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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Kuwait’

Kerry Heads to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait before Visiting Israel

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Globe-trotting U.S. Secretary of State John Kelly has left India for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait before flying to Jordan and Israel later this week to tackle the issue of Palestinian Authority demands.

The Saudi kingdom is a powerful ally of the United States and is solidly behind the rebels in the Syrian civil war. Kerry and the Obama administration want to get rid of Assad and have come out in favor of arming the rebels but still are concerned that a terrorist regime might replace Assad, if and when he is ousted or killed.

“If the United States does nothing, and the rest of the world does nothing, then Syria is going to wind up in an even worse condition than it is today,” Kerry told CBS News from New Delhi. He said it would be even worse if Syria were to break up, “with radicals, extremists able to get a hold of chemical weapons and free to use it as a base to begin to conduct their operations again against the West and the United States.

Israel Ranks 10th in Number of Millionaires per Capita

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Israel is the home to 84,000 millionaires, putting it in 10th place in the world’s ranking of the number of millionaires as a percentage of the number of households, according to The Boston Consulting Group, in its report “Maintaining Momentum in a Complex World: Global Wealth 2013.”

In percentage term, there is a millionaire in one of every 92 households

“Israel had about 84,000 millionaire households in 2012, and there are plenty of thriving businesses here to keep them afloat, from booming technology companies to exploiters of natural gas fields,” according to the report.

It noted that Israel is a large exporter of diamonds and agricultural products.

The Boston Consulting Group reported that global household wealth grew by 7.8% in 2012, to $135.5 trillion, double the 3.6% growth in 2011 in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Qatar topped the rankings with 50,000 millionaire households, 14.3% of all households, out of a population of 2 million. It was followed by Switzerland, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Singapore

The United States, with 5.87 million millionaire households, has the largest number of such households, amounting to 4.9% of all households.

Prisoner X Met With Lawyer Before Suicide

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

More details are slowly coming to light in the case of Ben Zygier, also known as Prisoner X.

A day before he committed suicide, Zygier met with outside defense attorney Avigdor Feldman, besides his meetings with his regular attorneys Roi Belcher, Moshe Mazor and Boaz Ben-Tzur. Zygier had been considering his legal options, including the possibility of a plea bargain. What the charges were is still unknown, but Feldman said the charges were very serious.

On Thursday, a Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Jarida, claimed that Zygier was one of the members of the Mossad team which assassinated Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. But after the assassination, for some reason, Zygier contacted the Dubai authorities and gave them detailed information on the assassination. According to the paper, Zygier was then captured by Israel after he went into hiding.

What has also come to light is that Israel is not running “black prisons” as some people claimed, but rather that Zygier was kept out of contact with other prisoners and his identity was secret to those without high enough clearance for security reasons, though all the while Zygier was allowed to meet with his lawyers who were defending him against the charges being brought against him by the state of Israel.

Questions arose as to how Zygier managed to kill himself in a maximum security cell with 24 hour camera surveillance. It turns out that the cell’s bathroom is not monitored, and that is where he hung himself.

Kuwait Institutes Death Penalty for Blasphemy

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Kuwaiti lawmakers have passed a legal amendment authorizing the death penalty for Muslims who curse their God or the Quran, or who defame their Prophet Mohammed or his wife. In the amended article, if the defendant publicly repents and apologizes for the crime, the penalty will be reduced to five years in jail, a fine of 10,000 Kuwaiti Dinars (KD), or both.

The approved article states that non-Muslims who commit the same crime face at least 10 years in jail. Some MPs demanded the death penalty should also apply to them as well. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan boast the same death penalty law for blasphemy. In other Muslim countries, there are different interpretations to executing people who are outspoken and have different opinion. The Islamic states also never tolerate apostasy, conversion, or freedom from religion.

Islam is a belief. It is not clear in any Muslim country why a man before a court in any Muslim country would be termed Muslim if he does not believe in the religion, or possibly any religion, just because he happened to be born into a home in which Islam happened to be the religion of the family living there.

