The Israeli Micronation You Never Knew Existed  

Reblogged from Jewniverse

Today’s strange Jewish thing.

The Israeli Micronation You Never Knew Existed

By Leah FalkThe Israeli Micronation You Never Knew Existed

Looking for some relative peace and quiet in the Middle East? Look no farther than Akhzivland, a micronation on Israel’s northern coast, near Nahariya. Officially a mere 10,000 square meters, this tiny independent state is presided over by Eli Avivi, an Iranian expat who settled there in 1952. (After the destruction of the Palestinian village Az-Zeeb in the war of ’48, he found the land uninhabited).

If being president for life of a country the size of a football field isn’t weird enough for you, Avivi also may hold the record for strangest charge: in 1970, when the Israeli government tried to bulldoze his home, he declared the Akhzivland’s independence, “just as Israel did before me,” he says. He claims he was taken to court on the charge of “Creating a Country Without Permission” – until it was revealed that no such charge exists.

Against all odds, in 1972 Avivi won his case against the Israeli government, and was granted a 99-year lease. Despite the ruling, it’s not clear that a visit to Akhzivland constitutes a true border crossing – but Avivi has his own passport stamp ready, just in case.


» Visit Akhzivland
» Marvel at Avivi’s big win in the Boca Raton News
» Read about past populations of the area.
» Check out more micronations.

Read on »

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The Law

American Minute with Bill Federer

“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS are not the laws. They are THE LAW” -Cecil B. DeMille

“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS are not the laws. They are THE LAW,”

stated Cecil B. DeMille at the New York opening of his epic film, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Starring Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Pharaoh Rameses II, the film was released by Paramount Pictures in 1956.

While filming on-location in Egypt, Cecil B. DeMille, then 75 years old, climbed a 107-foot ladder to shoot the famous Exodus scene from atop of the massive Per Rameses set.

In the intense heat, DeMille suffered a near-fatal heart attack.

Though doctors ordered him to rest, DeMille finished directing the movie.

DeMille never fully recovered and died of a heart condition on JANUARY 21, 1959.

He had anticipated doing a film on the Biblical Book of Revelation.

For almost five decades, Cecil B. DeMille produced monumental films in Hollywood, including: Samson and Delilah, The King of Kings, The Sign of the Cross, The Crusades, andThe Greatest Show on Earth, for which he won an Academy Award.

Cecil B. DeMille was educated at Pennsylvania Military Academy and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

His niece, Agnes de Mille choreographed films and musicals, such as: Oklahoma! (1943); Paint Your Wagons (1951); Carousel (1945); and Rodeo (1942).

Get the book The Ten Commandments and their Influence on American Law

Continuing his comments at the 1956 New York opening of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, Cecil B. DeMille stated:

“Man has made 32 million laws since THE COMMANDMENTS were handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai more than three thousand years ago, but he has never improved on God’s law…

…THE TEN COMMANDMENTS are the principles by which man may live with God and man may live with man. They are the expressions of the mind of God for His creatures.

They are the charter and guide of human liberty, for there can be no liberty without the law….

What I hope for our production of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS is that those who see it shall come from the theater not only entertained and filled with the sight of a big spectacle, but filled with the spirit of truth…

…That it will bring to its audience a better understanding of the real meaning of this pattern of life that God has set down for us to follow.”

At a time the children of Israel left Egypt, sometimes dated around 1,500 BC:

the Hittite language had around 375 cuneiform characters;

the Indus Valley Harappan language had around 417 symbols;

the Luwian language of Anatolian had over 500 logographic hieroglyphs;

the Akkadian language most prevalent in Mesopotamia had over 1,500 Sumerian cuneiform characters;

the Egyptian language had over 3,000 hieroglyphic characters;

the Chinese language had nearly 10,000 pictogram and ideogram characters, invented by scribes of China’s Yellow Emperor.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he not only had THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, but he had them written in an easy-to-learn 22 character alphabet, which resulted in the entire nation learning to read.

In most other countries, only kings, pharaohs, emperors, their scribes, with the ruling and merchant class, could read, or were allowed to read, as it facilitated control over unintelligent masses.

In the nation of Israel each and every person was expected to read, as each person was individually accountable to follow the commandments.

This quite possibly was the first instance in history of an entire population being literate, an important prerequisite for prosperity.

The Hebrew commandments were not just a list of do’s and don’ts, but they had a God above who saw everything, who wanted everyone to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ and who would hold each person accountable in the next life.

