Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A non-Jewish Scottish professor responds to his Israel-boycotting students

Scotland is known to have a slight problem with sectarianism, but the focus is invariably on Celtic-Rangers spats with the occasional demand to outlaw the singing of the Hokey-Cokey. Meanwhile, Scottish councils and universities pass their anti-Semitic motions with impunity.

The following letter was written to the Edinburgh University Student Association following their vote to boycott Israel and all Israeli goods because it is an 'apartheid regime'. Dr Denis MacEoin (a non-Jew) is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs. He is senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly, and runs his own blog 'A Liberal Defence of Israel'. This letter merits dissemination far and wide, and certainly to every university in the country.
The Committee
Edinburgh University Student Association

May I be permitted to say a few words to members of the EUSA? I am an Edinburgh graduate (MA 1975) who studied Persian, Arabic and Islamic History in Buccleuch Place under William Montgomery Watt and Laurence Elwell Sutton, two of Britain’s great Middle East experts in their day. I later went on to do a PhD at Cambridge and to teach Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. Naturally, I am the author of several books and hundreds of articles in this field.

I say all that to show that I am well informed in Middle Eastern affairs and that, for that reason, I am shocked and disheartened by the EUSA motion and vote. I am shocked for a simple reason: there is not and has never been a system of apartheid in Israel. That is not my opinion, that is fact that can be tested against reality by any Edinburgh student, should he or she choose to visit Israel to see for themselves.

Let me spell this out, since I have the impression that those members of EUSA who voted for this motion are absolutely clueless in matters concerning Israel, and that they are, in all likelihood, the victims of extremely biased propaganda coming from the anti-Israel lobby. Being anti-Israel is not in itself objectionable. But I’m not talking about ordinary criticism of Israel. I’m speaking of a hatred that permits itself no boundaries in the lies and myths it pours out. Thus, Israel is repeatedly referred to as a ‘Nazi’ state. In what sense is this true, even as a metaphor? Where are the Israeli concentration camps? The einzatsgruppen? The SS? The Nüremberg Laws? The Final Solution? None of these things nor anything remotely resembling them exists in Israel, precisely because the Jews, more than anyone on earth, understand what Nazism stood for. It is claimed that there has been an Israeli Holocaust in Gaza (or elsewhere). Where? When? No honest historian would treat that claim with anything but the contempt it deserves. But calling Jews Nazis and saying they have committed a Holocaust is as basic a way to subvert historical fact as anything I can think of.

Likewise apartheid. For apartheid to exist, there would have to be a situation that closely resembled things in South Africa under the apartheid regime. Unfortunately for those who believe this, a weekend in any part of Israel would be enough to show how ridiculous the claim is. That a body of university students actually fell for this and voted on it is a sad comment on the state of modern education. The most obvious focus for apartheid would be the country’s 20% Arab population. Under Israeli law, Arab Israelis have exactly the same rights as Jews or anyone else; Muslims have the same rights as Jews or Christians; Baha’is, severely persecuted in Iran, flourish in Israel, where they have their world centre; Ahmadi Muslims, severely persecuted in Pakistan and elsewhere, are kept safe by Israel; the holy places of all religions are protected under a specific Israeli law. Arabs form 20% of the university population (an exact echo of their percentage in the general population). In Iran, the Baha’is (the largest religious minority) are forbidden to study in any university or to run their own universities: why aren’t your members boycotting Iran?

Arabs in Israel can go anywhere they want, unlike blacks in apartheid South Africa. They use public transport, they eat in restaurants, they go to swimming pools, they use libraries, they go to cinemas alongside Jews – something no blacks could do in South Africa. Israeli hospitals not only treat Jews and Arabs, they also treat Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank. On the same wards, in the same operating theatres.

In Israel, women have the same rights as men: there is no gender apartheid. Gay men and women face no restrictions, and Palestinian gays often escape into Israel, knowing they may be killed at home. It seems bizarre to me that LGBT groups call for a boycott of Israel and say nothing about countries like Iran, where gay men are hanged or stoned to death. That illustrates a mindset that beggars belief. Intelligent students thinking it’s better to be silent about regimes that kill gay people, but good to condemn the only country in the Middle East that rescues and protects gay people. Is that supposed to be a sick joke?

University is supposed to be about learning to use your brain, to think rationally, to examine evidence, to reach conclusions based on solid evidence, to compare sources, to weigh up one view against one or more others. If the best Edinburgh can now produce are students who have no idea how to do any of these things, then the future is bleak. I do not object to well documented criticism of Israel. I do object when supposedly intelligent people single the Jewish state out above states that are horrific in their treatment of their populations. We are going through the biggest upheaval in the Middle East since the 7th and 8th centuries, and it’s clear that Arabs and Iranians are rebelling against terrifying regimes that fight back by killing their own citizens. Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, do not rebel (though they are free to protest). Yet Edinburgh students mount no demonstrations and call for no boycotts against Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran. They prefer to make false accusations against one of the world’s freest countries, the only country in the Middle East that has taken in Darfur refugees, the only country in the Middle East that gives refuge to gay men and women, the only country in the Middle East that protects the Baha’is... Need I go on? The imbalance is perceptible, and it sheds no credit on anyone who voted for this boycott.

I ask you to show some common sense. Get information from the Israeli embassy. Ask for some speakers. Listen to more than one side. Do not make your minds up until you have given a fair hearing to both parties. You have a duty to your students, and that is to protect them from one-sided argument. They are not at university to be propagandized. And they are certainly not there to be tricked into anti-Semitism by punishing one country among all the countries of the world, which happens to be the only Jewish state. If there had been a single Jewish state in the 1930s (which, sadly, there was not), don’t you think Adolf Hitler would have decided to boycott it? Of course he would, and he would not have stopped there. Your generation has a duty to ensure that the perennial racism of anti-Semitism never sets down roots among you. Today, however, there are clear signs that it has done so and is putting down more. You have a chance to avert a very great evil, simply by using reason and a sense of fair play. Please tell me that this makes sense to you. I have given you some of the evidence. It’s up to you to find out more.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Denis MacEoin


Blogger john in cheshire said...

Well put Dr MacEoin. I hope you receive the response that you desire, but I fear you will be vilified for daring to speak the truth.

6 September 2011 at 10:00  
Blogger JohnofEnfield said...

Very dignified.

Any response yet? From the students? From the lecturers union?

6 September 2011 at 10:00  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Anti-abortion, pro-Israel ... you are a masochist Cranmer!

Still - the truth rings out with a clarion call. "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

6 September 2011 at 10:01  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Given the objectives and stated aims of SOME OF the muslim jihadi and kahlifah groups, and Hamas/Hizbollah ...
These idiots have fallen for nazi propaganda.

Isreal as a state has done bad things.
So do all states.

Trying to condemn said state for its' current government (Let's face it Netanyahu is NOT nice to know) is the height of stupidity, espevially given the internal opposition inside Israel.

6 September 2011 at 10:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent commentary, Your Grace. Let us pray that a new Scottish Enlightenment will follow Dr MacEoin's appeal to reason.

Will we be hearing a similar exhortation from the Greatest Living Glaswegian, Prof Niall Ferguson?

