Equal rights on Temple Mount

Antiquated rules for Temple Mount must be changed

  • Upholding and sustaining an antiquated, biased, second-class status for Jews, a remnant of the 18th-century Ottoman Empire, violates all accepted international human rights and nondiscrimination norms and should logically no longer be relevant or sustained in modern international society

Reprinted from Daily Alert, August 11, 2022

  • Basic norms and values of religion inherent in the various biblical or other scriptures and sources would assume that the aim of any religion is for humankind to live at peace and in dignity and harmony with God and with humanity, and not serve as a source of constant and unending conflict.
  • A status quo that perpetuates an ancient and outdated social structure that no longer exists, that practices religious discrimination and denies or restricts rights of worship, is blatantly incompatible with accepted international norms and concepts of equality, human rights, freedom of religion and worship, interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding, and cooperation.
  • One of the most striking examples of such a historical and irreversible “status quo” causing endless incitement to hatred, strife, and violence between religious faiths, communities, and states is Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
  • Upholding and sustaining an antiquated, biased, second-class status for Jews, a remnant of the 18th-century Ottoman Empire, violates all accepted international human rights and nondiscrimination norms and should logically no longer be relevant or sustained in modern international society.
  • A new, remodeled status quo would need to guarantee reciprocal recognition of religious rights and observance of the components of the “culture of peace.”
  • Perhaps the first step needs to be acknowledgment and realization by all concerned, including the respective religious leaderships, that a vital prerequisite for any definitive resolution of the dispute between Arabs and Jews is a logical and respectful remodeling of the antiquated status quo to be based on present-day international values and standards of fairness, equity, equality, and mutual respect, while protecting basic religious sensitivities and procedures.

    The writer, who heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center, is former legal counsel to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.

Posted in Islam, Judaism, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Equal rights on Temple Mount

United Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

israelnationalnews.com

So Pillsbury is pulling out of “East Jerusalem”

There’s no such city as “East Jerusalem,” Atarot is not located in the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem; it is north of Jerusalem, and it doesn’t even have any “settlers”—it’s an industrial zone.

Stephen M. Flatow, June 2, 2002

The announcement by General Mills that it’s shutting down the Pillsbury factory in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot is an outrageous capitulation to the Israel-haters of the BDS movement.

It’s also a fascinating illustration of the utter absurdity of one of the media’s favorite terms, “East Jerusalem.”

Media reports about General Mills’s surrender to the haters are referring to Atarot as an “East Jerusalem settlement.”

Every word in that phrase is false. There’s no such city as “East Jerusalem,” Atarot is not located in the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem; it is north of Jerusalem, and it doesn’t even have any “settlers”—it’s an industrial zone.

Atarot is a town with Jewish roots that go back to biblical times. It was first mentioned in the Book of Joshua, chapter 16. Note that there were no “Palestinians” in the Land of Israel in those days. Arab “Palestinian” nationalism would not appear on the scene until several thousand years later. But there were plenty of Jews in the country, and there was a sovereign Jewish kingdom there for many centuries.

In modern times, Jews purchased land in Atarot in 1912, and young Zionist pioneers from Europe, including future prime minister Levi Eshkol, built homes and farms there. In 1931, the British government seized (“stole” would be the more accurate description) more than half of Atarot’s land in order to build a small airport there, destroying the homes and orchards of some of the Jewish residents. We’re still waiting for the British government to pay reparations for that.

The Jews hung on, despite difficult conditions and repeated Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks, especially in 1929 and during 1936-1939. During the 1948 War of Independence, the residents of Atarot bravely held out as long as they could, until they were driven out by the advancing Jordanian forces.

It wasn’t enough for the Jordanians to expel all the Jews. They also looted the Jews’ property and burned down their homes and farms. From 1948 until 1967, the Jordanian government imposed a strict apartheid policy of refusing to permit Jews to return to their homes in Atarot. To this day, the “moderate” Jordanians have refused to pay compensation for the property they stole or destroyed.

Israel liberated Atarot in the 1967 war and subsequently reunited it with Jerusalem as an official part of Israel’s capital. It has become one of Israel’s successful industrial zones and, incidentally, has employed quite a few Palestinian Arabs over the years. In a 2017 study it was estimated that 80% of the employees within the Atarot were Palestinian Arabs.

Apparently the folks at General Mills couldn’t care less how many Palestinian Arabs will lose their jobs as a result of the capitulation to BDS. The main thing, it seems, is to make a point.

And what is that point? That Israel has no right to Jerusalem.

Which is exactly why pro-Arab media outlets use the term “East Jerusalem.” It conveys an impression of a separate geographical area that belongs to the Arabs, not the Jews.

