As did millions of other Americans, I went to see the hugely popular Clint Eastwood-directed movie, “American Sniper.” Here are some of my thoughts:
No one, at least not me, doubts the patriotism, courage, and sacrifice of our nation’s military personnel–especially our combat forces. I certainly do not share Michael Moore’s opinion that Chris Kyle (and the rest of our military snipers) was a coward. Snipers have been effective in helping to wage America’s wars since our War for Independence. In lawful combat, snipers are as needful as any other specialized fighting man.
My issue is not with Chris Kyle–or with any other American fighting man. My issue is with the justness of the war Chris Kyle was ordered to fight. Yes, I realize that we have an all-volunteer army; but let’s be honest enough to admit that the vast majority of our young people joining the U.S. military sincerely believe that they are doing their patriotic duty by volunteering to conduct war against America’s “enemies.” They learn nothing else from family, school, movies and television, and church. The singular message they hear is that everything the U.S. military does is right and righteous and that every military engagement is just and justified. I’m sure Chris Kyle was no different.
However, at the risk of sounding unpatriotic, after watching the real-life military exploits of Chris Kyle on the Big Screen, I left the theater extremely angry.
In the first place, Saddam Hussein and the country of Iraq had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11, and virtually everyone on the planet now knows it. G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney unabashedly lied to the American people about the necessity of America invading Iraq. We invaded Iraq under false pretenses; we occupied Iraq under false pretenses; and we took (and lost) thousands of lives under false pretenses.
If those miscreants in Washington, D.C., want to invade countries that truly have Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), why don’t they invade Russia, or China, or Great Britain, or North Korea, or India, or Pakistan, or Israel? We haven’t heard the first word about the need to invade and occupy any of those countries. Why not? Each of those countries has known stockpiles of nuclear weapons. And when it comes to abusing human rights, most of the countries listed above have miserable records. But, no one from either party in Washington, D.C., even broaches the idea of invading and occupying (or even bombing) any of these nations. But we were told that the little country of Iraq posed such a severe and imminent threat against the United States that a military invasion was required. Everyone in the world now knows that was poppycock.
And for the benefit of my Christian readers, Saddam Hussein was one of the most tolerant and accommodating Muslim leaders in the entire region. Christian churches thrived under Hussein. For the most part, Hussein happily accommodated the exercise of the Christian religion in Iraq. He even had at least one Christian in his cabinet.
What has happened to Christianity in Iraq since the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein? Several recent reports have documented the fact that, for all intents and purposes, Christianity has been totally expunged from the country of Iraq. Christians have fled the country in terror due to intense persecution. There are no churches left in Iraq. This is AFTER the “liberation” of Iraq and the installation of a puppet government by the United States.
Secondly, as I watched the depiction of U.S. Marines going house-to-house kicking down doors and manhandling old men, women, and children, it occurred to me that these exact same tactics are now being employed by American police agencies against the people of the United States. Our so-called SWAT teams are nothing more than occupying military units on American soil. The strategies, philosophies, mindset, and tactics are exactly the same as soldiers in a war zone.
Thirdly, ask yourself these questions: what if, instead of the place being Fallujah, Iraq, the place was Kansas City, Missouri? Instead of the invasion force being the U.S. military, it was military troops from China, Russia, or North Korea? What if the occupying military snipers were killing American women and children instead of Iraqi women and children? Would we still consider them “heroes?” And would we act any differently from the Iraqi people who were simply trying to defend their homes and communities against an occupying foreign power?
When I left the theater, I was not angry with Chris Kyle because he happened to apparently be the best at what he was trained to do; I was angry with the politicians in Washington, D.C., who sent Chris Kyle into an unjust and undeclared war against people who posed NO imminent threat to the United States.
I am also angry with an American culture that seems to lack the discernment to recognize the difference between just and unjust war. I am further angered by ubiquitous U.S. propaganda against the Muslim people in general (especially by my Christian brethren).
It seems that hardly anyone recognizes that the power-elite are engaged in a global conspiracy to pit the Muslim nations of the Middle East against the West, and vice-versa. Our own CIA has manipulated the internal affairs of Middle Eastern states for decades. The CIA put Saddam Hussein in power. Where do you think those brand new hundred-dollar bills (in the amount of millions of dollars) stored between the walls of Hussein’s house, all wrapped in Bank of America wrappers, came from?
The CIA put Osama bin Laden in power. The CIA created Al Qaeda. The CIA created ISIS. And dare we even talk about the illegal drug-running operations that have been conducted by the CIA in both Middle Eastern and Far Eastern nations (not to mention Central and South America) for at least a half-century?
