Demons On The Streets Of Israel

Demons On The Streets Of Israel

Israeli Flag 


Demons on the streets of Israel
This is not a predominantly racist country, but we are guilty of failing to recognize victimhood in others.
By Anshel Pfeffer • Ha’aretz

Almost 30 years ago, my father employed a computer programmer who was an early and prominent support of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach party. Innocently, I once asked him how an educated man, an accomplished linguist and mathematician, could support racism. “Jews can’t be racist,” he answered. “We allow anyone to convert and become a Jew and once he is a Jew, he is equal to us in every way. So how can anyone say we are racists?”

I have learned a few things since then. Among them, that having an education is no bar to holding obscene views, and that racism is not technically just about race. But the idea that Jews cannot really be racist is far from being a fringe belief. The reasoning behind this is not just theological.

Two millennia of persecution have ingrained us with the knowledge that whenever there is racism around, we will be on the receiving end. True, the Torah includes exhortations to exterminate whole nations, men, women and children, but those are relics of an ancient time with no relevance to today’s world. Or so we tell ourselves.

Most of the disparaging references to non-Jews in the Talmud were censored out a thousand years ago, mainly for fear of provoking more persecution. Racism always seemed like a luxury that a downtrodden minority group could not afford. Early Zionism may have ascribed to the notion of a “land without a people,” disregarding the Arab inhabitants of the land, but this was originally an English Christian notion and by the time 1948 was here, the new Jewish state enshrined equality for members of all races and faiths in its founding declaration.

Sure, 63 years later we still have not yet got around to ensuring that Arab citizens enjoy equal access to land, resources, employment, education and budgets, but we see that as just one more problem that our facile politicians and small-minded bureaucrats have yet to solve. Racists? Us? Have we not we given homes and livelihoods to millions of immigrants, many of them non Jews by any standard? William Safire wrote in the New York Times after the airlifting of the Beta Yisrael from Ethiopia became public that “for the first time in history, thousands of black people are being brought to a country not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens.” Yes, not everyone wants their children to learn with them in the same school, but that’s only because they have so much to catch up, that they bring down the academic level. And the segregation between Sephardi and Ashkenazi girls in Haredi schools? That’s only some weird religious observance issue.

After 1967, Israel assumed control of the lives of millions of Palestinians, without civil rights, and after three generations of Israelis became accustomed to letting Jewish settlers through roadblocks and stopping Arabs, and mainstream state-employed rabbis began channeling biblical hatreds, we still convince ourselves it is a result of the existential nationalist conflict between us and them. They were the ones who shouted Itbach al-Yahud [slaughter the Jews], treated prisoners inhumanely and attacked Jews worldwide whenever tensions boiled over in the Middle East. We sent sophisticated field hospitals to Haiti after the earthquake. Two weeks ago, when dozens of rabbis signed the letter against renting apartments to Arabs, former Knesset Member Rabbi Haim Druckman proposed to change the wording. Instead of Arabs, he proposed “hostile elements trying to take advantage of the equality between loyal citizens, realize the ‘right of return’ and banish us from our land.” Anything to maintain the illusion.

Well, finally the racist cat is out of the bag. The demonstrations in South Tel Aviv and Bat Yam against foreigners living in their neighborhoods can no longer be interpreted as anything else.

The group of teenagers that systematically hunted down Arabs on the streets of Jerusalem is not just a freak occurrence. The xenophobia is no longer political, or even solely religious. Rabbis stood by women in shorts at the demonstrations. Veteran Kach members such as MK Michael Ben-Ari were there, but so was Kadima MK Yoel Hasson. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, a member of Labor, said the demonstration in his city was “understandable.” I wonder how he understood the booing and jeering that greeted an Ethiopian immigrant speaker until he assured his listeners that he was Jewish and then called for the Sudanese to be deported back to their land.

The failure of successive governments to secure the border with Egypt, impose consistent regulation on the import and abuse of foreign labor and, above all, to develop coherent and up-to-date immigration and citizenship legislation, has finally unmasked the demons that were always lurking close beneath the surface. Finally, we have the damning proof that in hurtling down the slippery slope between legitimate concerns over immigration and downright hatred of foreigners, Jews are no different from the goyim.

There is a lesson to be learned here from the Diaspora. The parties of the far right in Europe have shed their old neo-Nazi ties and recast themselves as anti-immigration and especially anti-Muslim. In doing so, they have tried to court the local Jewish communities, citing joint concerns over anti-Semitic attacks. By and large, these overtures have been shunned; most Jewish leaders responsibly knew where to draw the line between speaking out against Muslim hate crimes and the resulting racist backlash. Some of those very politicians who would never be allowed on any respectable platform in their own countries were welcomed here last month and taken on a tour of the settlements.

Israel, for all its faults, is not a predominantly racist or Apartheid-like country. But there has been a continuing failure of Israeli society as a whole to recognize victimhood in others; to understand that there were other genocides in the 20th century that need commemorating other than the Holocaust; that while an entire nation hopes to see Gilad Shalit returned to his family, there are 10,000 mothers on the other side who see their imprisoned sons as fighters and not murderers; and to realize that no amount of PR can ever change the impression made by 43 years of occupation of another people. These demons have been unleashed on our streets.