6 September 2011 at 10:20  
Blogger Theo said...

I suspect the students, like politicians gain most of their information from the BBC whose bias against Israel beggars belief.

6 September 2011 at 10:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Islam is an intolerant fascist cult that has a propaganda machine that makes Goebels' efforts sound like a babbling brook.

To the Arabs, Israel is a 'Western' implant that undermines their warring and despotic lifestyles.

We (the West) and of a certain age are becoming so used to their twisted logic and lies going unchallenged that we have oiled all the multicultural hinges for them.

Islam (their weapon of choice) has no place in the West as it is not a religion but essentially and deliberately, a parasitical political doctrine. Why else would they come here and then try to recreate the same kind of culture they have left - this is colonialisation by any other name.

6 September 2011 at 11:05  
Blogger trencherbone said...

The Scottish political establishment has been infiltrated and subverted by Islamists.

6 September 2011 at 11:15  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Bravo, Your Grace. In response to your call to publicise it widely I am taking the liberty of posting it on my blog in its entirety. I do hope the original author will be content with that.

6 September 2011 at 11:41  
Blogger martin sewell said...

Dr MacEoin writes lucidly with knowledge passion and reason. He, at least, is a credit to his University. I hope we can be kept updated with the progression of the story. I wonder if the BBC might care to cover the issue?

Dreadnought, I think I ought to point you to the moving example of Tariq Jahan who spoke so simply and movingly to diffuse the violence after his son and friends were killed during the riots.

He too was a Muslim, but also a man of faith following in the steps of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu and Pope John Paul II showing that when religious people follow their faith in peace and goodwill to all, it is an immense benefit to society and the world.

6 September 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Martin, Agreed.

I was referring to the record of Islam not to the individual - that record speaks for its self. The dignity and composure of Mr Jahan has to be admired and indeed is welcome here, but one cannot ignore (especially as we approach the 10th anniversary of the Twin Towers)that which is consistently malevolent wherever Islam dominates.

6 September 2011 at 12:00  
Blogger William said...

Dreadnaught said

"We (the West) and of a certain age are becoming so used to their twisted logic and lies going unchallenged that we have oiled all the multicultural hinges for them."

6 September 2011 at 12:19  
Blogger dmcl01 said...

Those who accuse the Israelis of nazism are guilty for trivalising the appauling atrocities committed by that ideology.

6 September 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger Ahab`s Leg said...

If ever there was a doubt that there is no logic to the combination of leftist,[and sometimes rightist] and Islamic fascist bile against Israel except the resurgance of the virus of anti semitism you have in your blog quoting Dr MacEoin made it perfectly clear.

6 September 2011 at 12:38  
Blogger Kiwi said...

I wonder how many universities have received donations/funding/grants from Saudi Arabia et al to promote 'Islamic' studies?
He who pays the piper.....

6 September 2011 at 13:03  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Well someone needed to spell it out to the lame-brain, slavishly
anti-semitic, cause celebre sheeple. Dr MacEoin said it well and in simple language that anyone with an average IQ can understand. Now let's hope that there are those, who haven't slammed down their Marxist shutters against the truth, are listening and feel shame.

Given the blind stupidity and ignorance that is apparently rife in our higher education establishments, I won't be holding my breath...

6 September 2011 at 13:07  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

Just wait until the palestinians declare unilaterally the state of palestine at the UN this month and watch this madness against Israel be a mere walk in the park.

Wonder which way our lily livered politicians will sway at the UN. Mind you, Hague detailed how the 'new relationship' would go with our arab 'friends' at the UAE etc earlier this year. Poor Israel.

Bated breath!

Over to you, Lord!

Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

6 September 2011 at 13:42  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

A powerful, reasoned and passionate defence of internal Iraeli affairs.

Ernst Blofeld

Let's not muddy the waters by introducing the pending Palestinian motion calling on the UN to recognise the State of Palestine. This is a political ploy to put pressure on the Israeli goverment to conceed land on the occupied territories. I doubt the Palestinians have any intention of declaring UDI.

The issue of whether Israel is a Nazi State which treats Arab citizens improperly is distinct from the wider peace process. They need to be kept seperate.

6 September 2011 at 14:30  
Blogger James said...

Wow. Straw man, straw man, factual inaccuracy, irrelevant conclusion, Godwin's. Nice work Dr. MacEoin!

6 September 2011 at 15:03  
Blogger Albert said...

A very important letter, exposing one of the many contradictions at the heart of the modern West/Left.

6 September 2011 at 15:31  
Blogger KCB said...

Your Grace,

I earnestly entreat you to present this to the LSE Student's union. Their reply is certain to be illuminating...

6 September 2011 at 15:49  
Blogger Hereward said...

This University debate was all about what the Left see as a just settlement for Palestine not mistreatment of Gentile Israelis. Were it not for 63 years of disputation about refugees, borders and conflict there would be little likelihood that students in the UK would be debating Israel or boycotting its products. They are looking at the problem through a Palestinian prism. The version of history where hordes of European Jewry colonised the place and ethnically cleansed the Arabs etc. etc. That's what the claim about apartheid is driven by. Israel is seen as the occupier and oppressor. The fact that it is a stable multiracial democracy and a UN recognised sovereign state threatened with extermination by other powers in the region is conveniently overlooked. This attitude is sectarian and reflects the unquestioning Left/Muslim intimacy that is all too often seen in education and politics.

6 September 2011 at 16:24  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dr. MacEoin is a brave man. He's stuck his head above the parapet, and has probably endangered his career in doing so.

Most universities these days are anything BUT places of 'free thought' - too many entrenched attitudes; too many willing to climb the greasy pole to self-advancement, regardless of truth; too few willing to expound upon the realities of the world, for fear of angering BOTH the Lib-Lab ideologue incumbents, and the desperate, grasping hands of the new 'corporate' edifices.

6 September 2011 at 16:38  
Blogger J.D. Malcolmson said...

john in cheshire said...
Well put Dr MacEoin. I hope you receive the response that you desire, but I fear you will be vilified for daring to speak the truth.

6 September 2011 10:00

Quite so John.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." (Orwell)

6 September 2011 at 16:47  
Blogger HampsteadOwl said...

I heartily applaud both the sentiments in Dr MacEoin’s letter, and the rational and graceful way in which he expresses them. The Edinburgh University Student Association has behaved damnably and deserves his well-tempered scorn.

But I do part company with him on one point, and that is the all too familiar accusation of anti-semitism aimed against those who are critical or hostile towards Israel. In the spirit of Dr MacEoin’s own approach, I would ask him what evidence he has for this.

I cannot be sure, but I would be very surprised to discover that the propagators of this silly motion, still less those who voted for it, are motivated by racial hatred of the Jews. Certainly I would have to be convinced that this were so. Being against Israel is just one of those shallow liberal notions that students, and others with flimsy and easily biddable minds, tend to pick up on the way, like sexually transmitted diseases. Most students, to the extent that they are interested in politics at all, like to think of themselves on the left and how better to show this than to mouth the left’s causal platitudes about Israel being the oppressor and the Palestinians the oppressed. The extent of their intellectual laziness is revealed through the blasé appropriation of words like “Nazi” and “apartheid”, without really having the first understanding of what they mean.

