Take It From the Rabbi’s Mouth

“The overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.””

— Document released on November 20, 1942 signed by 818 American Rabbis

The following  article was published on this site in May 2013. In recent weeks we have witnessed some anti Zionist rabbinical Jews  outraged by the attempt to equate Judaism and Zionism. I plan to write on the topic extensively, however,  a brief look at this 1942 rabbinical affirmation of Zionism  is rather revealing:

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Introduction by Gilad Atzmon

Every so often we come across a Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist’  who argues that Zionism is not Judaism and vice versa. Interestingly enough, I have just come across an invaluable text that illuminates this question from a rabbinical perspective. Apparently back in 1942, 757 American Rabbis added their names to a public pronouncement titled ‘Zionism an Affirmation of Judaism’. This Rabbinical rally for Zionism was declared at the time “the largest public pronouncement in all Jewish history.”

Today, we tend to believe that world Jewry’s transition towards support for Israel followed the 1967 war though some mightargue that already in 1948, American Jews manifested a growing support for Zionism. However, this rabbinical pronouncement proves that as early as 1942, the American Jewish religious establishment was already deeply Zionist. And if this is not enough, the rabbis also regarded Zionism as the ‘implementation’ of Judaism. Seemingly, already then, the peak of World War two, the overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regarded Zionism, not only as fully consistent with Judaism, but as a “logical expression and implementation of it.”

In spite of the fact that early Zionist leaders were largely secular and the East European Jewish settler waves were driven by Jewish socialist ideology, the rabbis contend that “Zionism is not a secularist movement. It has its origins and roots in the authoritative religious texts of Judaism.

Those rabbis were not a bunch of ignoramuses. They were patriotic and nationalistic and they grasped that “universalism is not a contradiction of nationalism.” The rabbis tried to differentiate between contemporaneous German Nationalism and other national movements and they definitely wanted to believe that Zionism was categorically different to Nazism. “Nationalism as such, whether it be English, French, American or Jewish, is not in itself evil. It is only militaristic and chauvinistic nationalism, that nationalism which shamelessly flouts all mandates of international morality, which is evil.” But as we know, just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz the new Jewish State launched a devastating racially driven ethnic-cleansing campaign. Zionism has proven to be militaristic and chauvinistic.

Shockingly enough, back in 1942 as many as 757 American rabbis were able to predict the outcome of the war and they realised that the suffering of European Jewry would be translated into a Jewish State . “We are not so bold as to predict the nature of the international order which will emerge from the present war. It is altogether likely, and indeed it may be desirable, that all sovereign states shall under the coming peace surrender some of their sovereignty to achieve a just and peaceful world society (a Jewish State).”

Some American patriots today are concerned with Israeli-American dual nationality and the dual aspirations of American Jews. Apparently our rabbis addressed this topic too. According to them, there is no such conflict whatsoever. All American Jews are American patriots and all American decision makers are Zionists. “Every fair-minded American knows that American Jews have only one political allegiance–and that is to America. There is nothing in Zionism to impair this loyalty. Zionism has been endorsed in our generation by every President from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has been approved by the Congress of the United States. The noblest spirits in American life, statesmen, scholars, writers, ministers and leaders of labor and industry, have lent their sympathy and encouragement to the movement.”

Back in 1942 our American rabbis were bold enough to state that defeating Hitler was far from sufficient. For them, a full solution of the Jewish question could only take place in Palestine. “Jews, and all non-Jews who are sympathetically interested in the plight of Jewry, should bear in mind that the defeat of Hitler will not of itself normalize Jewish life in Europe. “

But there was one thing the American rabbis failed to mention – the Palestinian people. For some reason, those rabbis who knew much about ‘universalism’ and in particular Jewish ‘universalism’ showed very little concern to the people of the land. I guess that after all, chosennss is a form of blindness and rabbis probably know more about this than anyone else.

 

Zionism: An Affirmation of Judaism

http://zionistsout.blogspot.com/2008/03/zionism-affirmation-of-judaism.html

ZIONISMAN AFFIRMATIONOF JUDAISMA Reply by 757 Orthodox, Conservative and ReformRabbis of America to a Statement Issued by NinetyMembers of the Reform Rabbinate Charging ThatZionism Is Incompatible with the Teachings of Judaism

THE SUBJOINED REPLY was prepared at the initiative of the following Rabbis who submitted it to their colleagues throughout the country for signature: Philip S. Bernstein, Barnett R. Brickner, Israel Goldstein, James G. Heller, Mordecai M. Kaplan, B. L. Levinthal, Israel H. Levinthal, Louis M. Levitsky, Joshua Loth Liebman, Joseph H. Lookstein, Jacob R. Marcus, Abraham A. Neuman, Louis I. Newman, David de Sola Pool, Abba Hillel Silver, Milton Steinberg, and Stephen S. Wise.

