Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas concerns: a pope, a queen and a couple of archbishops

Having trawled through the Christmas messages of leading Church figures, there was only one glimmer of light; only one person used the occasion of the birth of the Son of God to communicate joy to the world. And it wasn’t a cleric in a pulpit.

After the Prime Minister had issued his challenge to the Archbishop of Canterbury that the UK is a Christian country ‘and we should not be afraid to say so’, Dr Williams duly responded, saying: “Bonds have been broken, trust abused and lost.” He urged people not to build lives based on selfishness and fear. He lamented: "Whether it is an urban rioter, mindlessly burning down a small shop that serves his community, or a speculator turning his back on the question of who bears the ultimate cost for his acquisitive adventures in the virtual reality of today's financial world, the picture is of atoms spinning apart in the dark."

Merry Christmas to you, too.

The Pope did no better, choosing to focus on the increasing commercialisation of Christmas. He opined: “Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light."

Of course, one man’s ‘superficial glitter’ is another’s sacred tradition.

The most egregious Christmas message came from the Roman Catholic leader in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who saw fit to use the occasion of the birth of the Son of God to criticise Israel for constructing a security barrier. He spoke of the shadow that falls particularly heavily on the town of Bethlehem: “At this moment,” he said, “the people of the parish of Beit Jala prepare for their legal battle to protect their land and homes from further expropriation by Israel.”

Of course, one’s man’s ‘expropriation’ is another’s historic and legal right. But note this is ‘further expropriation’, without any context of on-going terrorist atrocities or understanding of the security concerns. “We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort,” the Archbishop said, adopting the narrative of ‘Jesus the Palestinian’. One wonders why Archbishop Vincent did not see fit to mention those Jews are slaughtered in their own homes, because Jesus was a Jew, too. And he also faced one or two bloody atrocities.

And what of the Coptic Christians, Archbishop? Or the Assyrian Christians? Or the Palestinian Christians? Perhaps the Nigerian Christians bombed to kingdom come by Islamists on Christmas Day came a little too late for his sermon, but there are many thousands of believers all over the Middle East who must wonder why such a senior bishop would chose to ignore their plight and focus instead on 50 Arab families in Beit Jala.

Love your neighbour? Perhaps so. But one’s neighbour is also the Jew who lives in Israel, who is dependent on the security wall for his life. But perhaps the Archbishop is ignorant of those who are victims of ethnic and religious cleansing by successive Palestinian authorities. And the little town of Bethlehem, which 20 years ago was 60 per cent Christian, is today less than 15. Perhaps he has forgotten the Church of the Nativity, which Palestinian gunmen stormed and defiled in 2002. How many Christian families have been ejected from their homes, Archbishop? How much land has been ‘expropriated’ by Arab Muslims?

There was only one Church leader who spoke inspirationally of courage and hope; only one who used the occasion to speak of the importance of family, friends and the indomitable human spirit. Only one who spoke of the gospel of forgiveness, the uniqueness of Jesus the Saviour, the love of God through Christ our Lord:


Blogger happyuk said...

What's so laughable about these gutless church leaders is that they all think they're being so incredibly radical and 'progressive' taking pot-shots at easy targets. Israel has a right to exist and the world needs commerce. End of.

Any church leader with an ounce of gumption would want to repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws and sell off public lands and national parks.

Or perhaps eliminate income tax and estate tax or remove the walls separating church and state.

Now THAT would be radical!

27 December 2011 at 13:14  
Blogger Calvin L. Smith said...

Today Rev Nick Howard (son of the former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard) also highlights polemical Christian responses to Israel and the Middle East on a well-known left-of-centre political blog. Howard severely criticises a fellow Anglican priest and well-known critic of Israel, claiming he moves well beyond legitimate criticism to overt racism and anti-Semitism. Howard also denounces his bishop for not doing anything about it.


27 December 2011 at 13:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. The Inspector is curious to know whether the Queen’s speech is really hers in entirety, or drafted with the help of ‘government advice’....

27 December 2011 at 14:05  
Blogger AbbotStoneleigh said...

I'm disappointed that you, like the secular media, have focused your attention on two sentences of the Holy Father's Christmas homily. Did your 'trawling' extend only to the press' reportage?

27 December 2011 at 14:18  
Blogger len said...

I think Dr Williams was sending out a warning to our Government as much as anybody else.
Cameron putting his foot down in the EU (or was it putting his foot in it?)was primarily to protect the City financial Institutions.
It is these very speculative Financial Institutions that are partly responsible for the financial mess we are in.Cameron aided by his Liberal Partners have decided to place the burden of rebuilding our shattered economy on the working classes.We are to pay in lost Jobs,with our pensions, with cut backs, the bulk of the burden is being placed on those least able to afford it, the weak, the vulnerable also children will suffer as poverty levels are reached.
Crime levels will increase as an 'underclass' is created as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Dr Williams is sending a message to this Government that the policies they are creating are so grossly unfair that there will be a substantial backlash unless they take a fairer more balanced view of things.

27 December 2011 at 14:42  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Perhaps Cranmer has forgotten the ongoing Israeli policy of ethnically cleansing Christians out of the Holy Land and so reduce the Arab population whilst simultaneously bringing in ever greater numbers of Americans to replace them. It is, after all, much easier to get rid of Cranmer's co-religionists than Muslims; unlike the Muslims, most of them actually HAVE other countries to go to - just as most Israelis do.

There is something hugely nasty within Protestantism (and specifically ENGLISH Protestantism) I'm afraid. A kind of 'holier than thou' mentality, a narcissistic, self-congratulatory tone almost reminiscent of the New Atheists. It allows people like Cranmer to acquiesce in the removal of Christians while upholding the right of the Israelis to grab their land. I'm not sure exactly what is the root of this. Possibly it is a hangover of a belief system which was specifically forged for the purpose of validating just such a land grab back in the days of Henry VIII. Whatever the reason, it's as ugly now as it was fifty years ago when it was being used by Stormont to justify its persecution of Catholics in Northern Ireland. Does Cranmer have any objection about that one?

27 December 2011 at 14:42  
Blogger Shaun said...

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

The man was right.

27 December 2011 at 14:56  
Blogger len said...

I think the Pope was quite right to highlight the commercialisation of Christmas and to attempt bring us back to the Christian message.
I am sure that many are completely unaware of the true Christmas message and this Christian Message is being lost under the 'Politically Correct'attempt to undermine all things 'Christian.'

27 December 2011 at 14:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Must admit didn’t really appreciate the Christian position in Israel. Can’t blame a chap, never any media spotlight on them you see. Had the idea they were considered neutrals. Lumping them in with ‘Arabs’ seems a bit harsh. Wonder what else this site will unearth...

27 December 2011 at 15:09  
Blogger Oliver Nicholson said...

Her Majesty surely writes her own Christmas Message (on the Garter / Victorian Order principle). It was striking to hear it at 3 p.m. and then immediately afterwards at 3.09 to hear the précis of it on the Home Service news, a summary of the first two-thirds, omitting 'all that Christian stuff'.

27 December 2011 at 15:14  
Blogger Albert said...

The Pope did no better

What on earth are you talking about? The Pope's homily is suffused with joy. Take the opening paragraph:

Formerly, people had spoken of God and formed human images of him in all sorts of different ways. God himself had spoken in many and various ways to mankind (cf. Heb 1:1 – Mass during the Day). But now something new has happened: he has appeared. He has revealed himself. He has emerged from the inaccessible light in which he dwells. He himself has come into our midst. This was the great joy of Christmas for the early Church: God has appeared. No longer is he merely an idea, no longer do we have to form a picture of him on the basis of mere words. He has “appeared”. But now we ask: how has he appeared? Who is he in reality? The reading at the Dawn Mass goes on to say: “the kindness and love of God our Saviour for mankind were revealed” (Tit 3:4). For the people of pre-Christian times, whose response to the terrors and contradictions of the world was to fear that God himself might not be good either, that he too might well be cruel and arbitrary, this was a real “epiphany”, the great light that has appeared to us: God is pure goodness.

If joy does not come from God becoming a human being and "appearing" and showing himself to be "pure goodness", then I do not know what Christian joy is. Is it possible that your post is a conclusion (isn't HM great and aren't the clergy rubbish?) in search of an argument (not that I'm denying HM is great NB).

27 December 2011 at 15:16  
Blogger Albert said...

I am sure that many are completely unaware of the true Christmas message

Quite so Len! And the paragraph Dr Cranmer quotes to show the Pope was not proclaiming joy is precisely to say that the traditions of Christmas should proclaim joy, as the ‘superficial glitter’ is not properly joyful.

27 December 2011 at 15:18  
Blogger Roy said...

@ happyuk

Any church leader with an ounce of gumption would want to repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws and sell off public lands and national parks.

Would I be right in thinking that you are not on the minimum wage and are not somebody who loves the outdoors?

I think that there are pragmatic reasons for changes to all the laws you mention but would not abolish any of them. You did not give any moral/spiritual/scriptural justification for any of you suggestions.

A large part of the Old Testament, and parts of the the New, are concerned with justice. Unfortunately some of our new laws, e.g. Harriet Harman's "equality act" are designed to favour particular categories of people rather than being about equality and justice but that does not mean we should allow unjust discrimination.

27 December 2011 at 15:29  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

There is something of a soft racism behind this constant overlooking of Arab atrocities. The Israelis are an easy target, it is true. But it's also true that the Israelis are held to a different standard of behavior than the surrounding Arab peoples. As if enlightened chattering opinion says "Well that's what Arabs do, isn't it. Dogs bite legs and cats kill small rodents and Arabs bomb buses filled with children. But the Israelis are civilized and expected to act accordingly." A man isn't really considered a man if he isn't expected to behave like a man. He is considered a form of animal that walks on two legs.


27 December 2011 at 15:47  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Inspector, why is it 'harsh' to lump in Palestinian Christians with Arabs? Most of them ARE Arabs. Where did you think the Christians in the Holy Land came from? They've always been there, since Gospel times.

As for Carl Jacobs, why shouldn't we hold the Israelis to a higher standard? The Muslims aren't the ones claiming to be our best friends in the whole world. They're not trying to make out like we in the west owe them something.

27 December 2011 at 16:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


[W]hy shouldn't we hold the Israelis to a higher standard?

Because consistency is a good thing.

The Muslims aren't the ones claiming to be our best friends in the whole world.

Yes, neither are the Israelis. In my professional dealings with Israelis, I have been told "Consider all Israelis with whom you interact to be intelligence agents." And Israeli citizens remain the only people in the world who have directly solicited me to violate US law.

They're not trying to make out like we in the west owe them something.

You don't understand the Israelis very well, do you. First of all, the Israelis are a part of the West. Second, they are maniacally convinced of the need to be self-sufficient - especially in terms of defense. They don't trust that other nations will come to their aid in time of crisis.

This does highlite a problem with the "peace process" however. It explains why the Israelis are always expected to make concessions in the face of Arab provocation and intransigence. One side is held to a different standard. The Israelis are expected to turn the other cheek because they are considered capable of turning the other cheek. The Arabs .. not so much.


27 December 2011 at 16:43  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

What always amazes me is how a supposedly unifying doctrine of 'Love' and equality such is the Christian faith so easily falls into bigoted sectarianism; evidence the posts of Corrigan and Abbotswhatsit.

Cranmer has made clear pertanent issues of real-time persecution of human beings; not on some localised level but Globally. But where are the outspoken demands of the leaders of the love and peace Christian faith to protect their own followers let alone the Jews? Where is the meeting of the religious leaders of the Christian countries of the world - Where is the Vatican voice from its seat at the United Nations? Why do they not unabiguosly condemn the insidiously and deliberately contradictory and violent messages of the Koran and books of the Surahs and Hadiths? The simple reason is that their own holy records are just as suspect when tested or closely challenged.

Religions have and always will be used for political ends territorial gain and material possessions. Religions thrive by marginalising or subsuming other competing religions; what they have in common is their purposeful exploitation of the vulnerability of human beings, to be placed in a state of fear when faced with natural phenomena which they cannot explain.

Religions are man made, designed by men for the control of other men and enforced at some time or other by violence.

A common thread for all religions however, is a unilateral and inspired hatred of the unimpressed and therefore 'unworthy' non-theists.

The Jewish belief that they are somehow God's chosen people of the world, means that they are always going to be politically limited by their number - are they a Nation, a Race or simply another a Religion? while Christians, are limited by their absurd sense of self loathing for simply being human and for good measure, rivenly sectarian.

By jointly rejecting the possibility and prospect of the ultimate failure of Judeo-Christian religions to survive in the modern world, they have left the West's and ultimately the world's doors unlocked to the advance of unchallenged, brain-washed Muslims who have still not succumbed to any measure of Islamic Enlightenment or the desireability of any form of universal freedom of belief or equality.

But as an atheist I would say this wouldn't I.

27 December 2011 at 17:01  
Blogger Jeckab said...

Hid 6000k bulbs to achieve maximum brightness. Lest I forget, there is also a one year warranty that comes with this product and when you make your order it takes a maximum of two days to get these bulbs.

27 December 2011 at 17:04  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Yes, Dreadnaught, as an atheist you would say that. But don't sweat it. When we theists have all murdered each other (lacking the superior atheist intellect, it can only be a matter of time)the world will be a much better place with all the little Dawkinsians living by word of 'The God Delusion'. You'd think by now we'd have recognized our own stupidity, wouldn't you? It's almost as if we actually HAD considered all the arguments you have stated as established fact in your post and then came to a different conclusion from you. Spooky, eh?

27 December 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Apologies Corrigan. The Inspector should have said ‘lumped in with the Islamists’. Of course, being an ‘Arab’ is in itself an honourable thing. Question still stands though, why are the Israelis taking this position.

Archbishop. Unsolicited advertising on your beloved site detected. Time for bell, book and candle for the miscreants, what ! Perhaps a statement from you first...

27 December 2011 at 17:39  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Inspector, the Israelis are taking this position because Christian or Muslim, they're still Arabs. They're in the way and they have to go. The Christian Arabs are easier to get rid of than the Muslim ones, that's all. Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.

27 December 2011 at 17:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan. On face value, it’s a remarkable situation. Must research this in the coming week. Who decided, when, why, that sort of thing...

27 December 2011 at 17:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

[T]he Israelis are taking this position because Christian or Muslim, they're still Arabs.

Christian Arab opinion is as relevant in the Muslim world as Rastafarian opinion is in the West. To say "Christian or Muslim, they're still Arabs" fails to address the relative mix. Israel is faced with a Muslim threat. If Palestinians were largely Christian, there wouldn't be this conflict.


27 December 2011 at 17:57  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

You'd think by now we'd have recognized our own stupidity, wouldn't you?

Well have you?

27 December 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

"If Palestinians were largely Christian, there wouldn't be this conflict."

Yes, there would. That's exactly the whole point of everything I've been saying. Are you starting to get it now?

27 December 2011 at 18:11  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Dreadnaught, I haven't. But I recognize yours. Is that a good start?

27 December 2011 at 18:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


No, I'm not starting to get it.

The Arab/Israeli conflict is currently driven by a shame-based Muslim culture that is deeply humiliated by Arab weakness and Israeli strength. (If you really want to offend an Arab Muslim, use the phrase 'Six Day War.') It seeks to redress that shame through victory, and preferably bloody victory at that. Islam has no metaphysical tools to explain its current standing of subservience and impoverishment. So it blames treachery and specifically Israeli treachery. That's why I don't see any prospect for peace any time soon. The fundamental Muslim goal is the redress of shame, and that can't happen through a negotiated settlement. There are in fact people who believe Anwar Sadat started the '73 war simply to remove the shame of 1967 so that Egypt could come to a settlement with the Israelis.

Islamic culture is fundamental to this conflict. It's not about Israeli desire for land. It's about the disparity between Islamic aspiration and Islamic strength. It's about the desire of Islam to dominate any land what it has claimed for the House of Islam. A Christian Palestine completely changes this dynamic.


27 December 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Surely Corrigan, your undisguised anti-Semitism is in itself the ultimate expression of stupidity.

27 December 2011 at 18:41  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Aha!! I win my bet!! I wagered with myself that Dreadnaught would descend to the anti-Semite libel before Carl Jacobs, and I won. Yippeee!!!

As to Carl Jacobs, can I remind you that Israel started the 1967 war (bombing an American ship, the USS Liberty into the bargain)and in 1973 Egypt and Syria only attacked in the occupied Arab territories of the Sinai and Golan Heights which Isreal was supposed to have vacated six years earlier. That attack came only after the Israelis refused an offer from Sadat of a full peace treaty with terms better than those the Israelis finally accepted in 1979. As to a Christian Palestine completely changing the supposed dynamic of shame, do try to remember that there are two sides to this conflict. The Israelis don't distinguish between Christian and Muslim Arabs - they're still Arabs, they're still in the way, they still have to go.

