Archive for racism

Rabbis go public with Talmudic Jesus hatred

Posted in Israel with tags , , , on May 1, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

talmud_hate_racism_cDo Jews Have a Jesus Problem?
The Jewish Daily Forward

April 29, 2009

The joke, if that’s what it is, goes like this: “You’ll have to forgive us Jews for being a little nervous. Two thousand years of Christian love have worn down our nerves.”

That says it all, doesn’t it? The scars of anti-Semitism and missionary activity, the pathos-drenched sense of humor, the contempt for Christianity — this is certainly how I regarded our local majority religion as I was growing up. When I was a child, Christianity was like the big, stupid bully: at once idiotic, and overwhelmingly powerful. Couldn’t they see how ridiculous their religion was? A virgin birth? Santa Claus? An Easter Bunny? A messiah who got killed, but actually died for our sins?

And yet, these were the people running our country, telling us which days we get off from school and which we don’t, and playing their insidious music every winter.

If the books the Forward receives for review are any indication, I am not alone in my neurosis about Yeshu ben Yoseph. Though nothing, it seems, will match the never-ending torrent of books about the Holocaust, these past few years have seen a small mountain of Jesus books arrive on my desk, most of them not worthy of review. Screeds about how Jesus got Judaism wrong, or how Christians got Jesus wrong, or how much better we are than they are — these are books my younger self would have written.

Surely, some of the Jesus fad is due to the success of David Klinghoffer’s 2005 book, “Why the Jews Rejected Jesus.” (Answer: We’re the chosen people — a nation, not universalists.) But I think a lot of it is also due to our increased confidence as an assimilated minority in the United States. Where once we could have been tortured or burned for not accepting Christ, now we can publish books criticizing him.

It was not always thus. Indeed, the texts discussed in the best book of the recent crop, Peter Schafer’s “Jesus in the Talmud,” were once considered so outrageous that they were self-censored from European editions of the Talmud. Not that the attempt succeeded: Christian authorities burned the Talmud anyway, and antisemitism continued unabated. But the censorship did succeed somewhat; these texts are practically unknown even today.

And they are still somewhat scandalous. What Schafer shows is that the rabbis of the Talmud knew the New Testament well enough to parody it and were concerned enough about the growth of the Jewish-Christian sect to condemn the testament. And they did so in unsparing terms.

The image of Jesus that one gets from the Talmud is that of an illicit, sex-crazed black magician who uses trickery to lead Israel astray. In BT Sanhedrin 103a, Jesus is depicted as a poor disciple who “spoiled his food,” which Schafer speculates may be a euphemism for sexual misconduct: “to eat the dish” being a recognized Talmudic euphemism known for the sex act itself. A later emendation adds that he “practiced magic and led Israel astray.” And the virgin birth is ridiculed as a cover-up of Jesus’ true parentage: His mother was an “illicit woman” (another Talmudic locution), perhaps even a prostitute.

Strong stuff — no wonder they don’t teach it in Sunday school. But fascinating, as well, as long as, of course, we don’t take it too seriously (which, doubtless, some Jews do). The texts Schafer adduces — all of them relatively late, dating to the third- or fourth-century C.E., suggesting a conscious effort to fight the upstart sect — show that the Talmudic rabbis did not reject Jesus for the noble reasons that Klinghoffer and his ilk suggest. At least according to these texts, they rejected him because they thought he was evil, or saw him as a threat.

The most notorious of all the “Jesus texts,” however, is BT Sanhedrin 43a, which describes the halachic procedure of Jesus’ trial and execution. This is notorious, of course, because for nearly 2,000 years, Christian authorities have been blaming the Jews for killing Jesus, even though the New Testament itself makes clear that it’s the Romans who actually did the deed. [This is, of course, false. The New Testament makes the Jews’ responsibility for Jesus’ death, and Pilate’s concomitant desire to avoid it, abundantly clear — 800]

Shockingly, however, the Talmud does not shirk responsibility for Jesus’ death. On the contrary, it says that he deserved it and that the Jews did it themselves. Jesus was, the text relates, a sorcerer, an idolater and a heretic who led Israel to idolatry. His conviction was entirely just, and his execution — stoning and then hanging — was carried out in strict accordance with rabbinic law.

