Current Events

Margaret Thatcher—a Friend of Israel

JTA wrote on April 8:

“Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was considered a good friend of Israel despite a rocky relationship with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, has died. Thatcher died Monday after suffering a stroke. She was 87. Thatcher suffered from dementia at the end of her life, which was dramatized in the 2011 movie ‘The Iron Lady.’ The only female to serve as prime minister of Britain, she also was the longest continuously serving prime minister in the 20th century, leading the country and her Conservative Party from 1979 to 1990.

“Thatcher was supportive of Israel but had a troubled relationship with Begin, who served two terms in the 1980s. She called Begin the ‘most difficult’ man she had to deal with, according to the Chronicle. She also strongly opposed Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. She believed that the Arab-Israel conflict was at the center of the Western world’s difficulties in the Middle East, pressing Israeli leaders to make peace with the Palestinians in order to cool regional tensions.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned her passing in a statement. ‘She was truly a great leader, a woman of principle, of determination, of conviction, of strength; a woman of greatness,’ Netanyahu said. ‘She was a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish people. She inspired a generation of political leaders. I send my most sincere condolences to her family and to the government and people of Great Britain.’…

“Thatcher reportedly had no patience for anti-Semitism nor those who espoused it. She was a strong supporter of Soviet Jewry…”

“Unless We Change Our Ways…”

The Washington Post wrote on April 8:

“’Unless we change our ways and our direction, our greatness as a nation will soon be a footnote in the history books, a distant memory of an offshore island, lost in the mists of time like Camelot, remembered kindly for its noble past.’ Margaret Thatcher… presented that grim vision for Britain in 1979, the year she became prime minister.

“Then, for the next 11½ years — almost as long as three U.S. presidential terms — she worked with fierce determination and unrelenting stubbornness to dispel it. By the time she left office, reluctantly, in 1990, there was not much talk anymore of Britain’s inexorable decline. Ms. Thatcher…had changed not only her country’s direction but also its standing in the world. She continued to be passionately detested by some and admired and respected by others long after she left office, and her record will be debated for decades — or centuries. What is hardly debatable is the proposition that she was, in every sense of the word, a leader…

“Ms. Thatcher’s great domestic battles as prime minister were waged against the institutional left and its supporters among the British intelligentsia, which meant, of course, that they were extremely entertaining. They were fought on the same issue that divides Europeans to this day: When does the people’s demand for security become so all-consuming that it overtaxes the economy, saps initiative and buries the state under a mountain of debt?…

“But outside Britain she will be remembered primarily as a world figure. She strengthened Britain’s ties with the United States, bolstered its military, supported the placement of intermediate-range missiles in Europe (an extremely controversial move at the time) and spoke out with undiplomatic boldness when she took offense at some countries’ actions. She saw a great divide between freedom and the various forms of tyranny in the world, and she made it clear, always, which side she was on. She voiced harsh criticism of the Soviet Union but also, like her good friend President Ronald Reagan, moved to engage its new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev… ‘I can’t bear Britain in decline, I just can’t,’ she said in an interview shortly before her election as prime minister 32 years ago. She did what she thought necessary to stop that decline, and she didn’t really seem to have much worry about what anyone else thought of it…”

“She Made Britain Stand Tall Again”

Mail On Line added on April 8:

“Prime Minister David Cameron said she had a ‘lion-hearted love of this country’ and ‘fought for Britain’s interests all the way’. ‘We’ve lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton’, he said. ‘There were people who said she couldn’t make it, who stood in her way, who said that a woman couldn’t lead, and she defied them all.

“‘Margaret Thatcher took a country that was on its knees and made Britain stand tall again. She was the patriot prime minister. When people said Britain could not be great again, she proved them wrong.’”

