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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

War and the Peace Prize

Elie Wiesel jointly authored a rather spurious ad that drew the criticism of US officials. This guy is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Granted, it was 1986, but still!

There is a lot of talk in the news that Obama is reaching the Israeli audience and changing some minds over Netanyahu's head. I don't know if that's true, but Weisel (an American) feels he needs to hit back (at Obama?). I guess.

Text of ad:

It was inevitable: Jerusalem once again is at the center of political debates and international storms. New and old tensions surface at a disturbing pace. Seventeen times destroyed and seventeen times rebuilt, it is still in the middle of diplomatic confrontations that could lead to armed conflict. Neither Athens nor Rome has aroused that many passions.

For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture—and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming. The first song I heard was my mother’s lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory.

Since King David took Jerusalem as his capital, Jews have dwelled inside its walls with only two interruptions; when Roman invaders forbade them access to the city and again, when under Jordanian occupation, Jews, regardless of nationality, were refused entry into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall, the last vestige of Solomon’s temple. It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the war against Israel, the old city of Jerusalem would still be Arab. Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem they would not kill for Jerusalem.

Today, for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory.

What is the solution? Pressure will not produce a solution. Is there a solution? There must be, there will be. Why tackle the most complex and sensitive problem prematurely? Why not first take steps which will allow the Israeli and Palestinian communities to find ways to live together in an atmosphere of security. Why not leave the most difficult, the most sensitive issue, for such a time?

Jerusalem must remain the world’s Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope. As the Hasidic master Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav said, “Everything in this world has a heart; the heart itself has its own heart.”

Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul.

- Elie Wiesel

A Response:

settler clash deemed intolerable?

I was encouraged by this headline, thinking the Israeli military might be coming to its senses and might start to see Palestinians as human beings with rights or something moving in that direction...

(here's the article)
Israeli military dubs settler clash 'intolerable'

Until I saw this quote:

"Violence and raising hands up against IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers is crossing the line in an intolerable manner," the statement said.

Business as usual. Shame for throwing rocks at soldiers, but forget about how Israel itself is facilitating or participating in the subjugation and torture of an entire population.

In light of what I referenced here-

the indignation at settlers' attacking the IDF is ridiculous!

Monday, April 19, 2010

(More) Settler Terrorism

There was an attack on a mosque in Harawa, West Bank April 14 by settlers. This one was just graffiti and some reports describe a burning car as well.

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. That’s how the saying goes, but in this case it is accompanied by violent acts by people who mean to terrorize and hurt others. The words (slogans, racist graffiti, etc) take on a bit more life and significance. The latest graffiti at a West Bank mosque was preceded by more burning cars, 300 uprooted olive trees and shooting at a shop. This is the point when freedom of speech and words one can ignore cross the line into viable threats and cause for action.

What will happen to these guilty settlers? And if Israelis fail to act or set the guilty free, will it be appropriate for the rest of the world to flag all settlers or all Israelis or all Jews as threats? Will it be appropriate for Palestinian security officials to assassinate the guilty parties or kidnap, imprison and interrogate them and those who know them indefinitely? No, it’s not appropriate, but that’s what happens to Palestinians.

December 2009 mosque arson:

April 2010 mosque attack:
Vandals Attack West Bank Mosque

“…the attack was the second on the village this week. He said that settlers has set another car on fire and shot at a shop on Monday.”

No-one saw, no-one heard: 300 Palestinian olive trees uprooted

Jewish settlers suspected in West Bank mosque attack

*two burning cars, mosque graffiti

Israeli soldiers showed up after the attack and erased the graffiti. They prevented journalists from taking photographs until they completed the cleanup.

quote from

Is this to destroy evidence and protect settlers or are they doing Palestinians a favor?

“Price tag”
again shows up as racist graffiti this time as it did in December '09. It has been described in the news so far as a “policy” as far as I have seen. Some would call such a policy of retaliating on innocent people for the actions of your own government for merely threatening to crack down on your illegal state of being (settlements) crazy, unjust, unfair, illegal, criminal, TERRORISM, but to most it remains a mere policy.

***I wonder if they are "reacting" to the Israeli human rights organization who condemned Israel for trying to push through a rather old measure that would make all West Bank residents illegal aliens and able to be "deported" elsewhere. They could be "reacting" to Obama's strong words (in the absence of actions), especially if the Israeli public seems swayed by them against settlements. "Reacting" is settlers' interpretation.

I haven't been able to find a description of what was written in the April 2010 attack that constitutes racist graffiti, but there are examples here if you are at a loss as for what to expect:

Dec 2009 arson:

IDF T-shirt (March 2009):

IDF graffiti (March 2009):
"...soldiers left behind dozens of bags of faeces in the bedrooms, despite the presence of a functioning toilet, and left crude sexual diagrams on the walls. "
"Death will find you soon”
Have you ever wondered what hell looks like? Well… look around you -----! Ha ha ha”
“Die you all”, “Make war not peace”, “Arabs need to die”, a gravestone engraved with the words “Arabs 1948-2009”
“There will be a day when we kill all the Arabs”
“Bad for the Arabs is good for me”
“A good Arab is an Arab in the grave”
“Peace now, but between Jews and Jews, not Jews and Arabs”

more on T-shirts:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

There is no Christ in Christian Zionism

April 2010 edits are this color.

