Monday, January 12, 2009

Anti-Semitism among those who march and protest Update

See- Update -below
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I stated that I would not blog any more for a while about the conflict between Hamas and Israel but someone sent me a link, "Zombietime" that is full of pictures of a pro-Palestinian rally in San Francisco held on Saturday. I have borrowed one picture to give an idea of the rally and its anti-Semitism. Please visit the site to see the story of anti-Semitism presented in pictures.

Many of these people seem to be equating their viewpoints with a far left & even far right anti-Semitism. What some people do not understand is that anti-Zionism is the modern, post-modern equivalent of anti-Semitism.
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Many of the of the supporters of this rally are a part of A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition- San Francisco which includes among its various groups Free Palestine Alliance a socialist organization.
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On their site they state this about Zionism:
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"Nowhere in the decolonized world does Zionism have any popular support - none whatsoever. In fact, it is accurately understood as a hateful racist colonial ideology that found alliances with the Apartheid regime and the neo-colonists of Central America, such as the Contras and the Death Squads of El Salvador."
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And this:
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"In addition to the Palestinian people, the FPA recognizes that the struggle for Palestine is a joint responsibility of the Arab people as a whole, and an integral part of the peace, justice, solidarity and liberation movements worldwide. In that context, the FPA recognizes the unique symbiotic relationship of the reciprocal political-economic-military interests between Western colonialism in general, the US Empire, the Zionist movement and its material manifestation - the racist Apartheid State of Israel."
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And this as one of their goals:
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"Divestment, Corporate Boycott, and Ending all Support to Israel: The FPA regards the implementation of a full divestment program in the United States coupled with effective corporate boycotts to be a necessary material formulation of the overarching goal of ending all forms of governmental and private economic, political, and military support to the Apartheid State of Israel."
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One of the other groups is Al-Awda. On their web-site they offer all kinds of essays and books including The Hidden History of Zionism a terrible anti-Semitic book insisting that Zionist leaders collaborated with the Nazis.
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My point in pointing all of this out is that many of the groups promoting the rallies are not just protesting the war in the Middle East, they are protesting the existence of Israel. As Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe notes in his article, "Yes, it's anti-Semitism":
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"Criticize Israel? Certainly. But those who so loudly denounce Israel in its war against Hamas are siding with some of the most virulent Jew-haters on earth. They may tell themselves that that doesn't make them anti-Semites. But it does. "When people criticize Zionists," Martin Luther King said in 1968, "they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism."
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There is a continuing rise of anti-Semitism not only in Europe but also in the United States. But remember the Scripture:
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"With weeping they will come, and by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, on a straight path in which they will not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." (Jeremiah 31:9)
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For the Christian they are the people of God's promises and from them came our Savior Jesus Christ. Take care!
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Up-date:
Over at Reformed Pastor, David Fischler has an article on the same subject with more pictures and information at Moonbat Central (UPDATED).

50 comments:

Kattie W. Coon said...

Viola said:

"They may tell themselves that that doesn't make them anti-Semites. But it does. "When people criticize Zionists," Martin Luther King said in 1968, "they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.""

I wonder if Viola thinks that quoting Dr. King out of context somehow makes the case that criticism of Zionists is anti-Semitism. Many Jews don't identify themselves as Zionists, many Zionists don't identify themselves as Jews, and many of both aren’t even Semitic, so Dr. King's statement is clearly false in the context Viola has chosen to use it.

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Viola Larson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viola Larson said...

Kattie,
That isn't my quote it is Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe. Notice I have it in quotation marks. (I have not been able to indent on blogger without messing up my posting.)

Nonetheless I agree with Jacoby.
You write:
"Many Jews don't identify themselves as Zionists, many Zionists don't identify themselves as Jews, and many of both aren’t even Semitic"
On the first part you are right, for instance many ultra Orthodox believe on religious grounds that the state of Israel should not be until the Messiah comes and establishes it.

On the second statement you are partly right if you are talking about those who call themselves Christian Zionist.

On the third statement you are wrong unless you are talking about those who have converted to Judaism but are of a different ethnic group.

I am writing about criticism of Zionism not any particular Zionists.

