'You cannot have a society without a shared moral code....
We have begun a journey down to the road to moral relativism and individualism, which no society in history has survived for long. It was the road taken in Greece in the third pre-Christian century and Rome in the first century CE: two great civilizations that shortly thereafter declined and died. Britain has begun along the same trajectory, and it is bad news for our children, and for our grandchildren worse still.
Some elements of morality are universal: justice-as-fairness and the avoidance of inflicting harm. But others are particular. They are what give a country and culture its colour, its distinctive handwriting in the book of life. The Britain I grew up in had extraordinary values and virtues. It honoured tradition but was open to innovation. It valued family and community but also left space for eccentricity and individuality....
I was a Jew and Britain was a Christian country, but it wore its religion lightly and its embrace was inclusive and warm. Generations of Jews who came here fleeing persecution elsewhere saw these virtues as wondrous, as something deeper and stronger than mere abstract tolerance, and wanted us, their children, to acquire them. For them and for us Britain was not just where we were but a vital part of who we were....'Here's something the Israel-haters and Chrislam propagandists would rather ignore.
"To understand the severity of the situation, let us recall that in the 1950s about 86 per cent of the population of the Bethlehem area was Christian. Today, we are only 12 per cent. In Israel, by contrast, we have 133,000 Christians and the figure is stable. Of course, I am worried about the future of Christians here.... I fear the day will come when our churches will become museums. Is my nightmare."The speaker is Palestinian Christian Samir Qumsieh, quoted in a must-read article on the plight of Palestinian Christians by Khaled Abu Toameh here.
"To all of our Christian friends around the world, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!I send you these greetings from Jerusalem. I'm standing in the courtyard of this magnificent International Christian Embassy. I'm so proud of our relations with our Christian brothers and sisters. I wonder for many of you if you remember the experience you had when you first visited Israel, when you saw the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the Via Dolorosa or the Sea of Galilee or Nazareth. I'm sure it moved you deeply.
And it moves us deeply to have this bond with you because we all know that this land of Israel is the land of our common heritage. It changed the story of humanity, it changed civilization. What a magnificent heritage it is. Yet, we also know that it is under attack these days, that the forces of intolerance, of barbarism that attack all religions attack Christians with particular vehemence. We stand with you and I'm proud of the fact that in Israel, this is the one place in the Middle East that the Christian community not only survives but thrives and it's no accident. It’s because of our commitment to religious freedom; it's because of our embrace of our heritage; it's because of our embrace of our common future.So please come to Israel. Come and visit me, I'm waiting for you. It will be a great experience for you.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!"
"Israelis deeply appreciate one of the great pillars of the US-Israel alliance: the willingness over many years of the US to stand up in the UN and veto anti-Israel resolutions.
I hope the US won't abandon this policy; I hope it will abide by the principles set by President Obama himself in his speech in the UN in 2011: That peace will come not through UN resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties.
And that's why this proposed resolution is bad. It's bad for Israel; it's bad for the United States; and it's bad for peace."