It might make modern Christian leaders feel morally righteous as they constantly stir hatred in the hearts of their followers against the Muslim people, but what it really does is demonstrate their utter ignorance as to who the real enemy is.
The global elite are using radical Islamists, Jews, and Christians alike to stir fear and hatred among nations. No religion has a monopoly on hatred and violence. I remind readers that it wasn’t Muslims who killed our brave patriot forebears at Bunker Hill, Lexington Green, and Concord Bridge. It was Christians. It wasn’t Muslims who invaded the newly formed United States in 1812. It was Christians. It wasn’t Muslims who were beating, imprisoning, and murdering non-traditional believers in early America. It was Christians.
And for all of you who are scared silly about the threat of Sharia Law, I can tell you for a fact that there are numerous Christian preachers today who openly promote bringing America under the civil laws of Old Testament Israel. Yes, that means legalizing capital punishment for adulteresses, children who curse their parents, people who break the Sabbath (Who would define that?), people who are guilty of blasphemy (Who would define that?) homosexuals and lesbians, etc. If these preachers had anything to do with it, we Americans would suffer as much under their brand of “Christianity” as did the people of Israel under the Pharisees and as many who are currently suffering under the heavy hand of Islamic militants today.
And if you think there is religious liberty for the Jewish people in the modern state of Israel, you haven’t been there. Let a Jew in Israel convert to Christianity and try to publicly witness for his faith (in much the same manner as did the Apostles in the New Testament) and see what happens. The persecution is intense.
When I was in Israel, I preached in the two Baptist churches in that country. One was in Jerusalem; the other was in Bethlehem. What I discovered surprised me: over ninety percent of the Christians in those churches were not converted Jews; they were converted Muslims. And most of them were Palestinians. In fact, Christianity is growing exponentially among the Palestinian people, even as we speak.
Christians who are constantly fear-mongering against Muslim people are playing right into the hands of the globalists who are using people of different faiths and cultures to inflame hatred and violence, thus creating the conditions for globalists to come to the rescue with their plans for world government. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The American people have far more to fear from Washington, D.C., than they do from Baghdad, Damascus, or Tehran.
As I left the theater, I was angry with a federal government that cares absolutely nothing about our brave U.S. military personnel. They send them to fight unjust wars only then to treat them like second-class citizens in our VA hospitals. If D.C. truly cared about our military personnel, they would never ask them to risk life and limb except for those times that are truly necessary for the safety and security of the United States.
America has NO RIGHT to take upon itself the role of the world’s policeman. It has NO RIGHT to send U.S. fighting men to vindicate the policies and prejudices of the United Nations. The President of the United States has NO RIGHT to invade and occupy foreign countries without a Declaration of War by Congress.
And in the case of rogue militants who pose an imminent danger to the people of the United States, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison handled it constitutionally by asking Congress for a letter of marque and reprisal. Congressman Ron Paul introduced just such a bill following the 9/11 attacks. Had Congress followed the Constitution and passed Dr. Paul’s bill, much of the turmoil and unrest that currently exists in the Middle East today would have been completely circumvented. But, then again, the globalists would not have been able to inflame the world against each other like they have.
I am angry because, in the name of fighting the War on Terror around the world, the American people are quickly losing the liberties guaranteed in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. And out of a misguided spirit of patriotism, the majority of the American people seem fine with it.
I am angry because our brave military troops are being asked to give their arms and legs and families and lives for the selfish, political, and economic interests of the ruling elite–and are also asked to take the lives of thousands of innocents in the process.
If you ask me, Chris Kyle was the victim of a sadistic and out-of-control federal leviathan that respects NOTHING. Not the rule of law. Not liberty–at home or abroad. Not family–our own or the families of other nations. Not constitutional government. Not national borders–our own or anyone else’s. And certainly not the sacredness of life.
Yes, I watched the movie “American Sniper.” And I left the theater angry.
OMG, I am so sick and tired of writing about American-sponsored neo-Nazis in the Ukraine, American-financed genocide in Gaza and American-backed ISIS murderers in Syria and Iraq. Geez Louise. It’s enough to make me sick!
But not sick enough to stop eating.
Even though women and children are starving in Gaza and refugees in Erbil are hunkering down in city parks and Ukrainian babies are being shot by swastika-waving skin-heads, I still gotta have three or four square meals a day.
