When God is reduced into an Arsonist

April 22, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

arsonist god.jpg

 

By Gilad Atzmon

We learned last Wednesday that Shlomo Aviner, a prominent Zionist rabbi and Yeshiva leader, suggested the fire that gutted Notre-Dame may have been divine retribution for the burning of Jewish manuscripts in 1242.

In the eyes of His followers, the Jewish almighty is an elastic substance. He morphs occasionally to fit with the needs of His favourite sons and daughters. Early Zionists, for instance, demoted God into an ‘estate agent’ as they reduced the Torah into a ‘title deed’. The early Zionists were secular Jews, they didn’t believe in God but were happy to expel the indigenous Palestinians in ‘His name’ and on ‘His behalf.’  But Rabbi Aviner takes us one step further. He made the Jewish God into a lazy but revengeful arsonist. The rabbi practically makes the Jewish God into a church burner who takes eight centuries to ‘hit back.’

Shlomo Aviner is the rabbi of the Beit El settlement and head of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva. He provides the ‘rational’ behind the divine retribution. “Christianity,” he says, “is our number one enemy throughout history. [They] tried to convert us by arguments and by force, carried out an inquisition against us, burned the Talmud, expulsions, pogroms. Western anti-Semitism draws from Christianity’s hatred of the ‘murderers of God.’ It also had a role in the Holocaust.”

It is needless to mention that many Israelis and Jews were appalled by Rabbi Aviner’s statement. Some Israeli politicians condemned the Rabbi and yet his blatant hatred towards Christianity is unfortunately engraved in both Jewish and Judaic thought.

Back in 2009, the Jerusalem Post reported on the growing tendency of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem to spit on their Christian neighbours. Father Samuel Aghoyan, a senior Armenian Orthodox cleric in Jerusalem’s Old City, told the JPost “that he’s been spat at by young Haredi and Orthodox Jews ‘about 15 to 20 times’ in the past decade”. Similarly, Father Athanasius, a Texas-born Franciscan monk who heads the Christian Information Centre in Jerusalem’s Old City, said he’s been spat at by Orthodox Jews “about 15 times in the last six months”.

The Israeli professor Israel Shahak commented on Jewish hatred towards Christianity and its symbolism, suggesting that “dishonouring Christian religious symbols is an old religious duty in Judaism.” According to Shahak, “spitting on the cross, and especially on the Crucifix, and spitting when a Jew passes a church, have been obligatory from around AD 200 for pious Jews.”

As I am currently in Prague, I am obliged to add that church spitting has had an impact on the landscape of the city. The following can be read in a ‘Travel Guide for Jewish Europe’:

“In Prague’s Charles Bridge, the visitor will observe a great crucifix surrounded by huge gilded Hebrew letters that spell the traditional Hebrew sanctification Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tzvaot, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” According to various commentators, this piece, degrading to Jews, came about because in 1609 a Jew was accused of desecrating the crucifix. The Jewish community was forced to pay for putting up the Hebrew words in gold letters…”   (To read more: Travel Guide for Jewish Europe, pg 497)

Charles Bridge, Prague

Charles Bridge, Prague

Shahak maintains that “in the past, when the danger of anti-Semitic hostility was a real one, the pious Jews were commanded by their rabbis either to spit so that the reason for doing so would be unknown, or to spit onto their chests, not actually on a cross or openly before a church.”

But the anger towards the church extends well beyond the rabbinical realm. Some traces of it can be found in most secularised Jewish so-called ‘progressive’ circles. In a letter to his mother dated November 25 1937, Chaim Katz, a combatant within the Yiddish speaking Spanish International Brigade, writes “I took up arms against the persecutors of my people–the Jews–and my class–the Oppressed. I am fighting against those who establish an inquisition like that of their ideological ancestors several centuries ago, in Spain.” As we can see, Katz defines himself in the letter “as a Jew and a progressive” and sees the deadly civil war in Spain as a possible platform for Jewish retribution against the Catholic Church. It is hardly a secret that the battle in Spain escalated quickly into an orgy of burning churches.*