27 December 2011 at 18:57  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I thank God that our Monarch has reigned for so long. I am convinced that we would have only got a very mixed liberal message of universalism and 'And all roads lead to God' from the heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales.

27 December 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Aha!! I win my bet!! I wagered with myself... and I won...

Which simply proves the point in question.

27 December 2011 at 19:11  
Blogger IanCad said...

Her Majesty made a wonderful address. After it was over, my wife , an American, was the first to stand up. Very touching.

27 December 2011 at 19:15  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

It is unfortunate that the Church of Rome, despite the last Pope's having declared it to be false, allowing the teaching of the "the Jews killed Jesus" idea. It was this that Hitler turned into the Holocaust and which found him many supporters across Europe. Archbishop Vincent hasn't actually repeated it, but expresses a view that is clearly based on it.

Others have raised the question of different standards expected from one side to the other and clearly that is unsustainable. Like Carl Jacobs I don't look for a simple "Peace Settlement" as there is far to much being demanded by both sides. One thing that does repeatedly get lost in most public statements is the fact that many Arabs sell their land to Jews in the full knowledge that this will mean the building of a new "settlement" and then complain loudly that they have been "forced" to sell or that the Israelis are now building on the land. Again, the double standard seems to apply.

Christians are caught in the cross-fire here, in Israel proper they are treated in the same manner as everyone else, but in the West Bank, yes, they do suffer discrimination. The one thing I noticed was conspicuously absent was any mention of the plight of all the many - and there are far more than is ever officially acknowledged - Christians of the Marionite, Armenian, Assyrian and Orthodox churches suffering constant harrassment, restrictions on their worship and outright assault - vis the Copts in Egypt. Several Muslim countries have "Blasphemy Laws" which are routinely used to dispossess and kill Christians who are in the way or a nuisance to the local Muslim heirarchy, yet this is never mentioned by our leaders or our media - unless it can be played as "woman's rights" issues or "Gay rights." It is very easy to prosecute a Christian under these laws as well - simply reciting the Christian Creeds is an act of Blasphemy under Sharia law.

Her Majesty has, as ever, done us proud, I'm afraid the PM, the Archbishops and the Holy Father need to face up to some of the realities faced everyday by the people they supposedly lead - then we might be a little less critical of some of their utterances.

27 December 2011 at 19:16  
Blogger him said...

Corrigan, Israel has been under sustained threats and hostility to its very existence since it came into being. Given that many Arab nations STILL do not accept its right to exist, it has shown remarkable restraint. Your grasp of history is also flawed. Israel did not start the 67 wa, and the lack of a settlement is down to Palestinian intransigence on the issue of a 2 state solution over decades. Since 1947 to be precise. Israel by the way is just about the only pluralist liberal democracy in the Middle East, and is surrounded by dictatorships, and/ or theocratic / fascistic regimes bent on its destruction.

27 December 2011 at 19:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Israel started the 1967 war

Well, yes, if you don't count the blockade of Eilat, the massing of the Egyptian Army on the border in Sinai, and all that "On to Jerusalem" talk. I suppose the Israelis could have waited for the inevitable Arab attack so that Israel could possess the 'moral high ground.' But then you don't get any points in war for losing nobly, and there wasn't any power on the horizon waiting to come to Israel's rescue. Israel wouldn't exist today if it hadn't struck first. I blame them not at all.

the USS Liberty

Yes, the Israelis deliberately attacked that ship with the intent of killing all on board. I don't know why, but I don't believe their 'fog of war' explanation. Doesn't change anything I said, however. It simply means the Israelis didn't want that ship observing the war, and the US allowed them to get away with it. Nations have interests after all. They don't have friends.

[I]n 1973 Egypt and Syria only attacked in the occupied Arab territories of the Sinai and Golan Heights which Israel was supposed to have vacated six years earlier.

Never in its short history did Israeli survival hang more in the balance than during the first days of the October War. Nothing stood between Northern Israel and a bunch of Syrian armored divisions except a few Israeli tank brigades and the timidity of the Syrian Army. The idea that Syria would have stopped at the border is fantasy. The Syrians damn near broke into Israel proper before the Israelis could mobilize. Israel is too small to present defense in depth. It would have been slaughter, and would have occurred too fast for the US to stop it.

As for Sadat, he attacked an overconfident and unprepared opponent in the Sinai, and sent his troops just as far as his SAM umbrella would allow. The Israelis eventually turned the Egyptian right flank, crossed the Suez Canal, and threatened to roll up the entire Egyptian army. They were halted by pressure from a US government that didn't want to see Israeli tanks in Cairo. Kissinger said the US was acting in Israel's best interest. The humiliation thus inflicted on the Arabs would be so great there could be no resolution. The US was intent on salvaging Arab pride.

The Israelis don't distinguish between Christian and Muslim Arabs - they're still Arabs

Well, yes, and Allies didn't distinguish between Japanese Christians and non-Christians in WWII either. They were still Japanese. But what influence did Christianity have on Japan? None to speak of. What influence does Christianity have on Palestine? None to speak of. So what is the point? The Palestinians are the enemy. The Israelis won't consider them less an enemy for the sake of the few Christians among their number.


27 December 2011 at 19:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Gray Monk. Do stop pinning the NAZIs genocide policies on Rome. There’s a good chap. You know it's untrue, and you wouldn’t want to upset the Inspector now, do you...

27 December 2011 at 19:39  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Carl Jacobs, what the hell are you talking about? You've spent the entire thread claiming a Christian Palestine would have changed the dynamic in the conflict, then you turn around and say the Israelis are right not to distinguish between Christian and Muslim Arabs. You say you don't know why the Israelis bombed the USS Liberty, then you claim it was because they didn't want America observing what they were up to. You say that's all right because countries have interests, but apparantly, Palestinians don't. Do you even know up from down anymore, or have you been defending Israel too long to know the difference?

27 December 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

[W]hat the hell are you talking about?

Ummm .. that would be the basic history of the Arab/Israeli conflict.

[T]hen you turn around and say the Israelis are right not to distinguish between Christian and Muslim Arabs.

Actually what I said was that a predominantly Christian Palestine would dramatically change the conflict. To an Israeli, the phrase Palestinian Arab and Palestinian Muslim might as well be synonymous.

You say you don't know why the Israelis bombed the USS Liberty...

Because the Israelis refuse to explain themselves so their exact motivations have never come to light.

...then you claim it was because they didn't want America observing what they were up to.

Because the Liberty was an Intelligence ship, and that's what an intelligence ship does. It observes. I don't know what the Israelis didn't want the Americans to observe. What the Israelis did to the USS Liberty was an act of wanton murder. That doesn't change anything I said in my posts.

You say that's all right because countries have interests, but apparently, Palestinians don't.

And where exactly did I say this?

Do you even know up from down anymore

Evidently I do.


27 December 2011 at 20:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

And just to be clear, the US decided it was in the US interest to overlook the attack on the USS Liberty. That's the interest to which I referred.


27 December 2011 at 20:58  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Argh! Dreadnaught beats me to calling Corrigan1 an antisemite? I'm slipping! Alright, once again for the record: Corrigan, you're an antisemite and you know it.

So, Corry, now you share with us the tale of how Israel is ethnicly cleansing Arab Christians from the West Bank. And how do those clever Joos do that? Well, by getting the Muslims Pals to act totally against their otherwise angelically peaceful nature, that's how. Through diabolical Joo-Joo magic, the Joos somehow hyptnotize the Muslims, forcing them them to rob, rape and dispossess the Christians. And to even befoul the Nativity Church before the eyes of the apologising media.

And better it gets; as Israel manages all that mayhem, it gives refuge to the Christians, allowing them to settle in Israel with the same rights as all Israelis. So, the near total disappearance of the ancient Christian communities in the PA and Hamas controlled territories and the simultaneous growth of the Christian population in Israel from 34,000 in 1948, to about 150,000 in 2006 is, of course, a clever way for Israel to disguise the ethnic cleansing of its Christians from...(scratch, scratch) Israel? Tricky, those Zionists, but apparently they still can't get past you, Corrigan.

wv: "aphool"...I kid thee not, kids.

27 December 2011 at 21:25  
Blogger Albert said...


But where are the outspoken demands of the leaders of the love and peace Christian faith to protect their own followers let alone the Jews?

If you subscribe to the Vatican Information Service you will realise that the Vatican is always speaking out on these issues. Perhaps the reason you don't know about this is because it doesn't get reported, and perhaps the reason it doesn't get reported is because it is hardly news, given that the Vatican is always doing it.

27 December 2011 at 21:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

And, of course, the old USS Liberty comes up again. This is where Israel is supposed to knowingly attack an intelligence ship of the very nation it's trying to get on its good side. Corrigan, your Internet meanderings are so cliche. A slew of US inquiries declared this to be a friendly fire incident, but no, somehow Israel, which was broke at the time, managed to bribe the entire US.

Hey, wait a minute, we Canadians lost four killed and eight wounded in the Tarnak Farm friendly fire incident in Afghanistan, when an amphetamines-pumped US pilot lobbed a bomb at a position after he was told to clear things first with his AWAK and to hold his fire. I wonder if that was payback for 1812 and whether we should retaliate by torching the White House again.

27 December 2011 at 21:43  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Just so we're clear, is an anti-Semite anybody who makes any criticism of Israel for any reason, or just the effective critic? And are Zionists familiar with the word 'shameless'?

27 December 2011 at 22:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

See your point to some degree Albert - but if the Pope named the Koran as a source of unending violence towards anyone not toeing the Islamic line or denounced Mohammad as a deranged, opportunistic, heretic, kiddie fiddler - it may raise a few headlines.

27 December 2011 at 22:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Right, Corrigan, any reason whatsoever, especially one involving Tel Aviv's basketball team. Watch, I'll tear you a new one if you so much as smirk at our soccer teams. And, no, we Zionists have no shame when we call out antisemites. Is that a bad thing?

27 December 2011 at 22:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi Barzel

Re: "just the effective critic"

Be careful now. Remember! A proper Canadian does not club a baby seal.

btw ... if you so much as smirk at our soccer teams.

Pleased to see that you labeled the sport correctly.

And was it really Canadians who burned the White House? It must have been British Regulars. I expect Canadians would have been too polite. Rather than burning it, they would have drawn flames on the walls with chalk, and then washed it off before they left. ;)


27 December 2011 at 22:47  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Corrigan as a baby seal? Interesting visuals. Big watery eyes, fluffy fur and that stupid and helpless look that begs for a maple wood club on the noggin? How will I sleep again?

About the White House (you do know why it had to be white-washed, right?), well, we would've scribbled some bad words (in pencil only, of course) on the washroom walls too, had we actually gotten soused as we planned. Unfortunately, all there was was American beer! :o

27 December 2011 at 23:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl Jacobs. The burning of the capitol was harsh but fair. Kept the US out of Canadian affairs since. A result, what !

27 December 2011 at 23:29  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Corrigan - and certainly within the confines of this current thread, anyone who either through ignorance or by intent, ignores the contents and consequential ambitions Hamas Charter towards the Jews, is by association, an anti-Semite.

There never was an historic Palestinian nation or uniquely identifiable Palestinian people as such. Even the post Ottoman Jordanians, Syrians, Egyptians never raised the issue of a homeland for the Arabs beyond their own national borders. The Muslim Arabs forced the partition of the broader Palestine area and the creation of Trans-Jordan but that was't enough for the Islamists who wanted total control of Jerusalem which was on the other side of the River.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem threw his future in with the Nazis and lost - tough. Hussein kicked out the Mufti's nephew Arafat and his Fatah Party for his aggressive political ambitions and the Egyptians froze out the displaced Arab civillians on their border. In short, the majority of Jews were prepared to live in a homeland amongst the Muslims and Christians and share the 'Holy City' but their willingness was not matched by the Islamists. The dilemma of today's Palestinian Arab Muslims has been created and perpetuated by their fellow Arab co-religionists - but I'm sure you really knew this already.

27 December 2011 at 23:35  
Blogger David B said...

How anyone can call those with sympathy for the semitic Palestinians anti-semitic defeats me.

In Israel, now, women are being moved to the backs of busses like Blacks were in America under Jim Crow.

Religion poinons everything!

David B

28 December 2011 at 00:29  
Blogger David B said...

'Poisons' of course.

David B

28 December 2011 at 00:31  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

What a wonderful read just after the Saviour's Day!

Sorry Mr ABC in my opinion, your's is a one-sided, partial presentation of the Christmas messages of the leaders of Anglicanism and Catholicism. The latter's policy towards Israel is then presented as 'Jesus the Palestinian’! This is followed by undisguised distain for the Catholic Church in rhetorical questioning. Then undiluted praise (and some is due) for Queen Elizabeth's broadcast and an exaggerated statement of Her Majesty's actual role as a "Church leader".

This then triggers the inevitable attacks on 'religion' as organisation, lies about the Pope holding the line that 'the Jews killed Christ' and criticisms he doesn't 'anathematise' Islam, exchanges about Israel's policy and then the inevitable accusations of anti-semitism.

Imagine the peace of being an atheist when confronted with all this sh*t?!

28 December 2011 at 00:34  
Blogger non mouse said...

Here's to the Queen. God bless her.

And Prince Philip too.
btw: I hope the colour of her lips is due to choice of lipstick...

28 December 2011 at 01:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

O, I'm sorry, do you feel left out, David B?

Let's see what you managed to drag in. Yes, good, the "Arabs can't be antisemites, because they're...urg, urg...Semites themselves. Get it? Semites! Hah, hah. Can't be...anti-themselves! Brilliant and o, so fresh. Did you rediscover this old gem on Stormfront or MoveOn, David B? One can't tell the difference between left and right wing antisemites nowadays.

For those who've just plugged into the 'Net or woke up from a decade-old nap, that's an old meme that never really worked because, well most people aren't as stupid as the antisemites who think they are so clever. The word was coined to mean one thing specifically: Jew hatred. Human languages do that sort of stuff all the time and it's called a neologism. This one was coined by a nineteenth or early twentieth century Jew hater, a Wilhelm Marr, to replace the ditasteful and not fit for the ladies in the salons word, judenhasse. Means Jew hatred, but too many fricatives, too much hissing for good company around the bratwurst table. So feel free to adopt the original moniker to your identity if this is all muddling your head, Dave.

And then, one that came up more recently, but again all spent and expired: "In Israel, now, women are being moved to the backs of busses like Blacks were in America under Jim Crow." Right, David B, all over Israel did you say, or cleverly imply, hint, or insinuate? Like a national policy for anywhere and everywhere you go about in the Zionist Entity, it's "Ma'am, to the back o'the bus, please"? Or could it be that maybe it's just an anomally, an illegal act on one bus route, in a small ultra-religious neighbourhood? A civil violation for which the bus company got fined and the whole of Israel is in an uproar over? Didn't get to that part in your scholarly and purely academic and not at all antisemitic "critique of Israel," right? Oh yeah, and you know all about "Jim Crow," because you're a brilliant historian, especially where context and background are concerned. Sorry, you're too much of a goof to make it as a proper antisemite, Dave.

28 December 2011 at 03:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thanks for the reminder non mouse. Here's to our Queen indeed and a happier Prince Philip who, I in the Montreal Gazette is/was just going home, all smiling, to his "little family."

28 December 2011 at 03:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OK, it's not quite 1:00 am and I am procrastinating on going to bed. So I did some research on this matter of 'Who burned the White House?' and I was right. It was British Regulars. I knew Canadians couldn't have been involved.

Officer: "Stand by to burn the White House!"

First Canadian: "What, with fire? That will destroy the place."

Second Canadian: "Right. Let's paint it with clashing colors instead, ey."

First Canadian: "Good idea! Then these Americans would have to call it the 'Mauve and Red' House."


28 December 2011 at 06:59  
Blogger Albert said...


if the Pope named the Koran as a source of unending violence towards anyone not toeing the Islamic line or denounced Mohammad as a deranged, opportunistic, heretic, kiddie fiddler - it may raise a few headlines.

Certainly, not least because he would unleash massive amounts of violence against Christians in the Middle East - the very thing he was wanting to stop. Look at what happened in the wake of the Regensburg Address, when he did something far more moderate.

28 December 2011 at 09:41  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert - ...he {Pope} would unleash massive amounts of violence against Christians...

Not he but They surely.