This link was presented in a mailing list I'm on in September 2009:
What Would Jesus Say (to a Zio-Christian)?

This was my response:

I want to echo this sentiment.

In addition to this sentiment and the ones expressed, I'd like to present a minority (IMO) belief among Christians in this country. I belong to a rather small, conservative group of Christians, but we take great pains to live by the Bible and in so doing we reject this majority opinion (Christian Zionism) plaguing the nation and infecting the political landscape- premillennialism/Christian Zionism.

The points in this article (What Would Jesus Say) were good about the Golden Rule and relationship between Muslims and Christians being misconstrued and things like this. I would like to add a few solid, but often overlooked, points in the argument against Christian Zionism.

 *(this one added 11/14/11, but arguably a critical issue) 

What I most want to know from Christian Zionists is what about Christian Palestinians? I mean, maybe it is easy to justify denying rights to Muslims for whatever reason, but what about those individuals with whom you probably would consider brothers and sisters in Christ? Should they suffer for the sake of your false doctrine because they will go to heaven anyway in the end? Or do you as Christians bear some responsibility to help them gain dignity, safety and basic rights in this life? I'm not even talking about going over and fighting or the US invading Israel, here. I'm just talking about tossing out Israeli propaganda, learning the facts from Palestinians (Palestinian Christians if you wish- though Muslims and Christians will have pretty similar stories of loss and oppression at the hands of Israelis) and changing US policy to support justice rather than just Israel.

*A theme that runs through this blind, dogmatic support for Israel is that the Jews are still God's chosen. This is a ridiculous notion for Christians as such would render worthless the foundation of our faith and salvation- the sacrifice on the cross of Jesus that turned the page on the old and looks to the new (Hebrews ch8-10). It boggles my mind. We would also be required to follow the old law for diet, travel, animal sacrifices, etc, btw, if Jews are God's chosen today. Also absurd for a Bible believing Christian.

*Rom 2:28For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

*Ephesians 2:14
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

*Gal 3:23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the

*They are eager to quote Old Testament verses about God proclaiming his love for Israelites and the fact of their chosenness, but they fail to tell you the rest of the story. The Israelites' chosenness was conditional (Deut 28). God laid out the consequences- scattering, wars, desolation, famine like nothing seen before. They in fact did violate the terms God set before them and did experience the consequences. You can see even in secular history the completion of the consequences with the Roman invasion an destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70AD. Jesus' illustration of the tree in Matthew 21 is pretty clear about Israel's futureas a nation. The Pharisees understood it.

In saying that 1948 is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, you call God a liar:
Joshua 21:45Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

*About Israelites- I also find it hard to believe that the Israelites of the old testament are in fact today's Jews (another of their claims). 2000 years in the diaspora and no intermarriage?? And to think that people literally trying to return to a figurative location (see next point) after 2000 years have more of a claim to the land than Palestinians 30-60 years removed is just crazy and unfounded.

*The return after this destruction is in fact figurative- one of Christians- Jews and Gentiles both- the destination being heaven at the end of time, not the political state of Israel in 1948.

A Christian focus on a literal return to Jerusalem in 1948 or any other time after this destruction flies in the face of Jesus' declaration (we Christians believe- God inspired declaration) that the kingdom is not of this world- John 18:36.

The belief in premillennialism can be explained by the same idea that gives rise to militant Islam- people take the word of men instead of reading it for themselves or they read bits and pieces to find what suits them and stop there.

This link below has something written by a better writer than I and he includes Bible verses- for those interested. I've also got my own study, but thought this would be sufficient and more appropriate given the forum.

Perhaps I will post a few verses now that I'm not responding in that forum...


Related post:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Palestinians stop rockets; Lieberman threatens against a Palestinian state

Gaza groups agree to stop rockets

Good news, right?

Maybe we can expect peace and goodwill from Israel as well?

Israeli FM warns Palestinians not to declare state


Israeli FM warns Palestinians not to unilaterally declare a state??

You know, this would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that the US backs whatever Israel decides. So, as dumb as this sounds coming out of this bigoted (former?) terrorist’s mouth, it matters. ☹

Israel was allowed to declare a state on mostly Palestinian land.
Whose permission did they get?
Israel is allowed to unilaterally “disengage” from Gaza and try and dodge responsibility. Israel is allowed to do whatever in the name of security.

Palestinians, however, aren’t even entitled to basic necessities, let alone national aspirations!

