Jeremy Corbyn – OK by me

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Close the deficit by growing the economy and taxing the wealthy

Corbyn has published an eight-page policy paper outlining his alternative plan to close the current budget deficit by growing the economy and taxing the wealthy. He would give the Bank of England a new mandate for a programme of “people’s quantitative easing” – essentially printing money – to invest in large-scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects partly through a national investment bank. He says he will fund this by reducing the “tax gap”, which his team estimates at £120bn a year in uncollected or evaded revenues, and by ending some of the £93bn a year in corporate tax reliefs. Says Labour did not regulate the banks enough.

Progressive tax system based on collecting lost revenues

Corbyn has said the biggest issue is not the top rate of tax or corporation tax. Instead says he wants a progressive tax system based on collecting an estimated £120bn in lost tax revenues every year. Corbyn says there is £20bn in tax debt uncollected by HMRC, another £20bn in tax avoidance and a further £80bn in tax evasion. He promises to reverse cuts in HMRC staff and introduce a proper anti-avoidance rule. Corbyn also says “some of the £93bn a year” in corporate “tax reliefs and subsidies” could be stripped out to fund a new national investment bank.

Scrap tuition fees and restore maintenance grants

Corbyn has set out a £10bn plan to scrap all tuition fees and restore student maintenance grants, funded by increasing national insurance on those earning more than £50,000 a year and a 2.5% increase in corporation tax, or slowing the pace of deficit reduction. Would rethink the role of free schools and academies, probably moving them back under council control

Curtail right to buy, ease curbs on borrowing to help councils build

Corbyn will suspend council right-to-buy schemes in areas of high housing stress. e will lift borrowing restrictions on councils so they can contribute more than half of the 250,000 new homes he says are needed each year. Will consult on linking private rents to local average earnings levels and introducing a right to buy for private tenants of large-scale landlords, to be funded by withdrawing some of the £14bn of tax allowances given to buy-to-let landlords. Will also introduce a system of rent controls.

Immigration is not a drain on the economy

In 2013 Corbyn said the debate on immigration had been “poisoned”. He said migration was a global phenomenon that had been going on for hundreds of years, and criticised his party’s feeble defence of immigration. Immigration is not among the 11 key policies his website says “he is standing to deliver”. Has consistently argued that immigration is not a drain on the economy and has campaigned on behalf of asylum seekers, most recently over the need to rescue Mediterranean refugees.

Opposes Trident renewal, wants to withdraw from Nato

Corbyn would vote against extending air strikes to Syria: “Terrorist attacks on British citizens will not be prevented by bombing parts of Syria from 30,000 feet … We need to cut off the supply of money and arms that is flowing to [Isis].” Opposes renewal of Trident, is in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament and wants to withdraw from Nato. Has suggested Tony Blair should stand trial as a war criminal over the Iraq war.

Negotiations should focus on workers’ rights and environment

At the last campaign hustings he refused to rule out campaigning for a no vote in the referendum because “Cameron quite clearly follows an agenda which is about trading away workers’ rights … environmental protection … much of what is in the social chapter”. Labour should set out its negotiating demands on issues such as workers’ rights, the environment, tax and wage protection “rather than saying blanketly we’re going to support whatever Cameron comes out with whenever he finally decides to hold this referendum”. Pressed, he said his preferred position was to stay in a reformed EU.

Public ownership of railways – with public control

Corbyn wants to renationalise the railways and to bring the energy companies back into public ownership: “I believe in public ownership, but I have never favoured the remote nationalised model [of] the post-war era. Like a majority of the population and a majority of even Tory voters, I want the railways back in public ownership. But public control should mean just that: so we should have passengers, rail workers and government too, cooperatively running the railways … in our interests and not for private profit.”

Aim is for 50% of Labour MPs to be female

Corbyn has pledged gender parity with a 50:50 shadow cabinet, and to work to raise the proportion of female Labour MPs from 40% to 50%.

No reason why anybody should have to live in poverty

Not being part of the shadow cabinet, Corbyn was one of 48 Labour rebels to vote against the government’s welfare reform bill. Has said: “We are one of the richest countries in the world and there is absolutely no reason why anybody should have to live in poverty”, adding that he supports groups such as Disabled People Against Cuts and Boycott Workfare.

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Don’t knee-jerk Obama

obama

 

I understand the disappointment many feel about the role of the US and the EU. The concerns about Israel’s security, we all share (if there is anyone who does not, they are in the wrong debate).

