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One thing seems to be consistent about religions all through human history; faith in the literal truth of the religion’s doctrines and dogmas is strongest in the least educated and least widely experienced, while the “elite” tend to range from religious beliefs with agnostic admissions to full-blown, cynical atheism. This aspect of societal religion tends to favor the more partisan of each camp; the “masses” are peer-pressured to “show faith” and not think too much, while the “elite” are pressured in the same way to deny ALL aspects of deity and belief and God(s). For those of us to who seeking understanding of God in a REAL sense, as opposed to a political or emotional/security sense, this is a bit of a hindrance.
To try to avoid the almost inevitable miscommunication that occurs when attempting to discuss God let me define my own terms; belief is not the same as faith; faith is something that causes grief and only causes good by accident; belief is what built civilization as we know it.
Faith is defined in Western culture as belief in something unseen, unproven, un-EVIDENCED other than by conflicting scriptural testimonies; this is a fool’s game at best!
Pseudo-religion has taken over much of the world’s “Faithful” by taking advantage of the tendency of the masses to desire a simple creed with an un-questioned authority to follow – just so that they do not have to ponder things that they do not have the experience or education to ponder with any confidence.
It is not enough, their preachers say, to believe in the bridge over the canyon, you must have and prove absolute faith that it is there…
The next sound you hear is the sound of crunching bones at the bottom of the canyon; and if the snake-oiled social-system-from-perdition that they are selling fails the test in the real world they have an escape clause; it is the fault of the poor soul who failed to “show enough faith”; you know who I mean, they are most likely a victim of the situation for which they are receiving (divine sanctioned) blame!
As you can see Virginia, I have never completely gotten over my desire to seek God, and lead others to know God better! Mea culpa; I still care. But, at some point I recognized that all the “Organized Religions” have long since been co-opted by pirates, parasites and reactionaries – who are their own enemies as well as everyone else’s; never thinking, believing then acting – just fighting the others while stealing as much power over people’s souls as possible.
Oh, let me point out that yes, Atheism is a faith; it takes a lot of ego-based, un-founded faith to KNOW that “our reality contains no form of anything that might be called God, period, debate closed; it is not even possible you know, why even bring it up in ‘intelligent’ company?”
Belief on the other hand is based on facts and experience and even intuition, if that intuition has a good track record; if every time you had something very bad happen in your life, and you had ignored a strong, distinct feeling to avoid the situation, eventually you would “believe” enough to listen; even though for years you might not have the “faith” to gamble on your premonitions being something other than a coincidental case of indigestion!
I have beliefs, I have very little faith; I like it that way.
Faith has to be blind; the blind tend to step on things, including other people’s toes, property, pets and even bridges that are NOT over canyons.
Of course many of the things that can fall under either label are good, or useful!
In a documentary film about the life and death of comedian Andy Kaufman (Man on the Moon) there is a scene where he is waiting to undergo a faith healing in India with full belief, from things he has seen and read and experienced, that he would find healing given by an honest healer. But instead, he sees from where his stretcher is laid that the “healer” is faking the procedure, and his belief dies.
Of course, the proponents of “faith” will tell us that if he had continued to ‘have FAITH ™’, instead of merely believing, the placebo effect would have worked with a holy head-start, and he might have found healing; I do not disagree but, I find that level of blind faith an evil, black magic; one that is less a slippery slope than a swift escalator to horrific abuses ( ones that we have seen over and over again in history when people forget the reality of their fellow man, and treat them solely according to their “faith.” Q.E.D. Virginia, Q.E.D.!
The bottom line is that true lover’s of God are recognized despite their religion, not because of it; mostly everyone stays for their entire life in the religion that they were born into; in some religions it can be fatal to become an Agnostic let alone change your religion; so much for an honest quest for God.
Yet there are good, godly, devout people wherever you find human hearts and human tears. You can’t avoid that simple, obvious truth; unless you cling to “faith” in the notion that God made a special effort to make sure that you were born in the faith that you “happen” to believe in – all just so you could be “saved“! Of course, anyone not so favored was chosen by the ‘Infinite Power and Mercy of Deity’ to be born in an “un-Godly cult” that destines them to almost certain “damnation”!
If you do believe that this is true, then there is a quote from the Christians’ Bible that I believe is appropriate: “Jesus Wept“!
Today we have two re-writes of older articles that seem very relevant today:
First, we will take the “Liberals” as well as the “Conservatives” to task for partisan hypocrisy…
Nowadays the word Liberal is often used as a pejorative; I often use it that way myself for good reasons.
Yet I am a moderate, and probably spend about 40% of the time cursing the idiocy of the Left, and 60% of it complaining and worrying about the Right (It is too bad there are not more real conservative minds in the Conservative camp these days.). Of the two the Conservatives tend to scare me a bit more but the Leftists in total power would be/ have been worse. But the actions of the radicals on either side do not condemn entire schools of thought to a mature mind. This should be remembered by pundits on both sides in this age of attack politics.