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RABBIS of all elements in American Jewish religious life,have noted with concern a statement by ninety of our colleagues in which they repudiate Zionism on the ground that it is inconsistent with Jewish religious and moral doctrine. This statement misrepresents Zionism and misinterprets historic Jewish religious teaching, and we should be derelict in our duty if we did not correct the misapprehensions which it is likely to foster.

We call attention in the first place to the fact that the signatories to this statement, for whom as fellow-Rabbis we have a high regard, represent no more than a very small fraction of the American rabbinate. They constitute a minority even of the rabbinate of Reform Judaism with which they are associated. The overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.

Our colleagues concede the need for Jewish immigration into Palestine as contributing towards a solution of the vast tragedy of Jewish homelessness. They profess themselves ready to encourage such settlement. They are aware of the important achievements, social and spiritual, of the Palestinian Jewish community and they pledge to it their unstinted support. And yet, subscribing to every practical accomplishment of Zionism, they have embarked upon a public criticism of it. In explanation of their opposition they advance the consideration that Zionism is nationalistic and secularistic. On both scores they maintain it is incompatible with the Jewish religion and its universalistic outlook. They protest against the political emphasis which, they say, is now paramount in the Zionist program and which, according to them, tends to confuse both Jews and Christians as to the place and function of the Jewish group in American society. They appeal to the prophets of ancient Israel for substantiation of their views.

TREASURING the doctrines and moral principles of our faith no less than they, devoted equally to America and its democratic processes and spirit, we nonetheless find every one of their contentions totally without foundation.

Zionism is not a secularist movement. It has its origins and roots in the authoritative religious texts of Judaism. Scripture and rabbinical literature alike are replete with the promise of the restoration of Israel to its ancestral home. Anti-Zionism, not Zionism, is a departure from the Jewish religion. Nothing in the entire pronouncement of our colleagues is more painful than their appeal to the prophets of Israel—to those very prophets whose inspired and recorded words of national rebirth and restoration nurtured and sustained the hope of Israel throughout the ages.

 

Nor is Zionism a denial of the universalistic teachings of Judaism. Universalism is not a contradiction of nationalism. Nationalism as such, whether it be English, French, American or Jewish, is not in itself evil. It is only militaristic and chauvinistic nationalism, that nationalism which shamelessly flouts all mandates of international morality, which is evil. The prophets of Israel looked forward to the time not when all national entities would be obliterated, but when all nations would walk in the light of the Lord, live by His law and learn war no more.

Our colleagues find themselves unable to subscribe to the political emphasis “now paramount in the Zionist program.” We fail to perceive what it is to which they object. Is it to the fact that there are a regularly constituted Zionist organization and a Jewish Agency which deal with the mandatory government, the Colonial office, the League of Nations and other recognized political bodies? But obviously, even immigration and colonization are practical matters which require political action. The settlement of a half million Jews in Palestine since the last war was made possible by political action which culminated in the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate. There can be little hope of opening the doors of Palestine for mass Jewish immigration after the war without effective political action. Or is it that they object to the ultimate achievement by the Jewish community of Palestine of some form of Jewish statehood? We are not so bold as to predict the nature of the international order which will emerge from the present war. It is altogether likely, and indeed it may be desirable, that all sovereign states shall under the coming peace surrender some of their sovereignty to achieve a just and peaceful world society.

Certainly our colleagues will allow to the Jews of Palestine the same rights that are allowed to all other peoples resident on their own land. If Jews should ultimately come to constitute a majority of the population of Palestine, would our colleagues suggest that all other peoples in the post-war world shall be entitled to political self-determination, whatever form that may take, but the Jewish people in Palestine shall not have such a right? Or do they mean to suggest that the Jews in Palestine shall forever remain a minority in order not to achieve such political self-determination?

