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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘June’

The Conflicts with Syria Should be Resolved Amicably and Peacefully

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Editor’s note: The following article is by Adnan Oktar, a Turkish-Muslim teacher known across the Muslim world and the Middle East. On the basis of the teachings of Islam he argues against violence  against Jews and among Muslims themselves, and for a unity of humanity based on a belief in God. We welcome this article by a Muslim author who is a fervent friend of Israel and Jews (see his image with Rabbi Lau).

One of the most effective tools of the antichrist to hurt Muslims is causing conflicts amongst Muslims and turning Muslims against each other. Although the real threat for the world is ideologies like Darwinism, Materialism and Communism, some Muslims are swayed by the antichrist to go against their own brothers and even fight them. The antichrist, using this method, aims to wipe the Muslims off the map of the Middle East and bring its own communist system in place of them. The recent crisis and the not-so-amicable attitude of Syria towards Turkey, and our plane being shot down, are all a part of this sneaky plan of the antichrist.

Any retaliation against Syria will give the antichrist what he wants

Some people claim that a Turkish plane being shot down has undermined the authority of Turkey; and being a great country it should retaliate  in such situations. They think that the efforts of Turkey to remain peaceful shows Turkey as a weak country. Needless to say, all these thoughts serve the antichrist’s purpose of more bloodshed and getting Muslims to kill each other and therefore shall never be considered.

First of all, any retaliation against Syria could lead to catastrophic results for all sides. Syria is a part of the communist bloc, and should there be an attack, China and Russia will rush to its aid, which will be very dangerous.

On the other hand, any retaliation against Syria will put our country in a difficult position in the fight against PKK terrorism. It is a known fact that Syria is a part of the communist state dream of the terrorist PKK. If Turkey engages in a war, this could be a step towards their communist dream, which they haven’t been able to achieve so far. The regions of Syria close to Turkey will be an ideal base for the PKK, just like in the case of Northern Iraq. Indeed, this is demonstrated by the current support of the terrorist PKK for the ongoing massacres in Syria and how they build their camps on the Syrian-Turkish border.

Such a retaliation will also take a huge economic toll as well. With the war ongoing,  industry will come to a standstill, inflation will skyrocket and people will get poorer. So anyone criticizing Turkey for being peaceful and amicable and inclined to resolve matters through diplomatic means are completely wrong.  Anyone claiming that retaliation is the best option is clearly mistaken as these ideas  will do nothing but hurt our country.

The steps to be followed for peace in Syria can be summarized as follows:

The current Syrian administration should immediately step down and a new coalition government should be formed:

Today, Syria is a part of the communist bloc and since it sides with China and Russia, it is under the close scrutiny of NATO. NATO sees communism as a huge threat, and for good reason, and therefore is uncomfortable with the regime in Syria and wishes to put an end to it. Therefore, it would like to see Turkey in this plan, too.

NATO is right to want to see the end of communist regimes, but their methods are all wrong. Surely, Turkey will support NATO’s efforts to make Syria a democratic country. However, Turkey will not do anything that will push it into a war with Syria. First of all, Syrian lands are old Ottoman lands and that makes Syrians our very own brothers and sisters. Turkey will never do something that could hurt Muslims and will never allow something like that to happen, either.

It is obvious that the current administration is a dictatorship and that there is no democracy in Syria. Therefore the communist administration should step down immediately. Following that, a democratic election should be held where people can freely vote. After a coalition government victory, different groups will be represented in the parliament and Syria will get genuine democracy.

Adnan Oktar

German state of Berlin Declares Circumcision, Not Brit Milah, Legal

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Berlin became the first of Germany’s 16 states to declare circumcision legal, following a Cologne court ruling in June that non-medical circumcisions on children amounted to a criminal offense, according to the German news agency DPA. National legislation is pending to legalize circumcision.

But, the state of Berlin has authorized only doctors, and not mohels, to perform circumcisions; the national legislation could authorize mohels. The state also required that parents be informed of the procedure’s medical risks before consenting, and that doctors do everything possible during the procedure to reduce pain and limit bleeding.

June’s court ruling has led many doctors to stop performing circumcisions in order to avoid being prosecuted. Two rabbis have had complaints brought against them based on the ruling, though one complaint was dropped last week.


Missing Florida Millionaire Left Tefillin on Abandoned Boat

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Guma Aguiar, a Florida businessman and philanthropist who went missing in June, left his tefillin on his abandoned boat.

All of the life jackets also were accounted for, the Coast Guard reported, according to the Sun-Sentinel, after getting the records through a Freedom of Information Act request. His wedding ring and watch were left at home.

Aguiar, the CEO of Leor Energy who lived in Fort Lauderdale, left his home on June 19. His empty 31-foot boat washed ashore in Fort Lauderdale the following morning.

Aguiar’s wife reportedly had asked for a divorce just before he left the house. Aguiar had a history of ill mental health, according to reports citing family members. The disappearance remains an open missing persons case.

