Goldstone: High Priest of Human Rights, Demopath’s Lethal Weapon

Melanie Phillips has a must-read analysis of the problem with the human rights community as it now stands. In so doing she has an interesting (and probably controversial thesis about both the biblical origins of human rights and the reasons why today’s “human rights advocates” have made Israel a major target.

I don’t have time to comment now, but will in the coming days. Meantime, I leave it to my readers to comment.

The ‘human rights’ witch-hunt
FRIDAY, 25TH SEPTEMBER 2009

As readers may know, I have had my differences with the American civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz – specifically, over how American Jews can continue to support Barack Obama given his acute hostility towards Israel and appeasement of the Arab and Islamic world. Nonetheless, all credit to Dershowitz for mounting a devastating onslaught upon Richard Goldstone and his shocking travesty of justice masquerading as judicious analysis for the UN Human Rights Commission on Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. In this piece, Dershowitz accuses Goldstone of conducting a ‘kangaroo court’ in which he

    abandoned all principles of objectivity and neutral human rights.

And in this terrific piece he excoriates Goldstone’s ‘wilful and deliberate’ refusal to hear the other side of the story – Israel’s side: the most elementary precondition of justice and fairness. As I wrote here, the mandate Goldstone was given by the UN required him to be thus one-sided and unjust, singling out Israel alone for investigation and thus merely collecting the evidence to uphold the prior verdict of guilt – an utter negation of legal and ethical principles which he sought to conceal by presenting a dubiously revised version of his mandate which bestowed a veneer of even-handedness, while delivering precisely the rigged verdict that the UN had required of him. Dershowitz tears him to shreds by showing how he refused to take evidence from Col Richard Kemp, Britain’s former commander in Afghanistan who had previously stated that during Cast Lead Israel had behaved with globally unprecedented ethical care to avoid killing Palestinian civilians — evidence which would have holed below the water-line the blood-libel Goldstone was assembling from overwhelmingly partisan sources that Israel had deliberately targeted civilians.

Dershowitz has written countless powerful articles and books attacking the Israel-bashers. Yet his onslaught upon Goldstone has a different quality. It is a cry of anguish. He has clearly set out not just to destroy Goldstone’s report but to destroy Goldstone. Thus he states:

    His name will forever be linked in infamy with such distorters of history and truth as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Jimmy Carter.

The reason for this all-out attack is surely that Goldstone personally embodies the two most nightmarish, perplexing and agonising aspects of the witch-hunt against Israel: that a malevolent campaign based on bigotry, falsehoods and injustice marches mind-bendingly under the banner of ‘human rights’; and that so many of its leading proponents are Jews.

Goldstone is one of the most pre-eminent practitioners of ‘human rights’. A former judge of the South African Constitutional Court, he served as the chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. If there is a high priest of the religion of ‘human rights’, Goldstone is it. And he is also a prominent Jew – indeed, according to his daughter, he is ‘a Zionist and loves Israel’.

That’s why, as Dershowitz says, his name invests the falsehoods in his report with credibility. But worse, far worse than that for Dershowitz, this report threatens to destroy the moral high ground of the whole ‘human rights’ culture.

That’s why he cries:

    Every serious student of human rights should be appalled at this anti-human rights and highly politicized report… [Goldstone] no longer deserves the mantle of a human rights advocate. He has done more to destroy the credibility and objectivity of human rights than any credible human rights personage in modern times.

To save the reputation of ‘human rights’, Goldstone’s reputation has to be eviscerated and buried. But alas for Dershowitz, it’s not that simple. For Goldstone is not an aberration. Not just on Israel but on a host of other issues, ‘human rights’ has become an Orwellian synonym for an attack on human rights. It has become a judicial wrecking ball which is being deployed to shatter the fundamental principles of both western civilisation and national identity.

This is almost wholly obscured by the fact that it was western civilisation which produced the concept of human rights in the first place — the sacredness of human life, the equality of all people, the seminal importance of freedom, law and justice – and declared these to be universal principles. That’s why ‘human rights’ lawyers protest that their doctrine cannot possibly constitute an attack on western civilisation, because it is rooted in that civilisation’s own foundational principles.

The crucial point, however, is that these were not universal principles but – very different, this – culturally particular principles to be applied universally. They derived from a particular set of religious ethics which gave rise to western civilisation — principles promoted through Christianity but deriving from the Hebrew Bible. Without that Biblical moral underpinning, there can be no basis for freedom or equality or respect for life.

This idea — derived from a particular set of religious ethics to be applied universally — is critical. When the founding fathers wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident… that all men are created equal…,” they were in effect expressing their own cognitive egocentrism. Not only are all men (and women) not self-evidently created equal — we all have different talents and strengths — but no society before the 18th century — and certainly not the Greeks, not even their most radical proponents of democracy, the Athenians — ever declared all inhabitants of the same polity equal, with the exception of biblical legislation.

The notion that this exceptional notion of equality should be extended to the entire world was/is a messianic one — “they shall beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks” (i.e., the aristocracy will exchange their weapons of dominion for tools of honest manual labor). The idea now bandied around that this is a “no duh” norm for the entire world shows just how little people who expound on human rights understand.

As for the kicker in that statement — culturally particular principles to be applied universally — now we’re in the delicate realm of cognitive egocentrism, cultural imperialism, and all the confusions to which trying to make this universal without recognizing the origins create. In a nutshell I’d rephrase the Founding Fathers’ remark about

    endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

with the following:

    endowed by their Creator with the ability to discipline themselves in order to create certain rare and precious Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

    But modern ‘human rights’ culture effectively set out to sever those principles from their Biblical core. Arising from the contemporary cult of individuality which repudiates all external authority as unjustified constraints on self-actualisation, ‘human rights’ culture claimed that these ‘rights’ were indeed universal – principles that transcended all cultures and therefore laid claim to superseding them. It took the principle of ‘universality’ and radically dislocated it from the unique Biblical tradition from which such ethics had sprung. ‘Human rights’ thus became free-floating axioms, deriving from no higher authority than the vagaries of judicial assumptions, prejudices and whims.

    In wrapping itself in the mantle of universality, ‘human rights’ culture became an explicit attack on the very notion of the particular. Religious tradition therefore was directly in its sights – particularly Christianity and the Hebrew Bible upon which it drew, even though these were the foundation of those rights. That’s why, for example, Christians are no longer allowed to uphold their belief that same–sex relationships are sinful; if they protest against same-sex adoptions, for example, on the grounds that a child has the right to a mother and a father figure, they are vilified as bigots and lose their professional position.

    The rights of Christians count for nothing. As the beliefs of a particular, discrete tradition they are trumped by ‘universal rights’. And these are whatever ‘human rights’ lawyers deem them to be, through institutions such as’ human rights’ law or supra-national courts – such as the International Criminal Tribunals of which Judge Goldstone was such an ornament. This ‘transnational progressivism’ holds that the nation and the culture that made that nation must yield to the diktats of ‘universal’ principles – which are not universal at all but spring from the minds of western ‘human rights’ lawyers intent on promoting a secular agenda which kicks away all those tiresome Biblical constraints, to be replaced by their own formulae for controlling human behaviour.

    Moreover, because ‘human rights’ is the legal engine of self-actualisation, it is also the legal engine of moral and cultural relativism – the doctrine that values are all subjective, that there can therefore be no hierarchy of values and that no culture can have superiority over any other culture. This turned ‘human rights’ into a battering ram against the very idea of a majority culture. So Christians – aka the west — could do no right while minorities — aka the Third World — could do no wrong.

    Small wonder that Israel is such a target for so many ‘human rights’ practitioners. Israel is not only a nation (crime number one) but a nation whose existence is rooted in a religion (crime number two), a religion moreover which underpins the oppressive, imperialist, reactionary west (crime number three). Even though the Israeli judiciary is a temple to human rights, Israel is guilty of the original sin of particularity three times over.

    That is why those Jewish ‘human rights’ lawyers who are supporters of Israel – and often passionately so – like to pretend that Israel’s undoubtedly stellar human rights record embodies principles which are ‘universal’ and have nothing to do with the religion of Judaism, upon whose more observant practitioners they tend to look with unalloyed horror and disdain. One wonders whether they would all still be supporters of Israel if it did not have such a record of judicial activism in the cause of liberal nostrums.

    But these Jewish human rights lawyers are merely the mirror image of those from whom they recoil: those secular Jewish anti-Israel ‘human rights’ activists who make the false claim that the ‘universal’ principles they propound in order to damn Israel — doctrines which either bear no relation to or are the direct antithesis of those laid down in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition — constitute authentic Jewish ethics. The reason why these Jews are so prominent in the witch-hunt against Israel is that they are secular Jews who have signed up to the atheistic, left-wing project to destroy not only the religious foundations of the west but the very notion of cultural specificity – including their own — and who have detached human rights from those foundations in order to carry out that destruction.