Overriding Kuwaiti disapproval, international human rights organizations, including the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), expressed deep concern. The Chairman of USCIRF, Leo Leonard, said he judged these penalties as alarming and contrary to international human rights standards.

As the commission recognizes the Quran as a holy script for the Muslims, however, the question arises as to how the commission can feel concerned about the new law if the law has been derived from the Quranic instructions of which they ostensibly approve?

Although most Islamists formally say that the Quran itself does not prescribe any earthly punishment for apostasy, in fact Sharia Law and Islamic schools of jurisprudence strongly advocate that an apostate must be either executed or imprisoned until he or she re-converts to Islam. In the last 1400 years, Islam has been always harsh and brutal to non-believers, apostates, and people who might have different opinions. Here is what Quran says on these issues:

–But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them (4:89).

–Therefore, we stirred among them [unbelievers] enmity and hatred, which shall endure till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will declare to them all that they have done (5:14).

–O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends are one of them. God does not guide an unjust people (5:54).

–Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme (8:39).

–O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding (8:65).

–It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land (8:67).

–Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers (9:2-3)

–When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them (9:5).

–Believers! Know that idolators are unclean (9:28).

–Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute (9:29).

–Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons (9:41).

–O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end (9:73).

–Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed (9:111).

–Fight unbelievers who are near to you  [Different translation: Believers! Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you; Another source: Ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers….] (9:123).

Hamas Leader Embarks on Second ‘Official’ Tour

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the terrorist group Hamas and prime minister of Gaza, has departed Monday for his second “official” trip, with intended stops in Iran, Qatar, and Kuwait.

Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nono said Haniyeh, was going to Iran at the invitation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The trip comes amid reports that Hamas is seeking another financier as Iran struggles under the pressure of international isolation.

US Troops Leave Iraq as Operation Iraqi Freedom Ends

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

At 7:30am Baghdad time, the final convoy of US troops left Iraq, ending an almost nine-year military operation which began with the toppling of Dictator Saddam Hussein.

Since the first missile strikes of the $806 billion mission were launched under US President George W. Bush in March 2003, almost 4,459 Americans have been killed in Iraq, with 32,200 troops and staff wounded in action.

Military personnel and equipment rolled across the Iraq-Kuwait border just ahead of the December 31 deadline in a highly-organized exit which was planned over several months.  Air Force para-rescue forces remained on alert in case the 500-man convoy faced a critical emergency, yet the withdrawal remained low-key.  At its peak, US forces numbered over 170,000 at more than 500 bases.

On Thursday, US troops conducted a formal ceremony  ending Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad, though a US diplomatic mission will remain on hand as a presence in Iraq, also overseeing military and equipment sales.

The withdrawal was a key component of US President Barack Obama’s election campaign.  As part of its effort to depart Iraq uneventfully, US forces paid $100,000 to tribal sheikhs to ensure their safety on highways toward Kuwait, according to Reuters news agency.

Though it seems the mission succeeded in thwarting attacks in the United States, it appears to have done little for Iraqi stability. Major sectarian violence led to thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths over the years, with a complex and fragile governmental coalition of Shi’ite, Sunni, and Kurdish parties threatening to collapse,  persistent insurgent attacks against government officials, and looming regional power wielders such as Iran and terror group Al-Qaida poised to take control.

Even Our Enemies Sing Our Praises

Wednesday, November 26th, 2003

At the genesis of our history, we encountered the heathen prophet, Bilaam, who was bent upon cursing our people. But despite himself, G-d placed blessings on his lips, and to this very day, we repeat those blessings in our prayers. Many centuries have passed since Bilaam spoke, but alas, evil people remain – people who are determined to curse us. But like Bilaam of old, despite themselves, they sing our praises. So it was when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, one of the third world’s most popular statesmen, addressed the leaders of 57 Islamic nations at a conference that he was hosting.