And all the average American can say about this insane world situation is, “Where the freak is Erbil?” It’s in northern Iraq, stupid. “Oh yeah? So where is Iraq?” It’s that rat-hole where three trillion of your tax dollars have been pounded down in the last 20 years. Iraq is the reason you have no jobs, no infrastructure, no schools — and no solar heating. http://www.truth-out.org/
“But what’s a Gaza?” Huh?
“It’s that charnel house in Palestine where Netanyahu practices being a fascist.”
“Who is Netanyahu?” He’s that guy in Israel that you pay billions of dollars to every year so he can commit genocide. Oh, good grief.
I need comfort food! Now!
Forget about genocide and dead babies. Let’s talk about sushi! And mac ‘n’ cheese. What is your favorite food? I think mine is ice cream. But I’m not sure. Chocolate cake sounds good too. http://blog.umamimart.com/
I once ate a beef stroganoff MRE in the Green Zone. It was delicious. And they had deep-fried tarantulas on offer at a roadside stall in Cambodia. Yummers! http://johnpilger.com/videos/
Got caught in a massive five-day storm off of Antarctica one time and popped Dramamine like it was candy — but still managed to eat. http://www.funnyordie.com/
Was stuck in Shenyang, China, for three weeks while waiting for my visa to North Korea to come through. Thirteen million people in that city and only ten of them spoke English. So I just drew a picture of a chicken and showed it to waiters. That worked fine until one waiter brought me a live chicken. Er, no.
And about a year later, when I finally did manage to get into North Korea, it was amazing to discover that Pyongyang featured luxury hotels, casinos, golf courses and elaborate 150,000-person choreographed mass games, all geared toward European tourists — who came in droves. The food there, however, was on the level of mediocre California Chinese take-out — but I still felt guilty eating it, knowing how many North Koreans had starved to death in the past.
In Uganda, a young girl was selling homemade flour-and-grease chapatis on the street that were so good that I still dream about them. “What’s a chapati?” Oh shut up.
The hummus and matzos in Israel/Palestine were great, served under an olive tree in Hebron. Loved Bethlehem and old Jerusalem — but why do people still keep accusing me of being anti-Semitic when I’m actually only anti-fascist and anti-apartheid? I just don’t understand. As Barb Weir is always fond of saying, “How come they never accuse the brave people who fought against apartheid in South Africa of being anti-white?”
On the beach in Yelapa, Mexico, an hour’s boat-ride south of Puerto Vallarta, friendly ladies will sell you lemon meringue pie right there on the beach. But now you don’t even have to go to Yelapa to get it, you can buy lemon meringue pie right there in Puerto Vallarta. Definitely worth the flight down if you can afford it — and if you can’t, there’s always the chocolate cream pie at the Sweet Adeline bakeshop here in Berkeley. http://rt.com/op-edge/178640-
In Motswedi, in northern South Africa, their potato fries are the best. Just ask for Mma Peter if you go there. Everyone knows her. And give her a big hug from me if you do.
In Damascus, the oldest city in the world (I think), they had fabulous ice cream for sale in the souk. That’s ICE cream, not ISIS cream. If it had been ISIS cream, I wouldn’t have had to pay for it myself — Congress woulda footed the bill.
In al Anbar province, Iraq, I accompanied a U.S. Marine colonel and his staff to a “goat pull” thrown by the local sheik. You gotta love goat meat. But now that whole area is overrun by ISIS thugs, thanks to Bush, Obama and Hillary Clinton and their grand competition to see who can destabilize the Middle East best.
At a sidewalk cafe in Cairo, a waiter jokingly offered me 200 camels for my daughter Ashley’s hand in marriage. At least I think he was joking. And in the Caliphate of Saudi Arabia, biological mother to ISIS and Al Qaeda (America’s military-industrial complex is the father, but insists on keeping that fact on the down-low), I lived on KFC and Cinnabons at a high-end mall in Mecca.
In Haiti, you just gotta love their pumpkin soup. In Afghanistan, their chicken kebobs were the best — unlike in Iran, where the kebobs tended to be rather dry. Burma offered up excellent hand-made noodles. Argentina had empanadas and beef. Berkeley has the Berkeley Bowl, best produce store in the world.
I love food! I love to eat!
So why do I keep thinking about all those poor starving children in Gaza and those poor slaughtered babies in Syria and Ukraine — thanks to the Yankee dollar?
How can I say this politely? Not really sure, but here goes. “Bibi Netanyahu certainly has killed a whole bunch of children in Palestine lately. Does that remind you of anything that happened in the Bible, in this same Palestine, except years ago? ‘When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old or under.’ Does Matthew 2:16-18 come to mind?”