A week ago, we learned that the Jewish world was outraged by pro Israel Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s suggestion that the crimes of the Holocaust can be forgiven, though not forgotten. While Bolsonaro expressed the most basic Christian belief, both Yad Vashem and the Israeli president were quick to clarify that Jewish forgiveness is not an option. President Rivlin announced that “no one will enjoin the forgiveness of the Jewish people, and no interest will buy it.” Yad Vashem spokeswoman Dana Weiler-Polak said nobody can decide “if it is possible to forgive the crimes of the Holocaust.”

 If Christianity is all about forgiveness, Jewishness can be seen as an accumulative project of ‘Amalek’ characters. If Christianity is all about compassion, the ability to defy gravity by means of harmony and reconciliation, Judaism and Jewishness can be described metaphorically as gravitational forces. They are there to unite the tribe around the constant fear of an emerging enemy. I guess that those who insist on pushing the phantasmic notion of ‘Judeo-Christian values’ should bear in mind the clear ideological, spiritual, metaphysical contrast between the two distinct religious precepts that in fact have very little in common.

*Rather than taking Franco’s side I am dealing here with Jewish means of identifications.

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The Blaze of Hate

 

APRIL 19, 2019

The Rabbis do not regret the Paris disaster. “It’s Divine punishment for burning the Talmud,” divines a prominent Jewish divine, the Bethel Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, about the Notre Dame fire. In 1242 the French investigated the Talmud, established that the codex contains volumes of hate speech, and finally burned 1200 codices in the square of the freshly-built Notre Dame Cathedral. “The time for punishment is here,” the Rabbi intones dramatically. Not so fast, Rabbi! If we must connect these two events – the historical burning of the Talmud and the recent destruction of the church, the real point of the story is that France once had a strong, virile immune system. That medieval destruction of that evil book built up a healthy immunity to Talmudic legalisms that helped the cathedral survive wars and revolutions for the magic number of 777 years. But nothing, alas, lasts forever: the resistance of the French people has exhausted itself.

Perhaps it’s time to re-inoculate the French people against Talmudic scheming. Maybe the nasty spirit of Talmudic intolerance and Judaic supremacy should be exorcised once again from the heart of France for another 777 years. Mayhap the building of the replacement cathedral will inspire a new spirit of fidelity to Our Lady. But it’s not likely to happen. Indeed, in the present climate the French authorities are more likely to turn the burned wreckage of Notre Dame into the next Tolerance Museum.

777 years ago, a Jew who denied the Talmud, parted with Jewry, accepted Christ and entered the Church, Nicholas Danin exposed the kvetching Talmudic hate to a disputation that, shocked and bitterly offended, agreed to gather them up and burn them. In Macron’s France, Nicholas Danin would be dragged into court by LICRA (Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme) and sentenced to jail, if not burned at the stake. Danin, not the Talmud, would be found guilty of hate speech if his judges had been trained, as we are, in philosemitism. Is there any reason to return the ruins of Notre Dame to the Catholic Church? Why not hand it directly over to CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France).

In the same article the French-born Rabbi Shlomo Aviner reminds his followers that all Christian churches will eventually be destroyed (at least in Israel) – but the time is not ripe yet. As for the French cathedral, “we aren’t obligated to destroy it,” though “Christianity is the main enemy of the Jews.” A Jew is supposed to rejoice at the sight of a burned church and recite a special blessing of the Lord of Vengeance Who overturns the House of the Proud. Jewish power in France rises whilst the significance of the Church dwindles; the old cathedral had little chance to survive such a turn of fate. It will be rebuilt as something else: something not Catholic, something that is not a church. It will be designed to appeal to tourists; no need to consult the native Frenchmen. It is already being decided for them.