Zionism is the desire to have a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. The groups I am writing about want Israel completely destroyed. That is anti-Semitism.

Presbyman said...

The conflict in Gaza is certainly bringing out what I call the "Sieg Heil" element of the progressive movement, represented by "Captain Kona" over at Shuck and Jive. Now, John Shuck himself has never said anything anti-Semitic, and indeed has differed with Hauptsturmfuhrer (I mean Captain) Kona in some of the latter's insulting comments against Jews. I wish he and other posters there would show a little more outrage against such comments, like outrage against real and imagined slights against the gay community, etc. But we all have different buttons that are pushed, I guess.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Kattie W. Coon said...

"On the first part you are right"

Uh, yes I knew that already.

"On the second statement you are partly right if you are talking about those who call themselves Christian Zionist."

No, actually my statement would be entirely correct if I was referring to Christian Zionists (legitimate Zionists I might add), and I was.

"On the third statement you are wrong unless you are talking about those who have converted to Judaism but are of a different ethnic group."

Why not just say that you would assume those were the ones I was referring to, or simply ask rather than make the condescending statement you did make?

"I am writing about criticism of Zionism not any particular Zionists."

So am I to conclude that you believe many ultra orthodox Jews are anti-Semitic?

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Viola Larson said...

John,
Yes, I would like to see a little more outrage in several places.

Sacramento, Ca

Viola Larson said...

kattie,

"many Zionists don't identify themselves as Jews"

You admit you are writing about Christian Zionists with this statement. I have several comments about this. There is a wide disagreement between historical Zionism, that which is Jewish, and Christian Zionism, which is basically dispensational Christianity. But this they have in common they love the Jewish people. When anti-Zionism attacks this care for the people of the Hebrew bible they are being anti-Semitic.

I was wondering if you were referring to those who have converted to Judaism because there are some who attempt to say that most modern day Jews are not the original Semitic people which isn't true. I was concerned that that was what you were implying. Most Zionists are a Semitic people.

Very few ultra orthodox people are against Israel as a nation. And those who are I would not call anti-Semitic. But I will call most of those who are anti-Zionists, who offer quotes such as those I have placed in my posting, anti-Semitic.

It is one thing to disagree with some of Israel's policies it is another to criticize Zionism as a racist Apartheid state.

Alan said...

"I wish he and other posters there would show a little more outrage against such comments"

John, do you honestly think that you folks police your friends any better? Seriously?

Chelsea, MI

Anonymous said...

"For the Christian they are the people of God's promises and from them came our Savior Jesus Christ. Take care!"

How is it possible to watch the IDF drop white phosphorous bombs on heavily populated urban centers every day and night and say this of Israel? Why should Christians support such unbridled violence, we who live in wooden cities?

The Jews from which Jesus came learned to live in the diaspora. Many even became his followers and abandoned any and all identification with the land where he was born.

Whatever the Israelis have to do with the Jews from the time of Jesus, if this is the price of ending the diaspora it is getting a bit too high. I do not believe it is the work of God. At this rate it will end in a holocaust of unimaginable proportions.

"For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.'

"Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'fall on us,' and to the hills 'cover us.'

"For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

Jodie
Los Angeles, CA

Kattie W. Coon said...

Jodie,

"Why should Christians support such unbridled violence, we who live in wooden cities?"

Indeed, why should we?

Israel's escalation of the mutual violence is nothing to be condoned. I've heard it said by some that their actions are in line with "Just War" theory, but I can't listen to that kind of nonsense without getting at least a little ill.

I'm sure there are some who would read my comment above as a clear indication that I side with Hamas, but I would assure them that it is no such thing.

I am also sure that there are many who would turn a blind eye toward Israel's actions if they resulted in cessation of rocket attacks by Hamas. I would hasten to point out though that the ends don't justify the means.

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Alan Freeling: Executive Director
Mr. Robin Toma, Executive Director
Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations
Hall of Records - Suite 1184
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

January 13, 2009

Dear Gentlemen:

As a committee of citizens and residents of Los Angeles, we are writing to you with concerns relative to the escalation of anti-Semitism taking place in Los Angeles. Jews and their supporters are experiencing vicious verbal abuse from the pro-Hamas demonstrators at various rallies throughout the city.