How many kids has Netanyahu killed in Palestine over these past five years? I have no idea. Has he killed more babies than Herod? Is this some sort of competition to see how many mothers’ tears can be shed? It certainly looks like it.
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Has Netanyahu outdone even Herod? We may never know, but from the latest reports on NBC and CNN, it looks like Bibi has won this competition for sure! http://www.theguardian.com/
“But, Jane,” you might say, “Bibi Netanyahu has such a strong advantage. Herod didn’t have access to Patriot missiles or whatever those phallic-looking ICBM thingies that Bibi has.” All too true.
According to the Global Security Netwire, “Israel manufactures and deploys technologically sophisticated and diverse ballistic missile, cruise missile, and missile defense systems. Several overarching themes characterize Israel’s missile program. First, Israel’s strategy of maintaining a ‘qualitative military edge’ over potential adversaries motivated the country to rapidly develop one of the region’s [and the entire world’s] most capable missile production infrastructures, and to deploy the region’s [and the world’s] most advanced missile systems.” http://www.nti.org/country-
And with American taxpayers paying for all these hot new baby-killers, Netanyahu is sure to have the edge. Roman-era swords simply can’t compete with all that. Old Herod had better step up his game!
And Hamas’s funky short-range bottle-rockets also suck eggs. They haven’t even killed not even one child. But then Hamas isn’t out to kill kids like King Herod was — or like Bibi.
But actually, my money is on Netanyahu for winning the baby-killing contest right now. Back in Herod’s day, Jesus, Joseph and Mary were able to escape off to Egypt — but now even the Rafah crossing is closed. For Bibi right now, “slaughtering innocents” is like shooting fish in a barrel. If you are a child in Gaza today, you are trapped — and it’s not a matter of if you are going to die but when. I’d say that Bibi definitely has the edge. http://electronicintifada.net/
To quote Seumas Milne in The Guardian, “For the third time in five years, the world’s fourth largest military power has launched a full-scale armed onslaught on one of its most deprived and overcrowded territories. Since Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip began, just over a week ago, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed. Nearly 80% of the dead are civilians, over 20% of them children…. The idea that Israel is defending itself against unprovoked attacks from outside its borders is an absurdity.” http://www.theguardian.com/
Yet how come Herod is considered a vile and cowardly villain for killing so many babies, yet Netanyahu is considered a hero for doing the exact same thing? I truly do not understand.
Damascus – As a new workweek begins here is Damascus many citizens across a fairly broad spectrum appear to be backing, and even exhibiting a kind of pride for their diplomatic team at the Geneva II conference. It might appear flippant for this observer to suggest that returning to Damascus after recent events in his neighborhood of Haret Hriek in Dahiyeh, South Beirut sort of feels like one has arrived in a peaceful holiday local rather stress free, but others have told me the same thing once they crossover from Lebanon. Damascus is currently the most quiet and ‘normal’ appearing that I have found this historic city for more than two years.
Damascenes to a person it appears, despite differing political views, are hoping for breakthroughs that just might bring an end to the carnage that has left virtually no one unaffected and has driven 9.5 million people from their homes, killed close to 140,000 and with more than 18,000 missing. These and many more tragedies creating a major humanitarian crisis both within Syria and among this birth place of civilization’s neighbors.
At the Set al Cham (Grandmother of Damascus) a home style cooking small restaurant around the corner from the Dama Rose hotel, close to where a rocket hit 30 yards outside the front entrance of the five star hotel last week and ignited half a dozen cars and shattered windows in this ‘security zone’, there are currently animated conversations about the Geneva II conference. They focus on the prospects for a ceasefire which all here apparently agree is the first essential step to ending the carnage ravaging this country for the past three years. The apparent imminent release of women and children from the more than 500 families who have for many months been trapped in the old city of Homs, Syria’s third largest city, has created some inchoate hope. According to UN Mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi , men also will be allowed to leave once their names are vetted to screen ‘terrorists’ from slipping out, a common security measure around this region during siege lifts and mass evacuations. The population allowed to exit Homs will be received immediately by volunteers from the courageous and deeply humanitarian Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARCS) and other humanitarian organizations that have stockpiled a range of urgently required necessities close by. As in the case with Yarmouk Palestinian camp in south Damascus, itself still under tight siege this evening with snipers on rooftops scanning the streets and alleys below through their gun sites seeking targets, baby formula is one of the foodstuff items most in demand and urgently needed in order save infant lives since their starving mothers generally are no longer able to produce milk.
