Current Events

Germany’s Fight with Islam

Daily News reported on October 14:

“A recent survey showing high levels of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany alarms the country’s Turkish community, which fears such beliefs could flare into violence. The study released this week indicates that xenophobic feelings are spreading from extremists at the margins of society to the middle-class heart of the European country…

“‘What is most dangerous is that racism in Germany is going from a Nazi appearance to a ‘black-tie racism,’ Kenan Kolat, a leader of the Turkish community in Germany, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday. ‘The existing racism is heading toward the center of society, to cultural, white-collar racism.’…

“The survey, which was broadcast by Deutsche Welle, shows 32 percent of Germans approve of the statement, ‘When there’s a shortage of jobs, foreigners should be sent back home’; 34 percent agree or strongly agree with the statement that ‘Foreigners only come here to exploit Germany’s social welfare system’; and 35 percent think that ‘Germany has a dangerous level of foreign influence as a result of the many foreigners in the country.’…

“Germany has a sizeable Turkish community of around 2.5 million and a total Muslim population of some 4 million. German central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin recently caused outrage among Muslim immigrants when he accused Turks and Arabs of exploiting the welfare state, refusing to integrate and lowering the country’s average intelligence. ‘A policy of humiliation and exclusion is supported by part of German society,’ Kolat said…

“The survey showed the strongest negative opinions when it comes to Islam, with 55 percent of respondents saying they could understand that people find Arabs unpleasant, and 58 percent saying the practicing of the Muslim religion should be ‘considerably restricted’…”

For more information on this intriguing subject, please continue to read the following articles, and view our latest StandingWatch program, titled, “How Germans Really Feel.”

Germany’s “Multicultural Society Has Utterly Failed”

Reuters reported on October 17:

“Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has ‘utterly failed,’ Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp… Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked… Merkel faces pressure from within her CDU to take a tougher line on immigrants who don’t show a willingness to adapt to German society and her comments appeared intended to pacify her critics…

“Merkel has tried to accommodate both sides of the debate, talking tough on integration but also telling Germans that they must accept that mosques have become part of their landscape…’Horst Seehofer, chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU’s sister party, has rejected any relaxation of immigration laws and said last week there was no room in Germany for more people from ‘alien cultures.'”

Der Spiegel Online added on October 18:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s declaration that multiculturalism in Germany has ‘utterly failed’ has raised the temperature of an already burning immigration debate. German commentators on Monday clashed on whether she was voicing a home truth or scoring cheap political points…

“The right-wing Die Welt writes:

“‘No one has anything against the immigrants who live and work among us. But many people have something against the immigrants who want to bring their own system of justice along with them. Immigration means accepting the traditions of the chosen country — and also respecting those traditions. Whoever lives here has to accept that honor killings are murder. Whoever doesn’t want to do so, should stay out of the country. For this reason Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer are right when they say that immigration needs clear-cut principles’…

“The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

“‘CSU leader Seehofer and CDU leader Merkel think that they can win back support by using slogans from the 1980s… Seehofer has positioned himself against uncontrolled immigration. But in reality, immigration has long been limited: Far more Turkish people are leaving Germany than arriving…'”

President Wulff Speaks to Turkish Parliament

Deutsche Welle reported on October 19:

“German President Christian Wulff has called on Turkish immigrants to Germany to integrate in to Germany society, saying Turks and Germans ‘are closely connected.’ ‘Our fellow citizens of Turkish origin … are welcome in our country, and belong to our country,’ he said in a speech to the Turkish parliament in Ankara. ‘As your president, I urge every immigrant to actively integrate in our German society.’

“His comments come amid a controversial debate at home on whether Berlin has failed in efforts to integrate Muslim immigrants. The four-day trip is the first visit of a German president to Turkey in a decade, while Wulff’s speech marked the first time a German head of state has addressed the Turkish parliament…

“In his speech, Wulff stressed immigrants need not give up their cultural identity or background. But those living in Germany should respect and protect the values of the German constitution, including freedom of speech, equality and the right to a religiously and ideologically neutral state… Wulff also touched on the subject of religion, calling on Turkey and other Islamic countries to be more open to Christianity…

“‘Without a doubt, Christianity belongs to Turkey,’ he said… In his speech, the German president also commented on Turkey’s struggling bid to join the European Union… Both Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are against full membership for Turkey, instead suggesting that the country should settle for a ‘privileged partnership,’ an option Ankara has firmly rejected.”

It is doubtful that Turkey will ever become a part of core Europe. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Guttenberg–Germany’s Rising Star?

