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It’s hardly anti-Semitic to say that Palestinians have been treated unjustly

Middle East bishops had a right to speak up for Palestinians at the Synod

By on Monday, 1 November 2010

Bishops at the closing Mass of the Synod at St Peter's Basilica (Photo: CNS)

Bishops at the closing Mass of the Synod at St Peter's Basilica (Photo: CNS)

A story widely reported last week posed in acute form a dilemma for Catholics not only over how we should regard the state of Israel, but also over how we should respond to what really does sometimes seem a condition approaching paranoia determining the way in which Israelis regard us.
In a typically rumbustious editorial comment, the Jerusalem Post summed up its reaction to the Synod of Catholic Bishops from the Middle East which has just ended in the Vatican. The paper began by describing the “devastating persecution” suffered by Christians in the Middle East. “From the Gaza Strip and Egypt to Iraq to Turkey, Christians have been murdered, had their churches burned to the ground and their holy books destroyed, and have been demoted to second-class citizens, exposed to libels and exploitation by Muslim neighbors.” Despite all this, the Post complained, they were still, incomprehensibly, not on the side of Israel against the Palestinians:

“Ostensibly with the purpose of addressing these injustices and stemming the tide of a dwindling Christian population in the Mideast, Pope Benedict XVI convened a special Vatican Synod in Rome, composed of about 200 bishops mostly from Muslim countries. Yet these bishops hijacked the Synod and issued a statement Saturday that all but ignored the plight of Catholics living in Muslim lands while singling out Israel’s ‘occupation’ for special castigation.”

The word “ostensibly” (with its implication of a hidden agenda), and the quotation marks around the word “occupation”, tell you everything you need to know about where the Jerusalem Post is coming from. The paper goes on to home in on remarks made by the Greek Melkite Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, remarks which, claimed the paper,
“reiterated anti-Semitic theological positions that contradicted official Catholic positions as stated in Nostra aetate, a groundbreaking interfaith document drafted in October 1965 during the Second Vatican Council that radically revamped the Church’s previous negative views of the Jewish people.” The paper then called on the Vatican to issue a clear repudiation of Archbishop Bustros’s “outrageous and regressive comments”.
But what were these outrageous and regressive comments? The offending words (spoken in French) seem to have been these:

“As Christians, we cannot talk about a ‘promised land’ for the Jews. We talk about a ‘promised land’ which is the Kingdom of God. That’s the promised land, which encompasses the entire earth with a message of peace and justice and equality for all the children of God. There is no preferred or privileged people. All men and women from every country have become the ‘chosen people’. This is clear for us. We cannot just refer to the ‘promised land’ to justify the return of the Jews in Israel, and [ignore] the Palestinians who were kicked out of their land.”

The Israeli government, on the strength of these remarks, said that the Synod had turned into “a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda”. The Anti-Defamation League in the United States claimed that Bustros had essentially said that “Judaism should no longer exist”, and called his remarks “the worst kind of anti-Judaism, bordering on anti-Semitism”.
But they were nothing of the sort, surely: as John Allen put it, the point being made is that “Christians should not support Israel at the expense of the Palestinians… what Bustros wanted to voice was not so much a revisionist interpretation of Christian theology, but rather a cri de coeur about Palestinian suffering. However imbalanced or badly expressed, that’s a different kettle of fish.” Archbishop Bustros didn’t say that Judaism should no longer exist: he and other Middle East bishops did say that Palestinians have been treated with injustice by the Israelis.
How can that seriously be contested? Let me be clear. I support the continued existence of the state of Israel. I support, very strongly indeed, the right of Israelis to a secure life, free from the continual threat of terrorist attacks. But how can they realistically ever expect that when Palestinians on the West Bank and in Jerusalem itself are still, even now, being forcibly dispossessed of their land and their homes, and when the Israeli goverment continues to allow settlements on the West Bank to be built and extended?