So I would be inclined to ignore their ridiculous posturing, though I am also glad that one man at least has the energy and integrity to take them on. As for what this tells us about the state of our modern universities, and the dolts who inhabit them, he is spot on there too

6 September 2011 at 18:26  
Blogger len said...

Dr Denis MacEoin put the facts regarding Israel and the anti Israel agenda clearly.
The whole 'Palestinian problem' is a manufactured one brought about by the Arabs who wish to totally obliterate Israel.
The 'Palestinian problem'is the 'lever' constantly being fuelled and inflamed by the Arabs to bring about exactly the sort of situation we are now facing.The Arabs do not want a peaceful settlement or to co-exist with Israel, they want the total destruction of Israel.
Why do the Arabs so hotly desire this small, seemingly insignificant, strip of land?.

The answer is Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount,here the final battle between Truth and error will be played out.
Muslims have been trying to remove all traces of the Temple and are now even denying that the Temple even existed.Islam is trying to supplant Christianity and the Temple Mount will play a vital role in the end time scenario.

6 September 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Hamstead Owl said ...
"I do part company with him on one point, and that is the all too familiar accusation of anti-semitism aimed against those who are critical or hostile towards Israel. In the spirit of Dr MacEoin’s own approach, I would ask him what evidence he has for this."

This isn't criticism or hostility towards Israel. It's unthinking and naive. Ignorance is no defence against support for jihadist ideologues. Surely Nazism taught us this.

Have a read.


6 September 2011 at 19:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“To criticise Israel is to be anti-Semitic”

The Inspector is keeping his head down, but does suggest that Israel could do worse than to talk to aggrieved arabs in the area...

Damn, there he goes again, wicked anti-semitic Inspector...

6 September 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger HampsteadOwl said...

@The Way of the Dodo

I am not denying that anti-semitism exists; only doubting whether it is an animating force among the knobheads of the Edinburgh University Student Association.

The issue is this. Just as branding anyone a Nazi whose political views are even mildly right of centre, leaves us without the weapons or the vocabulary to deal with the real Nazis when they come along, so it is true of calling anyone who criticises Israel an anti-semite. Dr MacEoin's letter is so powerful because it is so reasoned and that quality raises it above the extremism of either side.

6 September 2011 at 20:09  
Blogger Durotrigan said...

If you want to see real sectarianism in action, take a look at what happened in the East End on Saturday. How do you think the British police might respond to a woman being beaten by a gang of Muslim males and a coach full of Englishmen being attacked by missile-throwing Muslims? Which of them would get arrested? That's right, you've guessed it: the Englishmen of course! See videos of the Muslim mob attack a defenceless woman and the coach here, as you'll not be seeing this in the mainstream media: http://durotrigan.blogspot.com/2011/09/muslim-males-attack-defenceless-edl.html

6 September 2011 at 20:14  
Blogger Albert said...


does suggest that Israel could do worse than to talk to aggrieved arabs in the area...

I don't think that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic necessarily. Some years ago when the CofE made a similar silly censure of Israel, the Jewish Chronicle itself admitted that there were problems with some of Israel's policies. The question the JC asked is, why pick on Israel when there are so many other countries without her precarious situation, but with far nastier policies?

6 September 2011 at 20:50  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

HampsteadOwl said...
@The Way of the Dodo
"I am not denying that anti-semitism exists; only doubting whether it is an animating force among the knobheads of the Edinburgh University Student Association."

I do agree - up to a point.

I'm not one for blind allegiance to Iraeli politics and get routinely called "anti-semetic" on here for this.

However, to be ignorant about the motives of some of those behind the pro-Palestinian organisations is unacceptable and to label the Israelis Nazis is scandalous. I'd say such ill informed support is, at the very least, tacit anti-semitism.

6 September 2011 at 20:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Agreed. It’s a mystery of the human condition that we all pile into hounding one country when others are far worse. Reminds me of playground fighting – only interested in the immediate scuffle, when it’s the class bully who deserves a good kicking from all...

PS. Heard today that Mugabe has only a couple of years left to live - top news, what !

6 September 2011 at 20:58  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


I also think those who label all Muslims as Islamists and claim they are all committed to Jahidi and conquouring the West, are guilty of Islamophobia.

Life is complicated and there's nothing so complicated as the mix between religion and politics!

6 September 2011 at 21:00  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Thank you to Your Grace and of course to Dr. MacEoin.

I had not heard of his work before now. I am off to check out his blog and hope that there is more in a similar vein.

6 September 2011 at 21:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


I would think that the intelligent amongst us knows that if it wasn’t for the ‘stabilising’ influence of the great majority of older muslims, the UK would be in a far worse situation regarding Islamic ‘direct action’ . The real problem will come when that generation, the first, passes on, and our university educated Islamic purists have no restraining influence....

6 September 2011 at 21:44  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector General

The same fear or aprehension was once said of Catholics ... and Jews.

6 September 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Bless your good heartedness – but the Inspector understands the number of ‘dangerous’ Islamists runs into the thousands in the UK.

The Inspector lives in a 'culturally diverse' town (that’s ‘spot the white man’ in the old money). Hopefully, he can get through his life without picking bits of car out of his carcass, but should the worst happen, he’ll crawl to the keyboard and let you know...

6 September 2011 at 22:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Our legendary Inspector is being a bit of a drama queen and talking nonsense to boot (20:02).

The nonsense first: "Israel could do worse than to talk to aggrieved arabs in the area." Right. Past and present Israeli governments have launched thousands of initiatives and programs in housing, health, education and infrastruture projects specifically to benefit Arabs. Arabs can approach Jewish or Arab Israeli police, find justice in Israeli courts in Arabic, one of the official languages, and appeal to dozens of sympathetic Jewish and Arab Members of the Knesset. Scores of of well-funded Israeli organizations listen to, speak with and lobby on behalf of Arabs in Israel and the disputed territories, and Israeli media is on the whole far more sensitive to Arab concerns than to those of the Hareidi ("Ultra-Orthodox" Jews) or the "settlers." Should the Inspector actually familiarize himself with the current situation, he might also notice that it is the PA which refuses to "talk" to Israel. Or that the same PA, claiming to be the sole representative of the "Palestinians," is five or six years "late" with an election, and may thus lack the legitimacy to talk on behalf of anyone. Does the Inspector have any suggestions as to whom exactly Israel can talk to and what it should say?

And, not long after offering some old school generalizations of Jewish character in previous posts, the Inspector entertains us with a drama queen act befitting some of the sappiest Borsht Belt parodies: "Damn, there he goes again, wicked anti-semitic Inspector..." There goes what exactly, dare one ask? Gosh.

6 September 2011 at 22:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah, Avi Barzel, all the way from Canada

Good to find you here on the blog again...

The Inspector has no answer old chap. The extremes of feeling on both sides (well, incredible hate, to be frank) is beyond his understanding or experience. One contributor to this site
(may have been DanJ0) suggested irradiating the whole place. I warming to that idea by the day.

Incidentally, you managed to dodge the Inspector’s question as to your military service in Israel. Hard to believe a fervent Zionist as yourself hasn’t done his bit for the old country.

The Inspector is still sore at being branded an anti-semite by you for having the temerity for criticising Israel’s policies (Note – I did not question Israel’s right to exist). That’s a rotten thing to do (or to use use a phrase brought back by the British Eight Army from Egypt, a “c_nt’s trick”).