But the term is geographical nonsense. Atarot is not in eastern Jerusalem. It’s in northern Jerusalem. In fact, there are parts of Meah Shearim and other sections of downtown Jerusalem that are much further east than Atarot.

It’s an interesting coincidence that the controversy over Atarot is erupting just as President Joe Biden is preparing to visit Israel. Because we all remember Biden’s own involvement in a similar episode back when he was vice-president.

On a visit to Israel in 2010, Biden went out of his way to publicly condemn Israel for building apartments in what he falsely called “occupied East Jerusalem.” He was referring to Ramat Shlomo, a neighborhood that lies between existing Jerusalem neighborhoods (Sanhedria and Ramot Alon) and which is near Atarot—that is, it’s in northern, not eastern, Jerusalem.

Anybody who can read a map knows that Atarot and Ramat Shlomo are not in eastern Jerusalem. The use of false geography makes it seem as if the Israelis are illegally invading Arab territory. And the term “settlement” gives the impression that Atarot and Ramat Shlomo are alien implants on somebody else’s land.

The truth is that Israel is simply building Jewish homes and factories in its capital, in territory that has been Jewish since time immemorial.

It’s time for news editors to face the fact that “East Jerusalem” is not a valid journalistic phrase. It’s a political weapon. Serious media outlets should not be acquiescing in terminology whose purpose is to promote a political agenda, rather than accurately describe a place. No serious and objective media agency should be using the term “East Jerusalem.”

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terrorism.”

Posted in Education, Judaism, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on United Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

Jerusalem celebrates 55 years of reunification

55 Years since the Reunification of Jerusalem

In 1967, Israelis rejoiced in the capture of the Old City, which brought a return to places central to Jewish history and heritage. The Eshkol government’s decision to extend Israeli jurisdiction over Jerusalem receiving almost wall-to-wall public support. In July 1980, the Knesset formally codified united Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s sovereign capital.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, May 30, 2022

  • Why Jerusalem Day Is an Israeli National Holiday – Mark Regev
    It was the national unity government of Labor Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in May 1968 that first proclaimed the celebration of Jerusalem Day as an Israeli national holiday to mark the anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification. Israel’s War of Independence ended with Jordan’s Arab Legion occupying the Old City and eastern Jerusalem, leaving the city divided down the middle by barbed wire and concrete barriers. In violation of the signed armistice agreement, Jordan did not allow Jews to visit the Western Wall and the other Jewish holy sites in the areas it controlled, some of which were also desecrated.
    In 1967, Israelis rejoiced in the capture of the Old City, which brought a return to places central to Jewish history and heritage. The Eshkol government’s decision to extend Israeli jurisdiction over Jerusalem receiving almost wall-to-wall public support. In July 1980, the Knesset formally codified united Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s sovereign capital.
    The writer, formerly an adviser to the prime minister, is the incoming chair of the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jerusalem Is the Embodiment of Jewish Justice – Nadav Shragai
    Jerusalem Day is a kind of Independence Day on which we were reborn. When Jerusalem was liberated, we felt a wrong had been corrected and that two parts of a whole had finally been reconnected. Having arguments to present to the world about our right to Jerusalem as well as our existential and security needs is important, but it is not enough. The focus of our story is our right and connection to Jerusalem and our commitment to the city as a result.
    On this holiday, we must speak of the 240,000 Jews residing in Jerusalem beyond the old checkpoints who do not represent an obstacle to peace but rather an obstacle to dangerous partition.
    If we do not go as far back as King David who purchased Mount Moriah from Araunah the Jebusite, and his son King Solomon, who built the temple there, we will not truly be able to explain our story here to ourselves.
    The sanctity of the city and the memory of its glory were woven into almost every holiday and religious ceremony held by Jews in the diaspora: In daily prayers, at circumcision ceremonies, at bar mitzvahs, in blessings over food, and even at weddings, Jerusalem was never forgotten. Israel’s national anthem mentions Jerusalem eight times.
    Islam, which now demands exclusivity and ownership of Jerusalem and its holy sites, only showed up 2,000 years after Israel became a nation, while the Palestinians began to define themselves as a people just 100 years ago. By contrast, since the 12th century BCE, the Jews controlled the Land of Israel for a thousand years and lived continuously in it for the last 3,300 years. In that time, Jerusalem was the Hebrew capital, but it was never the capital of any Arab or Islamic state. Even the Jordanians did not make Jerusalem their capital when they ruled the city.
    This is no foreign land that we have conquered. We have returned home, to Zion and Jerusalem, and those who return home are not occupiers. We liberated the city from a series of occupiers who abused us and our rights for generations.
    The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a veteran Israeli journalist. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jerusalem Flag Parade Is Rooted in History
    The roots of the Jerusalem Day parade run quite deep in Jewish history, according to Jeffrey Woolf, a professor of Talmud from Bar-Ilan University. “There is a very long-standing tradition for hundreds of years, possibly for millennia, of walking around and encountering the various gates of Jerusalem and expressing one’s love for Jerusalem. People would come from all over the world on pilgrimage, walk and say prayers at every single gate, and then they would walk around the gates of the Temple Mount.”  (Media Line-Ynet News)
  • As Israelis, We Should Parade Proudly in Our Capital – Ariel Kahana
    Just like every other capital around the world, Jerusalem hosts parades. The Jerusalem Day parade is one of the oldest and most beautiful. Tens of thousands of youths, usually dressed in white, walk the streets of the eternal city with Israeli flags. There is nothing wrong with that.
    The only ones angered by the parade are remnants of the Arab nation who continue to dream of wiping out the Jewish state. That is why they depict a beautiful parade that represents the love of a people for their land as a provocation.
    Does it sound reasonable for a country to ask its neighbors for permission to hold a parade in its capital? Do Jordan, Egypt, or Qatar update Israel on parades in their territories? Does London, Paris, or Madrid receive authorization in advance from Washington for their parades and celebrations?
    No foreign entity has a right to intervene in what goes on in Israel’s capital. Threats of violence cannot determine where we go in our country. Fifty years after the unification of the city and the return of the Jewish people to its holy sites, now is the perfect time to remind everyone that we are still here. (Israel Hayom)