But hang on a minute - don't leave out the Jews - it wouldn't be fair to have extreme Islamic violence without also blaming and including the Jews now would it? after all they would have probably put the Pope up to it.

But all the same, I'm sure Catholics must be asking - where's that straight talking Urban 2 when he's needed! -

Nah - just wishful thinking - I'm not really serious.

28 December 2011 at 11:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Hamas leader Haniyeh: Goal is destruction of Israel.

"The armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel]... We won't relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine."

Oh those plucky little palestinians - dontcha just love 'em.


28 December 2011 at 12:03  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Ok, Avi Barzel, thanks for clearing that up: an anti-Semite is one who criticizes Israel for any reason whatsoever, and you're totally shameless about going straight into abuse mode in the face of such criticism. Understood.

Now, help me out with this one: do I owe you anything? By which I mean, is it somehow incumbent upon me to help you bulldoze Palestinian houses? Is it wrong for me not to dance and cheer when some American settler family usurps Palestinian land?

Oh, and on a related topic (this one's for Carl Jacobs) when did the Jews become a nation? I ask because there seems to be some problem with the Palestinians 'never having been a nation' before, so I'm just looking for a comparison so I'll know how nations come into being. And if they are not and never were a nation, how does the Grand Mufti get to speak for them?

28 December 2011 at 13:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Oh, and on a related topic (this one's for Carl Jacobs) when did the Jews become a nation?

Why are you asking me? I haven't even addressed the issue on this thread. However, the Jews became a nation when God covenanted with Abraham. Israel became a state in 1948 when it was created by those with legal authority over the land of Palestine.

But frankly I'm not all that concerned about whether or not the 'Palestinians' ever existed as a people. The critical fact is this. From the moment the state of Israel was created in 1948, the Arab response has been 1) Destroy the 'Crusader state' and 2) Kill all the Jews. The Arabs immediately started a war and then lost it. So here's the deal. The Arabs can't start and lose the war, and then demand sympathy for losing the war that they started. If you start a war and lose it, then you live with the consequences. And some of those consequences may be permanent.

Israel established its existence and its sovereignty the old fashioned way - by bloodshed. The Arabs didn't give them any choice. Not as clean or as neat as all the other Middle Eastern countries that were created ex nihilo by the Western powers after WWI. But certainly just as legitimate.


28 December 2011 at 16:25  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

I'm asking you, Carl Jacobs, because you were the one casting aspersions on the Palestinians right to call themselves a nation. I just wanted to know what criteria you were judging by. Since a covenent from God seems to be a prerequesite, I suppose that means the Jews are the ONLY nation on Earth. Assuming you make an exception to this rule in the case of your own nation, which other people do you grant the privilige of being a nation? Everyone except the Palestinians, perhaps?

As for the old Zionist saw about the day one invasion of Israel, do try to remember that the British had withdrawn to barracks six months before and turned the country over to the Zionists, who promptly started massive ethnic cleansing operations (including Deir Yassin) in order to clear the Arabs out of the 'Jewish' zone granted by the UN. This zone had a 45% Arab population who were systematically killed and dispossessed by the Israelis over a six month period. The neigbouring Arab states only moved after the Israelis had refused both to stop their attacks on Arab civilians and to enter American sponsored peace talks (which, by the way, the Arabs had agreed to). You see, this is the kind of stuff that Zionists like to write out of the record and which people like you, unfortunately, can't be bothered to ferret out for yourself. It's also why people like Avi Barzel start atavistically screaming 'anti-Semite' whenever they get too near somebody who HAS actually looked. They don't want this stuff getting around.

28 December 2011 at 18:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan. The Inspector did some searching today re moving of Christians in Israel. Could only find references where fortifications were involved, and then EVERYBODY was moved. Really difficult to source out info as what seems to be impartial reporting is either a Jewish or Islamic site. Reams of it as you will know...

28 December 2011 at 19:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ok, Avi Barzel, thanks for clearing that up: an anti-Semite is one who criticizes Israel for any reason whatsoever, and you're totally shameless about going straight into abuse mode in the face of such criticism. Understood.

Right, Corrigan, sure, you got me good on that one. Made a fair cop. Now, try to control your stupid reflex of asking an endless stream of "provocative" questions you don't read, understand or respond to anyway. People might think your lack of counter-rebuttal signifies full agreement, rather than garden variety ignorance fueled by plain hatred. Your friends might not like that.

And Carl, your blatant anticanadianism is deeply disturbing, especially your offensive cheap shots at our internationally admired sense of exterior residential paint colour selection (yes, we Canadians spell colour properly, being able to remember that there is a "u" in the word somewhere). Don't you provoke me! Keep this endless sniping up and I'll have to post some pics of a typical crowd at Denny's outside of Knoxville for the EU-impoverished, calorie-deprived Limeys here to marvel at. A few shots of some typical Denny's platters (enough for a British family of three, or an entire village in the Congo) might spark the overdue reclamation of your troubled Republic. We still have our flint rifles and red coats in our attics, you know.

Anyway, the "British Regulars," my finger-on-the-nuke-button friend, were indeed bona fide Canadians as well, as Canada was still a colony and there was no political distinction made between it and the home country. We paid up our tea taxes politely and even thanked the Governor for the honour, feeling fully British, with only a moat between us. Many of the boys in these regiments signed up in England, but many were born in what we called Upper Canada and had established or planned to establish themselves as settlers. That would be British settlers, as opposed to Israeli ones, for the benefit of Corrigan, if he's still awake.

Nice outlines you make, btw. Utterly wasted on Corrigan, of course, because his mind is sealed 'til the day they plant him six feet deep, but important for the rest of us to remember. It appears to me that Corrigan has, at some point in his intellectual journeys, as it were, discovered the standard neo-nazi and anarchist advice found on their websites for talking to us Joos or treasonous Joo-lovers like youself and others, on the forums. They have these long, turgid lists of "clever" questions and "engaging" statements, meant to get our hackles up and keep us going 'til exhaustion. And Corrigan, evidently not the deep or exceptional type, is hitting all the canned, boiler-plate "classics." It's still all about Israel and a tentative bit on Jewish identity, of course, as those are just about the only avenues of attack the antisemites have left...until they decide it's respectable to go after religion and race again. Have fun and always remember our unit motto, When you wrestle with a pig, both of you get dirty, but the pig likes it.

28 December 2011 at 19:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"...people like Avi Barzel start atavistically screaming 'anti-Semite' whenever they get too near somebody who HAS actually looked. They don't want this stuff getting around."

ANTISEMITE!!!!! There, how's that? All you have to do is ask. You have a long way to go with your borrowed alternate histories and astounding revelations until you get to the Amalek and Canaanites, so you shouldn't distract yourself with me, Corrigan. Just trying to help. Carry on.

28 December 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

That's right, Corrigan1, my posts self-evidently demonstrate that I have absolutely no knowledge of this subject whatsoever. I wonder why I ever presumed to post on the matter.

I'm asking you, Carl Jacobs, because you were the one casting aspersions on the Palestinians right to call themselves a nation.

I did? That's curious. I don't remember doing that on this thread, and a quick review of my posts did not reveal any such assertion. Are you just inventing this accusation out of whole cloth, or are you confusing me with someone else? Like Dreadnaught at 27 December 2011 23:35 perhaps?

Since a covenent from God seems to be a prerequesite, I suppose that means the Jews are the ONLY nation on Earth.

You have done this repeatedly. You take a statement of fact regarding a specific instance, and wildly inflate it into a general principle so that you can attack the general principle. This isn't the tactic of an effective critic. It does not cause your opponent to quake in his boots at the force of your apologetic. It simply leaves him shaking his head in a combination of wonder and amusement.

No, the Jews aren't the only nation on Earth, but they are a unique nation on Earth.


28 December 2011 at 20:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi Barzel

Now, how can you accuse me of Anti-Canadianism when I have done nothing but present Canadians as gentle, harmless, inoffensive creatures? My portrayal has been relentlessly positive in every respect.

Oh, and btw, we 'turned keys.' We didn't 'push the button.'


28 December 2011 at 20:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ouch! You are sadist, Carl. Now we're Care Bears! And, I thought "finger on the button works better than "hand on the key." A fleeting question: Who used to cut your keys? A little hardware store in a small Wyoming town?

Btw, if you're wondering who Corrigan is addressing his astute and cutting commentary to, it's the raggedy old straw man in his closet. You all look alike to him. Otherwise, you're doing ok. For an American, that is.

28 December 2011 at 21:58  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Who used to cut your keys?

I'm sure they were delivered with the system. I actually have no idea how old they would be. They might date back to the early 60's. Most of the time, they are locked in a red box. We only took them out once a day at crew changeover so the new crew could verify their existence. It would be a bad thing if they were taken out of that box for any other reason.

And if it had been a hardware store, it would have been in North Dakota. Which state btw suffers terribly from Canadian oppression being afflicted by Canadian arctic air masses that to this day cause brutally low temperatures in winter. A decent respectable country wouldn't seek to improve its standard of living by exporting sub-zero weather to its unsuspecting and entirely innocent neighbor.

As for Corrigan, you read something like ...

who promptly started massive ethnic cleansing operations (including Deir Yassin) in order to clear the Arabs out of the 'Jewish' zone granted by the UN.

... and you want to ask "Where did you get that from? www.hamas.com?" One just shakes the head.


28 December 2011 at 22:28  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Not wanting to wade in and changing the subject slightly. but the proposed partition affecting Bethlehem does appear a tad insensitive.

Two miles west of the Church of the Nativity is the small village of Beit Jala. There, the Cremisan Monastery produces its famous altar wine which is certified by the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem as pure wine for the celebration of Mass.

The winery and the monastery are in the path of the proposed Israeli separation wall. Maps show that the barrier will cut off villagers and the monastery from its agricultural land. In an effort to silently protest against more Palestinian land being taken by Israel, every Friday for over a month dozens of Palestinian Christians have been attending open-air Mass in Beit Jala.

The winery at Cremisan provides a livelihood for the local population and finances Christian schools in the region. Cremisan produces 700,000 litres annually, of which around 10,000 bottles are imported into Britain each year.

If the barrier is erected the Cremisan monastery and winery will be separated from the West Bank, even though it is part of the fabric of Bethlehem. Not only will the workers be on the other side of the wall and need permits to travel to the winery each day, the wall will also separate the monastery from grapes supplied from other religious communities on the West Bank. Both workers and grapes will have to go through checkpoints. But as the winery will be on the East Jerusalem/Israeli side, there will be no checkpoints between the cellar, the ports and churches in Israel.

Whether the Salesians will be cut off from Bethlehem will be seen in the next few months.

28 December 2011 at 23:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Better check your key ring, Carl. You know that key that you could never open anything around the house with? Oops! And your North Dakotans have been complaining? Wimps and ingrates; we've been acting as a windbreak and warming those air masses with industrial emissions for them and they still quible.

As for Corrigan, I'm guessing he's been reading Ilan Pappe, or most likely simplified and regurgitated versions of his by whatever passes for Hamas intelligetsia. Pappe's one of those Ben Gurion U "post-Zionists" I think, recently blown for manufacturing the "Israeli ethnic cleansing" meme with evidence that never actually existed. There is a lucrative little cottage industry of radical leftist Israeli academics who are academic flops with few prospects in Israel, but can make a killing in Western universities as "dissenting Israeli scholars" whose task is to legitimize the stream of anti-Zionist and antisemitic swill spilling out of modern academia. The social justice pretenders, the palestinianists, antisemites and Arabists in the ME studies departments just can't get enough of them. The Goebbels principle covers the rest; the more absurd the claim, the more believable it has to be. So, we have blatant and laughable reversals of history, and since the incidents are far enough in the past for the young nitwit scholars of today, anything seems to go.

I imagine you've raised an eyebrow now and than and suspect that some of you friendlies on this blog occasionally cringe at what seems my cavalier way of hurling the antisemite stinkbomb. That I conflate what to some seems like reasoned "criticism of Israeli policies" with drooling, mouth-breathing Jew-hatred. I'm actually pretty careful; after years in student activism and volunteering on all sorts of boards and Israeli advocacy projects, I think I can smell the difference between a true antisemite, an annoying but principled critic, or a twit who unwittingly repeats bullshit his girlfriend expect him to parrot if he wants a bit nookie now and then. And also, I see no practical difference between a wholesale criticism of Israel and "classical" antisemitism. That's because almost all modern Jew hatred channels through Israel and through unqualified admiration for its enemies, no matter how vile, stupid and outright evil they may be. So, for, example when I hear a blunderbus shot of "critiques" going back to biblical times, through the Khazars, "Semites," tales of ethnic cleansing and bitching all the way up to Eged Lines bus routes of today, I know not to waste my time answering every charge because I've got me the real, genuine McCoy. And since neither the Legions, the pogromchiks, the Inquisitors or the Gestapo are going to bang on my door for it, I delight in insulting them and calling them out loudly, clearly and as often as possible. Effing antisemites.

29 December 2011 at 05:26  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Dodo, at the next truckstop, after I uncouple the trailer, re-grease my fifth wheel, check the line seals and drain the air tanks, I'll phone Bibi and pass on your concerns.

Bur seriously, if you think the situation is unfair, feel free to contact your Israeli embassy or consulate. Believe it or not, reasonable requests are treated seriously, but whether military planning, security concerns, municipal zoning restrictions, armistice lines, political considerations, agreements with Church authorities and such trivia can accommodate the commuting requirements of the monastery's cheap Arab day labourers is anyone's guess.

A slight correction before I prepare my petition to the Knesset: Israel is not taking "Palestinian" lands, certainly none that are privately owned or part of an established Arab municipality, and because all of Yudah and Shomron, what you'd call the West Bank, is legally Israeli territory formerly captured and illegally occupied by Jordan and currently claimed by both Israel and Arab inhabitants of the region. This may severely mess with the "fabric" of Bethlehem...or more precisely, the scrap of a handkerchief that is left after the Muslim Arabs chased out 80% of its Christians, but that's unfortunate. Perhaps if the chaps held Mass for the defeat of terrorism so that the security barriers would not be necessary? Just an idea. You should also communicate to the local Christian leaders there that their policy of appeasing the Muslims by always agreeing with them and blaming everything on the Jews (even as PLO gunmen literally shat all over the Church of the Nativity), should be recorded in their dusty chronicles as their stupidest and most cowardly policy since the time of Saladdin.

29 December 2011 at 06:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh, and it occured to me, Dodo, that perhaps before you launch into your attempt to maintain Bethlehem's all-but-gone "fabric" or to save the Arab vinyard labourers from the inconvenience of having to pass through an Israeli checkpoint, you might want to contact the Nigerian government and ask it to do something about those messy annual Christmas massacres of theirs. For example....because the word verification for this post is "xample." That could be a sign.

29 December 2011 at 06:30  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh, and it occured to me, Dodo, that perhaps before you launch into your attempt to maintain Bethlehem's all-but-gone "fabric" or to save the Arab vinyard labourers from the inconvenience of having to pass through an Israeli checkpoint, you might want to contact the Nigerian government and ask it to do something about those messy annual Christmas massacres of theirs. For example....because the word verification for this post is "xample." That could be a sign.

29 December 2011 at 06:30  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oh, I think the Church authorities are doing all they can to prevent the unnecessary disruption of this Monastry's wine making and the lives of those who work there. No need for you to join the campaign just yet.

Do you think Beit Shemesh is a sign of things to come in Israel? The ultra-Orthodox at the moment make up about ten per cent of Israel's population. It is estimated this will be 20% by 2020. Their high birthrates and bloc voting patterns help them secure welfare benefits and wider influence.

29 December 2011 at 09:55  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Sorry Carl, I hate to let you get away with the dismissive "anyone who doesn't buy the Leon Uris version of Israeli history must be getting it from Hamas" line. I very rarely read Arab histories of the conflict because they have a fatal flaw - their authors tell lies. So, of course, do Israelis (although in their case, it isn't wrong to do so; THAT'S in the service of a greater good, you understand). My main sources on this are Noam Chomsky (he of the footnotes longer than the actual books so you can't claim he's unsourced), particularly Fateful Triangle, Avi Schlaim's The Iron Wall and Ron David's Arabs and Israelis for Beginners. All Jewish writers, and all believable because they're making statements against interest. You and Avi can go back to congratulating each other for not being haters now.