The government has a duty, finally, to build the southern border fence, to find ways to integrate some of the illegal immigrants and find alternative solutions for the rest, but all of us have a duty to ourselves – to admit we can also be racists.

Scientists find evidence for ‘chronesthesia,’ or mental time travel

Researchers have found evidence for “chronesthesia,” which is the brain’s ability to be aware of the past and future, and to mentally travel in subjective time. They found that activity in different brain regions is related to chronesthetic states when a person thinks about the same content during the past, present, or future.

KKK OK But Not WikiLeaks For Some Payment Processors!

Visa, MasterCard and Pay Pal suffered online outages when they came under attack from WikiLeaks supporters waging cyber-war against the firms they accuse of stifling the project’s activities by stopping payment processing.

Click to enlarge

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is currently in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

The US government has presented no charges against  Assange, but the absence of solid accusations did not stop American government officials from reportedly putting pressure at the highest level to cut off Wikileaks’ funding supply.

The senior executive of America’s money transfer giant, Pay Pal, said the State Department had written to the company, claiming the online whistleblower had illegally leaked documents. So Pay Pal, along with MasterCard and Visa no longer accept cash donations for the controversial website.

“It’s the threat of this that has some impact on national security. And when you say that, in the United States, everybody, you know, wets their pants and they do what they’re told,” scorned Sam Husseini, the communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. “It’s a misconception in some cases that people think the US is purely a money-driven society. It is not. The government has certain prerogatives, particularly over national security.”

It appears that no court ruling or legal procedures were needed to crackdown on the media organization.

Jeff Paterson, Project Director of Courage to Resist organization, believes the situation with WikiLeaks is outrageous.

“Wikileaks has not been charged with a single US crime,” he said, “and here the country’s financial institutions are taking action on behalf of our state department to extinguish this whistleblower’s website.”

Later, Pay Pal backtracked on its reasons for acting on the US government’s request, while MasterCard and Visa were most evasive on the issue.

But the general explanation they give for not accepting donation payments for WikiLeaks is that the site “encourages, promotes, facilitates or instructs others to engage in illegal activity.”

But, on the other hand, neither MasterCard nor Visa have any problems processing donations for, say, the Ku Klux Klan – a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a history of extreme violence, with goals of racial segregation and white supremacy. And yet it takes seconds to make a donation for the Klan, using your Visa or MasterCard. In this case, MasterCard and Visa are saying, it is all about business. But they are not saying that when it comes to WikiLeaks.

A number of senators, including the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Joe Lieberman, were quick to pat those companies on the back for cutting off cash to WikiLeaks.

But some cannot help asking: if US officials are so down on WikiLeaks, why are they not after the WikiLeaks’ partner newspapers?

”One other incredible thing about the persecution is that so many people are falsely reporting that WikiLeaks has dumped 250,000 documents but it’s not true at all. They were only putting stuff up on their webpage, when the New York Times, [German] Der Spiegel, [British] The Guardian or [Spanish] El Pais were putting them up. They were very useful to the US government in some ways,” Sam Husseini reminded.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding WikiLeaks. But what is on the surface now, are examples of double standards: everyone is after WikiLeaks, but not, for example, the New York Times. The question is why?

Ancient Humans Interbred With Us

22 December 2010 Last updated at 18:03 GMT

Ancient humans, dubbed ‘Denisovans’, interbred with us By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News


Professor Chris Stringer: “It’s nothing short of sensational – we didn’t know how ancient people in China related to these other humans”

Scientists say an entirely separate type of human identified from bones in Siberia co-existed and interbred with our own species.

The ancient humans have been dubbed Denisovans after the caves in Siberia where their remains were found.

There is also evidence that this group was widespread in Eurasia.

A study in Nature journal shows that Denisovans co-existed with Neanderthals and interbred with our species – perhaps around 50,000 years ago.

An international group of researchers sequenced a complete genome from one of the ancient hominins (human-like creatures), based on nuclear DNA extracted from a finger bone.

‘Sensational’ find

According to the researchers, this provides confirmation there were at least four distinct types of human in existence when anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) first left their African homeland.

Denisovan tooth
DNA from a tooth (pictured) and a finger bone show the Denisovans were a distinct group

Along with modern humans, scientists knew about the Neanderthals and a dwarf human species found on the Indonesian island of Flores nicknamed The Hobbit. To this list, experts must now add the Denisovans.

The implications of the finding have been described by Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London as “nothing short of sensational”.

Scientists were able to analyse DNA from a tooth and from a finger bone excavated in the Denisova cave in southern Siberia. The individuals belonged to a genetically distinct group of humans that were distantly related to Neanderthals but even more distantly related to us.

The finding adds weight to the theory that a different kind of human could have existed in Eurasia at the same time as our species.


Researchers have had enigmatic fossil evidence to support this view but now they have some firm evidence from the genetic study carried out by Professor Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany.

“A species of early human living in Europe evolved,” according to Professor Paabo.

“There was a western form that was the Neanderthal and an eastern form, the Denisovans.”

The study shows that Denisovans interbred with the ancestors of the present day people of the Melanesian region north and north-east of Australia. Melanesian DNA comprises between 4% and 6% Denisovan DNA.

