It was hard to miss the videos of the double explosion in Beirut. The first one was really big; the second was eye-poppingly enormous! And in horrific color. The damage was truly terrible, and the casualty count is rising. So, first, it should be said that thoughts and prayers should be with the people of Beirut.
But it created a conundrum for the Hezbollah-dominated Lebanese government. If it claimed the damage was done by Israel, it would be admitting that Israel could target the country with impunity. Which it can, but that is not something Hezbollah wants to admit because it would create pressure for a military response—a war it cannot win. In addition, it would be admitting that Hezbollah—a proxy of Iran—was storing rockets, missiles and rocket fuel in the middle of capital of Lebanon. So, first the government said the warehouse near the waterfront was a “fireworks factory” that had exploded. Then they said it was a wheat storage silo.
Finally, Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi admitted to the presence of highly explosive materials at the port, saying, “We have to wait for investigations to know the cause of the explosion, but preliminary explanation indicates materials seized years ago exploded in the Beirut Port warehouse.”
By: Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman – The Jerusalem Post; jpost.com
“It’s a shame that people will die for no reason.”
The heads of several Israeli hospitals have reached out to Lebanese officials and the United Nations offering medical support to the country’s wounded.
“It hurts to see the children – little children – crying and injured,” Dr. Masad Barhoum, director-general of Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya told The Jerusalem Post. “People without children – their lives destroyed in an instance. They need medical and psychological help.”
By: Leah Marieann Klett – The Christian Post; christianpost.com
A member of China’s Early Rain Covenant Church says the Chinese Communist Party continues to persecute members of the church by threatening to send their children to government re-education camps or forcibly remove adopted children from their parents.
In a video released Wednesday alongside a new report by International Christian Concern, Liao Qiang, a member of ERCC in Chengdu, said that despite shuttering the church and jailing Pastor Wang Yi in December of 2018, the CCP continues to harass its members.
Qiang said in the video accompanying ICC’s new report on Religious Suppression in China that his family was forced to leave China and flee to Taiwan with his extended family “because the Chinese Communist Party is limitless in its persecution.”
By: Leah MarieAnn Klett – The Christian Post; christianpost.com
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, poor Christian villagers in China have been ordered to renounce their faith and replace displays of Jesus with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping or risk losing their welfare benefits.
Religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter reports that in April, officials with China’s Communist Party visited believers’ homes in Linfen, a prefecture-level city in the northern province of Shanxi. While there, they ordered residents who receive social welfare payments from the government to replace crosses, religious symbols, and images in their homes with portraits of China’s communist leaders.
The killers of Rina Shnerb are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist group in the EU.
Dutch civil servants took a picture with one of the terrorists charged with killing 17-year-old Rina Schnerb, The Jerusalem Post has learned, despite their government’s denial of any known connection between organizations they fund and terrorist groups.
The photograph from 2017, which can be found on the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah’s Facebook page, features Dutch officials, including Head of Cooperation in Ramallah Henny de Vries, and leaders of the Palestinian-run organization Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), to which the Dutch representative in Ramallah pledged nearly $20 million in 2013-2021.
By: Michael Freund – The Jerusalem Post; jpost.com
Failure to properly count the number of Palestinian terror attacks necessarily minimizes their importance, suggesting that they and their victims don’t really matter.
A number of years ago, on a visit to Manhattan, I entered one of the countless souvenir stores that dot the area in Times Square which are affectionately known as “tourist traps.”
Amid the refrigerator magnets declaring one’s love for New York, the fake subway signs and plastic snow globes enveloping the Statue of Liberty, I came across a hidden treasure that I continue to adore until this very day. It is a small purple pin which declares simply and with unvarnished irony: “Forty percent of all statistics are false.”
If you have even a sliver of cynicism somewhere in your body and you take a moment and think about that sentence, it should bring a smile to your face because it sums up quite nicely what most of us already know to be true. In our data-drenched world, statistics are just about as reliable as pre-election promises made by politicians.
My thoughts turned to that pin the other day when I read through the US State Department’s “2019 Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Israel, West Bank, and Gaza,” which was released on March 2 of this year. It contains what can most charitably be described as nothing less than an obscene distortion of reality.
But historic events are not only successes; failures can also be historic in marking a turning point, a watershed moment. And Camp David was just that.
There is no harm in trying, goes a well-worn axiom.
Except that often times there is. Take, for example, the July 2000 Camp David summit.
It was 20 years ago this week that US president Bill Clinton welcomed prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat to the storied Camp David compound in the Maryland woods to try and solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
No further proof of the failure of that summit is needed than noticing that the 20th anniversary of the convening on July 11, 2000, of this two-week summit passed without many people taking note. Hardly an academic conference on the matter was held, even via Zoom; few television or radio programs were devoted to the anniversary and the sparse coverage in the print media for the most part sufficed with interviews with some of the participants.
By: Yonah Jeremy Bob – The Jerusalem Post; jpost.com
Security expert David Albright told the ‘Post’ that some of the damage is likely irreparable.
Nearly three-quarters of Iran’s main centrifuge assembly hall was destroyed by the recent explosion there, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) president David Albright told The Jerusalem Post.
Albright indicated that this latest revelation is based on two new satellite overviews showing a much fuller picture than footage that was released last weekend, indicating that the vast majority of the centrifuge assembly hall was wiped out.