Dagelijkse archieven: 5 december 2017

De eerste IJslandse heidense tempel in 1.000 jaar

Bron: ETH

Aangeleverd door: Spruitje

First Icelandic Pagan Temple in 1,000 Years Built in Iceland

First Icelandic Pagan Temple in 1,000 Years Built in Iceland

“On that day, men shall fling away, to the flying foxes and the bats, the idols of silver and the idols of gold which they made for worshiping.” (Isaiah 2:20)

As the pagan Norse religion makes a roaring comeback in Iceland, the Asatru Society is expected to finish construction of a new temple – the first structure dedicated to the Norse god Odin in over one thousand years. The Icelandic Ásatrú religion follows the belief systems of the Old Norse religion, or Germanic neo-paganism. The followers worship the ancient Norse gods such as Ódin, Thor and Freyja. There have been no temples to the Norse gods in Iceland for over 900 years, but in 2015, the Ásatrú

Society, re-established in 1972, began construction on a modern temple in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. It is expected to be ready for use sometime this summer at a final cost of around $1.25 million. The pagan religion is making a comeback in Iceland, necessitating the construction of the new facility. Established 45 years ago by farmer Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, the Ásatrú Society initially had 12 members. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in Iceland, there were 2,382 members in 2014; today there are 3,583 members. READ MORE

Security forces on high alert ahead of possible Jerusalem declaration

Aangeleverd door: Spruitje

Security forces on high alert ahead of possible Jerusalem declaration

Defense establishment sources say an American announcement that will change the status quo in Jerusalem would be seen by Hamas as a reason to inflame the tensions on the Palestinian street and turn the organization’s anniversary celebrations into a series of days of rage and terror attacks.

The defense establishment is preparing for a possible violent Palestinian outburst in Israel, primarily in Jerusalem, following reports that US President Donald Trump may recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or announce a decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Bron: Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter 


The US administration has instructed its consulates and embassies in the Middle East to raise their alert level for fear of protests against American institutions.


Police, Shin Bet and Central Command officials have been meeting in recent days to evaluate the situation and prepare for a wave of riots and terror attacks, which could be similar to the attacks that took place following the decision to place metal detectors at the Temple Mount in July.


Riots in Jerusalem following placement of metal detectors at the Temple Mount in July (Photo: EPA)

Riots in Jerusalem following placement of metal detectors at the Temple Mount in July (Photo: EPA)


Defense establishment officials stress that the Palestinian leadership’s harsh comments against the possible American move have yet to cross the line and push the Palestinian street towards acts of violence, but say the line could be crossed in an instant even without the Palestinian Authority’s encouragement. The fiery atmosphere in the Palestinian media could spur lone-wolf attacks, stabbing attacks and acts of terror by independent cells even before an American announcement.


The Palestinian leadership still hopes that the moderate Arab states’ pressure on the White House will stop President Trump from making any declarations on Jerusalem. Diplomatic sources in Washington confirmed Monday that a decision on the issue had yet to be made, saying that the president’s team had prepared a variety of “creative alternatives” for a commitment to move the embassy to Jerusalem, although no one knows what the president’s final decision will be.


Hamas incited the Palestinian street with all its force Monday as part of the organization’s preparations for its 30th anniversary celebrations. Hamas was officially founded on December 14, but Israeli security sources say an American announcement that will change the status quo in Jerusalem would be seen as a reason to inflame the tensions on the street and turn the celebrations into a series of days of rage and terror attacks.


Israeli officials believe Hamas will make an unusual effort to launch a major attack in a bid to deal with its new image in Gaza—as an organization which has taken the diplomatic path, moved closer to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, chosen a moderate policy vis-à-vis Israel and given up the armed struggle—after it stopped Islamic Jihad from acting against Israel to avenge the destruction of the organization’s border-crossing tunnel.


The Hamas leadership abroad, primarily the Hamas military headquarters in Turkey, is behind the effort to launch violent attacks during the organization’s anniversary celebrations. Military commander Saleh al-Arouri, who allegedly found shelter in Lebanon after Ankara reportedly shut down the Hamas office, is actually spending most of his time in Turkey and in the Gulf states, operating cells and transferring funds to Hamas members in the West Bank. At the same time, the Gaza headquarters operating Hamas operatives in the West Bank—comprised of terrorists who were released in the Shalit deal—is trying to launch terror attacks in the territories as well.