Jerusalem Day: Correcting a Historical Injustice – Ambassador Dore Gold (Israel Hayom)

  • During Israel’s War of Independence, Jerusalem was surrounded by a coalition of Arab armies and bombarded by their artillery. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City was ethnically cleansed. Its great synagogues, some dating back to the 13th century, were leveled. What the war had proven was that if Jerusalem would not be under Israel’s sovereignty and protection, the consequences would be catastrophic.
  • On Dec. 5, 1949, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, explained to the Knesset his decision to move Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:
    • “Had we not been able to withstand the aggressors who rebelled against the UN, Jewish Jerusalem would have been wiped off the face of the earth, the Jewish population would have been eradicated and the State of Israel would not have arisen.”
    • “A nation which, for 2,500 years, has faithfully adhered to the vow made by the first exiles by the waters of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem, will never agree to be separated from Jerusalem.”
  • In the last decade, religious sites have been under assault across the Middle East. Only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all the great faiths.
  • From 1948 to 1967, the Jewish people were denied access to their historical capital city. Jerusalem Day is a day in which that wrong was corrected and Jerusalem was made whole once more.

    The writer, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former Israeli Ambassador to the UN and former director-general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Daily Alert is published every Monday and Thursday.

Posted in Education, Judaism, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Jerusalem celebrates 55 years of reunification

Anti-Zionism is is a form of hatred

Anti-Zionism discriminates against Jews

Zionism is the right of Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. This right of self-determination, that many in the anti-Zionist camp want for Palestinians or would want for other peoples, they would deny to Jewish people.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, May 12, 2022

  • Time for Tough Measures Against Anti-Semitism – Amb. David Friedman
    Incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. have risen to record highs. America is a great nation because of the Judeo-Christian values upon which it was founded. An American nation that is inhospitable to Jews is no longer a great nation. Anti-Semitism thus poses an existential risk to our country.
    We must step up our efforts to confront and defeat anti-Semites rather than trying to win their “hearts and minds.” Anti-Semites don’t have “hearts and minds” and certainly not both.
    Virtually every American university is hostile to Israel and no pro-Israel professor has a chance for tenure. At the highest levels of American education, our “best and brightest” are taught to hate Israel.
    Those combatting anti-Semitism are mostly engaged in defensive tactics that betray fear and insecurity. But we will not defeat anti-Semitism by only playing defense. It’s time to go on offense.
    1) Demand that anti-Semites be held accountable. Step up law enforcement. Insist on a robust, well-publicized presence of undercover officers to patrol the streets dressed in traditional Jewish garb. Let every violent thug wonder when he attacks a Jew whether he might be attacking a cop.
    2) Demand equal rights for Jews. Jews remain a minority, subject to oppression and discrimination, and unchecked anti-Semitism ultimately affects everyone.
    3) Stand with Israel. Zionism is an integral component of the Jewish faith. All three major streams of Judaism – Orthodox, Conservative and Reform – contain prayers for God to restore the Jewish people to Zion (a synonym for Jerusalem) and the Land of Israel. While 42% of the nations of the world have an official or preferred religion, only Israel – the one Jewish state – is singled out for attack, even though it meticulously strives to ensure access of all faiths to their holy sites.
    The writer served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. (Fox News)
  • Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? – ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt interviewed by Isaac Chotiner
    Zionism is the right of Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. This right of self-determination, that many in the anti-Zionist camp want for Palestinians or would want for other peoples, they would deny to Jewish people. Unless you support denying the legitimacy of any national project from France to Ukraine, if you hold the idea that Zionism is the only form of nationalism that’s wrong, that’s discriminating against Jewish people. That’s anti-Semitism.
    Anti-Zionism is a new hue of a very old color. Jews have been delegitimized for centuries. For thousands of years, we have heard that Judaism isn’t a real religion. The Jews aren’t a real people. The Jews don’t really deserve rights. Today, the subject of derision is the Jewish state, not the Jewish people. But it is an old practice.
    There’s nothing wrong with having a passion for your homeland. Italian Americans have that, Irish Americans have that, Chinese American people have that. Zionism isn’t something that David Ben-Gurion or Theodor Herzl came up with. It has been embedded in the faith and the traditions of Judaism for thousands of years. If you peel back the layers in anti-Zionism, it is a historic form of delegitimization targeting Jews. It’s the same architecture of intolerance that’s been there for centuries. (New Yorker)
Observations:

The Only Response to Anti-Zionism Is Zionism – Dr. Einat Wilf (Tablet)

  • I now hear from parents in the American Jewish community of the ever-growing demands placed on young Jews to join the ranks of anti-Israel organizations. The demand on young Jews to be less visibly and confidently Jewish as the price of social acceptance and toleration is an ancient one. Today it includes demands to disavow support for Israel or declare support for Palestinian political movements.
  • I confronted this demand myself 25 years ago, when I was a member of Israel’s Labor Party and a proud member of the country’s political left. I also remained a committed Zionist, a set of values and principles that in no way contradicted any of my other political beliefs. Yet several encounters with peers and colleagues abroad led to the eventual realization that the fact that I was an unapologetic Zionist banished me from the good graces of the global left.
  • I never changed my opinion about Zionism. I simply gave up my status as a “good Jew” in the opinions of others. At present, a Jewish student who does not show herself to be an ally of Students for Justice in Palestine, or does not agree that “Zionism equals racism,” or that Zionism is a form of apartheid and whatever other supreme evil will be identified next, cannot be considered a good Jew.
  • Over the last several months, as a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, I taught a course called “Zionism and Anti-Zionism.” In the many hours I spent discussing student life with students and faculty, it became apparent that the anti-Zionist activism on campus was not primarily a form of social protest or political expression, but a form of bullying. The only effective response to the bullies is to resist them with confidence.
  • It’s hard to bully a proud people; it’s impossible to bully a people who know they have nothing to be ashamed of, and who don’t need or seek anyone else’s approval in the first place. The only response to anti-Zionism, in other words, is Zionism.

    The writer, a former IDF intelligence officer and Knesset member, is the co-author of The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace (2020).

Support Daily Alert
Daily Alert is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy. No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news. To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Daily Alert is published every Monday and Thursday.

Posted in Education, Judaism, Middle East, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Anti-Zionism is is a form of hatred

Dead Sea provides evidence of climate change phases

jpost.com

Dead Sea sediment analyses show 15,000-year-old climate phase periods

In highly sensitive regions such as the Eastern Mediterranean, where water availability is an important factor for socioeconomic and political development, it is crucial to understand how the water cycle is changing. Geologists can achieve this by assessing strong hydroclimatic changes that occurred several millennia ago.

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

While blessed rains since December have filled the Kinneret almost to the top, anyone who has viewed the Dead Sea over recent decades has noticed how it has shrunk, with dangerous sinkholes developing around its circumference.

The level of the Dead Sea is currently dropping by more than a meter every year. But this is not new, according to German and Israeli researchers who maintain that the level of the salty lake also dropped millennia ago. At the end of the last ice age, for example, the water level dropped by 250 meters within a few thousand years.

A study just published under the title “Phases of stability during major hydroclimate change ending the Last Glacial in the Levant” in the journal Scientific Reports provides new insights into this process. Due to its pivotal location as the cradle of ancient cultural developments, climatic reconstructions using Dead Sea sediments explain causes for human migration as well as cultural rises and declines.

Dr. Daniela Müller and Prof. Achim Brauer from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, together with Dr. Yoav Ben Dor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studied 15,000-year-old sediments from the Dead Sea and the surrounding area using newly developed methods. With unprecedented accuracy, they showed that the long period of drought was interrupted by wet periods lasting 10 to 100 years. This also offers new insights into the settlement history of this region, which enables better assessments of current and future developments driven by climate change, they wrote.