29 December 2011 at 13:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I wasn't about to join the campaign, Dodo, I thought you might want to. Me, I'm sure the Israeli authorities know what they are doing in planning that portion of the security barriers and I have no issues over inconveniencing a group of Arab day labourers and their employer, the monastery, if it will save Israeli lives. Yet I'm still puzzled why you and many Christians can get worked up over such bullshit, but totally ignore the near-total destruction of the Christian communities under PA control that took place over the last two decades. Not to mention the poignant silence over daily outrages and massacres of Christians by Muslims all over the world. The "quiet diplomacy" you may imagine is happening doesn't seem to work too well. Could it be simply because it's safe, cool and very, very lucrative to trash Israel? Not that I'm a cynic.

Ditto for your Beit Shemesh worries, Dodo. Boy, do you ever worry a lot. As someone in social work, I'd have thought you know better than to project a single and isolated trend and to make predictions without the ability to account for unforseen social and political changes. Israel is meeting some very serious challenges, many of them under the gun, so to speak, and this one isn't keeping me awake.

29 December 2011 at 14:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Corrigan1, my profuse apologies for being hard on you. I now realize that you are either a child, a minor whose parents are negligent in supervising his online time, or a someone with cognitive challenges who should be encouraged and showered with glittery star and teddy bear stickers for any reading or thinking he does. ("Look, Dear, Corry is reading Noam Chomsky...even the footnotes with the big words....awwwwww.")

29 December 2011 at 14:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I imagine you've raised an eyebrow now and than and suspect that some of you friendlies on this blog occasionally cringe at what seems my cavalier way of hurling the antisemite stinkbomb.

Well, I was wondering. To be honest, I thought you were using information gleaned from previous threads. Corrigan's arguments on this thread seem primitive, bombastic, and almost childishly naive, but they don't strike me as anti-Semitic. In fact, I was surprised when he made the post about betting himself who would first call him an anti-Semite. He couldn't have lost since there was zero chance I would have done so on this thread. It's however true that my experience with anti-Semites is thin and so my standard of evaluation could be coarse. In my 52 years of life, I can't recall meeting a single person who would fit the category. But then those opinions don't get expressed openly in the US anymore. They get expressed quietly in private and trusted company. Does that make me fortunate? Sheltered? I don't know. I expect your experience is not so benign.

As for Corrigan, you seem to have correctly identified the source of his information. When I saw the first name on his list of sources (Noam Chomsky), I thought "Oh, that explains it. He's the kind who listens to Pacifica Radio. It makes sense now." His form of argumentation makes sense to me as well. If you have never listened to Pacifica Radio, you really should give it a try. They still haven't quite got over the fact that Communism collapsed in 1991. I haven't listened for twenty years. But I remember rushing to turn on the car radio the morning after the Sandinistas lost the election in Nicaragua in 1991. Is it wrong to experience schadenfreude over socialist despondency?


29 December 2011 at 15:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


All Jewish writers, and all believable because they're making statements against interest.

You do realize how ignorant that assertion is, don't you? Interest isn't determined by nationality or race. Interest is determined by ideology and worldview. They could only be making 'statements against interest' if their statements collided with the interests of the ideology they represent. The mere fact of 'being Jewish' doesn't qualify. It's no different from the 60's radicals in the US who used the spelling 'Amerika.' They weren't making 'statements against interest.' They were asserting the correctness of their ideological critique of the US in order to advance the cause of conforming the US to their ideology. Surely you understand the difference.

And speaking of the 60's ...

Avi, I have been meaning to ask you. The picture on the front of your avatar. The one in front of the truck. Is that your image? If so, get a haircut.



29 December 2011 at 16:09  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death
May 6, 2011

"We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic"

Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot?

Chomsky is a Professor of Linguistics and as one would expect he to possess great ability in the employment of the craft. However such status, as he clearly demonstrates does not mean that he has the same ability to connect with reality or construct arguments without his trademark anti-Western bias.

Take for instance his stance on on Cambodia in his jointly published 'After the Cataclysm?'

Anyone who reads the chapter on Cambodia would be led to believe that the Khmer Rouge had done little wrong and quite a lot of good in Cambodia, and had been maliciously slandered by the Western media. The simple fact is Chomsky got it wrong and did so because he demanded absolute standards of proof from those like Ponchaud who had evidence of massacres by the Khmer Rouge, while their own notion that the media was being used for “imperialist” ends required no firm evidence at all. The evidence was made to fit preconceived ideas. By all means be skeptical about media bias but use Chomsky as the yardstick???

The danger of following someone like Chomsky is that you can begin to believe you have superior insight and knowledge as regards the workings of the state, media and capitalism without feeling the need to put any assumptions to the test. Chomsky has a captive audience of like-minded anti-American followers, and so there is never any need to subject his theories to the rule of falsifiability, as he is followed regardless of how utterly and obviously wrong his views sometimes are.

And it doesn't end here either:-

“He begins as a preacher to the world and ends as an intellectual crook.”
- Arthur Schlesinger
(Commentary, December 1969)
“Noam Chomsky skittles and skithers all over the political landscape to distract the reader’s
attention from the plain truth.”
- Sidney Hook
(The Humanist, March-April 1971)
“In his ideological fanaticism he constantly shifts his arguments and bends references,
quotations and facts, while declaring his ‘commitment to find the truth.’”
- Leopold Labedz
(Encounter, July 1980)
“Even on the rare occasions when Mr. Chomsky is dealing with facts and not with fantasies,
he exaggerates by a factor of, plus or minus, four or five.”
- Walter Laqueur
(The New Republic, March 24, 1982)
“After many years, I came to the conclusion that everything he says is false. He will lie just
for the fun of it. Every one of his arguments was tinged and coded with falseness and
pretense. It was like playing chess with extra pieces. It was all fake.”
- Paul Postal
(The New Yorker, March 31, 2003)

29 December 2011 at 16:39  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, officially I'd have to advise you that schadenfreude is a character flaw, a weakness we all must struggle to subdue as we strive to love and admire everyone equally. While we work on that life-long commitment to personal betterment, though, having a good guffaw over the miseries of idiots is a slip we can still afford from time to time and ask to be forgiven for later.

No, never had the pleasure of hearing Pacifica Radio, but we have the Canadian Brodcating Corporation from which, by your description, Pacifica must be taking lessons.

By the way, I wasn't the first to call Corrigan an antisemite, Dreadnought dared to beat me to that honour; I'll have to have a chat with him over the issue of first rights. Look, I understand anyone's reluctance to label people, especially with something awful like "antisemite." We are complex creatures, with many sides to our ever-changing personalities, prone to illusions and errors of all sorts, deserving of the benefit of the doubt, a chance to redeem ourselves and redifine ourselves and all that shit. Then, there is the danger that yes, some genuine critics or folks on the edge, might be unfairly lumped with the monsters...and it does happen from time to time. But I'm not a counsellor or a psychotherapist and don't have the time or interest in trying to understand individuals' motives or reasons, or to speculate on the political dimensions of my call-outs. However, I also know several people who held some pretty strong views about about Israel and Jews and were, by my and other definitions, rip-roaring antisemites. At least some, from my experience, recoiled at some point at the ghastly charge, were upset over its impication, but instead of reflexively justifying themselves as most people tend to do, engaged in some introspection and analytical thinking. They didn't become Zionists or even pro-Israel, but I think that they are able now to judge Jews as they would judge others and to evaluate Israel-related topics fairly by recognizing bias, even the deceptive kind by bought-and-paid-for self-hating Jews our Corrigan seems to be anamoured of. Ok, they won't donate to my Mizrachi Zionist association, the cheap bastards, but I can respect them.

Btw, I rarely meet open antisemites among the relatively normal people here; it's a conversation stopper at most parties. Most antisemitism, as I mentioned before, is now an exercise in coyness, canned rhetoric and faux humanitarianism and almost all of it is self-defined as "legitimate criticism of Israel," as that's the only socially tolerable expression for now. Ok, I've been yelled at a few times from passing cars, chased one and nicely kicked-in its quarter panel as it sped away a tad too slowly...oops, on a Sabbath, my bad...but only because the goofs upset my ten year old girl and because there was no scotch at the synagogue luncheon to temper my mood. As one of the volunteer guards at my synagogue, the only one with a security certificate, I've have had to slap the cuffs and call in the fuzz on two deranged souls trying to gain entry while spewing trash, but those have been exceptions. If you ever travel to Eastern Europe, though, be prepared to gasp at some horrific antisemitic slanders and wild conspiracy spins expressed openly and proudly...even by some Jews who still hope to endear themselves by being properly "critical" of Jews and Israel. After all, the damaged types likes Chomsky and Finkelstein, the "post-Zionsits" and the rabid leftists have all shown that it's perfectly safe to lie and smear and that it can be socially rewarding and quite profitable too.

29 December 2011 at 17:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

The best concise exposé on Chomsky I've come across, Dreadnaught. Like everyone, I know the man stinks, but I'm always stumped for concrete examples when needed. Ok, I forgive you for beating me to the antisemite call-out. Perhaps we can work out a share plan on who goes first next time?

29 December 2011 at 17:16  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Indeed good sir, and thank you.

29 December 2011 at 17:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, I have to confess that I have been and still am an admirer of Chomsky the linguist and even his theoretical models for media content analysis...which for some reason, he doesn't abide by. His theories on language development and my favourite, his "universal grammar" model, are elegant, brilliant and revolutionary. In his field, he's up there with the giants like Marx, Freud and Einstein. How such a rare and remarkable mind can stray into antisemitism and utter kookiness is one of those incomprehensible mysteries.

29 December 2011 at 17:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. The Inspector suspects you may have well and truly got Corrigan’s back up. We’ve discussed your use of the term ‘Anti Semite’ before. The dictionary definition is a person who discriminates against or is prejudiced or hostile toward Jews.. Now, that may well be ‘over there’ but ‘over here’ labelling that way is tantamount to accusing a fellow of being a concentration camp guard. Thought you should know that old chap, might save you a bit of grief in the future. Do believe the term you should be using to address Corrigan is ‘critic’ or maybe even ‘arch-critic’…

Corrigan, are you by any chance the Irish or Irish descended Catholic your name suggests you are ? If so you would be akin to the Inspector. Does your criticism of Israel stem from the Protestant plantation of Ireland which led to so much grief over the years, culminating in what used to be the quasi police state that Stormont ran in the North on behalf of the Orange Order ? Don’t worry if ‘yes’, the Inspector held your view until recently.

29 December 2011 at 17:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The greatest danger to the West is the marginalisation from within, of modern history as a source of our contemporary identity; in my case first as English and second as White British. Being brought up in a society almost bankrupted by war and living amongst the survivors of the conflict who bore witness to the horrors involved, I have no doubts regarding the truth of their testimony.

Sadly, since the early sixties education has been used as a political football until now kids are leaving school as sixteen unable to either pronounce the English language as it should, add up a series of numbers without using a calculator or understand the world much beyond the confines of a television or games console.

This state of affairs is not missed by the Radical Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and this is where the unspoken intellectual Jihad is being waged and won. Traditional Leftists would have defended Israel's right to exist by rushing off to experience life on a kibbutz as being the 'right on' thing to do and as an expression of support for the survival and dignity of a battered minority. But now? - Hardly...

The Left has found a new standard round which to rally their senses of inequality and outrage - the 'Palestinian'cause, which of course has been deliberately courted and exploited by the Islamists as part of the long term objective of holding the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank as hostages to fortune. They know as well as Chomsky how powerful is the use of language and interpretation. The Brotherhood invented and propagated the word 'Islamophobia' just as sure as Arafat did when he invented the word 'Palestinian'. Now both these words have seeped into the consciousness of the main stream and the mass media as to pass as accepted truths. Now they (stateless Arabs) and not the Jews are seen as the world's underdogs and the Radical Islamists have commonplace in their arsenal for antisemite convenience. And all the while the West focuses on how unfair the Israelis are to the Muslims never mind the slow colonisation of European cities and distinctive cultural norms or the annihilation of Jews and Christians in any country in the world that claims a Muslim majority.

I accused Corrigan of being an antisemite but in all honesty his antisemitism is probably an involuntary unconscious one, no worse or no better than that of the legally endorsed, thought controlled, short memoried Westerner. Sadly, Chomsky for all his talent, simply disseminates confusion to the advantage of those who would dearly love to see the West fall to the will of Islam.

29 December 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Avi said ...

"Most antisemitism ... is now an exercise in coyness, canned rhetoric and faux humanitarianism and almost all of it is self-defined as "legitimate criticism of Israel,""

Do you see the problem with that statement? People are entitled to be critical of Israeli policies and if they're wrong then argue it out with, don't opt for the lazy option and just call them "anti-semite". Way too emotive and inaccurate. Let's be honest though Israel hasn't behaved like a saint since 1948. Its the same with the 'modernisation' of the Christian Gospel and history and the way Jewish leaders get all incenced about certain Catholic prayers and readings at Easter. If the Pope is wrong, then either the Holy Spirit is accountable or the authors of the Bible 'misread' Him!

By now most sensible people have come to understand the sheer evil of Islamism and its leaders who are driven by a hatred of the West, Jews and all things Israeli. It wasn't always like this in the region. A solution short of one side totally wiping out the other will have to be found. And meantime its the innocent on both sides of the divide who suffer.

29 December 2011 at 20:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I know, Inspector, and you make a good point now as you did before, but I still disagree and will accept any consequences for my admitted extremism on the matter. But neither "critic" nor "arch-critic" cover the phenomenon I'm addressing, and in fact may debase the word critic, one I associate with a principled and truthful challenge.

The other point I'll make is that anyone who compares "antisemite" to "concentration campt guard" is not thinking very well, and probably not just in one area. Being an antisemite is not a terminal condition, having been a camp guard is. The former is a conceptual construct, an opinion really, the latter an evidence-based designation, one often involving the police, international tribunals and such. Nevertheless, you may well imagine that I'm not a total moron and whenever I grace Europe with my brief visits, I have more sense than to pop this contentious word in a Roumanian biker hangout bar, for example. Assuming that my swarthiness doesn't get me in trouble at the door for being thought a Roma.

I don't know Corrigan or his thinking apart from what he reveals here. All of us here are of course the sum toal of our posts and avatars. So, I can't ...and won't... guess whether he is just repeating fashionable themes without thought, shaves his head and lights incense to Hitler or, as you wonder, is swayed by his Irishness and a presumed connection between Protestants and Israel of which I don't know about. I'm totally befuddled too, btw, over the Israeli and Palestine Authority flags flying all over Belfast neighbourhoods, or soccer buffs waving the Israeli flag and wearing fake prayer shawls while the opposing side makes hissing sounds in imitation of gas chambers. Deeply weird, all that. In any case, Corrigan is free to make his case with me, to tell me I'm full of it and to sway my personal, unrepresentative opinion which, so far, he has been doing rather poorly by my standards. What else can I, or anyone on the blogs for that matter, really do but to form opinions on anonymous personalities by whatever they write?

But I do appreciate your advice, Inspector. And you might find this amusing, but my "other side," the one which sees Jewish and Zionist advocacy as a near-sacred task and a question of a religious and national emergency, totally agrees with you. It's rude, offensive and oftentimes counterproductive to call someone an antisemite, a term which is shocking to most as it's not much higher in status than that of pedophile. But that last part is not my fault. In many places being an antisemite is no different from being a member of a ho-hum political party and it's not accusers like me who have caused that. And I'm here hidden away, on His Grace's dime of course, in my "personal" playground and my friends and opponents all get the dubious benefit of my honesty, rather than the pabulum of my politics. Hmmm ..."the dubious benefit of my honesty, rather than the pabulum of my politics"... a rather statesman-like line, what?

29 December 2011 at 20:40  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr/Ms Dreadnaught @ 19.38, your comment is inspirational. Are you still the same blogger, or has the name been taken over by another individual? The style of writing and use of language has certainly changed considerably.

I heard Chomsky interviewed recently and he is still fighting the Spanish Civil War on behalf of the International Brigade. Possibly past his best(?).

29 December 2011 at 20:46  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, we've covered this. I've explained my views about the difference between genuine, even hostile, but genuine criticism and antisemitism. I didn't know that you were troubled by the hostility of "some Jewish leaders about "certain Catholic prayers and readings at Easter." I'm not a Jewish leader, nor do I know or frankly much care about those prayers, but I'll pat your hand and assure you with all sincerity that if those prayers are antisemitc, I'll bloody well call them antisemitic. But short of them being an outright call to violence, I'll defend the right of the religious community in question to determine their fate on its own. Fair enough?

29 December 2011 at 20:53  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, I forgot about your question with all this cerebral stuff going on. But to the much more important matters of grooming and appearances. Yes, it's a mixed media self portrait from about five or six years ago. I combined it with a pic I took of a classic and tarted-up tractor, the kind I've driven and would love to own one day. My hair and especially my beard have started graying quite a bit lately (must be your "Brakabama" and the uncertainties over your primaries) but I keep it long usually. And I did get a haircut, about a month ago, a bi-annual event, usually around Passover and sometime after Rosh Hashanah, or whenever my wife's had enough and sends me to my barber. Fortunately my hair grows as fast as weeds.