In 2009, Aguiar gave $8 million to the pro-aliyah group Nefesh B’Nefesh and $500,000 to March of the Living, which takes high school-aged Jews to Poland to see Holocaust sites. He also became a fixture of Israeli sports pages when he became the main sponsor of the Israeli Premier League soccer team Beitar Jerusalem.

While Aguiar, who has a Jewish mother, did not grow up with much of a Jewish background, he later returned to Judaism and has made large gifts to Jewish and Israeli causes. He made his fortune when he discovered huge natural gas reserves in Texas.


Turkey’s Trade Deficit Reveals an Economy in Deep Trouble

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I’ve been hammering away at Turkey’s credit bubble problem for the past eight months: consumer lending is still growing at a nearly 30% annual rate, after dipping into the teens earlier this year (I am annualizing the 3-month growth rate). But the trade data just released for June show a slowing domestic economy.

With the economy clearly slowing, where are all the loans going? The answer is indicated by the extremely high interest rates charged by Turkish banks:

At 18% interest, consumers have to borrow to pay the interest on previous loans. In other words Turkish banks are capitalizing interest, and booking profits on loans that would go sour if they stopped lending additional money to borrowers to pay the interest. The much-vaunted strength of Turkey’s banks (whose stock prices recovered smartly this year) appears to be an illusion. The economic outlook isn’t good.

From the Financial Times‘ Beyond Brics blog:

At first glance, newly released figures for Turkey’s foreign trade suggest the country’s economy is holding up well despite the travails of its neighbours in Europe.

But as ever the devil is in the detail and hidden away in the numbers are some more uncomfortable indications that darker days lie ahead for the Turkish economy.

Figures from TUIK, the statistics office, show a 30 per cent reduction in Turkey’s trade deficit, from $10.3bn in June 2011 to $7.2bn in June this year. Other figures from TIM, the Turkish exporters’ association, show exports for the 12 months to July reaching $142.6bn, a healthy 12.3 per cent up on the previous twelve months.

Taken together, the two sets of figures could suggest continued success for Turkey’s exporters, while Turkish consumers have reined in their love of expensive imported goods.

But dig a little deeper…

To begin with, according to TIM’s figures for July, Turkish exports for the month actually fell by 5.5 per cent over July 2011 while both TIM and TUIK show worrying falls in exports to Turkey’s core European markets.

According to TUIK, Turkey’s exports to the EU dropped from 48.2 per cent of the total in June 2011 to only 37.1 per cent this year. TIM’s data suggest a drop from 47.7 per cent in July last year to 40.3 per cent.

According to TIM, the bulk of the fall came in two keys sectors: automotive, which saw exports in July plunge 22.3 per cent; and ready-to-wear textiles, where exports in July fell by 12 per cent.

While the two organisations collate their figures in different ways the outlook is clear: as Europe continues to sneeze, Turkey will catch a cold.

The picture is more worrying when the effect of the weakening euro is taken into account, an effect which economy minister Zafer Caglayan estimates cost the country $550m in July alone.

So far so bad. But according to Ozgur Altug, chief economist at Istanbul’s BCG Partners, the real bad news is hidden not in weakening export figures but in the falling import figures – which helped contribute to fall in the trade deficit and to a reduction Turkey’s current account deficit from $77bn a year ago to $67bn by the end of May this year.

Altug points out that Turkey’s dependence on imported energy remains the chief culprit behind its current account deficit woes. “Despite falling oil prices, the 12 month rolling energy balance rose to $51.4bn by the end of June this year, compared with $47.8 at the end of 2011,” he says. “The government has been successful in rebalancing the economy but the structural problems such as the growing need for imported energy are still there”.

Altug warns that an improvement in the non-energy trade deficit is also illusory. He points to an 11 per cent drop in imports of intermediate goods over the first half of this year and a 16 per cent drop in consumer goods over the same period.

Both, he suggests, are a direct result of slower GDP growth, with the former suggesting a drop in imports of capital goods used to expand output, the latter indicting declining consumer confidence. The root problem, he suggests, is Turkey’s failure to capitalise on years of rapid economic expansion to increase the contribution of exports to the overall economy.

David P. Goldman

Dramatic Drop in Infiltrators

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

The Israeli Interior Ministry reports a dramatic drop in the number of illegal infiltrators for the first half of July.

Only 140 illegal infiltrators were able to enter Israel from the Sinai, and all were arresteed.

In June, 1213 illegal infiltrators crossed the border, of whom, 928 were arrested.

And that number was just half of the 2031 who entered illegally from the Sinai in the month of May.

By next week, 200 kilometers of border fence will be completed along the Sinai-Israel border, and by October all but 14 kilometers near Eilat will be completed, and that segment will be completed in 2013.

Source: http://www.mynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4258605,00.html

Jewish Press News Briefs

Only At Orchidea

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I had the tremendous zechut to attend the wedding of my granddaughter Rachayli Fuchs to Shaul Klein in June, and then, much to my delight I was able to make one of the Sheva Berachot. My guest list was composed and invitations extended. The divrei Torah would be delivered by my grandson Rabbi Raphael Fuchs and my nephew Meir Greenwald.