Israelis have a right to expect the support of the international community for their aspiration to a just and secure peace. But however indefensible Palestinian terrorism undoubtedly is, they cannot expect justice when they continue to refuse it to others. And shouting “anti-Semitism” when none is intended is becoming increasingly counter-productive. Archbishop Bustros’s remarks were probably unwise. But they hardly represent Vatican policy, let alone a repudiation of Nostra Aetate; the Vatican won’t repudiate the archbishop, because that would give him an importance he just doesn’t have. The Vatican’s spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, has made clear that we should look to the Synod document, rather than to any individual, as the voice of the Synod. There, surely, the matter should be left.

  • Dr07

    This is well articulated. I discussed the MidEast conflict with a Catholic in America. He took me to the back room and lifted his shirt. One forth of his side was missing from a rifle shot he in Israel. The shot did not come from a Muslim….

  • Rachel Golem

    Just to let you know, no matter what you say about Israel, we will blow ourselves up in your churches.

    The Muslims are doing a fine job of that.

  • simantob

    It is however anti-semitic to blame the plight of Christians in the Middle East on Jews when Christians are increasing in numbers only in Israel and their treatment under various “Islamic” regimes from Hamas to Saudi Arabia to Iran has nothing to do with Israel or Jews. Bishop Bustros would blame the attack on Iraqi churches or the massacre of Copts on Jews too? Contrast this with the whitewash of Islamists by the Church:

  • Bobhill420

    Lost hopeless delusional thinkers…If the Arabs weren't Jewkillers it might be different. But they are Jewkillers so what they get is war. The young Jews know the Land is theirs and are not going to cede it for “peace” and an Arab handshake. To say Jesus negates the Promise in the Promised Land is pure foolishness. If you think the Israeli government cares what the Vatican too are hopelessly delusional.

  • TruthWillSetYouFree

    A wonderfully balanced article, one of the few that have been written on this topic that goes beyond the hysteria and touches upon the real points of the suffering of the Palestinians which has gone on too long. Pope John Paul II witnessed firsthand the injustices against the Palestinians and called it “appalling.” Archbishop Bustros and the other Eastern Christian bishops also know about the difficulties first hand. Archbishop Bustros found out that the truth may set you free, but it will also get you into a lot of trouble from people who are not interested in looking at the real obstacles to peace. No justice no peace.

  • simantob

    I know some Christians, such as Bishop Bustros, like to believe that their church has superseded G-d's everlasting promise to the Jews. However, I wonder, which part of “everlasting” and “forever” don't they understand? Genesis 13:15; Genesis 17:8; Genesis 48:4; Exodus 32:13; Joshua 14:9; 1 Chronicles 28:8: 2 Chronicles 20:7: Ezra 9:12; Isaiah 60:21: Jeremiah 7:7; Jeremiah 25:5: Ezekiel 37:25. Or is it that they believe the Bible was just wrong? Perhaps G-d was kidding when he said it? If they do not beleive G-d's promises to the Jews, why do they believe the promises in their Christian bible made to them?

  • Signe

    Yes – why bring up a completely irrelevant subject with so many pressing life and death issues to be discussed if you haven't got a chip on your shoulder! It is highly inappropriate.

    Also he pretends to be responding to someone(Jews) who should have claimed that the are a preferred people with special rights to drive others away. This is a very banal interpretation of judaism and a wrong interpretation of history: what Arabs were driven away outside of wars which were brutal wars of aggressions against the Jews? And I believe around 20% of the Israeli population are Arabs who have not been driven anywhere…the Arabs, though, insist on a completely judenrein state – this is why they oppose the settlements, but they themselves happily live in Israel. So these catholics have two sets of rules, apparently, which often is the litmus test of being anti-something.

    And to the author of this piece – long legal proceding come before people are kicked out of their place of residence in Israel. Not paying rent for decades can result in that. If you want to publish that a state is forcibly dispossessing people from their homes you should get the facts right….

    This only adds to the continuous dragging of the once good name of the catholic church through the mud. Very very sad.

