This Week in the News

Austrian Conservative/Far Right Pro-European Government Forming

Politico wrote on October 24:

“Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache [successor to the late Joerg Haider] accepted Sebastian Kurz’s invitation to start coalition talks…

“Kurz is on course to become chancellor after his party came first in a national election earlier this month. His party previously made up a grand coalition government with the Social Democrats (SPÖ)… Kurz said that all talks with the parties had been ‘constructive,’ but when he spoke to Strache, he said he had the feeling that the FPÖ had a ‘strong will of shaping’ the country’s future

“Strache’s Freedom Party came in third place in the October 15 election, close behind the Social Democrats. The party shares a similar stance with Kurz’s ÖVP on migration, including plans to reduce illegal immigration as well as to cut taxes… Kurz said there will be three important areas of coalition negotiations: establishing a ‘new style’ of politics, creating a coalition that has the will to make changes and maintaining a ‘clear pro-European stance.'”

A coalition between the ÖVP and the FPÖ would catapult Austria into the country’s right-wing corners of the political spectrum.

Hitler Comparison with Kurz Sparks Uproar

Deutsche Welle reported on October 16:

“In the run-up to Sunday’s Austrian elections, German media had accused frontrunner Sebastian Kurz of ‘fishing for far-right votes… Following his victory, German satirical magazine Titanic sparked an uproar in Austria after it published an image of Kurz with a target over his chest and the caption: ‘Finally possible: Killing baby Hitler!

“Austrian newspapers and Twitter users criticized the magazine within hours of Titanic posting the image on its official Twitter page.

“The Austrian news website published an article on the incident with the headline, ‘Scandal: Satire magazine calls for the murder of Kurz,’ while the daily tabloid newpaper Kronen Zeitung said the tweet was ‘unbelievable’ and ‘tasteless.’

“Adolf Hitler, who was born in Austria, ruled Nazi Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945…

“DW asked Christian Solmecke, an expert in media law in Cologne, Germany, about the case: ‘…it’s very clear that there is no incitement to murder that should be taken seriously… Satire is, at least in Germany, completely protected… Even if you think it is outlandish and you don’t understand the joke or you think it’s a bad joke, it’s still within the scope of free expression… Titanic’s opinion is clear: the wrong politician is about to become chancellor and that politician is too right-wing…’”

Making Austria Great Again

Deutsche Welle wrote on October 15:

“Kurz rose to prominence in 2013, when at 27 he became the world’s youngest serving foreign minister… When a new wave of refugees seeking to relocate to Europe became a continent-wide concern in 2015, Kurz recognized Austrian voters’ anxiety over unchecked immigration. He called for tougher external border controls, better integration and stringent control of ‘political Islam’ funded from abroad. He also organized the shutdown of the popular overland route through the West Balkans

“His hard-line positions have prompted observers to call him ‘hard hearted’ as Gemany’s Die Welt newspaper did…

“According to professor Peter Filzmaier… what Kurz has accomplished is ‘unprecedented in Austrian politics…’”

Strongman Needed

Bloomberg wrote on October 14:

“Compared with 10 years ago, more Austrians say they feel like they’re not being heard and are in search of law-and-order leadership, a SORA institute study showed.

“More than two-fifths of voters declared their desire for a ‘strongman’ leader, according to the research, periodically commissioned by the federal government to gauge public attitudes and consciousness about the country’s Nazi history.”

Someone like Kurz ”Needed” in Germany?

Politico wrote on October 23:

“A member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own party said their conservative CDU needs ‘new party leadership’…

“Alexander Mitsch, who leads a right-leaning group within the CDU… criticized the party’s immigration policies in recent years as well as the loss of voters’ support in September’s national election… Mitsch also suggested that his party could learn from the example of Austria’s conservative leader, 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz…  ‘Of course that is a very good model for Germany … We wish we had someone in Germany like Mr. Kurz,’ Mitsch said of Kurz’s election success… adding that a young new leader would bring ‘new momentum’ to the party.”

Mitsch echoed a statement by the mass tabloid Bild Online, asking the question on October 16: “Why don’t we (in Germany) have someone like Sebastian Kurz?”