PROTESTING their sympathy both for the homeless Jews of the world and for their brethren in Palestine, our colleagues have by their pronouncement done all these a grave disservice. It may well be that to the degree to which their efforts arc at all effective, Jews who might otherwise have found a haven in Palestine will be denied one. The enemies of the Jewish homeland will be strengthened in their propaganda as a result of the aid which these Rabbis have given them. To the Jews of Palestine, facing the gravest danger in their history and fighting hard to maintain morale and hope in the teeth of the totalitarian menace, this pronouncement comes as a cruel blow.

We do not mean to imply that our colleagues intended it as such. We have no doubt that they are earnest about their fine spun theoretical objections to Zionism. We hold, however, that these objections have no merit, and further that voicing them at this time has been unwise and unkind.

We have not the least fear that our fellow Americans will be led to misconstrue the attitudes of American Jews to America because of their interest in Zionism. Every fair-minded American knows that American Jews have only one political allegiance–and that is to America. There is nothing in Zionism to impair this loyalty. Zionism has been endorsed in our generation by every President from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has been approved by the Congress of the United States. The noblest spirits in American life, statesmen, scholars, writers, ministers and leaders of labor and industry, have lent their sympathy and encouragement to the movement.

Jews, and all non-Jews who are sympathetically interested in the plight of Jewry, should bear in mind that the defeat of Hitler will not of itself normalize Jewish life in Europe.

An Allied peace which will not frankly face the problem of the national homelessness of the Jewish people will leave the age-old tragic status of European Jewry unchanged. The Jewish people is in danger of emerging from this war not only more torn and broken than any other people, but also without any prospects of a better and more secure future and without the hope that such tragedies will not recur again, and again. Following an Allied victory, the Jews of Europe, we are confident, will be restored to their political rights and to equality of citizenship. But they possessed these rights after the last war and yet the past twenty-five years have witnessed a rapid and appalling deterioration in their position. In any case, even after peace is restored Europe will be so ravaged and war-torn that large masses of Jews will elect migration to Palestine as a solution of their personal problems.

Indeed, for most of these there may be no other substantial hope of economic, social and spiritual rehabilitation.

 

THE freedom which, we have faith, will come to all men and nations after this war, must come not only to Jews as individuals wherever they live, permitting them to share freedom on a plane of equality with all other men, but also to the Jewish people, as such, restored in its homeland, where at long last it will be a free people within a world federation of free peoples.

 

Of the 757 Rabbis listed below, 214 are members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform); 247 are members of the Rabbinical Assembly of America (Conservative); and the rest are affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox) or the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. The total represents the largest number of rabbis whose signatures are attached to a public pronouncement in all Jewish history.

To see the scanned image in PDF format with the list of signers, click here

 

Note: A version of the above statement was released to the press on November 20, 1942. By that time 818 rabbis had signed on. It appears in Samuel Halperin’s The Political World of American Zionism. (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1961) 333.

 

The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics     Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

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The Biblical Land: Given By God But Not Without Conditions

Posted on August 27, 2017

The presenter in the video above makes a good point. While according to the Old Testament, God issued a land grant to Abraham and his descendants, the biblical texts also tell us that the gift did not come without conditions. It was a contractbasically. And the Israelites failed to live up to it. This is what’s recorded in the biblical narrative. Sadly, many Christians today seem oblivious to the fact that the modern day state of Israel is following the same blind path. Hopefully the above video can make things a little clearer for them.

Back in June of this year, Palestinian Christians published an open letter to the World Council of Churches (WCC) asking that it recognize Israel as an apartheid state. I put up a post about it at the time, commenting that while the document makes no specific reference to Christian Zionism, it does nonetheless assert that Palestinians are suffering “because of one political declaration from a Western empire, based on a twisted theological premise.” And as I also remarked in the same post, the phrase “twisted theological premise” is an apt way of describing Christian Zionism. At any rate, I thought now would be a good time to re-post the open letter to the WCC, and so that’s what I have done below.

You’ll notice that among the signatories to the letter–the one at the very top of the list in fact–is the Arab Catholic Scouts Group. A bit earlier this month a group of Catholic Scouts were on a camp out near the West Bank village of Jibya when they found their campsite under attack by Israeli forces. Here is what a Catholic website reported at the time:

Israeli occupation forces yesterday raided a Catholic children’s scout camp, near the village of Jibya, organised by the Palestinian Holy Family Group from the Latin Monastery of Ramallah. They destroyed the tents and threw sound and gas bombs before they left.

Fortunately, the children were away from the camp attending a class in a hall close to the campsite. No one was injured, but the organisers say the children were very frightened.

