This Week in the News

EU Concerned after Brexit

AFP wrote on December 13:

“European leaders warned Friday that Britain could become a formidable rival, just hours after a big victory by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s conservatives all but sealed the UK’s Brexit divorce.

“Led by France and Germany, EU member states said they would pursue a swift trade deal with a tight deadline of end [of] 2020, but insisted that any new arrangement must uphold European values and norms… Angela Merkel warned that Britain would be an economic ‘competitor at our door’ after it leaves the EU and French President Emmanuel Macron saw a threat that London would become an ‘unfair competitor’

“Brussels is also worried about the breakneck speed with which Johnson would like to strike a trade deal with Europe, as well as any British effort to undermine the unity among the remaining 27 members.”

Express wrote on December 13 that Macron was threatening Johnson, stating: “The French President said his country will now be the only nuclear power and the remaining member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) left in the EU.”

The relationship between the EU and Britain will deteriorate drastically.

No Further Brexit Transition Period Extension beyond End of December 2020

The Sun wrote on December 16:

“BORIS Johnson will make it illegal to extend the Brexit transition period beyond the end of next year as he fired the opening salvo to the crucial trade talks with the EU. The PM will include the provision in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) when he brings it back to the Commons for the crucial vote on Friday. The PM will use his new 80-seat majority to enshrine in law that any extension will be outlawed

“The WAB will finally implement Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal so Britain leaves the EU on January 31, triggering an 11-month ‘implementation period’ whereby EU rules will still apply here but the UK will have no role in making decisions…”

The EU has sharply criticized this move. The implementation period will prove to be thorny and difficult. If no agreement is reached, a “hard Brexit” will still occur.

Johnson’s Connection to Israel

Breaking Israel News wrote on December 16:

“Boris Johnson’s connection to Israel may have been the secret weapon that helped him win a landslide victory in last week’s British election and his first official act reflects that: a powerful anti-Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement law… the new law would ban public agencies from working with those who boycott Israel in any way…

“Johnson refers to himself as a ‘passionate Zionist’ who ‘loves the great country’ of Israel… He has openly criticized the United Nations Human Rights Council for their obsession with Israel’s so-called human rights violations.”

Both the USA under Trump and Great Britain under Johnson are the only real allies of Israel under Netanyahu. Some in the media have described Johnson’s victory as “divinely inspired.” The friendship between Trump, Johnson and Netanyahu is remarkable. Please watch the following new StandingWatch program: Johnson’s Brexit; Trump’s Impeachment; Netanyahu’s New Elections.” 

The Fall (and Rise?) of Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache

Der Spiegel wrote on December 13:

“[Austria’s former Vice Chancellor] Heinz-Christian Strache… is alleged to have accepted bags full of cash from Eastern Europe in exchange for political favors… For instance, fearing that the European Union would abolish paper money, the FPÖ boss invested heavily in gold, preferring bullion coins minted with the design of the Vienna Philharmonic…

“Strache is also said to have put in place an emergency fallback plan in case, for example, NATO were to invade Austria. The FPÖ leader would then have been whisked away with party officials and their families to the Defereggental valley in East Tyrol, to ‘their fortress.’ There, in August, investigators had uncovered stockpiles of gold at the Pension Enzian guesthouse. Beyond that, confidants affirm that Strache had hoarded canisters of gasoline in his office and had occasionally carried around ‘pieces of metal in his underwear’ that were ‘supposed to have healing powers.’”

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 14:

“The far-right Freedom Party has removed former party leader Heinz-Christian Strache from its ranks…

“In recent weeks, 50-year-old Strache… said he will not withdraw from political life. ‘The enormous encouragement I’ve received from the public in the last weeks and months has allowed me to reconsider a political comeback in 2020,’ he said in a video message… This week, three Strache allies broke away from the party to found a new political group called the Alliance for Austria (DAÖ). Their goal is to run in Austria’s 2020 elections with Strache as their main candidate.”

As we stated in the past, we have not heard yet the last word of Strache.