Lately a radically Conservative group has taken over almost all the political voice of conservative American Christianity. They have used their pulpit to propound, and pound in, their own view of history, and how Christianity has influenced the development of the United States as a nation.
They are not actually lying about the influence of the churches. The problem is that they have forgotten from just where in the Church all that influence came. Yes, it was those damn liberals every time!
In American history, every time the religious culture has had a profound positive influence (as judged by successive generations) on changes in society those influences have their roots in the Liberal-to-Radical churches. They most certainly did not come from the Conservative ones!
The Conservative Churches in every case have held the line with the status quo through history whether it was regarding the Revolution, slavery, child labor, workers rights, racial equality or now, gay rights. Yet the Conservative Churches of today want to shine their halos with the contributions made for the most part by the Liberal Churches of the past.
This activity is not unique to Christianity by any means. A Radical Conservative Jew will spend much energy telling you about Judaism’s amazing contributions to Western society, but will refuse to see that his brand of thinking never produced any of it. Find a Conservative Imam, and you will find a man eager to convince you that Islam has been an enormously positive contributor to civilization over the centuries. But if you remind him that blind faithfulness to Islam’s Conservative philosophy had nothing to do with the various periods of (heretically liberal) Islamic glory that he is polishing up for you to admire; he may even take offense.
In every case where religious and political power intermingle the things that modern world civilization would call progress has only come when the dominant Church(s) is(are) liberal to the point of being heretical (to the parent dogmas and doctrines), tolerant and more focused on understanding, accepting and spreading the “love behind the Law” rather than promoting a zero-tolerance attitude regarding adherence to the “Letter of the Law.”
But only stagnation and decay ensue when the Churches are conservative and cling to a memory, or fictitious ideal, of “the way it should be.”
It should be noted that Conservative religious thought can have a greatly positive influence on society but, that usually the effects remain chiefly negative.
Witness: the defense of slavery, and the stances of “Godly” preachers and priests against child labor laws, and minority civil rights laws.
Witness: the attempts at forced, coerced and violent conversions directed at any people of another religion that are under the influence of a politicized religion (theocracies, inquisitions, shari’a states).
We all admit that Conservatism is designed to be highly successful at keeping the wheels of a society turning. Who but a fool will deny that there is a true virtue most times in maintaining most of the status quo; Leftists take note of the qualifications and keep your straw men to yourselves – I am not Christian, and never have been a Republican, or supporter of either Bush.
But, it also must be admitted that Conservative governments and organizations have a poor track record when attempting to grease those wheels, to make accommodation for the fact that seems “odd“, “weird“, “different” to the average mind; whether the ideas are good ones or not!
When the going gets rough or to be a creative inspiration for the people who bear the main burdens of pushing the cart of civilization further, faster and safer than our ancestors ever believed it could go Conservatives can be of more a drag chain when they should be acting like the regenerative brakes that go with a hybrid engine.
Conservative ideology certainly does not allow real flaws in the basic social system to be changed without a protracted, and often ugly, fight with the liberal mindset who are busy finding things that are not really broken to make into really nasty situations with well-meaning new laws and more, and more, and more tension from enforcement, and less and less elbow room for the well-intentioned citizen just trying to get along and improve their lives.
Without a Liberal element in society, one that has enough influence to smack the current bosses on the head now and then but, not enough to dominate society a person lives in what is at best a well upholstered slave camp destined to fade into the dust of history.
Without a Conservative element at the core to give perspective and balance a people will… well, just look at the aftermath of every single revolution in the past – the American revolution was actually a colony revolt – it was an independently evolving, functioning society that broke away from the parent nation/culture rather than an indigenous movement to topple all the central power structures and replace them ad hoc with unproven or dis-proven but, “much better” institutions; not long after they succeed the real bloodshed is just beginning!
Who was it again that decreed with proven ‘Holy Authority‘ that all human problems can, and may, only be solved by a totally Left-wing or totally Right-wing ideology? When did admitting that your Party’s platform cannot solve all problems if followed by “good” people?
The voting public needs to take off their trendy, strait-jackets/sheep-outfits, grow up, and look at reality – of the real kind, rather than the oh-so-importantly-unimportant political sort – and then find the ideal solutions, not the solutions that serve your political tribe while walking over everyone else’s Lives’, Liberties, and frantic Pursuits of Happiness.
That said, before we submerge a crucifix in urine let’s give the Abrahamic tree a second look, and examine the fruit it has borne.
The Jews never had a drive to spread over the Earth. Their scriptures taught them that certain lands were given them by God; so they took them, enough said, this was 6,000 years ago after all. But after that they lost any territorial ambitions. But, the Persians and Romans proceeded to push them this way and that; being rather fanatical, they pushed back. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the Judean Diaspora the centuries have seen Judaism become a religion withdrawn into itself. Having lost the arrogance of the Temple but retained the Love of God and intellectual tradition they became a creative yeast in their host cultures.