Opposed to German Reunification

Deutsche Welle wrote on April 8:

“Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher… was the most important British politician of the post-war period… [and] one of the most influential politicians of the 20th century… She was… initially opposed to German reunification, telling Gorbachev two months before the fall of the Wall that it ‘would lead to a change in post-war borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security.’ Thatcher’s ‘Iron Lady’ stance was eventually to prove her downfall…”

The Betrayed Wartime Hero

Der Spiegel added on April 8:

“… she drove West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to the verge of desperation with her dogged resistance to German reunification. As a member of the war generation, she didn’t trust the Germans to find the right path…

“Even her own critics don’t dispute that Thatcher was one of the most dominant political figures of the 20th century. When she was elected prime minister in May 1979, the country was suffering from hopeless self-doubt and an anemic economy. The country that was once the world’s greatest empire had become the sick man of Europe…

“As with all successful figures in history, Margaret Thatcher got lucky. If the Argentine military junta had not invaded the Falkland Islands off their coast in 1982, Thatcher may have remained the unpopular prime minister she was back then. But the Falklands War transformed her into a national hero. After Britain’s easy victory over Argentina, she was able to continue in office and easily win re-election twice…

“The end of her term came in November 1990, not with an electoral defeat but a rebellion from within her own party. Her anti-EU policies had isolated her from her cabinet, leading her to resign when she realized she no longer had their support. Throughout her life she was unable to get over this betrayal.”

The “New” Iron Lady Praises the “Old”

The Local wrote on April 8:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher… as an ‘extraordinary leader’ who played a pivotal role in overcoming Europe’s Cold War division… Merkel [is] a fellow conservative who was often compared to Thatcher when she became chancellor in 2005… Germany’s ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl also had fond words for Thatcher… Kohl, 83, who governed Germany for a record 16 years, said fellow conservative Thatcher was ‘an upstanding fighter and representative of the interests of her country.’… Kohl was a driving force behind European enlargement and integration in the years after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 leading to German reunification which Thatcher initially vehemently opposed.

“Shortly after news broke that Thatcher had died, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would be cancelling the rest of his tour of Europe which he started in Madrid this week. He was supposed to be pressing his case for reform of the European Union ahead of a referendum on his own country’s membership of the bloc. Instead, he will pay his respects to Britain’s first female premier at her funeral in London.

“Cameron was meant to visit Berlin at the end of the week for ‘further discussions about taking forward his (EU) reform agenda,’ Downing Street said. Britain sent shockwaves through the EU in January after Cameron set out plans to wrest back powers from Brussels and to then put Britain’s reshaped membership to an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.”

It is interesting to recognize how unexpected events seem to influence what could otherwise become disruptive movements. God’s plan will be fulfilled, and it is prophesied that Europe will unite—without Great Britain.

Germany and Russia—A Shaky Relationship

Deutsche Welle wrote on April 8:

“Russia is the partner country for the 2013 Hannover Messe – the trade fair for the industrial sector. While German-Russian economic ties are booming, political problems are straining relations between the countries… The German government expressed its concern over Russian officials’ raids of German organizations in Moscow and St. Petersburg. At the end of March, Russian authorities inspected the offices of the political Konrad Adenauer and Friedrich Ebert foundations, temporarily confiscating computers and documents…

“Yet political tensions don’t seem to be putting a burden on the intense economic relations between Russia and Germany. Russia has become the partner country for the Hannover Messe for the second time in a decade. The trade fair for the industrial sector is the largest of its kind in the world… According to the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, bilateral trade volume between Russia and Germany reached a record of over 80 billion euros ($104 billion) in 2012…”

As the Bible prophesied, many countries, including Russia, would have a rich economic relationship with EU under German rule.

Iraq—America’s Lost War

Deutsche Welle wrote on April 9:

“When Iraqi civilians and American soldiers toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad 10 years ago, no one had any idea how long the war would last, or how far-reaching its effects would be… Ten years after the fall of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, neither the situation in Iraq nor the relationship between Iraq and the United States are what the architects of the war imagined they would be back in 2003. America now has virtually no influence in Iraq, a country characterized by weak institutions, violence, human rights abuses, and the growing strength of the terrorist group al Qaeda. And critics say this is the fault of the United States government – both the previous administration and the current one.

“Erin Evers from Human Rights Watch, for example, said America set a bad example when it comes to human rights policy. The humiliating treatment of Iraqi prisoners in the prison of Abu Ghraib was just one example. ‘Before 2002/2003 we had a certain amount of credibility in the eyes of the world where human rights were concerned,’ said Evers. That, she explained, has changed, which has made it difficult for the US government to denounce human rights abuses in Iraq. ‘We haven’t seen any improvements under [President] Obama, either,’ Evers said. ‘In 2009 he decided not to hold any of the superior officers [in Abu Ghraib] to account. That was a big mistake.’