The Battle of the Bulge and a United Europe

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 16:

“German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday urged Europe to stand up against nationalism at an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. ‘A united and peaceful Europe — that is the lesson we Europeans have learned from unbridled nationalism and racism, from the war of annihilation,’ said Steinmeier…

“The commemoration event took place in the small Belgian town of Bastogne, where Allied soldiers managed to repel the last major German offensive of World War II. More than 19,000 US troops were killed in what is considered one of the bloodiest battles in US history

“The Battle of the Bulge is considered a turning point in the war, effectively paving the way for Allied forces to break through German defenses in western Europe. Less than six months after the battle, Nazi Germany surrendered…”

Unfortunately, the prophesied united Europe will be anything else but peaceful.

Pelosi Too Afraid!

The Associated Press wrote on December 19:

 “The top Senate Republican is denouncing the ‘unfair’ House impeachment of President Donald Trump and reassuring Trump and his supporters that ‘moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.’ Sen. Mitch McConnell, in remarks prepared for a Thursday floor speech, accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being afraid to send ‘their shoddy work product to the Senate’ after she threw uncertainty into the impeachment process by refusing to say when she would send two impeachment articles to the Senate for a trial...

“Until the articles [abuse of power and obstruction of Congress] are submitted, the Senate cannot hold the trial [that is nearly certain to acquit the president, according to Newsmax and Bloomberg]… there is no Constitutional requirement on Pelosi to send them swiftly — or at all.”

The New York Times wrote on December 19:

“… the third-ranking House Democrat [James E. Clyburn of South Carolina], raised the possibility that the chamber could permanently withhold the articles from the Senate if it did not get assurances of a fair trial.”

Mitch McConnell even “threatened to cancel Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate if ‘scared’ Nancy Pelosi refuses to send him the formal articles of impeachment” (Daily Mail, December 19). On the other hand, President Trump demanded a trial in the Senate.

The Democrats have signed their death warrant. They might not only have guaranteed that Trump will be re-elected but they might also have managed to lose the House in the next election. Republicans are now unified as never before, while the Nation is deeply and incurably divided. Now, the House Democrats under Pelosi are trying to find a way out of their self-inflicted mortal wound, and delaying a Senate trial indefinitely might be their rationale for mitigating some damage. 

That new “tactic” won’t work. To suggest that the trial in the Senate might be unfair is the epitome of hypocrisy given the fact that the Democratic procedure under Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler in the House was completely dictatorial, biased and utterly unfair.

Not Yet “Impeached”?

Newsmax and Bloomberg News wrote on December 19:

Lawyers… are exploring whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to temporarily withhold articles of impeachment from the Senate could mean that the president hasn’t actually been impeached. The legal argument… is that if Trump has been officially impeached, the U.S. Senate should already have jurisdiction. Backers of the theory would argue that the clause of the U.S. Constitution that gives the Senate ‘the sole Power to try all Impeachments’ indicates that the impeachment is not formalized until the House reported the charges to the upper chamber.”

US Senate Sanctions Russian-German Pipeline

Deutsche Welle reported on December 17:

“US lawmakers on Tuesday approved sanctions on companies and governments working on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will link Germany with Russian gas.

Companies providing services such as pipe laying are being targeted, as Washington tries [to] halt the completion of the $10.5 billion (€9.6 billion) pipeline, which would transport gas under the Baltic Sea. The sanctions, which overwhelmingly passed in the House last week, are expected to be signed into force as part of a defense spending bill by US President Donald Trump later this week.

“The Trump administration would then have 60 days to identify companies and individuals providing services on the pipeline. The sanctions would revoke US visas and block property of these individuals. Those targeted by the sanctions would then have 30 days to wind down their operations. Switzerland-based Allseas, which has been hired by Russia’s Gazprom to build the offshore section, is one company that could be targeted by the sanctions.

“US officials believe the pipeline will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian energy, put billions of dollars in Moscow’s coffers, and increase Russian President Putin’s influence.

However, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged the US not to meddle in European energy policy. Speaking on German television last week, Maas criticized the House decision to move ahead on Nord Stream 2 sanctions. ‘We think this is unacceptable, because it is ultimately a move to influence autonomous decisions that are made in Europe.’ ‘European energy policy is decided in Europe, not in the US,’ Maas later tweeted.