Security sources in Israel believe the Palestinian protest will be reflected both in the activity of institutionalized organizations and in a rise in the activity of lone-wolf terrorists, which has seen a decrease recently. The Palestinian establishment is apparently trying to lead the incitement against the expected American move in the religious direction. Any American move that would change the status quo on Jerusalem would be presented as a move against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.


The popular protest against the metal detectors was also led by religious leaders in Jerusalem: The grand mufti of Jerusalem on behalf of the PA, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein; Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the Islamic Movement’s representative; and Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on behalf of the Waqf.


This trio is leading a large group of different religious clerics and has a greater influence on the Palestinian street than the political leadership. This group, Israeli officials believe, will lead any move against the possible American announcements. The PA, however, is still seeking a controlled non-violent response in a bid to prevent a descent into anarchy.


U.S. to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders

Bron : The New York Times


President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — and to set in motion an embassy move — is his riskiest foray yet into the thicket of Middle East diplomacy. CreditOded Balilty/Associated Press

President Trump told Israeli and Arab leaders on Tuesday that he plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr. Trump is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday, two days after the expiration of a deadline for him to decide whether to keep the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Palestinian officials said Mr. Trump told the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, that the United States would move the embassy to Jerusalem. Jordan said the president gave a similar message to King Abdullah II.

American officials, however, said such a move could not occur immediately for logistical reasons, given the lack of facilities to house the embassy staff. As a result, Mr. Trump is expected to sign a national security waiver that would authorize the administration to keep it in Tel Aviv for an additional six months.

Still, Mr. Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital — and to set in motion an embassy move — is his riskiest foray yet into the thicket of Middle East diplomacy. Arab and European leaders warn that it could derail any peace initiative and even ignite fresh violence in the region.

Continue reading the main story

King Abdullah II strongly cautioned against the move, “stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world,” according to a statement from the royal palace in Amman.

“King Abdullah stressed that the adoption of this resolution will have serious implications for security and stability in the Middle East, and will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process and fuel the feelings of Muslims and Christians,” the statement said.

Few details of the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Abbas were released, but a P.L.O. spokesman said that the call had given shape to the worst fears of Palestinians — that the United States would break with decades of practice and longstanding international consensus by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Palestinians hope to make East Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state, and the city is of great religious significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

“It’s very serious,” said the spokesman, Xavier Abu Eid. “Things look very bad.”

The Palestinian news agency, WAFA, quoted Mr. Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, as saying that Mr. Abbas will continue his contacts with world leaders to prevent such “unacceptable action.”

King Abdullah also spoke with Mr. Abbas, assuring him of Jordan’s support for the Palestinians “in preserving their historic rights in Jerusalem and the need to work together to confront the consequences of this decision,” it said.

Mr. Trump, officials said, assured Mr. Abbas that the administration would protect Palestinian interests in any peace negotiation with Israel. He also invited the Palestinian leader to visit him in Washington for further consultations.

In his phone calls with Arab leaders, Mr. Trump is making the case that settling the question of the American Embassy could actually hasten the peace process by removing a thorny political issue that recurs every six months.

But that is primarily a political problem for Mr. Trump, who promised during the 2016 campaign to move the embassy. His pledge was extremely popular with evangelicals and pro-Israel backers, including the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. They expressed frustration when Mr. Trump signed the waiver in June, keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv.

Middle East experts said the administration’s argument that it could not move the embassy immediately made little sense, since all that is required is to place a sign on the existing American consulate, declaring it the embassy.

For Arab leaders, word that the United States would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital had already caused great consternation. The symbolic statement of the embassy’s change of address, many officials warned, was actually less damaging to the peace process than changing United States policy on Jerusalem’s status.

For the United States to move the embassy would break with international consensus that the status of Jerusalem remains unsettled.

Though Israel houses its parliament, president, prime minister and most ministries in Jerusalem, and Israelis overwhelmingly want the world to acknowledge the Holy City as their seat of government, the international community recognizes de facto Israeli sovereignty only in West Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem was captured by Israeli forces during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. And the permanent status of Jerusalem as a whole, East and West, was postponed under the Oslo Accords, although Israel extended Jerusalem’s municipal borders to encompass the predominantly Arab eastern neighborhoods.