  • Michael

    Well, if we’re going to say the Bible allows Israel to do whatever the hell they want as the chosen people (which even some Jews find suspect) then let’s just expand our interpretation a bit more. God not only said that the children of Abraham could have the land, but they had to destroy everyone and make no treaties nor show mercy (Deut. 7:1-2). Further it seems quite Biblical to offer a peace of slavery and if it is thus refused the there ought to be a slaughter of the men with the women and the children going away as the spoils of war (Duet 20:10-17). Though I can see some being fan of stoning disobedient children (Duet 21:18-21), I’m not sure it’s good political policy to offer your daughter as a blood sacrifice in thanks for a military victory (Judges 11:30-39) nor do I think we should express joy at slamming kids against rocks (Psalm 137:9). Maybe, what really needs to happen is for the Vatican to give a fine gift of foreskins from their slain enemies (1Sam 18:25-27) and that would surely secure some kind of peace (just hopefully not the massacre kind).

  • Rachel Golem

    Sorry, I meant we will NOT do that.

  • W Oddie

    But who exactly IS blaming “the plight of Christians in the Middle East on Jews”?

  • Anthony

    Exactly, and it is unfortunate that mutually appreciative prejudice as displayed by simantob and Signe is stoked with the propaganda betrayed by the Jerusalem Post. The disingenuousness of Signe's closing lament for “the once good name” of the Church is, fortunately, equally transparent.

  • Oferdesade

    this is such a going nowhere piece of journalism, i dont beleive i'm reacting.


    1. the claim is that instead of concentrating on REAL problems (ie people dying and churches burning etc) the synod was hijacked for political purposes in order to a. draw attention AWAY from the real problems, and to enable all those honorable ment to return home in one piece.

    2. show me where the church (not a pope) has clearly (not metaphrically) denied supercessionism and accepted the jewish (nation's not religion's) right to a state to protect it from (largely catholic instigated) antisemitism leading to mass slaughter (not the nakba-style version) amd i will sleep (not rest) in peace.

    yes, the israeli state and some of its residents do crappy things. i can write out a long list. but the synod was not meant to solve this.

  • Athanasius

    No, it should not be left as a individual voice. Since when should we Catholics take the Jerusalem Post as a weighty voice in our theology. Accepting that the Jews have an abiding mission in the divine plan does not mean that we are compelled to accept political Zionism's claims to real estate. Which land deed is operative here? The Mediterranen to the Jordan? The Nile to the Euphrates?

    There are many Zionism's. The most acceptable in my view was the spiritual Zionism of Judah Magnes, founder of the Hebrew University:

    Until the 30s most Jews were anti-Zionist, as are many today. In reference to America in address he made an anti-Zionist rabbi in the late 19th century wrote, “This is our Promised Land.”

  • Dr07

    Where do you get this “when Christians are increasing in numbers only in Israel ” The preaching in America is that the “Christians” are leaving Israel becaue of their bad treatment.

    Your comments are propaganda!

  • Jaysonrex

    Based on its 1700 years history, it is useless to accuse the Catholic Church of being what it always was – antisemitic to an unbelievable extreme. On the other hand, it is not at all counter-productive to tell the truth like it is and to point out, time and again, what the Catholic Church did to the Jews since Constantin converted to Christianity. One cannot and should not expect from the Vatican anything different than what it “delievered” all these centuries – crusades, inquisition, etc. and etc. Quite a “colorful” history!

    Now the Vatican is trying to “protect and defend” the Arabs Muslims that still live in Gaza and the West bank, nick “Palestinians”. It is high the time they should ALL be moved, without a single exception, to Saudi Arabia or other Muslim country. There they will live among their brethren in harmony and peace, like they always do. Or don't they?

    As far as the Catholic Church is concerned … let's forget it.

  • Marcos

    This analysis fails to comprehend the reasonable sensitivity felt by Israelis. There is a concerted effort to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish people to return to their homeland. The UNHCR ongoing focus on Israel while ignoring all others is readily apparently. So when a Church sponsored conclave acts in concert – focusing upon the homeland of the Jews while not placin a requsite amount of focus on the Moslem dominated countries that seek to decimate their Christian minorities, the Jewish community is rightly outraged.