“The German-Russian Chamber of Commerce said last week that the pipeline is essential for European energy security and called for retaliatory sanctions on the US. German Bundestag member Andreas Nick told DW that sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 would unite Germany behind the project. ‘It’s an issue of national sovereignty, and it is potentially a liability for trans-Atlantic relations,’ said Nick.”

CNBC added on December 18 that the defense bill approved by the Senate includes US sanctions regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but that “the sanctions might not have much effect given that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is almost complete.”

US House Approves $1.4 Trillion Spending Package

The Week wrote on December 18:

“The House approved a $1.4 trillion spending package Tuesday that would fund the federal government through Oct. 1, 2020. The Senate needs to pass [after some further compromise, the Senate passed the bill on Thursday] and President Trump sign the legislation before midnight Friday to prevent a government shutdown…”

The Associated Press added on December 17:

“The Democratic-controlled House [handed] President Donald Trump a victory on his U.S.-Mexico border fence… The hard-fought legislation also funds a record Pentagon budget… A tax on medical devices and health insurance plans would also be repealed permanently. Tuesday’s tax breaks [would] repeal the three so-called ‘Obamacare’ taxes…

“The increase in the tobacco purchasing age to 21 also applies to e-cigarettes and vaping devices… but anti-smoking activists said the provision didn’t go far enough because it failed to ban flavored vaping products popular with teenagers…

“The outcome in the latest chapter in the longstanding battle over Trump’s border wall awards Trump with $1.4 billion for new barriers — equal to last year’s appropriation — while preserving Trump’s ability to use his budget powers to tap other accounts for several times that amount. That’s a blow for liberal opponents of the wall…”

Trump emerges successfully… but the unprecedented amount of the spending package is astronomical.

Animal Sacrifices and the Third Temple

The Jerusalem Post wrote on December 12:

“‘Our ascent to the Temple Mount makes known God’s name in the World,’ said [Rabbi Eliyahu] Weber, who is styled the dean of the Temple Mount Yeshiva. Weber goes up to the Mount practically every day to recite the morning service with a minyan, and says he has done so for many months. ‘The essence of our presence on the Temple Mount shows that this place belongs to the Jewish people,’ said Weber… The final goal, however, is to rebuild the Temple. ‘The ultimate goal is to be able to offer sacrifices in the Temple,’ Weber says simply…

“There is religious controversy regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, let alone when it comes to work aimed at rebuilding the Temple. The influential Torah scholar Maimonides taught that the Temple would be built by Messiah. Other scholars believe that the Temple will descend from the heavens in the messianic era while the modern right-wing flank has called for Jews to build the Temple now and usher in the Messiah…”

There is no biblical evidence that the temple would descend from heaven. After the third resurrection, the heavenly Jerusalem will descend from the third heaven, but there will be no temple in it. The Bible teaches that the Jews will build the third temple prior to the return of Christ, and that this will apparently become the millennial temple as described in the book of Ezekiel.

Trump’s Plan for Israel

The Jerusalem Post wrote on December 17:

“Jerusalem will remain united under mostly Israeli control with some responsibilities shared with a Palestinian state including the West Bank and Gaza, according to a purported draft copy of US President Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan for the Middle East published by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel on Monday. The unconfirmed reported draft details the timetable and methods of the plan.

“The parts that were released by the TV channel, which is based in Lebanon and affiliated with Hezbollah, discuss a trilateral peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Israel in which a ‘new Palestinian state’ would be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, excluding the settlement blocs which would remain as a part of Israel… Jerusalem will not be split up in the agreement, but instead will be ‘shared’ between Israel and the Palestinian state, with the Arab population of the city becoming residents of the Palestinian state…

“The United States will provide 20% of the funds in the agreement, while the EU will provide 10% and the Gulf nations will provide 70%. The contribution provided by the Gulf nations will be split between them according to their oil producing capabilities. According to the draft, an agreement will be signed between Israel and the new Palestinian state, with Israel providing protection to the state from ‘external aggression,’ while the Palestinians pay for it…

“Upon the signing of the agreement, Hamas will hand over its weapons and armaments to Egypt, and members of Hamas will receive monthly salaries from Arab nations… The Jordan Valley would remain under Israeli control…

“If Hamas and the PLO reject the deal, the United States will end all financial support they provide to the Palestinians and will try to prevent other countries from providing support to the Palestinians… In any military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, the US will support Israel in order to harm the leaders of Hamas and [PLO] as the US won’t accept a situation in which dozens of people control the fate of millions. If Israel rejects the deal, the US will end economic support to the state…

“A letter published in The Guardian by former EU officials, including six prime ministers and 25 foreign ministers, called for postponing the ‘Deal of the Century’ because it is unfair to the Palestinians. In the letter, which was sent to the European Union and EU governments, the former leaders argue that Europe must stand by the two-state solution and condemn the Trump administration’s policy, which they claim is unilaterally in favor of Israel.”