In light of the current GAZA crisis between Hamas and Israel, emotions locally, nationally and internationally are reaching a fever pitch that have the potential to result in ver y dangerous repercussions for members of the Jewish community both here in Los Angeles and throughout the country.

Under the protection of the US Constitutional First Amendment, the pro-Hamas movement is allowing and/or encouraging the use of deleterious words to be hurled at, and about Jews reminiscent of Nazi Germany. The U.S. designated HAMAS as a terrorist organization pursuant to Executive Order 12947 in 1995 and as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. HAMAS was also designated a “specially designated global terrorist” under Executive Order in 2001.

Vicious chants such as, "Put Jews back in the oven", "Rest in peace Hitl er" and "Use Jews as fossil fuels" are being spewed along with threats of violence at an accelerating rate from New York to Florida, Los Angeles and Chicago. Sadly, there has been little or20no coverage of this problem by the media, and above all, no reaction or response from The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.

While the numbers of individuals who participate in these obscene outbursts are relatively few, these anti-Semitic chants are being widely circulated throughout the world via the Internet. History teaches us that if allow this to continue to intensify, such words have the potential to lead to violence.

As the Executive Directors of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, it is imperative that you denounce these outrageous statements about Israel and the Jewish people.

We find it difficult to fathom that you have been silently standing by as people wear Hezbollah jackets, fly Hamas flags and praise Hitler in the streets of Los Angeles while calling for the "Ovens to be re- fired." We urge you to stand with the Mayor of Los Angeles , the County Board of Supervisors and the LA City Council by publicly denouncing such dangerous and egregious rhetoric about Jews and the State of Israel.

Racial slurs of such enormity being used against any other ethnic race or religion in this city would have been condemned and denounced by your Commission immediately. Why are you standing by silently and allowing this to become commonplace in Los Angeles? We are hoping that you are contemplating an action to curtail this phenomenon -- we encourage you to do it, and urgently so.

Example: Dueling Rallies in L.A. by Israeli Consulate
http://www.wikio.com/video/755087
Jan 6, 2009 ... "Put Jews in ovens". YouTube ... LA:Pro-Hamas Rally, "use Jews as Fossil Fuel" ...

Our Committee would like to meet with you at your earliest convenience. Please let us know when you are available in order for us to bring further materials reflecting these very serious concerns to your attention.

Thank you,

Allyson Rowen Taylor, Americans Against Hate Speech and Anti Semitism
Gary and Rochelle Finder
Margo and Stanley Itskowitch
Dr. Judea Pearl-The Daniel Pearl Foundation
Katy Haber
Ted Hayes-Homeless Rights Advocate
Gary Ratner-American Jewish Congress
Larry Hochberg-Board of Directors, American Jewish Congress and Standwithus
Roz Rothstein-CFO and National Director of Standwithus
Esther Renzer-President of Standwithus
Beth Gilinsky-Action Alliance NY and LA
Dr. Roberta Seid-Standwithus Research Director
Roslyn Soudry-Attorney at Law
Alan M. Howard DMD
Sheila and Alan Spiwak
Dahlia Bilger

sent to you by Allyson Rowen Taylor
Los Angeles, CA

Viola Larson said...

Dear Allyson Rowen Taylor,

You cannot know how grateful I am that you placed this on my blog posting. I am in tears.

I keep asking myself, are we going to do this all over again. God help us. God have mercy on us.

Sacramento, Ca

Viola Larson said...

Jodie,
There already has been a holocaust of unimaginable proportions in the last century. And you are ignoring it.

This post was about anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism but you have tried to divert others eyes from the issues which is always your way.
You seem to have no care for the signs advocating the targeting of all Jewish businesses with which I started my posting. Have you ever heard of Kristallnacht? I know you have because hate is as old as time. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht

That was a time when all the business in Germany were destroyed by breaking store windows, etc. That is what the sign is advocating. Do not come back here again.

Viola Larson
Sacramento, Ca

Viola Larson said...