    The terrible thing, as Dershowitz says, is that as a prominent and distinguished Jewish human rights lawyer Goldstone is a lethal weapon in the hands of the Israel-bashers and Jew-haters. But the much more terrible and devastating thing – which Dershowitz does not say — is that in the person of the secular Jewish human rights lawyer, the Jewish people has in fact created its own nemesis.

    I initially posted only the beginning of this post. I have now added the remainder to help those who follow the comments to understand the discussion. I have also added remarks inside the comments already posted. I think the issues raised here are crucial, and bear close and careful discussion.

75 Responses to Goldstone: High Priest of Human Rights, Demopath’s Lethal Weapon

  1. Michelle Schatzman says:

    The rest is even more interesting than the beginning. I advise readers to go through it.

  2. sshender says:

    oh man…. where do I start…

    I’ve read the Philips-Dershowitz exchange and think that Philips has come out on top, because – as much as I admire Alan – his arguments were self-defeating. Having said that, Melanie’s piece reads more like an Evangelical treatise than a thought out analysis. This, of course, comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with her previous works including Londonistan, where she lashes out against the UK’s lax attitude towards Islamists and comes away blaming the “secularists”, gays, feminists and pro-choicers for Britain’s (and the West’s) demise. On page 140 of her book she decries the Church’s shifting attitudes: At home, absorbing the prevailing utilitarianism which preached the creed of lifestyle choice, the Church came to believe that it too was in the business of delivering the greatest happiness to the greatest number. So it went with the flow of permissiveness, supporting the liberalization of abortion, homosexuality and divorce. And as post-moral Britain demanded that ever more constraints be knocked away, the Church was forced further and further into hollowing out its own identity.

    So basically who’s at fault for the bleak state of affairs according to Philips? One guess could be lack of critical thinking, prejudice and the blind embrace of dogma – you know, the stuff RELIGIONS are made of – but don’t confuse us with facts. Because you see, the underlying reason is actually the opposite – social and sexual “permissiveness” is to blame. As it happens, Gay marriage, Abortions, and low Church attendance are the driving forces behind the West’s suicide. And these rants go on and on in her book, with not the slightest of attempts to constructively understand why religion has lost its grip on the West or to explain how social liberalism and sexual promiscuity which she laments incessantly about have anything to do with the West’s love affair with Islamism.

    As much as I agree with her on the grim state of affairs, I disagree with her on the causes, especially with respect to religion. The laughable notion that we derive our morals from scripture – and the Judeo-Christian ones in her case – permeate her writings. A la Philips, all would be great if we just reversed the century or so of social and moral reform and went back to being the pious, heterosexual, obedient, no-sex-before-marriage, obey-the-lord bible thumpers. What she neglects to mention is that her orderly and correct world order was the result of the Church’s repression that has brought unimaginable suffering and pain to countless generations. To revert back to that state of affairs would be no less criminal than fooling around with Islamism.

  3. sshender says:

    As for this particular piece, here’s what I think and find troubling.

    ‘human rights’ has become an Orwellian synonym for an attack on human rights. It has become a judicial wrecking ball which is being deployed to shatter the fundamental principles of both western civilization and national identity. This is almost wholly obscured by the fact that it was western civilization which produced the concept of human rights in the first place — the sacredness of human life, the equality of all people, the seminal importance of freedom, law and justice – and declared these to be universal principles

    Bingo!!! Right on the money! But it just goes downhill from there….

    The crucial point, however, is that these were not universal principles but – very different, this – culturally particular principles to be applied universally. They derived from a particular set of religious ethics which gave rise to western civilisation — principles promoted through Christianity but deriving from the Hebrew Bible. Without that Biblical moral underpinning, there can be no basis for freedom or equality or respect for life.

    No they don’t. Religion has absolutely nothing to do with it. Not to ethics and not to Western Civilization. If anything, religion, Christianity included, stood in the way of progress and what later became the Western Civilization. If it were not for brave men who dared to defy the clergy and the dogma the majority of us would still be living as feudal serfs. “Biblical moral underpinning”?!! Would that be the same moral underpinning that instructs to sell your daughters to slavery or stone adulterers? Or was it the death penalty a child faces for cursing his parents? Please, do remind me, cause it’s all blurry to me. If Melanie’s idea of the moral and legal foundations of modern society lie in a collection of books written down more than 3000 years ago when people used to dump their feces out the window and, well, then there is little I can say that will change her mind.

    It took the principle of ‘universality’ and radically dislocated it from the unique Biblical tradition from which such ethics had sprung

    That’s why, for example, Christians are no longer allowed to uphold their belief that same–sex relationships are sinful; if they protest against same-sex adoptions, for example, on the grounds that a child has the right to a mother and a father figure, they are vilified as bigots and lose their professional position.

    And rightly so!!! Because this is the definition of bigotry – sweeping generalizations with no evidence to support them. What the hell does sinful even mean?!! Sin was the weapon invented by the Church to keep people obedient and reliant, and now we have Melanie the crusader on the loose trying to keep the masses on the path to salvation. But our homophobe goes on. This time its the fact that kids – who otherwise would have withered in orphanages – are getting a chance at a normal life by fathers that, on average, by all accounts love and provide for them better than the heterosexual couples do. So yes, people are right to accuse you and your ilk of bigotry when you accuse them of made-up victimless crimes like “sin” and when you prefer to condemn children to life of misery rather than love and happiness, just because their care takers sexual preference is not to your liking.

    The rights of Christians count for nothing

    And rightly so! Because what you refer to as their “rights” is in fact an attempt to impose their way of life on others. How is this ideological blackmail different from the Muslim outrage about Salman Rushdie or the recent cartoons, which you so candidly condemned?

    This ‘transnational progressivism’ holds that the nation and the culture that made that nation must yield to the diktats of ‘universal’ principles – which are not universal at all but spring from the minds of western ‘human rights’ lawyers intent on promoting a secular agenda which kicks away all those tiresome Biblical constraints, to be replaced by their own formulae for controlling human behaviour.

    Boo Hoo.. The great secular conspiracy. What is this mysterious “secular agenda”? Does she mean the advance of science and with it an ever increasing understanding of our world and of the human species? Those formulas are based on science and are for the large part responsible for the advances of the understanding of the human condition. It sure wasn’t the bible that brought us that….

    I just hope that most people here do not subscribe to this nonsense.

  4. sshender says:

    And here’s a brilliant video by Pat Condell about the useful idiots:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4FpTvp0tgs

    He is testimony that one need not be a religious crackpot to tell the truth about the Left.

  5. EB says:

    This piece by Melanie Phillips is an unintentional warning on the dangers of allying with the right wing. I am not sure if Phillips is a Jew or a Christian, but right wingers in US, and probably in Britain, are heavily Christian, and believe that everyone else should be. That secular value, tolerance for other religions, is nonsense to them. To jews living in US or Europe, these people are far more dangerous than Muslims, because it is quite feasible that Christian right parties get control over the government(s).

  6. sshender says:

    EB, I think you confuse the Right Wing Christian conservatives (like the Falwells and Robertsons) with the quasi-fascist Old-Right (like the Buchanans and Limbaughs). In the first case, the Evangelicals are probably more Zionist than most Jews are, but, for all the wrong reasons, IMO. This makes their unconditional and misguided support for Israel a very dangerous double edged sword. (I’ll get back on why later). Their endorsement of Zionism and Jews in general (unfortunately) makes them our closest allies at the moment, and as of now they pose no threat to Israel or the Jews. It is the second kind that we should worry about – the die hard racist Antisemites of the old-right. However, they are getting increasingly irrelevant both in the US and Europe (a reversible trend, of course) and their Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism is easier to expose as bigotry than the sophisticated Leftist rhetoric enveloped in the cloak of Human Rights and Intl. Law. As of now, the Islamist-Leftist alliance should be the number one concern of Jews and Zionists worldwide, because they pose an immediate threat of delegitimatization and even annihilation of the Jewish state.

    As for my opposition to the Zionist-Evangelical love-affair, I think that Israel should distance itself from them completely and renounce them for the crackpots that they are. The reason I have reservations about them is that their support of Israel is part of an apocalyptic and messianic world view that is not based on reality or reason, but on emotions. Ultimately, Jews have a role to play in their vision, and it’s not pretty. But besides their bigoted illusions about the Jews’ acceptance of Christ as the messiah, what’s most worrisome is that since their little book of revelations’ End Times scenario is as likely to come true as cows getting spontaneously airborne, someone will have to be blamed for hindering Christs’ second coming, and guess who is the perfect candidate?… When nothing will happen for a while the Evangelicals will begin demanding easy answers as to why. Human nature shows us that renouncing their faith is the least likely of possible scenarios. What’s more likely, given their tremendous energy and hope invested in Israel and Zionism, is that they’ll grow increasingly disaffected with Israel, and will blame it (and all the Jews by association) for their theistic debacle. I don’t think it needs much explaining that hatred fueled by irrational religious fervor is probably the most dangerous kind. Thus it is only a matter of time before the hoards of these Bible-thumpers will start singing a different tune.