If the report on the contemplated “Deal of the Century” is accurate, then there is no chance that that deal would be accepted by the involved parties. It would constitute another total waste of time and energy.

What Trump Did for Israel

JTA wrote on December 12:

“He has been willing to take action on issues pertaining to Israel and the broader Jewish community that past presidents had shied away from, creating a fervent right-wing Jewish fan base… Trump has forcefully condemned anti-Semitism

“Here’s a list of his most momentous moves in relation to the Jewish state: Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Sent a fierce Israel defender, Nikki Haley, to the United Nations, where she used her office to bash the institution for anti-Israel bias. Slashed U.S. funding for the Palestinians. Pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despises.

 “Those all add up to arguably… the most pro-Israel and most controversial Middle East policy agenda ever.

 “There’s one area of disagreement between Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu:… In September 2019, Trump abandoned the U.S.’ Kurdish allies [in Syria], leaving room for Turkey and the Assad regime to cement their influence on the region. Other Israeli politicians… said that the United States abandoning a trusted Middle Eastern ally was not a good precedent for the U.S.-Israel relationship…   in September of 2019 [Trump also said] he was considering a U.S.-Israel defense pact.”

The now very friendly relationship between the USA and Israel is remarkable, in that prophetic events can and will take place soon, which would otherwise be impossible to occur.

Turkey and Israel on Brink

Express wrote on December 18:

“According to an investigation by The Daily Telegraph the Palestinian group [Hamas] is using Turkey as a safe harbour to plot suicide bombings and assassinations in Israel. The report also claims that Hamas maintains close ties to Turkey’s intelligence agencies, while its top leaders and activists travel freely to the country, with some now living in Istanbul. Hamas is a militant group who are opposed to Israel’s existence within any borders…

“The organisation is considered a terrorist group by the EU and US, while its armed wing has been designated a terror group by the UK… in a sign of the close relations between the Turkish state and Hamas, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met the group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh last weekend. After the meeting, Mr Erdogan re-iterated his support for Hamas, telling reporters: ‘We will keep on supporting our brothers in Palestine.’”

The report by the Daily Telegraph rings true. Turkey will continue to behave antagonistically towards Israel.

Dangers of an “Accidental” War

Daily Star wrote on December 18:

“Gerasimov, the chief [of] Vladimir Putin’s general staff, has said he believes the West are preparing for a ‘large-scale military conflict’… saying that the West has assigned ‘adversary status’ to Russia… NATO and Russia both have shipped tonnes of military hardware to the frontier in eastern Europe… General Gerasimov warned this could accidentally spiral into conflict between Russia and NATO – World War 3

“General Gerasimov said both Moscow and the West must reduce the risk of clashes. It comes after a string of military incidents between the two sides, with warships and warplanes often ‘buzzing’ each other in eastern Europe…

“Meanwhile, US Major General Barre Seguin… confirmed the US is to send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War… to mass around 37,000 troops along the eastern flank…”

According to the Bible, a nuclear war will ensue between a united Europe and a Far Eastern power bloc under Russian and Chinese leadership.

Russia’s Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 13:

“One man became the second Jehovah’s Witness to receive a six year prison sentence in Russia in the last two months. Moscow has outlawed the fringe Christian group [in 2017], saying they are dangerous extremists… The government has been trying to crack down on the US-based Christian sect, which has been completely outlawed in Russia… ‘The current state of religious freedom in Russia is reminiscent of Soviet times,’ said Jehovah’s Witness spokesman Jarrod Lopes in New York…

“Both the government and the Russian Orthodox Church have said that the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who believe in predestination as well as several other fringe Christian doctrines, are a threat to the country’s institutions. However… even President Vladimir Putin has called into question the need to target the group. Still, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said there were no immediate plans to change the law.”