This is the Inspector General turning in for tonight – Be seeing you...

6 September 2011 at 23:24  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 21:00

You really don't understand the Koran at all.

7 September 2011 at 00:16  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector General

You'll be tucked upin bed by now.

My dad served in the Eight Army and a hell of a time. He lost most of his buddies at Monte Casino. 'Secret history' and all that, the Essesx Eight Army actually rebelled against their General in Libya and Churchill backed them and hushed the affair up.

Never heard him use that expression though! Still he was Jewish until serving in Palestine after the war and, to be frank, I think he returned home with a strong distain for the politics and religion of both Arabs and Jews. He was in Jerusalem at the time of the King David Hotel bombing.

He converted to Roman Catholicism in the early 1950's after experiencing what some would say was a 'breakdown'. He described it as a 'break through'.

Just thought I'd share that. Keep it to yourself old chap as its confidential.

7 September 2011 at 00:27  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Go away - you just don't understand people.

7 September 2011 at 00:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

May the Inspector have sweet dreams, ones which hopefully do not involve the irradiation of the Middle East. Better they be ones that center on any visuals his age and imagination may conjure up from the amusing phrase he saw fit to post.

As for the Barzel place of origin, history of residence, significant past adventures, future plans and questions regarding military service, these are not up for discussion due to privacy preferences, lack of relevance to the discussions...and because none of these matters would be any of the Inspector's bloody business.

The Inspector may be sore for any number of reasons, but not over being branded an antisemite. It either didn't occur, or if it did, then the Inspector deserved it heartily for any number of reasons, but never for "having the temerity for criticising Israel’s policies." In any event, it is evident that while the Inspector appears to hold a number of vague conclusions and prejudices, he has yet to specify a single "Israeli policy."

7 September 2011 at 01:35  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


You're certainly turning up to be quite the bundle of surprises.

In reading all the comments here, I can only thank His Grace again for providing such an incredible forum and providing a home to such a rum bunch of contentious, brilliant and ever-unfolding characters. A private thanks to the Almighty for leading me here is cerainly in order.

7 September 2011 at 02:05  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oswin: Of course you know: your understanding runs wings round silly pedestrians who think they own other people's blogs :)

7 September 2011 at 02:11  
Blogger Preacher said...

Good stuff Dr Cranmer!. Keep shining the light.

7 September 2011 at 12:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Avi Barzel said

"In reading all the comments here, I can only thank His Grace again for providing such an incredible forum and providing a home to such a rum bunch of contentious, brilliant and ever-unfolding characters. " Indeed, dear boy and long may it continue..

Ernst, my old cannuck.

"A private thanks to the Almighty for leading me here is cerainly in order." Ditto!

7 September 2011 at 13:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel, you hound !!

You branded me an anti-semite as a matter of course. It’s your default position on critics of Israel ! You even said there were certain exceptions- dodo for one, who could escape the tag as he is a righteous individual or some such...

The Inspector merely inquired as to your credentials (eg military service) as you’ve apparently set yourself up as Israel’s high consul in Canada..

The Inspector does have one suggestion for what’s going on in and around Israel. The Israeli PM should invite all arabs to submit their grievances with Israel to him, with a view to resolving the hate issue which so shocks us all. To identify the formula that will allow all to live in peace together. Before you cock your leg on the idea, give initiatives and the people a chance...

7 September 2011 at 15:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Interesting statement you made on ‘secret history’. I can’t recall the general concerned but have Alanbrookes un-expunged diaries somewhere – perhaps it’s in there...

7 September 2011 at 15:46  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector General

All very hush, hush ....

As I recall, it was the Battle of Gallabat and was the first allied victory of WW2. It was also the first British mutiny of WW2! It was in Sudan after Italy's invasion.

The Essex troops, part of the Eight Army, 70th Infantry Division, were under the command of an old duffer from WW1. When, after two days of bombing by axis planes with no cover for the men, he gave the order to advance the men refused and withdrew from the line. He was ordering them to advance two miles across an open plain into heavy artillery and machine gun fire. They’d already lost 80 men from a total of around 100 and their revolt was officer supported.

No action was taken at the time, after all, it was a victory and a bad command decision. But it raised a few hairs on the backs of necks about the men of 1st Essex. They were withdrawn from the order of battle and sent to Palestine to reform, rest and retrain. The commander was shifted sideways and 1st Essex regrouped.

Now, this is my recall of the account given me by my father. How accurate it is and whether it is corroborated in the recordes, I do not know.

7 September 2011 at 16:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo “Never heard him use that expression though”

The Inspector once had employment in a hospital's medical / surgical stores. His boss was a former RAMC nurse.

The Archbishop’s Blog is not the place to relate the various ‘entertainments’ laid on for the troops by the good people of Egypt and their womenfolk, but let’s say variety was the order of the day.

JL Wilkinson – Requiescat In Pace

7 September 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger Barricade said...

A morally evasive piece of "what aboutery"

However it too reveals that the con job that is Israel is becoming untenable.

We now have a line of defence which says "I may beat my wife but I don't kick her in the head like Mr Jones does."

Why Israel and not its neighbours?

As far as I remember only one state in the region tries to peddle the line that it is a shining beacon of democracy in a sea full of murderous pirates.

Or as Ehud Barak, with marvellous racist and colonialist connotations, called the Jewish State: "A Villa In A Jungle."

Need one say more?

7 September 2011 at 16:31  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Barracuda bite 7 September 2011 16:31

"Need one say more?"

Why, do you seriously believe all that goobledegook just spouted justifies any genuine reflection.

Off you swim now, shark boy. There's a good likkle fishie.

Ernst S Blofeld

7 September 2011 at 17:31  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Do not worry about isreal,it is syria next,then algeria,then any-one else that we do not like the look of,and has something worth stealing.

7 September 2011 at 17:41  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Benny Morris demonstrated what that "villa" phrase means.


It's understatement, of course. In the jungle killer beasts don't parade around showing off the internal organs of their victims.

Shalom, chaverim! Some great comment on a great article.

7 September 2011 at 18:05  
Blogger DP111 said...

Excellent essay on the anti-Semitism that pervades the Left. But Israel itself is not the root of anti-Israel vitriol. The Left hates the West, hates Christianity - the founding faith of the West and much if its laws and culture. Israel is though a liberal Western outpost in the lawless jungle, and it is an easier target for the Left.

BTW, a good book on the subject of Israel and its fight for survival

The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism - Connor Cruise O'Brien.

The amazing thing is that if we in the UK were being attacked everyday for decades by an enemy, our children blown apart or their throats cut, and an explicitly stated goal to destroy the UK and drive us all out, then I would be surprised that our response would be as measured and mild as that of Israel.

7 September 2011 at 21:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DP111 said 7 September 2011 21:15

"The amazing thing is that if we in the UK were being attacked everyday for decades by an enemy, our children blown apart or their throats cut, and an explicitly stated goal to destroy the UK and drive us all out, then I would be surprised that our response would be as measured and mild as that of Israel."

Dear communicant

Brilliantly stated.

Israel is like the Holy Bible.

Subject to stricter, harsher criteria than other nations or other historical literature. Coincidence?