Bild’s hysteria with Sebastian Kurz knows no bounds. In an editorial on October 17, Kurz was compared with Mozart (as both were very young when they accomplished great things) and the question was asked as to what “supernatural” abilities Kurz possesses. He was described as a man without sins, as he is “too young to have committed a sin” (even though he has been living together with his girlfriend for 13 years, without being married), concluding that the young have now to replace the old. It is interesting that the Bible warns that children will rule over the old and over entire nations.

The German coalition discussions between CDU, CSU, FDP and the Greens (the so-called Jamaica coalition) are ongoing, but due to the recent surprise victory of the SPD over the CDU in a German state election, Chancellor Merkel’s task of trying to form such a coalition has not become any easier. The continuation of the present grand coalition between CDU and SPD should not be ruled out. In any event, “compromise” is the word of the day. Everybody urges the other side to show a willingness to compromise, which only manifests again the absolute necessity for Christians to stay away from the political stage.

German Parties in Disarray

The following two articles, even though somewhat dated, show the growing concern in Germany and around the world about the success of the AfD and the overall defeat of Germany’s “main” parties, and asking uncomfortable questions about the relationship between Israel and Germany.

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 26:

“Among the many earthquakes in Germany’s political landscape triggered by the German election was the destruction of a decades-old dictum once uttered by the… CSU’s most famed leader Franz Josef Strauss: ‘There must be no democratically legitimate party right of the CSU.’ Sunday’s devastating results for Germany’s conservative parties seemed to show that the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a populist far-right force across Germany has forever buried that notion. The CSU, Bavarian allies to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU)… scored its lowest ever result on Sunday, with just under 39 percent of the vote in its home state — over 10 percentage points down on 2013.

“Media commentators were quick to draw… [the conclusion that] the CSU will have to shift to the right to win back its lost voters — particularly ahead of the Bavarian state election next fall… this [is] going to make it even more difficult for Merkel to bring the CSU into a coalition with the nominally more left-wing Green party — even though the ‘Jamaica coalition,’ a four-way combination of the CDU/CSU, Greens, and the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), appears to be the chancellor’s only option…

“Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will be the Bundestag’s likely new president [he was inaugurated on October 24]… clearing the path for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) to offer his job to a member of a potential coalition partner. The… FDP… are said to covet the post…

“In addition to the AfD, which formed in 2013 and which will enter the Bundestag after winning the votes of 12.6 percent of Germany’s electorate, Schäuble will have to contend with the Social Democrats (SPD). The party will likely lead the opposition to whatever coalition Merkel cobbles together… The SPD reached a postwar low in support on Sunday, winning just 20.5 percent of the vote

“[CSU’s] Seehofer has also proved a consistent thorn in the chancellor’s side on topics such as migration, which is shaping up to be a point of contention in coalition talks, with the Greens favoring a more humanitarian approach and the FDP advocating more restrictive policies… parties have not even begun to make their most major maneuvers in earnest yet: There is a contested state election in Lower Saxony scheduled for October 15, and nobody wants a national-level misstep to ruin things for their regional division.”

Seehofer’s CSU only ran in the “free state” of Bavaria. Merkel’s CDU, which ran in the entirety of Germany outside Bavaria, suffered its worst election result since 1949, with only 33% of the votes.

In the first session of the newly formed Bundestag, on October 24, the AfD made their voice heard by comparing the maneuvering of the Bundestag with that of the Nazis… and the SPD attacked Angela Merkel by stating that it was her fault that the AfD entered the German parliament.  The uproar was forthcoming.. and signaled a rough and stormy future of Germany’s political mine field.

Will Germany Defend Israel?

Israel Hayom wrote on September 26:

“AfD leader Alexander Gauland… said Jews had nothing to fear… the AfD aims to outlaw kosher slaughter and halal food, which adheres to Islamic law, along with circumcision for minors… ‘If Israel’s right to exist is one of Germany’s top interests, then that says we need to deploy German soldiers to defend the Jewish state, and the politicians don’t provide a clear answer on this,’ Gauland said…

“Gauland continued to defend his controversial assertion that Germans can be proud of the German army’s achievements in both world wars… The AfD leader also stressed that his party would give Germans their country back: ‘A million people, who came in unsupervised, are taking a part of Germany. I don’t want to lose Germany because of an invasion of people from foreign cultures.”

