UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Thursday, May 8 2014:
**Israel has seen intense weather over the last 24 hours with more rain falling than in the previous three months combined.
Flash floods have hit the southern part of the country from Beersheva to Eilat. Numerous roads have been closed, and motorists have been trapped. One group of 200 sixth-graders has been rescued in the last few hours from a dangerous situation near Arad.
**Numerous terrorist incidents have occurred over the last 48 hours.
In one of the most bizarre attacks, Arabs attacked an Israeli motorist today at the interchange between Beit Hanina and Pisgat Ze’ev on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Fortunately, the driver and his passengers escaped physical injury; however, their car was badly damaged. When police arrived on the scene, they accused the motorist of provoking the attack by having an Israeli flag attached to his car.
From yesterday: Palestinians threw “rocks” at Israelis at the Gush Etzion bus stop; two Palestinians were spotted firing on the community of Beit El–one was captured, the other escaped; terrorists fired on another Jewish community near Hebron; Palestinian terrorists hurled “rocks” at the Tapuach Junction near Kedumim; Israelis were assaulted near al-Tahta; Israelis were attacked at Mt. Hebron; Palestinian terrorists threw “rocks” at vehicles at Itamar.
And so it goes everyday.
**More than 5000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel began a hunger strike today. Their ostensible goal is to support “a day of rage” taking place in the Palestinian autonomous areas tomorrow.
What is hilarious is to see how the Israel prison system reacts to these strikes. One would think that the sky is falling as the prison administration rushes to make concessions to the prisoners in every way possible.
In your humble servant’s opinion, the prison system should look upon these strikes as a way to cut costs and encourage them whenever possible. If the Palestinian criminals want to stop eating, let them stop eating.
The value of the U.S. dollar has dropped to its lowest point since August 2011–trading today at 3.445 shekels to one dollar. During the past few years, the policy of the Bank of Israel has been to prop up the dollar by buying massive amounts of dollars. In fact, at the end of April, the foreign exchange reserves in the Bank were 86.5 billion dollars–an increase of $921 million dollars since the end of March.
FXCM (Forex Capital Markets Limited) warned this morning that the dollar is in danger of total collapse unless the Bank undertakes another massive dollar-buying effort.
Hmm. Let’s see.
In Geneva on Tuesday, Vatican Archbishop Silvano Tomasi faced another day of intense interrogations from a United Nations Committee that monitors torture around the world. Tomasi was being grilled because the Committee considers sexual violence against children to be torture.
And few if any institutions are more guilty of torture against children than the Catholic Church. Tomasi admitted to the Committee that there have been 3,400 cases of abuse by Catholic priests reported to the Vatican since 2004.
Again, these cases are only the ones that have been “reported to the Vatican”. Who know how many thousands of others have not?
How has the Catholic Church handled these cases of torture?
According to Tomasi, 848 priests have been “defrocked” and another 2,572 have been punished with “lesser penalties”.
Nevertheless, Tomasi went to great lengths to say that the Catholic Church was only obligated to abide by the torture treaty inside the confines of Vatican City. In other words, Catholic priests located outside of the Vatican are outside the purview of the Church when it comes to torture.
More than this, Tomasi revealed that even today, the Church still does not require bishops to report cases of priest pedophilia to the police. Church guidelines developed in 2010 merely suggest that they report “credible” cases to the police, if they are required to do so by local laws. By the way, since 2010, the number of cases of priests torturing children, according to Tomasi, has remained a constant 400 per year.
Your humble servant points out all of this disgusting behavior today because in advance of Pope Francis’ visit to Israel in two weeks, the Vatican announced today that it was preparing an international campaign against Israel because of graffiti that has been painted on Catholic churches in Jerusalem in the last month.
The specific Vatican announcement reads: “Catholic leaders in Jerusalem are preparing a series of measures to clarify that the Israeli authorities are responsible to take action against these acts.” The announcement went on to say that the Church would be contacting international media to get the word out.
The Vatican realizes that its priests are torturing children around the world by the thousands–and it chooses to mount an international campaign against Israel because of graffiti?
What utter hypocrisy.