  • eee

    I read this and find myself both amused and sad. Amused because it resembles so much how the Catholic intellectuals for centuries tried to finesse the clear and hateful antisemitism of the Catholic church. Sad, because you really do not get it. If a Catholic cleric chooses to criticize Israel without saying one word about the status of Jewish communities in Arab lands, he is beyond any doubt antisemitic. Any unbalanced criticism of Jews or Israel especially by the Catholic church or any of its representatives is antisemitic. I hope the Israeli government confiscates all Catholic church property in Israel. The Catholic church should learn to shut up about Jews and Israel since the Catholic church is directly responsible for the suffering and death of untold number of Jews and is beyond redemption.

  • eee

    I read this and find myself both amused and sad. Amused because it resembles so much how the Catholic intellectuals for centuries tried to finesse the clear and hateful antisemitism of the Catholic church. Sad, because you really do not get it. If a Catholic cleric chooses to criticize Israel without saying one word about the status of Jewish communities in Arab lands, he is beyond any doubt antisemitic. Any unbalanced criticism of Jews or Israel especially by the Catholic church or any of its representatives is antisemitic. I hope the Israeli government confiscates all Catholic church property in Israel. The Catholic church should learn to shut up about Jews and Israel since the Catholic church is directly responsible for the suffering and death of untold number of Jews and is beyond redemption.

  • Mamasnookems

    Sure look like the religious Pharisees of Jesus's day! They should understand that the Jewish people are God's chosen people,not the catholic church, but the Jewish people.

  • Dr07

    Mankind never progresses without open dialog. Valid or not simantob has his perspective that none of us can reject, without support. When Catholics fail to dig into the root of their perspective, they may be capable of validating their positions.

    We could point to the agreements of Israel with the Romans. Then we can point to the Bible when Esau sold his birthright and tie the League of Friendship with the sale of Esau’s birthright.

    For example brother Mel G said, “Jews start wars”. No Los Angeles Jew asked him to prove it; probably because they know the response. Mel could point to the fraudulent documents and lies that started the $1 Trillion Iraqi War.

    The advantage of the Internet there is communications that can link the source. For example, very notable New York Jews warned against establishing Israel as a state. They said Future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was a Fascist.

    Let us convert simantob, like Saul was converted to Paul

  • Ratbag

    Apology accepted, Rachel. I mean, just look at what's happened in Iraq lately.

    Nobody's safe!

  • simantob

    You are right. My mistake. The numbers of christians, jews and bahais are increasing in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, and the rest of the Middle East. These religious minorities in Muslim lands have full freedom of worship. It is only the Jewish state that somehow prohibits non-Jews from worshiping there even though it allows the Christians to control all their religious sites, the mulims to run their mosques and the bahais to run their temple. Israel also somehow is worse than the muslim states when it allows equal rights to non-jews in participating in a fully active decmocracy. You christians will have it so much better under Hamas or in Saudi Arabia. Good luck!!!

    As for the numbers, here are some:

  • simantob

    You know as a Jewish refugee from Iran, I am sick and tired of non-Jews telling me what is my land, what is part of my religion or why I should convert to some new religion and abandon G-d eternal promise to my people. I think Christians should focus on first becoming more christian themselves before trying to push their beliefs on me.

  • Michael

    With all due respect, sir, you can't simultaneously use sacred scripture to justify your political beliefs while also telling people not to push their religious beliefs on you.

  • Michael

    Pardon me, but how did the Jewish people as a whole start the Iraq war? Look, I'm not a fan of America's Middle Eastern policy but it's not really a fault of a religion that has a long span of not only opinions but also of time and geography. For crying out loud, most religious and ethnic meetings have trouble deciding on what kind of coffee to serve.

  • Dr07

    simantob I am glad you are open minded, but this is not the point, “You christians will have it so much better under Hamas or in Saudi Arabia.”

    Children should not be afraid of that they or their fathers and mothers being murdered in a church, synagogue or mosque or even at home. Quite honestly, when I hear Middle East, that is the first thing that pops my mind every time

    Why should I as a christian not defend both the Jew and Arab? And, even more, if I believe god created even the atheist, if I do not condemn the atrocities of my own faithful, I would consider myself a spiritual fraud at worst and a bigot from the civil perspective.