Most free nations consider freedom and national identity a God-given right. Not Israel.

Israel vs Palestinians

A few thoughts about another large scale attack on Gaza...

Most of it has been said before, I'm sure.

The Gaza attacks and the recent rocket attack for which Israel “retaliated” are always described as a Palestinian attack and Israeli retaliation- as though they are doing absolutely nothing to deserve such attacks. (???) Attacks by Palestinians always occur in a vacuum unprovoked. Israel is the eternal victim, always on the defensive, always retaliating, never the provocateur- or so they (and everyone) say.

We talk about the two as though they are equal- Israel and Palestine. It is said that both sides should stop violence and both sides have to support peace; both sides in the 2006 Gaza assault should investigate its war crimes.

They aren’t the same, though.

One is a government ordering war crimes. One is a dispossessed and occupied people who have received no compensation for their stolen land and no justice for the crimes against them. (Would any American not be ready to fight when faced with that???)

One gets massive amounts of financial, military, diplomatic and every other kind of aid possible along with the assurance of an unending and unbreakable bond from a superpower; one gets sporadic support, but mostly blame from the same superpower/mediator.

One is the Occupier attacking largely innocent people; one is the Occupied people struggling for their freedom and rights.

As highlighted by the Gaza attacks, this isn’t a struggle between two militaries; this is the Israeli military targeting the already captive and starving Palestinian people.

The Israeli government is punishing the civilian population of Palestine for crimes fringe groups perpetrate fueled by the Israeli occupation, so essentially Israel is attacking for something it is causing. The civilians (and PA- not really an applicable term anymore) are in a lose-lose situation.

Monday, April 5, 2010

“Wait the retaliation tomorrow”

Edit 4/6/10: I've been looking for more info from my favorite podcasts on NPR and the BBC, but haven't been finding nearly as much for this incredible threat for Gaza as for the pretty minor Biden snub. It figures, but it's still frustrating. Israel has bad timing for an announcement and it news. A threat for a larger scale Gaza attack? No one cares.

Near the time I wrote my last post about the handful of headlines saying Israel was building settlements, advancing on Gaza, but still “hopes for peace,” apparently things were happening in Gaza.

They were being leafleted on Thursday.

From :

The leaflets just stated “Wait the retaliation tomorrow”.

And attacked Thursday/Friday.

Israelis do love to bomb a milk factory. Perhaps this is for the “demographic threat?” Are we supposed to believe the Israeli military is that bad that it bombed these things by mistake?? I think also police stations and security training facilities were targeted. Given their propensity attacking security installations, someone please tell me how anyone can expect them to “reign in terror,” especially under the Occupation conditions of poverty, curfews and closures?


They bombed metal workshops, farms, a milk factory and small sites belonging to the military wing of Hamas “in retaliation” for the deaths of 2 soldiers a week or two ago.

Thirteen Israeli air strikes hit Gaza Strip

Israel pounds Gaza with missiles


Israel threatens new Gaza offensive

"If this rocket fire against Israel does not stop, it seems we will have to raise the level of our activity and step up our actions against Hamas," Silvan Shalom, Israel's deputy prime minister, told public radio on Friday.

"We won't allow frightened children to again be raised in bomb shelters and so, in the end, it will force us to launch another military operation.

"I hope we can avoid it, but it is one of the options we have, and if we don't have a choice, we will use it in the near future."


They don’t have a choice but to attack?? They are the only ones with a choice!!

If Israel's hope to avoid war is anything like their hope for peace, consider that a declaration of an imminent attack on Gaza a la January 2009! The minute we in the US have a national distraction on the scale of a presidential election or something, Israel will bomb Gaza and claim it's because of the rocket attacks. Or will they bomb to distract us from the settlement standoff? That way, they can stop bombing and look like they are making a concession and giving up a lot for peace.

What garbage.

When will we call a spade a spade? And boycott it?

Palestinian aspirations are clear, but what does Israel want?

Palestinian aspirations are clear, but what does Israel want?

An age old question made ever more pressing by my previous post and my next one...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Israel threatens and is uncompromising, yet hopes for peace (???)

I saw these headlines at the BBC website today:

Israeli tanks 'advance into Gaza'
Israel 'will build in Jerusalem'

Hopeful on peace talks? Really?

Israel: Our tanks are advancing on Gaza. Despite the fact that international law says settlements are illegal and E. Jerusalem's occupied (illegal to build), Jerusalem's ours, we're building on it, and we hear you America (and the law and rest of the world), but we're still building on Occupied Territory.

How can they be hopeful for peace when they can't even follow international law, much less make concessions for peace?! What is their hope? That Palestinians will suddenly be satisfied with being prisoners on part of their land? That Palestinians will out of the blue be satisfied with no homeland, representation, freedom, justice, food, water, movement, etc??

Would/ did Jews accept that? Did we expect them to? Why are we waiting on Palestinians to do so?

Total garbage!