Why would the Talmud make such a claim? Schafer speculates it is to undermine the Gospels’ account and empower the rabbis. In the Gospels’ account, the rabbis are tools, almost, of Rome. In the Talmud’s account, they are powerful — so powerful that they condemned the hero of the Christian sect to his brutal death. (Believe it or not, there are actually even more graphic texts, which Schafer includes in his book. Suffice to say, their gruesome account of hell puts even Dante to shame. But I’ll leave that out of this family newspaper.)

What’s fascinating about reading these texts together with Schafer’s careful and thorough commentary is that the ambivalence about Jesus, which I experienced as a young man, seems to be already in place back in the fourth century. On the one hand, Jesus is beneath contempt. On the other, he is dangerously powerful. These texts were written before the church became the most powerful force on Earth, but they wouldn’t be out of place among the books I chose not to include here.

Indeed, I’m sure that there are some readers who may have preferred these comments not be published at all. The texts in Schafer’s book are still dangerous. They still might incite violence against Jews. And they threaten decades of progress in Jewish-Christian relations.

One wonders when, if ever, we Jews will be able to heal from the trauma of Christian oppression [!!!] and actually learn from, while still differentiating ourselves from, Christian teaching and tradition. Along my own spiritual path, I’ve been amazed at how much I learn from the teachings of other traditions — Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Sufism — yet how jittery I get when it comes to Christianity. Yes, like many Jews, I have an appreciation for the teachings of Jesus, and I even wrote my master’s thesis on Paul and the Talmud. But this isn’t enough. I want to understand Christ the way Christians do — not to become one of them, but in order to enrich my own religious life. I want to learn from them how to have a personal relationship with a personal, humanized, embodied God who cares, and who saves. I want to experience Jesus as a human being enlightened enough to see everyone as holy, even the impure, the leprous and the marginalized. And I want to follow his example, seeing all my fellow human beings and myself as sons and daughters of God.

Four years ago, I developed some of these thoughts in an essay in Zeek magazine. I playfully titled the piece “How I Finally Came to Accept Christ in My Heart,” explaining the irony in the first paragraph. At a conference where the magazines were for sale, someone saw that title, took the entire stack of magazines and threw it on the floor, proceeding to scream at the bookseller for selling missionary trash.

Well, I guess you’ll have to forgive us Jews for still being a little nervous…

The above article can be found at: Do Jews Have a Jesus Problem?

Rabbis go public with Talmudic Jesus hatred

Obama pledges to confront Holocaust deniers

Posted in ZioBama with tags , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

April 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — At a ceremony Thursday remembering millions of Jews [allegedly] slaughtered in World War II, President Barack Obama reaffirmed the strong US bond with Israel and vowed to confront Holocaust deniers.

“There are those who insist the Holocaust never happened, who perpetrate every form of intolerance — racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and more,” Obama told a gathering in the Capitol Rotunda organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“We have an opportunity and an obligation to confront these scourges,” Obama said.

[Thanks to DBS at The French Connection for this one]

“We have the opportunity … to commit ourselves to resisting injustice, intolerance and indifference in whatever forms they may take, whether confronting those who tell lies about history or doing everything we can to prevent and end atrocities like those that took place in Rwanda, those taking place in Darfur,” he said.

The US president’s speech came just days after a UN conference on racism where Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced Israel as “the most cruel and repressive racist regime.”

Obama reaffirmed the “strong and enduring” bonds between the United States and Israel.

“The nation of Israel rising from the destruction of the Holocaust” was a source of hope to all those who commit to fighting intolerance, he said.

Among those at the gathering, which was part of the US Holocaust Museum’s Days of Remembrance, were five Poles who between them [allegedly] saved the lives of scores of Jews and have been awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations by the Holocaust remembrance organization, Yad Vashem.

“The Righteous remind us that no one is born a savior or a murderer. These are choices we each have the power to make,” Obama said of the Poles as well as the villagers of Le Chambon in France, which [allegedly] refused to turn away or turn in Jews during the war, and saved 5,000 lives.

Jozef Wolszczak, now 90, and the doyen of the group of Righteous, [allegedly] saved the lives of 53 Jews in occupied Poland during the war, [allegedly] buying 20 of them for a kilo of gold from the Germans after an [alleged] raid, [allegedly] giving 30 jobs in his small factory and harboring three more in his home.