29 December 2011 at 21:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. In England, the word ‘anti semite’ is most usually associated with Mosely and the ‘bright young things’ of the 1920s and 30s. Certain Mitford sisters come to mind, including the one that married Mosely. You may also know that the British Army liberated Belsen and the newsreel images of the hapless Tommies bulldozing the dead in the aftermath stays in the mind, mine at least, am recalling it all now.

We’ll see what Corrigan has to say for himself after all this. Don’t forget Dodo’s advice on relying on argument. In these past months, the Inspector has come to appreciate Israel as a bastion against the underserving Moslem, who, given the chance, would have the streets running with Jewish blood. It wouldn’t be hard for our man to appreciate it too, without recourse to stereotypical stances.

29 December 2011 at 21:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector, no need to defend the British in any of this to me. Politics aside, I'm connected through blood and marriage to English and Scottish families; Anglicans and Presbyterians (no, no Catholics or Irish as far as I know), and one of the families fully adopted and lovingly and decently raised a young survivor of Majdanek, who still lives in England as Jew with her own family. It's a small, weird and interconnected world we live in and blood, even by adoption, will always be thicker than water, or politics.

And so are friendships, even the online variety kinds, and seeing that this is a personally important point to you, regardless of your reasons, I will give young Mr Corrigan the benefit of my doubt and withdraw the offending accusation. You drive a hard-nosed bargain, Inspector; ever look into your background to see if perhaps we might not be related somehow?

29 December 2011 at 22:28  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...


yes, I am indeed Irish and much of my criticism of Israel does indeed stem from it's aping of Stormont. It doesn't stop there, however. Zionism is a particularly vicious form of racialism (I don't like the word 'racism'; it's far too anemic and doesn't convey exactly what Zionism really is). It masks itself in the robes of the victim, but it is ultimately a settler culture exactly as the Ulster Unionist was. Whereas, however, the Unionists have made some attempts in recent years to meet Nationalists half way, Zionists have not the slightest interest in doing anything similar with the indiginous population of the Holy Land. Why should they? All they have to do is shout 'anti-Semite' and the appropriate atavistic reaction is forthcoming from people like Carl Jacobs, who almost certainly cannot see the laughable inconsistency of spouting the approved pro-Israeli taglines and then turning around and sneering at me for quoting Noam Chomsky. You will, of course, have noticed that sneering is as good as it got. No response, no answer, just 'yah, boo, shucks'. Nor any attempt to address the other writers I have mentioned, one of whom is a retired Isreali officer and war veteran.

This, of course, is standard Isreali tactics. There really IS no answer to their behavior, and they know it, so they manipulate the herd with control words like 'anti-Semite' (or, in the case of Jews who don't toe the official line, 'self-hating Jews'; you will notice Barzel used that term in reference to Chomsky. As all Gentiles who don't support Israel are anti-Semites, so all Jews who don't support them are 'self-hating')

29 December 2011 at 22:53  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Still the same old grumpy bastard Mr Bluedog - I thank you for your kind comments.

30 December 2011 at 00:09  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Corrigan @ 22.53 declares, 'Zionists have not the slightest interest in doing anything similar with the indiginous population of the Holy Land. Why should they?'

Which begs the question, who is the indigenous population of the Holy Land? The answer is surely that the indigenous population is/was Jewish. The Temple of Jerusalem that was destroyed by Rome after the death of Christ was not built by Arabs or Muslims but by Jews. Indeed, the suggestion that the Prophet Mahommed ascended to heaven from the site of the Dome of the Rock has always struck this communicant as patently absurd. Just another exercise in plagiarism by the Islamic scholars who wrote the Koran.

To this communicant it seems completely against the evidence to argue that the 'Palestinians' have a greater right to live in the Holy Land than the Jews. Thus it is equally false to conflate the State of Israel with the province of Ulster.

Regarding Ulster, this communicant has never understood the attitudes of either side. In particular your own views seem to be a form of Hibernian racism - ethnic Irish good, ethnic Scot in Ulster - irredeemably bad. Not sure how this plays out if the Scot happens to be Catholic.

Which leads us to Gerry Adams, an Irish leader of Scottish descent and a Catholic to boot. Has Mr Adams proved himself to be an Irishman? If so, do you identify with him?

Regarding Chomsky, the quotes posted by Mr Dreadnaught @ 16.39 speak for themselves.

With regard to Israel, one notes that there has always been a 'war party' offset by a 'peace party' with some flexibility and migration between the two camps. Given the nature of Israel's location and its circumstances, the 'war party' is arguably the most relevant to Israel's future at present. Clearly even the 'war party' recognise that that war in perpetuity is unsustainable and that they must seek peace and prosperity. However, war is sometimes a necessity if a nation is to avoid extinction. In the view of this communicant, it is this deep insecurity and fear of extinction that drives Israel and so many of the Jewish people outside Israel.

They need time to heal their wounds. If we can help them we will be rewarded.

30 December 2011 at 00:27  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Well, I have come very late to this and it's past my bedtime.

But Corrigan, that last is a vilely antisemitic post.

Jews are the only indigenous to Israel and a large amount of territory outside of the "Green Line" including land in several Arab countries.

30 December 2011 at 00:38  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

The tension over the Good Friday liturgy has been going on since the 1920's and I'm surprised your unfamiliar with it.

The words of the liturgy referred in Latin to ""Oremus et pro perfidis Judæis..." Whilst meaning "unfaithful", however, it was often taken to mean "perfidious" in the sense of "duplicititous or treacherous".

Here's the original Tridentine prayer:

"Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that Almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen."

After much outside criticism from Jewish and secular bodies alike, and internal debate and theological consideration within Rome, various modifications were made down the years and as of 2008 we have:

"Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men. Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

The theology behind the prayer is the rejection of God's Son the Messiah by the Chosen People, the first to hear the word of God, the Jews, who called for his crucifixion. They closed their eyes and ears. Catholic theology holds that this was a willful blindness to the truth in that the Jews must have known or at least guessed the truth, and yet refused to believe. The qualification is that the term "perfidis" can only logically apply to all Jews, apart from the circumstances of the crucifixion, under a theory of collective guilt.

The Catholic Church believes it has a God-given responsibility to proclaim Christ to all the world. Peter on Pentecost Sunday declared that the whole house of Israel should know for certain that Jesus is Lord and Messiah and that every one of his hearers should be baptized in Jesus’ name. Paul spent much of his ministry proclaiming the Gospel to Jews throughout the diaspora and was distressed by their incredulity and prepared to wish himself accursed for the sake of their conversion.

It all erupted again as the traditional Latin Mass has received positive endorsement (not for Good Friday though) and fears the term "perfidis" may be commonly used once more.

30 December 2011 at 00:53  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I wonder if its worth considering the possibility, that given the 7C invasion by the Arabs and the Islamic form of evangelism, that required either conversion, slavery, dhimmitude or death, that the incumbent inhabitants of Roman Palestine could have shared much of the same DNA as the Hebrews.

In terms of establishing who has a lineal claim to an ancestral heritage and a 'Palestinian' birthright, I think it would make an interesting experiment to compare the DNA of the present day stateless 'Arabs' of Gaza and the West Bank to that of indigenous Israeli Jews.

The record clearly shows that the Peninsular Arabs of Mecca and Medina vintage, their religion, language and culture, are the real aliens amongst the descenants of the ancient people of Biblical Palestine - oh how I would like to see that one proven and thrown into the mix.

30 December 2011 at 01:35  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

I think you need to be mindful of the differenaces between racial descent and religion, language and culture. I doubt the research would show what you presume. If it did don't you think it would be public by now? Imagine, Palastinian 'Arabs' really the desecendants of Persians!

30 December 2011 at 01:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, I have heard of the commotion, but have forgotten what it's about. Thanks for the work on explaining the details. From what I recall, the opposition to the prayer has much more to do with the antisemitic attacks on Jews on Good Friday throughout many of the communities in Christendom. Many of these were instigated by the clergy, particularly he lower orders. The historian Norman Cohn in his The Friars and the Jews which I have somewhere in the mess that is my library covers the details.

However, at the pain of disappointing or angering some of my coreligionists, I don't have an issue with the prayer as it is, certainly not to the extent of expecting another religion to alter it. The prayer most likely reflects the history of animosity and at times brutal competition on equal terms between Jews and early Christians. The Jewish declaration against heretics, the birkas ha-Minim, part of the Eighteen Benedictions, which is included in my daily prayers is the Jewish counterpart in that battle. It does not today formally name Christians or anyone specific, but it did in earlier times specify "Nazerites," the early Judeo-Christians, meaning formerly halakhic Jews who took on Christianity. I imagine this prayer today includes all converts out of Judaism, especially the Jews for Jesus groups. The Tridentine Prayer asks G-d to turn us into Christians; it doesn't call on the faithful to kill, punish, disposses or hate us. Nor does the prayer, on its own, say that we are not human enough, that we are demons in human form, well-poisoners, polluters of races, malignant destroyers of civilzations or that we have no right to our country. That to me is an important distinction.

I sympathise with liberal Jews and Christians who find both the Birkat ha Minim and the Tridentine Prayer offensive, particularly at a time when we're trying to mend fences. They are afraid of such things, and people who are afraid are revealing their weakness and that makes me afraid. I do believe that we are, or must become, collectively stronger than such issues. We must accept the reality of our profound and fundamental differences and disagreements, our unhappy history together even, however fearfully or grudgingly. Otherwise, we will build a relationship based on a public relations make-believe, a dysfunctional and even dangerous formula. Just my opinion, of course.

30 December 2011 at 02:09  
Blogger Ariadne said...


There isn't much overlap between Jewish and Arab DNA as far as the science of genetic matching has been developed - as far as I'm aware.

There appears to be some match between Jews and Maronite Christians.

I haven't seen any studies of Samaritan - Arab DNA but I imagine such would show matches.

It should be remembered that Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran and appears a huge number of times in the Torah. It should also be remembered that there was no mosque on the Temple Mount until after Mohamed's death.

30 December 2011 at 08:44  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

A very balanced and considered response, Sir.

I deliberately avoided reference to the birkas ha-Minim as, as you allude to, such a comparison is considered by some an offense. As I understand it, the reference to "blessing" heretics, including Nazerites, was viewed by some as a curse.

Yes, Holy Week in Europe in days gone by, was a time of fear for the Jewish people and, although I don't know the history, I wouldn't take issue with what you've said. There is one one I disagree with:

"The prayer most likely reflects the history of animosity and at times brutal competition on equal terms between Jews and early Christians."

I believe the prayer is a genuine plea to God to bring Jews to the light of Christ. It contains no malice in itself and reflects the theology of the Catholic Church. Interestingly, the 2008 prayer sees a development in this theology.

30 December 2011 at 10:57  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

@Ariadne above

"Jews are the only indigenous to Israel and a large amount of territory outside of the "Green Line" including land in several Arab countries."

And yet, apparantly, I'M the racialist.

30 December 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Ariadne -
Thanks for your input - Using a religious or superstitious belief that a God has ordained territorial land tenure I find bizzare. However if there has there been anthropogenic research done already I would be interested in exploring the results further - do you have any references I can follow?

DoDo -
'I think you need to be mindful of the differenaces between racial descent and religion, language and culture'.

This is a bit crass even by your standards.

That the nomadic tribes that became the Jews and Christians or whatever and preceded the Arab invasion, is fact not fiction; but that is about as far as the historic record can testably support. Then comes the obstinacy of organised religion.

To the Western mindset, adherence to religious belief is after all considerations, a free choice; the forced conversion of the pre-Islamic peoples was less a matter of choice or conviction of belief, than of one of the simple tactic to survive.

Extending the engagement of the scientific method could prove to be useful in going some way to undoing the damage currently being done to humanity in the name of religion.

Endlessly pitching the claims of one religion against another is futility personified - as the historic record testifies.

30 December 2011 at 11:36  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Ariadne said...
"There isn't much overlap between Jewish and Arab DNA as far as the science of genetic matching has been developed - as far as I'm aware."

Wrong! You might want to become aware of it.

"Jews and Arabs share a common genetic heritage that stretches back thousands of years.
The striking similarities in their biology have just been revealed in a study of over 1,300 men in almost 30 countries worldwide.

A study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that Jewish men shared a common set of genetic signatures with non-Jews from the Middle East, including Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese.

These signatures were significantly different from non-Jewish men outside of the Middle East. Jews and Arabs have more in common with each other, genetically speaking, than they do with any of the wider communities in which they might live."

Other studies have revealed that Jewish men lineages went back to the ancestral Mideastern population of 4,000 years ago from which Arabs, Jews and other people are descended. Jewish women, on the other hand, were different. The founding women's identities from a number of communities, unlike the case with the men, appear not to be related to one another or to those of present-day Middle Eastern populations.

30 December 2011 at 11:42  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

That's much better DoDo - Thanks

30 December 2011 at 12:17  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

So long as you understand I don't agree with your broad views. Indeed, why stop with the 7th century? One could go back further and claim Judaism was an alien import for the Caananites and that the newly arrived Jews set about their own form of ethnic cleansing.

The point for 2012 is that however formed and whatever we might think about it, Israel is a State capable of maintaining internal order and protecting its borders - and is entitled to do both.

30 December 2011 at 13:15  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'why stop with the 7th century? One could go back further and claim Judaism was an alien import for the Caananites and that the newly arrived Jews set about their own form of ethnic cleansing.

I stop at the 7C because it is the most relevant point in time in relation to the present situation.

Your second point with which I don't disagree I find a little odd, as it seems to undermine the legitimacy of the very foundations of your own religion in which you appear to have unshakeable faith.

30 December 2011 at 14:57  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

The point I'm making is that was then and this is now.

Personally, I have my doubts about about 1948 and the British and American policies that preceeded and proceeded it. The peoples living in the then mandated area designated as 'Palestine', named by the Romans, were not treated as required by international agreement. It has to be said that some of this is attributable to the evident hatred of the Jews by Arab leaders directly inspired by Nazism. I'm also not entirely convinced by claims to the land based principally on a 4000 year old Covenant with Abraham - although theologically I accept this may still be in place.

That's all as may be. The State of Israel is here and has established itself by its ability to take the land, to maintain internal order and to protect its borders. Whether by an act of God or by force of arms, or both, Israel is here to stay. Not a religious, Jewish State, as envisaged by Orthodox Zionists, or a New Jerusalem, as seen by Evangelicals, but as a secular Western style democracy.

What remains is clearing up the mess left by the past.

30 December 2011 at 15:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan. Thanks for the insight on your thoughts. Recent examples of one people settling in the lands of another is one of humanity’s open sores. 99% of the occurrences are thankfully lost to antiquity and are of academic interest only. During the Irish War of Independence, one English Army colonel came to the conclusion that the measures needed to maintain the settlement status quo in all of Ireland were so drastic that because of widespread reporting in the world’s press, it could not even be attempted – Bernard Law Montgomery, himself of Irish settler stock.

Comparisons on Ireland and Israel are therefore poor. What held back the English in Ireland did not hold back the Jews. Also, the Irish now to want to make a go at it together. A realist would have little doubt that the muslims would tear the Jews to pieces if they could, they’d turn up from every Islamic country in their thousands to do it. Plus a few thousand Saracens from the UK, if the sick truth be known…

In the same way that Bluedog has difficulty grasping the Northern Irish situation, so does the Inspector with Israel / Palestine. He’s come to the opinion that to keep his sanity, it’s best not to hold ANY position. Just sit back and observe, as a total neutral…

30 December 2011 at 17:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Corrigan1 @ 11.12 said 'And yet, apparantly, I'M the racialist.'.

Love your work, Mr Corrigan. Is this your personal epiphany? If not it should be.

You rail against Israel for being racial pure and religious discrete and yet your sealladh na Eireann is both racially discreet ('Irish') and religious exclusive, Catholic.

No other combination appears to possess the necessary qualities of the true Irishman.

This communicant politely suggests that you stand in front of the mirror long enough to ask yourself a single question: What is the difference between my idea of nationality and that of the Zionists that I so despise?

30 December 2011 at 22:57  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Dodo, you need better sources than the BBC's and NYT's versions.

These "similarities" are of genetic material that is 1/1,329,227,995,784,915,872,903,807,060,280,344,576 part of the whole after more than 100 generations.

Not very similar, really.

30 December 2011 at 22:57  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Further, Dodo, this is an abstract from a 10-year old study but it is very clear.


