Over the past century, a plague of persecution has swept across the Middle East, emptying the region of its Christian population. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26% of the Middle East’s population. Today, that figure has dwindled to less than 10%. Intolerant and extremist governments are driving away the Christian communities that have lived in the Middle East since their faith was born.
In Syrian cities like Aleppo and Damascus, Christians who refused to convert to Islam have been kidnapped, shot and beheaded by Islamist opposition fighters. In Egypt, mobs of Muslim Brotherhood members burn Coptic Christian churches in the same way they once obliterated Jewish synagogues. And in Iraq, terrorists deliberately target Christian worshippers.
Over the past 10 years, nearly two-thirds of Iraq’s 1.5 million Christians have been driven from their homes. Many settled in Syria before once again becoming victims of unrelenting persecution. Syria’s Christian population has dropped from 30% in the 1920s to less than 10% today.
In January, a report by the nondenominational Christian organization Open Doors documented the 10 most oppressive countries for Christians; nine were Muslim-majority states noted for Islamic extremism, tyrannical regimes that uphold archaic blasphemy and defamation-of-religion laws. The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed dozens of people for the crimes of “waging war against God” and “spreading corruption on Earth.”
Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population. Its Christian community has increased from 34,000 in 1948 to 140,000 today, in large measure because of the freedoms Christians are afforded. Salim Joubran, a Christian Arab Israeli, has served as a Supreme Court justice since 2003.
Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest living in Israel, recently told me: “Human rights are not something to be taken for granted. Christians in much of the Middle East have been slaughtered and persecuted for their faith, but here in Israel they are protected.”
- On Feb. 5, after more than six months of investigations, the Bulgarian government announced that it believed Hizbullah was responsible for the attack last July that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver and injured dozens more in the resort town of Burgas.
- This report is significant because a European Union member state, Bulgaria, explicitly pointed a finger at Hizbullah and lifted the veil on the group’s continued terrorist activities. Europe can no longer ignore the threat that this group poses to the Continent and to the world.
- Hizbullah first gained notoriety in 1983 after bombing the U.S. Embassy in Beirut – an attack that killed 63 people. Shortly thereafter, Hizbullah bombed the American and French Marine Barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Americans and 58 French service members.
- European governments must respond swiftly. They must disrupt its operational networks, stop flows of financial assistance to the group, crack down on Hizbullah-linked criminal enterprises and condemn the organization’s leaders for their continued pursuit of terrorism.
- The U.S. applauds those countries that have long recognized Hizbullah’s nefarious nature. Europe must now act collectively and respond resolutely to this attack by adding Hizbullah to the EU’s terrorist list.
Via Aish.com. Elul 29
In 2000, Palestinian Arabs launched a campaign of terror which came to be known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Two days earlier, an Israeli soldier was killed by his Palestinian counterpart while on joint patrol, and the next day, Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount.
The next day, on the eve of Rosh Hashana, Palestinian violence erupted across Israel. (Later investigations indicate that the Palestinian Authority had pre-planned the intifada.) Tuvia Grossman, a 20-year-old Jewish student from Chicago, was thrust into the international limelight on when The New York Times published a photo of him — bloodied and battered — crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption misidentified him as a Palestinian victim of the intifada. The truth was the total opposite, and the realization that Israel was being unfairly portrayed in the media led to the founding of media monitoring groups such as HonestReporting.com. Over the next four years, Palestinian violence — bolstered by incitement in the Palestinian media — would claim the lives of over 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians. The attacks included a wave of over 100 suicide bombings that targeted Israeli restaurants, synagogues and buses.
Here is what the NY Times originally ran. Remember that Tuvia Grossman, the bloodied man in the photo below, is the Jew, and the media wanted to depict him as a “poorpalestinianpeeeeeepulllllll”.