Let’s look at the US and why this deal:

  1. President Obama needs a big deal to seal his precedency and signify his legacy.
  2. Those Democrats planning for the next election need a springboard for their campaign
  3. This deal could fit the bill.

Why did the US “not accommodate” Israel?

  1. The US (State Department and the White House) believes (excuse the sexual terms – it will become clearer, later) they are the “big d*cks” in the Middle East.
  2. They need to be “big d*cks” because all they need is sex (read “oil”)
  3. Iran has oil.
  4. When a big d*ck sees the possibility of more sex that is all he thinks.
  5. A big d*ck is not concerned about his responsibility for the rape and pillage of the area since Versailles (1919). He just needs his oil.
  6. A big d*ck is only marginally concerned about Israel in so far as the SOI can placate US Jews and keep them voting for big d*cks.
  7. There have been many charming big d*cks. These have seduced equally charming Israeli premiers into believing they had a joint interest in helping keep the big d*cks active. You supply my needs; I will supply yours.
  8. Unfortunately, Obama and Netanyahu do not share the same taste in cologne. The boys have squabbled.
  9. Someone in the white house thinks Netanyahu is an overweight, balding, jumped-up, smart-ass, Jew who speaks better English than most. And besides, “Jesus, he never listens to anybody. Get that Jimmy Carter book”, she wrote in an email.
  10. They figure they can teach Bibi a lesson and still get what they need.

And why is this a surprise?

  1. It should not be.
  2. Since Obama was elected, the signs have been there: the tiffy tantrums between the two boys (one called Hussein and the other Benyamin might be a clue).
  3. More importantly. The reluctance of the US to demonstrate 100% its support for its only ally – the only democratic state in the Middle East – when Israel was at war. Be a doubter and negotiate compromises when at peace. When at war, it must be (if an Israeli) as Orwell said “My country, right or wrong”. It is only correct to expect one’s allies, at these times, to do the same. The US did not.

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Why did the EU “not accommodate” Israel?

  1. The individual EU states have the illusion that by holding hands their miniscule appendages will grow.
  2. That holding hands with the big d*cks over the pond is better than any Viagra.
  3. Their underwear is stained with the stench of anti-Semitism

And why is this a surprise?

It wasn’t.

I really cannot see the point in getting involved in these pissing contests.

On the other hand, Iran is something else.

That Iran is publically anti-Semitic is obvious. However, the private anti-Jewishness of all of the Iranians I have known (and I have known hundreds through my work with DRK) has more the nature of a cultural rivalry. The Persian believes his literature, music and to some extent, his religion is superior to the Jewish. Like most aristocrats, he believes he is superior to all cultures especially Sunni Muslims.

This is in contrast to the Syrian (I have also known hundreds) whose anti-Semitism is endemic and primitive. Their education system in this matter would make Hamas seem enlightened.

So Israel must contend (compete) with a nation that is as culturally and intellectually sophisticated as they are. You may also read into what I am writing that in my opinion the Persian is more culturally and intellectually sophisticated than either the US or the EU.

As a military (and terrorist) threat to Israel, Iran has displayed it is to be feared. However, those who fear the Iranian regime most are the Iranian people. With good reason.

No matter how many Israeli deaths you may attribute to Iran or Iran supported terror groups, it comes nowhere close to the numbers of Iranians who have died because of wars fought by the Iranian regime against others or against its own people.

Over half a million Iranian (maybe more) lost their lives fighting against Iraq (1980-88).

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Tens of thousands of those in opposition to the “guardians of the Islamic Republic” have been killed or disappeared. In its attempts to make sure the people did not take away from the leadership that which it had given them, social, political and academic repression has continued.

Homosexuals are publically hanged. Iran remains the only country in the world that continues to execute minors.

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It could be argued that women have suffered most. Girls aged 9 can be married. Men can beat their wives (and do). All women must cover their hair. Those who not cover their hair have acid thrown in their faces.

In this male dominated society, there have been some “positive” changes. A man must now go to court to give his reasons for demanding a divorce. It used to just enough to say, “I divorce you”. However, this is a system still not resolved in Israel. All changes are relative.