    The best advice I can come up with is to resist the allure and distance ourselves from these “supporters of Israel”. Instead, we should invest in the secular supporters of Israel, those who support us precisely because we’re one of the few western democracies of the world, and have achieved the unimaginable and the unprecedented by building it from scratch against all odds and in spite of immense opposition, all the while retaining the moral high ground where others have so easily given it up.

  7. E.G. says:

    Anyone come across corroborating/contradictory data regarding this mishap?

    http://muqata.blogspot.com/2009/09/will-goldstone-believe-anything.html

  8. nelson says:

    Melanie is not only wrong, but dangerous. Actually, she is, in her way, using human rights as instrumentally and (should I say) cynically as some of those she accuses of doing this are.

    Wherever they come from, whether they have been influenced by this or that religious traditions (obviously only selected parts of these), human rights, democracy, freedom etc. also mean and imply a complete break with religious authority. They mean that religion can go on thriving in the private sphere, but that, in the public arena, they’re out of place, because the arena is, must, can only be secular.

    Human rights can exist only where the source of power is the people, the people’s will, each and all individual wills. But, according to any (or most) existing religions, God is the source of that authority.

    In the public, secular sphere, for instance, sin is not a valid concept: only crime is, and it is not defined by God or his interpreters and messengers, but by the people through human-made laws. If some crimes are also (according to some religions) sins, that’s ultimately a irrelevant coincidence.

    Frankly, though we have some of the same enemies and some of the same allies, I wouldn’t want Melanie to be my lawyer, and that’s because I want (and have the right to) keep religion and religious authority as far as possible from my life. I don’t consider myself any god’s business. Thus, I’d rather leave all gods alone, and they’ll leave alone too. I’m not more willing to go back to the Christian or Jewish medieval world than I am to live in the Muslim one.

    Freedom loving democratic secularists like me might yet (and unfortunately) need the tactical help of Christian and/or Jewish religious warriors to defeat the most dangerous enemy right now: Islamofascism and its allies. But this case of realpolitik doesn’t make me happier than the UK’s and America’s unavoidable alliance with Stalin made true democrats happy during WW2. BTW, one of the things that make me quite angry with thie Jihadists is that they are forcing me to make alliances with people I’d rather live far away from.

    If I could be sure there are enough faraway and safe democratic secularistic places in the world, I’d move to one of these and let the fanatics fight each other to death. If they’d leave us (secularists and tolerant religious people) alone, their battle wouldn’t interest me more than the Iran-Iraq war did.

  9. sshender says:

    Nelson, thank you for reiterating my point, and the WWII analogy was briliant.

    There is absolutely no doubt that allying ourselves with the Christian and Jewish religious fundies in order to fight Islamism is counterproductive and even dangerous. However, what if, and I resent that notion very much, the reality is such that there are simply not enough secularists out there who are willing to comprehend the danger let alone take up arms against it. What if, there is something about modern secularism that makes it vulnerable and susceptible to all kinds of self-destructive nonesense, like what we see happening with the Western secular “intelligencia” right now? What if, Western liberalism is in fact intrinsically defenseless against any absolutist ideology? Ultimately, what if we have no choice but to eternally ally ourselves with the lesser evil in order to triumph over the greater one?

    I believe that questions like these are rarely raised by atheists and secularists who in their blind persuit of the obvious truth, neglect to account for the larger picture. As much as I despise the Falwells of this world, what if the alternative is the Qaradawis of the world, because the Dawkinses and Dennetts (let alone the Vidals and Chomskys) of this world are just not enough to stop the Islamic onsaught. What if, as Sam Harris thinks, it takes a religious mindset to comprehend your enemies religious fervor for what it really is. This is a point well worth considering since we’ve already have a grim record with utopic ideologies of world peace and bliss, and we’ve all seen where that has lead us. Not to say that Atheism per se is a recipe for chaos, but maybe it is the perfect backdoor for Islam.

    I’d appreciate it if people could comment on my thoughts.

    Peace.

  10. Rich Rostrom says:

    sshender blows all his credibility when he refers to “the Buchanans and Limbaughs”.

    Buchanan and the paleo-right denounced Bush and the Iraq War as serving Israel at the expense of the U.S. More recently, Buchanan has retroactively denounced U.S. participation in World War II; his full-throat isolationism now meshes with the pseudo-pacifist left, which happily wallows in American guilt for the bombing of Germany and Japan. (Lefties like Kurt Vonnegut lament the 250,000 people allegedly killed in Dresden – a huge exaggeration which originated with Nazi apologist David Irving.)

    Limbaugh supported the Bush wars from the beginning, and Limbaugh celebrates American victories against tyranny overseas – such as in World War II.

  11. oao says:

    To jews living in US or Europe, these people are far more dangerous than Muslims, because it is quite feasible that Christian right parties get control over the government(s).

    as to gaining power, the argument for the christianists may be more valid in the short term. in the long run there may be no contest for the islamists.

    anyway, in a certain sense we don’t have tools refined enough to distinguish who is worse for the jews, the islamists or the christianists. cristianists are not really christian in the sense in which christianity pretends to be (I am using ‘pretends’ in an advised sense). but then very few christians are.

  12. oao says:

    nelson,

    indeed, and melanie has a blind spot when it comes to religion, but then so many smart people do. i recall a piece she wrote as a creationaist, at which point i stopped reading her.

    with all due respect to many of her valuable contributions, the ability to suspend judgment loses me immediately.

  13. oao says:

    Anyone come across corroborating/contradictory data regarding this mishap?

    who was it who, to my argument that these elitist, self-appointed moralists and human rights activists are either ignorant of raelity, or are unable to comprehend it, objected that they are not?

  14. nelson says:

    oao,

    Christianity in your country of origin, Romania, didn’t seem to be 100% good for the Jews before and during WW2, right? The Iron Guard’s another name wasn’t the Legion of the Archangel Michael?

    Neturei Karta and some other ultra-orthodox Jews aren’t among the most enthusiastic Zionists either, are they?

    Though Nazism itself was mostly a neopagan kind of cult, several forms of European (and not only European) fascism had a strong clerical element in them: Italian fascism, Spanish Franquism, the Hungarian Arrow Cross party, the Croatian Ustashi, the Slovakian quisling Father Tiso, important sectors of the Polish and French Catholic churches and so on (not forgetting, somewhat earlier, the pogromist Russian Black Hundreds). Throughout the 30s several Catholic and Protestant groups and clerics lobbied to keep the European Jewish refugees out of the US and Canada.

    And, of course, some 3 or 4 centuries ago, religious extremism under the guise of messianism made whole European Jewries suicidally follow people like Shabbatai Zvi towards catastrophe. Zionism itself was a break with Jewish religious tradition and both its main theorists and practitioners for most of the time were emancipated, secular Jews working outside or even against their own religious establishments. Before the Holocaust, most orthodox/religious Jews were anti-Zionists.

    In fairness it must be said that, in the same period, much of the liberal and assimilated Western European Jews were no friends of the Zionist project either. And obviously, there were courageous anti-Nazi and anti-fascist religious Christians everywhere — for instance, a woman that should be better known/remembered, the Hungarian nun Margit Schlachta, who actually belonged among the Just.

    BTW, would you mind sending me the link to Mel’s creationist text? I didn’t know she was one of them, but it doesn’t surprise me, because lately she began to sound like those people who blame Darwin and the theory of natural selection for Nazism and communism. (Thus, maybe Genghis Khan’s Mongols, besides organizing their genocidal armies according to the decimal system, were also early Darwinists: who knew it?)

    Though the Islamonazis are, in their minds, fighting us because we are either Crusaders or (religiously defined) Jews, what characterizes our modern and (up to the moment) rather successful civilization is the post-religiousness, the secularism of its public sphere (associated to the freedom, even religious freedom, of its private sphere). Our civilization used to be the best (for me at least) not because it was post-religious or because it banned religion (it didn’t), but precisely because, among other things, it has been the only one that allowed all religions, as well as all forms of agnosticism and atheism. Its secret is that, though it has no bones to pick with religion in general, it is basically against empowering religious authority and against allowing it to oppress individuals or allowing it to interfere in the public sphere.