    You left Iran for a reason. What was your motivation? Do you think the Christian or Muslim deserves any less oportunity for them or their children than you just because you are a Jew/?

  • Dr07

    For example brother Mel G said, “Jews start wars”.

    Without “any review” the Congressional Intellegence Committees and Directors accepted documents that were forged and the claims of Al quida was operating in Iraq. These were lies. That was their responsibility.

    Libby was the enforcer, Wolfowirz was the chearleader next to Bush and the main Director of Intellegence (See 60 Minutes) and many of the congressmen/women on the Intellegence Committe were Jews. Then we had the Evangelical/Fundamentalist Zionist Christian in the background looking for war and instability on Israel's behalf.

    I am not the only one that looks upon these relationships and the fact that those with an axe started an unjust war (based upon fraud) in which we killed a ton of aliens with Israel being a very big benefiary.

    “Thou shall not lie” is there for a reason. I believe in god, and I doubt god will look at any war commenced by fraud as a just war and not look at Lot in Sodom say, “Protect the vulnerable alien even if he is not a Jew.”

  • simantob

    I guess you answered the question posed by the article: You are an anti-semite and a Jew hater. Funny how you ignore all the Christians invovled in the decision to go to war in the US and the UK and choose only to mention a couple of Jews. Of course the Jews must have started the war and the Chrisitans were only all about love peace and understanding? What is next, quotes from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Or are you next going to go back and blame the Jews for poisoning wells and spreading the plaque? As I said, more of your christians should focus on acting more christian like before presuming to tell Jews what to do.

  • simantob

    Well, I can tell that Christians cannot tell Jews what Jewish belief should be. The Bishop quoted in the article presumes to tell Jews what Jews can interpret out of the Jewish Bible. Do you want me to start telling Christians how they should stop worshiping a dead Jewish rabbi? If you don't want me to interpret Christian belief for Christians then Christians should not tell Jews what is part of their promised land or whether G-d's everlasting covenant with the Jews remains valid.

  • Dr07

    “You are an anti-semite and a Jew hater” I always wondered how I would respond to such a charge for making an observation.

    I would first, must go apologize to the Jewish girlfriend I had all throughout my Junior Year in college. She respected me enough I thought it was through endearment that she called me a F/// Catholic. I was not particularly religious then, and I knew I was the teenage jerk throwing spit wads at the religious teachers. I guess she was right.

    Or I could go to the Jewish Community Center where I played racket ball with (unbeknown to me) “the” Jewish leader in my community, by the way he always beat me senseless, not because I was Catholic and he a Jewish thug. He beat me and taught me because he wanted me to get better as a player. He would be playing me before his real routine doubles match every day I showed up.

    I will relate this story in memory of Joseph, so I might return his kindness (he is dead). The guy that originally invited me said I did not have to be a Jew to play at JCC. I do not know if he was a Jew, but nonetheless I joined the JCC for $60 year.

    I worked in retail and went to the JCC at every time slot, I was so ignorant of Jews, I never understood, until ten year later, “Why are there no people (not Jews) to play on Friday afternoon?” But, I played this old man for almost a year I did not even know his name. He was very unassuming and quiet around me, a lot like my father.

    The last month of my membership there was a tournament. The rules said, “If you play in a 6 PM slot, you must call/officiate the 5PM.” Joseph played in the 5PM game that I officiated. As was Joseph’s custom, this old man was destroying his opponent during this match.

    I made an obscure violation for JCC called a “screen”, which means the player that hit the ball also obstructed the sight of the ball as it came off the wall so the opponent was in an unfair position. All of this technically relates directly to our discussion here. Joseph looked up at me and played on without objection. When I made the call, the guy next to me asked, “Are you making that call against him?” I asked, “Why wouldn’t I?” The guy said, “That is Joseph W****” “So, who is that?” The guy said, “When you go to the car, look at the name on the front of the building.”