David Reich from the Harvard Medical School, who worked with Svante Paabo on the study, says that the fact that Denisovan genes ended up so far south suggests they were widespread across Eurasia: “These populations must have been spread across thousands and thousands of miles,” he told BBC News.

One mystery is why the Denisovan genes are unique in modern Melanesians and are not found in other Eurasian groups that have so far been sampled.

‘Fleeting encounter’

Professor Stringer believes it is because there may have been only a fleeting encounter as modern humans migrated through South-East Asia and then on to Melanesia.

Denisova cave The remains were excavated at a cave site in southern Siberia

“It could be just 50 Denisovans interbreeding with a thousand modern humans. That would be enough to produce this 5% of those archaic genes being transferred,” he said.

“So the impact is there but the number of interbreeding events might have been quite small and quite rare.”

No one knows when or how these humans disappeared but, according to Professor Paabo, it is very likely something to do with modern people because all the “archaic” humans, like Denisovans and Neanderthals disappeared sometime after Homo sapiens sapiens appeared on the scene.

“It is fascinating to see direct evidence that these archaic species did exist (alongside us) and it’s only for the last few tens of thousands of years that is unique in our history that we are alone on this planet and we have no close relatives with us anymore,” he said.

The study follows a paper published earlier this year by Professor Paabo and colleagues that showed there was interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals as they emerged from Africa 60,000 years ago.

Arabs Persecuted By Scheming Jewish Bigots

Arabs Not Allowed because they aren’t Jewish; What if they were Muslim?

How poignant is the above Photo? It wasn’t long ago that such signs were strewn across the USA, but those with historical amnesia seem to forget it ever existed.

Even more egregious,  Jewish extremists in Israel are now inflicting a similar decrepit form of racist and religious discrimination. What if it were Muslims saying “this is a Muslim only neighborhood, no Jews allowed?” Or if this had happened in an area of Cairo?

You can be sure that Robert Spencer and company would be chirping about it day and night.

Arab tenants forced to leave Tel Aviv home due to threats


Four Muslims and a Druze man were compelled to leave an apartment they had rented in southern Tel Aviv due to neighbors’ scheming against them, Ynet has learned. They claim that residents of the neighborhood threatened to torch the apartment and attack the landlord if the tenants were not evicted.

“Residents said aloud that they didn’t want to see Arabs in the neighborhood, because it’s for Jews alone,” one of the tenants said. (Hassan Shaalan)

Catholic Fascist Robert Spencer Praises Catholic Euro Fascist Ewald Stadler

Robert Spencer Goes Bonkers for Austrian Fascist Ewald Stadler

Birds of a feather flock together and in Robert Spencer’s case it seems that he has latched onto a fellow Catholic in Austria by the name of Ewald Stadler.

The only problem is that Stadler is a politician with the BZO, a group that he found along with Jorg Haider, a neo-fascist. Stadler has also made some controversial statements on Nazism.

Here is the video Spencer posted on his site and his comments, it has been reposted by the BNP since,

Austrian MP Ewald Stadler, addressing the Turkish ambassador to Austria, here dares to tell the truth about Islam in Turkey and in Europe. It’s breathtaking. Ewald Stadler surely deserves to be nominated for Anti-Dhimmi Internationale of 2010.

(Video thanks to Pamela Geller.)

Here is Stadler’s bio translated from the German (hat tip: Leonora),

Ewald Stadler is an Austrian politician and was a member of the Austrian Freedom party until 2007. He was counted among the so-called “German National” wing of the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party/ freedom party Austria) but was also a proponent of the (previously less known) conservative catholic views in his party. Stadler constantly attracted attention with his controversial statements on the Nazi era. He asserted that the end of the National Socialist(nazi) command in Austria would not give any relief/liberation.  In the European elections in Austria in 2009 he was the top candidate of the BZÖ .

Bündnis Zukunft Österreich(BZÖ)= Alliance for Austria’s Future (BZÖ) is an Austrian party . It was founded in April 2005 by members of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) by Jörg Haider. It is classified as right-wing (right-populist).

Is it any surprise that Spencer is so awe struck by Stadler? A fascist whose party is classified as right-wing (right-populist), and who has made borderline Nazi favorable comments? In reality it once again peels away at the facade that Spencer has created as a defender of the West when in reality he is nothing more than an anti-Freedom fascist.

It also adds to the list of Fascists that Spencer has supported and spoken with:

-EDL (English Defense League), SIOE (Stop the Islamization of Europe), Geert Wilders, Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, Ewald Stadler, BZO, Sergei Trefkovic (Serbian Nationalist, genocide denier), etc.

Right Wing Terrorist Supporter Heads Homeland Security

The Republican congressman who supported terrorism

Why Peter King is the right man to probe terrorism

Reuters/Chip East
Peter King

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is set to assume the chairmanship of the House Homeland Security Committee in January, and today comes the news that he intends to launch an investigation of “radicalization” among American Muslims.

In some perverse sense, King, who has represented part of Long Island in Congress since 1993, may be just the man for the job: He spent years openly supporting the terrorist Irish Republican Army.