    That’s what Mel, the Islamonazis, the fanatical creationists and many others oppose and are unable to understand. We want to be free of clerics, religious groups etc. who’d dictate our private behavior as well as our public policies. But whoever wants to willingly submit to this or that religious authority is free to do it if he/she doesn’t force anyone else to do the same. No real secularist wants to abolish other people’s religion. What he wants is to see religious freedom (or rather freedoms, in the plural) to be limited by all other freedoms (of expression, lifestyle etc.).

    Our contemporary problem with the Islamists and, maybe, with much of Islam, is not that Muslims want to be free to practice their religion, but that many of them believe their religion allows them to limit or abolish everybody else’s freedoms, the religious ones included. And, right now, our main (but not only)problem with so many liberals and leftists is that they bought in the stupid theory according to which certain (but not all) religious fanatics (as well as hardened criminals, terrorist groups and so on) are actually not what they think and say they are, but “primitive rebels”, that is, (still) unconscious or pre-conscious Marxist revolutionaries – “objective” allies who will help them (the leftists and liberals) in their anticapitalist, anticolonialist, anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist struggles without consciously knowing they’re doing this not because of their religion, but because they’re the “Wretched of the Earth”.

    (I imagine that RL would say that, ironically, it is not the Islamists who are crypto-Marxists, but rather the Marxists who are crypto-millennialists – and I would agree.)

    Now, it is obviously difficult to choose allies. I mean: it is easy to fight side by side with people who agree 100% with me. On the other hand, when faced with true enemies, how far can I go, how much and in how many things (and when) can someone disagree with me before he/she begins to look less like me and more like my enemies? If I’m fighting against people who would murder gays, does it make sense to ally myself with a group that, while leaving gays mostly alone, wouldn’t grant them the right to marry? Can the Jews work along people who’ll hate them in the future in order to defeat people who hate them in the present or hated them in the past?

    When, say, there are only two presidential candidates –one who takes the Bible literally but also takes the Islamists at their word, and another one who has actually read and understands “The Origin of Species” but neither takes the Islamists seriously nor thinks they want to destroy his country in earnest, believing they can be talked out of it—in such circumstances, which one should I vote for? Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve? 70 years after the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the USSR it is easy to see that, for a Polish Jew, it was better to take his/her chances with the Red Army than with the Wehrmacht and the SS. But was it as easy to see this, was it so obvious there and then? I doubt it. I wouldn’t, nowadays, like to be in the shoes of those Israelis who have to choose whether to go to war with Iran soon or to wait (and how much). In 20/30 years it will be quite easy to praise or blame them, but not now. That’s the trouble about the present: it is not (yet) the past; it may resemble it, but it is actually unprecedented. Today I feel rather at ease with the Pope and the Vatican, but only ten years ago I would have seen their as my enemies and would have felt more comfortable picking my friends and allies among the atheistic, Marxist left. Both sides, as well as the world, changed a lot in the meantime (and so, likely, did I). As good old Lenin said (quoting Chernyshevsky): what is to be done?

  15. anonymous says:

    an example of Goldstone’s reliable testimony from Gazan ‘officials’…
    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/09/goldstone-report-inaccuracies-part-16.html

  16. E.G. says:

    Goldstone at UN: War crimes impunity impedes Mideast peace
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1117567.html

    That’s Breaking news!

  17. E.G. says:

    oao #13

    Certainly not moi, and this one is not self appointed.

    Anyway, this name confusion is Kafkaesque.

  18. Eliyahu says:

    EG, I read Pazit Ravina’s article in Maqor Rishon too. Goldstone is a gullible ass, as this story shows. What ought to be added is that the Yugoslav war crimes trials were meant to smear the Serbs while basically letting Croatian and Bosnian Muslim war criminals off the hook. Of course there were plenty of war criminals among all of those groups. And plenty of suffering among all of them. But the Serbs were made to look like the main bad guys while Croats and Bosnian Muslims were whitewashed to an extent. Likewise, Kossovo Muslims were whitewashed to the detriment of the Serbs.

    Nobody involved in the Hague tribunal on Yugoslavia that I know of bothered to point out how the Western powers, NATO, and the EU had contributed to that terrible Balkan war. On the other hand, Carla del Ponte, herself a former Hague tribunal prosecutor, wrote a book complaining about Kossovo Albanian Muslims trading in Serbian body parts, inter alia. She was in a position to know these matters. But her charges got little attention compared with the Swedish Aftonbladet blood libel against Israel. So much for international criminal investigations and their capacity to investigate when the major powers are not interested or are opposed. On Carla del Ponte’s book, see link:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2008/04/condoleezza-rice-embraces-anti-israel.html

    Goldstone’s involvement in the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal farce ought to be enough to discredit him. But this has not happened.

  19. sshender says:

    Rich,
    Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve heard of Limbaugh only through 3rd party sources that had often mentioned them together. Obviously, Ron Paul would be a much more appropriate example.

    However, I don’t see how that impedes on my credibility or the validity of my other points.

  20. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Regarding “Goldstone believing anything” link of yours I presume you have not read Maurice Ostroff’s exchange of emails with him:
    An appeal to Judge Goldstone to review the report of the mission to Gaza

  21. Cynic says:

    I don’t know why the link gives an error but the page is

    http://members.tripod.com/id234.html

    Also there is this
    Video Memorandum from Maurice Ostroff to the UN Human Rights Council Fact-finding Mission

    Judge Goldstone’s and Mr. Ostroff’s replies to the above video memorandum:

  22. oao says:

    Christianity in your country of origin, Romania, didn’t seem to be 100% good for the Jews before and during WW2, right? The Iron Guard’s another name wasn’t the Legion of the Archangel Michael?

    Neturei Karta and some other ultra-orthodox Jews aren’t among the most enthusiastic Zionists either, are they?

    As far as I know we lost family members to the guard.

    But anti-semitism and anti-zionism are not exactly identical, are they? Anyway, you should be aware by now that I treat all religiousity, part. the fanatic ones, with equal militant contempt and that includes the jewish one. I had my fill of Neturei Karta and the likes in Israel.

    Though Nazism itself was mostly a neopagan kind of cult, several forms of European (and not only European) fascism had a strong clerical element in them: Italian fascism, Spanish Franquism, the Hungarian Arrow Cross party, the Croatian Ustashi, the Slovakian quisling Father Tiso, important sectors of the Polish and French Catholic churches and so on (not forgetting, somewhat earlier, the pogromist Russian Black Hundreds). Throughout the 30s several Catholic and Protestant groups and clerics lobbied to keep the European Jewish refugees out of the US and Canada.

    I just finished 2 books about the Vatican’s part in saving Eichmann, as well as various other european fascists after the war.

  23. oao says:

    (cont’d)

    And, of course, some 3 or 4 centuries ago, religious extremism under the guise of messianism made whole European Jewries suicidally follow people like Shabbatai Zvi towards catastrophe. Zionism itself was a break with Jewish religious tradition and both its main theorists and practitioners for most of the time were emancipated, secular Jews working outside or even against their own religious establishments. Before the Holocaust, most orthodox/religious Jews were anti-Zionists.

    In fairness it must be said that, in the same period, much of the liberal and assimilated Western European Jews were no friends of the Zionist project either. And obviously, there were courageous anti-Nazi and anti-fascist religious Christians everywhere — for instance, a woman that should be better known/remembered, the Hungarian nun Margit Schlachta, who actually belonged among the Just.

    And we are seeing the same jewish response in Diaspora to today’s anti-semitism. We know how this will end, don’t we?

    BTW, would you mind sending me the link to Mel’s creationist text? I didn’t know she was one of them, but it doesn’t surprise me, because lately she began to sound like those people who blame Darwin and the theory of natural selection for Nazism and communism. (Thus, maybe Genghis Khan’s Mongols, besides organizing their genocidal armies according to the decimal system, were also early Darwinists: who knew it?)

    Well, you know, one of the main factors in the success of religion is that it creates the illusion of being a cope with adverse circumstances over which one does not have control. The right tends to have the regular kind, the left the secular kind, but all extremes involve some kind of religion.

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/lgf-search.php?searchWith=lgf&searchWhat=entries&maxPerPage=25&therange=&searchString=melanie+phillips

    Though the Islamonazis are, in their minds, fighting us because we are either Crusaders or (religiously defined) Jews, what characterizes our modern and (up to the moment) rather successful civilization is the post-religiousness, the secularism of its public sphere (associated to the freedom, even religious freedom, of its private sphere). Our civilization used to be the best (for me at least) not because it was post-religious or because it banned religion (it didn’t), but precisely because, among other things, it has been the only one that allowed all religions, as well as all forms of agnosticism and atheism. Its secret is that, though it has no bones to pick with religion in general, it is basically against empowering religious authority and against allowing it to oppress individuals or allowing it to interfere in the public sphere.