Bild Online wrote on September 27 that the spokesman of the German government, Steffen Seibert, refused to answer the media’s question as to whether Merkel agreed with the AfD, or whether Germany would be willing to send soldiers to Israel to defend it if it was threatened.

Prospect of Compulsory Military Service in Israel Causes Strong Protests by Influential Ultra-Orthodox Jews

AFP wrote on October 23:

“Several thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews blocked the main entrance to Jerusalem on Monday and protested in other areas as part of a series of demonstrations against serving in the Israeli military… A series of such protests in recent weeks has been spurred by occasional arrests of ultra-Orthodox young men accused of dodging military service…

“Israeli law requires men to serve two years and eight months in the military on reaching the age of 18, while women must serve for two. Ultra-Orthodox men are exempt from military service if they are engaged in religious study, but must still report to the army to receive their exemption. Those who are not exempt must enlist with the military and can be arrested if they refuse.

“In September, a decision by Israel’s supreme court struck down the law exempting them. However, the court suspended its ruling for one year to allow for preparations for a new arrangement, also giving the government time to pass a new law. The ruling raises the possibility that the ultra-Orthodox could be forced into service, a highly contentious proposition with political implications. Ultra-Orthodox parties are a key part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition and have often acted as kingmakers in Israeli politics.”

Arrests Over Intermarriage Dispute in Israel

 AFP wrote on October 23:

“Israeli police detained 15 suspected Jewish extremists following an undercover investigation into a group accused of tracking down and threatening Arab men dating Jewish women, authorities said Sunday. Among those arrested was Benzi Gopstein, a prominent leader of the Israeli extreme-right group Lehava…

“Speaking to reporters at his hearing at Jerusalem magistrates’ court, Gopstein said he was arrested for telling a Jewish woman that she should not date an Arab man, insisting he did no wrong… Lehava opposes intermarriage. In August 2014, its activists staged a rally where racist slogans, including “Death to Arabs!”, were shouted at the wedding near Tel Aviv of a Muslim man and Jewish woman.

“Arabs account for some 17.5 per cent of Israel’s eight million population… In April, six Israelis, including two soldiers, were arrested for alleged racist attacks against Arabs with knives and other weapons and charged with ‘terrorist’ offences. Police said they were influenced by a Lehava video.

“Gopstein was also questioned by police in 2015 after he condoned setting fire to Christian churches in Israel, in accordance with a medieval Jewish commandment to destroy places of idol-worship.

“The police statement said that the latest arrests were the result of an undercover investigation. ‘It uncovered organised and premeditated activity believed to have been carried out by the suspects, known members of Lehava,’ it said.”

Violence in Israel will be breaking out in different corners and based on different philosophies, and it will be the European army which will attempt to bring peace to the region.

New Excavations in Jerusalem

Christian Headlines wrote on October 23:

“Israeli archaeologists recently uncovered eight previously unearthed sections of the Temple Mount’s retaining wall in Jerusalem and part of a Roman-era theater in an area abutting the wall…

“The archaeologists hope they will uncover artifacts from the First Temple, built by King Solomon of the Old Testament and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem and built the Second Temple, which was dedicated around 515 B.C. Roman soldiers burned the temple and razed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Jews still consider the Temple Mount the holiest site on earth. Today the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic Dome of the Rock sit on the site.

“‘We have a great deal of archaeological work ahead, and I am certain that the deeper we dig, the earlier the periods we will reach, further anchoring the profound connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem,’ Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel told the Times of Israel.”

According to SWR2, the excavations occur in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel. It is hoped to prove the presence of Jews in Jerusalem for thousands of years, thereby establishing Israel’s claim to an undivided Jewish city and the Temple Mount.

European Army Soon?

Express wrote on October 25:

“DONALD Tusk is pushing to set up an EU army by the end of the year to protect the bloc’s borders and fight back against [the] ‘destabilisation around Europe’.