7 September 2011 at 21:36  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ariadne said wisely 7 September 2011 18:05

Nice to see you back, old girl.


7 September 2011 at 21:38  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Ernst,

Thanks. Pleased to e-meet you.


Since we're both too lazy to root around the archives and investigate my alleged slanderous accusations against your sensitive person, let me simplify matters. I will call anyone an antisemite who criticises Israel and Jews unfairly, with clear bias and prejudice. There. So, examine your opinions and go ahead and determine on your own whether you fit my definition.

And now for your howler. After puzzling your request for my "credentials" to hold opinions on Israel, you propose that the Israeli PM, Benyamin Netanyahu, should "...invite all arabs to submit their grievances with Israel to him, with a view to resolving the hate issue which so shocks us all."

I'm not clear on a few things, Inspector. Should he invite any or all Arabs for tea and vanilla wafers? Or only the ones who claim to be Palestinians? The leaders, clan elders, politicians, the terror leaders, the unfortunates under PA or Hamas dictatorships, who? Is it not enough that the Arabs belong to powerful alliances, such as OPEC and the Islamic States whatchamacallit, are prominent members of the UN and have hundreds of NGOs representing them? Does the PA and UNRWA no longer speak for them? Are the dozens of polls conducted by a variety of agencies insufficient? Everyone knows what they want, except for you.

And, then there is that hate thing that ruffles you feathers. School systems in the Arab world teach kids that Jews are evil demons, usurpers, colonialists or fake Jews; mosques call them descendants of pigs and monkeys; Mein Kampf continues to be a bestseller; when Jewish civilians, kids and women included are killed in the most gruesome ways, there are street parties allover Gaza and the West Bank; daytime soap operas feature Jews as vampires and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are included on university lists. On the Israeli side the school curricula and are co-written by Israeli Arabs, and public school education includes all the multicultural pap you seem to sneer at; pundits and cartoonists who "insult Islam" have found themselves in Israeli sjail and any expression of Arab or anti-Muslim hate is, fairly or unfairly banned and prosecuted energetically. The vast majority of Israeilis do not hate Arabs and Muslims, something evident to anyone who has been to Israel or checks Israeli media, whereas the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims do...as evidenced by their media, their official pronouncements, their textbooks, movies, religious literature and popular opinion as shown in poll after poll. So, what were you saying about hate again? Any grand ideas or further kumbaya-advice on how to deal with this scenario? Or is it better for your image to stick to entertaining us with short, enigmatic and admittedly quite amusing remarks about issues you actually know something about?

7 September 2011 at 23:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel !

Always a pleasure to find you here.

When the Inspector commented that the Archbishop’s site was an education to behold, he didn’t know the half of it...

The Inspector has done some research on the subject – he probably wouldn’t have bothered, but for your strong feelings and for the fact that you live in Canada, well removed from the immediacies of it all.
Not good what he found. The only encouragement is that the arabs will never unite to overthrow Israel, as they will be too busy cutting each others throats...

Henceforth, the Inspector will no longer have any stance on the subject of Israel. ‘No opinion’ will be the official line. It distresses him, what’s happening there, but what can he do. The UK has it’s own
Islam agenda, now that IS something he knows about...

7 September 2011 at 23:50  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


"I will call anyone an antisemite who criticises Israel and Jews unfairly, with clear bias and prejudice."

You will need to define the terms "unfairly", "bias" and "prejudice" beforehand and "antisemitic".

The real definition of antisemitic surely must include hate towards the Jews and a desire to eliminate them from the face of the earth? This is what Nazis and Islamist ideologies share and, though it grieves me to say it, Christianity during its dark days. It seems to me it stems from a belief the Jews intent on world domination and are the agents of Satan. Now, that is antisemiticism!

Bias, lack of fairness and prejudice are, maybe, initial building blocks leading up to this. They are not the same thing, are they?

I for one hope the Inspector General will continue to share his opinion. It is through open discussion that understanding is developed and prejudice overcome.

8 September 2011 at 01:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I'm glad you look into things yourself, Inspector; I may have strong views, but I don't like to spoon-feed info to people with brains. As for Arabs, yes they're busy, but the problem now is the Iranians and, believe it or not, the Fourth Reich wanna-be EU, which isn't happy that the stateless Jews now have state and still exist and backs the Arabs in everything at the UN, cowtows to Iran, mewls at the Russians and funds every fifth column "humanitarian" org tearing at Israel. Ok, I'm editorializing a bit, but it's a free forum. Then there's Obama, of course, but a boiled potato can run against him and win in 2012.

Yes, very educational here; me, I came to connect with the British tendrils of my life here and somehow find myself on Israel topics all the time. Go figure.

8 September 2011 at 01:16  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

" ... the Fourth Reich wanna-be EU, which isn't happy that the stateless Jews now have state and still exist and backs the Arabs in everything at the UN, cowtows to Iran, mewls at the Russians and funds every fifth column "humanitarian" org tearing at Israel."

Come now, I think that is somewhat over simplistic! Now you are implying that any criticism of Israeli policies or any humanitarian assistance to Palistinians is antisemetic.

Do you believe all Arabs are Islamist?

8 September 2011 at 08:41  
Blogger TrueToo said...

It has been said that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic per se, but criticism to the exclusion of criticism of actual culprits like Iran is indeed anti-Semitism. There is something to be said for that point of view.

But also, as eloquently expressed in the comments above, there is the need to be 'im' and express one's concern for 'human rights' that leads the unthinking to embrace the anti-Israel cause. That is not in itself anti-Semitic.

8 September 2011 at 10:18  
Blogger TrueToo said...

that should of course be the need to in.

8 September 2011 at 10:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel

It’s something when a chap has his long established opinion overturned in a short space of time – Yes, the Inspector will be non committal on the subject of Israel in future.

You really must do something about playing the ‘anti-semitic’ card so easily. It’s so blunt, and you seem to use it to cover everything from questioning of Israeli policy up to pogrom intensity hatred.
This simply won’t do. For a start, it makes debate uneasy, and next, it would be so much more effective and just if it was used sparingly at times when it accurately identifies your critics sentiments.
Just a British thing old chap – hope you don’t mind the guidance.


Yes, there were dark days in Christianity in Europe, but you have to take them in context. The Christian Religion was an integral part of being human at the time. Suspicion fell on those who were considered to have atheistic thoughts and heretical ideas. To not be a Christian at all was really asking for it. The Inspector is not prepared to judge those people then, in their enclosed societies and education of any sort sparse.

8 September 2011 at 12:55  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 08:41 :

To save poor Avi's typing finger, I suggest you take a look at the link offered by 'asdfsdfadf' of 15:50, on the latest blog ''Cameron: ''I'm a very practical Euro-sceptic'' - it sort of shows where Avi is 'coming from'.

As for your final comment, I see that you continue to misunderstand the teachings of the Koran. Your use of 'Islamist' is far too narrow.

You seem to imagine that 'Islamists' are a tiny minority, be they Arab or otherwise. Not only are 'Islamists' the 'head of the serpent' but a substantial part of the writhing, after-parts too.