    Yes. But unfortunately in such an environment ultimately religion will ultimately win, because of its psychological illusion advantages in adverse circumstances. It also rationalizes the powerful human instinct for power and control, particularly in the advent of real inferiority — islamism is an excellent example. It was just a matter of time and it came via both the left and the right, as it did in the past.

    That’s what Mel, the Islamonazis, the fanatical creationists and many others oppose and are unable to understand. We want to be free of clerics, religious groups etc. who’d dictate our private behavior as well as our public policies. But whoever wants to willingly submit to this or that religious authority is free to do it if he/she doesn’t force anyone else to do the same. No real secularist wants to abolish other people’s religion. What he wants is to see religious freedom (or rather freedoms, in the plural) to be limited by all other freedoms (of expression, lifestyle etc.).

    well, you know, they don’t/refuse to see THAT aspect of religion. They usually have a personal version of religion
    and tend to project from it, so they are blind to the political consequences of institutional religion, in which all religion ends if left to its own devices.

    Our contemporary problem with the Islamists and, maybe, with much of Islam, is not that Muslims want to be free to practice their religion, but that many of them believe their religion allows them to limit or abolish everybody else’s freedoms, the religious ones included. And, right now, our main (but not only)problem with so many liberals and leftists is that they bought in the stupid theory according to which certain (but not all) religious fanatics (as well as hardened criminals, terrorist groups and so on) are actually not what they think and say they are, but “primitive rebels”, that is, (still) unconscious or pre-conscious Marxist revolutionaries – “objective” allies who will help them (the leftists and liberals) in their anticapitalist, anticolonialist, anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist struggles without consciously knowing they’re doing this not because of their religion, but because they’re the “Wretched of the Earth”.

    indeed. that’s projection. as to islamo-fascists, when your clerics tell you that you’re superior and must dominate the inferiors and yet reality is just a pathetic opposite, what would you predict the consequences to be?

    (I imagine that RL would say that, ironically, it is not the Islamists who are crypto-Marxists, but rather the Marxists who are crypto-millennialists – and I would agree.)

    See my comment re secular religion above.

    Now, it is obviously difficult to choose allies. I mean: it is easy to fight side by side with people who agree 100% with me. On the other hand, when faced with true enemies, how far can I go, how much and in how many things (and when) can someone disagree with me before he/she begins to look less like me and more like my enemies? If I’m fighting against people who would murder gays, does it make sense to ally myself with a group that, while leaving gays mostly alone, wouldn’t grant them the right to marry? Can the Jews work along people who’ll hate them in the future in order to defeat people who hate them in the present or hated them in the past?

    The classic dilemma of absolute vs. relative morals. It is usually it which forces “everybody must make its own choice”, as there is no universal absolute rule. And people do exactly that, producing the human experience, including its horrors.

    When, say, there are only two presidential candidates –one who takes the Bible literally but also takes the Islamists at their word, and another one who has actually read and understands “The Origin of Species” but neither takes the Islamists seriously nor thinks they want to destroy his country in earnest, believing they can be talked out of it—in such circumstances, which one should I vote for?

    A true dilemma. The rational person realizes that neither option is desirable and may not individually be able to produce a better alternative. Religion is devised precisely for such circumstances — it creates the illusion that there is no dilemma — go with your co-religionists and you don’t see the bad consequences of them winning.

    Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve? 70 years after the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the USSR it is easy to see that, for a Polish Jew, it was better to take his/her chances with the Red Army than with the Wehrmacht and the SS. But was it as easy to see this, was it so obvious there and then? I doubt it. I wouldn’t, nowadays, like to be in the shoes of those Israelis who have to choose whether to go to war with Iran soon or to wait (and how much). In 20/30 years it will be quite easy to praise or blame them, but not now. That’s the trouble about the present: it is not (yet) the past; it may resemble it, but it is actually unprecedented. Today I feel rather at ease with the Pope and the Vatican, but only ten years ago I would have seen their as my enemies and would have felt more comfortable picking my friends and allies among the atheistic, Marxist left. Both sides, as well as the world, changed a lot in the meantime (and so, likely, did I). As good old Lenin said (quoting Chernyshevsky): what is to be done?

    Well, you know enough not to be fooled by current circumstances. The christian-jewish-islamic conflict is a core fundamental one which lacks solution: it would be an illusion to believe that the church does not know and comprehend that its religion is a fake created by paul hijacking the jewish jesus for his own purposes (see hyam’s maccoby’s THE MYTHMAKER) and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes. So it’s understandable why they will always be interested in getting rid of its other — no alternative, regardless of what they declare for appearances’ sake, or how tamed they are at different points in time. They serve core psychological needs.

  24. oao says:

    And, of course, some 3 or 4 centuries ago, religious extremism under the guise of messianism made whole European Jewries suicidally follow people like Shabbatai Zvi towards catastrophe. Zionism itself was a break with Jewish religious tradition and both its main theorists and practitioners for most of the time were emancipated, secular Jews working outside or even against their own religious establishments. Before the Holocaust, most orthodox/religious Jews were anti-Zionists.

    In fairness it must be said that, in the same period, much of the liberal and assimilated Western European Jews were no friends of the Zionist project either. And obviously, there were courageous anti-Nazi and anti-fascist religious Christians everywhere — for instance, a woman that should be better known/remembered, the Hungarian nun Margit Schlachta, who actually belonged among the Just.

    And we are seeing the same jewish response in Diaspora to today’s anti-semitism. We know how this will end, don’t we?

    BTW, would you mind sending me the link to Mel’s creationist text? I didn’t know she was one of them, but it doesn’t surprise me, because lately she began to sound like those people who blame Darwin and the theory of natural selection for Nazism and communism. (Thus, maybe Genghis Khan’s Mongols, besides organizing their genocidal armies according to the decimal system, were also early Darwinists: who knew it?)

    Well, you know, one of the main factors in the success of religion is that it creates the illusion of being a cope with adverse circumstances over which one does not have control. The right tends to have the regular kind, the left the secular kind, but all extremes involve some kind of religion.

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/lgf-search.php?searchWith=lgf&searchWhat=entries&maxPerPage=25&therange=&searchString=melanie+phillips

    Though the Islamonazis are, in their minds, fighting us because we are either Crusaders or (religiously defined) Jews, what characterizes our modern and (up to the moment) rather successful civilization is the post-religiousness, the secularism of its public sphere (associated to the freedom, even religious freedom, of its private sphere). Our civilization used to be the best (for me at least) not because it was post-religious or because it banned religion (it didn’t), but precisely because, among other things, it has been the only one that allowed all religions, as well as all forms of agnosticism and atheism. Its secret is that, though it has no bones to pick with religion in general, it is basically against empowering religious authority and against allowing it to oppress individuals or allowing it to interfere in the public sphere.

    Yes. But unfortunately in such an environment ultimately religion will ultimately win, because of its psychological illusion advantages in adverse circumstances. It also rationalizes the powerful human instinct for power and control, particularly in the advent of real inferiority — islamism is an excellent example. It was just a matter of time and it came via both the left and the right, as it did in the past.

    That’s what Mel, the Islamonazis, the fanatical creationists and many others oppose and are unable to understand. We want to be free of clerics, religious groups etc. who’d dictate our private behavior as well as our public policies. But whoever wants to willingly submit to this or that religious authority is free to do it if he/she doesn’t force anyone else to do the same. No real secularist wants to abolish other people’s religion. What he wants is to see religious freedom (or rather freedoms, in the plural) to be limited by all other freedoms (of expression, lifestyle etc.).

    well, you know, they don’t/refuse to see THAT aspect of religion. They usually have a personal version of religion
    and tend to project from it, so they are blind to the political consequences of institutional religion, in which all religion ends if left to its own devices.

    Our contemporary problem with the Islamists and, maybe, with much of Islam, is not that Muslims want to be free to practice their religion, but that many of them believe their religion allows them to limit or abolish everybody else’s freedoms, the religious ones included. And, right now, our main (but not only)problem with so many liberals and leftists is that they bought in the stupid theory according to which certain (but not all) religious fanatics (as well as hardened criminals, terrorist groups and so on) are actually not what they think and say they are, but “primitive rebels”, that is, (still) unconscious or pre-conscious Marxist revolutionaries – “objective” allies who will help them (the leftists and liberals) in their anticapitalist, anticolonialist, anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist struggles without consciously knowing they’re doing this not because of their religion, but because they’re the “Wretched of the Earth”.

    indeed. that’s projection. as to islamo-fascists, when your clerics tell you that you’re superior and must dominate the inferiors and yet reality is just a pathetic opposite, what would you predict the consequences to be?

    (I imagine that RL would say that, ironically, it is not the Islamists who are crypto-Marxists, but rather the Marxists who are crypto-millennialists – and I would agree.)

    See my comment re secular religion above.

