By Melissa Wuske
Israeli & American Views on Israel
Pew Research Center studied the differing views of Israeli and American Christians regarding the nation of Israel. While 82 percent of American evangelicals said they believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, only 19 percent of Christians who live in Israel and were born there agree.
Each group’s view affects how they see America’s involvement in Israel. Of Israeli Christians, 86 percent think the U.S. is too supportive of Israel, and 6 percent say American government isn’t supportive enough. Meanwhile 18 percent of Americans surveyed (both religious and nonreligious) believe the U.S. is too supportive of Israel, and 29 percent say the U.S. is not supportive enough of Israel.
American policy affects Israel, particularly in the pursuit of ideals like democracy. Nearly three-quarters of Israeli Christians (72 percent) do not believe that Israel can be both a democracy and a Jewish state, but most Israeli Jews (76 percent) think it can fully be both.
A New Team for This Summer’s Olympics
There will be a new team at this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: refugees. The team, called Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA), will compete under the Olympic flag. It will consist of United Nations-verified refugees with Olympic-level athletic skills. “By welcoming ROA to the Olympic Games in Rio, we want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world,” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
There are more than 40 prospective athletes, but there is no designated size for the team. “This team may end up between five and ten athletes maybe,” said Bach. “It depends very much on the sporting qualifications.”
Food Photos Equal Food Enjoyment
Science now provides validation for those who love to Instagram photos of their food. According to a study by the Journal of Consumer Marketing, pausing to photograph a meal causes a “momentary active delay in consumption” that increases enjoyment of the food. But “this effect only works for indulgent food.” For those who want to eat healthy and still derive benefits from Instagram, the study suggests that visiting Instagram accounts of other people who are eating healthy before consuming a meal makes users feel a part of a larger group, and thus increases their eating pleasure.
Too Politically Correct with Terror?
Political correctness is impeding the fight against Muslim terrorists, according to the author Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali, an atheist who was raised in a Muslim family in Somalia, knows the dangers of glossing over political aspects of Islam. “Islam is a religion, but it is also a political doctrine, and you will not be able to name the threat precisely unless you understand exactly what Islam is,” Ali explained.
She draws a distinction between Muslims who identify with Muhammad’s violent conflicts in Medina and those who don’t. “Millions and millions and millions of Muslims are peace-loving,” Ali said, “but those Muslims who invoke the prophet Muhammad in his legacy in Medina and in his creeds, those are a threat to us on a personal level.”
“It is true that political correctness is literally eroding our systems from within and killing it,” said Ali. “Radical Islamists are, obviously, exploiting that. They have defined us as the enemy and we haven’t defined them as the enemy. They are exploiting our weaknesses and political correctness is our weakness.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).