Here is the follow-up retraction from the NYT …
(reprinted with permission from Arutz-7)
IF HE’S BEATEN, HE MUST BE PALESTINIAN
This past Saturday, The New York Times and many other papers published a
picture – supplied by the Associated Press – of an angry Israeli policeman
and a badly-beaten and bloodied man, with the caption, “An Israeli
policeman and a Palestinian on the Temple Mount.” The picture can be seen
at . Dr. Aaron Grossman, of Chicago, Ill., sent the following letter to the Times:
“Regarding your picture on page A5 (Sept. 30) of the Israeli soldier and
the Palestinian on the Temple Mount – that Palestinian is actually my son,
Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He, and two of his friends,
were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of
Palestinian Arabs and were severely beaten and stabbed. That picture could
not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations
on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one
clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from
Tuvia Grossman was on his way to the Western Wall on Friday afternoon, and
has been hospitalized ever since with head injuries and a stab wound. He
told Arutz-7 today,
“I was in a taxi on the way to the Kotel [Western Wall] and we got
stoned… [They took me out of the car and beat me and] I gave a scream,
and for a second they let go of me, and I said Shma Yisrael, because I
thought it was all over… After they let go of me, I ran – even though I
had a knife in my leg, G-d gave me the strength to run and I was able to
make it up the hill where there were soldiers by the gas station and they
took care of me. But I was being beaten for around 5 or 6 minutes with a
rock on the top of my head, and I was stabbed in the back of my leg and
kicked and punched all over my body.”
“[When I saw the mis-captioned AP picture] I was extremely, extremely
upset. People see a picture of a youth and they think that it’s a
Palestinian being beaten by Israelis, it changes their world view and makes
them think that it’s the Israelis beating up the Arabs. I was extremely
upset. It was totally the opposite. That policeman was yelling at the
Arabs to back off, and was protecting me from them – so to change it around
and to say that he was beating me, that’s just total distortion, and the
world must be notified about how this is not true – the Jews are the ones
suffering at the hands of the Arabs.”
The Times published a correction today, in which it identified Tuvia
Grossman as “an American student in Israel” – not as a Jew who was beaten
by Arabs. The “correction” also noted that “Mr. Grossman was wounded” in
“Jerusalem’s Old City” – although in fact it occurred in an Arab-populated
neighborhood of Jerusalem, not in the Old City. An Associated Press
spokesman told Arutz-7 that it was looking into the matter.
Welles Remy Crowther. An example of American exceptionalism, murdered by Islamists.
Islamism. A lethally militaristic belief system, which at its core, institutionalizes homicide, gloriously indulged in by murderous barbarians raised on milk from their mother’s breast full of hatred for the infidel.
Welles Remy Crowther, age 24.
Place killed: World Trade Center.
Resident of Upper Nyack, New York.
Welles Remy Crowther was an equities trader on the South Tower’s 104th floor, who helped dozens of people to safety on September 11.
His body was found in March, 2002, alongside several firefighters and emergency workers bunched in a command post in the South Tower lobby.
I am humbled to post a tribute to Welles Remy Crowther, in memory of the ninth year anniversary of the unprovoked attack on the United States by Muslim terrorists.
Welles Remy Crowther was born the oldest of three children, displaying his fearlessness, spirit and selflessness early and often growing up in the New York’s northern suburbs, his parents say.
He doted on his two younger sisters, Paige and Honor, and followed his father Jefferson’s lead, always carrying a bandanna in his back pocket (Welles preferred red, his father blue) and joining him as a volunteer firefighter as a teenager.
In high school, he was the type of kid who would selflessly feed the puck to the hockey team’s lowest-scoring player, hoping to give his teammate his first goal.
To his friends, he was the guy who would always listen and lend a hand.
Rain or shine, as a child, he would find something to do with his younger sisters, whether it was practicing lacrosse moves or having pillow fights in the hallway of their home.
At the age of 16, after years of helping his dad clean his village’s fire trucks, he became a junior volunteer firefighter. Two years later, he earned his certification.
A stellar student and lacrosse player at Boston College, Crowther joined Sandler O’Neil and Partners after graduation, settling into his office on the South Tower’s 104th floor.
While he loved his job, Welles told his dad that he really wanted to join the FDNY — or possibly the CIA or FBI — so he wouldn’t be stuck behind a desk and would be able to help others.
But that’s where he was on the morning of September 11th. Behind his desk.
He made one final call to his mom, Alison, from his office at 9:12 a.m., minutes after his tower was struck, leaving a brief, calm message saying, “Mom, this is Welles. I want you to know that I’m OK.”
That call was all the Crowthers knew about their son’s final moments until police knocked on their door in March, 2002, six months after the devastating attack on the United States.
Alison Crowther said the New York medical examiner’s office told them Welles’ body had been found intact, with no signs of burns, alongside firefighters and emergency workers then running a command center in the South Tower’s lobby.
Welles Remy Crowther was a hero on September 11. One of his greatest ambitions in life was to help others.
To help others. How many people do you know whose singular ambition in life is to Help Others?
Welles Crowther trained to be a volunteer fireman and his personality and character and spirit drove him to elevate and soar above the rest of us; he helped others escape the burning, twisted metal so that they could live, while he in turn, risked his own life so that others could survive. Welles Crowther spent his final moments, not thinking of his own safety, but helping others. He was truly a remarkable man.