  25. oao says:

    Now, it is obviously difficult to choose allies. I mean: it is easy to fight side by side with people who agree 100% with me. On the other hand, when faced with true enemies, how far can I go, how much and in how many things (and when) can someone disagree with me before he/she begins to look less like me and more like my enemies? If I’m fighting against people who would murder gays, does it make sense to ally myself with a group that, while leaving gays mostly alone, wouldn’t grant them the right to marry? Can the Jews work along people who’ll hate them in the future in order to defeat people who hate them in the present or hated them in the past?

    The classic dilemma of absolute vs. relative morals. It is usually it which forces “everybody must make its own choice”, as there is no universal absolute rule. And people do exactly that, producing the human experience, including its horrors.

    When, say, there are only two presidential candidates –one who takes the Bible literally but also takes the Islamists at their word, and another one who has actually read and understands “The Origin of Species” but neither takes the Islamists seriously nor thinks they want to destroy his country in earnest, believing they can be talked out of it—in such circumstances, which one should I vote for?

    A true dilemma. The rational person realizes that neither option is desirable and may not individually be able to produce a better alternative. Religion is devised precisely for such circumstances — it creates the illusion that there is no dilemma — go with your co-religionists and you don’t see the bad consequences of them winning.

    Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve? 70 years after the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the USSR it is easy to see that, for a Polish Jew, it was better to take his/her chances with the Red Army than with the Wehrmacht and the SS. But was it as easy to see this, was it so obvious there and then? I doubt it. I wouldn’t, nowadays, like to be in the shoes of those Israelis who have to choose whether to go to war with Iran soon or to wait (and how much). In 20/30 years it will be quite easy to praise or blame them, but not now. That’s the trouble about the present: it is not (yet) the past; it may resemble it, but it is actually unprecedented. Today I feel rather at ease with the Pope and the Vatican, but only ten years ago I would have seen their as my enemies and would have felt more comfortable picking my friends and allies among the atheistic, Marxist left. Both sides, as well as the world, changed a lot in the meantime (and so, likely, did I). As good old Lenin said (quoting Chernyshevsky): what is to be done?

    Well, you know enough not to be fooled by current circumstances. The christian-jewish-islamic conflict is a core fundamental one which lacks solution: it would be an illusion to believe that the church does not know and comprehend that its religion is a fake created by paul hijacking the jewish jesus for his own purposes (see hyam’s maccoby’s THE MYTHMAKER) and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes. So it’s understandable why they will always be interested in getting rid of its other — no alternative, regardless of what they declare for appearances’ sake, or how tamed they are at different points in time. They serve core psychological needs.

  26. oao says:

    (cont’d)

    Now, it is obviously difficult to choose allies. I mean: it is easy to fight side by side with people who agree 100% with me. On the other hand, when faced with true enemies, how far can I go, how much and in how many things (and when) can someone disagree with me before he/she begins to look less like me and more like my enemies? If I’m fighting against people who would murder gays, does it make sense to ally myself with a group that, while leaving gays mostly alone, wouldn’t grant them the right to marry? Can the Jews work along people who’ll hate them in the future in order to defeat people who hate them in the present or hated them in the past?

    The classic dilemma of absolute vs. relative morals. It is usually it which forces “everybody must make its own choice”, as there is no universal absolute rule. And people do exactly that, producing the human experience, including its horrors.

    When, say, there are only two presidential candidates –one who takes the Bible literally but also takes the Islamists at their word, and another one who has actually read and understands “The Origin of Species” but neither takes the Islamists seriously nor thinks they want to destroy his country in earnest, believing they can be talked out of it—in such circumstances, which one should I vote for?

    A true dilemma. The rational person realizes that neither option is desirable and may not individually be able to produce a better alternative. Religion is devised precisely for such circumstances — it creates the illusion that there is no dilemma — go with your co-religionists and you don’t see the bad consequences of them winning.

  27. oao says:

    (cont’d)

    Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve? 70 years after the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the USSR it is easy to see that, for a Polish Jew, it was better to take his/her chances with the Red Army than with the Wehrmacht and the SS. But was it as easy to see this, was it so obvious there and then? I doubt it. I wouldn’t, nowadays, like to be in the shoes of those Israelis who have to choose whether to go to war with Iran soon or to wait (and how much). In 20/30 years it will be quite easy to praise or blame them, but not now. That’s the trouble about the present: it is not (yet) the past; it may resemble it, but it is actually unprecedented. Today I feel rather at ease with the Pope and the Vatican, but only ten years ago I would have seen their as my enemies and would have felt more comfortable picking my friends and allies among the atheistic, Marxist left. Both sides, as well as the world, changed a lot in the meantime (and so, likely, did I). As good old Lenin said (quoting Chernyshevsky): what is to be done?

    Well, you know enough not to be fooled by current circumstances. The christian-jewish-islamic conflict is a core fundamental one which lacks solution: it would be an illusion to believe that the church does not know and comprehend that its religion is a fake created by paul hijacking the jewish jesus for his own purposes (see hyam’s maccoby’s THE MYTHMAKER) and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes. So it’s understandable why they will always be interested in getting rid of its other — no alternative, regardless of what they declare for appearances’ sake, or how tamed they are at different points in time. They serve core psychological needs.

  28. oao says:

    (cont’d)

    Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve? 70 years after the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the USSR it is easy to see that, for a Polish Jew, it was better to take his/her chances with the Red Army than with the Wehrmacht and the SS. But was it as easy to see this, was it so obvious there and then? I doubt it. I wouldn’t, nowadays, like to be in the shoes of those Israelis who have to choose whether to go to war with Iran soon or to wait (and how much). In 20/30 years it will be quite easy to praise or blame them, but not now. That’s the trouble about the present: it is not (yet) the past; it may resemble it, but it is actually unprecedented. Today I feel rather at ease with the Pope and the Vatican, but only ten years ago I would have seen their as my enemies and would have felt more comfortable picking my friends and allies among the atheistic, Marxist left. Both sides, as well as the world, changed a lot in the meantime (and so, likely, did I). As good old Lenin said (quoting Chernyshevsky): what is to be done?

    Well, you know enough not to be fooled by current circumstances. The christian-jewish-islamic conflict is a core fundamental one which lacks solution: it would be an illusion to believe that the church does not know and comprehend that its religion is a fake created by paul hijacking the jewish jesus for his own purposes (see hyam’s maccoby’s THE MYTHMAKER) and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes. So it’s understandable why they will always be interested in getting rid of each other — no alternative, regardless of what they declare for appearances’ sake, or how tamed they are at different points in time. They serve core psychological needs.

  29. oao says:

    (cont’d)

    Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve? 70 years after the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the USSR it is easy to see that, for a Polish Jew, it was better to take his/her chances with the Red Army than with the Wehrmacht and the SS. But was it as easy to see this, was it so obvious there and then? I doubt it. I wouldn’t, nowadays, like to be in the shoes of those Israelis who have to choose whether to go to war with Iran soon or to wait (and how much). In 20/30 years it will be quite easy to praise or blame them, but not now. That’s the trouble about the present: it is not (yet) the past; it may resemble it, but it is actually unprecedented. Today I feel rather at ease with the Pope and the Vatican, but only ten years ago I would have seen their as my enemies and would have felt more comfortable picking my friends and allies among the atheistic, Marxist left.

    Well, you know enough not to be fooled by current circumstances. The christian-jewish-islamic conflict is a core fundamental one which lacks solution: it would be an illusion to believe that the church does not know and comprehend that its religion is a fake created by paul hijacking the jewish jesus for his own purposes (see hyam’s maccoby’s THE MYTHMAKER) and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes. So it’s understandable why they will always be interested in getting rid of each other — no alternative, regardless of what they declare for appearances’ sake, or how tamed they are at different points in time. They serve core psychological needs.

  30. oao says:

    (cont’d)

    Which of the two is more (or more immediately, more dangerously) naïve?…

    Well, you know enough not to be fooled by current circumstances. The christian-jewish-islamic conflict is a core fundamental one which lacks solution: it would be an illusion to believe that the church does not know and comprehend that its religion is a fake created by paul hijacking the jewish jesus for his own purposes (see hyam’s maccoby’s THE MYTHMAKER) and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes. So it’s understandable why they will always be interested in getting rid of each other — no alternative, regardless of what they declare for appearances’ sake, or how tamed they are at different points in time. They serve core psychological needs.

  31. sshender says:

    Right are not self-evident. They’re not unalienable. They are subject to modification just like anything else. I wish there were unalienable rights! I wish there were natural rights! I wish I could invoke God’s name and God’s voice when I call for freedom of speech and full equality. But I don’t hear God’s voice. Maybe you do, but I don’t. I have to satisfy myself with hearing the voices of human beings, hearing the voices of human beings who are suffering, hearing the voices of human beings who need equality. I cannot invoke God. It would be much easier if I could. But I can’t.