The destruction of the cathedral had been in the cards a long time. When the naked witches of Femen celebrated their black mass, abused the priests and flogged the venerable old bells in the Notre Dame towers, the French court immediately acquitted them of all charges and instead sentenced the guards who tried to stop the sacrilege. And yet even this was not enough for the enemies of the Church: for their bold blasphemy the Femen were presented with France’s 2017 International Secularism Award, their leader had a postage stamp issued in her honour and she served as the model for the French icon of Marianne. Dominique Venner, a French Catholic writer and historian, committed suicide in the cathedral in 2013 to alert his countrymen to the storm clouds threatening his beloved France, but all in vain.

In France, the relentless struggle against the church, led by the Jews and their allies, continues to bear fruit. In 2013, the government of Holland forced their citizens to accept gay marriage despite massive demos by French Catholics. The influence of LICRA in France exceeds even that of the ADL in America. Catholics like Soral and Dieudonné are now being sent to jail for offending Jewish sensitivities (and as you know, Jews can be very sensitive). They prosecute the Yellow Vests just as they persecute the Church and for the very same reason: both are made up of sturdy provincials who harken back to the days of Christian France.

The terrible blaze in Paris should be an ominous warning for the French: Reconnect with your Church! Save Her and cherish Her, for She may not always be with you. And who will save you when She has gone? The Church of France should reach out to the people by supporting the Yellow Vests against the anti-Christian government of Macron. His government did nothing to defend the Church and that fire didn’t come out of the blue. Macron is definitely guilty, if not by deed, then by criminal negligence. It’s too easy to imagine him toasting champagne at the news. We all should be wary of powerful people who are likely to rejoice at the destruction of our churches.

The previous campaigners against the church in France marshaled, as they did in the US, beneath the banner of ‘Paedophile Priests’. This clear-cut ad hominem (or should we say “canard”, or “trope”?) is aimed directly at the heart of the Church. No one says a word about the dishonesty of the jibe, they are too busy beating their breasts. Yet if you make mention of “Jewish crooks” you’ll have LICRA or its sister bodies pounding on your door. It might be that there are crooks who happen to be Jews, but that doesn’t make them ‘Jewish crooks’, they recite piously. And if you happen to say ‘Jewish crook’, you are guilty of antisemitism. But ‘Paedophile Priests’ is fine. And so the Church is forced to cleanse Herself, and the Jews are left alone, free to continue their self-destructive denouement.

Jews describe themselves as “a Nation of Priests”, the priests of the most anti-Christian faith on the planet. As the influence of the Jewish church waxes, the strength of the Christian church wanes. It is zero-sum-game.

Even those of us who aren’t interested in things spiritual can see history threatening to repeat itself. Whenever the forces of darkness prepare a new attack on mankind, they use their considerable artillery to shut down any potential resistance, and they always start by targeting their avowed enemy, the Church. This was the practice of the Third Reich as well: before starting the war, they began a timely campaign of ‘priests as sex fiends’ to bully the church into silent acquiescence. Our Fourth Reich has taken careful notes: the Church was against the war in Iraq; the Church was steadfast in her defence of Palestine; the Church is against the impending attack on Iran; the Church is implacably opposed to war with Russia. Obviously the Church must be brought to heel.

But the Church cannot be stained by the foul deeds committed Her servants. If a priest abuses a boy then the crime is his crime, not that of the Church. Likewise, if a soldier abuses a boy it is not the fault of the army, and if a politician abuses a boy the nation is not to blame. Since we now sue the Catholic Church for crimes committed by priests, shouldn’t we be able to sue her traditional competitor, the Jews, for every crime committed by a Jew? If the Church bears responsibility for “abusing priests”, maybe International Jewry should be responsible for “cheating Jews”? Or for war-mongering Jews? Or for Jews killing gentiles in Palestine?

A little bird tells me that modern Jews would never agree to accept collective responsibility. They regret their hubris when they stood before Pilate. Today’s Jews are ready to act as a collective in order to collect, but not to pay. Today’s generation of gentle church doves might learn a few pragmatic lessons from these wise old serpents on how to survive in this Jewish world.

