After constant exposure to critically important news, it begins to lose all meaning and sense of urgency. Hearing the same warnings over and over again-especially when the status quo seems static-can cause a certain desensitization, a resigned apathy that ignores the warnings in the wishful hope that they won't materialize. This hope becomes more optimistic (and passive) with each passing day that the warnings do not materialize.
One of the most evident examples of this phenomenon is the threat of a nuclear Iran. For years, the international community has been hearing about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons; for years, the world has been hearing Iran make bold, genocidal threats-most notoriously, that it will wipe the state of Israel off the map. But so far, Iran reportedly still has no nukes, and no large attack has been launched on Israel. Thus, many have become desensitized to the situation-including those charged with ensuring that a nuclear Iran never becomes a reality.
But that reality has never been closer, as we are warned in Noah Beck's recent novel, The Last Israelis. It is our current proximity to apocalyptic war that makes Beck's doomsday warning about a nuclear Iran so compelling. If the worst comes to pass, this chilling attempt to rouse the West from its torpor could turn out to be that final, horribly prophetic alert that went unheeded. more >>
As the world continues to read and debate the merits of a controversial biogrpaphy of Jesus Christ, one professor from a Vermont academic institute will be offering his own scholarly work.
Scheduled to be released in December, Jesus: The Human Face of God, by Middlebury College Professor Jay Parini, will be the first installment of a series of biographies known as the "ICONS Series." In an interview with The Christian Post, Parini explained that he had many reasons for his interest in writing the work, including his longstanding interest in Jesus Christ.
"Mainly, I've been thinking about Jesus for over fifty years – my father was a Baptist minister, and I grew up in an evangelical community," said Parini. more >>
The persistent talk and speculation as to what the U.S. should do about the crisis in Egypt is irrelevant. What will happen in Egypt will happen regardless of what the U.S., or any other country, does or doesn't do about it.
Egypt is seized by the forces of change-albeit a painful change that could, and possibly will, cause much damage to that country. It is the price it pays for decades of political, economic, and social stagnation. Egypt's present experience is the result of a lack of gradual change that should have taken place over time and in stages.
In order to perpetuate their position of power, Egypt's rulers prevented socio-political change to take place. And as time passed by, the opposition gradually retreated to increasingly radical positions. It was the fear of this radicalization that General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi toppled Mohamed Morsi's government. more >>
At first glance, Hindu-majority India, with approximately 1.2 billion people and an entire subcontinent, would seem to have little in common with Jewish-majority Israel, which has only about eight million people living on territory that's just roughly 15 times the size of India's capital city. While full diplomatic relations were established between Jerusalem and New Delhi as recently as 1992, the two countries actually have much in common.
Both countries are homelands for ancient peoples who gained their independence from the British in the 1940s. Both states have gone on to create vibrant, multicultural democracies that have experienced dynamic, technology-driven economic growth. India and Israel each also has a large Muslim minority population, and each faces an ongoing terrorism threat from foreign and domestic Islamic extremists; indeed, both Israelis and Indians were targeted and killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Even more serious, India and Israel each faces ballistic missile threats from at least one close, hostile Muslim state. India already faces the nuclear threat posed by Pakistan, and Israel may soon confront the same threat from Iran, if Iranian nukes aren't stopped.
There is also a blossoming military and commercial relationship between India and Israel. Israel is India's second largest arms supplier after Russia, and Israeli-Indian military cooperation extends to technology upgrades, joint research, intelligence cooperation, and even space (in 2008, India launched a 300-kilogram Israeli satellite into orbit). Israel has upgraded India's Soviet-era armor and aircraft and provided India with sea-to-sea missiles, radar and other surveillance systems, border monitoring equipment, night vision devices, and other military support. Bilateral trade reached US $6 billion last year and negotiations began this year for a free trade agreement. more >>
Over 8,000 soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Lone Soldiers will receive $70 "Fellowship Gift Cards" for Rosh Hashanah from The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), who are providing $3.2 million in financial assistance this season.
"The growing cycle of poverty in Israel affects many soldiers. We appreciate the soldiers who decide to serve the State of Israel and keep us all safe despite the economic difficulties they are experiencing at home," Rabbi Eckstein, founder and president of The Fellowship, said in a press release.
"Our goal in sponsoring the 'Fellowship Gift Cards' is to enable them to fulfill their obligation to the state while knowing they are fulfilling their obligation to their families as well. Now they can serve with peace of mind while caring for their personal needs and the needs of their families." more >>
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli has asked Pink Floyd performer Roger Waters to stop using her image after the superstar posted a letter asking fans to boycott Israel and listing several "breaches of international law." Waters has not yet responded to Refaeli's request.
Waters is a member of the Palestinian activist group Electronic Intifada, according to New York Daily News. He has been an outspoken critic of Israel, but his letter set off a new round of debates, and Refaeli's public request has brought new attention to the Israeli-Palestinian debates.
"Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows," Refaeli tweeted in Hebrew. "If you're boycotting – go all the way." more >>