The Jews never expected to take over the world; at most they expected, and some maybe still expect that the world will join them. Not by the sword, but by the Love of God. One of the best aspects of the Jewish religion is its focus on the Love of God and a Love for God in each moment of a person’s life.
But along came Jayzus!
Things started out ok, Yesuah merely echoed and extended the teachings and philosophy of Hillel. It expanded organically and gently; converting mostly people otherwise considered “unworthy” of membership in one of the more respectable religions, then into the idle upper-class (often by way of religiously adventurous wives discontent with being the ornament on a rich man’s arm.
But then Paul and Constantine came to deal the Judaic Chrestians, and then, later, the mild original “Greek”, a double death-blow of politicization.
After several centuries of defending themselves from the fanatically imperialistic Islam Christianity began to model all sorts of the worst of the Islamic “innovations” in religion and took on an expansionist, aggressive attitude of its own.
But, it is inherent in a religion mostly based on the teachings of Jesus that every now and then people would remember what their religion was supposed to be about. Christianity may have done much more good during those periods than it did evil during its more cognitively-dissonant times.
Since the Enlightenment the swings of the pendulum between arrogant fanaticism on one hand, and humble servitude to God on the other seem to have gotten gentler. Christianity also seem centered more and more toward the liberal side of the equation; i.e. Fred Phelps, not Qaradawi.
Christianity may one day even manage to have more people who follow it for the right reasons than fools-in-lambs-clothing who use religion in unhealthy ways, or merely for social reasons.
Christianity has a core in its teachings and scripture that is there for all to see; one of Love. It today can be, and always has been, a potentially dangerous religion (I.e. Fred Phelps, Torquemada) but is not inherently so by the structure and teachings of its chief scriptures.
I do think that, despite the quantum jump that The Enlightenment enabled in society’s evolution, Christianity has shown a definite tendency to speed humanity’s growth due to the focus of many of the faithful being on Jesus’ ministry rather than the “died for your sins” part.
Now, about Islam.
Islam teaches much about peace and love. There are verses equal to any in the other Abrahamic writings. I will not comment here about those who feel it was the work of someone passingly familiar with both religions. But Pat Robertson did get one thing right; Islamic theology IS inherently aggressive.
The Islamic scriptures consist of three parts:
The Qur’an, the Sunnah –basically a biography of Mohammed’s life, and the ahadith – stories about Mohammed from people who knew him. If you read it all it is clear that there can only be peace when everyone has submitted to Allah.
Even the most fanatical religion tends to mellow over the years; people are basically families, people who want to live and work and laugh and have the space to find God before they die. Even individuals attracted to a “religious” life for evil reasons can be shocked to learn that Love of God and Love BY God can blossom in their hearts; that is the core of any religion.
Islam unfortunately is working uphill in the all so human battle against hubris while trying to find truth. But, by having such an aggressive set scriptures; by having so much to draw from that feeds the darker hungers of man, Islam will, I believe spend more time orbiting around radical aggression before submitting finally to that peace and love that is God, is Allah.
Islam is inherently dedicated by its self-declared scriptural doctrine to naturally one day rule the world by TAKING control of it and forcing Dar al-Harb(‘House of War’) (Non-Muslim controlled regions) into Dar al-Islam(‘House of Islam); then all people will be free, in the Islamic view, to “choose” the “right” religion.
Sadly, it is not hard to justify all sorts of atrocities on infidels (non-Muslims) with the Qur’an; by contrast there are very few Samaritans or Philistines around for Jews or Christians to use their scripture as an excuse to start a pogrom against.
In Islam it does not matter that reformist Imams do not support something. In fact it is literally forbidden in Islam to use your ‘conscience’ as a guide in a religious dilemma; the only proper way to get an answer is to ask the proper authority, and then submit to the “truth.”
In Christianity, the violent books and verses are all somewhat shielded by being in the OT and considered to be superseded by the Love of Jesus when any conflict occurs. Islam does not have a NT to mellow its hard edges, though it does recognize the concept of abrogation (what a prophet says later is ‘rock’ to the ‘scissors’ of any earlier pronouncements or doctrines).
This makes “insulting” Islam dangerous at times in the modern world of high tech, and horrific weapons that you can make in your garage.
I mostly find it sad that the bulk of Muslims are not more vocal about denouncing their radical Brethren in both the private and the public arena. It is every person in the world’s duty to restrain the fundies of all aggressive religions until they grow up. Until a religion’s devout – highest clergy to clueless souls just born in it – recognize to their core’s that it is ok to DIE because of your religion but, that it is NEVER anything but evil to use religion as an excuse to KILL, that religion should be watched, and kept on a leash in polite company.
Islam has yet to show that it can stay grown up. They are younger though, lets give them time…but, keep the rolled up newspaper ready to smack their noses if they sh*t on the rug. We have too many permanent stains from Christianity and its messes; AND the Islam’s’ earlier messes. Of course Christianity STILL pees on the floor now and then. We just have to be patient and rub their noses PROMPTLY in their messes; but, we don’t have to worry about them eating the neighbor’s cat anymore.