With respect to Yarmouk camp, which if of grave concern here in Syria as it is internationally, this observer had an informative three hour meeting today at UNWRA HQ on Mezzeh Autostrda with Chief Field Education Program Director, Mohammad Ammouri, and Abdullah Al Laham, Deputy Director of UNWRA in Syria. These gentlemen, Mr. Ammouri from Tantura village near Haifa, and Mr. Al Laham, from Bethlehem Occupied Palestine, devote their full schedules these days trying to get aid into Yarmouk, and to bring those under siege out. Both gentlemen gave this observer some reason to believe that finally an agreement, after more than half a dozen failed ones, might just stick tonight so that tomorrow UNWRA trucks, waiting nearby with more than 40,000 aid parcels can finally enter. Each aid box, contains rice, sugar, flour, dried milk, cooking oil and other basics and are designed to feed a family of five for two weeks (families up to eight in number will get one and one-half UNWRA boxes every two weeks) can finally enter. Syrians trapped in Yarmouk, who number more than 2000, will also receive the emergency parcels from UNWRA no questions asked. Mr. Al Laham raised his eyebrow a bit and did a sort of double-take when this observer asked him if like SARCS, UNWRA distributed the well-known World Food Program (WFP) or International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) family aid parcels. “No! No. My dear. You see, we at UNWRA have our own aid parcels, in fact ours are bigger and better” he quickly exclaimed and then smiled a bit sheepishly.
Three days ago UNWRA believed they would finally be allowed to enter Yarmouk with aid but at it turned out only about 3% of the aid parcels they were trying to deliver to the more than 18,000 starving Palestinian refugees and Syrians still trapped was able to be distributed because all aid is still being blocked by various militia who themselves appear to be rather well fed, financed, and armed. We should know by tomorrow (1/28/14) if substantial aid will be allowed into Yarmouk and whether dying residents can be evacuated. UNWRA literally has the engines of its trucks idling nearby tonight and ready to move into the besieged camp on less than a minutes notice if they get a green light, this observer has just been advised.
One senses in Damascus that much of the population believes that what is happening at Geneva, are admittedly “half-steps” to use UN envoy Brahimi’s description for the progress so far in the desperate effort to save Syria, just might result in a breakthrough of sorts and then move toward a cease-fire and the opening up of humanitarian aid corridors. A few hours ago, Syrian delegation member Dr. Bouthania Shaaban commented that today’s talks had been ‘professional’. This is a modest achievement even though both sides speak only to Envoy Brahimi and tend to avoid eye contact with their “negotiating partners” while entering and exiting the meeting room from doors at opposite ends.
Syria’s delegation in Geneva is led by a seasoned, smart, deeply knowledgeable formidable delegation that includes the power-house Foreign Minister Walid Muallum, a former Syrian Ambassador to Washington who has a reputation in the West and here as wily, profoundly intelligent, tough at times and no-nonsense. “If no serious work sessions are held by [Saturday], the official Syrian delegation will leave Geneva due to the other side’s lack of seriousness or preparedness,” state television quoted Muallum as telling UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi last Friday. Mr. Muallum is credited with brokering the deal with by Russia to remove Syria’s chemical weapons enabling the Assad regime to present his government as a partner in the project and thus to strengthen its claim to legitimacy.
Another delegation member is Syria’s Minister of Information Omran al- Zoubi. Mr al-Zoubi has been indefatigable these past many months and is well known to the international media for his personal warmth and direct talk and incisive articulations of his government’s interpretations of the crisis. During literally hundreds of media interviews Mr. Zoubi has earned a reputation internationally and in Syria as being an insightful political analyst and a skilled lawyer, who does not mince or sugar his words but who is respectful of his audience. From Derra next to the Jordanian where the crisis began and a Sunni Muslim, the Ministers commented late this afternoon that “We will stay here until we do the job. We will not be provoked. We will not retreat and we will be wise and flexible.” And he added, anyone at Geneva II expecting the President’s removal was living “in a mythical world, and let them stay in Alice in Wonderland.”
Syrian delegation member and FM Muallum’s Deputy, Feisal Mdkdad, was described to this observer by one of his colleagues today as a deeply knowledgeable, unflappable career diplomat with deep knowledge of foreign policy issues facing Syria. Mr Makdad explained at Geneva today that his administration has been trying to send essential supplies to help beleaguered residents but not as much as they would have liked had got through, for two reasons: “The armed groups had kept firing at those who tried to take in aid and the weather has not been conducive to making the movement.” He pledges that his government will persevere. He also insisted that “we don’t hold any children prisoners at all. We categorically deny that.” He claimed that the list supplied by the opposition was full of errors. “I have studied this list; 60 to 70 per cent of the names are not in prison, 20 per cent have already been freed. About the rest, we don’t know anything.”