When being confronted, Putin, the proverbial chameleon, will say whatever may be convenient at the time. The persecution of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia is appalling and signals further coming persecution of any religious minority group which is not part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

End of Religious Exemptions for Vaccines even in isolated Private Schools

WKSG news reported on November 7, 2019:

“A state appeals court in Seneca County has upheld New York’s elimination of religious exemptions to vaccine requirements… This is the first school year in which a medical exemption form signed by a doctor is the only way around vaccination requirements for students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools in New York.

“The case in Seneca County focused on an Amish family represented by Long Island attorney Jason Mermigis… All 24 of the students at the private school are unvaccinated, the complaint said. Forcing the children to be vaccinated would be a ‘betrayal of faith in God’ for their father, Jonas Stoltzfus, Mermigis wrote…

“Under the rules barring religious exemptions to vaccines, schools can be fined up to $2,000 per day for each student who is out of compliance… Mermigis said the family lives in a secluded community, and they would not put anyone else at risk by being unvaccinated…”

The Associated Press added on December 16:

“New Jersey’s Assembly on Monday passed a measure to eliminate religious exemptions for vaccines for [public and private school children as well as for child care centers].… but the Democrat-controlled state Senate postponed a vote because there weren’t enough yes votes…

“If approved, the bill would go to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk. His office declined to say what he would do with the bill. New Jersey would join a handful of states, including New York and California, in doing away with the religious exemption, if the bill becomes law… Forty-five states and the District of Columbia allow for religious exemptions to immunizations…”

It is no surprise that left-wing liberal states like California and New York would eradicate religious exemptions. The paranoia regarding this whole matter is breathtaking.  

Changing “Values”

Axios wrote on December 16:

“The industry is changing fast. PBS is planning to increase its LGBTQ programming on broadcast and digital next year… NPR was recently applauded for embracing a plurality of diverse voices on its air. Disney hosted its first ‘Magical Pride’ celebration at one of its theme parks in Paris earlier this year. Highlights, a children’s magazine, made headlines two years ago when it featured an illustration of a same-sex couple in an issue for the first time.

“The bottom line: 61% of Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 31% in 2004…”

The sign of the times and the beginning of sorrows… Walt Disney would turn in his grave if he could and if he knew…

Criminalizing Conversion Therapy for Minors in Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 18:

“Germany moved one step closer to banning ‘conversion therapy’ targeting transgender and gay people after its Cabinet approved a draft bill…  The bill will next be presented to Germany’s lower house, Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland news group (RND). If the bill passes both houses of parliament, advertising or offering conversion therapy will be banned and infringements will carry fines of up to €30,000 ($33,000). After the proposed ban, only adults who freely seek out the… ‘therapy’ will be legally permitted to undergo it… The bill passed by the Cabinet was amended to include banning the practice for 16- to 18-year-olds

“A previous draft of the bill would have allowed the practice on 16- to 18-year-olds if the practitioner could prove the patient understood its implications and risks. Under the bill, parents or caregivers would also be punished for making a 16- to 18-year-old undergo the therapy…”

It should come as no surprise that Jens Spahn is openly gay. Germany, as usual, finds itself in the forefront of promoting highly controversial matters. As we reported in the last Update, Germany is also largely to be blamed for the abominable sex education classes in Europe, including the directive to familiarize children with homosexuality. Note the next article as an opposite example.

EU Attacks Poland over Stance on Family

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 18:

“The European Parliament adopted a resolution… condemning so-called ‘LGBTI-free’ zones in Poland…

“Neither same-sex marriage nor civil unions are allowed in Poland…”

The resolution reads, in part, as follows:

“In a resolution adopted by 463 votes in favour, 107 against and 105 abstentions on Wednesday, MEPs express their deep concern at the growing number of attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the EU by states, state officials, national and local governments as well as politicians. Recent examples include homophobic statements during a referendum campaign in Romania and hate speech targeting LGBTI people in the context of elections in Estonia, Spain, the UK, Hungary and Poland…