In highly sensitive regions such as the Eastern Mediterranean, where water availability is an important factor for socioeconomic and political development, it is crucial to understand how the water cycle is changing. Geologists can achieve this by assessing strong hydroclimatic changes that occurred several millennia ago, they said. For example, during the transition from the last ice age to the Holocene, the water level of Lake Lisan dropped by about 240 meters in the period from 24,000 to 11,000 years ago, eventually leading to its transition into today’s Dead Sea.

 A VIEW OF the Dead Sea. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)

A VIEW OF the Dead Sea. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)

The sediments at the edge of Lake Lisan near the archaeological site of Masada and from the bottom of the Dead Sea are unique witnesses to this development, the authors continued. New, high-resolution analytical methods including x-ray fluorescence scanners, were developed for the study at the GFZ to collect precise information from the stratification of the sediments and their geochemical composition.

To prepare the sediments for analysis, the moisture had to be removed by freeze-drying, a complicated task given the Dead Sea’s high salt content and its affinity for water. The sediments are then impregnated in synthetic resin and thin sections were made from them without changing their microstructure.

The researchers found out that the dramatic, long-term drop in the lake level due to increasing dryness was interrupted several times by wetter phases when climate change took breaks. “We were able for the first time to precisely determine the duration of these phases with several decades and in one case up to centuries by counting annual layers in the sediment,” said lead author Müller. The exact reason for these pauses in the climate change of this region still remain elusive, but the team suspected possible links to the climate in the north Atlantic Ocean.

“What was particularly surprising was that during these wetter phases, in some cases over several decades, we did not even find any traces of extreme floods, which are typical for this region even today and during wetter times in the past,” Müller explained.

These results are of further interest for archaeological considerations, they wrote, because they coincide with the time when the Natufian culture settled in this region 11,500 to 15,000 years ago. “Climatically stable phases could have favored the cultural developments,” they said.

“The study shows that strong climatic changes in the past have been very dynamic and included phases of relative stability,” Brauer concluded. “We learn from this that climate change is not linear, but that phases of strong changes alternate with calm phases.”

Posted in Climate Change, Education | Comments Off on Dead Sea provides evidence of climate change phases

Evolutionary Theory raises questions

theepochtimes.com

As Science Develops, More Holes Show up in Evolutionary Theory

More than 1,100 scientists and researchers in chemistry, biology, medicine, physics, geology, anthropology, paleontology, statistics, and other fields have signed a scientific dissenting statement against Darwinism. The statement says, “We are skeptical that ‘random variation’ and ‘natural selection’ can explain the complexity of life. A serious review of the evidence for Darwinism should be encouraged.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Scientific_Dissent_from_Darwinism

BY Health 1+1 and Dr. Yuhong Dong, April 25, 2022

Reprinted from Epoch Times
Dr. Yuhong Dong, medical doctor and Ph.D in infectious diseases, is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of a Swiss biotech company and former Senior Medical Scientific Expert for Antiviral Drug Development in Novartis Pharma in Switzerland.

Even though evolution has long been included in science textbooks, it is still a controversial topic.

First, evolution is a hypothesis, not an axiom.

Biologist Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in 1859. At that time, Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” to explain biodiversity on earth and the origin of life. He said that “evolution theory is only a hypothesis, it is not an axiom, it needs to be further verified by future generations.”

There are several central points in the theory of evolution:

1. Common ancestor theory: Organisms can evolve from one species to another. All organisms have a common ancestor, just as all branches of a tree grow from the same trunk. Single-celled organisms can evolve into multicellular organisms, and then into animals, plants, and fungi, and develop into various phyla, orders, families, genera, and species.

2. Gene mutations: Genes can mutate. It’s how organisms evolve.

3. Natural selection: The natural environment brings pressure to the species. The ones that can adapt to the environment can survive. The strong can survive, the weak are eliminated.

However, as of April 2020, more than 1,100 scientists and researchers in chemistry, biology, medicine, physics, geology, anthropology, paleontology, statistics, and other fields have signed a scientific dissenting statement against Darwinism. The statement says, “We are skeptical that ‘random variation’ and ‘natural selection’ can explain the complexity of life. A serious review of the evidence for Darwinism should be encouraged.”

Why do scientists question evolution?

Q1. Life originates from the “same ancestor”? What about the missing link in the evolution chain?

We often hear that “humans evolved from apes.” The theory of evolution suggests that humans and monkeys share a common ancestor —”apes” or “hominids”—and that humans first evolved from plants to animals, apes, and finally to modern humans—”Homo sapiens.” If this is the case, the evolutionary process must have created countless generations of intermediate species with minimal differences. But so far, no such intermediate species have been found in archaeology, and all creatures are of their own kind. No hypothetical “ape” ancestor has been found.