Ling Young is one of the people Welles saved. She sat bloody and petrified with some others in the World Trade Center — the lights out, smoke engulfing the room and pain searing through their bodies. There was no escape from where they were in the South Tower, in pieces after being hit by United Airlines Flight 175 as far as they could tell.
Then out of nowhere, a young man burst in and took control – with a red bandanna on his face. In a strong voice, he directed them to the stairway — which was veiled by darkness, wreckage and haze — telling the injured to get out and the healthy to help them down.
“I see this incredible hero, running back and forth and saving the day,” recalled Judy Wein. “In his mind, he had a duty to do — to save people.”
“He’s definitely my guardian angel — no ifs, ands or buts — because without him, we would be sitting there, waiting [until] the building came down,” echoes Ling Young.
Wein and Young were separated by a few minutes and a few floors that day, but they share a similar story and a single hero: Welles Crowther.
Judy Wein remembers his penetrtaing eyes, firm voice and the red bandanna he wore over his nose and mouth — but didn’t know his name.
His name was Welles Crowther.
“If he hadn’t come back, I wouldn’t have made it,” said Wein. “People can live 100 years and not have the compassion, the wherewithal to do what he did.”
Welles’ father, Mr. Jefferson Crowther, wrote the following about his late son:
He was courageous and strong and selfless on that terrible morning. He faced the devil head on three times to help the victims down from the 78th floor skylobby of Tower 2, and when he got to the lobby he stayed to assist in the orderly evacuation. His body was found on March 19, 2002 with the Firefighters of Ladder 4 FDNY. He too was a firefighter, a volunteer with Empire Hook & Ladder Company #1 in Upper Nyack, NY. His mother, Alison, and I with his two younger sisters are incredibly proud of his actions that morning, and we hope it inspires other young people to become involved as volunteers, either as firefighters, ambulance corps personnel, or in any capacity that your community needs. For that is the true strength of the United States of America. Thank you, and may God bless all of you.— Jefferson Crowther, father of the late Welles Remy Crowther.
Welles gave his life for people he did not even know. His mother, Alison Crowther, said:
I think he was blessed by God, and I think he was surrounded by a protection from God to be able to do what he did that day, and I think that that is — maybe all we can ask of life, is that we live our lives as fully and as beautifully and as completely and as spiritually whole as what Welles did, as he did.
Paige Hope Crowther, Welles younger sister, wrote the following on the 9-11 Heroes site:
Welles was my older brother, my protector. He was an amazing young man and, although our loss was great, I find solace in knowing that in his last moments, he took on the role of being the protector of so many others. He was truly a guardian angel that day, and still is today. He is with me always, and I will forever feel his presence. He is in my thoughts, dreams and prayers everyday and if we pass his heroic story on, in this way, he will live forever.
Jeff Crowther hopes his son’s story will inspire people to become a volunteer firefighter, to give money to the homeless every day like Welles did, to set goals and follow through.
“If Welles’ story helps people to think of others then God bless them, God bless him,” said his father. “He didn’t live long enough to be head of a corporation or do good works or endow a museum. But what he did on September 11, that’s his legacy.”
The Crowthers have established a trust fund that will fuel awards given to high school students who exemplify the type of person their son was, as well as so many others who lost their lives that day.
“Yes, we mourn their loss, but if we only think about what we lost and not what we’ve had, we’ll just die,” Alison said. “So we have to live in the beauty of what their lives were — and who they were as human beings because that’s what we celebrate and that’s what we fill our lives with.”
Tax-deductible contributions in memory of Welles Crowther can be sent to:
The Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 780
Nyack, NY 10960
Details can be had from the trust at 106 Birchwood Avenue, Upper Nyack, NY 10960.
Read Boston College’s tribute to Welles Crowther, here.
On September 23, 2006 the second annual Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandana Run, a 5K road race, will be held as an annual tribute to Welles Crowther. The race is co-sponsored by the Boston College Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust. The day is designed to bring all levels of runners (and walkers!) together to have fun and raise funds for the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust. For more information on the race, click here.
Read Winds Of Change’s painful account of what happened on that dreadful day, including a mention of TigerHawk’s post to his cousin, here.
You can leave a message of your own to Welles Remy Crowther, here.
You can view the entire list of contributors to the 2,996 Project here.
Welles Remy Crowther, you are an inspiration to all of us to achieve greatness, to be like an angel unto others, to love others as you love yourself.