The scout leader Samir Habash, said: “We practice our scouting right within the Palestinian natural environment, which is guaranteed by international and local scouting laws, but it appears that this right is forbidden to us because of oppressive occupation measures.”

He appealed to local and international scouting organisations around the world to publicise this barbaric attack, especially because it was targeting children.

The Scouts of the Palestinian Holy Family (for boy and girl scouts) were founded in 1996 and have about 180 members.

If you follow the link to the article you will see a picture of the destroyed tents.

Yes, the belief that “God gave the land to the Jews” has indeed contributed to a lot of suffering. This has been going on for a long time, and as the letter below points out, “the situation is still deteriorating.”

By the way, the letter makes reference to two other documents, one of them being the Amaan Call, issued by the WCC ten years ago following a meeting held in Amaan, Jordan. The other document mentioned is the Kairos Palestinedocument, a letter signed by Palestinian Christians and published in 2009. This latest letter urges Christians of conscience not to “hide behind the cover of political neutrality,” and also calls upon the WCC to support the BDS movement.

In June of this year, the WCC did in fact release a “Statement on 50 Years of Occupation.” The statement notes that “half a century after the 1967 war, there is still no peace and no justice among the inhabitants of the land of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.” It also asserts that Israel’s “matrix of control – in particular through the ever growing web of illegal Israeli settlements – is increasing rather than diminishing” hopes for peace.

Sadly, however, the statement does not include the word “apartheid,” nor does it endorse the BDS movement.

***

Letter from Palestinian Christians to the World Council of Churches

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)

Background

As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration. The injustice was intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza, the fragmentation of our people and land through policies of isolation and confiscation of property, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the apartheid wall.

We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored—even dehumanized—the nation, our people who had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.

Hundred years later, with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth (though not our memory), millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished, and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba continues.

A hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leaders’ callings, Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking, we have reached the “moment of impossible,” as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently.

Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning—a hundred years ago—on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?

Today is also an opportunity to remember the 10-year-old Amman Call. We are thankful to those who stood with us back then in costly solidarity—those who stood for truth and justice. We are also concerned that 10 years later the situation is still deteriorating. Like other initiatives advocating end of occupation, the Amman Call did not achieve its goals in building and achieving just peace. We must ask ourselves today why that is.

We are also concerned by Israel’s systemic assault on Palestinian creative resistance, and on our partners worldwide who use this method to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Many new laws were issued in Israel and around the world to oppose this creative non-violent resistance unlawfully, and to stop all effort toward peace. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of conscience and speech but it is also an assault on our right and duty to resist evil with good. Israel is even now trying to prevent pilgrims from visiting Bethlehem, the city of Emmanuel!

While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last 10 years as a result of Israeli pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their partners in religious dialogue.

Finally, we meet in an environment of religious wars and persecution in our region. Religious extremism is on the rise, and religious minorities have paid a painful price. We thank you for your efforts toward the refugees and toward ending the conflicts in our region. We also thank you for your support of persecuted Christians in places like Iraq and Syria.

Our Call

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Justice), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5:10-11)

As we stand in front of this “impossible moment,” it gives us no pleasure to say that “we told you so” eight years ago when we declared the moment as a Kairos moment! We stand facing the impossible, but we have not lost hope, since as followers of the Risen One, we are the people of hope. However, we need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call and adopt the following:

1. That you call things as they are: recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law and in agreement of what a person like Desmond Tutu said and as the UN ESCWA report said: “Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people.. We are disturbed by the fact that states and churches are dealing with Israel as if the situation were normal, ignoring the reality of occupation, discrimination, and daily death in the land. Just as churches united to end apartheid in South Africa and whereby the WCC played a courageous and pivotal prophetic and leadership role, we expect you to do the same!

2. That you unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses. We ask that churches and Christians support the Palestinians in their request for justice.

3. That you take the strongest theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant. We ask that you adopt and live the theology suggested by Kairos Palestine and that you organize conferences to bring awareness toward this end.

4. That you take a stand against religious extremism and against any attempt to create a religious state in our land or region. We ask that you support us in combating the foundations of extremism and that you seek our council when acting against religious extremism so that you do not jeopardize and harm our standing here.

5. That you revisit and challenge your religious dialogue partners, and that you are willing to even withdraw from the partnership if needed, if the occupation and injustices in Palestine and Israel are not challenged.

6. That you lead campaigns for church leaders and pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities on this side of the wall in cooperation with Palestinian tourist and pilgrimage agencies, in response to recent attempts by Israel. We ask that you publicly challenge any attempt by Israel or other Christians that discourage pilgrims from visiting Palestinian places.