A little advice: dismiss the alleged victims of last century’s clerical abuse. Send them home. I do not feel sorry for these late claimants. Why did they wait 20 years to complain? Children who are attacked scream and run home to parents and police. If they didn’t run and scream, it wasn’t an attack. Chalk it up to a clumsy pass by a pathetic amateur; an unpleasant, shameful experience to be sure, but one unlikely to be repeated with a firm rebuke. Blame yourself for sending mixed signals, and go on with your life. Join mankind: every one of us, even your mommy and daddy, suffered an unwanted kiss or an undesired embrace. The laws should be reasonable. Allowing 20-year old claims for unreported transgressions is not reasonable. Only an immediate accusation should be considered valid, and 24 hours is more than enough time in most cases to lodge a formal complaint.

If a crime has occurred, then of course the criminal should be punished. But let not the denouncer profit by his report of the crime. This is the necessary rule of justice. There was a time when a denouncer could claim a third of a denounced man’s property. Oftentimes we exceed even that in today’s litigious environment.

The “paedo” angle is misleading. What is “a child”? Are you revolted by Romeo and Juliet? As a good American citizen, you should be; Juliet was 14, and thus Romeo today would be tried and locked up as a “paedophile”, together with his accomplice the good Friar Laurence. Friar Laurence would surely be considered as an “abusing priest”, and a Dershowitz would collect a million ducats from the Diocese of Verona for his sin of arranging the lovers’ tryst. Edgar Allan Poe married a 14-year old, and if the present laws were in force the American poet would harken to his Raven’s “nevermore” in jail. The prophet Muhammad married nine-year-old Aisha, but Jacob, the Biblical patriarch, surpassed him and married Rachel who was only 7. In our modern world Jacob and Muhammad would be hunted down, extradited and jailed. It is possible that even better-placed Persons would not fare well when faced with today’s enlightened justice: the Mother of our Saviour was just 14 at Annunciation.

Greek tradition approves of mature women who are willing to share their expertise with growing boys. In the Greek classic book Daphnis and Chloe, an experienced and mature lady Lycaenion taught young Daphnis how to attend to his girlfriend – to their mutual satisfaction. The BBC reports of a 26-year old woman teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 15-year old pupil. Even the prosecutor admitted that it’s “every schoolboy’s fantasy to have that kind of attention from a young, attractive member of staff”, but pushed for conviction all the same. In the US, Pamela Rogers was sentenced to years of jail-time for having sex with a boy as tall as you and me; he may have been only 13 at the time, but this happens to be the exact age my great-grandfather was married. If Mrs Rogers had instead concentrated on emotionally torturing and humiliating the boy she would have certainly enjoyed a successful career in public education. Who knows, she might have become Secretary of State.

The Americans and the Brits have invented the nonsensical concept of “statutory rape”; as if a state prosecutor knows better than boys and girls what they want. The great French thinkers Sartre and Derrida, Foucault and de Beauvoir, called in 1977 for scrapping this jailbait trap, this tool of selective prosecution. Wise Spaniards established the age of consent at 13, while the even wiser Muslims place no age limit for marriage at all because they so strongly disapprove of extramarital relations. Jews were guided by the Talmud, which stipulates the permitted age of marriage for girls at ‘three years and one day’ (though the safer age of nine was preferred), and wisely forbidding sodomy.

Indeed, almost all the cases of alleged clerical abuse are homosexual; the alleged victims should perhaps sue the gay rights organizations that infested the Church instead of harassing the Church Who failed to keep them out. But Church leaders are not permitted to even contemplate such a suggestion. They can’t say “pederasty”; they must pretend this is “paedophilia”. They are forbidden to defrock a homosexual priest lest they be accused of “homophobia”.

Sexual violence towards a small boy or girl by an adult man is a repulsive and criminal act, but such accusations are extremely rare in the history of clerical abuse.