I am not too PC to call a club a club (well, I can’t say spade anymore can I?); religion can be very wonderful but, people need to get over their BS and realize that the basic code of ethics that most religions have can also be formulated by simple common sense and an understanding of psychology and social dynamics. Go read a little about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and such. Real secular morality is what the world needs, not the Fascist pretend kind, only then can religion truly flourish; when we get over all this bickering on who is actually the only ones in touch with the “ONLY source of Morality™”; which they cannot even prove exists.
Faith is the problem; submission to something you do not feel yourself is the problem. Beliefs have reasons, sometimes bad ones but, reasons that can be ‘reasoned with’; faith has no reason therefore the most reasonable argument does no good, your head still rolls on the floor.
We All Saved! CNN has put out a FAQ on Hamas and Israel and their conflict! World Peace is IMMANENT!
That FAQ was actually almost MOSTLY objective; but boy is that ‘mostly’ a big one!
Did you notice Virginia, that the author left out the fact that after Hamas won enough of the Gazan elections to control the Strip they violently and illegally ejected all non-Hamas persons of authority from their positions and made Gaza a virtually independent HAMAS territory; while the West Bank remains controlled by a somewhat pseudo-democratic mix of Fatah and Hamas and others?
Their violent conversion of political dominance into dictatorial control in Gaza puts a very different spin on a lot of things that have happened since then!
The author might as well put on a sweater declaring “Hamas, Hamas! RAH! RAH! RAH!”
The tone of the language used about the Palestinians is very neutral, objective and non-judgmental while the language used to describe the actions of Israelis is full of prejudice and filtered through a bigoted lens.
Four years after the last major conflict in the region, Israel and Hamas are once again on the brink of war in Gaza. So what is the group, and what does it hope to achieve by its rocket attacks on Israeli targets?
A psychologist might find it amusing to note that usually, when insider describes something like their political, criminal, or terrorist group for the most part they refer to them with terms like “the group” rather than the more formal names used by outsiders such as “the Catholics” or “the Smith’s” or “the Bronco’s.“
Terms like “the Church, “the family” or “the team” are reserved (mostly) for group’s with which the speaker likely self-identifies. Yet here Hamas is referred to as “the group.” It is as though a member of a new Christian cult explaining to you what “the group” was about as opposed to someone telling you about “the Moonies” – a term that a non-Moonie would use to explain “that group” as opposed to “The Group“; just saying.
After failing to mention any of Hamas’ more ‘unsavory’ activities in the years since its founding the author goes on to say:
Hamas’s refusal to recognize the state of Israel is one reason why it’s been excluded from peace talks. In 1993…
Then it never mentions the bombings, rocket attacks, and relentless television propagandizing on the Palestinian people by Fatah and Hamas; the “FAQ” even fails to notice the recent Palestinian government dedication of a public square in celebration of the mother of several suicide bombers. A woman who expressed the wish that all of her sons would die killing as many Israeli civilians as possible; that occurred in the “moderate: West Bank
Later on we have this gem, remember Virginia that virtually all of the Muslims you see on TV declare that ‘Jihad’ and ‘Holy War’ are not at all the same thing!
However, the founding charter of Hamas, published in 1988, called for jihad, or holy war, and marked a decisive split with the Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy of nonviolence.
After the FAQ gives paragraph after paragraph of “facts” simply stated regarding Hamas’ actions (All reported in the most neutral tones, whether good or heinous but focused almost solely on the positive) we get this kind of tone about the Israelis:
“Israel also accuses Hamas of using civilians in Gaza as a “human shield,” and the territory’s schools and hospitals as a cover for military hardware…”They bury their military infrastructure inside civilian areas,””
Given that everything in the sentence above is an established fact about the tactics Hamas uses regarding civilians, hospitals and children it is hard to understand the sudden change in tone from the Hamas description earlier in the ‘FAQ‘:
Hamas has sections dedicated to religious, military, political and security activities. It runs a social welfare program, and operates a number of schools, hospitals and religious institutions. It also has about 12,500 security personnel.
The FAQ reads like it was written half by an actual moderate seeking to explain facts on the ground and half by an actual member of Hamas; then some utterly clueless CNN suit chose which to include in the limited of space they had for this piece; this FAQ explains nothing but the need for people to go out and look at information for themselves to decided who did what to whom in each case.
This week UC Irvine is hosting a Liberation of Palestine week in place of the usual Israel Apartheid Week; this apparently is how the MSU shows that it is trying to reach out to Jewish students there in the wake of their contretemps – i.e. convictions for violating other folks’ civil rights – involving the Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.
It gets harder and harder for the Hamas-lovers to keep their “narrative” depicting Israel as colonizing oppressors of the peace-loving indigenes of all faiths from falling to pieces. They call it a narrative, I call it telling a story; call me naïve but, I think that people’s lives should depend on facts, not self-serving fantasies.
This year UC Irvine prof. Mark Levine has put in his two drachma’s and seems a bit put off that he is not as hated by his enemies as he seems to wish he were; he might as well be a jilted beau begging David Horowitz to notice him again.