The journalist Alex Massie has ably documented King’s history with the IRA, a group that he did not break with until 2005: 

In the 1980s, he was a prominent fundraiser for Noraid, the Irish-American organization that raised money for the IRA and was suspected of running guns to Ulster, too. Indeed, King’s rise to prominence within the Irish-American movement was predicated upon his support for the IRA at a time when New Yorkers were softer on terrorism than they are now. Noraid helped win King his seat in Congress, making him, in some respects, the terrorists’ Man in Washington. …

In 1982 he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County, New York, that “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.” That same year, an IRA bomb killed eight people in London’s Hyde Park. Two years later, the IRA almost succeeded in murdering the British prime minister.

If “IRA” were replaced with “Hamas,” the sort of fundraising King did would these days earn you a lengthy prison sentence for material support for terrorism.

Ironically, King has since emerged as the member of Congress perhaps most willing to toss around the “terrorism” label; he recently called for the designation to be extended to WikiLeaks. A few years ago, he also made the ludicrous claim that “80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists.” After Sept. 11, he floated the idea of using “tactical nuclear weapons” in Afghanistan.

In another literary twist in the tale, when King did finally break with the IRA in 2005, it was over his frustration with the lack of Irish support for the American invasions of two Muslim countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. King’s fear of Muslim terrorism had finally overwhelmed his support for Irish terrorism. 

  • Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age

A Huge News Story, Barely Noticed

 Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age.

The following essay was submitted by James A. Haught, editor of the The Charleston Gazette and author of Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age.

Philosopher-historian Will Durant called it “the basic event of modern times.” He didn’t mean the world wars, or the end of colonialism, or the rise of electronics. He was talking about the decline of religion in Western democracies.

The great mentor saw subsiding faith as the most profound occurrence of the past century — a shift of Western civilization, rather like former transitions away from the age of kings, the era of slavery and such epochs.

Faith in Decline

Pullquote: Little noticed, secularism keeps climbing in the United States.

Since World War II, worship has dwindled starkly in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and other advanced democracies. In those busy places, only 5 or 10 percent of adults now attend church. Secular society scurries along heedlessly.

Pope Benedict XVI protested: “Europe has developed a culture that, in a manner unknown before now to humanity, excludes God from the public conscience.” Columnist George Will called the Vatican “109 acres of faith in a European sea of unbelief.”

America seems an exception. This country has 350,000 churches whose members donate $100 billion per year. The United States teems with booming megachurches, gigantic sales of “Rapture” books, fundamentalist attacks on evolution, hundred-million-dollar TV ministries, talking-in-tongues Pentecostals, the white evangelical “religious right” attached to the Republican Party, and the like.

But quietly, under the radar, much of America slowly is following the path previously taken by Europe. Little noticed, secularism keeps climbing in the United States. Here’s the evidence:

  • Rising “nones.” Various polls find a strong increase in the number of Americans — especially the young — who answer “none” when asked their religion. In 1990, this group had climbed to 8 percent, and by 2008, it had doubled to 15 percent — plus another 5 percent who answer “don’t know.” This implies that around 45 million U.S. adults today lack church affiliation. In Hawaii, more than half say they have no church connection.
  • Mainline losses. America’s traditional Protestant churches — “tall steeple” denominations with seminary-trained clergy — once dominated U.S. culture. They were the essence of America. But their membership is collapsing. Over the past half-century, while the U.S. population doubled, United Methodists fell from 11 million to 7.9 million, Episcopalians dropped from 3.4 million to 2 million, the Presbyterian Church USA sank from 4.1 million to 2.2 million, etc. The religious journal First Things — noting that mainline faiths dwindled from 50 percent of the adult U.S. population to a mere 8 percent — lamented that “the Great Church of America has come to an end.” A researcher at the Ashbrook think-tank dubbed it “Flatline Protestantism.”
  • Catholic losses. Although Hispanic immigration resupplies U.S. Catholicism with replacements, many former adherents have drifted from the giant church. The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found that 20 million Americans have quit Catholicism — thus one-tenth of U.S. adults now are ex-Catholics.
  • Fading taboos. A half-century ago, church-backed laws had power in America. In the 1950s, it was a crime to look at the equivalent of a Playboy magazine or R-rated movie — or for stores to open on the Sabbath — or to buy a cocktail or lottery ticket — or to sell birth-control devices in some states — or to be homosexual — or to terminate a pregnancy — or to read a sexy novel — or for an unwed couple to share a bedroom. Now all those morality laws have fallen, one after another. Currently, state after state is legalizing gay marriage, despite church outrage.

The Age of Secularism

Pullquote: Gradually, decade by decade, religion is moving from the advanced First World to the less-developed Third World.

Sociologists are fascinated by America’s secular shift. Dr. Robert Putnam of Harvard, author of “Bowling Alone,” found as many as 40 percent of young Americans answering “none” to faith surveys. “It’s a huge change, a stunning development,” he said. “That is the future of America.” He joined Dr. David Campbell of Notre Dame in writing a new book, “American Grace,” that outlines the trend. Putnam’s Social Capital site sums up: “Young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five to six times the historic rate.”

Oddly, males outnumber females among the churchless. “The ratio of 60 males to 40 females is a remarkable result,” the 2008 ARIS poll reported. “These gender patterns correspond with many earlier findings that show women to be more religious than men.”