We must not remain indifferent to the travails of the Church, for only She has the potential to turn the predatory neo-Judaic state into a peace-loving Christian one. The Church affirms the primacy of spirit, and of our godlike abilities to think and to reproduce; such hopeful opinions are anathema to our Worldly Masters. On the deepest level the Church is the main adversary of evil in our world. The worldlings have formed a competing church of sorts, the church of darkness, and they will not suffer a competitor.

Dominant as they are, they are not omnipotent. There is no magic in their incantations. They have no divine powers behind them. They are impostors. They exploit the old myths of mankind, forgetting that nothing works without God. As rebels against God, they will be defeated. As charlatans they will be dismantled. Their fall is imminent. We should reject them completely, as completely as we are called to in our confession of faith.

The Catholic Church is one of the greatest champions of Palestine. They have a Palestinian Patriarch, they do their best to defend the Palestinian people. All established churches support Palestine; with the apostolic churches taking the leading role, and the Catholics often leading them all. During the 2002 Bethlehem siege by the Jews, the Catholic Church led the resistance. I know because I was resisting too. Once upon a time, the Church led the Crusade to liberate the Holy Land. With a brave and selfless spirit She could lead a Crusade of Peace and free it again.

France once reached the greatest heights of economic fairness, social sophistication and moral integrity in union with the Church. The terrible warning of the Notre Dame blaze should shock the people of France into returning to the Rock of the Church, just as it must surely make the Church wake up to the “smoke of Satan” permeating Her walls.

In collaboration with Paul Bennett

Read more on the abusing priests here: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/darkness-from-the-west/

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

What if al-Aqsa Mosque caught fire?

It is doubtful in today’s US-dominated world that anyone would rally to its cause, as they did for Notre Dame
Palestinians gather at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in June 2018 (AFP)

On 15 April, a devastating fire broke out at France’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral.

In the course of the conflagration, the church’s distinctive 93-metre medieval spire and two thirds of its roof were destroyed. Had it not been for the tireless efforts of French firefighters, who fought day and night to extinguish the blaze, the damage would have been far more extensive.

For days, the story was front-page news in Western countries, and media outlets were saturated with expert analyses of the cathedral’s history, architecture and significance.

Symbol of national identity

There is no doubt that Notre Dame, dating from 1163, is a Gothic masterpiece and a Parisian landmark. It is a symbol of France and of Roman Catholicism, even though France is an officially secular state that prides itself on what it calls laicité. Church and state were formally separated in 1905.

But that did not stop crowds of people from singing hymns in a vigil near the stricken cathedral and marching in its honour. Paris’s deputy mayor of tourism and sports joined others in creating a human chain to save the ancient relics held inside the cathedral.

For Palestinians, al-Aqsa is their very own possession – a symbol of Arab historical continuity in a city claimed by non-Arabs

Notre Dame is today not just a religious monument, but a symbol of French national identity. For that reason, the French president quickly took on the responsibility of rebuilding the cathedral, and French billionaires and businesses have already pledged more than €700 million ($787m) towards that goal.

In recognition of that nationalist bond, many western states, from Australia to Europe, hastened to send their condolences to President Emmanuel Macron. Japan, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan did the same.

In the United States, the One World Trade Centre and the Empire State Building were lit up in the tricolour of the French flag, and the governor of New York pledged his city’s solidarity with the people of France.

Sacred character

What if a similar fate overtook al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem? This building is older than Notre Dame, built by the Umayyad caliphs in the eighth century, and has a long, rich history. The mosque was hit by earthquakes in 746 and 1033 and rebuilt each time; taken over by crusaders in 1099 and reclaimed by Saladin in 1187; then remained under Muslim rule until the war of 1967, when it came under Israel’s control.

Muslims everywhere revere this mosque. It is the third holiest place after the mosques of Mecca and Medina. Many associations bind al-Aqsa to Muslim religious sentiment.

Palestinians pray at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in May 2018 (AFP)
Palestinians pray at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in May 2018 (AFP)

Interpreted as the place referenced in the Isra verse in the Quran, al-Aqsa has taken on a sacred character, and is traditionally associated with the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous night journey to Jerusalem. Its spiritual significance for Muslims is hard to overstate. Jerusalem was Islam’s first qibla, or direction of prayer, and it has been an important place of pilgrimage ever since.