The Local reported on October 20:

“Nearly a quarter of voters believe the conservative rising star Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg would make a better chancellor than the embattled Angela Merkel, a poll published Wednesday found… The poll comes amid growing speculation that Defence Minister Guttenberg, a member of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), is likely to become leader of his party and has a strong chance to become the nation’s chancellor…

“Guttenberg, 38, is easily the country’s most popular politician at the moment – a title long held by Merkel. In a recent poll, his approval rating of 70 percent positively dwarfed her 40 percent. Guttenberg himself has described suggestions that he might oust Merkel if the conservatives perform badly in state elections next year as ‘bizarre’…

“Forsa pollster Manfred Güllner said Guttenberg was winning the respect of voters for his independence and the fact he did not appear to be part of the ‘Berlin political circus.’… However Güllner stressed the recent speculation about Guttenberg’s leadership potential had been premature. ‘Guttenberg is seen as a nice type but as to his fitness for the Chancellery, there are many question marks. So far he has not been seriously put to the test.’”

Europe’s New Anti-Semitism

The Local wrote on October 15:

“In recent weeks, it’s become rather apparent that bigotry towards Muslims is Europe’s new anti-Semitism.

“Last weekend, Horst Seehofer, the conservative state premier of Bavaria, sparked outrage by calling for an end to immigration from Islamic countries… Seehofer’s remarks followed several of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives expressing unease over German President Christian Wulff’s recent statement that Islam was as much a part of German society as Christianity and Judaism. One Bavarian politician even said there could be no religious equality for Islam in Germany…

“Tragically it took something as horrific as the Holocaust to ensure Jews equal treatment in Western democracies like Britain and the United States, where anti-Jewish attitudes were rife prior to World War II. No-one should forget that it was only the incomparable crimes of Nazi Germany committed against Europe’s Jewry that made it no longer socially acceptable to express anti-Semitic sentiments openly…

“Many German conservatives have recently mentioned the country’s ‘Christian-Judeo’ traditions – something that would normally be expressed in English as being Judeo-Christian… But it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to apply the ugly rhetoric currently being directed towards Muslims to Germany’s Jewish population before the war.

“‘…just as it was once acceptable to badmouth Jews and scapegoat them for society’s ills – in Germany as well as Western democracies like America and Britain – millions of law-abiding, well-integrated Muslims are now being targeted unfairly…”

New Dutch Government

Bloomberg reported on October 14:

“The Netherlands, the second-largest exporter in the euro zone, got a new government today backed by Geert Wilders’s anti-Islam party that plans to cut immigration and reduce spending on development aid and the European Union… About 1.5 million Dutch voters cast ballots for Wilders’s Freedom Party, which wants to stop the building of mosques and withdraw from the EU…

“The Netherlands, which has been known for accepting foreigners since Portuguese Jews sought refuge there, has played an outsized role in the world economy since the founding of the Dutch East India Company in 1602. The merchant empire, which focused on trading instead of cultural colonization, once stretched from the Caribbean to Indonesia…

“The Netherlands has about 850,000 Muslims, according to Dutch statistics bureau 2006 data. Most are of Turkish or Moroccan origin.”

Wilders Soon Acquitted?

BBC reported on October 15:

“Dutch prosecutors have recommended acquitting leading anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders on all five charges of hate speech. They said his comments had targeted Islam, not Muslims, and he had the right to comment on social issues. The trial will continue next week and judges may still disagree with the prosecution and convict Mr Wilders. Prosecutors were obliged to look at the case again after an appeals court decision last year.

“The trial of Mr Wilders, who compared the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, has gripped the Netherlands… Prosecutors had initially declined to press charges against Mr Wilders in June 2008. But they were ordered to do so in January 2009 by the appeals court, which ruled that there was significant evidence that the politician had sought to ‘sow hatred’.”

Russians Against Muslims

Der Spiegel Online reported on October 19:

“The leaders of Moscow’s 1.5 million strong Muslim community say they desperately need more places of worship. But a plan to build a new mosque has run into local opposition which is being fuelled by nationalists calling for a ‘clean Moscow’ without Muslims and foreigners…

“The country’s largest online newspaper,, drew parallels with other European controversies surrounding Islam: The burqa ban in France and the immigration debate now raging in Germany. Europeans are frightened of Islam because the religion’s values are utterly foreign to them, the article said. ‘Now we are experiencing something similar in Moscow and St. Petersburg.’