Growing secularism has political implications. The Republican Party may suffer as the white evangelical “religious right” shrinks. In contrast, burgeoning “nones” tend to vote Democratic. Sociologist Ruy Teixeira says the steady rise of the unaffiliated, plus swelling minorities, means that “by the 2016 election (or 2020 at the outside) the United States will have ceased to be a white Christian nation. Looking even farther down the road, white Christians will be only around 35 percent of the population by 2040, and conservative white Christians, who have been such a critical part of the Republican base, will be only about a third of that — a minority within a minority.”

Gradually, decade by decade, religion is moving from the advanced First World to the less-developed Third World. Faith retains enormous power in Muslim lands. Pentecostalism is booming in Africa and South America. Yet the West steadily turns more secular.

Arguably, it’s one of the biggest news stories during our lives — although most of us are too busy to notice. Durant may have been correct when he wrote that it is the basic event of modern times.


Cannibal Mouse: The MythBusters Episode You Never Saw


Co-host Adam Savage tells – in grizzly detail – why Discovery Channel banned a compelling installment of their show. Presented at Maker Faire Bay Area 2010. [Click for full version of Adam’s talk]


Vatican Press Release: “must reflect on what allowed abuse” !!

December 21st, 2010 by Dave Gamble

There has been an bizarre press release today from the Vatican … it is quite extraordinary in that is illustrates the astonishing degree of pure stupidity and complete detachment from reality. Here it is … with my comments in red …

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican officials Monday that they must reflect on the church’s culpability in its child sex-abuse scandal, but he also blamed a secular society in which he said the mistreatment of children was frighteningly common.

[Does he truly not remember that when running the congregation for the doctrine of the faith before becoming Pope, he issued a directive in 1980 to all catholic Bishops worldwide to cover-up the abuse and keep it a secret and that failing to do so would result in their excommunication … that resulted in abusers being protected and allowed to continue the abuse, this had nothing to do with secular society]

In his traditional, end-of-the-year speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops, Benedict said revelations of abuse in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” that required the church to accept the “humiliation” as a call for renewal.

[Thats code for, we got caught telling lies and covering up abuse]

“We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen,” the pope said.

[Seriously! … they truly don’t know … they honestly don’t yet appreciate that protecting folks who bugger little children is not a great idea, is their disconnect from reality that vast?]

Benedict also said, however, that the scandal must be seen in a broader social context, in which child pornography is seemingly considered normal by society and drug use and sexual tourism are on the rise.

[He actually thinks the society considers child pornography to be normal!! … can you, the reader, name one single individual who truly thinks like that … this is utterly bizarre … and exactly how does he know that drug use and sexual tourism are on the rise, he has no factual data to back that claim up … he is just making this up … but then he makes everything else up as well … and for that matter, what has any of this got to do with catholic priests abusing young children and the cover-up … unless perhaps he is suggesting that catholic priests are also drug users and sexual tourists ]

So how on earth can you ever respond to stuff like that, its such a gross denial of what is really happening. As you might imagine, representatives of abuse victims have a few words to say about this …

“He is trying to say that the modern world is corrupt and sexually rampant. It is blaming society for what is actually their responsibility,” Margaret Kennedy, founder of the U.K.-based Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors organization, told The Telegraph today. “No one in any age has ever thought that adults having sex with children is right.”

However, not everybody has lost all integrity, because tens of thousands of Germans have cancelled their church membership this year, according to new research by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper and the DPA press agency, and that in the end is the very best way forward … walk away … simply vote with your feet.

Racism, Rabbinical and Otherwise

Via Ran HaCohen, December 20, 2010

As part of Israel’s orgy of racism and fascism since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed his far-Right coalition almost two years ago, dozens of Israeli racist rabbis (RR) have signed an edict forbidding Jews in “the Land of Israel” from selling or renting property to non-Jews (in other words: to Israeli Palestinians or Arabs). The RR base their decision primarily on the prominent medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides (1135-1204), who forbids selling houses and fields in the Land of Israel to “idolaters” (Mishne Torah, Hilkhot avodat kokhavim 10).

Did Maimonides, who lived and prospered in a tolerant Muslim world, consider Muslims idolaters? On the contrary. In one of his responses, he states, “The Ishmaelites [i.e., Muslims] are not idolaters at all.” Like almost everything in Jewish law, then, things are open to negotiation: Maimonides’ authority is negotiable, his interpretation of the Law is negotiable, and his own intention is negotiable too. The RR reflect their own racism rather than some indisputable, inherent Jewish racism.

The Orthodox Fault

It was the Zionist Orthodox intellectual Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994) who urged the Israeli rabbinical establishment not only to emancipate itself from the state (the RR are all state employees!), but also to undertake a fundamental reform in order to adapt Judaism to the unprecedented reality of a modern Jewish state. The rabbinical establishment ignored Leibowitz’s call. Present-day Jewish Orthodoxy, especially the Zionist Orthodoxy, is therefore entangled in a whole network of ludicrous inconsistencies and contradictions, deriving from the fact that the Halakhah, the Jewish law, was conceived and developed in exile, when Jewish national independence – let alone a modern state – was at best a Messianic fantasy.