This motivated everyone to act fairly even with no police around.

Get the book THE TEN COMMANDMENTS & their Influence on American Law

Referring to THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, President Harry S Truman addressed the Attorney General’s Conference, February 1950:

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount… I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days….

…If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except for the State.”

Herbert Hoover stated in San Diego, California, September 17, 1935:

“Our Constitution…is based upon certain inalienable freedoms and protections which in no event the government may infringe…

It does not require a lawyer to interpret those provisions. They are as clear as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS…

The freedom of worship, freedom of speech and of the press, the right of peaceable assembly, equality before the law…behind them is the conception which is the highest development of the Christian faith…individual freedom with brotherhood.”

Ronald Reagan stated at a National Rifle Association banquet in Phoenix, May 6, 1983:

“If we could just keep remembering that Moses brought down from the mountain THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, not ten suggestions – and if those of us who live for the Lord could remember that He wants us to love our Lord and our neighbor, then there’s no limit to the problems we could solve.”

President William McKinley stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1897:

“Our faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers…who will not forsake us so long as we obey HIS COMMANDMENTS.”

Alfred Smith, four-term Governor of New York, and Democratic Presidential candidate in 1928, stated in May of 1927:

“The essence of my faith is built upon THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. The law of the land is built on THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. There can be no conflict between them.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated on December 24, 1942:

“We as a Nation and as individuals will please God best by showing regard for the laws of God. There is no better way of fostering good will toward man than by first fostering good will toward God. If we love Him we will keep His COMMANDMENTS.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in a radio address on Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 1943:

“Skeptics and the cynics of Washington…are like the people who carp at THE TEN COMMANDMENTS because some people are in the habit of breaking one or more of them.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in a Press Conference, December 22, 1944:

“We don’t all live up to THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, which is perfectly true, but on the whole they are pretty good. It’s something pretty good to shoot for.

The Christian religion most of us in the room happen to belong to, we think it is pretty good. We certainly haven’t attained it.

Well, the Atlantic Charter…not comparing it with the Christian religion or THE TEN COMMANDMENTS…was a step towards a better life for the population of the world.”

In 1954, President Dwight David Eisenhower, said:

“The purpose of a devout and united people was set forth in the pages of The Bible…(1) to live in freedom, (2) to work in a prosperous land…and (3) to obey THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD…

This Biblical story of the Promised land inspired the founders of America. It continues to inspire us.”

On March 8, 1983, at the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, President Reagan stated:

“There’s a great spiritual awakening in America…

One recent survey by a Washington-based research council concluded…95 percent of those surveyed expressed a belief in God. A huge majority believed THE TEN COMMANDMENTS had real meaning in their lives.”

The U.S. District Court, in Crockett v. Sorenson, (W.D. Va. 1983), stated:

“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS have had immeasurable effect on Anglo-American legal development…A basic background in the Bible is essential to fully appreciate and understand both Western culture and current events.”

The Ten Commandments and their Influence on American Law

Senator Robert Byrd addressed Congress, June 27, 1962:

“Above the head of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, with the great American eagle protecting them.

Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front.”

In dissenting the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an Elkhart, Indiana, ‘Ten Commandment’ case, 2001, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote:

“The text of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS no doubt has played a role in the secular development of our society and can no doubt be presented by the government as playing such a role in our civic order…

A carving of Moses holding THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, surrounded by representations of other historical legal figures, adorns the frieze on the south wall of our courtroom, and we have said that the carving signals respect not for great proselytizers but for great lawgivers.”

Dr. Billy Graham stated in accepting with the Congressional Gold Medal, May 2, 1996.

“We have lost sight of the moral and spiritual principles on which this nation was established – principles drawn largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition as found in the Bible…

There is hope! Our lives can be changed…The Scripture says, ‘You must be born again’…

Think how different our nation would be if we sought to follow the simple and yet profound injunctions of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and the Sermon on the Mount.”

John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, November 4, 1816:

“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and the Sermon on the Mount contain my religion.”

On August 11, 1992, U.S. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall introduced a bill to declare November 22-28, “America’s Christian Heritage Week,” stating:

“While…emerging democracies…turn from the long held atheism of communism to true religious freedoms, we find ourselves, with heavy hearts, watching our own Government succumb to pressures to distant itself from God and religion.