“According to estimates… up to 20 million Muslims live in Russia today. Muslims have dominated some parts of the country for centuries. While the predominantly Muslim Republic of Tatarstan in the Volga region is regarded as moderate, guerrillas are fighting to set up an Islamic state in the northern Caucasus. Islamic extremists were behind the suicide bomb attacks that shook the Russian capital this March and killed 40 people.”

Strikes Paralyze France

Deutsche Welle reported on October 20:

“The first fuel depots where cleared of blockades by the police overnight after one-third of France’s petrol stations had run dry due to a strike of oil refinery workers and barricades set up at several depots…

“The clashes between police and protesters continued on Wednesday. Many of the country’s motorways and airports remained blockaded as protests against the government’s pension reforms continued for the seventh day in a row.

“Demonstrators blocked access to airports in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes and Clermont-Ferrand, while truck drivers obstructed traffic on more than a dozen motorways throughout the country. 

“President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday warned that the strikes could have serious consequences for the country’s economy… Sarkozy added that despite the protests the government would persist in pushing for unpopular pension reforms…

“Opinion polls suggest the strikers still have the support of the majority of the French. French daily Les Echos published a poll on Wednesday that said that 59 percent of the country wanted the unions to continue with the protests.

“The pension reforms are aimed at raising the standard retirement age from 60 to 62 and full pension benefits from 65 to 67. The French senate is to vote on the unpopular bill later this week.”

France Off the Hook?

Predictably, the EU dropped their charges against France for the deporatation of Roma.

The EUObserver wrote on October 19:

“The European Commission on Tuesday… put an end to its stand-off with France over Roma expulsions, deciding not to start infringement procedures after Paris submitted plans to bring its legislation in line with EU law on freedom of movement… Over a thousand Roma of Romanian and Bulgarian citizenship were repatriated in August and September… With the Tuesday decision, that case is now closed…

“‘This is proof of the good functioning of the European Union as a Community governed by the rule of law,’ the commissioner added… The news came as a ‘disappointment’ to MEPs following the Brussels-Paris row over Roma.”

“Obama’s Lost Magic” –USA and EU Far Apart

This article and the next one show the vast differences between Europe and America. Once this fact is realized, it is perhaps not any longer so difficult to believe the Bible which prophesies that the relationship between these two power blocs will steadily deteriorate and culminate in an outright war.

On October 19, Der Spiegel Online published a somewhat polemic and largely inaccurate article. Nevertheless, the following excerpts are worth quoting:

“US President Barack Obama is trying to recover his lost magic as defeat for the Democrats looms in the midterm elections. But… his window of opportunity has passed…

“When Obama came to office, the country craved perfection. His government is far from perfect, however. It’s not even close. But what is more appalling still, what is more shocking on so many levels, is the state of the nation — the political stupidity of entire federal states and systems that seem hell-bent on self-destruction. Europe and the United States are much farther apart than many Europeans think. The US is different, completely and utterly different…

“Decades of prosperity have made the US a lethargic country. And in contrast to Europeans, whose lives and countries have been shaped by war, Americans are accustomed to feeling unique and invulnerable.”

“The American and European Systems Are Largely Different”

On October 19, Der Spiegel published an interview with Karl Rove who was one of President George W. Bush’s closest advisers. We are bringing you the following excerpts from Karl Rove’s comments:

“In Europe and the United States, you’ve got different systems to select candidates, and no system is perfect. In Germany you have a parliamentary system in which political parties weed out people. And the fact of the matter is that in Germany, on both sides of the aisle, particularly on the Social Democratic side, you have seen lousy leadership of the political parties that have allowed subpar candidates to emerge through the parliamentary system…

“You have had candidates that the country rejected in a pretty profound way. Our primary system prevents this from happening as often… the advantage of our system is that it is able to react to changes in public opinion better than the European system generally is able to. And, we tend to have broadly representative parties rather than sort of multiple parties that represent more narrow slices of the electorate and lead to coalition politics.

“America does not have a history of social democracy. We have been a country in which even the Democrats have been to the right of the left in Europe, and that’s one of our strengths. A lot of people call [President Obama] a socialist. I don’t. He is a social democrat, though…”

Osama Bin Laden and the Hopeless Afghan War

CNN reported on October 18:

“Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said. ‘Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave,’ said the official… Rather, al Qaeda’s top leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services, the official said. Pakistan has repeatedly denied protecting members of the al Qaeda leadership…

“The NATO official, who has day-to-day senior responsibilities for the war, offered a potentially grimmer view than what has been publicly offered by others. ‘Every year the insurgency can generate more and more manpower,’ despite military attacks, he said… he pointed to an internal assessment that there are 500,000 to 1 million ‘disaffected’ men between the ages of 15 and 25 along the Afghan-Pakistan border region… Most are Afghan Pashtuns and make up some of the 95 percent of the insurgency who carry out attacks just to earn money, rather than fight for a hard-core Taliban ideology.