    It got me to thinking, “What would Joseph think of ME if I did not make the call, when if he knew my spirit so rightfully demanded that I make it?” I believe that Joseph would expect me to make the call because I respected him enough to be honest with him and the game (of life). Second and further heaping coals on our relationship by outright assumption, he would think that I might think, “He expects me to cheat for him because of his status or wealth.”

    Let me say, “If he expected me to cheat for him, I have no desire to associate with that classless person. Second, it shows a great deal of disrespect by not being honest with a person.”

    I say this with all sincerity, respect and quest for understanding/reasoning. You say I am a Jew hater. That is certainly what Jews say about Muslims, Mel Gibson, Henry Ford and millions more. Do you also say, “Those that hate Jews were taught to hate?” Assume that you are correct, “Who do you think taught people to hate the Jew?” “Do you believe I hated Linda and Joseph?” If I hate Jews now, who do you think taught me to hate? What do you think changed my opinion that last thirty years?

  • Dr07

    simantob I do not know you; but “Before you were born 'I' knew you.” Somewhere between then and now, whatever life has dealt you that spirit was lost by reality. The same for the terrorist suicide bomber (as distinguished from his leader “the abusive spiritual fraud”)

    I believe you sincerely do not know the taint your brethren and distorted history have put upon your spirit. You are at this web site for a reason, I believe that sincerely.

    I will give you the truth “What do you think changed my opinion that last thirty years?” My story is far from finished; but bewares, you will deliver the message to your brethren or you may look at your commitment to discovering the real truth from a reality you never knew was within you.

  • Dr07

    I volunteered in the Juvenile Jail Ministry for twenty years. I learned very soon that before I said a word the juvenile would “size me up”, using a strategy much like my blog that you deleted. In a frank discussion, everyone loses with a hasty editor. The problem with blogs, while there is a responsibility for conservatism; but on the flip side the more conservative the monitor the less gets accomplished.

    I want to know if simontab wants to talk “to” me or talk “with” me. As you might, I tend to ignore the former. I can contribute nothing to “understanding” without candid discussions with a person that is earnestly seeking understanding and not looking for a fight.

    Is simontab the Jew I have been waiting to talk with for twenty years? I can and have talked to Muslims every day. Go to a convenience store and they will sell you gas, crackers, cookies and gum and talk about religion freely. Quite honestly, these Muslim sound a lot like simnotab. I speculate, they probably both have mothers, and daughters and sisters affected, even raped and killed, because of their willful lack of understanding or ignore-ance by their leaders. Consider their leaders vested political interest in conflict. Where would these leaders go without a war to lead? I think crusades are a bit cliché for 2010.

    God tossed us into this cesspool this year on this planet in different time zones. God gave us a charge, “You were made in MY image! Given any circumstance, make it back home to me.” Looking upon the religious commitment to god I have seen in every “religious leader” pursuing ‘truth”, if we are all made in his image I have two conclusions.

    First, looking at the image of leaders around the world, god must be sadistic. Second, given this conclusion I might rather walk to the dark side with the atheists than live in “the light” with spiritual frauds I have seen for decades.

    I know we were all borne, every one of us today, religious mongrels, but not spiritual frauds. After thousands of years of inbreeding, there is some of every religion running in all of our veins.

    On it all, proving, you can take god out of religion, but the prideful man will not cast away the political element of god. For if the leaders allowed politics to be divorced from god and peace did abound, this peace would render the “leaders” of strife politically insignificant.

  • Dr07

    Simontab I have some questions for you. I know you are truthful when you make a mistake, “You are right. My mistake.” I honor that in you. I want to talk to an honest Jew.

    Remarkable, “You know as a Jewish refugee from Iran.” You are the modern day version of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. Remember when the Jews were enslaved and god delivered him from bondage. I want to hear of god’s deliverance of you from bondage. Exodus was a great story.

    How did you feel when you left Iran? You felt the ecstasy so great that you thought god was there beside you like the angle protecting Lot. You escaped from the bondage of the Muslim and it was good. God delivered you, and 100,000 other Jews. You came “home” to Israel from the hell that surrounded you.

    You must know how the Muslim feels in West bank and Gaza that your Jewish brethren surround I am sure you honored god by defending these alien rather than serving man (Jews).