Epoch Times Photo
The missing link in evolution. (Health 1+1)

Some so-called “human ancestors” fossils are actually made up of bone fragments, which are not scientifically sound and do not provide complete proof that humans evolved from apes.

Epoch Times Photo

“Lucy,” discovered in East Africa in 1974, was considered the common ancestor of humans and apes—the “Ape Ancestor.”

Many scientists have studied Lucy’s skeleton and structure.

The main difference between apes and humans is the structure of the skeleton. In a paper in the American Journal of Anthropology, anatomists Jack Stern and Randall Sussman of the New York State University Health Sciences Center noted that Lucy’s hands and feet are not at all like those of humans, whose knees and hands and feet are straight, while Lucy’s knees and hands and feet are curved.

Dr. Charles Oxnard, professor of anatomy and human biology at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and professor at the University of Chicago and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, wrote in his 1987 book published by the University of Washington Press “Fossils, Teeth, and Sex: New Perspectives on Human Evolution” that Lucy had nothing to do with the ancestors of humans, but was a type of extinct ape of the “southern archaeopteryx Alfalfa species,” which had the long, curved fingers and toes typical of arboreal primates.

Despite this, Lucy was made into a statue, with human hands and feet, and placed in the park.

Epoch Times Photo
(Health 1+1)

The Piltdown Ape was a fossil found in England between 1908 and 1915, and was described at the time as the “missing link” in the evolution of apes into homo sapiens. In November 1953, Time magazine published various evidence collected by Kenneth Page Oakley, Sir Wilfrid Edward Le Gros Clark, and Joseph S. Weiner, among others, that the fossil was made up of three different species: the skull of a medieval human, the jaws of a 500-year-old Sarawak orangutan, and the teeth of a chimpanzee. The skull was stained with rust and chromic acid; microscopic examination revealed filing marks on the teeth, which led to the conclusion that chimpanzee teeth had been modified to fit human teeth, thus uncovering the truth about the Piltdown apes, which a BBC article called “the biggest hoax in British history.”

The Java man discovered in 1891 was the combination of a skull, a femur, and three teeth. Later, scientists discovered that Java man was also made up of bones from different species.

Peking Man was an “upright man” discovered in Zhoukoudian, Beijing, China, between 1920 and 1930. It was considered strong proof of the existence of the ancestor of both humans and apes. However, it was merely a patchwork of skull fragments, teeth, and so on. Many scientists suspect that the brain of the Beijing man was so small that it was not like an ape’s and more like “an ape that was hunted and eaten by humans.”

Q2. Evolution of species relies on “gene mutation”? There’s not enough time in the universe!

Based on the theory of evolution, a certain gene mutation in the original species is required for the species to evolve. While most gene mutations are harmful, the probability of a beneficial mutation is only about 1 in 1000.

Then, the mutation must not only be compatible with other genes in the original species itself, but also survive natural competition and be able to reproduce. The chance for a mutated but beneficial gene to be stable and expanding in the population is almost zero.

Let’s assume that 10 beneficial mutations (in fact, more than 10 are needed) are required for a species to evolve into a new species, and the time needed is 10 to the power of 97 years. However, we now know that the age of the universe is only 20 billion years, which is 10 to the power of 10 years, so it is almost impossible to produce a new species by genetic mutation. The universe literally doesn’t have enough time for evolution.

Q3. Nature is always the “survival of the fittest”? 

Another major point of evolution is “survival of the fittest,” that the more adaptable individuals will survive. However, do all organisms in nature really follow this rule?

The journal Nature published a study of drug resistance of bacteria by scientists at Boston University and Harvard University. They found that some strains of bacteria with strong drug resistance would sacrifice themselves to increase the overall drug resistance of the bacteria, thus improving its chances to survive. In other words, nature does not exactly follow the cruel competition law of “survival of the fittest;” even microscopic bacteria display self-sacrificing altruistic behavior.

People thought that atoms were indivisible until 1897 when British physicist Sir JJ Thomson discovered that atoms could be divided. The development of science requires constant updating of the old concepts. It is only natural that the theory of evolution, which was proposed in 1859, should be questioned today.

So, if evolution is not reliable, what else do we know about the origin of species?

Epoch Times Photo

Before the Cambrian period, there was a paucity of biological diversity.

However, in 1909, Walcott found fossils of a variety of marine animals in the Burgess Shale in Canada that suddenly appeared in large numbers during the Cambrian period (about 570 to 500 million years ago).

The “fossil group of Chengjiang, China” also indicates that 530 million years ago, many different kinds of animals suddenly appeared in Chengjiang area. The Cambrian fossils found around the world belong to a total of more than 50 families and tens of thousands of species. They leave no trace of evolution or changes, hence the name the “Great Explosion of Life.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Health 1+1)

According to the theory of evolution, life originated in the ocean, and the diversity of species is the result of evolution over a long period of time. That is to say, humans evolved from fish. However, the following study completely negated this view.