In one sense, Syria’s diplomatic team in Geneva is anchored by Professor Bouthaina Shaaban who is Political and Media Adviser to Syrian President Assad. Syria’s former Minister of Expatriates, she is also a mother and recently a grandmother, writer and professor at Damascus University and earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Warwick University in the UK. Dr. Shaaban was Hafez al Assad’s personal interpreter, is well known internationally and has studied and taught in the USA and earned her Doctorate at Warwick University in the UK. She has authorized several well received books including her latest volume on Syrian diplomacy. Many media critics concede that, as the New York Times wrote, that she is stellar when explaining Syrian governments views on foreign policy. Dr. Shaaban is the most sought after delegation member from either side for interviews partly because of her quality of humanizing the conflict and her obvious love of country and dedication to stopping the carnage while possessing a quality of connecting with interlocutors emotionally and intellectually.
It would not be shocking were the Syrian delegation were to feel a bit on the defensive given the lineup of those who want them to falter, but there is so far little sign that the Syrian delegation is exuding a temerity at all similar to the defense team in The Hague trying to hold its own before the Special Tribunal on Lebanon (STL). Rather it acknowledges that it has come to represent Syria and to struggle through a cumbersome, slow diplomacy to achieve a cease-fire, open corridors of humanitarian aid, participate in prisoner’s exchanges with various militia, hold a presidential election in the spring, and begin reconstruction of the massive war damage.
We will likely learn soon if Syria and indeed can work through a myriad of opposing deeply antagonistic negotiating adversaries to achieve a sustainable cease-fire, reconciliation, and reconstruction. Its long suffering population demand and deserve no less.
This column dated November 21, 2013, created a firestorm of outrage and venom from hundreds of pastors and Christians. It was a rude awakening for me, for sure. I have long maintained that the vast majority of today’s pastors and church members are smugly content in abject apathy and indifference. However, after the vehement reaction to the above-mentioned column, I can now state dogmatically that the problem is actually much, much worse than I realized. Today’s churchmen are not merely content to not being involved; they are absolutely committed to not being involved. It goes much deeper than apathy; it is apostasy.
See my November 21 column here:
My email inbox and mailbox filled with vitriolic rebukes from pastors and Christians. I was called just about every dirty name in the book and relegated to the depths of the damned–and those were the mild ones. At the heart of these feelings of contempt is the rejection of Natural Law. It’s not only that today’s pastors and Christians have not been taught the Biblical principles of Natural Law and, therefore, don’t understand it; today’s churchmen have developed a willful and stubborn conviction against Natural Law.
I will even go so far as to say that the majority of our pastors and church leaders today are monarchists at heart. The lack of instruction and understanding of the Biblical principles of Natural Law have created a generation of churchmen who are more than willing to submit to the unnatural laws of tyranny and oppression. Until two weeks ago, I didn’t truly comprehend the depth of this volitional slavery.
The statements being made by today’s pastors and Christians are so nonsensical and asinine that it is extremely difficult to believe that any person, much less pastors and Christians, could even utter them. Here are just a few examples of what pastors have said:
“If federal agents or troops came to my house and put my wife on the kitchen table and raped her, Romans 13 tells me I could not interfere.”
“If government forces came to my home intent on harming my wife and children, I would not resist; I would simply tell my family to run.”
“America’s Founding Fathers were rebels against God. They had no right to fight a war for independence. Subjection to a king, even a tyrannical one, is God’s Will.”
“Anyone who resists civil government is going to hell.”
“There is no such thing as natural law, and anyone who promotes it is of the devil.”
Dear reader, trust me: the comments above are reflective of the majority of pastors and Christians I have heard from over the past couple of weeks. Truly did Jesus say, “Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39 KJV) That is exactly what is happening in America today: the blind are leading the blind into the ditch of tyranny and oppression.
Last Sunday, I delivered a message entitled, “Biblical Evidence For Natural Law.” I invite readers to watch the archived video of that message here:
Listen to the Scripture: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” (Romans 2:14, 15 KJV)
The great theologians and Bible scholars of yesteryear all understood the Biblical teaching of Natural Law. Here are a few samples of some of church history’s greatest Bible commentators on this passage in Romans 2.