Kattie,
I am saying almost the same thing to you I have said to Jodie, except you may come back, but please this discussion is meant to be about the anti-Semitism that is emerging in all of the rallies for Hamas. I can understand that you might have things you want to say about the war in the Middle East, but if you have nothing to say about the rising anti-Semitism both here and in other parts of the world know that you are not contributing anything to the discussion. You are simply saying I don't care about the Jewish people.
Viola Larson
Sacramento, Ca

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Presbyman said...

Alan,

I would have thought (or hoped)that the question of anti-Semitism would transcend normal categories of liberal and conservative. IOW, whatever your political beliefs, however you voted in the Presidential election or plan to vote on the new Amendment B, it would come naturally for any decent person to react with anger and dismay to anti-Semitic expressions. Certainly, if someone who voted for McCain and/or is an evangelical who also says nasty things about Jews, I would be one of the first to condemn those remarks. So would Viola.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Alan said...

John,

It's simply been my experience that folks around here never, ever admonish people with whom they agree, no matter what gets written in the comments. For example, I've seen everything from the usual snottiness and insults ("He's in it for the pension"), all the way to potentially libelous comments (which I will not repeat) posted on this blog, and yet none of you says anything against the commenters. Meanwhile other, completely innocent comments, get deleted all the time if they happen to be written by people with whom our hostess disagrees. I suppose that's fine if that's the way one wants to run one's blog, certainly not my style, but whatever.

But let's not pretend that we don't see it, eh, John? That's simply classic plank/mote blindness.

Chelsea MI

Presbyman said...

Alan,

I think we're talking about two different things. IMO, it's not a question of "policing" comments or how someone runs his or her blog. It's simply how people choose to react to bigotry, in this case anti-Semitism. If someone said something on this blog that was, say, racist, I hope I would denounce said comments and so would others who post here regularly.

*sigh.* but somehow I expect you'll want the last word and repeat your contention that posters here are hypocrites or whatever. I've said all I plan to about this.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Alan said...

"I expect you'll want the last word and repeat your contention that posters here are hypocrites or whatever."

Well, I don't particularly want the last word, but I should clear up your misunderstandings. No, that wasn't my contention; not even remotely. No where did I say that. Nor do I particularly care how anyone else runs their blog, as I already clearly stated (but perhaps you missed.)

You're setting the bar at racist/anti-semitic comments, and I'm agreeing that such comments should be denounced, while simply going further to suggest that's a pretty low bar to set.

Alan said...

oops. Chelsea MI

Kattie W. Coon said...

John,

You said:
"It's simply how people choose to react to bigotry, in this case anti-Semitism."

Bigotry is the kind of state of mind that could lead one to believe that all those who criticize Zionism or Zionists are anti-Semites. There are all kinds of bigotry, some of them expressed here regularly in all sorts of verbal assaults. There’s also Viola’s rather bizarre intolerance for one commenter here in particular that reeks of bigotry. I think that's what Alan is getting at.

Why restrict ourselves to anti-Semitism? Could it be that it allows us to conveniently ignore the logs in our own eyes?

Viola,
You said:
…, “but if you have nothing to say about the rising anti-Semitism both here and in other parts of the world know that you are not contributing anything to the discussion.”

There are lots to be said about rising anti-Semitism. Some would just choose to say it in terms of general bigotry. It puts a broader, and in my opinion more truthful, perspective on the subject/discussion.

You went on to say:
“You are simply saying I don't care about the Jewish people.”

No Viola, that’s simply absurd.

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Alan said...

"I think that's what Alan is getting at. "

There are, as you say, Kattie, all sorts of things that might be bigotry to one person, but is not to another. I have received many personal attacks here, and John didn't step up, nor did anyone else. I'd say several, though not all, were based on bigotry. Astoundingly, others would call it "love." So yes, bigotry is in the eye of the beholder.

Nor does he (or anyone else) condemn the other sorts of comments that I've mentioned which, though they may not be bigotry, certainly aren't the type of behavior that should be countenanced. And yet, in several comments on the matter now in this thread, John still cannot bring himself to say he has a problem with those comments.

People literally cannot, under any circumstances, even think about admonishing one of their friends around here. (Though, in Viola's defense, hers is not the only blog in the "Consistory" with this problem.)