In 2018, Mark Stoeckle from Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler from the University of Basel in Switzerland published a joint study in the journal Human Evolution. Together with hundreds of researchers worldwide, they studied 100,000 animal species and 5 million DNA fragments.

As we know, like the way each item in the supermarket has its own barcode, each species on Earth has a corresponding DNA “barcode” in the mitochondrial gene. By analyzing the “genetic barcodes” of different species on Earth and comparing the variability among them, scientists have deduced that 90 percent of the species on Earth today, including humans, appeared at the same time 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

A number of physicists have suggested the possibility of the existence of civilizations higher than that of humans, and that the environment in which humans live may have been created by higher beings. In that case, is it possible that so many beings with sophisticated functions were also created by higher beings?

We expect that with the continuous development and improvement of science, human understanding of the phenomenon of life will become clearer and clearer, and these mysteries will be solved slowly.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Posted in Education, Evolutionary Biology | Comments Off on Evolutionary Theory raises questions

Palestinian violence against Jews

Palestinians justify violence against Jews

Palestinian terror against Israelis is intentional violence rooted in deep hatred. Until Western leaders connect Palestinian terror to the anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist propaganda that emanates from Palestinian society, peace and reconciliation will remain delusional pipe dreams.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, April 11, 2022

  • Violence Poses a Threat to Boosting Palestinian Quality of Life – Dov Lieber
    Terrorist attacks on civilians are testing Israel’s U.S.-backed policy of trying to improve Palestinian quality of life. Four attacks against civilians in different cities in central and southern Israel have left 14 victims dead. While Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been moribund for almost a decade, Israel is seeking to manage the century-old conflict with the Palestinians through trust-building and economic measures.
    Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned Palestinians that the attacks threaten Israel’s efforts to improve their quality of life, especially over Ramadan. (Wall Street Journal)
    See also Al-Aqsa Worshippers Enjoy Peaceful Friday Prayer – Mohammed Najib
    About 50,000 Palestinians peacefully performed the first Friday prayer of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem following Thursday’s attack in Tel Aviv that left three Israelis killed. Four of the 15 people injured in the attack are in serious condition.
    A high-ranking Palestinian security officer told Arab News that the recent attacks in Israel constituted a “pivotal shift,” with attackers switching from knives to guns. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
  • What Set Off the Palestinian Terror Wave in Israel – Benjamin Kerstein
    The current wave of Palestinian violence may have been caused, ironically, by peace – the Abraham Accords and the growing acceptance of Israel by many Arab states. The Palestinians desire to somehow deal themselves back into the game, to avoid becoming irrelevant.
    A great deal of their situation is the Palestinians’ own fault. Had they accepted Ehud Barak’s peace offer in 2000, they would have already had a state for 22 years. Instead, they chose a campaign of terrorist atrocities that mortally wounded the peace process.
    After two decades of low-intensity conflict, missile fire and periodic mayhem by the Palestinians, Israelis today are even less likely to give up on what little strategic depth they have in hopes of peace with an enemy they do not trust. (New York Post)
  • Palestinian Terror Is Not “Senseless” – David Suissa
    After a Palestinian terrorist murdered three Israelis in Tel Aviv last week, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the U.S. “stands resolutely in the face of senseless terrorism and violence.” But is the violence really senseless?
    The terrorists think their terror has a purpose. If you despise Jews and think they don’t belong in the Middle East, killing them gives you purpose. And if you fall for the propaganda from your corrupt leaders that Jews will soon take over your holy Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, killing Jews is anything but senseless. Since the birth of Israel, virtually every act of violence against the Jewish state has been connected to an overarching belief among Palestinians that Jews don’t belong in this region, regardless of any legitimate claims of a Jewish connection to the land.
    Palestinian terror against Israelis is intentional violence rooted in deep hatred. Until Western leaders connect Palestinian terror to the anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist propaganda that emanates from Palestinian society, peace and reconciliation will remain delusional pipe dreams. It is treating intentional terror as senseless that is really senseless. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
Posted in Education, Islam, Judaism, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Palestinian violence against Jews

Jordan prospers from peace

thehill.com

‘Warmer’ peace with Israel offers Jordan better economic dividends

One “fruit of peace” with Israel, according to the Tony Blair Institute, “was the start of a process that led to a series of international trade agreements and placed Jordan on a path of accelerated, export-driven economic growth.”

