Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The reason I left Dr. Mikhael's workshop on Joshua...it's because of the Jewish people
How many times have the Jewish people had to deal with libel? From The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to stories of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children to false charges against Alfred Dreyfus, the French army officer falsely accused of treason in 1894, the Jewish people have had to live with the withering stories spread by both the malicious and the uninformed.[i]
That was the first thing that came to my mind, the libel of Jewish ritual murder, as I, hardly without thinking about what my body was doing, gathered my purse and bag and left the workshop, Horizon’s Bible study “Joshua: A Journey of Faith.”
Oh, the workshop leader, the author of the new Bible Study, did not mean to be malicious and she though she was informed when she told the story, but Dr. Mary Mikhael isn’t quite ready to admit she told a false story about Jewish people, soldiers in this case, when she responded to my comment.
My comment during the workshop had been that, Dr. Mikhael, who will also be part of a continuing interfaith dialogue with Muslim Dr. Muhammad Sammak, had simply stated that “war broke out” when Israel became a state in 1948. She failed to say that five Arab nations had attacked Israel.
Dr. Mikhael first responded by explaining that she was against all wars on either side but she went on to state that in the end the “root” of the violence was Israel’s fault since they had ejected 750, 000 Arabs from the new state. This in itself is simplistic but not the problem I am writing about. She enlarged on her subject to say a young woman who was Jewish, who stayed with her overnight in Lebanon on her way to Gaza, had e-mailed this horrific story about Israeli soldiers shooting Palestinian children.
Supposedly Jewish soldiers entered a Gaza home and insisted that the mother give five of her children to Israel. When she refused the soldiers shot five of the children. And as Dr. Mikhael explained you can find it all over the internet. (But you can’t, just in a few places mostly with a retraction.)
Here is the first statement, part of Barbara Lubin’s e-mail:
“Out of all the devastation I have seen so far, there is one story in particular that I think the world needs to hear. I met a mother who was at home with her ten children when Israeli soldiers entered the house. The soldiers told her she had to choose five of her children to “give as a gift to Israel.” As she screamed in horror they repeated the demand and told her she could choose or they would choose for her. Then these soldiers murdered five of her children in front of her. The concept of “Jewish morality” is truly dead. We can be fascists, terrorists, and Nazis just like everybody else.”
Here is the second statement by the Middle East Children’s Alliance:
"Barbara Lubin and all of us at the Middle East Children’s Alliance believe that we should have confirmed the story about the Gaza woman who was told by an Israeli soldier to choose which five of her ten children should die, and then witnessed their murder. We are doing everything we can now to verify the story, but have been unable to do so. We ask that you do not publish or post this story on the Internet. If you have already done so, please post this statement, as well.
Barbara Lubin went to Gaza to deliver four tons of medicine and other aid to the people there. When she arrived in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli assault the scene she encountered was chaotic and the people traumatized. She heard and retold many horrifying accounts, and saw for herself the devastation to homes, schools, businesses, land and lives.
In these catastrophic circumstances, it’s not difficult to see how Barbara would find this story credible. Unfortunately, we sent it out before taking the time to verify it.”
There is more in both comments you can read them here.
Here is the third statement which entails a second story when read carefully has nothing to do with the first and is itself suspect.
“ A massacre did happen, though not the one as originally outlined during the current assault by Lubin who has offered this to correct her account.
Excerpted from a letter to Barbara Lubin from Talal Abushawish
It’s not so far from from what you reported because the victims are the same…the story happened in Bourij Camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip. The Israelis called the woman, Manal Albatran, and told her that they wouldn’t kill her or her husband Hussein Albatran, instead they would make them die of sadness because they would kill her children. The next day they shot her house with a rocket killing her and 5 of her children.”
Remember this is by way of a fourth party.
Today I went to talk to Dr. Mikhael about my sadness that she would tell a story like this to a workshop of over a hundred women. She stated that someone had e-mailed her yesterday giving her the same link I have shown in this posting.
But she said that she still did not know if it was true or not because so many other atrocities had happened. She said she would not retract her statement in her next workshop because she didn’t want to deal with it again and besides she would never have told the story if I hadn’t made my comment.
Dr. Mikhael also stated that she was not anti-Semitic because she is herself a Semite. Interestingly, one of her editors, the day before had also explained that to me.
When I explained that the word anti-Semitic refers to someone who hates Jews she quickly insisted that she does not hate the Jewish people. And of course she does not, I know she does not. But when she, as a scholar and a Christian tells an unsubstantiated story such as this story to group of people who accept her authority she abets those who do hate the Jewish people.
This is how it begins, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the tales of Jewish ritual child murder the lies about individual Jewish people. As the people who belong to Jesus Christ may we not be guilty of that particular sin, slander.
[i] For the Dreyfus affair see W. Eugene March, God’s Land on Loan: Israel, Palestine, and the World, (WJK 2007), 31.