In addition, I've seen this "attack" (for lack of a better word) a number of times, "Oh, did you see over at XXX's blog, someone said something [racist, sexist, mean, bad, heretical] and no one criticized them for it." The implication is always that the host, along with all commenters and lurkers of the blog must agree with the offending commenter because they didn't castigate him/her immediately. Usually this is done without the complainer actually writing a comment him/herself telling the offending person in question that they're being offensive, which to me seems like it should be the first responsibility, not reporting the offense back on some other blog.

I find the whole game a little lame, frankly. And while I respect John as one of the "good guys" around here, I'm a little surprised he doesn't seem to recognize that it is, in fact, a game.

Alan said...

chelsea MI

Pastor Bob said...

I was in Israel about this time last year. Missiles fell in Sderot while I was in Israel.

I'm going to make several observations that might seem to be unconnected and then say some other things that may surprise some of you.

1. I think the best possible solution in Israel/Palestine would be a two state solution with boundaries basically on the green line (the pre-1967 border of Israel) and some kind of negotiated settlement over Jerusalem.

2. I'm not sure, if the Israeli government were to approve such a position (and Yasser Arafat was offered something close to this in 2000) who they would negotiate with. Fatah no longer has the trust of Palestinians mainly because of corruption and Hamas has said they would not accept such an agreement except as a short term (I think a 10 year) truce.

3. I don't approve of settlements, particularly on other people's land.

4. I understand the purpose of the security fence/barrier/wall but wish it was on the green line and that it was not necessary to save lives.

5. I saw the effect of the wall around Bethlehem. It wasn't pretty. The desperation in Bethlehem was terrible.

6. I have never heard of a war in which the nation with greater military strength stopped fighting for 3 hours every day so that vital supplies could get through. I will grant that there are not enough vital supplies getting through.

7. I have heard of, but it is rare, of the more powerful nation dropping notes in areas that are about to be attacked to try and get civilians to move out of the way of the fighting.

Now some comments about Viola's theme: antisemitism.

I've said for years that God did not and does not promise a land to Christians. God promises us the coming Kingdom. Having said that, God did promise a land to Israel. Was there some kind of limit on that promise?

I found in Israel that this was a much more personal issue than I had ever thought. My wife's mother is Jewish. In Nazi Germany that would have made my wife and children Jews in the eyes of the Nazis. When I see signs about killing Jews now I see them as referring to my wife and children. And I guess that makes me a Jewish sympathizer as well.

Too many people seem to think that what happened in Germany cannot happen in America. Being the pessimistic Calvinist that I am (and seeing the signs in that crowd didn't do anything to change my mind) I think a killing and a persecution of Jews can happen in America.

This means that while I do not support all the policies of the Israeli government as a practical matter I want there to be a Jewish state so that if/when Jews are persecuted here there is a place for my wife and children to go.

If Palestinians are granted a right of return to their former homes in what is now Israel there will be no Jewish state. Simple population studies show that there soon will be more Palestinians in Israel/Palestine than there are Jews. And if Hamas has its way there will also be no secular state or Jews in Palestine.

Some ethical questions:

1. Was the blockade of Gaza ethical on the part of Israel and (curiously) Egypt?

2. What is a nation to do when another nation regularly shoots missiles at its people?

3. How does a nation ethically fight a street war with an enemy when civilians are caught in the middle? Or is such a war ever ethical?

4. Israel refuses to negotiate with terrorists. Israel says Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas says it wants to take back all the land in Israel/Palestine from Israel. Hamas also says sometimes it wants to kill all the Jews in Israel and recently said that Jews worldwide are appropriate targets. Hamas won the election for parliament in Palestine and therefore (by the theory of elections) the only possible group with whom Israel might negotiate.

What should Israel do? What should Hamas do? What should the Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza do?

Presbyman said...

Alan,

If I have let bigoted or otherwise improper comments against you or others go by without criticizing them then I apologize for my inconsistency. I am probably more alert to some kinds of sin than others, so I bet I have done what you describe. I don't think I am the only person to do this, but OTOH I am the only person I can control, so for my part I apologize. I do in fact appreciate some of the points you have made so I do try to take your criticism seriously

It's a challenge to be consistent.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Viola Larson said...