Hussain Abdul-Hussain and Enia Krivine, opinion contributors

For the first time in seven years, the Jordanian royal court recently released a photo of King Abdullah II meeting with an Israeli official, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Jan. 5 in Amman. This gesture is a clear indication that relations between the two neighboring countries are warming up again. After a decade of sluggish growth and falling standards of living, Jordan likely wants to capture a bigger share of the growing pie of Arab economic cooperation with Israel.

U.S. legislators from both parties recently launched a bipartisan House-Senate caucus that would be a “cheerleading squad” for the Abraham Accords, signed last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

In the first year of peace between Israel and the UAE, bilateral trade reached $700 million. In 2020, bilateral trade between Israel and Jordan stood at $250 million, 27 years after they had signed a peace treaty. These numbers suggest that Jordan has much to gain by moving beyond the “cold peace” it has with Israel and embracing the accords.

In December, Israel and Jordan signed an agreement to facilitate Jordanian exports to the West Bank. The deal’s ambitious goal is to increase the total from $150 million to $700 million a year. In July, Israel agreed to increase its annual supply of fresh water to its eastern neighbor by 50 million cubic meters, doubling the previous figure. The UAE brokered a deal in which Jordan produces solar energy for the Israeli market, and Israel reciprocates by desalinating Mediterranean water for supply to Jordan.

Israel’s peace with Jordan remains colder than expected because some Jordanians see the agreement as a political necessity rather than a true opportunity. They argue that relations with Israel should remain a purely government-to-government affair, rather than a bond between two peoples. Some even argue that while peace is net positive for the Israeli economy, it is a net negative for Arab economies.

The data say otherwise. One “fruit of peace” with Israel, according to the Tony Blair Institute, “was the start of a process that led to a series of international trade agreements and placed Jordan on a path of accelerated, export-driven economic growth.”

The institute observed that during “the 2000s the Jordanian economy grew at an average real rate of 6 percent a year. Jordanian exports of goods increased fourfold, from $2 billion in 2000 to $8 billion in 2008. Jordan’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita more than doubled, and unemployment declined from 15 to 12 percent, despite an annual 5 percent growth in the Jordanian workforce.”

Because of its political stability and economic growth, Jordan attracted Iraqi immigrants, followed by waves of Syrian and Iraqi refugees starting in 2011. The population of Jordan has thus doubled over the past decade, putting pressure on the economy. The wars in Iraq and Syria have also interrupted regional trade and tourism, a further drag on the Jordanian economy. Over the past decade, the economy has grown by only a bit more than 2 percent per year, while per capita GDP has fallen significantly.

The road ahead for Jordan will be difficult, but the Abraham Accords offer Amman the opportunity to collect more dividends of peace. The bigger the volume of trade in goods and services between Israel and Arab countries, the bigger the regional economic pie and the bigger share Jordan can capture for its own economy.

One positive sign is that Israeli tourism in Jordan is on the rise as more Israelis choose to vacation in Aqaba — a Jordanian resort town on the Red Sea — over Israel’s Eilat. And since Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula — once a popular escape for Israeli vacationers — has become riskier due to a surge of Islamist terrorism, Jordan has become the best alternative.

Leaders in Egypt, until recently the only other Arab country with a peace treaty with Israel, have recognized the opportunity to forge deeper economic ties and have been trying to turn their country’s “cold peace” with Israel into a warmer one.

In September, Abdul-Fattah al-Sissi became the first Egyptian president to openly meet with an Israeli prime minister in a decade. In October, Egyptian airlines announced that it will fly its trips to and from Israel under its own name, 39 years after flying under the guise of the non-existent airliner Sinai Air. In November, Israeli generals visited Sinai for a rare public meeting with their Egyptian counterparts.

When Arab countries launched their boycott of Israel in 1948, they reasoned that such policy would result in Israel dying off. But Israel survived. Enforcement of the boycott became inconsistent during the 1990s, when Israel seemed to be approaching peace with the Palestinians. Yet until the Abraham Accords, the notion of a true partnership with Israel still seemed out of bounds. The accords offer the Jordanian economy an opportunity for further integration into the regional economy of Arab countries that are living at peace with Israel, and therefore more growth.

America and its allies can do more to help Jordan economically. At $38 billion, or 90 percent of its GDP, Jordan’s national debt is surging, while debt service is consuming money that could be invested in productive sectors. A donor conference could offer Amman assistance and low interest loans that could help tame its debt. As the past three decades have shown, investing in Jordan does more to stabilize the region, both politically and economically, than trying to fix some of the country’s troubled neighbors.

Hussain Abdul-Hussain is a research fellow and Enia Krivine is the senior director of the Israel Program and National Security Network at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@FDD), a nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy. Follow Hussain on Twitter @hahussain and Enia @EKrivine

Posted in Business and Commerce, Islam, Judaism, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Jordan prospers from peace