8 September 2011 at 15:21  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

What 'Grinds my Gears' is the fact that national boundaries that were created around the same time by the West the likes of Syria Jordan Iraq and the rest of them are never disputed - only that of Israel. Islamism, Islam, 'moderate' Muslims right through to the bloody Koran are all interchangeable to suit the case for victimhood and Mohammedan ambition.

Long live Israel.

8 September 2011 at 17:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


At 01:05 you said, ‘you will need to define the terms "unfairly", "bias" and "prejudice" beforehand and "antisemitic".’ How about the OED? I don’t mean to be snappy, but the common definitions should always be the default ones in any debate, no? As for these terms in the context I use them, I have nattered on endlessly about the subject to you and others.

Your definition of antisemitism in the same post is fine, but it is particular and somewhat conditional. I think “unreasonable hatred or contempt for Jews” more or less covers things. Since there have been so many permutations of antisemitism throughout history, e.g., cultural, nationalistic, religious and racial, the term is somewhat vague. As someone once quipped, though, Jews seem to have a finely honed sense of the phenomenon without necessarily to define it....yes, an entertaining quip, but admittedly hardly helpful in hammering out empirical boundaries.

At 08:41 you took me to task for seeing a historical continuum in Europe’s relation to Jews. That’s a fair criticism, as it is an unsupported and speculative opinion I threw in, but the charge that it is a simplistic one is weak. In historiography, there several ways of interpreting the causes behind and nature of historical events. One of the mainstream paradigms is the notion that culture, economic patterns, alliances and a host of other phenomena do not appear and disappear suddenly or randomly, but occur as centuries and even millennia-long patterns. Thus, for example, we find echoes of the Roman and the Medieval worlds in our modern societies. As I indicated to the Inspector, though, I was “editorializing,” or more exactly speculating, which is acceptable in brief, opinion-based commentaries. If I ever develop my speculations into sensible hypotheses, I’ll be sure to let you know.

But, your ”[n]ow you are implying that any criticism of Israeli policies or any humanitarian assistance to Palistinians is antisemetic.”, is totally out in left field. You threw in the word any, which naturally changes the whole meaning of what I said. I love debates, Dodo, but mis-representations such as these do get on my nerves. For the umpteenth time, I do not fault fair criticism. As for assisting Palestinians in humanitarian areas, neither I, nor anyone I know has a problem with it in the way you mean it. However, funding millions into anti-Israeli NGOs, setting up a special UN agency (UNRWA), and doling out unprecedented amounts of aid to one group seems fishy to me. Particularly when this group is a beneficiary of a unique and exclusive definition of what a refugee is, one that no one else gets; when by all objective measures this group is far less disadvantaged than many other ones (e.g., genocide victims in Africa and elsewhere), and yet it gets more assisance than anyone else; when Palestinians who suffer under their own government or in Muslim states are totally ignored, etc. Where I see the antisemitism spectre is in the fact that only one group, the one which is in a state of war with Jews, gets such special treatment. Again, paying attention to words, and a basic knowledge of past and current affairs are of help in such debates.

8 September 2011 at 21:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin said ...

"I see that you continue to misunderstand the teachings of the Koran. Your use of 'Islamist' is far too narrow.
You seem to imagine that 'Islamists' are a tiny minority, be they Arab or otherwise. Not only are 'Islamists' the 'head of the serpent' but a substantial part of the writhing, after-parts too."

In your humble opinion.

Islamists, in my opinion, are a minority with undue influence in Islam for a lot of complicated regional political reasons.

Not all Jews are Orthodox Zionists; not all Christians are Puritan Fundamentalists.

8 September 2011 at 21:45  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

And neither are all Christians Roman Catholic, in unconditional submission to the Pope and unquestioning obedience to the Magisterium.

8 September 2011 at 21:54  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Some fair points and some not so fair.

The focus of aide to Palestinians, I would suggest, is political. Whilst Hamas are openly at war with Israel, not all Palstinians are. Neither are all Muslims. The presence of Muslim Israeli citizens indicates this.

The middle east is important strategically and economically to the west. That's why there's such a major effort to stabalise it. There's also a Christian attachment to the Holy Land and to the Jewish people.

Quite apart from obvious need, giving aid to Palestinians surely weakens the hold of Hamas? The agenda has to be freeing Arabs generally and Palestinians in particular from the poison of Islamist ideology.

Although Arabs have a long history of oppression of Jews, there have been times of great peace and harmony between the semitic brothers. Isn't the current venom and the expressed political intent of eliminating all Jews in Allah's name, a mid-twentieth phenomena prompted by the Balfour Declaration and links with Nazi Germany? It gave the haters an opportunity to grab at the hearts and minds of ordinary people.

As for your pessimistic reading of history implying that antisemiticism in Europe remains part of our culture, this is not how I read it at all. As I see it, there were two main drivers in Europe's history of antisemitism - Christianity and then the obscentity of Nazism.

I see Europe's history as holding onto the good from the cultures you mention and rejecting the bad from our past mistakes. Of course there will be echoes from earlier times but I don't think them as influential as you suggest. That isn't to say that at some future time a movement could arise that reopens old suspicions about Jews.

8 September 2011 at 22:11  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

Good evening, Sir. Hope you're keeping well. You're up rather late for one so old!

Now you know full well Roman Catholics do not have to show unconditional submission to the Pope, nor do we have to show unquestioning obedience to the Magisterium.

If the Pope 'told' me to vote Labour, I could quite properly refuse. If the Magisterium 'instructed' me to pray the Rosary, I could refuse.

Doctrines, dogma and authorative teaching, Mr Cranmer. Doctrines, dogma and authoritive teaching. Something Anglicanism could possibly learn from.

8 September 2011 at 22:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

Delighted to see you back; the Inspector had thought you’d caught a fast yacht to the continent to get away from it all and us.

As a papist himself, The Inspector is more concerned with the price of Guinness than what the Pope says.

Cheers, lads, same again...

8 September 2011 at 22:26  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


You might think that given our rumble I might feel differently, but believe me, everything you say I take under consideration. As I said, I like being among bright people, and while I might argue loudly, I can listen intensely as well.

Where I agree with you is in that throwing the “antisemitic card” certainly puts an edge on things and makes for a certain chill. Makes things “uneasy” for sure, like a bad fart in a very small bathysphere when the fan blades have stopped spinning. Not cricket, not very British at all, as you rightly say...although I’d specify that, sadly, the “Britishness” you are thinking about, appears to be on its deathbed.

And yet, Inspector. While circumstances and preferences in my life have put me in the orbit of things British, and while I thoroughly enjoy the light parlour amusements of the Jeeves-Bernie genre when I find myself in snazzier circles than trucker diners, not to mention the sinful pleasures of a light Oxbridge classism I soaked-up like a sponge from some of my non-Red Sea Pedestrian relatives, there are times when strong, even hyperbolic statements, a bit of woggery if you will, are in order. One of these concern issues of existential nature. I cannot ignore the fact that Jews today find themselves in less favourable circumstances than even ten years ago. We may debate the accuracy of statistical studies, but the feeling an increasing number of Jews have...even here in the New World paradise...of being under siege is not an imagined one. Especially, since the tendency with most Jews in the West has been and still is to assume that everything is or will be fine, that we are in a new happy era, and that the five millennia-old banality of boom-and-bust cycles in Jewish fortunes have miraculously come to an end. An album of photographic images of bourgeois, civilized and tamed Jews politely and in an orderly fashion walking naked to their trench graves, while sheepishly covering their private parts, remain as my most poignant symbol of the danger Jews face not only from the world out there, but from themselves.