“The official said it is now absolutely vital for the Afghan government to address the needs of this group with security, economic development and jobs in order for the war to end, and for Afghanistan to succeed. ‘We are running out of time,’ he said. The entire scenario is made more complex by the fact that ‘there is a huge criminal enterprise in this country,’ dealing in human, drug and mineral trafficking, he said. Those crimes are also tied into the insurgency.

“… the official cautioned, hard core Taliban groups such as the Quetta Shura run by Mullah Omar, the Haqqanis, the HiG (Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin) and the Pakistani Taliban still could potentially muster as many as 30,000 fighters…

“The U.S. military could sustain a war ‘indefinitely,’ the official said. But the goal is to achieve reconciliation and allow the Afghan government to function and provide security and services to the people. Without that, he said, ‘we will be fighting here forever.'”

But the world will soon grow tired of America’s fruitless “indefinite” fighting in Afghanistan–and so will the American people. For all intents and purposes, the Afghan war is lost. America has won its last war a long time ago. In fact, America has won no war since World War II.

“No One Will Dictate Israel’s Borders”

Haaretz reported on October 19:

“Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren remarked on Tuesday that Israel would not allow anyone to dictate its borders. ‘Like Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu will not allow the United Nations, or any other organization, to dictate our borders. They will be determined through negotiations,’ he said in Washington during an event at the Chamber of commerce celebrating 25 years since the establishment of the Free Trade agreement between the U.S. and Israel.

“In September, Israel entered into U.S.-sponsored direct peace negotiations with the Palestinians, which subsequently broke down in the wake of the expiration of a temporary Israeli moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements. As part of the negotiations, Palestinian negotiators have demanded the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.

“‘Today, too, Israel is blessed with principled and courageous leadership. While facing terrorist groups sworn to destroy every last one of us – women, children, senior citizens – and some 60,000 Hamas and Hezbollah rockets pointed directly at our homes; with so-called human rights organizations and boycott movements and campus coalitions denying our right to defend ourselves and even our right to exist, and with Iranian leaders swearing to wipe us off the map and striving to produce the nuclear means for doing that…. With all of those challenges, the Israeli government under PM Benjamin Netanyahu has not for a nanosecond reduced its commitment to peace,’ Oren said.

“‘But not a peace at any price,’ he added. ‘Not a peace that will impair Israel’s security or impugn its identity as the nation state of the Jewish people. As Netanyahu said last year in his Bar-Ilan speech, he will not allow any future Palestinian state to become another Lebanon or Gaza.'”

Israel will soon find itself in utter political isolation. The world will turn against Israel. We are beginning to see this development occurring in front of our very eyes. For more information, please read our free booklets, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” and “The Book of Zechariah–Prophecies for Today!”

How Will U.S. Midterm Elections Impact Mideast Peace?

Haaretz reported on October 20:

“Next month’s U.S. midterm elections might do more than just redefine the political landscape in Washington, they could also have a significant impact on stalled Middle East peace talks. Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, launched with gusto by President Barack Obama in September, have fallen into limbo ahead of the Nov. 2 vote as both sides bide their time and wait to see how the U.S. leader emerges from the campaign.

“Polls predict hefty losses for Obama’s Democrats and Israeli ministers expect this will force him to avoid any bruising showdowns with Israel and its supporters in the coming months for fear of further undermining his shaky electoral position.

“Palestinians hope that after the vote, Obama will refocus on foreign affairs and use the last two years of his presidential mandate to seek a place in history by securing an end to the decades-old conflict, regardless of obvious domestic risks. But Palestinians also fear an enfeebled Obama will be in no position to wring concessions from Israel, starting with their demand that Netanyahu suspends Jewish settlement building in the West Bank – the issue that has stalled the talks…

“In the run-up to the midterm vote, Israeli newspapers have jumped on opinion polls showing that support for Obama among Jewish electors had slumped dramatically. Obama swept the Jewish vote in the 2008 presidential ballot, but a survey by the American Jewish Committee this month said just 49 percent of U.S. Jews backed his handling of Israeli relations, against a 62 percent approval rating for Netanyahu.

“…some analysts have questioned whether a catastrophic midterm vote might convince Obama he has nothing to lose and decide to lean heavily on Israel to accept painful compromises – something Arab states say must happen to clinch a deal.”