7. That you defend our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and non-violently. We ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and that you support atheltic, cultural, and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions urging the ending of its occupation, apartheid, and discrimination, and accepts refugees to return to their homeland. This is our last peaceful resort. In response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measure.

8. That you create lobby groups in defense of Palestinian Christians. We ask that you publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and legitimacy.

9. We therefore propose as a matter of the greatest urgency that you create a strategic program within WCC similar to the program “To Combat Racism” to lead efforts to lobby, advocate, and develop active programs toward justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and maintain the presence of the Palestinian Christians through supporting their organizations, church work, and peaceful efforts.

As faithful witnesses, we acknowledge, affirm, and continue the long-standing prophetic tradition, especially the one started by the Amman Call and articulated in the Kairos Palestine document. We fully grasp the pressure church leaders are facing here and abroad not to speak the truth, and it is because of this that we are raising this call.

Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin brought to us and to all humanity, new life.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

12 June 2017

Signed By:

Jerusalem
Arab Catholic Scouts Group
Arab Orthodox Society, Jerusalem
Caritas, Jerusalem
Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees—Middle East Council of Churches
Greek Catholic Sayedat AlBishara Association
International Christian Committee
Laity Committee in the Holy Land
National Christian Association
Pontifical Mission Palestine
Sabeel—Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
Seeds of Better life
Union of Arab Orthodox Club, Jerusalem
Young Men’s Christian Association—YMCA
Young Women’s Christian Association—YWCA

 

Gaza
NECC office

 

Bethlehem (NCOB) Network of Christian Organizations in Bethlehem
The East Jerusalem YMCA—Beit Sahour Branch
The Arab Educational Institute
Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem
Wi’am Center, Bethlehem
Saint Afram Assyrian Society
Holy Land Christians Ecumenical Foundation, Bethlehem
Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)
Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Sahour
Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Jala
Arab Orthodox Club, Bethlehem
The Arab Orthodox Charitable Society, Beit Sahour
Bethlehem Bible College
Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies
Alternative Tourism Group, ATG, Beit Sahour
Senior Citizen Charitable Society
Environmental educational Center, Beit Jala
Saint Vincent Charitable Society, Beit Jala
Shepherds’ Children Society, Beit Sahour
Kairos Palestine

Israel’s Wailing Wall crisis

On June 28, yielding to pressure from his religious coalition partners, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracked on a decision to create a space at the Wailing Wall in occupied East Jerusalem adjacent to Islam’s third most sacred place, the Al-Aqsa Mosque where men and women can pray together and non-Orthodox rituals can be practiced.

The agreement for the new egalitarian prayer space, adopted 17-month ago by the Zionist regime after years of negotiations with Jewish leaders, was supposed to restore women’s rights to pray at Wailing Wall just like Jewish men and Western Christian leaders. The suspension of the plan has been condemned by majority of Jews in North America who are affiliated with Liberal streams of Judaism.

Today’s cancellation of the decision is a severe blow to the unity of the Jewish people, the Jewish communities and the fabric of the relationship between the state of Israel and the Jews in the Diaspora,” said defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, a Russian-born Zionist thug.

The religious Jews don’t like mix gender worship like most Muslims with the exception during annual performance of Hajj in Makkah, Saudi Arabia when both men and women perform the ritual wearing identical white robes.

The Jew worshippers at the Wailing Wall are segregated. Women have a  separate spot near the Wailing Wall to recite Torah or Talmud and beg forgiveness from their Vengeful G-d.

Last year UNESCO declared that the Western Wall has nothing to do with Judaism.

The Jewish Agency, which has never criticized the Zionist regime, took out an ad against Netanyahu’s Western Wall decision. US-born Dr. Daniel Gordis, senior vice-president of the Shalem college in occupied Jerusalem, has called upon the American Jews to disinvite Netanyahu and Knesset members from all meetings, and do the same with Israeli embassy officials.

Readers shouldn’t confuse Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jews or Western Liberal Jews – because both like the J-Street represent Zionist Mafia under different names. The only anti-Zionism Jewish group is the Torah Jews whose leaders have the bad habit of supporting Iran against the Zionist entity and praising former Iranian president Ahmadinejad.