    Yes, Simontab you came here to this Catholic site; and now, I want to talk “with” you! Maybe? I want to know if Exodus was truth; or, was it a fable from your perspective?

    I do not know your age, let us look at the last 110 years that I can recollect:

    1) Were you the Jew that stood in front of the assassins to protect, at least, the defenseless wife and children? The Bolsheviks murdered Tsar Nicholas, his wife, children and servants. There was a Jewish Bund autonomous with the Bolsheviks, yet still protected by their political umbrella (sounds like America). There were rumors the Jewish leader signed the executions orders. There certainly was a Jew there observing at least. What happened to Tsar Nicholas’ art?

    2) Were you a signatory on the New York Times with Albert Einstein, calling Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin a Fascist

    3) Surely, you were one of the 100 Israeli soldiers that refused to serve in the Army a few years ago.

    4) You were the one in the streets protesting the Israelis and protecting the Muslims:

    a.when you saw American helicopters indiscriminately pouring chemicals and fire on defenseless women or children; or

    b. when you saw the commanders storming onto the relief ship

    c.when you as a Jewish congressman/congresswoman you condemned the fraudulent documents and lies against Sadam; or you condemned Libby

    d. chased the soldiers that invaded the Muslim’s homes on the West Bank while the children tried to sleep

    I know you Simontab, you have served god all your life because you were blessed by god when he delivered you from hell on earth, much like he apparently did for Joseph in the Exodus. Or did ecstasy turn to patronizing drunkenness?

    I have looked for “this” Jew to talk “with” for twenty years. No other Jews need apply. I do not know you, nor do I care to know you.

    Now I must question the motivation of Joseph and Linda, you have tarnished their reputation, as well as god’s.

  • Dr07

    Simantob You have called me a Jew Hater. “If” any of us are Jew-Haters, “Who teaches anyone to hate anyone?” Do you suppose when we are born, god says, “This one will hate Jews, this one will hate Muslim and this one will hate Catholic?”

    You have not responded, which in itself says something…

    When you and your brethren look in the mirror for the rest of your life think of this, “I am the aliens teacher for the Jew! The aliens around the globe will see my acts and “””ommissions”””, especially as I do to the vulnerable and defenseless. Whatever I do to or do not do for the least of the alien, the world should presumet that I will do the same to other aliens. If my relatves are full of evil, I will abandon them in favor of g-d's plan for me and the alien. I especially, will never defend brethren that are frauds rapists, murderers, liars, thieves. and thugs. What will the world think of my g-d if I do not act appropriately? The synagogue is more than a fraternity house. Aleluia, Shalom.”

    You are invited to become Catholic. Go to any Catholic Church in the world. If you look at the first reading, I suspect that your commitment to doing right is somewhere between the brothers in the first reading and Andy Fastow and his supporters, who incidentally 20 yearslater married someone related to Joseph (I mentioned previously)

    I wonder can you check the Jerusalem (Post?), someone blogged “Kudos!” to the Enron Bankruptcy Trustee. Is he Muslim or Catholic?

  • Rachel Golem

    Next time Iraqis blow up a church in Baghdad, you can say, ” Why did you do that? We support you against Israel”,

  • Michael

    I'm just asking for consistency and that you not whine because I won't let you have your cake and eat it too. I personally think that bringing sacred scriptures into discussions of politics and public policy is silly at best if not a tad frightening, but if one wishes to argue this way they can't also complain if someone of a different theological view responds with more proof-texting. I realize you were probably responding Dr07's stupid and racist arguments and got heated, but let's not get snippy and start expressing a double standard. If you want to argue prophecy and revelation, don't play the victim card when someone objects using their prophecy and revelation. Further, tell me that you think my beliefs are silly if you'd like. Tell me that my belief in the risen Lord and Saviour is the most abominable thing you could ever hear. I'm thick skinned enough to be criticized for my faith as I know I believe some strange things. Frankly, though, I could really care less what you or anyone else says about the faith I hold. That is part of being and adult, to be able to be criticized.