“MEPs notably condemn the areas ‘free from LGBTI ideology’’ established since the beginning of 2019, by dozens of municipalities, counties and regions in the southeast of Poland. These local governments have issued non-binding resolutions pledging to refrain from taking any action to encourage tolerance of LGBTI people and saying they would not provide financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights. The European Parliament urges Polish authorities to condemn these acts and to revoke all resolutions attacking LGBTI rights…”

“Parliament also deplores the attacks carried out against LGBTI people by some member states’ public authorities, targeted at educational institutions and schools. MEPs recall that schools should be places that reinforce and protect the fundamental rights of all children…”

Instead, children are being encouraged in school to engage in homosexual conduct, labeling it as normal. It is troublesome to see how it is tried to enforce the gay agenda on others. In addition, Deutsche Welle reported on December 17 that in the British Parliament, “the number of out gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs [is] more than [in] any other parliament in the world.”

Blaspheming Jesus Christ

Breaking Israel News wrote on December 12:

“… get ready for what’s become a new vulgar Christmas tradition; propagating the delusional denial that Jesus was a Jew. The denial of Jesus’ Jewishness gets ‘better’ by making up the claim not only that Jesus was a Palestinian Arab, but that he was the first Palestinian…

“It’s well documented that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, and that he was born in Bethlehem, the land designated for Judah’s decedents. That’s why the area around Bethlehem is known as the Judean Mountains today, as it was called Judea then. Why, if Jesus was born in Judea, were his parents visiting from Nazareth in the Galilee where Jesus spent most of his life. This is documented in the New Testament (Luke 2:1-7) that Joseph and Mary returned from Nazareth to Judea during Sukkot (Tabernacles) to participate in a Roman census

“At a news conference at the United Nations in 1983, (PLO leader Yasser) Arafat called Jesus ‘the first Palestinian fedayeen [militiaman] who carried his sword.’ When Arafat triumphantly took control of Bethlehem in December 1995, he told a throng gathered in Manger Square that he was there to liberate ‘the birthplace of our Lord the Messiah… the city of the Palestinian Jesus!’ During a visit to the Vatican a few years later, Arafat even greeted Pope John Paul II as ‘the successor of Peter, the first Palestinian pope.’…

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, describes Jesus as ‘a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace.’ Palestinian Authority leader Saeb Erekat has referred to Jesus as the ‘first Palestinian shahid (martyr)’… What’s next, that the last supper was not a Passover Seder but a Ramadan break-fast?

“Claiming Jesus was a Palestinian goes hand in hand with what I term Temple Denial Syndrome: the Palestinian Arab absurdity that there was never a Temple on the temple Mount. Despite historical and biblical reality, and despite that in 1925 the Islamic Wakf documented that their mosques do in fact sit in the site of Solomon’s Temple, that’s what they want you to believe.

“Only after the Bar Kochba rebellion, in the year 132, did Rome rename Israel as Palestina in order to underscore that Judea had been sacked, purging Jewish connection to the Land… Further documenting this, ancient Roman coins have been found with the phrase ‘Judea Capta,’ Judea is Captured. Not ‘Palestine is captured.’ There was no Palestine, ergo Jesus is not, was not and could not have been a Palestinian. ‘Palestine’ didn’t even exist when he lived… [it is] certain is that he was a Jew, something the Romans underscored when they crucified him, mockingly calling him King of the Jews.”

Jesus was clearly a Jew (Hebrews 7:14; John 4:22). Making matters worse, a new Brazilian “comedy” on Netflix portrays Jesus as gay. Also, the first and the second temples clearly stood on the Temple Mount. Ideas to the contrary are unbiblical and without any shred of evidence whatsoever.

Liberal Jews and Christmas Trees

Brandeis Now wrote on December 16:

“Louis Brandeis was well known for becoming the first Jewish person appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. So it may seem surprising that he celebrated the winter holidays with a Christmas tree in his home… Christmas trees were common in the homes of secular American Jews at the time. What’s happened since then is more complex. ‘In the late 19th century, there were quite a few liberal Jews – especially those from central European backgrounds – who had Christmas trees in their homes and saw them as secular symbols of the season,’ University Professor Jonathan Sarna told BrandeisNOW… ‘Christmas isn’t even mentioned in the New Testament – trees were not necessarily ubiquitous at Christmas – so some Jews felt the trees were a symbol that could be shared by people of all faiths,’ said Sarna…

“‘The rise of the state of Israel, which saw itself as the heir to the Maccabees, led to a strengthening of Hanukkah as a holiday versus Christmas,’ Sarna said… Hanukkah, whose origin dates back to the Maccabean Wars of 160-167 CE, isn’t considered a Jewish high holiday and [barely] appears in the Talmud. But its celebration became more widespread thanks to its proximity on the calendar to Christmas.