The Iranians welcome this agreement because (from a survey last month conducted in Farsi in Iran):

  • All have the have the belief that failure to reach an agreement would result in economic disaster, increased political and cultural repression, and possibly war.
  • Seventy-one percent expect economic benefits from the accord, but one-fifth of those fear these benefits could be lost to ordinary Iranians due to governmental mismanagement.
  • Twenty-five percent expect any economic benefits to reach only the wealthy and connected, due to entrenched corruption.
  • Sixty-one percent believe a deal would enable political and cultural reforms, as a politically strengthened Rouhani administration could now turn its focus to such issues.
  • Thirty-six percent expected no improvement in political or cultural freedoms, citing either Rouhani’s lack of authority or his willingness given his meagre record over the past two years.

A point made by several observers is that the numbers of Iranians, who took to the streets in joyous celebration when they heard the accord was agreed, was 10 times the size of the official rally making this announcement – the rally where “death to US” and “death to Israel” was heard.

 

iran

 

I once knew a woman who was a daughter of one of the Greek Colonels who seized power in Greece. I asked why their coup eventually failed. She said, “Because the Greeks couldn’t buy Levis”.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that when the young Iranian begins to discuss whether they should buy Wrangler or Levi, the influence of the authoritarian grandfathers and guardians of the revolution has already begun to diminish.

We have to support this accord because it is the only chance that the young Iranian can take back the power to decide their own future.

When that happens, no Iranian will be concerned about Israel, other than as an economic partner.

 

 

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When an Arab is dirty he is picturesque; when a Jew is dirty he is filthy.

“When an Arab is dirty he is picturesque,” said the wife of a British official, “when a Jew is dirty he is filthy.”

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We seem naturally to suspend our imagination, to relate our morals, or at least our assumptions as to what is the correct way to behave in a given set of circumstances, when we watch fantasies such as “Game of Thrones”.

We are able to, at least understand, if not sympathise, with actions, that contradict our everyday ethics because we recognise that in this world other rules and regulations apply. How many deaths have we been satisfied to see? Deaths that in the real life, that is the 21st century in our time and on our planet, we would abhor.

I would suggest that every historical time on our planet is just as complex and different from today. Not only in the lack of knowledge, events and circumstances in which they take place, but especially with our, seemingly reluctance, to set us in in the morality of the time.

We seem to spend so much time and energy making judgements based on 21st century principles, it clouds our conclusions and eventually devalues the lessons we can learn. Not about what could and should have been done – which is a waste of time – but about in the manner in which we tackle the problems we have inherited.

The classic example is the Middle East. Too often analysis condemn the colonialism, the nationalism, the alliances, the betrayals, the racism, the lack of consideration for the indigenous peoples etc. without considering the fact there was nothing unusual or untoward with these motivations (or lack of them) – such was the life. There was no other.

Samuelarrival

The British treated Palestine as a colony and ruled it with a tiny garrison.

Possessing no artillery for a Remembrance Day salute on 11 November 1925, the army borrowed an ancient cannon which the Islamic authorities fired to signal the start of the fast of Ramadan.

High Commissioners presided in state, first from a Kaiser-inspired “Wagnerian schloss” on the Mount of Olives and later from a square-towered, purpose-built Government House, complete with ballroom and minstrels’ gallery, on the Hill of Evil Counsel.

As usual the British kept to themselves and followed their own pursuits. They hobnobbed in the exclusive Jerusalem Sports Club. They chased jackals with the pink-coated Ramleh Vale Hunt. They took picnics in Galilee where the air was limpid and the earth was carpeted with wild flowers—anemone, narcissus, cyclamen, asphodel and ranunculus. Beside the Dead Sea, with Moab rising beyond it like a wall of brass, they played on the briny, sandy nine-hole course of the Sodom and Gomorrah Golf Club, competing annually for the prize of a marble statuette known as “Lot’s Wife.”

They kept the peace and suppressed disturbances, the bloodiest of which occurred over a dispute about the Western (“Wailing”) Wall in 1929. They attended to matters like justice, health and education. They promoted agriculture, helping Jews to make the desert “blossom as the rose” and assisting Arabs, who still reaped with the sickle and used asses to trample out the corn.

Inspired by Lutyens’s New Delhi, they even planned to build their own new Jerusalem.

But if the British were making Palestine “cleaner, richer and duller,” they were not making it happier, said Sir Ronald Storrs, Governor of Jerusalem and Judea. “Thou hast multiplied the harvest but not increased the joy, is my epitaph for the British Empire.”

Successive proconsuls failed to achieve political cooperation between Jews and Arabs, who ran parallel administrations.