Lebanese Shiites Love Ahmadinejad

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 20:

“After the visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Lebanon, the radical Islamic group Hezbollah is brimming with confidence… Indeed, funds from Iran have been used to finance the construction of new buildings and streets, support war widows and create jobs in the sections of southern Beirut and southern Lebanon that Israeli fighter jets reduced to smoldering rubble in the summer of 2006…

“There was no mistaking the enthusiasm that gripped the vast majority of Shiites in Lebanon as they played host to the Iranian president. Ahmadinejad’s two-day visit gave an enormous boost to what is the largest segment of Lebanon’s population, which was, however, also the most marginalized group for many years. In particular, Hezbollah, whose name means ‘Party of God,’ is brimming with self-confidence. The organization’s militia has long since recovered from the fighting with Israel four years ago and once again boasts a well-filled arsenal of rockets.

“‘Even if Hezbollah is perhaps nothing more than a plaything of the Iranians, the Lebanese Shiites are enjoying finally being recognized as the strongest voice in the country,’ says Beirut political scientist Hilal Khashan. His colleague Raghid al-Sulh even maintains that Hezbollah is the ‘strongest political party in Lebanon of all time’…

“The Sunni and Christian opponents of the Shiite organization have not forgotten May 2008, when street clashes between Hezbollah fighters and government supporters came close to sparking a new civil war.

“The conflict was triggered by the government’s attempt to bring Hezbollah’s special telephone network under state control — a move that the Party of God saw as an attack on its vital interests. Since then, pro-Western forces in the country have tended to refrain from openly criticizing the Shiite militia.

“Still, there is a threat of renewed unrest. In just a few weeks, the United Nations’ Special Tribunal for Lebanon will announce in The Hague whether members of the militia will be charged with the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. This prompted Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri’s son and political heir, to try to appease Hezbollah. The younger Hariri vowed that he would never endorse such charges.”

Britain In Shock Over Huge Spending Cuts

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 20:

“The Queen has already cancelled the Christmas party at Buckingham Palace. Now she will now have to suffer further impertinences. The British austerity measures announced on Wednesday envisage drastic cuts to public spending, including a sharp reduction of the royal budget. Great Britain is facing a ‘sober decade,’ according to Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England.

“The British newspapers have dubbed it ‘Axe Wednesday,’ the day that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne finally announced deep cuts to public finances…

“Ministerial budgets are to be cut by an average of 19 percent… And 490,000 public sector jobs will disappear over the next four years. State expenditures will be slashed by 83 billion pounds (€94 billion, $131 billion), and taxes increased by 29 billion pounds (€32 billion, $45 billion.)… These are enormous figures, and it didn’t take long for the public outcry… However,… most British people have long since accepted their fate…

“The coalition has been preparing the public for this day since it took office last May. They warned to expect the toughest cuts since the World War II…

“It took an hour for Osborne to get through his list. He said that the only alternative to his radical package of measures would be state bankruptcy. Indeed, Great Britain’s deficit is the highest in Europe…

“As it stands, Osborne’s policy is nothing short of a massive political experiment, a high-stakes bet with an uncertain outcome. A senior official in the Treasury told the Financial Times that no one knows quite what will happen next… Numerous economists have warned of a relapse into recession. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, wrote in the Guardian on Tuesday that ‘austerity is a gamble which Britain can ill afford.’ He says that the measures could slow or stop the country’s economic recovery…

“There are reasons for concern. Early economic indicators are worse than they were just six months ago. Real estate prices are weak and consumption, both private and commercial, is cautious. Just how economically damaging drastic savings measures can be has been seen recently in the case of Britain’s neighbor Ireland…

“All the British government can do now is… hope that their plan succeeds. The hope is that the British economy will follow the model of Canada, which saw solid growth following deep spending cuts in the 1990s. Prime Minister David Cameron… is aided by the fact that he has the backing of some of the country’s most influential newspapers. ‘It’ll hurt,’ wrote Britain’s largest circulation tabloid The Sun. ‘But the prize is worth the pain.'”

BBC News added on October 20:

“Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled the biggest UK spending cuts since World War II, with welfare, councils and police budgets all hit… shadow chancellor Alan Johnson, for Labour, called the review a ‘reckless gamble with people’s livelihoods’ which risked ‘stifling the fragile recovery’…

“Labour would also have had to make major cuts if they had won the general election, but the party insists Mr Osborne’s plans were too aggressive and risked tipping the country into a ‘double dip’ recession.

“During raucous Commons exchanges, shadow chancellor Alan Johnson accused Tory backbenchers of cheering ‘the deepest cuts to public spending in living memory.'”

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