Jewish Orthodoxy has failed to cope with the fact that the Jews in Israel are no longer a minority but an sovereign majority. Many of the racist facets of Judaism are traceable to this unaccounted-for shift. A majority in a modern state has very different moral rights and duties than a small religious community in exile.

The leading Ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has poked fun at the Zionist RR by reminding that they are the ones who support the disputed circumvention of the biblical order to give the land a Sabbatical and to avoid cultivating it every seventh year. The controversial circumvention of this biblical order consists of selling the land to a non-Jew for the duration of the seventh year – in clear contradiction to the racist edict. The RR are not only racists – they are also hypocrites; their political commitment to chauvinistic racism is deeper than their religious integrity.

If the RR insist on treating Arabs in Israel as “idolaters,” why don’t they remind us of the rest of Maimonides’ words? In the same chapter, Maimonides forbids doing anything to actively save an idolater’s life: If an idolater is drowning, a Jew should not pull him out; if an idolater is dying, a Jew should not save his life; and a Jewish doctor should not even cure an idolatrous patient unless he is forced to.

On the other hand, in the same chapter Maimonides states that all these regulations apply only when Jews are in exile or when the idolaters are superior. What if the Jews have the upper hand? Then the Biblical command (Deuteronomy 7) should be followed in full: “When, however, Israel is in power over them, it is forbidden for us to allow an idolater among us. Even a temporary resident or a merchant who travels from place to place should not be allowed to pass through our land” – unless he accepts the Seven Laws of Noah, in which case he becomes a resident alien, a category that enjoys almost all the rights of a Jew. There can be little doubt that the Muslims obey the Seven Laws of Noah, and therefore…

The RR conceal all these considerations. They conceal the disputed validity of the racist regulations because they are adamant racists themselves. They conceal the worst racist regulations because they fear many of their followers would not go so far. At least not yet. At least not in public.

And they know their followers. Their urge not to rent or sell property to Arabs is supported by 55 percent of Israeli Jews, if a recent YNet poll (Hebrew) is to be trusted, including by a big minority of 41 percent of the non-religious Jews, and by 88 percent of Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. I challenge the Alan Dershowitzes of this world to find another country, Western or otherwise, in which a majority objects to selling land to an ethnic minority of fellow-citizens. 

The Secular Zionist Fault

The most vociferous among the RR is Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed. Not coincidentally, it is in his hometown where Arab students are regularly harassed and intimidated, their property is vandalized, and Jews renting flats to them are terrorized.

In a Hebrew column, the racist rabbi smears almost everybody: the “leftists,” the “environmentalists,” the “Arabs,” the court, the state – they all conspire against the true word of God, on which he and his followers have a monopoly.

But one of the RR’s targets is worth special attention: there’s nothing illegal about forbidding land sales to Arabs, says Eliyahu, because the Jewish National Fund has been doing the same for decades, and under the state’s auspices.

Here the racist rabbi hits the nail on the head. Indeed, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) owns 13 percent of Israel’s lands and explicitly allots them to Jews only. The Fund was created long before the state of Israel, collecting money in order to purchase land for Jewish settlements in Palestine. It’s a major player in Zionist consciousness all over the world; in former decades, no Zionist classroom all over the Jewish world was free of its  famous Blue Box for donations. This colonialist institution has been kept alive even after the state of Israel was established. Again, a sovereign state has very different moral rights and duties than a pre-state colonialist movement. But Israel is holding the stick in both ends.

The JNF’s discriminatory policy has been in place for decades and is now under consideration by Israel’s Supreme Court. Even last year, however, Israel signed a massive land-swap with the JNF, in which the JNF gives the state lands in the populated center of Israel, and gets in return mostly uninhabited lands in the north and the south – so that it can stop Arabs from settling them. The state of Israel uses the JNF as a subcontractor in order to bypass the principle of equality and to discriminate against non-Jews in their access to free lands – or, more often, to lands already inhabited by Arabs that Israel is determined to expel.

The JNF is the major dispossessor of the Bedouins in Israel’s southern areas: it is planting trees on thousands of acres of land containing Bedouin villages, in order to ethnically cleanse the area of any non-Jewish presence. The JNF is also behind the destruction of al-Arakib, a Bedouin village which has been destroyed at least seven times in the past months by JNF bulldozers.

When President Shimon Peres, then, and other Zionist politicians condemn the RR, their condemnation should be taken with a huge grain of salt. It has always been the Israeli policy – left-wing and right-wing governments alike – not to sell or hire lands to Arabs, a complementary measure to the massive confiscation of Arab-owned lands. Orthodox Judaism has failed to accommodate to the Jewish majority status; Zionism has refused to come to terms with its pre-state colonialist roots, even within “smaller Israel” (let alone the Occupied Territories). The racist rabbis may be less eloquent than, say, Shimon Peres, but both Peres and the rabbis are part and parcel of a much deeper Israeli ethos of ethnic discrimination. In fact, the victims of Israel’s relentlessly discriminatory policy are by far more numerous than those of the shameful rabbinical edict.