The Jewish Agency consolidated its hold on strategic areas, especially the coastal plain and Galilee where Jews bought land (which absentee owners sold even though thousands of their Arab tenants were evicted). From afar Weizmann guided the Agency with consummate skill, though even he could be provocative. He wrote, for example, that “the only rational answer” to dissension over the Wailing Wall was “to pour Jews into Palestine.”

The Supreme Muslim Council was led by Haj Amin al-Husseini, whom Samuel had appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, a pre-eminent religious and legal office. Mild-mannered, soft-spoken, red-bearded and black-robed, with a white turban around his scarlet tarbush, the Mufti had the rare gift of immobility.

But his impassive and dignified exterior concealed a burning ambition to maintain the Muslim majority in Palestine. Amin believed that the Balfour Declaration had stemmed from a Jewish intrigue with the British and he reminded one High Commissioner that a Jewish intrigue with the Romans had led to the judicial murder of Christ.

No mean intriguer himself, the Mufti tried to destroy the Jewish national home first by treating with the British and later by embracing Muslim militants. Initially he shunned any council or congress that might give legitimacy to the Jewish presence.

During the early 1930s he temporised, recognising that Arabs would dominate an elected assembly by dint of numbers. This was precisely why Weizmann and his allies rejected proposals to form such a body.

All round the world Jews faced hostility from majorities in their adopted countries.

It was the prime goal of Zionism that Jews in Palestine should “cease at last to lead a minority life.”

from “The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997” by Piers Brendon.

Further suggested reading: “Jerusalem: The Biography” by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

These two books contain bibliographies and notes for a life-time’s reading on this subject.

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I feel sucked into a whirlpool of moral contradictions

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I am saddened and shocked that Finn Nørgaard was murdered. I am saddened and shocked that Dan Uzan was murdered. My heart goes out to their families and loved ones.

I am also deeply affected by my sympathy for the young woman, who on a day celebrating her mature movement through her religion and her life, was raped by the obscenity that took place in the street outside.

Just as this young woman and her family will never forget the events in Krystalgade, so also will the injured policemen and their families.

These reactions are “normal” and I am convinced are shared by almost everyone in Denmark.

These feelings are terrible when considering the injustice shown to the victims. Yet they are necessary when bearing in mind the healing processes those involved must begin.

If Danish society (as well as those directly involved) is to move forward, it will be dependant on the empathy all can feel for those in pain.

However, what is confusing me, is the “chitter-chatter” that fills our newspaper and TV screens concerning the “reason” behind these tragedies.

Almost everyone is trying to show their pet theories are correct.

• Increase in anti-Semitism? There’s your proof.
• Too many immigrants? There’s your proof.
• Islam is a killer religion? There’s your proof.
• Denmark is too lax with respect to freedom of speech? There’s your proof.
• Jews are not safe in Denmark? There’s your proof.
• All Jews should be in Israel? There’s your proof.
• Multiculturism doesn’t work? There’s your proof.

Consider a similar catechism in relation to a man who sexually assaults his daughter:

• Increase in male-sexuality? There’s you proof.
• Too many fathers? There’s your proof.
• The family is a killer institution? There’s your proof.
• Denmark is too lax with respect to the freedom it allows families? There’s your proof.
• Girls are not safe in the family? There’s your proof.
• All girls should be in female only institutions? There’s your proof.
• Gender mixed families do not work? There’s your proof.

The relative moral confusion is more obvious. We acknowledge and, without exception, condemn the immorality of a man who sexually assaults a child. This is something that MUST NOT BE DONE. There is no excuse.

Equally, with respect to the events in Copenhagen. The moral imperative is very clear: THOU SHALT NOT KILL. To consider any excuse for murder is at best sociopathic if not psychopathic.

There is no acceptable excuse for an individual to kill another. However, this immorality, in a land in which relative morality has become so dominant, has received very little attention.

How this imperative (THOU SHALT NOT KILL) relates to institutionalised violence, (war) is a completely new dialectic, which the Danish people have repressed for far too long.