On June 30, the JTA reported that Benjamin Netanyahu’s top adviser Dr. Jonathan Shachter had instructed Israeli diplomats in United States to blame the so-called Liberal Jews for the crisis. The official website of Liberal Judaism claims: “We affirm a love for the Land of Israel and a strong commitment to the State of Israel. We pray for her people, care about her security and wish to enact the vision of her founders of a Jewish state for all its inhabitants, at peace with its neighbors, democratic and prosperous. We promote a two-state solution, and oppose all boycotts.”

In August 2014, anti-Muslim lawmaker Peter King met Shachter in Jerusalem and offered his full support for Israeli war on Hamas. Listen to Shachter, a serial liar like his boss Netanyahu, below.

A Quote from Jesus that Perfectly Fits the Situation

Yesterday I put up a post on the book  Judaism’s Strange Gods that included a video with comments by a member of Neturei Karta, the group of religious Jews who have called for the dismantling of the state of Israel. In the video, the NK member talks about Jews in Israel who, through such acts as refusing to serve in the Israeli military, have suffered retribution. He refers to such people as having been arrested, beaten, and in some cases even murdered.

It seems very much as if Jewish leaders are leading their people over a cliff. In this, they are not dissimilar from the leaders of America. (No surprise that the two countries have such a “special relationship.”) How does one free oneself from leaders like this? We are talking, of course, about leaders who hold enormous power and who are ever intent upon accruing even more power to themselves. Power to control as many people as possible. A quote from Jesus sums up the situation perfectly–and indeed offers us a way out:

To the Jews who had believed in him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

To Jews who have suffered persecution for taking a moral stand against Israel: Jesus was the Jewish messiah. Shortly before his death in 30 A.D. he predicted the destruction of Jerusalem. Almost exactly 40 years later what he predicted came to pass. Now we have “modern day Pharisees,” as it were, playing with fire in a quest for global hegemony–foolishly providing support for terrorists while attempting to ignite a conflict with Russia (and seemingly coming ever closer to succeeding). Jesus was sent by God to teach humanity how to live at peace with one another. If we follow his teachings, the planet will survive and the human species along with it. If not, we won’t. We are all part of God’s creation, and as such we must learn to love and care for each other–this is Jesus’ teaching in a nutshell. And if we follow that teaching, and if we learn that truth, we will be set free.

Discussion on ‘Judaism’s Strange Gods’…plus, Revisiting the ‘Celebrate Israel’ Parade

Recently We Hold These Truths uploaded a podcast featuring a discussion on the book, “Judaism’s Strange Gods,” by Michael Hoffman. The following is the program description:

Many Christians, especially Christian Zionists, believe that the religion of Judaism today is the same as was the religion of the Israelites of the Old Testament, except there are no animal sacrifices now. We Hold These Truths‘ Craig Hanson does an excellent job delving into the subject and analyzing Michael Hoffman’s book, “Judaism’s Strange Gods.”

In the book, Christian scholar Michael Hoffman documents his provocative thesis that Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament, but the newly formalized belief system of the Pharisees, which arose in Babylon with the commitment of the formally, oral traditions of the elders to writing, in the wake of the crucifixion of Israels Messiah and the destruction of the Temple. Basing his findings on authoritative Judaic sources, Hoffman demonstrates that Judaism is a man-made religion of tradition and superstition, which represents the institutionalized nullification of Biblical law and doctrine. Liberating the reader from the accumulated shackles of decades of misinformation, this book that shows that Judaism’s god is not the God of Israel, but the strange gods of Talmud and Kabbalah, and the racial self-worship they inculcate. (23 minutes)

And here is a brief excerpt from Hoffman’s preface to the book:

Click here to listen to the full podcast

Also, while on the subject of the “strange gods” of Judaism…a couple of days ago I put up a post about Nouf Infiaat, the young Palestinian girl who sought martyrdom by attacking an Israeli soldier on June 1, her last day of school. In that same post, I also mentioned (and included a video of) a “Celebrate Israel” parade that was held in New York City two days after Nouf’s death.

There were of course some protestors at that parade, and among these were members of the Orthodox Jewish group Neturei Karta. Below is an NK video of the event, including comments from one of the group’s members who refers to the state of Israel as “a rebellion against God” and who characterizes Zionism at one point as a “machine of Satan.” It’s a rather astounding video for a couple of reasons. One reason I say that is for what he says. The other is the plastic covering he and other members of the group can be see wearing upon their hats:

When I first watched this video I found myself puzzling over the plastic hat covers. My first thought was, “well, maybe it’s some kind of Jewish ritual, or something.” It wasn’t until I finally listened to the We Hold These Truths podcast that it finally clicked on me. In the latter part of the podcast, the subject of NK actually comes up. Tom Compton, one of the hosts of the program, mentions an NK rabbi who spoke at an event in Tucson at the University of Arizona and was “spat upon by Jewish students there.” That’s when it hit me what the plastic hat covers were most likely for.

