The Aramaic "Tel Dan" Inscription that describes the "House of David"
1.[ ]א]מר.ע[ ]וגזר ]
2.[ ]אבי.יסק[.עלוה.בה]תלחמה.בא--- ]
Following is a line-by-line translation that follows the editio princeps (Biran and Naveh). Missing text (or text that is too damaged by erosion) is represented by "[.....]," and words and letters that appear within square brackets [ ] have been supplied by modern scholars:
1'. [.....................].......[...................................] and cut [.........................]
2'. [.........] my father went up [against him when] he fought at[....]
3'. And my father lay down, he went to his [fathers]. And the king of I[s-]
4'. rael entered previously in my father's land. [And] Hadad made me king.
5'. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from [the] seven[.....]
6'. of my kingdom, and I slew [seve]nty kin[gs], who harnessed thou[sands of cha-]
7'. riots and thousands of horsemen (or: horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son of [Ahab]
8'. king of Israel, and I killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin]g
9'. of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned]
10'. their land into [desolation........................]
11'. other ...[......................................................................... and Jehu ru-]
12'. led over Is[rael......................................................................and I laid]
13'. siege upon [............................................................]
The "Tel Dan" inscription is important because it is the only ancient record, outside of the Holy Bible, to mention King David-to date.
Mob Attacks on Iraqi Christian Businesses Raise Security Concerns
A rash of attacks on Christian-owned businesses in northern Iraq has raised troubling questions about the future safety of the country's shrinking Christian community, particularly as U.S. forces withdraw completely from the nation they've refereed since 2003. The attacks, which have received little international attention, raged through northern cities following a sermon last Friday by a local mullah. Video purportedly from the riots posted online shows mobs burning and wrecking businesses, which included liquor stores, hotels and hair salons. Yonadam Kanna, a Christian member of the Iraqi parliament and secretary-general of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, confirmed to FoxNews.com that dozens of shops -- many Christian owned -- were attacked across multiple cities. "The extremists prepared themselves to attack on more locations ... but they were prevented by local police and security in addition to some guards from the villages," Kanna said in an email. The incident underscored the perilous circumstance the country's dwindling Christian population finds itself in, as U.S. forces withdraw and the surrounding region takes what could be an Islamist turn, if early results in the Egypt elections are any gauge. "The Iraqi Christians ... are living in fear," said U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who is pushing for the creation of a special religious freedom envoy in the region. "Now with the forces leaving ... I think the Iraqi Christians are going to go through a very, very difficult time." Urging the U.S. government to do more to draw attention to security concerns, Wolf said he "would not be surprised" if Iraqi Christians continue to face these kinds of threats. The latest attacks began in the northern city of Zakho, and spread to several other cities. According to local media in northern Iraq, the attacks began after a sermon Friday by Mala Ismail Osman Sindi, who reportedly railed against massage parlors in the community. A Muslim mob subsequently tore through the streets to destroy not only a massage parlor but more than two-dozen other businesses. The mullah later denied responsibility for inciting violence in an interview with the Iraqi newspaper Rudaw. Kanna catalogued the damages. He told FoxNews.com that in Zakho alone, 16 liquor stores were attacked, 13 of them Christian owned and the rest owned by members of the Kurdish Yazidi community. The attackers also targeted Yazidi-owned hotels, 11 Christian-owned hair salons, and the massage shop -- which according to Kanna is owned by a Muslim man. According to the news site Ankawa.com, business owners later received death threats in the event they reopened. Kanna expressed hope that law enforcement would investigate the crimes. Local officials are now calling for calm. But David William Lazar, chairman of the American Mesopotamian Organization, suggested the mob attacks were not as spontaneous as they appeared. "The mobs were carrying pictures and signs, and they knew exactly where to go," he said. Lazar said the sectarian tensions surely will not dissipate as U.S. forces head home. "It's a big mess," he said. Asked who would be around to ensure security for the Christian population, he said: "Basically, no one." He said Assyrian Christians and