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J’accuse l’Islam inom les blasphémateurs

jaccuse

I accuse all who pretend to take the will of the Compassionate and Merciful upon themselves;

Who distort the teachings of the Messenger;

Who use the holy names of Allah and Mohammed to ignore the wisdom of:

Muhittin Abdal (16th Century), Abu-Said Abil-Kheir (967 – 1049), Ahmad al-Alawi (1869 – 1934), Abu ‘l-Husayn al-Nuri (? – 908), Khwaja Abdullah Ansari (1006 – 1088), Muhyiddin ibn Arabi (1165 – 1240), Farid ud-Din Attar (1120? – 1220?), Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (1238 – 1325), Binavi Badakhshani (13th Century), Sultan Bahu (1628 – 1691), Abdul-Qader Bedil (1644 – 1721), Stewart Bitkoff (Contemporary), Francis Brabazon (1907 – 1984), Bulleh Shah (1680 – 1758), Seyh Ibrahim Efendi (1591 – 1651), Yunus Emre (1238 – 1320), Baba Sheikh Farid (1173 – 1266), Seyh Galib (1757 – 1799), Mahsati Ganjavi (12th Century), Mirza Ghalib (1797 – 1869), Hafiz (1320 – 1389), Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky) (1945? – ), Mansur al- Hallaj (9th Century), Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani (1098 – 1131), Zeynep Hatun (15th Century), Bibi Hayati (19th Century), Kul Himmet (16th Century), Umar Ibn al-Farid (1181 – 1235), Ibn Ata’ Illah (1250 – 1309), Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877 – 1938), Fakhruddin Iraqi (? – 1289), Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976), Asik Ali Izzet (1902 – 1981), Ahmad Jami (1048 – 1141), Kabir (15th Century), Baba Afzal Kashani (13th Century), Omar Khayyam (11th Century), Amir Khusrow Dehlawi (1253 – 1325), Hamid al-Din Kirmani (? – 1238), Najmoddin Kobra (1145 – 1221), Baba Kuhi of Shiraz (980? – 1050), Lalan (1775? – 1891?), Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689 – 1752), Muhammad Shirin Maghribi (1349 – 1406), Moulana Shah Maghsoud (1914 – 1980), Sharafuddin Maneri (1263 – 1381), Meher Baba (1894 – 1969), Dhun-Nun al- Misri (796 – 859), Niyazi Misri (1616 – 1694), Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (1900? – 1986), Imadeddin Nasimi (1369? – 1418), Gharib Nawaz (1142? – 1236?), Shah Nematollah Vali (1330 – 1431), Niffari (Muhammad ibn al-Hasan an-Niffari) (? – 965), Seyyid Seyfullah Nizamoglu (16th Century), Javad Nurbakhsh (1926 – 2008), Qushayri (? – 1074), Rabia al-Basri (Rabia al- Adawiyya) (717 – 801), Rahman Baba (1653 – 1711), Rasakhan (1534? – 1619?), Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi (1207 – 1273), Sa’di (1207? – 1291), Mohammad ‘Aref San’at (1800 – 1849), Hakim Sanai (1044? – 1150?), Sarmad (? – 1659), Sachal Sarmast (1739 – 1829), Frithjof Schuon (1907 – 1998), Mahmud Shabistari (1250? – 1340), Ala al-Dawla Simnani (? – 1336), Ummi Sinan (16th Century), Sahl al- Tustari (818? – 896), Sultan Valad (1240? – 1312)…

…and have TURNED ISLAM INTO A KILLING CULT.

IT IS THE ARROGANT MODERN DAY DISTORTERS OF THE WILL OF THE COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL, WHO ARE ARE THE BLASPHEMERS.

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Islam? Where are you?

sufi

On Unity’s Way

by Abu-Said Abil-Kheir
English version by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady
Original Language Persian/Farsi

On Unity’s Way:
no infidelity
no faith.
Take one step
away from yourself and —
behold! — the Path!
You, soul of the world,
must choose the road
of Divine Submission
then sit with anyone you like
— even a black snake —
but not your self!

 

Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world

(from Baal-i-Jibreel)
by Allama Muhammad Iqbal
English version by Naeem Siddiqui
Original Language Urdu

What is slavery but a loss of the sense of beauty?
What the free call beautiful, is beautiful indeed.

The present belongs to him who explores, in their depths,
The fathomless seas of time, to find the future’s pearl.

The alchemist of the West has turned stone into glass
But my alchemy has transmuted glass into flint

Pharaohs of today have stalked me in vain;
But I fear not; I am blessed with Moses’ wand.

The flame that can set afire a dark, sunless wood,
Will not be throttled by a straw afloat in the wind.

Love is self-awareness; love is self-knowledge;
Love cares not for the palaces and the power of kings.