Another thing I find striking about the video is the emotion, and what clearly seems to be anguish on the NK member’s face, as he discusses (starting at about 5:40) those Jews, particularly Jews inside of Israel, it seems, who have taken a stand against the Israeli government by such things as refusing to serve in the Israeli military. He refers to such people as being “murdered” as well as “arrested and brutally beaten.” The details of this he doesn’t get into, nor does he name any names, but certainly it’s worth keeping in mind that there are some Jews (not nearly a majority but the number does seem to be growing) who have taken a moral stand against the state of Israel and who in some cases have done so at considerable personal cost to themselves. This is, I think, something the rest of us may tend to forget about much of the time. We should try and remember it.

Finally, one other point of summation on the “strange gods” of Judaism–and this also perhaps ties in with the NK member’s comments about the “machine of Satan.” In his book, Jewish History Jewish Religion: the Weight of Three Thousand Years, Israel Shahak discusses certain instances in which Jews who follow the Cabbala will at times offer up prayers to propitiate Satan:

Or take another example: both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands, uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on the other he is worshiping Satan, who likes Jewish prayers and ritual acts so much that when he is offered a few of them it keeps him busy for a while and he forgets to pester the divine Daughter. Indeed, the cabbalists believe that some of the sacrifices burnt in the Temple were intended for Satan.

My hope is that some day Christian Zionists will experience a cathartic awakening to some of this stuff, but it’s highly unlikely they will ever hear about it from their church pastors. Sadly, they seem mesmerized by the “carnal awe in which contemporary Judaic people are adored”, as Hoffman phrases it.

Vigil to Be Held Outside Christian Zionist Convention in Phoenix June 13-14

 photo cpryrjeru_zpswjrfrq2v.gif

I received this email a couple of days ago from We Hold These Truths concerning an upcoming meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.  As the email relates, WHTT will be holding a vigil outside the convention.

Attention Palestinian Peace Pals:

On June 13 (Tues.) and June 14, 2017 about 5000 Southern Baptists will descend upon Phoenix at the Phoenix Convention Center for their annual meeting. Last year in St. Louis, the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) passed a resolution supporting Israel (see: “Southern Baptists Reject Peace Plea By Palestinian Pastor,” “Palestinian Pastor Confronts His Fellow Southern Baptist Church Leaders” and, before the 2003 war on Iraq, Richard Land of the SBC and other prominent, evangelical Christian leaders sent a letter to President George Bush stating that a war against Iraq would be a “Just War” according to their interpretation of the Bible. It was not a “Just War” as was reviewed in our 23 minute podcast:  “Will Southern Baptists Become Peacemakers?”

We would love to have you join us at the Phoenix Convention Center and challenge the attendees with signs like: “Choose Life Not War,” “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” “Blessed Are The Peacemakers,” “Where Are The Peacemakers?” “No More Wars For Israel” and “Gaza: Innocent Blood On Our Hands” and help pass out fliers.

Here is our vigil schedule for the convention (the Southern Baptist Convention program, SBC-2017Program.pdf is attached:

What: Vigil For Peace & Justice For Palestine at the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2017 Annual Meeting

Where: Phoenix Convention Center (North): 100 N 3rd Street,Phoenix, AZ 85004 (Map)

When:
Tues., Jun 13, 2017
1. 7:30 am to 9:00 am
2. 11:45 am to 1:30 pm
3. 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Wed., Jun 14, 2017
1. 7:30 am to 9:00 am
2. 11:45 am to 1:30 pm
3. 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

If you can’t join us, take a look at our four minute video, “Challenging A War Willing Church,” and help us promote it. You’ve got your choice where to send to your friends to view it:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/weholdthesetruthsPSG/videos/?ref=page_internal

WHTT website: http://whtt.org/challenging-war-willing-church/

YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/pg/weholdthesetruthsPSG/videos/?ref=page_internal

***

[ Ed. note – Christian Zionism has had an enormously corrupting influence on the Christian faith. It is a heresy, basically, that has turned followers of the teachings of Jesus into supporters of war crimes and apartheid. But where did it come from, how did it get started, and who promoted it? These questions are explored in the following article by Maidhc Ó Cathail. ]

The Scofield Bible: The Book that Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians

 photo scofield_zpsqwtq09yz.gifBy Maidhc Ó Cathail

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

“For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

—The New Scofield Study Bible

Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said that “50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel,” it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.