“At present, 10,500 Americans are still on official missions in Iraq, including diplomatic personnel, and employees of private companies responsible for security, catering, and other administrative support. By the end of the year this number should have been reduced to 5,100, around one-fifth of whom are in the diplomatic service. Soldiers could have assumed responsibility for ensuring security, but there have been no US soldiers in the country since the end of 2011. Negotiations to try to secure a troop agreement broke down over the question of immunity for American soldiers. Peter Feaver, professor of politics at Duke University in the US, blamed the Obama administration for this failure. ‘[The Iraqi] Prime Minister Maliki was prepared to guarantee their immunity,’ he said, ‘but the US attorney insisted it had to be confirmed by parliament.’ The Iraqis didn’t think they would be able to push this through, so the negotiations ultimately failed.

“The security situation in Iraq remains unstable. People still frequently die in terrorist attacks. The situation is especially tense at the moment, before elections in 18 of the 20 provinces, due to take place on April 20. The fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime has not improved the situation of the people, Evers said. ‘People say, yes, it was terrible under Saddam, but there was just one enemy, and if you steered well clear of politics it was possible to lead a halfway normal life,’ she said. Now, though, the various dangers are far more difficult to locate, and affect every aspect of their lives…

“The American people are… divided… in their assessments of the Iraq war. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Institute, 44 percent said it was wrong to go to war, while 41 percent said it was the right decision. And although 46 percent were of the view that the United States has, broadly speaking, achieved its goals, 43 percent said America more or less failed… This mood is much the same as in 2008, when Obama won the presidential election, in part because of his opposition to the war in Iraq…

“Americans have paid a high price for their invasion of Iraq. The latest study from Brown University puts the bill at more than $2.2 trillion. Furthermore, according to Phillips, ‘The United States’ standing in the Arab world has suffered, and it has put a strain on its relationship with its European allies.’… Washington has also grown cautious when it comes to military deployments, as can be seen from its reluctance to get involved in Syria.”

The Bible prophesied that in these end times, America will not win any more wars. This has certainly become true since World War II. America has consistently lost its wars, including the Koran War, the Vietnam War, the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. The next big event with be a war with Europe, which America is also going to lose.

Hayden: Military Action Against Iran Unavoidable wrote on April 6:

“Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told LIGNET this week that it may be too late for diplomacy to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. ‘I am doubtful, and pessimistic, that we’re going to be able to solve this without someone taking some sort of kinetic action against the Iranians,’ he said. Hayden saw poor prospects for diplomatic efforts, a concern that grew today after Western diplomats said the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran ended in failure.”

Another war in the Middle East, involving Israel, Iran and perhaps the USA and other nations, would have devastating consequences for the entire region, but it might very well happen. If the USA was to get involved, it would not emerge victoriously.

Netanyahu: Israel Responsible for Its Own Security

The Jerusalem Post wrote on April 7:

“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the main state ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Sunday, quoting anti-Semitic statements by Iranian religious leaders as evidence that the hatred against the Jews that existed during the Holocaust is still in existence. Netanyahu quoted Iranian religious leaders as recently saying, ‘the Zionists are microbes and bacteria, the Jews are polluted people that spread disease.’…

“Netanyahu stated that anti-Semitic hatred ‘has not disappeared, it has been switched with murderous hatred against the state of the Jews. What has changed is our ability to defend ourselves.’… The prime minister stated that while Israel appreciated the efforts of the world to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel ‘cannot forfeit our security to other nations…not even to our closest allies.’”

The Bible foretells that ultimately, no one will be helping the state of Israel.

Pork Found in Elk Lasagna

BBC wrote on April 6:

“Ikea has confirmed it has withdrawn nearly 18,000 of its elk meat lasagnas from sale in Europe after they were found to contain pork. The Swedish furniture giant said sales were stopped in late March, and tests confirmed the contamination on Friday… It is the latest in a series of meat contamination scandals across Europe.

“Ikea was among several companies whose meat products were found to contain horsemeat. Earlier this year it withdrew its meatballs from sale in its restaurants and grocery departments. The European elk is known in north America as a moose.”

Is there any clean food left to eat?

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