For Palestinians, al-Aqsa is their very own possession – a symbol of Arab historical continuity in a city claimed by non-Arabs, and an affirmation of Arab identity in an anti-Arab environment. Though it stands beside what is claimed to be the site of the now-vanished Jewish Second Temple, it is the only concrete historical building in that place.

No assaults by religious Jewish groups claiming rights to the mosque can alter this reality, nor have Israel’s constant excavations to detect a trace of Jewish history at the site since 1967 produced that evidence.

The case of the 1969 fire

What if this unique building, so meaningful for the 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, succumbed to fire, or collapsed after Israel’s archaeological digs weakened its ancient foundations?

Would the Arab and Islamic world rise up as one? Would Israel, the de facto custodian of Jerusalem’s holy places, be made accountable? Would world leaders rush to rebuild the mosque or to help the Palestinian people?

The struggle for al-Aqsa: Palestinians have ‘no one but God to help them’

Read More »

We have a preliminary answer in the case of the fire that burned Saladin’s minbar inside al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Denis Michael Rohan, an evangelical Christian Australian, started a fire in the mosque to try to destroy it, aiming to clear the way for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in its place, thus hastening Christ’s second coming. The incident led to the establishment of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Jordan’s representative to the UN presented letters of protest over the fire at al-Aqsa. These came from just 17 states, and a further 58 letters came from NGOs, Muslim religious bodies, other Muslim groups and Muslim individuals around the world. They called on the UN to intervene to protect the holy site from Israel’s occupation.

An orphan without allies

The Western response to the fire at al-Aqsa was muted. None displayed solidarity with Palestinians or Muslims, and no effective action was taken by the UN.

In the 50 years since the fire at al-Aqsa, Israel has only increased its hold on Jerusalem’s holy places. In 2017, it illegally installed turnstiles and metal detectors at the entrances to al-Haram al-Sharif, although they were subsequently removed. Religious settlers are now regularly allowed to march through al-Aqsa compound, threaten Muslim worshippers, and perform Jewish religious ceremonies.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is no less a religious and nationalist symbol for Arabs and Muslims than Notre Dame is for the French

Al-Aqsa Mosque is no less a religious and nationalist symbol for Arabs and Muslims than Notre Dame is for the French. But if it burned down, it is doubtful in today’s US-dominated world – and given Arab and Islamic weakness – that anyone would rally to its cause. Only the Palestinians who live there would go on fighting to defend it.

Like them, this wonderful Islamic icon is an orphan in a world without allies.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Ghada Karmi
Ghada Karmi is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem and was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948. The family moved to England in 1949, where she grew up and was educated. Karmi practised as a doctor for many years working as a specialist in the health of migrants and refugees. From 1999 to 2001 Karmi was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she led a major project on Israel-Palestinian reconciliation. In 2009, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Bamiyan, Babylon, Palmyra, Notre-Dame

April 16, 2019

Bamiyan, Babylon, Palmyra, Notre-Dame

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog

The Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed by an intolerant sect pretending to follow Islam. Buddhism all across Asia grieved. The West hardly paid attention.

The remaining ruins of Babylon, and the attached museum, were occupied, plundered and vandalized by a US Marine base during Shock and Awe in 2003. The West paid no attention.

Vast tracts of Palmyra – a legendary Silk Road oasis – were destroyed by another intolerant sect pretending to follow Islam with their backs covered by layers of Western “intelligence”. The West paid no attention.

Scores of Catholic and Orthodox churches in Syria were burnt to the ground by the same intolerant sect pretending to follow Islam with their backs sponsored and weaponized, among others, by the US, Britain and France. The West paid no attention whatsoever.

Notre-Dame, which in many ways can be construed as the Matrix of the West, is partially consumed by a theoretically blind fire.

