth Alexander, who asks:
So how widespread is anti-Christian violence? more >>
That the socialist French government of François Hollande just blocked a bad deal with Tehran, emerging as the hero of the Geneva negotiations, is on one level a huge surprise. But it also follows logically from the passivity of the Obama administration.
American foreign policy is in unprecedented free-fall, with a feckless and distracted White House barely paying attention to the outside world, and when it does, acting in an inconsistent, weak, and fantastical manner. If one were to discern something so grand as an Obama Doctrine, it would read: "Snub friends, coddle opponents, devalue American interests, seek consensus, and act unpredictably."
Along with many other critics, I rue this state of affairs. But the French action demonstrates that it does have a silver lining. more >>
In the spring of 2012, when I wrote The Last Israelis, I thought that the pessimistic premise of my cautionary tale on Iranian nukes was grounded in realism. I had imagined a U.S. president who passively and impotently reacted to Iran's nuclear ambitions, leaving it to tiny Israel to deal with the threat. But something far worse is happening: the Obama administration is actively making it harder for Israel to neutralize Iran's nukes, and more likely that Iran will develop a nuclear arsenal.
A few months after my apocalyptic thriller was published, The New York Times reported that "intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials [dating] almost to the beginning of President Obama's term" resulted in an agreement to conduct one-on-one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. In those secret talks, did Obama long ago concede to Iran a nuclear capability? If so, then the current Geneva negotiations merely provide the international imprimatur for what Iran and the US have already privately agreed. That might explain why France (of all countries) had to reject a Geneva deal that would have left Iran with a nuclear breakout capability.
An investigation by The Daily Beast also reveals that the "Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran's new president last June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva..." The report notes that Treasury Department notices show "that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June." more >>