“A person can only love according to the degree he knows the object of his love. If he knows a little, he can love a little. And if he knows a lot, he can love a lot.” (Laws of Teshuva 10:6).
Welles Crowther’s acts of herosim elevated deeds of loving kindness to the highest possible ranking among soul-traits. Only some problems have solutions, but all are alleviated by the loving response of those around us.
Here are two more links on Welles Remy Crowther; Fox News has devoted a column to him here, and September11Quilts displays a quilt his grandmother, Jane Ernst Remy, made in Welles’ memory, here.
Video: Muslim terrorists and child murderers who killed 37 Israeli civilians applauded as heroes by Fatah
When a culture cheers its Muslim murderers as heroes is about as detestable as a culture can get. Via PMW:
Fatah leaders responded with loud applause when two terrorists who committed the worst terror attack in Israel’s history were referred to as heroic Martyrs by former PA Prime Minister Abu Alaa, at the opening ceremony of Fatah’s Sixth General Conference:
“We have in our midst the hero Khaled Abu-Usbah, hero of the operation [terror attack] led by the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi [loud applause from the audience]. We salute him and welcome him. And [we salute] the hero, the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal. [He shouts:] All the glory! All the glory! All the glory! All the sisters here are Dalal’s sisters.” [PATV (Fatah), Aug. 4, 2009]
Dalal Mughrabi and Khaled Abu-Usbah are seen as Palestinian heroes for having carried out the bus hijacking in 1978 in which 37 Israeli civilians, 12 of them children, were murdered.
Former Prime Minister Abu Alaa (Ahmad Qurei), who read the statement, is the current Chairman of Fatah Department for Recruitment and Organization.
Four Palestinians from the Kalkilya area have been arrested for the murder of Dr. Daniel Yaakobi, 59, the Israel Security Agency announced Wednesday.
Yaakobi’s body was found burned in the trunk of a car near Kalkilya on July 27, 2006.
One of the suspects, Tayun Tayun, a Fatah operative, said Yaakobi had brought his car to his brother Ahmad’s garage. He said he attacked and beat him with a wrench and a stick until he died.
Sharon Tovi, Yaakobi’s son-in-law, noted that “Danny was a doctor who helped everyone, both Jewish and Arab neighbors.”
Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, engineered the “Black September” Terror Attack during the Munich Olympics, which killed 11 Israeli athletes and a U.S. citizen. Like the filthy Arafat before him, Abbas/Mazen congratulated Hizbullah and all the resistance forces on their “victory” over Israel and on the return of “the heroes of freedom, the prisoners and the martyrs [to Lebanon].
Too bad the “international community” decided not only to meet Mahmoud Abbas’ request for $5.6 billion in aid, but to throw in almost $2 billion more. Why? Did the PA end its Jew-hating blood-lust terrorist ways?
The US government has been pushing very hard to give Mahmoud Abbas’s Al Fatah its own state, carved out of the Jewish state. Al Fatah (also known as ‘the PLO’) was trained in the 1950s by CIA-sponsored German Nazis.
Hamas TV has aired a short videotape that seems to show Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas telling a security chief to “slaughter” Hamas’ men.
The snippet shows Abbas at a photo opportunity, shaking the hand of a man in uniform. Apparently confident that the audio would never be aired, Abbas asks him “are you the commander of the operational force?” and the man answers in the affirmative. Abbas then says one word forcefully: “itbakh!” – which is Arabic for the imperative “slaughter.”
Mahmoud Abbas/Abu Mazen yearns for death. The Muslim yearning for death is not limited to Hamas and has been inculcated primarily by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah organization. Via NY Times:
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday dismissed a demand by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian negotiators have long refused to recognize Israel’s Jewish character. In an attempt to bolster the Palestinian argument, Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide and veteran negotiator, on Monday produced a copy of a letter signed by President Harry S Truman on May 14, 1948.
In its original form, it recognizes the provisional government of the new Jewish state, but the typed words “Jewish state” in the second paragraph have been crossed out and replaced with the handwritten “State of Israel.”
Shlomo Avineri, a professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said Erekat was misinterpreting the American president’s intention. The Truman letter had been prepared hours before Israel declared its independence, before the new country had chosen its name. It was later corrected by a Truman adviser, Clark M. Clifford, after the declaration of independence in order to call the country by its name, not to deny its Jewish character.
Hamas MP Fathi Hammad: We Used Women and Children as Human Shields.
Fathi Hammad: [The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: “We desire death like you desire life.”