It’s been too long…”
since my name was mentioned on your site; got to keep those search engines primed so I can stay above the mainstream radar. (Emphasis added by me)
“… I was a little surprised that I was not part of your just published list of dangerous, Jew- (self-) hating, Nazi-loving supporters of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions against Israel. Maybe I’m not good – sorry, evil – enough to have made the A-list of Israel-bashers featured in your April 24 New York Times ad . But not even your full list, with 1,004 professors, journalists, artists, activists and organisations(sp)? Was there really no room for me, one of your original 101 most dangerous professors?”
Wow, this reads to me like Mark is proud of being everything listed above! He certainly shows little sign of desiring to clear up any “misconceptions” that David Horowitz, or anyone else, might have about him in these regards.
“Indeed, the new list, like the old one, is much longer than the sample you’ve presented. You’ve only scratched the surface; you should hire more interns. Let me help you a bit; you can add me now.
While adding my name, …”
Mark, Mark, maybe you should just take out an ad on FrontPageMag.com if you need the exposure that much, this is getting embarrassing for us all.
“…perhaps you might consider the implications of so many people from all walks of life joining the BDS movement: they have decided that decades of illegal Israeli occupation, massive settlement construction, the destruction and theft of much of the natural resources of the West Bank and Gaza – from olive trees to precious water resources – and the systematic detention, torture and murder of tens of thousands of Palestinians, have done grave harm to Palestinian society.”
Holy hyperbolic horse-hockey Virginia, that sentence has has more virtue as fertilizer than all the guano in Africa; let’s take it apart a piece at a time.
Decided? More like emotionally bullied with lies and distortions long enough to sign a petition in more cases than not.
“…decades of illegal Israeli occupation,…”, how about decades of relentless lies and the miss-labeling of Gaza and the West Bank as “occupied” territories when in all legal reality they are disputed territories, which label carries a whole different set of implications from that of territories that deserves the term occupied (like northern Cyprus).
As to the charge of systematically murdering Palestinians; yeah, right!
“ These crimes against the Palestinians involve such a wide spectrum of Israeli society and government that calling for the boycott of Israeli institutions, divestment from the Israeli economy and sanctions against the government is both a necessary and moral response to this situation.”
“You argued in the New York Times ad that supporting BDS is akin to supporting the Nazi attacks on Jews in the years leading up to the Holocaust. You have labelled anyone who accuses Israel of murdering Palestinians – which is actually a statement of fact, not an accusation – a terrorist or supporter of terrorism. This is, of course, nonsense.”
What is nonsense is the big lie that it is possible, let alone desirable to “boycott Israel”!
“Trying to stop a brutal occupation – that the entire world outside of Israel and the United States considers illegal – by using non-violent methods that have been adopted by activists around the world, against systematic human rights abusers, has nothing to do with supporting terrorism. Rather, it is one of the most effective methods available to Palestinian and global civil society to stop ongoing Israeli state terrorism.”
Really? Okay fine. If that really is the case then please Mark, what sage advice do you have regarding effective tactics to be used against the the Fatah and Hamas leaderships who are so openly guilty of – how did you put it – systematic human rights abuse and ongoing pseudo-state terrorism directed at Israelis and Palestinians alike?
“And make no mistake, Israel’s actions at all levels of the occupation constitute state terrorism on a grand scale. That other countries equal or surpass Israel’s oppressive policies does nothing to lessen the shamefulness and utter immorality of its actions during the past 45 years.”
You are quite right, the excesses of one country do not excuse the lesser crimes of another; but, you my friend do need to feel shame given that you willingly fail to mention those other governments at least as often as you do your boogeyman Israel!
“Realities of the occupation
Really, David. Rather than fabricating accusations against individuals and gatherings (as a group of more than 100 professors who responded to your ad demonstrate in their rebuttal) and more broadly making scurrilous accusations of blood libel against critics of Israel, who, in fact, include increasing numbers of Israeli and diaspora Jews among them – I invite you to think seriously about the costs of decades of Israeli occupation, both on Palestinians and on Israelis. You might still not consider BDS the best method to combat the occupation, but I’m confident that once you take the time to understand the realities of life under occupation for millions of Palestinians, you will join me in the struggle for justice, peace and human rights in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
“I will help you understand the realities that Palestinian society faces … an almost 50-year occupation, an utterly hypocritical set of Western policies towards them and … corrupt, incompetent and often brutal ‘self-government’.“ “
Oh, sorry Mark, I thought for a moment you were referring to the Palestinian leadership there at the end; I forgot that Leftist racism allows the “oppressed races” little self-direction or admits that anyone non-Western can possibly set their own course into the future; it must have been Jews that planned all those Hamas and PA TV shows for kids that teach them to hate Jews and celebrate suicide bombers!
This next bit is the funniest, most disingenuous offer I have seen in months!