Tadeusz Stankiewicz’s family [allegedly] built bunkers in the woods southeast of Warsaw, in which 60 Jews hid.

“We did it because it was the only thing to do. How can you watch so many people suffering and not lift a finger to help them?” Stankiewicz told AFP.

Ireneusz Rajchowski’s family [allegedly] sheltered dozens of Jews in their home, including a man they [allegedly] helped smuggle out of the Warsaw ghetto.

The rescued Jewish man and his family survived the war. His daughter, Barbara Gora, was in the Capitol Thursday, along with two more Righteous Poles, Alicja Schnepf and Anna Stupnicka-Bando, and Krystyna Budnicka, [allegedly] the only member of her Orthodox Jewish family to survive the war.

“The Righteous teach us… that if we have the courage to heed that ‘still, small voice’ within us, we can form a minyan for righteousness that can span a village and even a nation,” said Obama.

A minyan is the quorum required for Jewish communal worship. More than 6,000 Poles have been awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations, the largest number of any country.

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who [allegedly] survived the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, used his time at the podium in the Rotunda to take on Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian leader was “the number one Holocaust denier in the world,” said Wiesel, whose mother and sister [allegedly] died at Auschwitz, his father [allegedly] at Buchenwald.

“He used the solemn setting of a United Nations gathering again to insult the state of Israel in a way that no civilized person should ever do,” he said, thanking the United States for boycotting the UN meeting in Geneva.

The above article can be found at:

Obama pledges to confront Holocaust deniers

The other election circus

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on November 3, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Al-Ahram Weekly
30 October 2008

The “Jewish lobby” scuttles yet another political leader, observes Khaled Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem

With Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni abandoning her efforts to form a narrow-based coalition government, America’s outpost in the Middle East is also experiencing election fever due to machinations of Zionist extremists.

Livni’s representatives had been conducting exhaustive negotiations with the ultra-orthodox Shas Party in an effort to include the fanatical but influential group into what would have been a coalition government, but to no avail.

Shas leaders insisted that hundreds of millions of dollars be allocated to subsidise families with multiple children, i.e., their ultraorthodox Jewish flock, as a precondition for joining the government. Shas also demanded that the government refrain from making Jerusalem a subject for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Eventually, the negotiations between Kadima, Livni’s party, and Shas imploded. For her part, Livni called Shas’ demands “clear extortion”, arguing that she didn’t and wouldn’t sacrifice the country’s economic interests in order to bribe a “rapacous” political party.

Shas leaders, incensed by Livni’s remarks, retorted by accusing the Livni camp of being “phony, racist and arrogant.” Racist, because Livni and her Kadima Party are overwhelmingly Ashkenazi or European, while Shas represents Jews originating from the Muslim world.

“If he who helps ailing children is called extortionist, then I am an extortionist,” whined Eli Yeshai, Shas’ leading politician, who normally reports to the group’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Following the collapse of the Kadima- Shas talks, and Livni’s truly racist refusal to contact Israeli Arab parties for possible inclusion into her would-be government, Israeli President Shimon Peres told the Knesset this week that elections would be held in Israel in order to safeguard the vital interest of the Jewish state.

Peres urged politicians and political parties to do some soul-searching and not be too feverish about the elections. However, instead of soul-searching, a torrent of electioneering-oriented speeches and statements by various politicians gave a foretaste of an election that is likely to be frantic and quite polarising.

Inaugurating the election season, the PR-minded Likud leader Benyamin Netanyahu made a volley of fiery statements intended to woo potential voters to his vote for his party. Speaking at the opening of the Knesset winter session Monday, 27 October, Netanyahu vowed that under his leadership Israel wouldn’t negotiate over Jerusalem, would keep the vast bulk of the West Bank as part of Israel and under no circumstances would allow Palestinian refugees uprooted from their ancestral homeland to return to their homes.

Playing the “smart guy’s part” Netanyahu said that instead of a “territorial peace” Israel should push towards an “economic peace” whereby Palestinians would settle for economic prosperity and a certain degree of self-rule under perpetual Israeli domination.

Should he become Israel’s next prime minister, which is a strong possibility, Netanyahu said Israel would retain the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the vast part of the West Bank. In other words, he would bury the peace process once and for all.