“The European Council President called for the 27-nation superstate to introduce Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence (PESCO) to protect the bloc from the effects of the migrant crisis, hostile bordering states and forces that risk tearing the bloc apart.

“He added the EU should be prepared to spend huge amounts on the project, which will come with its own centralised headquarters and ambitious plans for EU military missions abroad.

“Critics have repeatedly warned that the new system is a gateway to the creation of an EU army, although Brussels itself denies this and says it is just facilitating better military cooperation.”

Japan Ready to Change Its Pacifist Constitution

The Los Angeles Times wrote on October 23:

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scored a landslide victory on Sunday as his conservative ruling party and a coalition partner secured a two-thirds majority in parliament that will allow him to push ahead unimpeded in his quest to change [Article 9 of] Japan’s pacifist constitution

“A constitutional reform bill requires approval by two-thirds of both houses, and then a simple majority in a national referendum. The vote in the latter is all but guaranteed to be far tighter than Sunday’s election.”

Reuters wrote on October 22:

“The U.S.-drafted constitution’s Article 9, if taken literally, bans the maintenance of armed forces. But Japanese governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defence…

“Abe has backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough stance towards North Korea, which has test-fired missiles over Japan, that all options, including military action, are on the table. Trump is to visit Japan Nov. 5-7 to reaffirm the leaders’ tight ties.”

Japan’s  future role is not clearly revealed. In World War I, Japan was an ally and “foe” against Germany and China, while in World War II, it was an ally or “friend” of Germany, but it was still a “foe” against China. We will need to see whose ally a militaristic Japan will be in World War III.

Crazy Gender “Confusion”

International Business Times wrote on October 23:

“As many as 50 children a week are being referred to gender reassignment doctors in the UK, including children as young as four… Figures show that a record number of children now believe [they] were born in the wrong body, according to the Mirror. Some experts attribute the rise in the number of children being referred to is the growing acceptance of gender issues.

“Children ages 11 and over can be treated with powerful hormones to prevent puberty. The children are allowed to decide whether they want to go ahead with gender realignment when they are older.”

These pitiful assertions and “beliefs” of children have been made possible by an irresponsible political liberal agenda of medical “experts,” a confused mass media and unsuspecting, gullible and deluded parents.

Ridiculous “Political Correctness”

Express reported on October 1:

“In some educational institutions, BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) have been replaced with terms BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). The new terms still indicate the periods before and after the birth of Christ, but have been put into use as local authority committees say the old terms may upset minorities and atheists. But critics blasted the move as a ‘capitulation to political correctness’, while non-Christian religious leaders said the move was unnecessary… Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the ruling by the religious education committees was a ‘great shame’. He said he has ‘never met a Muslim or Jewish leader who is offended by the Gregorian calendar’…

“Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs) from Brighton and Essex are among an increasing number of local authority committees urging education heads to drop BC and AD.  The syllabus for schools in East Sussex reads: ‘BCE and CE are now used in order to show sensitivity to those who are not Christians.’”

The insanity of “political correctness” seems to know no limits.

New “Security” Measures Enforced by USA

CNBC wrote on October 25:

“New security measures take effect on Thursday on all U.S.-bound flights to comply with government requirements designed to avoid an in-cabin ban on laptops.

“Airlines contacted by Reuters said the new measures, which could include short security interviews with passengers, would be in place by Thursday.

“The new measures will affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.”

As if these “security” measures would accomplish anything… They will, however, contribute to further flight delays and unpleasant experiences of travelers.

The Return of the Plague or the Black Death

The Sun wrote on October 25:

“PLAGUE warnings have been issued for NINE countries surrounding Madagascar amid fears the disease could spread via sea trade and flight routes. The outbreak is considered a much bigger threat to the region than in previous years because it has taken on its pneumonic form – meaning it is airborne and spread by sneezing and coughing.

“WHO has issued alerts for nine countries surrounding Madagascar where the outbreak has occurred…

“The medieval disease famously wiped out ONE THIRD of Europe’s population in the 13th and 14th centuries…”

The Bible predicts that in these end times, huge disease epidemics will severely plague mankind.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

©2023 Church of the Eternal God