Our own Government…has…evolve into bans against the simple freedom as…representation of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS on government buildings…

Such a standard of religious exclusion is absolutely and unequivocally counter to the intention of those who designed our Government.”

On February 5, 1996, Margaret Thatcher stated:

“The Decalogue (TEN COMMANDMENTS) are addressed to each and every person. This is the origin…the sanctity of the individual…

You don’t get that in any other political creed…It is personal liberty with personal responsibility. Responsibility to your parents, to your children, to your God…Your Founding Fathers came over with that.”

In 1973, as Governor of California, Ronald Reagan stated:

“With freedom goes responsibility. Sir Winston Churchill once said you can have 10,000 regulations and still not have respect for the law.

We might start with THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. If we lived by the Golden Rule, there would be no need for other laws.”

On February 5, 1997, Governor Fob James threatened to call out the National Guard to prevent the removal of the Ten Commandments display from a courtroom in Gadsden, Alabama:

“The only way those TEN COMMANDMENTS and prayer would be stripped from that courtroom is with the force of arms.”

reblogged from American Minute

Charlie Hebdo, Intolerance, and the Problem of Double Standards

Charlie Hebdo, Intolerance, and the Problem of Double Standards

January 16th, 2015

The terrible massacre in Paris could be a “teachable” moment on the meaning of tolerance, but it will require soul searching by America’s cultural leftists.

The outpouring of sympathy and support for the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo has been enormous. Over a million people poured into the streets of Paris to protest the terrorist attack on its headquarters, a gathering said to be larger than when France celebrated the end of World War II. It appears to be a near universal statement of support for freedom of expression.

But is it? Is there really a consensus, even here in the United States, for freedom of expression in all its forms? Do all the people who hold up signs declaring “the pen is mightier than the sword” really believe it when it comes to those with whom they disagree?

Sadly, many do not. In fact, some of the very same people outraged by the violence committed against Charlie Hebdo are all too happy to limit freedom of speech and inquiry on America’s campuses. Universities routinely use speech codes to limit what can be expressed on campus. Prominent figures such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Harvard University President Larry Summers are prevented from speaking at some of the country’s most prominent universities. A University of Illinois professor who taught a class on Catholicism is fired for explaining the Catholic understanding of natural law and homosexuality; and a training manual for employees at Marquette University (a Jesuit school no less)  advises them to report privately expressed criticisms of same-sex marriage to authorities as harassment. Hair-trigger charges of “microaggression” are leveled against professors for an unintended insult. “Trigger warnings” are sent out on social media to warn tender-hearted students that they had best avoid certain lectures (say, on religion and Western Civilization) for fear of being traumatized.

It’s bad enough on America’s campuses, but illiberal shaming rituals of intolerance are coming to the workplace too. If you say or write anything, even privately, that certain groups may find offensive, you can lose your job. Just ask Atlanta’s Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was recently fired because of a book he published outside of work in which he expressed Christianity’s traditional teachings on homosexuality. Mozilla’s Brendan Eich resigned his new post as CEO after an outcry over his private donation to a group supporting a traditional marriage initiative in California. Apparently, some freedom of expression is more equal than others.

It would be easy to conclude that people who oppose the free speech of some are merely hypocrites. They say one thing and do another. And it’s true, they are hypocrites—flagrant partisans of a double standard. But it’s important to realize that the major reason they are not deterred by such criticism is that the double standard is actually a core principle of their ideology. In their minds, to be inconsistent is absolutely necessary to be consistent, just as it is necessary to be intolerant of certain points of view supposedly to be tolerant. It is the necessary illiberal means to advance their idea of a liberal agenda.

The key to making sense of this is to understand that free speech is not really the issue. The elimination of barriers to their vision of absolute equality is the issue. After all, the heirs of the radical “free speech” movement that began in the 1960s—the radical tenured professors who now hold sway in many American universities—are the same people trying to control free speech on campus. Leftists who want to control speech are doing so precisely because they believe that something—namely, their ideology of radical egalitarianism—is more important than free speech.

They may think of themselves as great civil libertarians of free speech, but they tolerate little dissent if someone dares question their most sacred ideas. Their inspiration is not the First Amendment, which is little more than a means to an end—embraced when it’s convenient and rejected when it’s not. Rather it is the cause of making ideological war on certain kinds of people and certain kinds of ideas, and in that war it is perfectly permissible to take no prisoners.

