Newsflash! Old Testament God Wants Zionists out of Israel

god

Did you know that God, the guy from the Old Testament, doesn’t like Zionists? In fact, it turns out he doesn’t like anybody who forcibly evicts people from their homes, butchers their children, and then dances on their corpses!

Don’t believe me? Well, thankfully Naomi Wolf, a far more diligent Jew than I’ll ever be, recently checked the facts and posted her findings on her Facebook page:

“…if you read Genesis Exodus and Deuteronomy in Hebrew — as I do — you see that God did not ‘give’ Israel to the Jews/Israelites. We as Jews are raised with the creed that ‘God gave us the land of Israel’ in Genesis — and that ethnically ‘we are the chosen people.’ But actually — and I could not believe my eyes when I saw this, I checked my reading with major scholars and they confirmed it — actually God’s “covenant” in Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy with the Jewish people is NOT ABOUT AN ETHNICITY AND NOT ABOUT A CONTRACT. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF BEHAVING…

[God] never says: ‘I will give you, ethnic Israelites, the land of Israel.’ Rather He says…IF you visit those imprisoned…act mercifully to the widow and the orphan…welcome the stranger in your midst…tend the sick…do justice and love mercy…THEN YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE AND THIS LAND WILL BE YOUR LAND. So ‘my people’ is not ethnic — it is transactional. We are God’s people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just. And we STOP being “God’s people” when we are not ethical, kind and just. And ANYONE who is ethical, kind and just is, according to God in Genesis, ‘God’s people.’ And the ‘contract’ to ‘give’ us Israel is conditional — we can live in God’s land IF we are ‘God’s people’ in this way — just, merciful, compassionate. AND…It never says I will give this land JUST to you. Remember these were homeless nomads who had left slavery in Egypt and were wandering around in the desert; at most these passages say, settle here, but they do not say, settle here exclusively. Indeed again and again it talks about welcoming ‘zarim’ — translated as ‘strangers’ but can also be translated as ‘people/tribes who are not you’ — in your midst.”

Holy moly! That’s the opposite of what I learned in Hebrew school, where Mr. Weinstein taught us that Israel’s military had the right to kill as many Arabs as they wanted if those Arabs were interfering with the Jews’ enjoyment of the land God granted us.

It turns out that God would boot the Zionists right out of his holy land, since their political movement has carried out the merciless, unethical, violent persecution of the Palestinian people. God hates that kind of stuff!

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It’s Okay to Shout When Your Children are Being Slaughtered

gazaThe Daily Show ran a segment last week titled “We Need to Talk about Israel.” Apparently an attempt to illustrate the difficulties journalists face when covering the ethnic cleansing Israel’s military is carrying out in Gaza, the segment showed Jon Stewart getting alternately shouted down by Zionists and opponents of ethnic cleansing. The shouting was so aggressive that Stewart never actually got to talk about Israel which was, apparently, the punch line.

The sketch was notable because it was a rare instance where supporters of the Israeli military were portrayed by American media as aggressive and irrational. The obvious takeaway, however, was that journalists can’t get into Israel/Palestine because people on both sides of the slaughter won’t just keep calm and carry on. If only they’d stop shouting, we could actually start to understand what’s happening over there, and why.

The idea that American journalists are the beleaguered victims here is absurd. American journalists– Stewart included– have never had any problem ignoring supporters of the Palestinian cause before, no matter how loud their voices were. For decades, mainstream media in the U.S. have offered uncritical support of the violence waged by Israel against the Palestinians. They’ve had no problem demonizing the Palestinians and regurgitating the Israeli government’s justifications for its crimes against humanity.  But that’s not the main problem here.

The problem here is the idea, which I’ve heard more and more as the slaughter has continued, that both sides are behaving equally irrationally– and that this inability to behave rationally is what keeps the conflict going. The truth is that calls for calm in the face of slaughter always serve the interests of those in power, those doing the slaughtering. As Tom Whyman argued in his recent essay on contemporary fascism:

“The injunction to behave properly, to smile and get on with it, is precisely a way of shutting down any form of social resistance…To be nice, to ‘behave properly,’ is simply to behave like an infantilized middle-​class subject. Thus every marketing campaign or government public service announcement that passive-​aggressively preaches niceness is really a violent enforcement of reactionary values that serves to preserve a crisis-​stricken status quo.”

Right now, the Israeli government is pursuing its stated aim of eradicating the Palestinian population of Gaza to clear the area for Israeli settlement and America’s political leaders on both sides of the aisle are vocally defending the rightness of Israel’s cause. In the face of this insanity, calls for calm seem, well, insane.

gaza balance

 

I Never Learned THAT in Hebrew School! Part 1

hebrew school 1Earlier this week, I posted about my religious education and its colorful, militaristic curriculum. Writing that essay got me thinking about what a crappy experience Hebrew school was: I had to go to more school after school AND I got fed a lot of misinformation by my Zionist instructors.

Thinking about that crappiness got me wondering: what kinds of Jewish history was I missing out on while Mr. Weinstein effused about the Israeli military’s ability to needlessly defile Islamic holy sites? So, this week I’m going to write about some little known tidbits from Jewish history that may be of great interest to others who suffered through an anti-historical Hebrew school curriculum– and to gentiles as well!

Today’s fun fact: Did you know that in their earliest days, Israeli military forces were partially funded by THE NAZI SS? This isn’t some wacko conspiracy theory: it’s been well documented by none other than the incomparable Christopher Simpson in his highly recommended and wonderfully titled book, Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and its Destructive Impact on our Domestic and Foreign Policy.

Simpson describes recovered SS records which document an agreement between the SS and the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary in British-controlled Palestine that later became the Israeli Defense Force: Israel’s military. Simpson writes (on page 253, if you’re curious):

Under the arrangement the Haganah was permitted to run training camps for Jewish youth inside Germany. These young people, as well as certain other Jews driven out of Germany by the Nazis, were encouraged to emigrate to Palestine. [Haganah Commander Feival] Polkes and the Haganah, in return, agreed to provide the SS with intelligence about British affairs in Palestine. Captured German records claim that Polkes believed the increasingly brutal Nazi persecution of the Jews could be turned to Zionist advantage–at least temporarily–by compelling Jewish immigration to Palestine, and that the Haganah commander’s sole source of income, moreover, was secret funds from the SS. (emphasis mine)

So, to recap, the forerunner to Israel’s military received funding from the SS– the Nazi Party’s “ideological executive force”–in exchange for providing the Nazis with intelligence about the British. According to Simpson’s account, the Haganah’s Nazi-funded activity took place between 1932-1939, the years when the Nazi party consolidated its control over Germany, passed the anti-semitic Nuremberg laws, and intensified its persecution of the Jews.

Pretty weird, huh? I never learned THAT in Hebrew school!