"...Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors."

30 December 2011 at 23:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Excellent link Ms A. Thank you

30 December 2011 at 23:28  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

What's the matter? Uncomfortable that the Arabs are your semitic brothers and sisters in a genetic sense?

So what if 4000 years ago you all lived in the middle east and shared ancestors. Why is this an issue? After all, don't you believe God gave you the land of Israel and established Judaism as a religion rather than a race?

30 December 2011 at 23:34  
Blogger Ariadne said...


Put this in your pipe but I doubt that you'd be able to smoke it:

There's a longer and more complex picture than you know

Genetics is the science that will make racism pointless in the end. One hopes.

Jews are not murderous nor desirous of converting, conquering and/or murdering those who profess different beliefs.

The estimates of deaths resulting from Communism and Islam respectively are 300m and 270m. Perhaps explaining why the hard left and Islamists unite and fools believe their hatreds.

The region that became the Mandate for Palestine had a majority Christian population in the seventeenth century.

31 December 2011 at 20:48  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Why the defence? I never made any such accusations! Not everyone who questions Israeli policies is anti-semitic.

Ahe you a religious Jew or a secular Israeli?

31 December 2011 at 22:03  
Blogger Ariadne said...


Paul Bogdanor also has an excellent page of links on Chomsky.

Your information is really excellent but in the volume here may be hard to find whereas Paul Bogdanor's name is fairly easy to remember.

31 December 2011 at 23:33  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Ashamed to admit you're not of the Jewish faith? You do know that faith in God is is what defines a true Jew?

Are you an atheist? Go on, own up.

1 January 2012 at 01:34  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Do you confess your sins to a priest, Dodo?

Are you aware of these: The seven noahide laws? They are all you need.

One can be atheist and still a Jew. And that is a general observation only not a snide insult to religious people. I have known people to classify as "true Jews" the johnnies-come-lately, Neturei Karta, friends of Ahmadinejad and other would-be genocidists and hirelings to Arafat. Someone I admire hugely in the blogosphere is what you might call "ultra-" Orthodox but I don't have to be of that persuasion to appreciate him. And I don't feel compelled to label him in a negative way.

As another general point I think His Grace's appeal is his great humanity. I don't see him in a negative light at all.

You may be interested in finding out what a Messiah is in Judaism. That would be a good start to helpful knowledge.

1 January 2012 at 10:21  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Apologies: finger slipped.

"Noahide" is meant as a link and I intended to cut off the statement concerning the Jewish messiah. That was a separate point but it seems to me worthwhile knowledge.

1 January 2012 at 10:29  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Calvin L. Smith

Thank you for posting the link to Harry's Place. One could hardly be better placed to understand politics, religion and antisemitism than the Revd Nick Howard.

1 January 2012 at 10:37  
Blogger Ariadne said...


The record clearly shows that the Peninsular Arabs of Mecca and Medina vintage, their religion, language and culture, are the real aliens amongst the descenants of the ancient people of Biblical Palestine - oh how I would like to see that one proven and thrown into the mix.

That's a very interesting wish.

Not so many people look to the 3000+ years' history except Muslim Arabs who will tell any lie in their attempt to abolish it. And then a whole edifice is built on whatever lie is current for their manufactured history. My favourite lie is Solomon's Temple as a "proto-masjid".

30 December 2011 00:27

What a great post!

1 January 2012 at 10:56  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Thanks for the link. Interesting reading which I'd recommend to others who want an insight into your 'religion' and politics.

My immediate reaction to the views expressed on the site is that it is a very elitist representation of God's creation - we're not all equal. And it is very anti-Christian, one can almost feel the hostility towards the Church reading some of the articles.

I wonder what the evangelicals and Calvinists who fall over themselves to support you would make of all this.

1 January 2012 at 13:50  
Blogger Ariadne said...


If you are referring to the Noahide link you are very far away from its content.

Do you really have such a mean and negative cast of mind?

1 January 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Are you being serious? I've read of the few of the articles on the website and I'm not impressed. And yes, I do oppose 'Goyism' in all its manifestations.

Jews are not inherently superior beings. They were God's first Chosen People and the truth of His revelation came from them in Jesus the Christ.

1 January 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Clearly you have difficulty in understanding what you read, Dodo.

And you have the nerve to shout your antisemitism to the world right here.

Jews are the only chosen people and you have not the faintest idea what that phrase means.

I suppose that if you are a vile "Replacement" "Theologist" you would not admit it.

1 January 2012 at 17:02  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Ah, I get it. It's "antisemitic" to disagree with your elitist conceptions of the Jews. Is that as a discrete race or as a religion, I wonder?

Tell me what do you understand by 'Chosen People'? I understand it as meaning that due to no particular merits of their own an ordinary an sinful nomadic people were selected by God and given the His revelation and purposes. Jews, then and no, are no different from the rest of humanity. They were specially favoured to be entrusted with the Word.

Am I a 'replacement theologian'? That's way too simplistic a concept and open to so much misunderstanding. What do you mean by it?

As a Christian, I certainly believe the Mosaic Law has been replaced and has become redundant by Christ's message. I also believe that if the Jewish people had not rejected the Christ then His message would not have been available to 'gentiles'.

Does this mean the Jews have been rejected or are a cursed race? Most certainly not. You'll find that in Luther not in Catholicism. And yes, you are correct, the Jews were specifically Chosen as a people from whom the Messiah would come. For that reason they will always be special and who knows what the future holds in terms of the part they have yet to play in the history of human salvation.

However, I believe all people are now equal in God's eyes. None have special priviledges, special qualities, different souls or unique tasks to perform.

1 January 2012 at 18:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

What in interesting reaction to new information, Dodo. You begin your New Year with a head-on attack, poisened daggers and all, against....the Noahides?

I know little about them, but the few Noahide visitors I've met in our synagogue struck me as polite, discreet, well educated and very nice people. For the record, Jews do not lead the Noahides, nor have the Noahides asked to be led; Jewish sources and occasionally, individual Jewish scholars provide advice on Torah-based legal, ritual and ceremonial practices relevant to them. It's a friendly and occasional contact between two equal parties. O, for there to be a lot more Noahides. That's the situation as it is in real life.

In your own mental life, on the other hand, you seem to have discovered and become, er, agitated over a religion that somehow escaped your index of heresies. Well, you do have centuries of tradition and entire libraries devoted to that theme, so I trust you won't take any advice.

And look, it seems an opportunity has come up for you to bring out the "Jewish angle," with your heroic, but incoprehensible declaration, "I do oppose 'Goyism' in all its manifestations." Goodness. Whatever "goyism" is, it sounds really bad, so mark me for being opposed to it too, I guess.

Yes, and thank you for the update in what I suppose is part of your New Year's report, reaffirming that "Jews are not inherently superior beings." Right-ho, must remember that. I needed your reality check because sometimes, Dodo, you ...specifically you... can make me believe the opposite.

1 January 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

You do know I am of Jewish descent, don't you? On my maternal grandmother's side too. Or am I a 'self-hating' Jew for this?

I have read the Talmud, some Kabbalah and other rabbinic writings. Admittedly, without instruction or guidance. That's why I found the website you recommended so simplistic.

In my opinion, as a lay person, some streams in Judaism are strange, secretive and obscure at their most 'mystical' levels.

1 January 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Happy New Year.

I wondered when you might pop up in defence of Ariadne.

I do so hate being called antisemitic because I disagree with a person's politics or religion.

And 'Goyism', from now on, is going to be my response to anyone who holds that a criticism of Israel is tantamount to antisemitism. And you do know from where it derives. I suppose one could use 'Anti-goy' too.

1 January 2012 at 18:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, you do realize of course that according to the standard Orthodox perspective, Jewishness, with all of its aspects, is passed on through the mother, but if the mother has never lived as a Jew, that "Jewsihness" is no longer assumed. I'm not a rabbi, but I'm convinced that should you wish to become a Jew, you would require a full conversion at this point. There are no "half-Jews," no concept of a "genetic" Jew applies in that deinition. You may imagine yourself to be unicorn too, if you so wish, but others are not bound to do so.

Not saying that this relates to you necessarily, but even a full, traditionally raised Jew is not imune from becoming hostile to the mainstream or of being a full-blown antisemite. History and the present offer plenty of Jews who make "great" antisemites. Being Jewish or related to Jews has little bearing on their substance. It's phenomenon all other antisemites enjoy and exploit whenever they can.

Btw, just like you were not the first to defines yourself as "gay" to make a point, you're not the first to start throwing "goyism" or "anti-Goy" to attempt to debase all claims of antisemitism. Those who came up with the idea and use it to the hilt, tend to cluster in some of the more, er, unsavoury sectors of the political ...and psychological... spectrum, though. Google the terms and meet your new friends.

1 January 2012 at 19:07  
Blogger Ariadne said...


You have the patience of a saint!

The first Noahide reference I found reasonable happened to be on a Chassidic site.

Dodo can have another fit of the vapours on my saying how much I love the incredibly famous Chassid poet known as Bob Dylan.

1 January 2012 at 19:12  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

" ... I love the incredibly famous Chassid poet known as Bob Dylan."

Me too! Surely we're not going to squabble over Mr Zimmerman and which 'camp' he belongs to?

Didn't he convert to Christianity in the 1970's? I know he then studied with Lubavitch Hasidim thereafter but was unaware he had returned to practicing or believing Judasism.

You should also note too that many of Bob Dylan's poetic insights were not mystical but prompted by chemicals.

1 January 2012 at 19:39  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

I've no wish at all to convert to Judaism. And thank you for confirming what Ariadne has refused to - that Jewishness is a religious and not a racial attribute.

I did Google "antigoyism":
" - A prejudice towards non-Jews. In an extreme interpretation, this form of prejudice holds that Jews have a superior position religious or secular."

I genuinely didn't realise it was a word or that it was associated with anti-Israeli or anti-Judaic websites. One I came across is disclosing various parts of the Talmud. Very interesting it is too in understanding Orthodox Judaism and what's going on within Israel with regard to women.

Is it true the Talmud commands that a man must say three blessings every day during morning prayers:
"that He didn't make me a gentile, that He didn't make me a woman, that He didn't make me an ignoramus."

1 January 2012 at 20:01  
Blogger Ariadne said...


One of your problems is that you can't tell your Noahides from your Chassidim. There are 606 basic differences for a start. And when you have told a Jewish atheist that he or she is a religious let me know what the response is.

Your language skills are not improved either.

1 January 2012 at 20:25  
Blogger Ariadne said...

One Jerusalem has not missed Archbishop Nichols' serious errors.

The site has a link via which those who wish to see Jerusalem remain united may say so.

1 January 2012 at 20:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

First of all, Dodo, your endearing little habit at pretending to misunderstand something must, again be directly addressed. I did not, at any time suggest you should convert. There are a number of people here who I would advise on who to turn to get a proper opinion should they decide to join us, but where you're concerned, I would strongly discourage you myself, without needing to check or apologies.

Yes, I forget, I need to be more precise, lawyerly perhaps, in my communications with you. You need to google beyond what you find palatable and look at who the main, if not only, frequent users of those terms are.

It's my impression that Ariadne addressed the issue of ethnic and genetic groups, which are identifiable in all human groups. That form of inquiry is useful and interesting in relation to Jewish history, especially in assisting to determine Jewish migrations and inter-mixing with various populations which have been lost to the historical record. From a theological perspective, though, genetic origins do not matter. There are plenty of converts from all "races," especially in my synagogue for some reason, whose status as authentic Jews is indisputable.

You are on a roll, with the rather banal array of well-worn clever, out-of-context question, remarks and inuendos, I see. Most of these I have discussed with you and all are easily searchable. I leave it up to you, your skills, character and integrity, to find answers to them. Wouldn't want you to think that I'm trying to lure you into the Tribe, eh?

Ariadne, on the contrary, my patience is running thin at this time and about to run out. I've been there before with Dodo. Dodo is in the throes of one of his banal aggression cycles against Jewishness and Judaism I see so often among assimilated sorts and converts and descendants of converts to Christianity. He'll be fine soon. I don't pretend to understand psychoanalysis, but from the little of what I remember from introductory psych courses many years ago, the traditional psychoanalysts and classical Freudians might wish to enshrine him as a classic textbook case, perhaps with his own section with chapters and a profusion of fascinating graphs and tables.

1 January 2012 at 21:03  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi, the DNA is fascinating and at this comparatively early stage is so painstaking and doesn't deserve to be trashed by ignorant reporters and the drips out of their cans.

The Iceland Genome Project was a wonder though Iceland politics these days are surely not.

Apologies to those who know some detail of it but what was found out was a high prevalence of a Scottish genetic marker in the population. Some disease had caused a genetic difference and that was what was detectable - in my non-scientific understanding.

Dodo just twists things for whatever perverse delight that gives him. And as you say it takes him very close to some very unsavoury people and dangerous ideas.

That really isn't my impression of Christianity. I just think of the soi disant antis as nutters.

1 January 2012 at 21:36  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...'Jewishness is a religious and not a racial attribute'.

By Jewishness do you mean the trait of a practicing follower of Judeaism or the Shakespearian, Dickensian or even the Nazi CARICATURE?

This is really a rather crude dichotomy from which to try to extend intelligent debate. For a start I don't think there has ever been evinced, the criteria that allows for 'race' to be defined satisfactorily in all cases in all situations and frankly I think it's a bit dumb to even venture down that route.

The original Semitic tribes that became the Hebrews, who became the Jews who became the Israelis, will at some time have carried a preponderance of genetic material that would have been or still is identifiably as a minute variance with the that found amongst pure line Bedouin Arabs for instance.

The genetic difference between Humans and the Primates is less than three percent for goodness sake - so if anything, the word 'people' is a less stultifying expression. Race in the context of the discussion has to include cultural, social and historic identity to get any where near defining the Jews as homogeneous group. Whether one accepts or includes the religious beliefs of one particular group as a clear and defining component of race is a valid but not an exclusive factor.

More importantly and from a non partisan, atheist perspective, the issue would be easier to identify and progress to resolution if religion is never relied upon as the sole or dominant defining factor in settling territorial antecedence or national ambition.

This was after all why the Balfour Declaration used the term 'homeland' rather than State for displaced or persecuted Jews. The Islamists of the region put an end to that naive prospect by defining themselves exclusively by their religion, as they had no State there previously under the Ottomans, but opportunistically chose to fight the Brits and the Jews to control Jerusalem.

1 January 2012 at 22:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ariadne, the genome projects are indeed at their infancy and anyone who has a thing for history can't wait for new discoveries. With regards to the Scottish traces in Iceland, I wonder if they'll be found also in the Dorset culture people who possibly absorbed the Viking settlers of Greenland at the end of the Medieval Warming Period. With the gaps in documents, only DNA studies offer a hope for resulving whether the Europeans packed-up anad abandoned the two Greenland settlements there, wheher they were all killed off by the slowly invading Inuit, or whether they were absorbed by them through intermarriage. I also wonder if the "Scottish gene" in Iceland is sactually theame Viking one which also ended up in portions of Scotland when they raided the coasts and rivers.

Dreadnaught, interesting views you have from the seular quarters, I must say. Lately, atheism, especially the aggressive sort, has been indistinguishable from socialism, modern political liberalism and a crude ideology of "scientism," where every pissant seems to want to be an even cruder imitation of Dawkins. Glad to see someone who reminds us that not all atheists are alike...you folks too have your own denominations, it would seem :)

I agree with you on the difficulty with identifying purely on grounds of religion, or to be more precise, beliefs. Theocracies not the most attractive forms of government. While the definition of a Jew is substantially a religious one and not based on "race," it is interwoven with the notion of nationhood, or peoplehood of Israel. That's where things can get kind of fuzzy. So, for example, whereas the religious definitions may be precise and restrictive in Israeli laws regarding who is a Jew for the purposes of marriage and burrials, it is very loose where the Jewish State's Law of Return applies. There, even non-Jews with weak or presumed links to Jews and Judaisms are deemed to be "nationals" and are given refuge in Israel essentially on demand. There are no clean and easy answers or solutions to many complexities in life...which is fine by me.

1 January 2012 at 22:56  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'you folks too have your own denominations'

It must be so Avi - but all I understand is that by referring to myself atheist, is often rather isolating and leaves one often open to the grossest of comparisons. Even so it is better than to be so beligerently convinced of ones own rectitude that you force it upon another.


1 January 2012 at 23:19  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thanks, for the link, Dreadnaught. Western media is obsessed with this small lunatic fringe; on one hand it praises it for its fanatical and crude anti-Zionism, on the other it needs to showcase its mysogyny. By using the same faulty and unrepresentative "material" it pursues two recurring "narratives:" That not all Jews are Zionsts and that Israel is no different from, let's say Iran or Saudi.