I will not wonder if I reach even the moon and the stars,
For I have hitched my wagon to the star of all stars…

 

Both worlds within my compass come,
but this world cannot compass me

by Imadeddin Nasimi
English version by P. Tempest
Original Language Persian/Farsi

Both worlds within my compass come, but this world cannot compass me.
An omnipresent pearl I am and both worlds cannot compass me.

Because in me both earth and heaven and Creation’s “BE!” were found,
Be silent! For there is no commentary can encompass me.

Through doubt and surmise no one came to be a friend of God and Truth.
The man who honours God knows doubt and surmise cannot compass me.

Pay due regard to form, acknowledge content in the form, because
Body and soul I am, but soul and body cannot compass me.

I am both shell and pearl, the Doomsday scales, the bridge to Paradise.
With such a wealth of wares, this worldly counter cannot compass me.

I am “the hidden treasure” that is God. I am open eyes.
I am the jewel of the mine. No sea or mine can compass me.

Although I am the boundless sea, my name is Adam, I am man.
I am Mount Sinai and both worlds. This dwelling cannot compass me.

I am both soul and word as well. I am both world and epoch, too.
Mark this particular: this world and epoch cannot compass me.

I am the stars, the sky the angel, revelation come from God.
So hold your tongue and silent be! There is no tongue can compass me.

I am the atom, sun, four elements, five saints, dimensions six.
Go seek my attributes! But explanations cannot compass me.

I am the core and attribute, the flower, sugar and sweetmeat.
I am Assignment Night, the Eve. No tight-shut lips can compass me.

I am the burning bush. I am the rock that rose into the sky.
Observe this tongue of flame. There is no tongue of flame can compass me.

 

One Point Contains All

by Bulleh Shah
English version by Mahmood Jamal
Original Language Punjabi

One point contains all;
Learn about the One, forget the rest.
Forget hell and the terrible grave;
Leave the ways of sin and purify
Your heart.
That’s how the argument is spun:
It’s all contained in One!

Why rub your head against the earth?
What point in your vain prostration?
Your Kalimah read, makes others laugh.
You do not grasp the Lord’s word!
Somewhere the truth is written down:
It’s all contained in One!

Some go to the jungle in vain
And starve and cause themselves some pain;
They waste their time with all this
And come home tired, nothing gained!

Find your master and become God’s slave.
In this way you’ll be free of care;
Free of desire, free of worry,
And your heart truthful, pure.

Bulleh has discovered this truth alone:
It’s all contained in One!

………………………………….

LISTEN, listen, listen…

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Water does not remain on the mountain, or vengeance in a great mind.

francis

Those who accuse others of blasphemy are revealing two things about themselves.

Firstly, they demonstrate an insecurity about their own faith.

To be provoked – or rather, to allow oneself to be provoked – because of someone else’s opinions, is but to confirm a weakness in one’s own position. If you are safe and secure in your faith, what does it matter what someone else says or thinks? That is their problem not yours.

The other point concerns the inadequate conception those offended by blasphemy must have about their G-d.

What sort of omnipotent creator of all that exist in all time, is offended by what mere humans say of Him or Her, in one small grain of sand in the deserts of an unlimited Universe?

Surely a fly on the wall in the planet Zog causes more offence than the utterings on Earth of fools and their opinions on the Perfect, Holy, Righteous, Loving, Kind, Friendly, Helpful, Protective, Caring, Sharing, Powerful, Mighty, Compassionate, Empowering, Discerning, Overwhelming, Consuming, Cleansing, Healing, Delivering, Restoring, Moving, Creating, Destroying, Smiting, Fulfilling, Distinctive, Comforting, Providing, Teaching, Training, Purifying, Freeing, Liberating, Preserving, Consigning, Reproving, Addressing, Confiding, Courageous, Victorious, Credited, Historical, Proven, Incorruptible, Unfailable, Infallible, Trustworthy, Protected, Immune, Responsive, Privileged, Honourable, Honoured, Legitimate, Reliable, Good, Reputable, Celebrated, Praised, Glorified, Famous, Renowned, Loved, Served, Worshipped, Sought, Needed, Required, Requested, Beautiful, Living, Breathing, Alive, Active, Amazing, Inspiring, Productive, Producing, Creative, Abundant, Rich, Adequate, Decent, Modest, Pure, Real, Moral, Wholesome, Safe, Beneficial, Excellent, Eminent, Prominent, Remarkable, Extraordinary, Supernatural, Miraculous, Astounding, Forgiving and Almighty Lord Our G-d.