Read more by Ran HaCohen

the woo is really, really strong in this one…

Mike Adams wears many hats. Not only is he a professional snake oil peddler aspiring to build the next big anti-science portal, but he also doubles as a conspiracy klaxon, a hypocritical, condescending loudmouth, and now, astrologer. That’s right, if it’s against some sort of scientific consensus and there are skeptics who aren’t swayed by an idea, he’s willing to go out on a limb to fiercely defend it, dripping arrogance from virtually every other sentence as he tries to convince us that a recent study on mice found that personality is somehow shaped by the position of the stars in the night sky. Of course, as pointed out elsewhere, the study itself just noticed that changing seasons have an effect on the circadian rhythms of mice, you know, perfectly ordinary, terrestrial seasons which rely only on the planet’s tilt relative to its parent star. But hey, since when did a little thing like having to read something not from Above Top Secret or stop Adams? Hey Mike, how about writing in support of babies being delivered by storks rather than being born after a nine month gestation? It’s right up your alley since after all, mainstream science considers this idea just a story for overly curious kids.

Just to make this even more hilarious and embarrassing, our supposed health guru decides to tie menstrual cycles to the lunar orbit. Since the Moon swings around the Earth about every 28 days and the menstrual cycle lasts roughly the same amount of time, the two must be tied at the hip, right? Maybe once upon a time, when the ancestors of modern humans timed reproduction by lunar cycles, there was some relationship according to a few speculative papers. But today, women who don’t live with each other don’t exactly have simultaneous periods, and when they do, possibly as an evolutionary trait left by some prehistoric sexual selection, whether it’s a new moon or a full moon says nothing about the timing of their cycles. This is classic cargo cult science in action. Mike saw two things that seem to have some correlation to each other, asked why this is the case, then invented some explanation for the relationship. Isn’t that what scientists do all the time? Well, actually, in the real world, no. Scientists also have to provide evidence for the relationship they think they found, evidence that proves their idea, and evidence for a mechanism that actually makes sense. This is why the idea of past human hunter-gatherers timing reproduction by lunar phases makes sense and randomly equating the two numbers in the modern world, where knowing lunar phases is completely unnecessary, doesn’t.

Really though, how does one become as deluded as Adams? How does one just lose a sense of reason to such an extent that his only criteria for accepting some concept is whether mainstream scientists disapprove, no matter how many flaws with it are cited? He and his followers remind me of hipsters and non-conformists who defend their every action or choice by saying that “they’re not going to follow the sheeple” while slavishly trying to do the opposite of what’s happening in the mainstream. And so, every time Adams decides to tackle another topic he’s woefully unqualified to handle, he tries to zing those skeptics who bow their heads before anything they’re told by scientists and governments, oblivious to just how much time skeptical blogs devote to criticizing politics and government policies, and tearing into scientists’ faulty assertions. Although, I would be amazed to hear that Adams actually reads any skeptical blogs rather than just scans them for keywords he’ll try to derisively mock in his next screed. All the meanwhile, his followers, also with a dedication to ascribing to any opinion that serious scientists don’t think much of to feed their desire to be anti-establishment no matter whether it makes sense to agree or disagree with an establishment on the matter, all nod their heads, praise the man’s attempts at thought, and rail against those evil, nasty skeptics. Lest they be seen as one of the no- good conformist sheeple who actually dare to agree with scientists on something, of course…

How the U.S. Government Promotes Islamophobia

I often focus on organizations and individual right-wing activists outside the U.S. government that have stoked anti-Muslim sentiment here.  But the U.S. government itself is just as culpable in promoting a McCarthyist climate of fear where every Muslim-American is considered a “terror threat” and Islam is turned into the new bogeyman of the day.

The latest installment in the Washington Post‘s investigative series by Dana Priest and William Arkin, “Top Secret America,” provides a look into how the U.S. government is mired in the deep swamp that is Islamophobia in America (emphasis mine):

Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies…

Ramon Montijo has taught classes on terrorism and Islam to law enforcement officers all over the country.

“Alabama, Colorado, Vermont,” said Montijo, a former Army Special Forces sergeant and Los Angeles Police Department investigator who is now a private security consultant. “California, Texas and Missouri,” he continued.

What he tells them is always the same, he said: Most Muslims in the United States want to impose sharia law here.

“They want to make this world Islamic. The Islamic flag will fly over the White House – not on my watch!” he said. “My job is to wake up the public, and first, the first responders.”

With so many local agencies around the country being asked to help catch terrorists, it often falls to sheriffs or state troopers to try to understand the world of terrorism. They aren’t FBI agents, who have years of on-the-job and classroom training…

Amazingly, the Center for Security Policy, a neoconservative think tank, is also being listened to by the U.S. homeland security apparatus:

A book expanding on what Shoebat and Montijo believe has just been published by the Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based neoconservative think tank. “Shariah: The Threat to America” describes what its authors call a “stealth jihad” that must be thwarted before it’s too late.

The book’s co-authors include such notables as former CIA director R. James Woolsey and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, along with the center’s director, a longtime activist. They write that most mosques in the United States already have been radicalized, that most Muslim social organizations are fronts for violent jihadists and that Muslims who practice sharia law seek to impose it in this country.

Frank Gaffney Jr., director of the center, said his team has spoken widely, including to many law enforcement forums.