Where to hold the Sheva Berachot? For me it was an easy decision. Orchidea, of course.

This was not the first time I would be making Sheva Berachot at Orchidea, located in Boro Park, Brooklyn. Based on past performance I had every reason to expect it would be wonderful – and it was.

Orchidea is a dairy restaurant, which I felt was a nice break from all the meat meals at the weeklong festivities.

I couldn’t bring flowers from the wedding because too many days had passed, so hosts Ofer Kohen and Mazal Werczberger had beautiful candle displays on each table. There was a menu created especially for us at each seat, giving guests an enticing selection of courses and making for a nice keepsake.

I am not a fan of sushi but most of my guests were, and the large sushi platter soon disappeared, though at the same time waiters were serving hors devoir. My favorite was the avocado salad on tortilla chips; my sister liked the coconut crusted fish on the skewer.

The grilled salmon at Orchidea is outstanding – an opinion shared by everyone who ordered it – but those who ordered the pasta dish or the eggplant felt the same way about their choices. The dessert, composed of cheesecake, chocolate cake, ice cream and napoleon, all arranged on the same plate, was a work of art in addition to being a culinary delight.

Getting together with good friends gives one a very special feeling. Being together for a mitzvah such as Sheva Berachot makes the occasion even more special. Add the divrei Torah, the beautiful words of the chattan, seeing the happiness on the face of a beloved granddaughter and hearing the magnificent voice of my chazzan, Pinchas Cohen, as he sang the last berachah – put all of that into Orchidea and it is no wonder the evening was one that will long be remembered.

(For more information on Orchidea, see The Jewish Press Dining Guide in this issue.)

Naomi Klass Mauer

Jihadi Tourism Hits Europe

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Increasing numbers of Muslims in Europe are travelling to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and other conflict zones to obtain training in terrorist methods.

Although intelligence agencies have been following the trend since the July 2005 bombings of the London commuter system, which were perpetrated by four home-grown Islamic terrorists, the scale of the problem has come into greater focus in recent weeks.

European security officials are especially concerned about reports that al-Qaeda is recruiting and training Western operatives who have “clean” criminal records and have the ability to travel freely and blend in with European and American cultures.

In Norway, for example, an ethnic Norwegian convert to militant Islam who has received terrorist training from al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen, is awaiting orders to carry out an attack on the West, officials from three European security agencies said on June 25.

European officials have confirmed that the man is “operational,” meaning he has completed his training and is about to receive a target. Although the terrorist-in-waiting is believed to still be in Yemen, even if he is found he cannot be extradited: under Norwegian law it is not a crime to attend a terrorist training camp.

The London-based newspaper Sunday Times, quoting intelligence services, published a story on July 1 that said the Norwegian jihadist had been trained by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] to evade airport security and is plotting to hijack an American passenger plane and, in a suicide mission, crash it. The newspaper portrayed the plot as an attack on the upcoming London Olympics, to be held from July 27 to August 12, but said the target was specifically supposed to be an American aircraft.

The paper described the recruit as being a Norwegian citizen in his 30s, with no immigrant background, but who calls himself Abu Abdulrahman. The man, who converted to Islam in 2008, has apparently in recent months been undergoing training at AQAP bases in Yemen.

According to a detailed report in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, on July 5, the individual is a 33-year-old Norwegian who, in his youth, was associated with Oslo’s far-left Blitz movement. Despite his one-time radical credentials, he later worked as a babysitter at a daycare center in Oslo, the city where he was born and raised. He did not have a history of violence, the paper said.

Dagbladet went on to report that eventually he became a member of the Green Party; a source close to the suspect said that, after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he had come to be viewed as an easily-influenced conspiracy theorist.

His ideological priorities shifted, according to the paper, after he married the daughter of a diplomat from an unspecified North African country. In 2008, he converted to Islam and underwent a change of lifestyle: he gave up alcohol and broke off almost all contact with his earlier friends. The newspaper stated that he recently became a father, and that his wife had travelled to her home country with their child.

Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, Britain’s domestic security service, recently provided important context to the threat posed by would-be jihadists. In a rare public address on June 25, Evans said the Olympic Games in London “present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the center of the world’s attention in a month or so. No doubt some terrorist networks have thought about whether they could pull off an attack.”

“In back rooms and in cars and on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here,” Evans continued. “It is essential that we maintain pressure on al-Qaeda.”

Evans also said that al-Qaeda militants are using the countries which toppled their leaders in the Arab Spring as bases to train radical Western youths for potential attacks on Britain: “This is the completion of a cycle. Al-Qaida first moved to Afghanistan in the 1990s due to pressure in their Arab countries of origin. They moved on to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban. And now some are heading home to the Arab world again.”

“Today,” Evans added, “parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al-Qaeda. A small number of British would-be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen. Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here. This is a new and worrying development and could get worse.”

Soeren Kern

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/jihadi-tourism-hits-europe/2012/07/18/

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