“Jews gave gifts of money when they celebrated Hanukkah in the 19th century – a tradition that continues today with gelt. But receiving presents became more mainstream at Hanukkah after Christmas became a national holiday in 1870… ‘When Christmas became a national holiday, Jewish children felt discriminated against,’ Sarna said. ‘Christian children received gifts and Jewish children felt left out. Parents took note, and there is no doubt the tradition of Hanukkah gifts, apart from gelt, was influenced by the surrounding culture of gift-giving at Christmas.’

“In the last 40 years, Sarna says two specific groups have brought back the tradition of bringing Christmas trees into the home: Russian-speaking Jews and inter-married couples. Christmas was banned as a religious holiday in the Soviet Union, but the tree remained a symbol of the new year. As such, Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants continue to see the tree as a secular symbol of winter. Sarna said intermarried couples, where one partner is Christian, might have a Christmas tree as a matter of compromise… ‘Lots of intermarried Jews find their non-Jewish spouses miss the Christmas tree and feel they can have a menorah and a tree as multiple symbols of the season,’ Sarna said…”

Liberal “secular” Jews engage in all kinds of additional “observances” which are clearly connected to pagan-filled “Christianity.”

Pontifical Secret Abolished

The Associated Press reported on December 17:

“Pope Francis abolished the ‘pontifical secret’ used in clergy sexual abuse cases Tuesday, responding to mounting criticism that the high degree of confidentiality has been used to protect pedophiles, silence victims and prevent police from investigating crimes… In a new law, Francis decreed that information in abuse cases must be protected by church leaders to ensure its ‘security, integrity and confidentiality.’ But he said ‘pontifical secret,’ the highest form of confidentiality in the church, no longer applies to abuse-related accusations, trials and decisions under the Catholic Church’s canon law.

“The Vatican’s leading sex crimes investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, said the reform was an ‘epochal decision’ that will facilitate coordination with civil law enforcement and open up lines of communication with victims…

“Francis also raised from 14 to 18 the cutoff age below which the Vatican considers pornographic images to be child pornography – a response to the Vatican’s increasing awareness of the prolific spread of online child porn that has frequently implicated even high-ranking churchmen

Pope Benedict XVI, when he was a cardinal, had persuaded the pope to decree in 2001 that these cases must be dealt with under ‘pontifical secret.’…  The Vatican had long insisted that such confidentiality was necessary to protect the privacy of the victim, the reputation of the accused and the integrity of the canonical process…

“According to the new instruction… the Vatican still doesn’t mandate reporting the crimes to police, saying religious superiors are obliged to do so where civil reporting laws require it…”

The practical application of the change is still pretty much unclear and undefined.

The Length of a Sermon

The Associated Press wrote on December 15:

“According to Pew… Catholic sermons [are] the shortest, at a median of just 14 minutes, compared with 25 minutes for sermons in mainline Protestant congregations and 39 minutes in evangelical Protestant congregations. Historically black Protestant churches had by far the longest sermons, at a median of 54 minutes.

“Pew said sermons at the black churches lasted longer than mainline Protestant sermons even though, on average, they had roughly the same number of words. A possible explanation, Pew said, is that the preachers at black churches allow more time during their sermons for musical interludes, responses from worshippers in the pews and dramatic pauses in their oratory.”

Following the well-considered example of the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert W. Armstrong, sermons in the Church of the Eternal God last, on an average, from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  (A sermon is not being interrupted by responses from worshippers.) In addition, sermonettes of approximately 10 to 15 minutes in length are given in a Church service. A “sermon” in the Catholic Church would qualify, just based on length, as a sermonette in the Church of the Eternal God.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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