Especially the roof; hundreds of oak beams, some dating back to the 13th century. Metaphorically, this could be interpreted as the burning of the roof over the West’s collective heads.

Bad karma? Finally?

*

Now back to the nitty-gritty.

Notre-Dame belongs to the French state, which had been paying little to no attention to a gothic jewel that traversed eight centuries.

Fragments of arcades, chimeras, reliefs, gargoyles were always falling to the ground and kept in an improvised deposit in the back of the cathedral.

Only last year Notre-Dame got a check for 2 million euros to restore the spire – which burned to the ground yesterday.

To restore the whole cathedral would have cost 150 million euros, according to the top world expert on Notre-Dame, who happens to be an American, Andrew Tallon.

Recently, the custodians of the cathedral and the French state were actually at war.

The French state was making at least 4 million euros a year, charging tourists to enter the Twin (Bell) Towers but putting back only 2 million euros for the maintenance of Notre-Dame.

The rector of Notre-Dame refused to charge for a ticket to enter the cathedral – as it happens, for example, at the Duomo in Milan.

Notre-Dame basically survives on donations – which pay the salaries of only 70 employees who need not only to supervise the masses of tourists but also to organize eight masses a day.

The French state’s proposal to minimize the ordeal; organize a beneficent lottery. That is; privatize what is a state commitment and obligation.

So yes: Sarkozy and Macron, their whole administrations, are directly and indirectly responsible for the fire.

Now comes the Notre-Dame of Billionaires.

Pinault (Gucci, St. Laurent) pledged 100 million euros from his personal fortune for the restoration. Arnault (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) doubled down, pledging 200 million euros.

So why not privatize this damn fine piece of real estate – disaster capitalism-style? Welcome to Notre-Dame luxury condo, hotel and attached mall.

Notre Dame Inferno: Fire under Control, Main Structure «Saved & Preserved»

By Staff, Agencies

Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most beloved Gothic landmarks in Paris and Europe, has been engulfed by flames Monday evening as a major fire broke out on the cathedral’s roof.

It is believed that the fire may be linked to restoration works currently underway. Video footage below shows the iconic spire of the 850-year-old Gothic building collapsing, with fears that the cathedral’s wooden interior is under threat.

The entire roof of the cathedral has collapsed, while the cathedral’s three medieval rose windows have reportedly exploded in the intense heat. In a glimmer of hope, fire officials have confirmed that the main structure has been “saved and preserved.”

The fire reached the North tower of the cathedral’s two bell towers which, along with the main structure, are now believed to be safe following efforts by emergency services. The main task facing fire personnel is now the recovery of precious artwork at the back of the cathedral, some dating hundreds of years old.

The fire broke out on Monday evening at 17:50 local time, with flames bursting through the roof of the cathedral. Smoke and ash were reported across the city over a large area as flames moved towards the cathedral’s two bell towers. The fire has claimed the cathedral’s spire, a 19th-century addition constructed of a wood and lead structure.

The blaze has been brought under control, firefighters confirmed in the early hours of Tuesday morning. “The fire is completely under control. It is partially extinguished, there are residual fires to put out,” said a spokesman.

French President Emmanuel Macron attended the scene, having canceled a planned speech to the nation. There are currently no reports of deaths, however one fireman has been seriously injured.

Buildings around the island on which the cathedral sits have been evacuated, as thousands of people gather on the left bank of the Seine to watch helplessly on. Meanwhile, tributes have been expressed from across the political world.

Construction on the cathedral, which is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, began in 1163. The structure was completed in 1345, and now hosts 13 million people every year, an average of over 30,000 per day. The cathedral is currently undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, prompting fears that the structure may be unstable. Last week, bronze statues were removed from the cathedral while work was underway.

Relatedly, French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of the Kering group, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion houses, immediately pledged 100 million euros ($113 million) on Monday towards the rebuilding of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

In a statement sent to AFP, Pinault said the money towards “the effort necessary to completely rebuild Notre-Dame” would be paid by the Pinault family’s investment firm Artemis.

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