Speaking of the media and its obvious antics and prejudices, I found it instructional to note that a recent project by Zionist Orthodox settler youth to clean a vandalised mosque saw no coverage. The vandalism, presumed to have been done by a settler, received world-wide coverage, though.

It might amuse you to know, btw, that while our Torah has plenty to say about the worship of idles, there is no mention about atheists. The common explanation that there were no atheists at the time is ludicrous; every culture has its fair number of individuals who reject their society's beliefs without adopting other ones, or just people who have no appetite for or can't be bothered with religion. It is not a far-fetched idea to see the world as it appears and to reject all else. I have no idea why the Torah never addressed this issue, but I suspect that it is part and parcel of a policy not to condemn non-Jewish beliefs among the people who were not on the limited and specified list of idol worshippers.

2 January 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger Ariadne said...


I'm sure you realise that the DM is short on accuracy.

From another source:

Eli Yishai, of the haredi Orthodox Shas Party, condemned the use of Holocaust symbolism. But, he added, while only a small minority of haredi Orthodox people are involved in the controversial actions, there has been "incitement" against the entire haredi Orthodox community.

There have been horrible incidents of an offshoot of Neturei Karta behaving abominably to schoolchildren in Jerusalem and there is the bus segregation in a very limited area. Action against the Haredim.

Add to those undesirable things Soros pouring money into the anti-Israel "New Israel Fund" for a rally against the bus segregation in one instance is fuel for these incidents which are blared out in the unbalanced Western press.

The Haredim say that the school problem is NK trying to take over one school through intimidation of the pupils and parents. Apparently about 20 men hang around the gate in the morning for the children's arrival. I don't think any gathering like that would be tolerated here.

The NK are Ahmadinejad's supporters and former hirelings of Arafat. Despite all their claims they are a 20c sect and very small and as I say these ghastly people seem to be a worse offshoot.

One of the reasons Israel needs teeth to attack foreign-funded NGOs is that many have no good intentions towards Israel and act as a megaphone on anything they can construe as negative. And currently there are two things. In addition, of course, they blare out things that are totally untrue.

Well done, Avi! I knew you would get a good one in here.

2 January 2012 at 00:08  
Blogger Ariadne said...

I wonder if the newspapers that salivate over these kind of incidents have ever reported on the fact that Jewish schools here require security.

As a final footnote, Mike Whine of the CST received an MBE in the Honours list.

2 January 2012 at 00:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A well deserved criticism of Israeli authorities and the media is that the police, the courts and its predominantly leftist media elite are too timid to go after such types like the Naturei Karta and Arabs who misbehave. While the vandalism of a mosque got a lot of mileage, daily vandalism against Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and businessess, theft of produce and cattle, abductions of young women, or arson of forests are almost never reported in the mainstream press in Israel out of a misguided attempt not to incite the ever-so-touchy Arabs. Bullocks, I say to that. I'd like to see the kind of full page spreads the loonie fringe gets, with stories showing burnt-out forests, covering trials of arsonists, thiefs, rapists and killers who systematically and clearly under PA instructions harrass communities in mixed area or Arab-predominant places especially in the Galilee.

Not only will limits on foreign NGOs begin to loosen their hold on Israel's courts and media, but PM Netanyahu's promise to loosen licensing regulations on disadvantaged conservative media, along with their ability to now connect with conservative counterpats throughout the world, will also see interesting changes to the "narrative" on Israel.

2 January 2012 at 00:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

It was a mere coincidence that the DM article appeared as I was prattling on about peoples' tendencies to assume that crude labels are rarely prescriptive or necessarily appropriate.

I took the thrust of the article to say more about pragmatism of the authorities to condemn the demonstrators inappropriate methods than to take a swipe at Judeaism.

Chance would be a fine thing if similar responses were to emerge from within the Islamic maelstrom.

You know, at times there's something quite liberating at times, about not having to wear a religious straight-jacket to appreciate the world we live in.

Shalom - Namaste

2 January 2012 at 00:49  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Yes, I see, Dreadnaught. In reading through it just now I have to admit that it's an unusual article, which seems to accurately portray the oddity of the situation, the disgust of the Israeli government and society at such antics. I'm so used to the typical pape that I have no stomach to read through it most of the time. Seeing those fools dressed in camp uniforms and behind bars churned my stomach and I took off, pissed off, too soon. My bad.

It's interesting though that this issue appears to have been fired up by the Obama administration. First they created an issue out of construction in Jerusalem and the established Israeli communities behind the Green Line, something the Arabs never objected to before. This led to a fake accusation of insuting the VP, Joe Biden, Obama chastising Israel and the PA demanding a freeze on construction, which still didn't get them to the negotiation table. I hope current construction can compensate for that unnecessar and wrong lull. Then, when Hillary Clinton made a big issue about the bus segregation, which was already being dealt with by Israel, the Naturei Karta faction (not all NT are with them on this), composed of a few families, suddenly came up with a sophisticated and expensive media campaign. The exposure of and limits on the activities of the hostile EU and UN-sponsored NGOs operating brazenly in Israel cannot come soon enough.

As for imagining that you are free from a "religious straight-jacket," don't get too comfy with that notion, Dreadnaught. Atheists are humans, I'm told, and humans tend to adhere to belief systems no matter what. A condition of our redundantly big brains, perhaps. A frank self-analysis, I wager, will reveal to you that the core of your ethical beliefs "coincidentally" resembles core Jewish and Christian values even more than the bedrock of classical secular liberalism...which, alas, seems to me to be another Judeo-Christian offshoot.

2 January 2012 at 02:00  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Ooooh, gettting technical now are we? Am I supposed to be impressed? Given a choice, I'd sooner just stick with the 7 supposed Noahidic "laws". Not too sure about their meanings though. How does the one go on homosexuality? Now, just where are these in the Bible? And where are the other 606 "laws" for the "real" Jew?

So sorry to hear your running out of patience with me - not! The Talmud is a bit of a touchy subject I see. Now why is that?

If I were ever to convert to Judaism, highly unlikely as you know, I'd be inclined to join as a Karaite Jew as oppossed to Rabbinic Judaism. All those Pharasees and their endless rules and rituals tend to turn me off.

2 January 2012 at 03:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I wonder what the evangelicals and Calvinists who fall over themselves to support you would make of all this.

Gee, I wonder who this was directed at? And here I thought this thread was terminal two days ago.

I did not (and do not) "fall all over" myself to support the Israelis. I know the history of the conflict, and I defend the truth of that history. If I really intended to "fall all over myself" I would never have asserted that the attack on the USS Liberty was an unprovoked intentional act that amounted to murder. I did that previously on this very thread, or did you miss it. I guarantee you that is not in the 'Talking Points' distributed to the "Falling All Over Themselves to Defend Israel" Brigade.

It would not require very much effort on my part to define the profound differences that exist between me and any particular member of the Jewish faith. I am a Christian after all, and that carries with it certain unavoidable implications about the truth of Judaism. The Lord Jesus either was or was not the Messiah. There is no way to square that circle. If He is the Way and there is no other way, then modern Judaism is included in the list of things categorized as 'not other way.' I will never shrink from that assertion. Ever. You can't accuse me of "falling all over myself" when I begin with such a premise.

However, none of that has anything to do with the justice of the Israeli cause vis-a-vis the Arabs. I defend that state because there is good cause to defend it in this matter. If it does not deserve a defense, I will not defend it. But I won't stand around and listen without response to historically illiterate assertions like those made by Corrigan on this thread. If that constitutes "falling all over myself" then I will plead guilty to the charge, and be proud to do so.


2 January 2012 at 04:46  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, your imagination is in full gear again. The Talmud is not a touchy subject to me. I try to study and comprehend it...far less than I should, but probably more than most. I'm simply getting tetchy over your tactic of playing stupid by "misunderstanding" and yapping and gnawing at my ankles over the same canned stuff I've had to explain again and again. Usually happens when someone else wipes the floor with you and you think that you can safely restore your mojo by playing silly buggers with me because I don't engage in theological disputations or trash others' religions. I've given you enough to extrapolate on my positions on things; if you're going to be a rude and a contentious ass and too lazy to read up or even remember stuff, you can have discussions with yourself. Look up nudnik to see what I'm starting to see you as.

And the Karaites, or the sliver of the disappearing and poor facsimile of the sect surviving in California somewhere, are more than welcome to have you. But I doubt they will; I don't think they accept converts. Theirs is a far more ritualized and restrictive Judaism than my Pharisaic-Rabbinic one you enjoy taking cheap potshots at. It would give me pleasure to imagine you spending your entire Sabbath in the literalist Karaite style in the dark, eating cold food and stumbling over your slippers on the way to the unflushed loo. If you weren't so bloody lazy, though, you'd have learned all about that.

2 January 2012 at 04:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "If you weren't so bloody lazy, though, you'd have learned all about that."

There's only so much one can skim-read during an argument. There are savants, and there are Google-savants.

2 January 2012 at 09:06  
Blogger Ariadne said...


I leave you to stew in your own malice but I do wonder what is Christian about you.


The Jewish Messiah is very interesting but different from the Christian one.


There have been several Jewish messiahs. Including the non-Jew Cyrus the Great.

2 January 2012 at 11:36  
Blogger Ariadne said...


I didn't think for a moment you were taking a swipe. Nobody likes NK but antisemites and genocidists.

The Haredim are different though this small group is disgusting. The Haredim deal with the body parts in bombings which is one of the saddest things I know,

One of the saddest things I ever read on the web was the line "The necrology of Plock". So many Jews were murdered that places could have their own "necrology".

2 January 2012 at 11:58  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Actually my comment was not directed at you. I am very clear on both you Christian theology and your reasons for supporting the politics of Israel.

Actually, you butted in on this and have been making all sorts of assumptions about me. Your friend was bandying the 'A-S' word about because of a disagreement. Is every gentile who disagrees with Jews an antisemite? It is starting to look that way.

I noted on an earlier thread you saying that if your were religious you'd be inclined towards Judaism.

Google the Talmud on homosexuality and you'll see orthodox Judaism is way, way more repressive than you might imagine.

There is only one Messiah.

2 January 2012 at 13:48  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Homosexuality in Orthodox Judaism

2 January 2012 at 14:00  
Blogger Ariadne said...

The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews

2 January 2012 at 14:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Actually my comment was not directed at you. I am very clear on both you Christian theology and your reasons for supporting the politics of Israel.

Fair enough. Perhaps this is simply a reflection of my lack of knowledge. I could not name one other Calvinist in this board, with the possible exception of the weblog host. That is why I assumed you were addressing me.


2 January 2012 at 14:12  
Blogger Ariadne said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 January 2012 at 14:26  
Blogger Ariadne said...

carl, on re-reading what you posted are you really saying that you are a Calvinist? Do you mean a Protestant?

I can't believe you follow the Doctrine of the Elect.

Please put me right.

2 January 2012 at 14:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Those lunatics we see from time to time marching with Islamists and carrying signs against Israel are a minority even within the Naturei Karta and don't get along with the rest. The Naturei Karta and a number of other Hareidi groups are non-Zionists, do not recognize the State of Israel and some, the more principled among them, do not cooperate with state or civil authorities even to the extent of refusing funding and assistance, but none of them would stoop so low as to shill for and help enemies and murderers of Jews. Of course, not all Hareidi are anti or non-Zionist, and many do serve in the army. None, except for those half a dozen or so infamous families would ever stoop so low as to conspire with Islamists and perform for the Western media to show that "many" Jews, the "good Jews," I suppose, oppose Zionists and agree with the palestinianists and antisemites.

The folks we used to see on tv in the height of suicide-bombing wave are all members of ZAKA, paramedic organization managing ambulance services, firtst aid, search and rescue and such. All are Orthodox, most of whom, but not all, are Hareidi. (Can't tell by the garbs usually, especially not on the Sabbath and holy days when many of us, including myself, will sometimes wear black and white only as a sign of solidarity and respect for the destroyed Hassidic communities of Europe) Some ZAKA volunteers are also members of a Hevra Kadisha (Society of Friends), approved for and trained to respectfully and properly deal with the dead. This is a high-status, volunteer-only duty, the holiest of deeds and the highest form of charity. It admits only active and respected community members and leaders who are accomplished scholars, many of them teaching rabbis, and impeccably observant men and women. Yes, it is strange that the saddest of tasks is the holiest, and whereas in most cultures anyone having to do with the dead is seen as lowly or creepy, our Havur members are admired and respected as much as accomplished rabbis.

2 January 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Yes, I am a Calvinist. What you call 'vile' I call the Gospel. In fact, I am somewhat unique in that I became a "Calvinist" from the study of Scripture at least four years before I knew who John Calvin was. It is simply that clear in Scripture. The paragraph you posted is an adequate summary.

There are basically two positions on Justification among Protestants. Monergists assert that God alone is responsible for salvation. Synergists assert that God and man cooperate to affect the salvation of man. Historically, Protestantism is overwhelmingly monergist because the Scriptural witness in its favor is so strong. Unfortunately, men find this idea offensive to their cherished self-image. They desire that the sovereign choice of man be dispositive in the salvation of man. And so they have wandered off to an inconsistent form of semi-pelagianism they call Synergism. Do a little searching on something called 'Open Theism' and you will discover consistent Synergism.


2 January 2012 at 14:59  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi, thank you for that valuable information. Have you read Yaacov Lozowick's latest post on his blog where he includes a little of what you say here?


I promise to do my homework and I will delete the post. I did not intend offence to you.

2 January 2012 at 15:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I did not intend offence to you.

You didn't give it. ;) Please forgive me if I left that impression. Race baiting offends me. Intentional distortion of history offends me. Salty Herring on crackers offends me. Calling my religion vile offends me not in the least. I would much rather deal with someone who calls me wrong to my face than the post-modernist who mumbles "Well, your truth is true for you." The former is worthy of respect. The later is despicable.


2 January 2012 at 15:30  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi, too little prominence is given to the help Israel provides worldwide to others in distress. I hope His Grace will not mind a link to ZAKA.

British Friends of Zaka

I also retract my statement about everyone hating NK. We hate those of them who act against Jews and Israel. The point has been made here about Stamford Hill in London. The jihadi-allied ones live there but so do other Haredim who are just observant.

Interesting that in the NK it should be families. Friends of the Dogmushes, I assume.

I think I should bow out of this thread since I've helped it acquire so much drift.

2 January 2012 at 15:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, one doesn't "butt-in" on the forums; they are open for anyone His Grace hasn't tossed out of here, so get real. Your old cant, "is every gentile who disagrees with Jews an antisemite?" is not only wrong and offensive, but stupid and repetitious. For the record again and in brief: No, not everyone who disagrees with Jews is an antisemite and Jews, just as gentiles, can also be antisemites (e.g., Chomsky and Finkelstein who cavort with Islamists and Holocaust deniers). In terms of current definitions, which have moved beyond the mouth-breathers and Mosley types of yester-year to include the singling-out and "special" treatment Israel and Jewish nationalism receive, Carl was not off the mark in his assessment of Corrigan, although perhaps for him and I to hurl that charge might have been impolite in this good society we have here. This is according to my, fairly mainstram definition, if you'll allow me to keep such. You will note that the latter felt free to trash all Zionists...essentially over ninety percent of Jews... as "worse than racists" or something vile and idiotic like that. I didn't see you or the Inspector jumping in and stumbling over each other to even politely correct a fellow Catholic and Irishman, though. Just saying.

2 January 2012 at 15:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ariedne, LOL! Don't worry about the NK (they don't own comoputers or go online) and keep the drifts going!

2 January 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Salty Herring on crackers offends me."

I suppose you know this means war, Carl. And you forgot to include the onion slices.

2 January 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I suppose you know this means war

You are already taken on the flank, and surrender is your only option. I have powerful allies. Just remember whose side your wife is on.


2 January 2012 at 16:17  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi, it was His Grace's subject matter I was worried about. And here I am again...

2 January 2012 at 16:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, ha! You are losing your troops. This very Sabbath I got my wife to try shmaltz herring a bunch of us made from scratch in the synagogue kitchen, using salted herrings in barrels from the North Sea and light canola oil...and she declared it good! Well, at least fit for human consumption, as she didn't spit it out. A shot of that new Black Label peaty scotch blend helped, no doubt.

Ariadne, right, I just had to peek at the post to remember what the subject matter was about. Can't be all your fault though!