    Alan Dershowitz.

    This is an excerpt from his debate with Alan Keyes that I have uploaded a long time ago:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1802901271601616136#

    I must admit that this debate was for me Dershowitz’s Tour de Force and the reason why I admire this man so much.

  32. E.G. says:

    High priest and not lacking humour either:
    http://daledamos.blogspot.com/2009/09/amnon-rubinstein-goldstones-unconscious.html

    Nelson (in particular, re- our recent exchange):

    However, it is the opinion of this author that due to the severity of the allegations and the number of Palestinian civilians killed in the operation, Israel should re-investigate these thirty-plus cases and that this reinvestigation should be conducted by an independent body headed by an acting or retired judge of the Supreme Court. Such a body should be empowered to see army documents and make recommendations. This step is vital not because of Goldstone’s ludicrous report, replete with its instances of unconscious humor, but because we, Israelis, must be doubly sure that no crimes were perpetrated by our soldiers. We should not be “eyeless in Gaza”.

  33. Michelle Schatzman says:

    The Ostroff-Goldstone exchange can be found here :

    http://maurice-ostroff.tripod.com/id234.html

  34. E.G. says:

    Thanks Cynic, Eliyahu and Michelle for your refs.

    Nelson (and oao?) will surely be glad to ack that the 1st Zionist Congress took place in oao’s “cradle” – a town named Focsani – in Dec 30-31, 1881 (The Basel one happened in 1897), and gathered quite a few religious, orthodox, figures/ groups.

    G’mar Hatima Tova!

  35. Cynic says:

    oao,

    and islam knows it’s a fake hijacking of both judaism and christianity for Muhammad’s own purposes.

    Heh. Wafa Sultan said on al-Jazeera some time back that Islam was created to please Mohammad.

  36. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Thanks for your link.
    I got the link and when I tried to use it from the comment I just received an error.

  37. JD says:

    In my book, these words from Goldstone to Ostroff condemn Goldstone with conscious guilt:

    “It appears to me that they are erroneously (to use a polite term) alleging that the Report is directed at Israel and its people and supports terrorism. You know that that is not true.”

    This is a sidestep of the questions with a “rhetorical” response that is directly unresponsive on detail. A lawyer’s and police investigator’s trick.

    First, the pose of politeness, to create moral superiority over the nameless accusers. Then the juke move—”the report is directed at Israel and its people and supports terrorism.” Which is true. But the report was directed at Israel and that it supports war crimes.

    An innocent believer would not go to the trouble of such a rhetorical trick. He or she would say “no you are wrong” directly, or “you misread it.”

    And in real life, the trick worked:

    Ostroff:

    “You say that Netanyahu and Barak are mistaken in alleging that the Report is directed at Israel.”

    This is an innocent response by Ostroff, who, not judging him otherwise, is no match for Goldstone. Goldstone did not say that. That may be a logical short cut of thinking what Goldstone meant to relate: if he were sincere. But he is not. This will only lead to more confusion turning off the jury and bringing in a “not guilt” for goldstone.

    The only way to handle that statement is with an ironical mirror.

  38. JD says:

    “Which is true”

    To clarify my statement, what Goldstone wrote is true, the statement he accused his opponents of stating is not true.

    A lawyer familiar with the ins and outs of words in international law can make such statements with skill, which he does.

  39. oao says:

    Nelson (and oao?) will surely be glad to ack that the 1st Zionist Congress took place in oao’s “cradle” – a town named Focsani – in Dec 30-31, 1881

    today romania exists as a state only on paper. it is essential anarchy with a klepto-elite mafia whose only function is strictly to rob the state blind.

    since romania lost practically all its jews — most recently by ceausescu “selling” what remained to the west in return for preferential trade status — it would not be a stretch to argue that the loss of jews is one factor in the destruction.

    so much for the libel of the jew robber. looks like the romanians are pretty good at it themselves.

  40. oao says:

    Speaking of another wise man and religion, here’s spengler on dershowitz’s goldstone accusation:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/spengler/2009/09/18/st-anselm-and-alan-dershowitz/

    Dershowitz does this sort of thing as well as it can be done. But it will not convince the court of world opinion, for a simple reason: the enlightened world cannot wrap its mind around the prospect of the catastrophic breakdown of societies that are home to a fifth of the world’s population. The closer the Muslim world comes to the cliff, the more erratic and irrational will be the actions of Muslim extremists; and the worse the actions of Muslims extremists, the more the enlightened world will lay the problems of the Muslim world at Israel’s door.

    For reasons I have attempted to document since 2005, the numbers simply do not add up for most Muslim countries. As the Iranian fertility rate plunges from 7 in the past generation to 1.5 in the present one, the country will go through a slow-motion train-wreck in which the rapidly-aging population will cause a collapse in per capita output, just as Iran runs out of oil and gas. Leave aside the question of how Islam as a religion can adapt to modernity (I have offered lengthy arguments as to why it cannot). The train-wreck is proceeding before our eyes, and it compromises the survivability of a billion people. It is a foreseeable, and unstoppable, humanitarian catastrophe on a scale that dwarfs anything in the modern era.

    Secular, enlightened opinion cannot absorb this fact, for it stems from the latent influence of theology on human societies; to admit that it is happening not only bursts the bounds of the Western mind to absorb horror, but threatens the founding premises of enlightened discourse. Ten years ago I chose the nom-de-guerre “Spengler” to rub in the prospect of catastrophic decline, and not only of the West.

    The closer Muslim countries draw to the cliff, the more paranoid they will become. This morning’s news has Iranian president Ahmadinejad once again insisting that the Holocaust never happened. Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad, but it is the inevitability of destruction that drives men mad. The Persians have no good choices to make, and madness will lead to policy decisions no worse than sanity.

    The enlightened world will lay all of these problems at Israel’s door, in the hope that by humoring the dangerous paranoid, time might be gained in order to find a solution other than catastrophic social breakdown. That is to say, the enlightened world will speak to the Muslim “narrative” (what a hideous word), just as President Obama did in Cairo June 4 when he stated that Israel was founded because of the Holocaust–precisely the Arab complaint.

  41. Eliyahu says:

    oao, I certainly agree with David Goldman [spglr] that progress is not inevitable, far from it. But I perceive other causes. There are elite members in the West who seem to want the collapse of civilization. It’s not a natural process of response to Muslim decadence or some such. How do you explain the Bush/Obama policy of talking Iran out of the Bomb?? Didn’t anybody know or understand five years ago that talking to A-jad et Cie. would not stop Iranian bomb development? Israel has been talking about it since Rabin, that is, before his death in 1995. Doesn’t anybody in DC or Western Europe know that such a bomb would endanger the West, not just Israel?? OK, Sarkozy knows. Maybe Berlusconi. But Bush and Obama & the Brits have been dragging things out, or letting the Iranians do so, which is the same.

    What does it mean when Zbig Bzzzski says that the USA ought to shoot down any Israeli planes that try to knock out Iranian nuclear installations?? Doesn’t that mean that he wants Iran to have the Bomb? Of course, Zbig doesn’t take that position for the same reasons as the idiot Left does. He doesn’t say that it would Only Be Fair for Iran to Have Its Own Bomb. He doesn’t believe in being fair and he knows that he is an imperialist. What did he mean by saying “Our airspace” over Iraq?? He meant that Iraqi airspace is Our [USA] airspace. He wants Iran to have the Bomb.

    Maybe Sarkozy is really different since he rightly made a fool out of Bambi at the UN sec’y council last Thursday. See link:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2009/09/barack-hussein-obama-slick-subtle.html

    But the show isn’t over yet. And the Brits have been encouraging and inciting the Arabs and other Muslims since 1920 at least. The supposed intellectual Arnold Toynbee led the effort.

  42. Cynic says:

    Spengler wrote:
    The enlightened world will lay all of these problems at Israel’s door, in the hope that by humoring the dangerous paranoid, time might be gained in order to find a solution other than catastrophic social breakdown.

    Is it crazy to find some analogy here to the “psychology” of the Aztecs and Incas in their sacrifices to appease/humour the seemingly paranoid “Evil Eye” Sun/Moon/ God?

  43. Cynic says:

    Here’s a good summary of the judge, jury and executioner report Goldstone put out

    Goldstone, Are You God?

    Reading comments on Spengler’s and others blogs one finds that at most the only thing read was Goldstone’s allegations.
    Pity they cannot be made to read a compendium of retorts/replies to Goldstone’s allegations before putting finger to keyboard.