    If the Pope decided to reconquer the whole of Europe and tell the world leaders that they were subjected to him based off of passages from Matthew and the Donation of Constantine then I'm sure most of the world would be up in arms, and as they ought to be. Even if a few people believe that, you can't take exegesis of one particular religion and conquer land with it. That is all I'm saying. Believe what you will, but don't get angry when someone objects to public policy derived from exegesis.

  • Michael

    Wait, you're talking about the forceful removal of an entire people based on race? How is it that this post hasn't received angry comments but anyone who questions Israel's treatment of their subjects is called an anti-Semite?

    By the way, I appreciate that this may have partly been written in jest, but I still had a point to make.

  • Jaysonrex

    You seem angry at my suggestion but did not say a word about the over one million Jews that were expelled from Arab Muslim nations and had their property confiscated by the state. Now why is that? Are you so very pro-Muslims or just anti-Jewish, like so many Christians?

    Did you forgot to mention that YOU and any other non-Muslim cannot even enter Saudi Arabia? Of course not. It is not part of your agenda, or is it?

  • Rachel Golem

    The Pope fondled while the Jews burned.

  • Michael

    I didn't bring it up but I don't deny it nor do I deny the wrong doing of it. I also didn't bring up a host of human rights abuses that have been committed throughout history, because I was responding to one point. As for entering Saudi Arabia, that is actually something that can be done but I don't exactly have any desire to do so. Look, I agree with you on a lot of things in regards to the ill treatment of people the world over, and even in Muslim lands. But let's not throw “anti-semite” around like it's popular and give one group a pass. Honestly, your logic boils down to “everyone else is doing it!” Just so, it doesn't make it right.

    Further, you don't know me. Try to avoid ad hominum attacks until you discover the jerk I really am. It is far too easy to cheer on abuses of human rights and deflect all responsibility by calling anyone who disagrees with you a racist. Let's be adults here and stick to the argument.

  • Jaysonrex

    Time cannot and should not be wasted on sterile arguments where each side believes the opposite to be truth when both know quite well what the historical reality is.

    The old and tried antisemitic canards that Christianity is entirely based upon (without which it would have simply collapsed), has been copied by Muhammad, the “last prophet on earth” in his own modest appraisal, with added stories about Jesus of Nazareth. He declared the followers of both religions sub-humans (a familiar term if there ever was one), condemned forever to the status of “semi-slavery” as dhimmies to Muslims.

    In modern times, the antisemitism has been replaced by so-called ANTI-ZIONISM and, of course, by the ANTI-ISRAEL discourse. All the while, these same elements pity the Arabs, nick “Palestinians”, they like to consider victims of the Jewish state – the ONLY democracy among all nations in the entire region.

    Just as Christians have persecuted the Jewish people from times immemorial, the subsequent religion claiming Abrahamic origin as a mantle of legitimacy, is persecuting BOTH Jews and Christians from day one. It looks like divine retribution for the followers of Jesus.

    Since opinion are not easily changed, and arguments for one position or another can be marshaled ad infinitum, I take the liberty of taking my leave with a simple “adios”.

  • Michael

    I agree that we may not be able to change our opinions one side or another, but would you at least consider your argument for a bit? You equate anyone who is not a full on supporter with the state of Israel as an anti-semite, therefore for you there is no discourse permissible. I'll agree that there are quite a few who do indeed cover there bigotry with human rights arguments. However, is it fair to paint a picture of anyone who disagrees with you as a racist just so you can take cheap shots and not actually engage the debate? I think if you'd accept that your interlocutors were the least bit human and not the monsters you imagine them to be you'd be surprised with the enjoyable conversations you could have.

    You assume me to be an antisemitic Christian without knowing who I am, which is a heavy accusation. While I won't give you my biography, let me simply state that I am in fact a Libertarian and thus my criticisms of Israel are more political than anything else. Even after I say that the State has a right to sovereignty and ought to be allowed to exercise that, you still haven't answered a single one of my arguments but seem content to paint me an antisemite. This, sir, is lazy thinking and I'll even go so far as to call it cowardly.