I Samuel 15:2-3


2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

See other: Often Ignored Bible Verses

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Human Well-being, Facts and the Arab-Israeli Conflict


The Arab-Israeli conflict is an ongoing and often violent religious clash over the land of Palestine. Both sides claim historical religious rights to the land and use those claims to justify fighting. This fight over the land officially began in 1948 after the UN gave the Jewish population Israel, and the Arabs felt that it was their land that was being given away.

Unfortunately, most of the commentaries regarding this ongoing conflict are heavily politicised and, worse still, often steeped in prejudices fuelled by religious hatred (and to complicate things, this hatred is not only emanating from the apparent religions involved).

If we are to have a real discussion about how we can further the cause of building a more peaceful society in the Palestine region, it behoves us to, firstly, condemn all violence without prejudice; and secondly, state merely facts which relate to human well-being (insofar as this can be determined).

Over a period of nearly 70 years,

  • 72% of the West Bank has been declared ‘Israeli state land’ and has been confiscated from Arab Palestinians who have occupied the region since the time of the British occupation and the Ottoman occupation before that. These confiscations, whatever the policy behind them, have never been compensated. This has, understandably, caused some friction.
  • 400,000 Israelis have settled in the expropriated land, often destroying the olive groves which were the source of employment and income of the local Arab population. This has, again, understandably, caused some friction.
  • Most of these Israeli settlers have access to their part of a 250 mile new highway network which, as opposed to the Arab Palestinians, provides free movement to the Israeli population and the well-equipped army which guards it.
  • As a result, at present, most West Bank Palestinians are confined to 200 disconnected enclaves. Today, this is, arguably, the most common source of friction between the two parties.[1]

“What I discovered was that a West Bank Palestinian could not work, build, study, purchase land, grow produce, start a business, take a walk at night, visit his family in Gaza, enter Israel or travel abroad without a permit from us and that we had imprisoned about one third of the entire Palestinian population.” – Uri Savir (Israel’s chief negotiator at Oslo from 1993 to 1996)


[1] Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (2003).

Geographic Illiteracy


Over a decade ago, National Geographic organised a global survey to measure the developed world’s geographic literacy.[1]

On average, fewer than 25 percent of young people worldwide could locate Israel on the map. Only about 20 percent could identify international news hotspots like Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

‘Geographically Illiterate: Someone who sucks at geography.’ – Urban Dictionary

More recent research shows no improvement. When the Russian Federation invaded the Ukraine in 2014, the Washington Post conducted a survey which showed that only 16% of Americans was able to locate the Black Sea nation on a map.[2]

More importantly, it was found that this lack of geographic knowledge is related to preferences and decision-making: namely, the farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

Whatever your views on this political squabble, the following conclusion is inevitable: whether people are in possession of a certain geographic fact determines their opinion in a certain way.

As for geography, knowledge of the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places are a requirement to function more effectively in an increasingly interdependent world.

On top of that, knowledge of the geography of past times and how geography has played an important role in the evolution of a society, their ideas, and its environment are not only prerequisites for historical knowledge, but also necessary for making sound decisions in the present.[3]

“If geography is prose, maps are iconography.” – Lennart Meri

These findings only underline the importance of teaching Geography. However, as always with formal education, it does not tell the whole story: besides teaching Geography as a core subject on the national curriculum, National Geographic researchers found that geographic knowledge also increases through travel and language proficiency.

In the highest-scoring countries of the National Geographic Survey (Sweden, Germany and Italy) at least 70 percent of the young adults had travelled internationally in the last three years, and the majority spoke more than one language (at the time, no less than 92 percent of young people in Sweden).

In the U.S. and Mexico only about 20 percent of young people had travelled abroad during the same period and the majority spoke only one language.