Although the Scofield Reference Bible contains the text of the King James Authorized Version, it is not the traditional Protestant bible but Cyrus I. Scofield’s annotated commentary that is problematic. More than any other factor, it is Scofield’s notes that have induced generations of American evangelicals to believe that God demands their uncritical support for the modern State of Israel.

Blessing Israel, Cursing Its Critics

Central to Christian Zionist belief is Scofield’s commentary (italicized below) on Genesis 12:3:

“‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause, ‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew—well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle.”

Drawing on Scofield’s rather tendentious interpretation, Hagee claims,

“The man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God.”

But as Stephen Sizer points out in his definitive critique, Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? (available from AET’s Middle East Books and More): “The promise, when referring to Abraham’s descendants, speaks of God blessing them, not of entire nations ‘blessing’ the Hebrew nation, still less the contemporary and secular State of Israel.”

Notwithstanding this more orthodox reading, The New Scofield Study Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1984, intensified Scofield’s interpretation by adding,

“For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

“Sustained by a dubious exegesis of selective biblical texts,” Sizer concludes, “Christian Zionism’s particular reading of history and contemporary events…sets Israel and the Jewish people apart from other peoples in the Middle East…it justifies the endemic racism intrinsic to Zionism, exacerbates tensions between Jews and Palestinians and undermines attempts to find a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, all because ‘the Bible tells them so.’”

The Incredible Scofield

In his 2008 book, The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State, Jonathan R. Adelman describes the crucial support Israel receives from Christian fundamentalists as “totally fortuitous.” That assertion is belied, however, by the incredible career of the man who wrote “the Bible of Fundamentalism.”

Two years after Scofield’s reported conversion to Christianity in 1879, the Atchison Patriot was less than impressed. Describing the former Atchison resident as the “late lawyer, politician and shyster generally,” the article went on to recount a few of Scofield’s “many malicious acts.” These included a series of forgeries in St. Louis, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.

Being a “born again” preacher did not preclude Scofield from becoming a member of an exclusive New York men’s club in 1901, either. In his devastating biography, The Incredible Scofield and His Book, Joseph M. Canfield suggests, “The admission of Scofield to the Lotus Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C.I. Scofield.”

That someone, Canfield suspects, was associated with one of the club’s committee members, the Wall Street lawyer Samuel Untermeyer. As Canfield intimates, Scofield’s theology was “most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer’s pet projects—the Zionist Movement.”

Others have been even more explicit about the nature of Scofield’s service to the Zionist agenda. In “Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem,” Prof. David W. Lutz writes, “Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas City lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter’s career, including travel in Europe.”

On one of these European trips, Oxford University Press publisher Henry Frowde “expressed immediate interest” in Scofield’s project. According to a biography of Frowde, although the OUP publisher was “[n]ot demonstrative in his religious views, all his Christian life he was associated with brethren known as ‘Exclusive.’” The “Exclusive Brethren” refers to the group of Christian evangelicals that, in an 1848 split in the Plymouth Brethren, followed John Nelson Darby, the Anglo-Irish missionary generally considered to have been the most influential figure in the development of Christian Zionism, and a major influence on Scofield.

Continued here

Avengers 80 – Come and meet us…

April 29, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://theatre80.wordpress.com

The Post Political Condition

Trump, Brexit, the Middle East… What Next?

5 pm an extended panel discussion, then a jazz concert from 9 pm

5pm Sunday, 30 April

Theatre 80, 80 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
USA

$10 suggested donation, cash only at the door

On 30 April human rights lawyer Stanley Cohen, history professor Norton Mezvinsky, whistleblower Michael Lesher  and author Gilad Atzmon will gather in Theatre 80, Manhattan to elaborate on the collapse of Identity politics, the crisis within new Left thinking and the future of liberal and progressive thought.

Tom Kiely – Opening Words

Stanley Cohen: The Insular View of the American Left  

Professor Norton Mezvinsky: The Quagmire of Current Political Terminology in U.S. Society

Michael Lesher – Jewish Identity vs. Jewish Religion

Gilad Atzmon: The Tyranny of Correctness – deconstructing identity politics and understanding its origin

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