other groups are looking to form their own province, which could then stand up a police force -- but that would only cover the province's territory. He noted that the Assyrian Democratic Movement was among the first to disarm after the U.S. invasion. The Iraqi Christian community has endured a wave of persecution during the Iraq war. According to the American Mesopotamian Organization and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, the population has dropped from 1.4 million before 2003 to about 600,000. Juliana Taimoorazy, founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, said the Christians -- who over the past decade have fled to surrounding countries to escape the violence -- are faced with limited options today. She said they simply can't go to Iran, Jordan can't handle more refugees and Syria is no longer safe. "They don't know what tomorrow or the next day will bring, but really there's nowhere else to go," she said. She questioned the security for Christians in northern Iraq, claiming the Kurdish regional government there did not initially intervene to stop the recent violence. She also said it's "disturbing" the U.S. government has not spoken up on the latest attacks. "We're on the verge of extinction," she said. Taimoorazy said the weekend attacks did not result in any deaths to her knowledge. Many of the businesses were closed at the time, but she said the attacks caused millions of dollars in damage to the destroyed properties. The violence follows a deadly attack in Baghdad in October 2010, when dozens of Iraqi Christians were killed in an attack on a church. The State Department so far has not returned a request for comment. Wolf praised the American Embassy team in Iraq and said they are well aware of the threats Iraqi Christians face. He urged the Obama administration to do more to speak up on the issue. "They know this is a problem," he told FoxNews.com. "Our government ought to be advocating and ought to be pushing." Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/09/mob-attacks-on-christian-businesses-raise-security-concerns-as-iraq-enters-new/?test=latestnews#ixzz1g4ysqhPX
NOTE: Obama has not condemned the mob violence against Christians in Iraq.
Iran's Family Protection Bill by Amy Kellogg, Nov 31 Fox New
The Iranian government calls it the Family Protection Bill, but activists call it the "Anti-Family Protection Bill." It would give men the right to take a second wife without the permission of the first, and it would enshrine a man's right to have an unlimited number of temporary marriages, which can last from 10 minutes to 99 years. Those arrangements come from Shariah law and have always existed in Iran, but the Family Protection Bill would make them official. Two groups -- the International Coalition Against Violence in Iran, and the Association of Iranian Researchers -- arranged a press conference in London last week to raise awareness of the issue. Amid the upheaval in Iran right now -- the hardship associated with sanctions, and the political strife -- they question why such a law, which has been winding its way through Iran's government for several years, even needs to be on the table. Women opposed to the articles in the bill that pertain to polygamy went on a brave and creative odyssey more than a year ago to confront it, traveling around Iran to talk to women whose lives have been adversely affected by their husbands taking second wives. The women wrote their stories on pieces of cloth; if they were illiterate, they had someone else write them down. Then they sewed the pieces together into a quilt. The quilt is still in Iran, but a digital image was smuggled out. "Most of the stories are from around Iran, not from Tehran. They are sad stories," said Rouhi Shafii of the International Coalition Against Violence in Iran. Here is a translation of one of the stories: "A few years after my marriage, my husband started telling me, jokingly, that I looked like an old woman. I was five years younger than he. He began beating me and broke my hands several times. When he talked of taking up another wife, I took it as a joke. He wouldn't do that, I thought. We have two children. But one day he married a young girl and wanted to get a two story building to bring his bride to live with us. I made him swear on the Koran not to do that, and he took his child bride elsewhere. He forgot about us and spent all his earning enjoying his bride. I was providing for the children by working at people's homes or hairdressing salons. My younger son says: 'when I grow up, I will kill my dad.'",A group of women activists also gathered 15,000 signatures from women opposed to the law — signatures complete with their addresses. The activists brought the signatures and the quilt to Parliament last year, to try to stop the legalization of the polygamy articles as part of the new law. Parliament accepted the signatures, but would not take the quilt. "It was a very brave act they did last year, in the middle of demonstrations and detentions," Shafii told Fox News. Many of the women involved in creating the quilt are out of Iran right now, but they were afraid to appear at the press conference, fearing the regime would make life hard for their families back home. To many Iranian women, temporary marriage is tantamount to legalized prostitution. But the women's opposition to the bill is not unanimous. Many female Members of Parliament are as conservative as the men, and they support the legislation. At this point, the two articles of the bill that deal with polygamy are on hold, but they have not been canceled out of the bill. Shafii believes activism has kept those bills from being passed so far. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/11/29/agencies-question-need-for-irans-family-protection-bill/?test=latestnews#ixzz1fCIxi5y3
Time: Lebanon, How Hezbollah's Technology outdoes the CIA, Nov 30, 2011
The CIA found itself in some rough waters in the Middle East last week. On Thursday, an influential member of Iran's parliament announced that the Islamic republic had arrested 12 "CIA agents" who had allegedly been targeting Iran's military and its nuclear program. The lawmaker didn't give the nationality of the agents, but the presumption is that they were Iranians recruited to spy for the CIA. The agency hasn't yet commented, but from what I've heard it was a serious compromise, one which the CIA is still trying to get to the bottom of. Even more curious was the flap in Lebanon. In June, Hizballah's secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah announced that the movement had arrested two of its own members as CIA spies. But it wasn't until last week that the story got traction in Washington. The CIA confirmed that operations in Beirut had been compromised but declined to offer details. As in the case of the alleged Iranian debacle, it's no doubt still doing a "damage assessment" — a process that can take years. Even then, it will be difficult to determine exactly what happened. (See photos of the misadventures of the CIA.) From what I've been able to piece together, Hizballah aggressively went after the CIA in Lebanon using telephone "link analysis." That's a form of electronic intelligence gathering that uses software capable of combing through trillions of gigabytes of phone-call data in search of anomalies — prepaid cell phones calling each other, series of brief calls, analysis of a cell-phone company's GPS tracking. Geeks who do this for a living understand how it works, and I'll take their word for it. But it's not the technology that's remarkable, as much as the idea that it's being employed by Hizballah, a militant Islamic organization better known for acts of terror than for electronic counterespionage. That's another reminder that Hizballah has effectively supplanted the Lebanese state, taking over police and security functions that in other countries are the exclusively the domain of sovereign authority. Indeed, since Nasrallah's announcement of catching the CIA agents, no Lebanese authority has questioned why Hizballah, rather than Lebanese intelligence, would be responsible for catching alleged spies for foreign powers in Lebanon. Nobody bothers to ask what would be a pointless question; everyone knows that when it comes to military and security functions, Hizballah might as well be the state. (Watch a video of Hizballah's theme park.) Since I served in Beirut during the '80s, I've been struck by the slow but inexorable shift of sovereign power to Hizballah. Not only does the movement have the largest military, with nearly 50,000 rockets pointed at Israel; it has de facto control over Lebanon's spies, both military and civilian. It green-lights senior appointments. Hizballah also is wired into all the databases, keeping track of who enters the country, who leaves, where they stay, whom they see and call. It's capable of monitoring every server in the country. It can even tap into broadband communications like Skype. And, of course, it doesn't bother with such legal niceties as warrants. If foreigners are going to be caught spy in Lebanon, it will be Hizballah that catches them. I have a feeling last week's events bodes ill for U.S. intelligence because it suggests that anyone capable from organized crime to terrorist groups can greatly enhance their counterintelligence capability by simply buying off-the-shelf equipment and the know-how to use it. Like a lot of people, I thought it would be easy coasting at the end of the Cold War after the KGB was defanged. Instead, globalization and the rapid spread of sophisticated technologies have opened an espionage Pandora's box. Baer, a former Middle East CIA field officer, is TIME.com's intelligence columnist and the author of See No Evil and The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower.
Expected Win by Egypt's Islamists Poses Dilemma for U.S. Policy by Jessica Rettig, Nov 30, 2001 US News and World Report.