Incensed at the Jews, he spewed forth venom in an anti-Semitic diatribe, and many good people felt offended, but listen carefully to his words and you will see that, even as Bilaam, he too sang our praise. And if anyone should take offense, it is his own people – the Moslems, for it was they whom he insulted. Just listen to his words: “For well over half a century, we have fought over Palestine, and what have we achieved? Nothing! We are worse off today than ever before. If we had paused to think, then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that could have won us our final victory.”

Are you implying, Mr. Prime Minister, that your people do not know how to think? Please do not be so harsh on them. Many world leaders who came before you have tried to destroy us, from Pharaoh to Hitler, and they were smart, but nevertheless they all failed. Nor should you blame your people for lack of strategy. They, as those who preceded them, schemed many schemes, but all to naught. You had the greatest military strategists helping you, from the Nazis to the Russians. Your plan was to drive us into the sea. Logically, it seemed like an easy goal to attain. After all, how can a minuscule nation prevail against over a billion Arabs?

Logically, your plans were correct, but you see, Mr. Prime Minister, there is nothing logical about our history. More powerful men than you have discovered this. But again, please don’t feel too badly. It’s not because (as you stated) your people lack smarts. Brainy men and mighty nations have tried to annihilate us, and they all failed. The secret to our invincibility is simple. At Sinai we sealed a covenant with G-d. We swore to live by His Torah…to be witnesses to His presence, and because of that, His guiding Hand is manifest in our history. Our prophets assured us that we “need not fear sudden terror or the holocaust of the wicked for they may plan a conspiracy and it will be annulled….for G-d is with us” (Isaiah).

In your address you stated that it is preposterous that 1.3 billion Moslems should be defeated by a few million Jews. “There must be a way! We are actually very strong. One point three billion people cannot simply be wiped out.”

Allow me to put your mind at ease. We Jews have no intention of wiping out your people. It’s not our style. We are a nation that has always sacrificed for peace, so if your people are hemorrhaging, you must search for the murderers within your camp. May I suggest that you begin with the slaughters that have taken place: Iraq, Syria, Jordan – yes, Jordan, where those poor Palestinians that you are so concerned about were massacred. Remember Black September?

And how about those who died in the Iran-Iraq war in which more than a million were killed. And what about the bloody slaughters that take place throughout the Moslem world – the “honor killing” of women, public decapitation, the chopping off of limbs. I could go on and on, but you, Mr. Prime Minister know the history of your people better than I. So let me assure you – We are not in the killing business. We are not interested in wiping you out.

“The Europeans,” you went on to say, “killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today, the Jews rule the world by proxy, and they get others to fight for them. We are up against a people who think, who survived 2,000 years of pogroms, not by hitting back, but by thinking”. And then you go on to enumerate our crimes against the world: “The Jews invented and successfully promoted socialism, communism, human rights, and democracy…. With these, the Jews have now gained control of the most powerful countries and this tiny community has become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains also.”

Listen to your own words, Mr. Prime Minister, and absorb them….And I invite every anti-Semite to listen along with you. Much of what you said is true. The Europeans did destroy six million of our people, and yes, they could not destroy us, and yes, with the help of G-d, we are stronger today than ever before. And yes, by the grace of G-d, we have returned to our land and rebuilt our cities; we planted forests and vineyards – and all this after an absence of almost 2,000 years. There is no parallel to this in the annals of mankind but it was not by our “thinking” that we accomplished all this, but by our faith.

You further erred when you said that the nations did battle for us. No nation has ever fought for us, but the nation that you vilify and hate, the United States, did fight for your Moslem people. Have you already forgotten Bosnia, Kosavo, Kuwait? And here again, there are many more examples – but you know your own history better than I.

As for our having invented human rights and democracy – yes, it is true that we taught mankind the meaning of freedom and justice, and we are proud of it. But more importantly, we gave mankind the greatest gift of all – the Word of G-d.

Our Bible has been translated into every language and is the basis of all religions. Christianity and your own Moslem faith are totally indebted to us. So, in response to your question as to why over a billion Arabs (no matter how hard they try) cannot overcome a few million Jews….the answer is simple. There is a Divine destiny that guides our lives.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/even-our-enemies-sing-our-praises/2003/11/26/

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