Thanks Bob,

I have to agree with all of your points and see your questions as the only questions that can be asked at this time.

I have to admit that since I have been writing on this subject in the last few days, reading the reports and looking at the images from various rallies, I have been shaken. Because I have spent a lot of my writing time, over the last thirty years, writing about racism and racist groups it has badly shaken me to hear the same rhetoric coming from many who do not belong to such groups. And it doesn’t seem to matter too much both the far right and the far left are participating.

Let me put it this way, in Christ I do not fear, in humanity I do not trust--tomorrow does not, from my perspective, seem bright at all except in Jesus Christ.

Viola Larson, Sacramento, Ca

Alan said...

"It's a challenge to be consistent."

Indeed it is -- to everyone -- and that is exactly the point I was trying to make, though it took us some time to understand each other. I too try to be consistent, so I hope you'll notice that no where did I try to excuse or rationalize those sorts of comments from folks who agree with me, and I do try to call out such things when I see them, as I have on other issues (including with the commenter you mention.)

As always I appreciate our discussions.

reformedpastor said...

Alan: I want to thank you for your comments. I've previously taken a largely hands-off approach to the comments on my blog, but you've convinced me that more policing is needed. I may never be as restrictive as you prefer, but I have been letting remarks pass that express prejudices that are always wrong. Thanks for your insights.

Pastor Bob: Thanks for your comments, too. I agree with virtually everything you say, and I appreciate the questions, which I think do a good job of crystallizing the issues.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Viola Larson said...

Bob,
You did not put this in a question form, but I think it is one of the big questions and statements of the day.
"If Palestinians are granted a right of return to their former homes in what is now Israel there will be no Jewish state. Simple population studies show that there soon will be more Palestinians in Israel/Palestine than there are Jews. And if Hamas has its way there will also be no secular state or Jews in Palestine."


When we had an after GA forum at our Church one of our member speakers mentioned that one of the good things that passed was "On Endorsing the “Amman Call” Regarding Arab-Israeli Peace." But the truth is this allows the return of all the Palestinians and as you say would totally eliminate a Jewish state for the Jewish people. The state of Israel was a unique creation for the preservation of a people homeless and persecuted for several thousand years.

Funny, I am suppose to be giving a presentation on Zionism at Church Sunday as part of our class on ethics. I only have ten minutes and I did not realize that the week would go like this.

Viola Larson,
Sacramento CA

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Presbyman said...

The witness of Scripture is that Israel is doomed to bring its own destruction upon itself.

The bottom line is that the rise in anti-Semitism today is a self-inflicted wound


Pardon me while I reach for a barf bag.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Alan said...

"Thanks for your insights."

David, thank you for listening. I want to be clear that I'm not suggesting restrictions. I have never ever deleted a single comment from my blog so I'm not suggesting other folks do so, even when there are comments that are insulting and rude. But I think it's important to let them know that we don't approve.

Thanks.

chelsea, mi

Kattie W. Coon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reformedpastor said...

Alan: Thanks for the follow-up. I get it!

Jodie: To speak of the "witness of Scripture" with regard to present-day Israel being "doomed to bring its own destruction upon itself" is to make the same category error that dispensationalists do. Modern-day Israel is not OT Israel. It may make some of the same mistakes (as does every nation), but that does not mean that we can take either OT promises or moral condemnations and apply them uncritically to modern Israel.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Viola Larson said...

John & David,
I am sorry I don't mean to leave you standing there alone sounding like you are talking to ghosts but I do have some rules for my blog although I some times miss what some say and don't delete when I should.

Rule # 1 sign your last name and use your real last name, And of course city and state. Jodie does not do that.

Rule #2 Don't insult other people.

Viola Larson said...

And as usual I forgot to do # 1

Viola Larson
Sacramento, CA

Presbyman said...

Violet,

No problem from my perspective!

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Viola Larson said...

Good John, and I see you know the Latin meaning of my name: )

Viola Larson
Sacramento, CA

Presbyman said...

Viola,

That's strange ... I didn't even realize I called you Violet when I wrote it.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

reformedpastor said...

