Turkey’s ‘School of Nature’: Reminding Us of What We Forgot | Global Voices

Located in the high reaches of Eski Orhanlı, an abandoned mountain village close to the town of Seferihisar, Doğa Okulu, or School of Nature, is not a regular school. There is no fixed teaching staff, nor is there a curriculum. At Doğa Okulu everyone is nature’s student, re-engaging with the primeval knowledge inherent to natural living by imitating nature itself: experimenting, experiencing and evolving collectively without rigid schedules.

An hour from the Aegean coast in the province of Izmir, Eski Orhanlı looks out over a fertile valley. The climate and soil provide a home to free-growing olive trees and grape vines, as well as the region’s trademark oaks. The village was inhabited for thousands of years before it was vacated in the 1980s, as Eski Orhanlı’s locals decided to constitute a new village in the valley, with better transport access to the fields where they work. [Read more]

Echoes of Jesus in the Valley of the Cross | Times of Israel

What kind of tree provided wood for the cross on which Jesus was crucified? The answer dates back to back to Abraham, who was well on in years when three staff-carrying angels ventured into his tent. After predicting that Sarah would become pregnant despite her advanced age they continued on their way, leaving their staves behind them.

Later, when fleeing Sodom with his daughters, Abraham’s nephew Lot committed the terrible sin of incest (Gen. 19:31-35). He confessed to his uncle, who suggested that Lot plant the staves in Jerusalem as a penance. Should they grow together into a flourishing tree, it would be a sign of God’s forgiveness, he said. [Read more]

The Islamic State . . . of Saudi Arabia | National Review

The beheadings over the last several weeks were intended to terrorize, to intimidate, to coerce obedience, and to enforce a construction of sharia law that, being scripturally rooted, is draconian and repressive.

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists. [Read more]

Israel’s Arab citizens alienated after war with Hamas | USA Today

The downturn in Asem Jezmawi’s restaurant business began in early July. That’s when thousands of Israel’s Arab citizens took to the streets to protest the killing of an Arab teenager by Jewish extremists to avenge the earlier deaths of three Jewish teens.

Jezmawi’s eatery, in this predominantly Arab region of northern Israel, floundered even more during the seven-week war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that began July 8. [Read more]

Israel, the Quiet Partner in Fight Against IS | Voice of America

As the U.S. builds an international coalition against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, Israel has a stake in the outcome of the fight but its role is restricted.

Israel in recent days has reiterated its support of U.S. efforts.  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, telling him Israel is willing to help out, if invited to do so, “taking into consideration sensitivities” and U.S. needs. [Read more]

This is how ISIS wins: Repeating the Bush/Cheney/Rove approach just won’t work | Salon

For all his vaunted love of nuance, President Obama’s recent speech announcing our new war against ISIS (or ISIL, to the White House) denounced them in terms strikingly similar to George W. Bush’s language waging war on “evil doers,” and that’s a development that should trouble us all. Yes, Obama avoided the word ‘war,’ but the rest of his team soon embraced it, and the logic of his address made that move virtually inevitable, whatever he may personally and privately have wished.

“We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm,” Obama said — a typical, and laudable, example of his nuance and restraint. But unfortunately, its main purpose was anything but nuanced: to firmly establish the black-and-white evil enemy frame: “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple,” Obama continued. “And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.” [Read more]


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