“All I ever wanted was a world without maps.” – Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

‘Our daily lives are interwoven with geography. Each of us lives in a unique place and in constant interaction with our surroundings. Geographic knowledge and skills are essential for us to understand the activities and patterns of our lives and the lives of others. We move from place to place, aided by transportation and navigation systems. We communicate using global networks of computers and satellites. We strive to live in healthy physical and social environments. We work to avoid the negative consequences of exposure to natural and technological hazards. We search for interesting destinations and vacations. We observe and learn about our own culture and other cultures around the world. We want to lead satisfying lives and contribute to the welfare of our communities. Geographic knowledge and understanding is fundamental to reaching our goals, and in attaining a higher quality of life.’
Why Geography Is Important (2005), Grosvenor Centre of Education


[1] The National Geographic–Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey polled more than 3,000 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden and the United States.
According to Robert Pastor, professor of International Relations at American University, in Washington, D.C., “The survey demonstrates the geographic illiteracy of the United States.”
About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn’t even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean’s location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent. Less than 15 percent could locate neither Israel nor Iraq.
“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” – Ambrose Bierce

[2] From March 28 to 31, 2014, The Washington Post asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: in addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, they also asked the survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. The newspaper wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. The survey also found that 5 out of 2,066 Americans thought the Ukraine was located in the U.S. corn belt.

[3] The importance of geographic knowledge is of paramount importance, not only for a better understanding of historical and present geopolitical issues, but also as a scientific measuring device to help humans to make better decisions about the environment. Consider the intellectual poverty of young people who are ignorant of:

  • The basic physical systems that affect everyday life (e.g. earth-sun relationships, water cycles, wind and ocean currents).
  • Relationships between the physical environment and society.
  • How the processes of human and physical systems have arranged and sometimes changed the surface of the Earth – and still do.
  • The fact that the Earth is the homeland of humankind and knowledge of that planet provides insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used.

13/v mmxv


There is no archaeological evidence that Masada’s defenders committed mass suicide.

Queen Elizabeth I was born at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich.

Flamingo milk is bright red. Both mother and father flamingos produce it.

In 2008, the wife of the President of Kenya received a salary of $92,000; in a country where the average worker’s income was less than $400 per year at the time.

In the first chapter of Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler writes he is doing God’s work and executing God’s will in exterminating the Jews.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

26/ii mmxv


Horseshoe crabs have blue blood, marine worms have green blood and cockroaches’ blood is colourless.

The James Bond movie Goldfinger was once banned in Israel.

Typically less than a half of one percent of Romans were eligible to vote in Rome’s ‘democratic’ elections.

The reverse side of the flag of Oregon features a gold beaver.

Before becoming Queen of England, Mary Tudor would spend one third of her income gambling.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Judges 19:22-30


22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.

27 And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.

29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

See other: Often Ignored Bible Verses

Contradictory Bible Verses


General contradictions:

“For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.” (Jeremiah 3:12)
“Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.” (Jeremiah 17:4)

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.” (John 5:31)
“Jesus answered: Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid.” (John 8:14)

“And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18)
“[…] the whole world is under control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)

And Jesus said, “For judgement I am come into this world.” (John 9:39)
“I came not to judge the world” [Jesus] (John 12:47)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)

“Jacob said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'” (Genesis 32:30)
“No man hath seen God at any time.” (John 1:18)

We should fear God (Matthew 10:28)
We should love God (Matthew 22:37)
There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18)

Contradictory verses about foolery:

“But anyone who says ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” [Jesus] (Matthew 5:22)
“You fools!” [Jesus] (Luke 11:40)
“You blind fools!” [Jesus] (Matthew 23:17)
“How foolish you are” [Jesus] (Luke 24:25)
“But God said to him, ‘You fool!'” [Jesus] (Luke 12:20)
“You foolish Galatians!” [St. Paul] (Galatians 3:1)

Contradictory verses about rejoicing:

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.” (Proverbs 24:17)
“He who rejoices at calamity shall not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5)
“The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance, he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.” (Psalms 58:10)
“The Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you” (Deuteronomy 28:63)

Contradictory verses about mercy:

“Blessed are the merciful” (Matthew 5:7)
“Leave alive nothing that breathes. Show them no mercy.” (Deuteronomy 7:2)
“The Lord hardened their hearts […] that they might receive no mercy.” (Joshua 11:20)
“I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.” (Jeremiah 13:14)
“A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed.” (Jeremiah 48:10)

See other: Often Ignored Bible Verses

See other: Admin’s Choice Posts

On Peace in Palestine


“This is our native land; it is not as birds of passage that we return to it. But it is situated in an area engulfed by Arabic-speaking people, mainly followers of Islam. Now, if ever, we must do more than make peace with them; we must achieve collaboration and alliance on equal terms.”

– David Ben-Gurion