Albert Barnes: “The expression means clearly by the light of conscience and reason, and whatever other helps they may have without revelation. It denotes simply, in that state which is without the revealed will of God. In that condition they had many helps of tradition, conscience, reason, and the observation of the dealings of divine Providence, so that to a considerable extent they knew what was right and what was wrong.”
John Wesley: “The Ten Commandments being only the substance of the law of nature.”
Adam Clarke: “Do, without this Divine revelation, through that light which God imparts to every man, the things contained in the law–act according to justice, mercy, temperance and truth, the practice of which the revealed law so powerfully enjoins; these are a law unto themselves.”
John Gill: “The matter and substance of the moral law of Moses agrees with the law and light of nature…which they have by nature and use, and which natural reason dictates to them.”
Matthew Henry: “They had that which directed them what to do by the light of nature: by the force and tendency of their natural notions and dictates they apprehended a clear and vast difference between good and evil. They did by nature the things contained in the law. They had a sense of justice and equity, honour and purity, love and charity; the light of nature taught obedience to parents, pity to the miserable, conservation of public peace and order, forbade murder, stealing, lying, perjury, etc. Thus they were a law unto themselves.”
Think about it: man did not have the written, revealed laws of God for some 2,500 years of recorded history. Yet, they did have the Law of God “written in their hearts,” or Natural Law.
Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England were, without a doubt, among the most influential writings upon America’s founders. In his commentaries (second section), Blackstone said, “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will.
“This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”
In that same second section of his commentaries, Blackstone further said, “This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other–It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”
Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not kill,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Before Biblical Law said, “Thou shalt not steal,” Natural Law said, “Thou shalt not steal.” How is it, and since when is it, that pastors and Christians do not understand this?
Natural Law, by its very definition, demands procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition. From the very act of Creation, Adam and Eve were given in their hearts (by God) the desire to procreate. Does anyone deny that those who produce children have a right and duty to protect and provide for their children? Does not all of nature have an innate desire to produce young then protect and provide for the young that they produced? The bird and the beast build a nest or den for its young; it catches or hunts food for its young; and it uses every means in its power to drive away predators from its young.
How, in the name of God, can today’s pastors and church leaders say they would not protect their own families from harm? How can they treat so flippantly the duty and responsibility to provide safety and security for home and community? Does a badge give a person the right to act like a predator? You mean to tell me that God would have us bring our children up in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” only then to sit back and do nothing while human beasts with badges devour and enslave them? What nonsense! What rubbish!
Beyond that, prohibition is as intrinsic to Natural Law as is procreation, protection, and provision. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given great authority over the entire natural kingdom–yet, they were also given jurisdictional prohibition: they were not allowed to eat of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Even in that state of perfect innocence, when Adam was the absolute master of all that God had created on earth, he had limited jurisdiction. And when Adam violated that jurisdictional prohibition, there were consequences that had to be paid. And that was the pattern for all human authority.
There is only one Sovereign: the Creator-God. All human authority, be it vocational, familial, ecclesiastical, or political, is limited and jurisdictional. Anytime human authority oversteps its jurisdictional borders, Natural Law (God’s Law “written in our hearts”) demands resistance. And the amount and type of resistance is commensurate to the amount and type of usurpation.
When the “kings of the nations” seized property not belonging to them and kidnapped some of Abram’s family, he did not quote Romans 13 and sit complacent. He gathered his armed servants (who were already trained in the art of war) and pursued the oppressors. He put together a military strategy and attacked the predators and destroyed them. Not only that, when he returned, he was blessed by Melchizedek, who was “the priest of the most high God.” (Genesis 14)
Hebrews 7 says Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ. Many Bible scholars believe that Melchizedek was actually a Christophany, meaning a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Christ. Think of it: Christ Himself (or a priest who is clearly a type of Christ) blessed Abram after he attacked and destroyed the usurpers who had transgressed their jurisdictional authority. And exactly where was it written that Abram should do this thing? It was written in his heart. Again, the resistance was commensurate to the transgression.
And those who say that violent resistance to tyrannical government is unbiblical and sinful should tear the entire Book of Judges out of their Bibles. Where in the Mosaic Law were the laws of insurrection recorded? They weren’t. Yet, for a period of over 300 years, champion after champion felt the call of God in his heart to resist with violence the tyrants who were subjugating his country. Furthermore, Hebrews 11 places men such as Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah in the great “Hall of Faith.” And, remember, Romans 15:4 says that the Old Testament was written “for our learning.”