Who are the enemy? Actually, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon targets make up a pretty good enemies’ list—Christians, conservatives, rich people, and Jews, particularly if they can be linked to Israel. Of course, also on the list is the lampooned Prophet Mohammad, but he presents an ideological problem for the left. Often, Muslims are presented as victims of America, Israel, and conservatives. In that context, they become a cause célèbre, a special class right up there with gays, women, and racial minorities.

However, when an Islamist terrorist beheads or blows up an ideological ally such as Charlie Hebdo, they have a problem. Luckily, the problem only lasts until the first mosque is attacked by some unhinged right-winger. Then it’s back to defending Muslims from “Islamophobes,” often making the ridiculous charge that Islamophobia is a species of racism. They have difficulty keeping their enemies straight because their ethics are situational. It depends on how a particular situation fits into the broader ideological war on Christianity, Judaism, and Western culture.

If you don’t believe me, ask Dutch-born cartoonist Bernard Holtrop who worked for Charlie Hebdo. Apparently fed up with so much solidarity from people he despises, he declared, “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends”—mentioning the Pope and Queen Elizabeth and others who had the temerity to express support for Charlie Hebdo. “I have always defended Charlie Hebdo,” he said, “[and t]here can be no debate on freedom of expression, never.” Never, except of course when it comes to the Pope, who deserves nothing but a splash of bile from his stomach.

Holtrop and Charlie Hebdo’s vulgarity is certainly no excuse for the horrible violence perpetrated against its staff. Moreover, it’s a good thing that so many people around the world spoke out in favor of freedom of expression. I only wish that many of the magazine’s left-wing supporters in America and around the world would apply the same standard to Christian conservatives.

So here is my appeal. If the champions of free speech on the left want to be truly consistent, they should do the following:

Stop making convenient exceptions to freedom of expression. As is often noted, the First Amendment is intended to defend unpopular speech, not popular speech. That includes speech with which you disagree. No self-respecting liberal can call himself that if he violates one of the most sacred of all civil liberties—freedom of expression.

Recognize and embrace the most liberal of all principles—namely, that expressions of personal (and especially religious) opinions are protected by the Constitution. Not only does the First Amendment guarantee freedom of the press, it also protects “the free exercise of religion.” Firing a person for writing a private book expressing his religious views on homosexuality is no less offensive and unconstitutional than dismissing someone for criticizing the Pope or the Prophet Mohammad.

Return the American university to a place of liberal education, learning, and open and free inquiry. Many of America’s universities and colleges are still dedicated to these principles, but too many of them are not. It’s not only the stifling of free speech but monotonous conformity that bedevils academic learning, particularly in the humanities. The ethos of academic freedom should be truly respected, not used as an excuse to shut out certain points of view. Real diversity of opinion should be embraced as an end itself.

Stop exaggerating the threat supposedly posed by Christians and other conservatives. Much of the rationale for prohibiting conservatives from speaking on campuses stems from the outrageously stupid view that they are about to swoop down on the college green like the KKK and start lynching people. Activists actually believe they are conducting a defensive operation, when in reality they are offensively imposing a majoritarian view on minorities (especially on campus). A short look in the mirror would correct that misapprehension. It’s not conservatives who are behaving like intolerant bigots. It is radical leftists.

Drop the collective guilt mindset of identity politics. So much of the intolerance generated by the postmodern left is based on spurious assumptions about how groups of people think. The notion of “white privilege,” for example, that assumes all white people are unconsciously racist is guilty of the same racialist thinking that white supremacists once used to justify their hatred of blacks. Liberals need to go back to thinking of human beings as individuals who should be judged by their merits, not by their racial characteristics.

Get a consistent story on how to think about radical Islam. Depending on whom you talk to, Islamist terrorists are either bloody murderers of liberal cartoonists or “activists” responding to legitimate fears of “Islamophobia.” Leftists can’t make up their minds whether to fear or embrace the radical Islamists. The reason for their confusion stems from the fact that they fear Christians far more than Muslims. They occasionally get shocked out of their delusions by the threat of real violence by Islamist terrorists. But it doesn’t take long for them to realize that they can’t go too far down that road without aiding and abetting the real enemy: Christians.

Thankfully, most leftists who wish to stifle free speech don’t use violence. But they do advocate the coercive use of shaming rituals and the force of law to get their way. The means are not nearly as severe, but the principle of coercion remains. Once someone embarks down the road of saying one’s opponents have no right to their views at all, it’s not too many steps until one is tolerating all sorts of horrible things, like firing someone for his religious views.