“Perhaps the problem is that you really have no idea what life is like for Palestinians. You might recall that some years ago when we debated each other on some Fox interview programme, I invited you to accompany me to Israel and the occupied territories and to live as a Palestinian lives for several weeks. If you did, you might better understand what it feels to be Palestinian and experience the brutalities, humiliation, indignities, threats, stresses and often misery of life under occupation or as a multi-generation refugee. That offer still stands.
In fact, I’m reiterating it now: Come to Palestine with me, let’s bring a cameraperson and spend ten days or two weeks in the West Bank and Gaza, living with Palestinians in their villages near land-hungry Israeli settlements, surrounded by the separation wall, attempting to farm their land or graze their flocks against constant settler attacks and Israeli-imposed closures – or just trying to live a decent, dignified life.
I will introduce you to Palestinian activists, academics, artists and journalists, as well as their Israeli colleagues who – if you’re willing to listen – will help you understand the realities that Palestinian society faces against the combined onslaught of an almost 50-year occupation, an utterly hypocritical set of Western policies towards them and two decades of corrupt, incompetent and often brutal “self-government” at the hands of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas.”
Descending to the vernacular; Rolling. On. Floor. Laughing. Out. Loud.!!!
Leftist activists in the West Bank and Gaza are hard put to protect even their own people from the peace-loving locals! But, they are good at protecting the locals from those nasty Western rapist-enticers!
Well Virginia, read the rest… I have to run on down to Irvine; maybe Mark and I can open a can of Coke and work things out.
And over here Virginia we have an excellent example of a seasoned political operative exercising her trade; open-faced, warmly sincere, and accidently self-serving, distortions of basic reality. Also take note of the masterly avoidance of any substantial discussion of the actual text of the speech, or, for that matter the actual reaction of Congress to Mr. Netanyahu’s words. MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Council has
It is no wonder Abbas said that Netanyahu’s speech before the joint meeting of Congress was a “declaration of war against the Palestinians.” The “Palestinian Narrative” demands victim status for the proper strategic placement to finally “Solve” the Nakba; Hamas is the historical and ideological heir to the Muftif of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the man who encouraged Hitler to adopt the rabidly innovative new idea for Europe’s “Final Solution”. Husayni commanded a Nazi SS division of Muslim soldiers, only failing to implement his own Middle Eastern Holocaust because of the decline of Germany’s falling on the defensive and subsequent loss in WWII.
But, after all, Netanyahu’s adherence to the actual armistice agreement from all the way back in ‘48 is hardly a shock; Israel always was supposed to have a negotiated border based on the “Green Line” where, for the most part, troops happened to be when the final ceasefire was called. From ‘48 to ‘67 Gaza was effectively a part of Egypt and The West Bank was part of Jordan; neither country EVER made a single move, or even suggested, that the “Palestinians” needed a state of their own.
Then in ‘67 Egypt illegally blockaded Israeli shipping and sent it’s entire armored force toward the Israeli border while proclaiming to the world that it was the intention of Egypt to eliminate the state of Israel by a genocidal application of military force.
Here is a quote from Judge Stephen Schwebel, former President of the ICJ (International Court of Justice) (italics added)
“The facts of the June 1967 ‘Six Day War’ demonstrate that Israel reacted defensively against the threat and use of force against her by her Arab neighbors. This is indicated by the fact that Israel responded to Egypt’s prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, its proclamation of a blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the manifest threat of the UAR’s use of force inherent in its massing of troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of UNEF (a UN peacekeeping force “invited” to stand aside, or else by Egypt prior to the massing of the invasion force – Guy DeWhitney). It is indicated by the fact that, upon Israeli responsive action against the UAR, Jordan initiated hostilities against Israel. It is suggested as well by the fact that, despite the most intense efforts by the Arab States and their supporters, led by the Premier of the Soviet Union, to gain condemnation of Israel as an aggressor by the hospitable organs of the United Nations, those efforts were decisively defeated. The conclusion to which these facts lead is that the Israeli conquest of Arab and Arab-held territory was defensive rather than aggressive conquest.”
On to MPAC’s all too commonly disingenuous “analysis of Mr. Netanyahu’s amazingly blunt and refreshingly honest speech…
“Last week, President Barack Obama outlined his vision for the Middle East, rooted in the principle that change is inevitable, and that democracy, human rights and self-determination will continue to ultimately move the region to a better place. For too long, dictators ran the region, many of whom deliberately held the Mid-East peace process hostage for their own personal gain and popularity.”
Well, we all know how willing the Arab states have been to sit down and hammer out a settlement, right? The following undisputed quotes paint a different picture of the Muslim attitude on the ground I am afraid…
“You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion….I have no use for Jews; they are and remain Jews.”
Yasser Arafat speaking to an Arab audience; Stockholm, Sweden 1996
“Whoever thinks that the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque is wrong. This intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat’s return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton.”
PA Minister Imad Falouji, 2001
“We may lose or win [tactically], but our eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal, namely, to Palestine from the river to the sea. Whatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth.”
