“Palmyra” by Charles Glass
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The young man betrayed no emotion as he told the story: ‘They asked him to kneel. He refused. He said, “If you are going to kill me, it will be while I am standing. I will die like the date palms, upright.” Because he refused to kneel, they hit him behind the knees.’ The man’s legs collapsed, and he fell. A sword swept through his neck, severing his head.
The young man, Tarek Assa’ad, hesitated. This was not a distant memory, and the murdered man was no stranger. It was his father, Khaled Assa’ad. The 81-year-old archaeologist died on 18 August 2015 within sight of the house where he was born on 1 January 1934. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), then at the summit of its conquests, decapitated him with the same destructive fury that characterised its demolition of the Hellenic and Roman treasures that Khaled Assa’ad had dedicated his life to protecting. In the burning summer of 2015, the guardian and his city, called Palmyra for its stately palm trees, were dying together…
Meanwhile, the trade in stolen artefacts from Palmyra and elsewhere was flourishing. Stolen statues, manuscripts, jewellery and ceramics turned up in Europe via Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. It was not as bad, however, as Dr Abdul Karim had feared: ‘We found that more than 70 per cent of the traffic outside Syria is fake.’ Many items, when their provenance was revealed, went back to Syria with the help of Interpol and other police agencies. ‘It’s not just our culture,’ Dr Abdul Karim said. ‘It is a universal heritage.’
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
The world needs Jehovah’s culture, where death isn’t glamorized and where education is true.
Alternative media has shown that it’s not alternative enough. But it does have its own flavor. There are more facts for one, good, thing. But in the area of Palestinian – Israeli relations, where one side oppresses and slaughters the other side, the real need, for those whose education includes the idea that human life is not meant to be thrown away carelessly, is for the victims of Israeli aggression to be removed to safety. The alt media is right to stay fixed on Israeli atrocities in connection with the March of Return. But it’s deadly wrong to not point out that what the Palestinians needed to do long ago, and now if they can, is leave for safety. But the world, victims, non victims, violent criminals and (relatively) innocent victims, lacks faith. Faithless supporters of human rights and the Palestinian struggle, along with those Palestinian victims, take the position that if we imperfect humans can’t fix it, then it can’t be fixed, because we are our own savior. They take the view that Palestinians have more claim to the land that they’re on than the Israelis, and they’re right and wrong. They leave God out of the picture.
No one has ‘unconditional’ ownership of the land they live on. Two things are required for the grant of life in paradise: 1. Loyalty to the Creator (who, I’m sorry to report, isn’t evolution or imperfect humankind) and 2. Adherence to his standards, which would rule out murder, lying, stealing, coveting, adultery.
Those who carelessly throw away their lives, and their childrens’ lives, will have to account to God for their actions. As for the uneducated – sometimes truly and sometimes voluntarily – world, abnormal and violent is normal, unfortunately. The world’s faith in itself ensures that abnormal will continue until it can’t.
Human life, when lived normally, is beautiful.
And the Syrian people need all the support the world can give it, not wishy washy and endless debates about the evil Assad. I wouldn’t say he’s not evil. But right now, he’s defending his people from much greater evil and some of that evil is called progressive.
Faithless people think that unless Israel changes its mind about things, willingly or by force, then the cruel destruction of the Palestinian community within its borders will continue. They give no thought to the idea that Jehovah God will eventually (in fact soon) destroy this evil, anti-life system of things, including all people who oppose him and including nation states, all of which oppose him. Palestinians are sacrificing themselves and their innocent children because Israel is taking their land and culture from them, and they won’t allow that, when, in fact, that’s unnecessary, as Israel will soon be removed by God. Palestinians are faced with same challenge as Israelis and all of humankind, namely the force of darkness unleashed by a world temporarily led by Gog (meaning darkness), aka Satan. All of us will, sooner or later, respond to the Issue of Universal Sovereignty and that response will determine our everlasting future. We will either have one or we won’t, depending on whether we stick with the Creator or reject him. And he will force no one to be loyal to him. He will force no one to live. Are Palestinian parents teaching their children that? Are those who are defending Palestinian victims of evil Israelis learning anything important that they can pass on to those who they are supporting?