So there, with all due respect to acedemic precision, to the well-crafted phrase, to detached intellectualizing, to form and respect for social conventions and ideals, the id-driven atavistic response has, under some circumstances at least, its place. In short, while the in-your-face approach of mine may require a bit of fine tuning, at least to keep people from turning away, I cannot abandon the premise that it is better to charge than to retreat; to be crude and even wrong, rather than a dead; and that it is preferable to be a partisan, rather than a polite socialite when one’s integrity or very existence are at stake. All of this may leave a lot of room for debate or disagreement, but in all fairness, the historical body of evidence I can muster in defense of what some may call classic Jewish paranoia is, I’d say, overwhelming.

8 September 2011 at 22:38  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 21:45:

Congratulations. Yet again, your capacity for 'missing the point' is breathtaking.

8 September 2011 at 22:39  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector General

A Roman Catholic is unlikely to use the term.

"Papist is a term, usually disparaging or an anti-Catholic slur, referring to the Catholic Church, its teaching, practices or adherents." (Wiki)

Besides, if you were a 'Papist' the words of the Pope, although not obligatory, would have more priority in your life than the price of Guiness.

8 September 2011 at 22:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Dodo,

You trivialise the point, for the Pope of Rome may not 'tell' you which way you must vote, and neither may the Magisterium 'instruct' you to pray the Rosary. These are fundamentals. The substantive question (from which you deflect), is not difficult to discern. Unless one simply wishes to avoid responding by feigning theological naïveté. Or is it genuine ignorance? Indeed, there are those who may inerpret your swipe at the purposely juxtaposed 'Puritan Fundamentalists' as 'bigotry'. And we can't be having that, can we?

8 September 2011 at 22:42  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


As a man of far superior intelligence and perspicacity, maybe you'd care to enlighten me as to the point Mr Cranmer was making?

8 September 2011 at 22:45  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

("These are fundamentals." Did you mean - are not fundamentals?)

No indeed we can't have me avoid the point. I concede, the juxtaposition was sloppy.

In 'David Cameron Does God' you defined "religious fundamentalists" as those who demand an "unequivocal exposition and adherence to a strict theology".

Roman Catholics fall into this category. However, we are not blindly bound to Rome or the Magesterium in the way you suggest. The Church informs our understanding of God and the message of Christ and translates this into precepts for our lives and conduct.

Even if I failed to adhere to Catholic teachings through human weakness or because I disagreed, I would still be welcomed into the Church, I could attend Mass but could not, in good faith, receive the Sacraments.

In the same blog you comment:

"Being Anglican ... one is somehow 'crucified between the two thieves’ of the Puritans and the Papists; suspended between doctrinal fanaticism and superstitious ritualism."

Not very enlightened statements either!

8 September 2011 at 23:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


You address many points which, in time, I'm sure, you and I will cover. It's not lack of importance or evasion, but fatigue and the need to get stuff done, that prompts me to skip all but the last point you make, the one which most directly addresses the theme we've been on.

You say, "As for your pessimistic reading of history implying that antisemiticism in Europe remains part of our culture, this is not how I read it at all." That may well be the case. But, in the spirit of the laws of thermodynamics, can you honestly say that this mysterious impetus, the energy source behind the millenia of expulsions, massacres, pogroms and the modern, bureaucratic and mechanised attempt to destroy Jewry suddenly disappeared without a trace in our post-War modern era? I don't fault you for your doubts; I've spent a fair amount looking into the issue and whiler I'm still at loss over the causes, and flit back and forth over this or that hypothesis, I can not accept the argument that powerful forces, be they thermal energies or historical trends, just drift off into the vacuum of space in less than a single generation. That, Dodo, requires a suspension of disbelief I am not willing to invest in.

Does this mean that I see a return of Christian-based persecution you mention? Bluntly, no. The first reason for my view is clinically cynical, the second, the one I prefer, is founded on impressions, trust and hope.

First, Christianity has lost the ability to direct temporal powers, to enforce its directives, to compel and to punish. It is no longer a global physical force to be feared. How and why this occured is another subject, but the fact is that there are no persecutions of Animists or "witches," no Talmud bonfires, no auto da fe's, no religious wars or continet-wide persecutions of heretics, etc. This is merely a geopolitical reality and Christians and others have taken account of it in their conduct.

The second view is that both Christianity and Judaism have changed and, in some ways, become closer. This is evident by the hands extended in peace and friendship to Jews by countless number of individual Christians and heads of Church institutions throughout the world. I look at this blog and I cannot imagine any other time in which such a miracle would have been possible. Of course, there no guarantees, no realistic rosy and perfect scenarios of unbroken amity to get comfy with, but on the whole, I'm sure that the conflict between Church and Synagogue has at the very least moved onto a platform where peaceful coexistence and mutual respect will dominate. I believe so, for whatever that's worth. But all this, I'm sure from reading into your hesitations and uncertainties, you already know or at least suspect.

8 September 2011 at 23:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel

First, The Inspector notes that you’ve given dodo a rough ride tonight. Poor chap, he’s only putting over his point of view, which may or may not be influenced by your response. From what I know of him through his posts, see him as ally rather than opponent when it comes to decision time.

You do seem up against it, but perhaps only in your mind is the situation desperate. Israel has many friends in the West, that the Inspector realised early on. Israel’s most important friend, the US, will not depart, probably ever - 9.11 saw to that, if it was ever in doubt.

Good news for you, re ‘sadly, the “Britishness” you are thinking about, appears to be on its deathbed.’

Britishness is alive and well and surviving in England’s green and pleasant land. You won’t find it in the cities anymore, it moved out in the 1960s and 70s. In fact, the cities really are places to avoid, not from a personal safety point of view, but well, the people who live in them are just not attractive types.

Keep blogging, there’s a good fellow, let us know your thoughts...

This is the Inspector General, once again signing off.

8 September 2011 at 23:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo - The Inspector General cannot sleep until informing you...

‘Papist’ (OE Reference D) “of or referring to Roman Catholics” (If it was once a word of slur in England, IG is claiming it back. Like the rappers and ‘nigger’)

Your Grace

The Inspector General prefers the term ‘Christendom’ to label Christ’s followers. Can he remind you that Islam is not in front of the gates, it’s behind the gates....

8 September 2011 at 23:47  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Your defense of Dodo is admirable. He and I do indeed have "energetic" debates where I may, admittedly, go over the top. But I do suspect that he has become quite an expert at yanking my chain as well just to see what I'll burst out with next. Still, if you were to follow our discussions, you would see that in spite of surface appearances, I have a great deal of respect for the chap.

As for the "state of Britishness," I'm truly glad to hear of your assessment. I only saw England once and far too briefly, as a passenger in the Heathrow-London bus, sadly gazing at the brethtakingly beautiful greenery, nearly bursting out in tears when I saw the sign to Hampton Court flash by. My dream: To rent a houseboat and together with my family to trace the boat canal route Jerome Klapka Jerome's fictional characters took.