Netanyahu’s extremist remarks provoked Arab Knesset member Ahmed Teibi, who interrupted the leader of the Likud, saying, “we have tried you as a prime minister, and you were a total failure.” The exchange prompted Knesset speaker Dalia Itsek to joke afterwards that the motto of the election campaign should be “Bibi or Teibi”. Another Knesset member added “or Tzipi.”

The upcoming elections are likely to take place in the first half of February. According to Israeli law, the country should go to the polls no more than 90 days after the dissolution of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. The Israeli media have quoted “well-informed” government sources as saying that the dissolution of the Knesset is likely to take place in the middle of next week.

According to the latest opinion polls, Livni’s party, Kadima, was projected to win 31 seats while Netanyahu’s Likud shown wining 29 seats of the Knesset’s 120 contested seats. The polls, conducted by presumably reliable pollsters, also showed the Labour Party, which now holds 19 seats, wining no more than 11 seats if elections were to be held now.

This is certainly bad news for Labour Party Chief Ehud Barak who, too, was eager to sell an increasingly effete party to a disillusioned electorate that is constantly drifting towards either religious fascism or right-wing jingoism. Barak might try to redeem some of his party’s reputation by echoing wornout slogans about the Labour Party being the party of the poor. He might also try to score some points against Netanyahu’s Likud by capitaliaing on the blemishes of greedy capitalism as evident from the worldwide financial crisis which is already impacting the poorer strata of Israeli society. The Labour Party is widely dismissed as having outlived its usefulness as the party of the old and the aging.

It looks like the right-wing camp, with its secular and religious wings, has the edge. This could mean bad news for the Palestinians in general and the “peace process” since a government whose premier is Benyamin Netanyahu would be very parsimonious in terms of the occupied territories it is willing to cede, whether in the West Bank or in the Golan Heights.

Al-Ahram Weekly asked veteran Israeli journalist Roni Shakaid if he thought the post-election Israeli government would be “bad news for peace with the Palestinians.” “I am afraid it will be. The very least I can say is that the ethos of the conflict with the Palestinians will remain unchanged. In other words, if the overall situation doesn’t get worse, it won’t get better.”

This week, Fatah leader and leading PA peace negotiator Ahmed Qurei said he hoped Livni would be Israel’s next prime minister. While his hopes may be well-placed and shared by many, it is highly doubtful that Livni stands to gain much from an Arab appearing to publicly supporting her. One Israeli commentator pointed out that Qurei’s remarks “will eventually be perceived as a liability, not an asset, for Livni.”

Israeli Jewish society is too racist and too anti-Arab even to tolerate a mayor who is supported by Arabs, let alone a would-be prime minister. Indeed, Livni’s refusal to contact any of Israel’s Arab parties during her ill- fated efforts to form a coalition government testifies to the real situation in the Jewish state.

A disavowal of racism and of those advocating racist solutions

Posted in Etc. with tags , , on September 23, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

This website and its associated websites categorically reject any and all forms of racism. Further, this website and associated sites will consider those advocating racism or racist policies as agents provocateurs working in the interest of criminal Zionism.

It’s well-known by now that a strategy of divide-and-conquer has been one of the criminal network’s chief, and perhaps most effective, means of maintaining control.By creating artificial divisions — such as Christian vs. Muslim (the neo-conservative “Clash of Civilizations” fantasy) and black vs. white, especially in the US — the criminals have historically eluded, and continue to elude, punishment for their crimes.

This website and associated websites, therefore, categorically reject racism and are not opposed to any particular group of people on the basis of race.

Rather, this site stands against the criminal ideology and practices of world Zionism and its advocates, whatever their background.

To borrow a phrase from Daryl Bradford Smith [LINK], whose general approach to the issue this site endorses: “We don’t oppose any particular ethnic community, we oppose criminals.”

Anyone promoting racism or racist policies, therefore, or seen to be inciting violence against particular ethnic groups, will be viewed by this and associate websites as agents provocateurs actively working to destroy the cohesion of the growing anti-Zionist movement by attempting to turn natural allies against one another.

It’s a time-worn tactic, but one against which we must remain vigilant.

A disavowal of racism and of those advocating racist solutions