2 January 2012 at 16:41  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi, on DNA.

I wonder if His Grace would like to post about some dimension of it. Like its ultimate power to destroy the concept of race, perhaps. That could stop us from hi-jacking this thread.

This article is on Anglo-Saxon DNA but in passing mentions Greenland and Iceland. It also has a very clear basic description of basic features in DNA studies.

It seems that the Scottish marker found in Icelanders was mtDNA which the authors describe as Gaelic. Ethnically - if I may use that word - the North East of Scotland is more Scandinavian than Gaelic.

I need to look further into this.

2 January 2012 at 19:19  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Any links to Talmud teachings on marriage and sex with children between the ages of 3 and 9 years? (Is this an antisemitic question?)

2 January 2012 at 19:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


I'll read up when I'm with a bigger device than this piece of kaka I'm stuck with at the moment. Interesting thogh, that Gaels, or Celts, the non-Germanic branch of the Indo-Eurupeans were represented. Mind you Viking raids all over Europe and Africa made quite a mess for genome researchers.

"Ethnically" is as good as any term, I guess. We know that most of the groups are not ethnic or "racial" as they used to be inaccurately called, but linguistic. So, for exmple, Afro-Asians (formerly the "Semites") share a language group, but are genetrically diverse.

2 January 2012 at 19:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


A shot of that new Black Label peaty scotch blend helped, no doubt.

Well,sure. Cauterize her tongue for 90 seconds and anything will taste palatable. I bet you fed her a pastry instead of the Herring just to make sure.


2 January 2012 at 20:24  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Is there a difference being an anti-Semite and being an anti-Zionist?

2 January 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo: Define anti-Zionism.

2 January 2012 at 23:41  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


If "Zionism" is:

- a movement seeing the Jews as a "nation" needing to establish a national homeland,
- a religious movement requiring Jews to establish a sovereign commonwealth in the Land of Israel, governed by Jewish religious law,
- a movement to support the development and defense of the State of Israel,
- encouragement of world wide Jews to settle in Israel.

If the above different "Zionist" positions are accepted as accurate, then it's political, religious or social opposition to any or all of the above.

Let's keep it simple and just say opposition to the policies of the State of Israel towards rhe Palestinians.

3 January 2012 at 00:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, how about I give you the best commentary on antisemitism, Zionism and anti-Zionism I've ever come across? Will that satisfy? You may say that I accept these statements and definitions without reservation or qualification; a rare event. They are from the Black civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., and they are as true, profound and powerful today as they were back in 1967:

. . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.

...Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so.

...Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

....The antisemite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the antisemite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!

...My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

...Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it.

From M.L. King Jr., "Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend," Saturday Review , XLVII. August 1967, p. 76.

3 January 2012 at 00:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Let's keep it simple and just say opposition to the policies of the State of Israel towards rhe Palestinians."

This, Dodo, is not anti-Zionism; it's a dishonest attempt to soften the facts. And I guess your mendatious definition makes me an anti-Zionist, because I firmly oppose many Israeli policies regarding the "Palestinians," beginning with Israel's acceptance of the KGB-hammered misnomer, "Palestinian," for Syrian migrants, most of whom came after the Jews began to settle and to stupidly offer them jobs, and through to legitimizing a terror organization as a "government," and official acceptance of the deadly and utterly useless "peace agreements" and the illusion that the "Palestinians" want and deserve yet another state after being given Jordan. And that's just for beginners. Now, even in your tricky-dicky defining, you wouldn't really think of me as an "anti-Zionist," right?

I much prefer King's definitions, which are to the point.

3 January 2012 at 00:51  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


I don't agree with Martin Luther King.

I'll have to think a bit more on all this but it seems to me acceptable to have strong reservations about a Zionism hased on a return to an ancient homeland using weapons and force.

And is it a secular or a religious motivation? Is the intention to resume Temple worship and adherence to Jewish religious laws? If so, is there Biblical support for this? Or is it a political, secular State? And, if so, just where did the legitimacy come from in 1948?

Back to today.

I'm pleased you support the position one can disagree with Israeli politicians without being labelled either anti-Semitic or whatever the equivalent term for anti-Arab is.

Does this include political protest and using all means available for bringing legitimate pressure to bear - including calling for boycotts? However misquided or misinformed you might consider such people to be, I'm reassurred you don't see them as Jew haters.

3 January 2012 at 02:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


The early Zionists didn't "return to an ancient homeland using weapons and force." They bought all the land they settled on from absentee Arab and Turkish landlords who laughed at the stupid Jews who were buying up the "worthless" swamps. They came with picks and shovels and a few old bolt action rifles to defend against beasts and Arab marauders. What's more, there were Jews there who never left, especially in Jerusalem and Safed.

The legitimacy, which you question comes from international law, specifically from the San Remo conference which, btw, assigned what is now the "kingdom" of Jordan as the Jewish homeland as well. If you don't like the San Remo Declaration of 1922 which is still in force, try to nullify it...and with it the legitimacy of a score of other nations which would have your scalp for this. In any event, San Remo is still in force, and all the crap about Israeli "occupation," "illegal" construction is just that, sheer crap with garnishes of wishful thinking.

As for your questions about whether Israel can rebuild the Temple, reinstitute a Commonwealth or whatever, it's none of your business. Israel is a sovereign nation with an elected government and has not surrended its rights under international law. I do wish you would get at least some basic, non-contentious historical background on all of this, Dodo, it would make things go faster and easier.

No, the "boycott-callers" are not just "misguided." They are today's version of the brainless and wicked Hitler-jugend, in my opinion, for selectively boycotting only the Jewish state among hundreds of truly beastly and disgusting nations.

But I'm curious as to what exactly you disagree with in Martin Luther King Jr's statement and I ask again, since you apear to have forgotten, why you have no problem with Corrigan's charge that Zionism is worse than racism, while swooning over my use of the word "antisemite." And another thing I should ask you about, although perhaps it's not my business, but why are you so exercised over the rights of Jew-killing Arabs, while you ignore the murder of other Arabs, or the daily attacks on Christians by Muslims. Inquiring minds want to know, Dodo.

3 January 2012 at 02:44  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


First things first.

[J]ust where did the legitimacy come from in 1948?

The legitimacy came from the Post WWI settlement that gave Britain a Mandate in Palestine to establish a Jewish National homeland. It's no different from the legal authority that carved up the old Ottoman Empire into the several Arab states we know today. Who had the authority to create Syria and Iraq and Jordan? Is there anyone today who disputes the legitimacy of those acts? By that same authority was Israel created.

Now, in fact the British were too clever by half and were annoyed by the constant pressure from the US to allow immigration of new refugees. So they sought to throw the whole question into the UN confident the UN would not be able to resolve the question. The British delivered the legal mandate to the UN on the assumption the UN would return it to them. But the Israelis won the vote in November 1947. In any case, Palestine was not Arab territory and had not been for several hundred years.

I'll have to think a bit more on all this but it seems to me acceptable to have strong reservations about a Zionism hased on a return to an ancient homeland using weapons and force.

You have this exactly backwards. The Jews didn't come to conquer the Arabs. They came to conquer the land. In 1948, Palestine was underpopulated and dramatically under-developed. The Jews were looking to develop what was essentially vacant space. Those Jews already in Palestine had achieved significant economic development and that was creating an economic pull of Arabs into the region. But in fact one of the principle objections made by those who opposed the the establishment of a Jewish state (the British Foreign Ministry, the US State Dept, and the US Dept of Defense) was that the region could not support the additional population. It was too poor.

The other objection to an Israeli state was the Arab threat of war. The inevitability of conflict was driven by constant Arab threats, and there was no major Western power willing to fight to establish a Jewish state. Indeed, the Arabs started attacking Jews in Palestine from the moment they lost the vote in November 1947. Their cause was simply stated: "Palestine will be an Arab state, and the Jews can live here as a minority. If you try to impose a Jewish state on us, we will fight." What the Arabs feared was the productivity and wealth of the Jews, and the inevitability of Jewish power in such circumstances.

The war that happened in 1948 was telegraphed for months beforehand. There was never any doubt that the Arab states would attack the moment the British departed. In what sense then was this a conquest by weapons and force? The Jews came with irrigation and industry and were met with weapons and force.

Oh, and btw, the Palestinian leader had spent WWII in Europe with Hitler. Guess why? Yes, If was a Jew in 1948, I would really want to live as a minority in an Arab Palestine.


3 January 2012 at 02:57  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ok, Carl, you upstaged me again. Not a bad summary, not bad at all. For a Calvinist American nuke-minder.

Ariadne, most of the article is definitely above my pay grade. One thing sticks out among the more comprehensible bits, though (it's too bad DNA analysis doen't seem to be able to resolve this), and that's the argument over the pace and nature of the Germanic invasions, something that's also unresolved where the much earlier Indo-European invasions and destruction or assimilation of the "Old Europeans" is concerned.

Too bad that the article you linked to doesn't hint at whether that argument is also coloured by the same gender-politics squabbles which also dominated biblical archeology and the Kurgan vs Anatolian Indo-European hypotheses...not to mention the fiery anthro seminars I had to sit through, drooling in semi-comprehension, once upon a time. The similar questions over the pace of the invasions/settlements involved issues of gender politics which pitted violent equestrian invaders who brought patriarchal pastoral cultures (proto-Indo-Europeans) against peaceful goddess-centred, matriarchal ones (Old Europeans). I find it amusing that the latest technologies might be harnessed into a political battle that began sometime in the 60s.

3 January 2012 at 05:30  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ariadne, further to my seminars, I caused a moment of stunned silence once, during a discussion over the profoundly mystical and socio-cultural meanings of the Paleolithic female figurines scattered all over Europe. The brilliant suggestion I presented was that they were essentially 3-D porn images for nomadic hunters, who exchanged them with other hunters from different locations when they got bored with the old one, which would explain the puzzling willy-nilly scattering of materials, sskill-levels, styles and body shapes. There were no comments from anyone. To this day my hypothesis has not been verified...but neither has it been falsified.

3 January 2012 at 05:46  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Avi said ...

"As for your questions about whether Israel can rebuild the Temple, reinstitute a Commonwealth or whatever, it's none of your business. Israel is a sovereign nation with an elected government and has not surrended its rights under international law."

Well, I think intentions with regard to this is the wold's business. It would mean Jerusalem being wholly under Israeli control and entail the removal of the Dome of the Rock - an event unlikely to take place without some international controversy! The future of Jerusalem is a pretty crucial element in the creation of a Palestinian State.

So far as Martin Luther King is concerned, his views are just too sentimental for me and based on a particular Biblical understanding that I happen not to subscribe to. If we're going to go all theological in settling world affairs it seems to me we'll run into many, many problems not least of which is a correct understanding and implementation of the various texts and their status. Some orthodox Jews draw a distinction between the Jewish people and a Jewish nation state, believing the latter will only happen when the Messiah is about to return.

So far as Corrigan is concerned, I don't really fully comprehend his statements about 'Zionism' being worse than racism - if that's what he was saying. You will know better than me that there is an undercurrent in early Jewish religious writing that sees Jews as somehow inherently different and superior to gentiles with different codes of ethics applying to these distinct groups. If he was referring to this particular manifestation of 'Zionism', with the added dimension that Jews have a God given 'right' to the land that nullifies all other rights, then it would be hard to disagree with him. On the other hand, if he was referring to the modern situation and the right of Israel to defend its self, now that it is a secular democratic State, recognised internationally, I'd disagree with him.

3 January 2012 at 10:26  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Avi, great posts on Zionism. When people behave like 1930s Nazis it is impossible to see them as anything other than their familiars. MLK was correct. The hate sites are reviving all the "academics'" signatures to boycott Israel while the Jew-haters were lying about Cast Lead. There's a lot of rot in our universities.

On DNA: the article is really for archaelogists but I thought the descriptions of what some terms mean is really excellent. I see elsewhere that a Pictish gene has finally been identified.

I think if you worked "Jew" into your figurine hypthesis it would be accepted all right in certain quarters.

Have you seen the absolutely beautiful c3000BC button, possibly depicting a Canaanite?

And yes, Israel suffers horribly from its governments. So do we suffer from ours on a far less dangerous level. The lack of empathy for Israel is astonishing, as is the lack of insight in general in the haters.

You may not know that Richard Crossman, a British MP who was in Palestine - Jewish Palestine - immediately after WWII was shocked by what Jews had been done out of. Crossman was apparently not very fond of Jews so that statement is very important. The papers his committee were dealing with are thought to have been destroyed.

3 January 2012 at 12:16  
Blogger Ariadne said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 January 2012 at 12:30  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

<"The lack of empathy for Israel is astonishing, as is the lack of insight in general in the haters."

Nothing to stop you arguing your case - rationally. Why the need for such gross labels as ""Jew-haters"? Really, you discredit yourself and your cause.

3 January 2012 at 13:45  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Sorry! Much younger than I remembered. Mid 5th-4th c button or bead. And probably a Jewish man.

3 January 2012 at 13:52  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Why did you remove the post about the Caananite glass button? It was very interesting.

3 January 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger Ariadne said...

My memory of the "button" was faulty. I replaced the post with one with more accurate detail.

3 January 2012 at 14:45  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Interesting site. It seems the whole of modern civilisation, including Greek science, is due to the Jewish people.

3 January 2012 at 14:56  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

... and music.

3 January 2012 at 14:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


I see you begin the new year with a bang of repulsive sophistry and mendacity that is, actually, quite unequalled on this blog. I asked you a straight-forward question about Corrigan's Zionism = Racism (more aptly Zionism = Worse-than-Racism) equation, a peculiarly obscene antisemitic canard that's used to smear the vast majority of Jews and the Jewish state today. Our three major Canadian parties here, including the governing one, had no troube understanding the issue and eventhough they can't see eye to eye on most things, they did unanimously declare that this equation is itself racist and antisemitic, solely intended to defame Jews and their state. And using your own weasly "logic," then, how could you object to some bigot saying, "Well Dodo, if you ask me about the forced-converting, slave-running, woman-burning, heretic killing, war-mongering, Inquisition-raging, Jew-massacring, corrupt wealth-grabbing, native-destroying, self-flagellating, eunuch-making, Nazi-pandering, little-boy-buggering kind of Catholicism (gasp for air), I'd have to say I disagree with it"?? Not much you could complain about, come to think of it, because unlike your "evidence" for a "racist Zionism," which is lean and spotty, the evidence for the foibles of your coreligionists throughout history to the present day fills warehouses. Don't worry, though, unlike you, my sense of reality, context and judgement are fairly intact. And my own bias regarding Catholics happens to be a positive one, having as a graduate worked on a Vatican-funded and led project to restore Jewish studies in Eastern Europe just before the fall of communism, on a team project led by friars, priests and laymen. These were some of the most principled, kindest, cultured and most brilliant folks one could ever meet. Admirable drinkers they were too, I must add in fairness. They were nothing like you, Dodo, and in fact, I would be embarrassed to lead two of the chaps I still keep in touch with to this blog to see what represents them here.

3 January 2012 at 15:13  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

And that brings me nice round to the observation made by Cranmer at the very beginning:-

Archbishop Vincent Nichols... “At this moment,” he said, “the people of the parish of Beit Jala prepare for their legal battle to protect their land and homes from further expropriation by Israel.”

Hey leave off the poor alterboy Chaps! - DoDo is only doing his holy masters' bidding and you know that thinking for yourself is a sin for Catholics.

3 January 2012 at 16:28  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Avi said ...

" ... how could you object to some bigot saying, "Well Dodo, if you ask me about the forced-converting, slave-running, woman-burning, heretic killing, war-mongering, Inquisition-raging, Jew-massacring, corrupt wealth-grabbing, native-destroying, self-flagellating, eunuch-making, Nazi-pandering, little-boy-buggering kind of Catholicism ... "

Not much you could complain about, come to think of it, because unlike your "evidence" for a "racist Zionism," which is lean and spotty, the evidence for the foibles of your coreligionists throughout history to the present day fills warehouses."

Well, well, the truth will out! By your own admission the above is pure anti-Catholic bigotry and yet you also claim there is evidence for it. Quite astonishing!

And why the outburst? Because I dared to question Judaism! What I said:

And you do know the many writings to which I refer. These present the Jews as a distinct and superior people. Why deny it and get all uppity?

Do I really care what Canadian politicians think or do? Nah!

The world is not divided into those who either love or the hate the Jews.

3 January 2012 at 20:34  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

That should say - the modern State of Israel, which I don't equate in direct terms with the Jewish People as the people chosen by God to reveal Himself and from whom He sent the Messiah.

Frankly, I'm more with the Orthodox Jews on this particular matter and with St Paul - as I understand him.

3 January 2012 at 20:49  

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