  44. Cynic says:

    What should have been quoted was:

    Goldstone is an accomplished and respected legal practitioner. As such, he is very familiar with the difference between conclusions of fact and conclusions of law. The UNHRC’s mandate to the Goldstone mission was to engage in fact finding. In a court of law, that’s what a jury does. Instead, Goldstone decided to become jury, judge, and executioner.
    His report repeatedly takes alleged “facts” — which were gleaned from highly unreliable third-party sources — and then draws legal conclusions. Not only was this beyond the mission’s mandate, but the report consistently misstates legal standards on the basis of insufficient factual evidence.

  45. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Didn’t anybody know or understand five years ago that talking to A-jad et Cie. would not stop Iranian bomb development?

    To sort of supply an answer instead of “ain li musag” (אין לי מושג) using this post by Ron Rosenbaum which seems to point to political shennanigans and collusion:

    Huge Intelligence Scandal: Will All the Pundits Who Relied on the Discredited 2007 NIE on Iran Now…

    …. the now clearly politically skewed analysis in the so-called National Intelligence Estimate of that year? You remember: the considered consensus wisdom of the entire U.S. intelligence community, which misled the world into believing there was nothing to worry about Iran’s nuclear program, …

    As long as they could convince the proletariat that this one could be resolved over tea and cucumber sandwiches, in light of the opposition to Iraq, that was all they were interested in – the short term breather.
    Leave it to the others later down the road.

  46. oao says:

    There are elite members in the West who seem to want the collapse of civilization.

    you obviously don’t remember that I have argued many times here that the so-called left wants to bring liberal democracy and capitalism down, hence its affinity to islamists.

    What does it mean when Zbig Bzzzski says that the USA ought to shoot down any Israeli planes that try to knock out Iranian nuclear installations?? Doesn’t that mean that he wants Iran to have the Bomb?

    Don’t recall who recently called Zbig an old fool and there are more like him. These are people who have been used to america’s dominance, have squandered it out of stupid arrogance and ignorance and now don’t have a practical solution to the consequences but to lick iran’s ass in the hope that they will be gentle with america when they take over. typical coward response.

    of course it helps if your childhood was spent in anti-semitic systems where you inhaled jewish libels and you can screw the jews in the process.

    Maybe Sarkozy is really different since he rightly made a fool out of Bambi at the UN sec’y council last Thursday.

    don’t be fooled. sarkozy is just simply envying alibama, he would like to be on top. i know of no policy of his that I would call different. he is all talk and no substance/action.

    But the show isn’t over yet. And the Brits have been encouraging and inciting the Arabs and other Muslims since 1920 at least.

    not just the brits. see the latest NGO Monitor report on the funding of AlMezan, the pal NGO which tried to have Barak arrested.

  47. oao says:

    Pity they cannot be made to read a compendium of retorts/replies to Goldstone’s allegations before putting finger to keyboard.

    if the allegation are consistent with what you have been manipulated to believe for a long time, why bother with the effort of acquiring knowledge and applying intellectual faculties (which are sorely lacking) to comprehend and judge.

  48. oao says:

    Barack Obama has displayed a disturbing pattern of work ethics: shirking work; claiming success when he was not entitled to do so; hiding his failures; and claiming the work of others as his own — when it was successful. These are not character traits that we should associate with Presidents.

    spengler has predicted exactly this would happen. I did so too, arguing that this exactly is to be expected from an affirmative action president. these are the consequences wherever such action is applied.

  49. Cynic says:

    oao,

    I read somewhere, can’t remember right now, someone postulating that the words on the teleprompter are from the mouth of Axelrod.

  50. Eliyahu says:

    The 2007 national intelligence estimate mentioned above shows that some powerful persons in the “intelligence” community want Iran to have the Bomb. Which can be added to what I said about Zbig. And don’t forget that Zbig and his cute blond-haired puppet with the big teeth and cute southern accent, jiminy cricket or whatever he’s called, helped Khomeini take over Iran in 1979 and thereby opened the road for A-jad.

    oao, why do you keep saying that these people are scared? Maybe they are not scared. Maybe helping jihadists is just policy. Surely that is true of Zbig.

    by the way, EG’s link to L’Express reports that the French nuclear group Areva is partly owned by — Iran. For 30 years now. Which does not mean that France would not support an attack on Iran’s nuke facilities. For the edification of Marxist-Leninist readers who agree with Lenin’s definition of imperialism as –more or less– finance capital, while a big piece of Areva is owned by Iran, a big piece of Mercedes-Benz is owned by Kuwait [or is it volkswagen?]. There is a lot of Arab and Iranian ownership of Western capitalist enterprises.

  51. oao says:

    oao, why do you keep saying that these people are scared? Maybe they are not scared. Maybe helping jihadists is just policy. Surely that is true of Zbig.

    because i don’t believe it. american policy has always had the power odds — economic, military, etc – were overwhelmingly in its favor. It usually managed to either bribe or intimidate and the Zbig generation is not used to anything else.

    When america faces different circumstances where money and force do not work, it is lost. Knowledge and smarts on how to defend its interests, based on knowledge and shrewdness does not exist, so appeasement is the only game in town.

    There is a lot of Arab and Iranian ownership of Western capitalist enterprises.

    that’s part and parcel of my argument that the west is finished.

  52. oao says:

    incidentally, about the only funded program at the lugano (switzerland) school of public health is “learning arabic for business and social success”.

  53. E.G. says:

    It is no secret that Iran owns part of a French Uranium enrichment company: it’s a Shah investment, that has already caused much trouble and a few deaths.

  54. Cynic says:

    The thread now seems to have focussed on the Iranian aspect of attacking the Jews, after the UN-Goldstone perspective; so now lets look at the American side:

    The American Administration is pro Zelaya in his stand off with the Honduran Constitution, the Supreme Court, the Congress and the people and the AA has diplomatically punished Honduran jurists of the Supreme Court.
    The people in South America who support Zelaya, apart from Chavez, Morales, Lula et al are also those like David Romero, director of rádio Globo, who basically accuses the Jews of attempts against Zelaya and that he laments that Hitler was not able to terminate his historic mission.
    The journalist Reinaldo Azevedo of the magazine Veja reports this in his blog (in Portuguese but should be understandable for those with a knowledge of Spanish;
    Maybe Nelson can fill in some of the context?)

    DIRETOR DE RÁDIO ZELAYSTA ACUSA OS JUDEUS DE TRAMAR CONTRA ZELAYA E LAMENTA, NO AR, QUE HITLER NÃO TENHA CUMPRIDO SUA MISSÃO HISTÓRICA

    So now we can better see the circle being drawn around Israel and the Jews as Obama joins the circus.

    The Europeans are only going to get excited when it becomes apparent to them that are in the line of fire; and maybe if Obama manages to carry on then Americans will be singing kumbaya by firelight – candles, who knows, maybe there won’t be any paraffin wax. :-)

  55. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, Zelaya himself claimed to the press that he was the target, while in the Brazilian embassy in Honduras, of poison rays or death rays of some sort aimed at the embassy by Israeli mercenaries. You can’t make this stuff up.

    But Obama thinks that he’s the kind of legit leader who ought to be supported for the sake of democracy in Latin America and helped to return to his office of president of Honduras. Sounds like Zelaya & Raul Castro & Chavez & Obama have got something going on surreptitiously. Maybe they’re pen pals who send each other secret message using Buck Rogers’ ray gun.

  56. Eliyahu says:

    anyway, the fact that the self-styled “Marxists” of today never seem to notice the heavy Arab investment in Western capitalist businesses, banks, real estate, etc, is an indication that they are more a manipulated body of public opinion sailing under false colors rather than a serious anti-capitalist movement. This implies that they either don’t know what the fathers of their movement taught or that they are happy to be manipulated and serve their master. Noam Chomsky fits this pattern perfectly.

  57. oao says:

    remember spengler’s argument that the world will put the muslim catastrophe at israel’s door?

    http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2009/10/02/the_quartets_shift_on_middle_east_peace.html

    be afarid, be very afraid. netanyahu is not one to be firm.

  58. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Off topic but here’s a variation of that popular spirit booster schadenfreude – Olympischenfreude

    Commenting on the reaction

  59. E.G. says:

    Thanks Cynic,

    I’m afraid we have somewhat differential definitions of that spirit booster. I really didn’t feel any joy about the ridicule.

  60. oao says:

    This says to me, Wow, what a secure guy. “I’ll try to make the three-pointer; if I miss, no big whoop, I’ll still be cool.”

    Well, when self-assurance is based on knowledge and serious smarts, then this would be my reaction. But if it has no basis, as in the case of alibama, then i worry.

    now, when it comes to olympics indeed no big deal. but he has done the same in ALL its policies without any basis and the consequences are dire for all.

  61. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    I didn’t expect you to feel your spirits lifted by that but simply with regard to what we discussed some time ago wanted to show that xxxxxfreude will be extracted from a situationany time people are basically powerless to determine some action to mollify their feelings.

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