The terrible massacre in Paris could be a “teachable” moment on the meaning of tolerance, but it will require soul searching by America’s cultural leftists. Double standards are the defense mechanisms of the confused and the insincere. They can only be exposed by clearing up the confusion and by exposing the insincerity. One hopes that after all the Charlie Hebdo marches are over, we can set to work to establish real freedom of expression in this country for everybody, and not just for a certain special few from one wing of the ideological spectrum.

Kim R. Holmes is a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author ofRebound: Getting America Back to Great (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013).

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 reblogged from The Public Discourse

Get Up the Water Shaft

Reblogged from A Lamplighter Moment by Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing

Get Up the Water Shaft

Recently, my office staff participated in an experiment as we talked over a biblical passage. Picture this. We took two chairs and put them side by side. Then, we made sure the space underneath the chairs measured the approximate size of the water shaft that tunnels into Jerusalem.

We then read the following text from 2nd Samuel 5:

“And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who said to David, ‘You will not come in here…’ And David said on that day, ‘Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft…'”

David was king of a nation but there was one problem. The mocking Jebusites governed the walled fortress of Jerusalem–the heart of the nation. And they weren’t leaving just because David had become king. In fact, when they saw David arrive they mocked him, saying that even the blind and the lame could defend their city.

David realized that it would be foolish to attack, but he had a plan–the water shaft! The water shaft was a small tunnel that brought water into the city. It would have been dark, wet, and cold but if someone was committed, he could crawl through and take the inhabitants by surprise. That is exactly what David and his men did–and exactly what we did in the office. We saw a demonstration of incredible determination.

As king, David was determined to regain the heart of the nation. No longer would it be controlled by the enemy. We are confronted with this same quest today. The enemy has taken up residence in so many homes, and he often mocks us in our complacency. It is time to remove the mocking enemy. Sometimes it takes the same sort of excruciating effort that David and his men expended. Other times, you don’t even have to crawl through a water shaft to do it. Perhaps today we only need to unplug the television and throw it away!

To see us performing this experiment, click here!

Eclipses and Blood Red Moons

The longest lunar eclipse ( moon eclipse ) in 100 years. Lunar Eclipse 2011 — Time Lapse — June 15, 2011

A quote from the Talmud on eclipses and blood red moons,

Lunar Eclipse JUNE 15 2011

Succah 29a Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for the whole world. This may be illustrated by a parable. To what can this be compared? To a human being who made a banquet for his servants and put up for them a lamp. When he became wroth with them he said to his servant, ‘Take away the lamp from them, and let them sit in the dark’. It was taught: R. Meir said, Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel since they are inured to blows. This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished. Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon and idolaters by the sun. If it is in eclipse in the east, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the east; if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world. If its face is red as blood, [it is a sign that] the sword is coming to the world; if it is like sack-cloth, the arrows of famine are coming to the world; if it resembles both, the sword and the arrows of famine are coming to the world. If the eclipse is at sunset calamity will tarry in its coming; if at dawn, it hastens on its way: but some say the order is to be reversed. And there is no nation which is smitten that its gods are not smitten together with it, as it is said, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. But when Israel fulfill the will of the Omnipresent, they need have no fear of all these [omens] as it is said, Thus saith the HaShem,’ Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them, the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed. Our Rabbis taught, On account of four things is the sun in eclipse: On account of an Ab Beth din who died and was not mourned fittingly; on account of a betrothed maiden who cried out aloud in the city and there was none to save her; on account of sodomy, and on account of two brothers whose blood was shed at the same time. And on account of four things are the luminaries in eclipse: On account of those who perpetrate forgeries, on account of those who give false witness; on account of those who rear small cattle in the land of Israel; and on account of those who cut down good trees.

I want to ask you a little question while we stop, before we continue on with this service, just a few minutes. I wonder if I could ask you this.
Anyone knows that the world, positionally, everything is sitting in order for His Coming. “Earthquakes in divers places; the moon is spurting out red blood, or red volcanic all over, covering it,” as Jesus said watch for that sign in the last days; “sea roaring, men’s hearts failing for fear, and perplexed of time, distress between the nations.”