A commenter earlier made a point of mentioning the use of white phosphorus by Israel. Just to set the record straight, I wanted to point out the following:

"The international Red Cross said Tuesday that Israel has fired white phosphorus shells in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, but has no evidence to suggest it is being used improperly or illegally.

"The comments came after a human rights organization accused the Jewish state of using the incendiary agent, which ignites when it strikes the skin and burns straight through or until it is cut off from oxygen. It can cause horrific injuries.

"The International Committee of the Red Cross urged Israel to exercise “extreme caution” in using the incendiary agent, which is used to illuminate targets at night or create a smoke screen for day attacks, said Peter Herby, the head of the organization’s mines-arms unit.

"'In some of the strikes in Gaza it’s pretty clear that phosphorus was used,' Herby told The Associated Press. 'But it’s not very unusual to use phosphorus to create smoke or illuminate a target. We have no evidence to suggest it’s being used in any other way.'"

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Anonymous said...
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Presbyman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reformedpastor said...

The Israelis have already said that the UN bombing was a terrible mistake (despite the fact that Hamas was using the compound for military purposes). Somehow I doubt that the use of white phosphorus (not something the UN employees who work there are qualified to judge the presence of, by the way) makes it somehow more heinous.

It's been going on for a month now? I thoughts Israel started the offensive on December 27. But then we may not be using the same calendar.

And of course the Red Cross has now apparently been co-opted by those cunning Zionists. Glad you saw through their mind-controlled error.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Kattie W. Coon said...

"(not something the UN employees who work there are qualified to judge the presence of, by the way)"

Oh boy David! You're >>really<< reaching there. This is the worst sort of denial. The rest of your comments bare that out as well.

The presence of Phosphorus in munitions is easy to discern and doesn't require a trained munitions expert to figure it out. You can tell by how brightly it burns, what color the flame is, by all the thick white smoke, the distinctive smell, and the fact that water won't put out the fire. The bottom line is the UN office personnel know what they were hit with, without any reasonable doubt.

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Anonymous said...

"The Israelis have already said that the UN bombing was a terrible mistake"

Yep, they were just trying to smoke out the Hamas. But those darned civilians just keep getting in the way...

Tell me David, if this is not the OT Israel, then who is it that you should defend it in the face of such horror?

Jodie
Los Angeles, CA

reformedpastor said...

"Tell me David, if this is not the OT Israel, then who is it that you should defend it in the face of such horror?"

I don't defend every action of Israel. I've said many times that the whole settlement policy has been wrong from the beginning, for instance, and I think the security fence should have been built along the Green Line.

I do think that Israel is held up to a standard of behavior that is applied to no other nation, for reasons that are rooted in anti-Semitism. When even the Red Cross (which has not always been a friend of the Jewish state) absolves Israel for its use of a particular weapon, and that isn't good enough for its critics, I've got to wonder what kind of agenda is at work. It's been pointed out that while mainline leaders thought it unworthy of comment when Hamas lobbed hundreds of rockets into Israel starting in early November, they barely waited 24 hours to condemn Israel's response. And while Israel goes to lengths no other nation would to try to protect civilians, moral equivalency is drawn between Israel and Hamas, whose whole strategy is built around killing civilians (or, if they can't have that, putting Palestinian civilians in places where Israel will kill them, so that they can point the finger and have those who refuse to recognize what's going on join them).

But here's the real point: I defend Israel because for much of the world, Jews are the only people on the planet who don't deserve a homeland. Certainly that is the view of Hamas, its partners in terror, and its state backers such as Iran and Syria. That also comes across as the view of many of those who seem to be saying that while they support "Israel's right to exist," they don't support its right to defend itself against an enemy whose violations of the Geneva Conventions and even common decency are legion, but who are never, ever held to account for them.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Anonymous said...

David,

Thank you for your considered response. And thank you to Viola for letting it go on a little.

First an aside regarding the Red Cross. "We find no evidence" is not the same as exoneration. After all, the US invaded Iraq in spite of such a claim regarding weapons of mass destruction.

(Of course, in that case, "we find no evidence" was because it was all a lie in the first place).