“Members of our team have been involved in training programs for several years now, many of which have been focused on local law enforcement intelligence, homeland security, state police, National Guard units and the like,” Gaffney said. “We’re seeing a considerable ramping-up of interest in getting this kind of training.”

The fact that Gaffney speaks with law enforcement on how to combat “terrorism” is disturbing.  Matt Duss of Think Progress explains that Gaffney is a person who thinks that “Obama is a Muslim, question[s] whether Obama is an American citizen, [and] believe[s] that the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s new logo is a sign of the president’s ‘submission to sharia.’”  Gaffney is not an expert on Islam.  In fact, Gaffney did not consult a single Islamic scholar on his “report” on shariah law, and only started studying the religion three years ago.

What’s more, as I explained here, the Center for Security Policy’s general counsel is David Yerushalmi, an advocate for criminalizing Islam and who once wrote that “blacks [are]…the most murderous of peoples.”

Another recent instance of the U.S. government promoting Islamophobia was the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud in Oregon, which in reality was, as Glenn Greenwald put it, the FBI successfully thwarting its own plot.

The next day, this happened:

U.S. investigators said a fire at an Islamic center in Oregon on Sunday was arson and warned they would tolerate no retribution for an attempt by a Somali-born teenager to detonate what he thought was a car bomb.

Pledge of Allegiance Resources: Information, History, Arguments on Under God

Image Source: Andersen Ross/Getty Images

The Pledge of Allegiance has been recited by tens of millions of school children over the years and is familiar to most Americans — but was the 1950s addition of the phrase “under God” an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state? Atheists and some theists argue that it is and, moreover, that it’s fundamentally immoral because it tells people that there is an inherent, officially supported connection between American patriotism and belief in a particular sort of god. This religious nationalism is connected to violence, hostility, and distrust towards both atheists and minority dissenters.

Click link below for resources:-

Pledge of Allegiance Resources: Information, History, Arguments on Under God

IVF Nobel Prize: Vatican vs. Science

The Vatican has a long and sordid history of putting religious ideology ahead of basic science — which is to say, ahead of reality. Nowhere is this most evident than perhaps in questions of biology and the latest expression of the Vatican’s hostility towards reality is their opposition to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in physiology/medicine to Robert Edwards, the pioneer of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

After hearing the news of the Nobel award, Monsignor Ignacio Cartasco. the Vatican’s spokesman on bioethics, told Italy’s Ansa news agency on Tuesday that the decision to honour Edwards was “completely out of order”. He Is responsible for the 1arge number of freezers filled with embryos In the world”, of which most will probably “end up abandoned or dead”, Cartasco said.

Source: New Scientist, October 9, 2010

By this logic, I suppose the Vatican should condemn the factories which produce tissues and hand lotion — after all, consider all the poor sperm which have denied any sort of chance at fertilizing an egg because of the widespread, unrestricted availability of tissues and lotion to young males. It’s a holocaust that dwarfs all other holocausts and no one is protesting it!

Amazon Closes Wikileaks Hosting Account

From LGF:-

In addition to their retail business, is a major player in the “cloud” hosting market; their hosting service is known as the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2. When Wikileaks’ servers in Sweden were hammered by a DOS (distributed Denial Of Service) attack, Julian Assange opened an account with Amazon to host Wikileaks in the cloud, because the “virtual server” EC2 system is designed to be highly resistant to these kinds of attacks.

Today closed the account of Wikileaks, with no official explanation so far.

The Associated Press says Wikileaks is going to move back to its Swedish web host.

Meir Kahane (of unblessed memory) Comic Strip Hero

By Jesse Bacon

Ma’an News reported last week on a comic book honoring Meir Kahane, the slain Jewish fascist leader whose politics were even too much for the Israeli Supreme Court. His party remains banned. Reading the comic strip, a few things become clear. First of all, the artistic quality is incredibly poor. If only the Middle East conflict could be solved by a comic-off, Joe Sacco’s recent Footprints in Gaza would have it shellacked. Second, the ideology is so disturbing that even the bad artwork can’t obscure it. Check out these two panels:

Thirdly, the style put me in mind of Jack Chick, the prosletyzing comics created by American Christians. Here’s a panel from their one “Jewish” strip (I used to be miffed that Catholicism and Islam got whole books denouncing them, while Chick could only manage this one .)

And here’s the Kahane rabbi picture.

So why am I spending this much time on such a clearly fringe character? Because I’m not so sure how fringe he really is. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Alex B. Kane article about a New York synagogue holding a Kahane memorial.

‘We were pretty outraged to see that a synagogue in the Upper West Side–from what I understand, a relatively mainstream, Orthodox Upper West Side synagogue–would be holding a memorial to Meir Kahane, who is one of the most extreme, radical, right-wing Israeli leaders in the last few decades,’ said Itamar Landau, a full-time fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, in an interview.  Landau is a key organizer behind the planned protests this Sunday.  ‘That’s not the Jewish community that I believe in, and that’s not the Jewish community I think we have.’”

These yeshiva “bochers speaking out is definitely a hopeful development, they are taking a stand for what kind of Jewish community they want. And it’s hard for me to imagine them accepting the argument that a Kahanist event is ok , but having a discussion of BDS isn’t.

And finally, how many Israeli political figures share some less cartoonish, more sophiticated version of these views?