Faisal Husseini, PA minister & Jerusalem PLO representative, 2001
Peace Partners, Obama said? “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin. said the Little Pig”. Back to MPAC’s demonstration of psychological projection…
An important component of the President’s address was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The President did not offer anything novel regarding the conflict, but rather re-stated long-running U.S. policy regarding the 1967 borders, which both the Clinton and Bush administrations saw as a starting point for negotiations.
In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat in the White House alongside Obama and called the President’s remarks on the 1967 borders “indefensible” and “throwing Israel under the bus”. Netanyahu not only questioned President Obama’s intelligence in a 12-minute rambling diatribe in the Oval office on the history of the Middle East, but at the invitation of the congressional Republican leadership, he went so far as to rebut the President’s speech in front of both houses of the United States Congress this week.
And, it seems that much of Congress was receptive to this fresh, almost shocking openness and return to honesty in that sacred chamber. The MPAC fantasy continues…
“Unfortunately, this type of political grandstanding is nothing new from the Republican leadership in Congress. In November 2009, after meeting with Netanyahu in Israel, Republican House Majority leader Eric Cantor (leading a 25-person Congressional delegation), said that he would act as a check to the President’s policy in the Middle East. This statement was an unprecedented rebuke by a member of Congress, of an American President on foreign soil. No matter what one’s views are regarding the conflict, it is distasteful for members of Congress to volunteer themselves as theater props in order to discredit the President of the United States.”
A member? hardly; MPAC’s spin-meisteress forgot to add that 30 Representatives and 17 Senators were chosen/volunteered by the VICE PRESIDENT and Speaker of the House to be Netanyahu’s “Escort of Honor”; and yes Virginia, it was a totally bi-partisan group, including BOTH Democratic Senators from California! Oh, and then there were the 27 standing ovations, most of them loud and obviously sincere; there is an element on the Left that claims the entire U.S. Congress is so terrified of Israel that they do not feel they can be SEEN to NOT be enthusiastic, Ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght! Oh, we should also note this little piece from the Washington Post: Democrats join Republicans in questioning Obama’s policy on Israel
“No matter how long such political theater continues, the status quo will not move either side forward. Both sides have entrenched themselves. From the Israeli side, the separation wall continues to be built on Palestinian land and illegal settlements continue to grow. The Palestinians have recently signed a unity agreement, yet there does not seem to be much movement towards a national platform for peace and the use of violence in Gaza continues to set them back.”
What a tribute to the Imagination and genius of the Republican “political theater” staff; twenty seven standing ovations from both sides of the aisle; no less enthusiastic at the end, after Congress being gently slapped in the face with reality, than at the beginning.
“President Obama cannot produce a peace agreement on his own…”
Of course not, and if he tried I think that this same MPAC writer would likely claim that the U.S. had no right to do any such thing!
“…And while pressure is on Palestinians to make more concessions, the reality is that the Israelis can end the stalemate now if it wanted to have a peace deal.”
This is the first time I have seen “peace deal” used as a euphemism for national and ethnic suicide; given the adamantly stated goals of the Arab nations and the Palestinian “leadership” no other definition can be entertained by the sane and sober.
Here are some more historical quotes to dash a little cold water on this fantasy called the “Palestinian narrative”:
“The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it an open sore, as an affront to the UN and as a weapon against Israel.”
Ralph Galloway, Director of UNRWA, 1958
“All the Arab countries want to keep this problem looking like an open wound.”
Ana Liria-Franch, UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ regional representative to Cairo, 2003
“If Arabs return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist.”
Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egyptian President, 1961
“The demand for the return of the Palestinian refugees…is tantamount to the destruction of Israel.”
As’ad Abd-Al Rahman, Minister of Refugee Affairs – Palestinian Authority, 1999
The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians… but, instead they abandoned them and, forced them to emigrate and to leave.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, 1976
“We will smash the country. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.”
Prime Minister of Iraq Nuri Said, 1948
“Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call to them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return.”
Haled al Azm, Syria’s Prime Minister, 1948-1949
“The fabricated atrocity stories about Deir Yassin were our biggest mistake…Palestinians fled in terror.”
Hazem Nusseibeh, editor – Palestine Broadcasting Service’s Arabic news in 1948
And now Virginia, back to our regularly scheduled Islamist Apologetics demonstration…
“But Netanyahu’s condescending attitude to our President and by extension our country has to end. Jeffery Goldberg in an article entitled “Dear Mr. Netanyahu, Please Don’t Speak to My President That Way”, in the Atlantic Monthly, said, “…he [Netanyahu] threw something of a hissy fit. It was not appropriate, and more to the point, it was not tactically wise…”
Twenty. Seven. Standing. Ovations. Clearly Congress failed to realize they were being insulted. Myself I thought Netanyahu showed them respect, by simply telling the truth and not playing games with an issue that is of existential aspect to Israel. Look at this bit from…
Top Democrats have joined a number of Republicans in challenging President Obama’s policy toward Israel, further exposing rifts that the White House and its allies will seek to mend before next year’s election.