But I digress. My contacts with Brits are limited to a few ageing extended family members (as the youger generation seems to have gravitated towards that cloudy mass of internationalists with deadly serious concerns over environmentalism and fashionable social justice issues of the day). Otherwise, the Brits I do see more frequently are the sophisticated Londoners who have been appearing in Canada. Apart from their accents and snazzier duds, they are indistinguishable from our trendy, metro-sexual urbanites of Canada and the U.S.

I cannot avoid remarking on a comment you made to Dodo at 12:55. While applying current mores to the past is at best foolish, surely you must consider the possibility that while we cannot dismiss the era and its circumstances, it would be eminently fair to judge Christian conduct according to Christianity's own manifested claims, doctrines and ideals of the past, and even of the present times. The alternative, as you may agree, is a kind of a relativism, an acceptance situational ethics and the risk of opening up, in principle at least, the possibility of repeating past errors whenever circumstances and opportunities make this possible. This, Inspector, may not be what you mean or want.

8 September 2011 at 23:57  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector General

But Roman Catholics are not 'Papists'. We are Christians who follow the message of the Gospel. Our allegiance is to Christ and to the Vicar of Rome as His representative here on earth.

The term arose during during the English Reformation to signal Roman Catholics owed fidelity to Rome in temporal as well as spiritual matters.

There was a 'Popery' Act in 1698 permitting the taking and prosecuting of priests and a penalty of life time imprisonment for keeping a Catholic school. Catholics were forbidden to inherit and purchase land.

The 'Papist' Act of 1778 repealed the above but required an oath of allegiance to the reigning sovereign and abduration of certain doctrines of the Church.

"Reclaim" it if you will. It is an inappropriate term, reflecting a suspicion towards and a repression of Roman Catholics.

If you don't believe me, listen to the way the Rev Ian Richard Kyle Paisley spits out the term!

9 September 2011 at 00:10  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

Shuffled off into your urn for the night?

For the record, you will note it was you and not I who labelled Puritans doctrinal fanatics.

9 September 2011 at 00:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo old chum – it just goes to show the power of a word.

The Inspector General agrees that it has been used in sectarianism, but he think’s you’ll find if they didn’t use that word, they’ll come up with something else.

Our own patron, Archbishop Cranmer, widely suspected of being suspicious towards RCs doesn’t use it, he’s much more elaborate.

As for Mr Paisley junior and senior, it has suitably helped them achieve the reputations they have today (....and serves them right !...)

Must admit you almost had IG on a “guilty schoolboy” trip back then ! And at his age too !!

9 September 2011 at 12:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Can’t spare much time. The old ladies at the Inspector’s tea rooms have invited him to accompany them in their hired charabanc outing this PM. Won’t be back ‘til late.

Hiring a canal longboat is the ideal way to see the beauty of England. Many are very sophisticated affairs and will take a family. Self sufficiency assured ! You’ll need about 3 weeks to do it justice.
Could well be your holiday of a lifetime...

Keep up the jousting with Dodo, and take each other down a peg or two while IG watches and delights...

Ah, there’s a mixture of steam, lavender and cat’s piss in the air – The Inspector believes the charabanc is here...

9 September 2011 at 13:07  
Blogger len said...

Delusional Dodo said;'But Roman Catholics are not 'Papists'. We are Christians who follow the message of the Gospel. Our allegiance is to Christ and to the Vicar of Rome as His representative here on earth.'
The basis of Catholicism is error and on top of that initial error you have built 'a house of errors'each one building the edifice higher and higher.
Catholics do not follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ but the' gospel of Rome which is a different 'kettle of fish' entirely'so please do not pretend to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ because you do not!.

9 September 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi Barzel (8 September 2011 22:38)

How correct you are concerning the worsening plight of Jews.

Melanie Phillips today:

Cameron's Dismissal of Israel

9 September 2011 at 18:58  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len @ 18:38

"The basis of Catholicism is error ..."

What is the "basis" of Catholicism, pray tell? Pre or post the early Ecumenical Councils?

The Holy Spirit informed you of all this, did He?

10 September 2011 at 00:19  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 22:45:

As you appear not to possess either quality, what would be the point?

Besides, you're not even asking the right question. This blog-comments thingy IS linear you know. Take a pill, chill ...

10 September 2011 at 01:58  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len said...
"Delusional Dodo ..."

Oh dear! I really suggest you focus on the nature of the actual delusion going on around about you in the world today and the objective evils it is affirming and encouraging.

The two Thessalonian Letters need careful interpretation as Paul was alluding in general ways to signs preceeding the Christ's return.

One sign is to be the "operation of error, to believe lying" a 'powerful dellusion' that God will send. The other the removal of someone or something that retrains the Antichrist becoming fully manifest. A force that prevents a revolt against God's ways and the arrival of the 'man of sin'.

But how do we interpret such verses?

What is the "katechon" that holds back sin and chaos? The Holy Spirit? The Catholic Church? The perpetual sacrifice of the Eucharist? The Pope? Or, as some said, The Christian Emperor? The Holy Roman Empire?

And the great delusion will be sent by God because people refuse to love the truth and be saved, giving in instead to the seduction of sin and evil.

Rather than engage in a lenghty debate where "delusions" are attributed to one another, lets just say that Roman Catholics will interpret these Letters of Paul differently to some schools of prostestant theology.

It should also be noted there is no dogmatic statements on them and Catholics are free to reflect on and discuss them within the context of being a member of the Church.

So far as I am aware, there is no such restraint on some other Christian groups and they aew free to speculate, interpret and preach individual opinion which has no authority and is contradictory.

Paul concludes:

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle."

10 September 2011 at 02:26  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


So grateful for the clarifaction offered.

10 September 2011 at 02:49  
Blogger Oswin said...


Think nothing of it old chap, happy to oblige.

10 September 2011 at 15:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Oh, I assure you, I won't!

10 September 2011 at 18:31  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo : I feed you the line, you bite, but not a 'thank you' in sight!

11 September 2011 at 18:59  
Blogger matthew said...

Dear Prof MacEoin

I am President of Edinburgh University Students' Association.

I wish to speak about this matter with you urgentyly, as EUSA has no policy nor intention of boycotting Israeli produce.

Best wishes

Matt McPherson


12 September 2011 at 09:57  
Blogger Ariadne said...


I am very pleased to know that EUSA is not boycotting anything from Israel.

Perhaps the named culprits in the article here failed in their deceitul and hateful aim of putting an end to the Jewish state.

You can contact Dr MacEoin directly via his blog. His Grace provides a link in his text.

12 September 2011 at 23:37  
Blogger Shimi said...

As an Israeli overwhelmed by the constant battering against us by the media and anti-Israel activists around the world, it is very hard to keep one's determination in standing up for what is right.

I know Israel is not a perfect country. Anyone who would claim to live in a perfect country is either naive or a fool. However, I do know that as a people we always try to keep our integrity.

I commend, both Dr. MacEoin and most of the commentators here, not for coming to support Israel, but for discussing and searching to find the truth about the current situation.

I don't think we are always in the right, but like you, we will never set aside fact for propaganda and will always fight to preserve the rights of our citizens, be they Jewish, Arab, or Christian.

21 September 2011 at 10:36  

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