 

The Pope’s knickers

The ecclesiastical underwear is in a twist if that which is reported is true: Pope Francis will punch a cardinal if he insulted the Pope’s mother. An illustration to the point that “blasphemy” goes beyond the limits of “freedom of speech”.

The jus talonis is the natural feeling of man, to do to others as they have done unto you, to requite evil with evil.

However, the moralist must teach a better lesson, urging men and women not to study revenge, and approaching nearer to Jesus Christ’s injunction, which gives the law of charity, ” So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

In Judaism we read in Tobit 4:15, “Never do to anyone else anything that you would not want someone to do to you.” and Hillel enjoins, “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man.”

There is a saying of Aristotle, preserved by Diogenes Laertius, “Act towards your friends as you would wish them to act towards you.”

The Chinese have a proverb, “Water does not remain on the mountain, or vengeance in a great mind.”

“Wait for the LORD to handle the matter”  (Proverbs 20:22).

The pious writer urges the injured person to commit his cause to the Lord, not in the hope of seeing vengeance taken on his enemy, but in the certainty that G-d will help him to bear the wrong and deliver him in his own good time and way.

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We all need less hindsight and more foresight

hannah

“We all need less hindsight and more foresight”

I stumbled on this quote from someone I have never met: Chaim Silver a retired Jewish cemetery superintendent. His former job gives the statement even more authority.

Terrible events have occurred and yet again, we have taken the terrorist bait. We allow ourselves to be embroiled in the “shock and horror” and sink into deep, depressive retrospection.

I have collected some of the stories that reflect “more foresight” and are an antidote to the sickness in France.

The Wonders of technology

The purpose of tech is not development for its own sake, but to solve problems – to help people live healthier, more productive, more prosperous, and easier lives.

Many Israeli tech firms have done just that, essentially transforming the way the world works today – and here, too, there are a lot more than 10

Some of these technologies you may be familiar with, and perhaps even use, while others may be less well-known – but all of them are having a major impact on the way the world does business, treats health problems, deals with environmental issues, or keeps its data safe.

The wonders of health care

Over the past several years, Israeli hospitals have treated hundreds of victims of the Syrian civil war, but a procedure conducted on a Syrian patient last week at Rambam Hospital in Haifa was easily the most ambitious the institution has ever attempted, according to the hospital.

The patient, who sustained severe injuries as a result of fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan border, was brought by the Israeli army to the hospital for treatment. The patient’s lower jaw was completely destroyed as the result of a bullet wound. The man, in critical condition, was unable to eat or to even speak.

The hospital’s pioneering treatment lets the Syrian war victim eat and speak again.

The wonders of education.

Aziz Abu Sarah, was a stone-throwing youth and Fatah organizer. His older sibling died after a year-long imprisonment in an Israeli jail.

When Abu Sarah graduated high school, he could have gone to work for Fatah in the Palestinian Authority, in a dead-end job he did not want.

Instead, he decided to learn Hebrew.

He enrolled in a Jerusalem ulpan, or Hebrew-language course, where there were more Jews than he had ever encountered before. The experience was life altering.

The wonders of integration and politics.

This past summer, during Operation Protective Edge, Anett Haskia came to the Israeli public’s attention when, as the mother of a soldier on active duty, she spoke out in support of the IDF’s fight against Hamas in Gaza.

She was not the only mother to turn up at rallies for the troops, but she was most likely the only Arab Israeli one to do so.

Now, she is running to be a Knesset member with Naftali Bennett’s right-wing Zionist Jewish Home party — not the usual place for a person of her background. But then again, she is not typical at all.

Haskia is a 45-year-old Muslim Israeli Arab hairdresser and divorced mother of three grown children, all who have volunteered to serve in the IDF. Her eldest son served in the Kfir infantry brigade, her daughter was the first Muslim Arab Israeli woman to enlist, and her youngest son, 22, is currently serving in the Golani brigade.

The wonders of Israel with foresight.

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A right pair of Charlies

qatar

The phrase “a right pair of Charlies” originates from the English King Charles I. It is used to describe anyone who displays naïve incompetence in his or her job.

Charles I changed the guard system to include young and inexperienced soldiers, in order that his mistress could enter and exit the palace unnoticed.