The differences, on display as senior lawmakers addressed a pro-Israel group late Monday and Tuesday, stem from Obama’s calls in recent days for any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians to be based on boundaries that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, combined with “mutually agreed swaps” of territory.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) and other Democrats appeared to reject the president’s reference to the 1967 lines in his latest attempt to nudge along peace talks, thinking that he was giving away too much, too soon.
White House officials say Obama’s assertion did not reflect a shift in U.S. policy. But the president’s comments touched a nerve among pro-Israel activists, drew a rare Oval Office rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and instantly became a litmus test in domestic American politics.
Now Obama — whom critics often accuse of employing a play-it-safe governing style in which he waits for others to take the lead — is largely isolated politically in raising the issue of boundaries…
The MPAC writer, who, I think, must have slightly less sense than my char-lady, concludes thusly…
“It is not only the left who has been taken back by Netanyahu’s disrespect to the Oval office but even among the conservatives there is criticism of the way he has demeaned the office of the President of the United States.For peace to be a reality, respect for the White House by Netanyahu must be the first condition to any legitimate process.”
Well Virginia, I do not know why I feel disappointed, after all the whole piece up to that point was also nothing but lies, why shouldn’t the conclusion be more of the same? Here is a link to a compilation of CONGRESSIONAL comments regarding the speech… MPAC has to hate it when people actually go to the SOURCE to refute their propagandistic spin-meister/meistress.
Here is a link to the speech itself… Love it!
After Obama’s amazingly naive speech on peace in the Middle East I just have to repost this wonderful satire by Latma, Caroline Glick‘s Hebrew language humor site.
You have to give Hamas some credit for chutzpah, they really do manage to “Con the World”…
Pre 67 border Safe for Israel? Now, THAT is a Con!
May Israel Always be Free, from the Jordan to the sea.
I think the full picture is that we should end occupation. Them being bad doesn’t give you the right to steal their land, kill their children, and rape their daughters and wives. Educate yourself focus and listen to some Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Robert Fisk and others.
Here is my reply:
@hicham437 Noam Chomsky? Washington and Jefferson would have held him down while Franklin shoved the Declaration and Constitution down his throat! He makes the word “Liberal” into a curse instead a badge of honor.
He is a classic Marxist fellatiating “progressive” who thinks people like Mao, Ho, Pol Pot and Stalin were “O.K. dudes”!
That said, if you would understand the modern situation in Israel and it’s neighbors study the history going back all the way to the mid 1800’s.
This is when most of the ancestors of both Arabs and Jews started flocking to the area; this influx of Arabs and Jews continued until the early 30’s, with many Arabs coming to work in British and Jewish initiated jobs; jobs that did not exist where the Arab immigrants, mostly Syrians and Jordanians (new countries Hand-Delivered Compleat including new & improved infrastructures to the local Arabs by the British and French, those “Colonializing Bastards”, after centuries of callous foreign domination by the Turks) were from.
When looking at the actual history, as opposed to the rampantly political rhetoric from the extremes of both sides, you will find that the “Palestinian people” does not, and never did, exist as either a cultural or ethnic division from Arabs of “Greater Syria.”
Indeed, the concept of a Palestinian people that did not include Jews was created in the early 60’s as an open and blatantly political tool to “win” in the battle to remove Israel. Prior to that any and all accounts of “Palestine and “Palestinians” in general referred to ALL inhabitants of the area, including, and and especially, the Jewish elements that had been the majority population of Jerusalem for some time. The “Palestinian mandate” referred to Jews, not Arabs, they having been given the vast majority of the entire region when the Turkish Empire folded up after they sided with Germany in WWI. Government was gone in those regions, Saudi Arabia was Arab ruled solely because of British intervention on their side against the Turks; and the British and French stepped n and established modern infrastructures of government and social services then let themselves be kicked/invited out of control before the locals had grown beyond their tribal-based endemic corruption and nepotism.
At that point both the Arab nationalist movement and the Jewish nationalist movement gained steam and a foothold; until the office of Mufti of Jerusalem fell into the hands of a rabid anti-Semite this was more a joint venture than a competitive one!!! This man was a buddy of Hitler, and had his own Muslim S.S. division!
He may, emphasize may, have been the originator and motivator of the entire “kill them all, and we won’t HAVE a problem” quote unquote ‘solution’ dear Adolph and others so hideously embraced. He was poised to apply it in his own backyard when things went sour for the Axis and he had to go on the run; mainstream history, if you bother to look it up!
As to “occupation”, follow the history and you find that never in hundreds of years, and then only briefly, has sovereignty been exercised in the region by locals, Arab or Jewish; even when it was Arab it was foreign Arabs, not local tribes. There cannot be a legal “occupation” if there was never a settlement of the disputed territories; which is what Gaza and the West Bank LEGALLY are by any and all BINDING international declarations, agreements or UN Security Council commandments; deal with it, or stop talking about international “law” and how Israel is breaking it.