The first round of parliamentary elections in Egypt drew to a close Tuesday after a surprisingly smooth two-day voting process across the country. According to country insiders who observed polling stations on the ground, there's little doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative Islamist group that's proven to be the country's best organized political party, will be the election's top winner. For the Obama administration, which has pushed for free and fair elections in Egypt, the process itself might be considered a victory. The outcome, however, would be a bitter pill to swallow, as U.S. policymakers are forced to reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood to protect their interests in the region. "We don't have a choice at this point. They're a reality whether we like them or not," says Brookings Doha Center Director of Research Shadi Hamid, who has been watching the election from Cairo. "The time has finally come for the U.S. to live with political Islam." According to Hamid, the Muslim Brotherhood and their political arm, the "Freedom and Justice Party," are considered "central right" on Egypt's political spectrum. "There's really no argument to be made that they're extremists or radicalists" among the country's largely religious and conservative society, he says. Back in the United States, and especially among Republicans, however, views about the Brotherhood and its intentions in Egypt have been less forgiving. "The Muslim brotherhood will inevitably steer Egypt on a hostile course," says James Phillips, senior research fellow for Middle East Affairs at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "For the Muslim Brotherhood, democracy is a useful means of coming to power, but not a valued end state." The brotherhood's close ties to Hamas, an extremist, Islamist political party based in Gaza, give reason to worry if and when the group gains power, Phillips says. He argues that Hamas could pull Egypt into future conflicts with Israel, which could then spill over into U.S. and Egyptian relations. Another worry is the internal threat the group could pose for Christian minorities in the nation. For these reasons, Phillips says that the United States should keep an arm's length from the Muslim Brotherhood, or risk "demoralizing" Egypt's more liberal, secular political groups. "If they're elected officials, then the U.S. will have to deal with them," Phillips says. "But I wouldn't go out of our way to pretend to be friendly." Hamid agrees that there should be a line between engaging with Islamists and actually supporting them. But, he says that given the fact that few political actors in any party in Egypt would want to align with the United States, maintaining a dialogue and at least some level of trust with the Muslim Brotherhood is the best the United States can do to keep its interests intact for now. "The U.S. should maintain a policy of engaging with actors from across the political spectrum, not just Islamists and not just liberals," he says, adding that since "no one in the Egyptian political spectrum is pro-American," supporting certain groups over others won't necessarily work to a U.S. advantage. Despite some contact between the group and U.S. officials since this summer, Hamid says that the administration needs do more to build ties with the Islamists, especially if and when they are officially elected to represent Egypt's parliament. "There's no game plan. There's no strategy for engaging with the brotherhood," he says. "There has to be a relationship built on mutual understanding and some degree of trust. That has not happened yet, and more problematically, I don't think there's a vision for doing so."
Obama Legalizes Bestiality in the Armed Forces
(December 6, 2011) On Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney fielded a question about bestiality during the daily press briefing:
Q: The Family Research Council and CNS News both reported a 93-to-7 U.S. Senate vote to approve a defense authorization bill that, quote, "includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, but also repeals the military ban on sex with animals, or beastiality." Does the commander-in-chief approve or disapprove of bestiality in our armed forces?
CARNEY: I don't have any comment on--I don't have any comment on that. Let me go to another question.
Q: Does the President believe this will be approved by all animal support groups, such as--
CARNEY: Let's get to something more serious.
On Tuesday, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) fired off a letter cautioning Carney not to take bestiality questions lightly.
You can read the full text of PETA's letter after the jump below:
December 6, 2011
Mr. Jay Carney
Press Secretary to the President
The White House
Dear Mr. Carney:
In watching last night's news briefing, we were upset to note that you flippantly addressed the recently approved repeal of the military ban on bestiality. With respect, this is no laughing matter. Our office has been flooded with calls from Americans who are upset that this ban has been repealed—and for good reason. As we outlined in the attached letter sent yesterday to the secretary of defense, animal abuse does not affect animals only—it is also a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings.
I hope that in the future, you will address important issues with sensitivity and not dismiss them with a joke.
Very truly yours,
Director of Communications
This is shocking and revolting but is also telling of where the USA is socially today.
Saudi Arabian Barbarism
In early December, an Australian man was arrested in Saudi Arabia and sentenced to 500 lashes for "insulting the prophet" and also one year in jail. We must take action to protect ourselves from this barbarism now.
Obama ends "US Religious Freedom Commission"
The US Commission on Religious Liberty has been bringing light to the cases of religious persecution around the world, especially of Christians who are being persecuted in Islamic countries. Obama is closing the commission down-no big surprise.
"Work place violence" or an Islamist Jihad? Fox News, December 7, 2011
Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation's Armed Forces at home. During a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Maine Republican referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/06/military-growing-terrorist-target-lawmakers-warn/?test=latestnews#ixzz1ftUaAjph
CHURCH INFORMATION OF WHERE I AM ASSOCIATE PASTOR:
King of Saints Tabernacle Messianic Congregation
2228 FM 1725, Cleveland, TX 77328
7th Day Sabbath Services
Sabbath School 10:00AM
Sabbath Worship 11:00 AM
Havdelah service 6:00 PM
Wednesday Bible Study and Prayer 7:00 PM