William Branham June 18, 1964, The Presence Of God Unrecognized in Topeka Kansas

Seeing red: How a lunar eclipse and volcanic ash create colourful phenomenon for moon-gazers

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 3:14 PM on 16th June 2011

  • Red colour most vivid in Asia

Sky watchers were treated to a stunning lunar eclipse last night as ash in the atmosphere from a Chilean volcano turned it blood red.

Scientists said the specific phenomenon – known as a ‘deep lunar eclipse’ – often exudes a coppery colour. But the intensity of the colour depends on the amount of ash and dust in the atmosphere.

Luckily for moon-gazers, there was plenty of ash in the air so the moon appeared orange or red, especially in Asia. 

The moon, photographed by an observer in Tel Aviv, exudes a reddish colour during a deep lunar eclipse last night.

A composite picture showing the total lunar eclipse in the east of Beirut, Lebanon yesterday. People in the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and western Australia were able to enjoy the entire event.

The lunar eclipse is seen over the Atomium in Brussels, in the early hours of the morning, local time.

Air travellers haven’t been so lucky: The ash has grounded hundreds of flights around the region.

The dramatic event, the longest total lunar eclipse since 2000, turned the moon blood red for 100 minutes during the period of totality.

But Europeans missed the early stages of the eclipse because they occurred before moonrise.

The eclipse began at 6.24pm and ended at midnight but sunset didn’t occur in the UK until 9.19pm.

The Staten Island Ferry cruises along the water as the moon rises over Brooklyn as seen from Liberty State Park

The total lunar eclipse is seen above the old city walls during the Jerusalem Festival of Lights

The moon is seen during different stages of the total lunar eclipse in Gaza town in the Gaza Strip, which borders Egypt and Israel

A boat sails by Manila Bay, Philippines, at dawn this morning under a red moon

an airplane lands at Fiumicino International airport in Rome, Italy, during the lunar eclipse

Scientists had reassured sky watchers that the eclipse could be safely observed with the naked eye.

People in the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and western Australia were able to enjoy the entire event.

However, those in the U.S. missed out as the eclipse occurred during daylight hours.

Moon caught in a crescent shape above Skopje, Macedonia

A partially eclipsed moon rises in the sky over Moscow, Russia, last night

This graph shows when the total lunar eclipse was visible on Earth

A Google Doodle paid tribute to the lunar eclipse with a video graphic

The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a lunar eclipse the Earth, sun and moon are in line and the Earth’s shadow moves across the surface of the full moon.

Sunlight that has passed through the Earth’s atmosphere makes the moon appear red, brown or black.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of the lunar orbit means that it normally passes above or below the terrestrial shadow. This means a full moon is seen but no eclipse takes place.

Israel’s Critical Security Needs

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

Image via Wikipedia 

– Israel, in any future agreement with the Palestinians, has a critical need for defensible borders. This video outlines the threats to Israel from terrorist rockets, ballistic missiles, and conventional ground and air threats from the east.

In light of a widening range of threats to Israel’s security, for the first time a group of senior Israeli generals has come together to outline the basic principles of a defense policy – rooted in a consensus spanning past and present Israeli governments – which is focused on Israel maintaining defensible borders.
    The crisis over the Hamas flotilla to Gaza illustrates how some of Israel’s critical alliances in the Middle East are changing, especially its relationship with Turkey, and the importance of designing a defense policy that takes into account the uncertainties that Israel faces with many of its neighbors.
    Recent events only underscore that it is critical for Israel to preserve the principle of defending itself by itself.

See more –

Obama’s Speech Raises Tensions With Israel

Obama’s Speech Raises Tensions With Israel

HP Main - Beinart Obama Mideast Speech Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not like President Obama’s speech yesterday. Hours before Obama came out in support of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal based on Israel’s returning to its 1967 borders, Netanyahu made a furious phone call to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an attempt to change the president’s mind. Shortly after the speech, Netanyahu called Obama’s statements “indefensible”. Obama’s speech and Netanyahu’s rebuke came a day before the two are scheduled to meet in Washington. Relations between the two leaders have always been tense, but they’re especially high now. Netanyahu says he believes Obama is pushing Israel too far and wants him to use the U.S.’s diplomatic clout to protect Israel from an upcoming U.N. Vote on Palestinian statehood. Obama has indicated he’ll veto the vote, scheduled for September, but it’s unclear how far he’ll go in convincing other countries to do the same as long as Netanyahu refuses to get onboard with a plan to return his state to its 1967 borders.

Read it at The New York Times