Friday, August 18, 2006
Israel's assault on Lebanon was planned even before Hizbullah attacked and was aimed at driving a wedge between the different faiths that have been living in harmony in the country, a delegation from the World Council of Churches said on their return from a visit to Beirut and Jerusalem.Read More...
"We came back from Lebanon sharing the impression that this destruction
was planned. And if the action by Hizbullah was the trigger, this was a planned operation all ready to go," Jean-Arnold de Clermont, president of the Conference of European Churches, told reporters in Geneva...."
"Jostein Gaarder, the author of the literary chef d'oeuvre, "Sophie's World," has become seriously ill, either with malice or, perhaps, Alzheimer's, or both."
What has the author of Sophie's World done to earn the accolade? Well, he criticised Israel, of course. Here are more words thrown at him by the Simon Wiesenthal centre: "shallow Biblical knowledge", "Judeophobic paranoia...haunts his nightmares", "Obsessed with the Jews", "antisemite", "Gotterdamerung revival".
Following that, you may want to look these up:
1. Argumentum ad hominem
2. Ignoratio elenchi
"These neocon prescriptions, of which Israel has its equivalents, are fatal for America and ultimately for Israel. They will totally turn the overwhelming majority of the Middle East's population against the United States. The lessons of Iraq speak for themselves. Eventually, if neo-con policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well." — Zbigniew Brzezinski
Here's the Gaarder article in full (as translated by the Wiesenthal Centre. Thanks!):
God's Chosen People
By Jostein Gaarder, Aftenposten 05.08.06
Israel is now history. We no longer recognize the State of Israel. There is no way back. The State of Israel has raped the world's recognition and will not achieve peace until it lays down its arms. The State of Israel, in its present form is history, writes Jostein Gaarder.
There's no turning back. It's time to learn a new lesson: We no longer recognize the State of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime of South Africa, nor did we recognize the Afghani Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We need to get used to the idea: The State of Israel, in its current form, is history.
We don't believe in the notion of God's Chosen People. We laugh at this people's capriciousness and weep at its misdeeds. To act as God's Chosen People is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.
Limits to tolerance
There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as a justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the god of flora, fauna and the galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it silly, stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill.
We call baby killers "baby killers" and will never accept that people such as these have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We just say: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing and shame on every terrorist strike against civilians whether carried out by Hamas, the Hezbollah or the State of Israel!
Unscrupulous art of war
We acknowledge, and pay heed to, Europe's deep responsibility for the plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms and the Holocaust. It was historically and morally necessary for the Jews to get their own home. However, the State of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions and can no longer expect protection from the same. It has carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The Tribulation will soon be over. The State of Israel has seen its Soweto.
We are now at the watershed. There's no turning back. The State of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms.
Without defense, without skin
May the spirit and the word blow the apartheid walls of Israel down. The State of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy upon the civilian population; for our prophecies of doom are not aimed at the civilian individuals.
We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but wellness, but we reserve the right to not eat Jaffa oranges as long as they are foul tasting and poisonous. It was endurable for some years to live without eating the blue grapes of apartheid.
They celebrate their triumphs
We don't believe that Israel grieves any more for the forty killed Lebanese children than it has wailed over the forty years spent in the desert three thousand years ago. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs in the same manner they once cheered the plagues of the Lord as "fitting punishment" for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord God of Israel appears as an insatiable sadist.) We ask ourselves if most Israelis think that one Israeli life is worth more than the forty Palestinian or Lebanese lives.
For we've seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful greetings on the bombs about to be dropped on the civilian populations of Lebanon and Palestine. The little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with glee at the death and torment on the other side of the fronts.
The retribution of blood vengeance
We do not recognize the rhetoric of the State of Israel. We do not recognize the spiral of retribution and blood vengeance that comes with "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." We do not recognize the principle of ten or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective punishment or population thinning out as a political weapon. Two thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
He said: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We do not recognize a state founded on anti-humanistic principles and on the ruins of an archaic national and warlike religion. Or, as Albert Schweitzer expressed it: "Humanitarianism consists of never sacrificing a human being for a cause."
Compassion and forgiveness
We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of David; the Kingdom of God is within us and amongst us. The Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness.
Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and thoroughly humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the first Zionist terrorists were operating.
Israel doesn't listen
For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism, but Israel doesn't listen. It wasn't the Pharisee who helped the man who lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today we would say, a Palestinian. We are humans firstly - then Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: "And if you greet your brethren only, what more do you do than others?" We do not accept the kidnapping of soldiers. But neither do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.
We recognize the State of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the State of Israel that fails to recognize, respect or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more - more water and more villages. To obtain this there are those who want, with God's assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem. 'The Palestinians have so many other countries', certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.
The U.S. or the world?
Or as the foremost protector of the State of Israel puts it: "May God continue to bless America." A little child took note of that. She turned to her mother, saying: "Why does the President always end his speeches with 'God bless America'? Why not, 'God bless the world'?"
Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the heart: "Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?" It was he who wrote so beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of God's Chosen People. He personally liked to call himself a Muslim.
Calmness and mercy
We do not recognize the State of Israel. Not today, not as of this writing, not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation should fall to its own devices and parts of the population has to flee their occupied areas into another Diaspora, then we say: May their surroundings stay calm and show them mercy. It is an eternal crime, without mitigating circumstances, to lay hand on refugees and a stateless people.
Peace and free passage for the evacuating, civilian population no longer protected by a State. Shoot not at the fugitives! Take not aim at them! They are vulnerable now -- like snails without shells, vulnerable as slow caravans of the Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless as the women, children and elderly of Qana, Gaza, Sabra and Shatilla. Give the Israeli refugees shelter; give them milk and honey!
Let not one Israeli child pay with his life. Far too many children and civilians have already been murdered.
Friday, August 04, 2006
"The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that 'according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy.'
"All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said." (Efrat Weiss)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man writes on artillery shells at a position in the northern village of Fassuta, near the Lebanese border, July 24, 2006. -- REUTERS /Gil Cohen Magen (ISRAEL)
Yesha Rabbinical Council Says This Is OK