Time will tell, together with analysis by friend and foe, if this phrase can be used on the events in Paris.

Security issues

Some serious questions need answering:

1. How is it that these terrorists could figure on USA’s watch list and not be under observation in France?
2. The terrorists in balaclava helmets allegedly had to ask the way to Charlie Hebdo. Were the police informed then?
3. The initial police response to the attack would appear half-hearted. Was there only one police officer? Where was his partner? Where was his car? Surely the police reaction to seeing armed terrorists with machine pistols on the streets of Paris is to take them out immediately (not, as sadly happened, the opposite).
4. Why was not a cordon sanitaire organised straightaway? Is it not possible to switch all traffic lights to red, whilst security forces establish such a perimeter?
5. After such an attack, a cordon sanitaire must be the first priority to contain the suspects and avoid contamination of potential evidence.
6. Was there at least one police helicopter in the sky over Paris? If not, why not? Where was it?

These and many more need addressing: the role of the woman (and any other accomplices); the alleged lack of knowledge of her (and their) whereabouts, for example.

With respect to the attack on the Kosher supermarket: I was amazed at what I was seeing on TV (I did only watch for a short time). The constant display of security personal who packed and re-packed their cars with holdalls that obviously did not contain dirty washing. So close, we could almost see the dirt on the seat covers. In the middle of the picture was an officer continually talking on his mobile.

What was the visual message being sent? We have the weapons and communications are still open, would seem the obvious answer. However, to whom was it being sent? Had it been established that the command central for these terrorist actions was not in France?

Then there is the question of co-ordination between the two attacks.

Seemingly, Said and Cherif Kouachi told French television shortly before they were shot dead that they belonged to Yemen Al Qaeda, whereas Coulibaly claimed he was acting for ISIS.

This apparent contradiction raises the scary suggestion that the two murderous Islamic groups may have collaborated for the first time to hit France.

That scenario assumes an even more ominous dimension in the light of the chatter picked up Sunday by US intelligence indicating that all Al Qaeda’s branches are preparing to follow up the Paris operations with a major campaign of terror in Europe.

The Political aspect.

Most politicians went through the motions. Sorrow, condemnation, condolences and solidarity with the French people. They even went for a walk in the Paris air.

There were some noteworthy exceptions to these norms of regret. Some were less fortunate than others were.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reminder to the French Jews their home and security was to be found in Israel, although correct, did have an unfortunate air of electioneering.

The French Prime Minister’s response that if the Jews left France, France would be no more, seemed more genuine and realistic.

Israel Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, on the other hand, went straight for the snake’s head. He accused the president of the PA, Abu Masen and Qatar of “having blood on their hands”.

Bennett singled out Gulf emirate Qatar for its support of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas organization. “It’s hypocritical of those same Qataris and Arabs who are financing terrorism to come and demonstrate as if against terrorism,” Bennett told a Jewish youth group in the French capital. “I don’t accept this.”

French-Israeli artist and political activist Ron Agam told that Qatar’s enormous financial influence in France was blunting the response of the French authorities to Doha’s role in supporting terrorist groups.

Qatar, he said, owns the iconic Paris St Germain soccer team and has investments in France worth $6.5 billion in leading companies like Total Oil and Veolia, and enjoys as well privileged access to French Muslims through its Al Jazeera news broadcaster.

“The Qataris have a privileged relationship with former President Nicolas Sarkozy, and all of the main French politicians are regularly invited to their embassy in Paris and to Doha.”

This criticism of the Qatar/French entente cordial applies also to the UK. A long newspaper article details the extent of this involvement. The buildings and institutions owned and controlled by Qatar in the UK is almost unbelievable.

Qataris, or more precisely said, its ruling family, are rich because in Qatar for them, money “grows on trees” (or is found between grains of sand). They have used these easy pickings not to finance cancer research or combat Ebola or try to eradicate the mosquito, they have financed rabid mullahs who have distorted their faith, they have financed terrorist organisations such as Hamas, they are the primus motor in the ideology that purportedly is behind the events in Paris. Are they the most two faced nation on Earth?

We went to war with Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting a war against terrorism. We went to war against Iraq under the pretext of destroying weapons of mass destruction and securing our oil supplies.

What do we do with Qatar? We wine and dine them, train and supply their army; we guard them against invasion (they pay well though).

We are a right pair of Charlies who allow the whore of evil to come and go as it wishes.

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