Regarding the other point of Hamas rockets, the body count speaks for itself. They were background noise, not worthy of mention above the day to day reports of violence in the Middle East. If Israel wanted just to solve that problem, modern war technology offers several solutions that fall short of old fashion invasions. No, the rockets are an excuse for what amounts to a preemptive attack out of fear of something else. Justified? Who knows. Israel is mad we didn't support their plans for attacking Iran. Iran supports the Hamas. Iran may be planning something really ugly. Or not. Could be just another Iraq.

Is war a thing that makes for peace? These are just skirmishes, posturing for the main event.

But this other comment is far from true. "for much of the world, Jews are the only people on the planet who don't deserve a homeland. "

The Middle East is made up of dozens of peoples who don't deserve a homeland. The ones you are second most familiar with are probably the Kurds. But the same is true all over India (eg Freida Pinto the star of Slumdog Millionaire is a Konkari) and Africa. Even Mongolians fall in that category. The Montagnards in Southeast Asia, the Tupis and Guaranis of South America, the Aboriginal people of Australia, the Hawaiians who only recently have been allowed to speak their own language in public again, the list is endless. Many of these peoples have sophisticated cultures, languages, and long histories. And of course don't forget all the Native Americans who our ancestors kindly disposed from the land you and I live on today.

So, for the sake of discussion, let me turn your claim the other way around. Of all the homeless peoples and tribes of the world, why do the Jews of Israel deserve special consideration?

I mean, aside from the OT history, since as you say, has nothing to do with modern day Israel?

Jodie
Los Angeles, CA

reformedpastor said...

Jodie: Thank you for your response. I'll start by saying I grant your point regarding "only." I'd forgotten about the Kurds, who I agree are mistreated by a world that is deathly afraid of what would happen if Kurdish nationalism were given its head. As for the other examples you mentioned, I haven't heard of most of those groups seeking a homeland separate from the nation of which they are a part. And Mongolians? Has Mongolia, the very large country between Russia and China, closed up shop? I hadn't heard.

As for the Red Cross, it's true that "no evidence" isn't the same as "exoneration." I should have been more careful in my language. However, that statement did come after the Israeli use of white phosphorus had been established, and allegations about violations had been made. I wouldn't normally expect the Red Cross to step in and say, in essence, that there's no evidence that the charges made by Human Rights Watch are true unless they'd done at least some checking.

Now, to a few other things you mention:

"Regarding the other point of Hamas rockets, the body count speaks for itself. They were background noise, not worthy of mention above the day to day reports of violence in the Middle East."

The morality of an act isn't determined simply by its outcome. The fact that Hamas was mostly unsuccessful in murdering civilians doesn't change the reality that they were attempting to murder those civilians on a daily basis. Nor does it lessen the terrorizing effect of the action. Say someone is daily going up to perfect strangers in my neighborhood, pointing a gun at them and firing, missing most of them time. Do you really think the people of that neighborhood are going to consider his actions "background noise"? And your contention that Israel could do something with "modern war technology" to stop is, as far as I know, incorrect. Anti-missile defense systems aren't meant to deal with mortars or shoulder-launched rockets.

"Is war a thing that makes for peace?" Sometimes--just ask Europeans.

"Of all the homeless peoples and tribes of the world, why do the Jews of Israel deserve special consideration?"

Do I really have to rehearse this for you? It could be to give Jews a refuge from genocide. It could be because they've been expelled from England, Spain, and many Muslim-ruled countries (something that is rarely mentioned when the world talks about the Palestinians who left Israel, most of them voluntarily, in 1948). It could be because Jews were the subjects of pogroms in Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. It could be because Jews were reduced to the status of dhimmis throughout the Muslim world. It could be because Christians have mistreated Jews in most parts of the world where they, Christians, were dominant for more than a millenia.

None of that is to say that other peoples don't have a legitimate cause to seek a homeland of their own, as I've already said about the Kurds. There's no question of "special treatment" here, though, except inasmuch as it's necessitated by the way the world as a whole has treated this particular people through the centuries. If there is any people that needs a place of refuge, a place where a hostile world can't get its hands on them, it's Jews.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Viola Larson said...

This thread is now closed. Please do not comment any more on this particular posting.

Viola Larson
Sacramento Ca