Western Civilization is rooted in Natural Law. Scholars in and out of the Church have historically accepted the Natural Law principles of the rights and duties of procreation, protection, provision, and prohibition as being “self-evident.” In his book, “Political Obligations,” University of Virginia political science professor George Klosko wrote, “[I]t is generally held that obedience to government is not unconditional. Though we have significant moral requirements to obey, these can be overridden by countervailing factors. For instance, a government that becomes tyrannical can lose its right to be obeyed, while obligations to obey specific laws that are unjust can also be not binding.” (George Klosko, Political Obligations, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 2005, 11)
Klosko’s philosophy matches the philosophy of the vast majority of Christian and non-Christian scholars including Sir Edward Coke, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, Emerich de Vattel, Samuel Rutherford, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and Thomas Aquinas (to name a few).
Compare the Natural Law teaching of history’s great scholars (many, if not most, of whom were Christians) to the teaching of so many of today’s pastors and church leaders. The differences are stark. The great preachers, theologians, and scholars of history produced a thirst for both God and freedom and gave birth to the greatest free land the world has ever known. And what are today’s pacifist preachers producing? An apathy and indifference that has brought our country to the brink of a modern-day Dark Ages. Everything that America’s colonial pastors such as John Leland, John Witherspoon, John Peter Muhlenberg, James Caldwell, and Jonas Clark fought so bravely to bequeath to us is being surrendered by the cowardice and apostasy of the modern pulpit.
As I said, after reading the voluminous pieces of correspondence touting absolute submission to the state, I am convinced that a majority of pastors and church leaders today are monarchists at heart. Accordingly, so many of America’s pastors today are not shepherds; they are slaves. They have repudiated the faith of our fathers; they have repudiated the inspiration and sacrifice of thousands of years of history; they have repudiated sound scholarship and reason; they have repudiated the values and virtues that protect everything that is sacred; and they have repudiated the Biblical Natural Law principles of liberty and justice.
Ichabod is written over the establishment church.
I am further convinced that the only way liberty and justice can be restored to America is for Christians to get out of these idolatrous government churches and form tens of thousands of independent, non-affiliated, non-establishment churches and home-churches. It must happen; it’s going to happen!
I pray that God will use whatever time I have left on this earth to be part of the prophecy that famed Bible teacher A. W. Tozer uttered before his death in 1963. Tozer said:
“I hear Jesus saying…Matthew 23:37, 38, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate.’
“As the Church now stands, the man who sees this condition of worldly evangelicalism is written off as somewhat fanatical. But the day is coming when the house will be left desolate and there will not be a man of God among them. I would like to live long enough to watch this develop and see how things turn out. I would like to live to see the time when the man and women of God–holy, separated and spiritually enlightened–walk out of the evangelical church and form a group of their own; when they get off the sinking ship and let her go down in the brackish and worldliness and form a new ark to ride out the storm.”
I agree with Tozer. Get off the sinking ship, folks. Form a new ark to ride out the storm. Pastors and churches that have repudiated Biblical Natural Law principles–including the duty of self-defense–should themselves be repudiated.
Sabeel’s 9th and 25 years of Christian LIBERATION Theology…
Multiple missions pulled me back to Israel and the Occupied State of Palestine for the 8th time [since 2005] the week before Thanksgiving.
However, it was only after I received the snail-mail invitation from Reverend and Mrs. Ateek to attend the kick off luncheon for Sabeel’s 9th International Conference and Celebration of 25 years of Christian Liberation Theology, did I know the time had come to take another heartbreak trip to that troubled piece of real estate that could NOT sustain without US Policies and Tax Payer Dollars that enable War Crimes ‘justified’ by bad religion and hypocrites in high places.
The good news [especially for those who must live with me] is I returned home without flaming anger—my rage this time just simmers on a low boil over America’s apathy and willful ignorance regarding our collusion in the misery of another indigenous people.
What fuels the arrogant notion of American exceptionalism is the same spirit of Zionism
One of Sabeel’s missions is to stick us with the truth as they remind us “the truth will set us free”.
Because it is US policies that aid and abet Israel’s Nuclear Deceptions, Humanitarian and War Crimes I FEEL stuck with having to run again for US HOUSE;
But NOT as an independent this time, I am offering myself to any party in any District in Florida who is ready to support an American for US HOUSE compelled by George Washington’s warning to US:
“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”
Good and Evil run through every human heart and all Free Will means is we get to choose which rules.
During my intense 8 days in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, I met more than a few who had chosen the best way to transform the current reality is by transforming individual hearts:
The Tent of Nations driveway to Daher’s Vineyard and organic farm, in the hills southwest of Bethlehem, must be navigated by foot, which provides the settlers and Israeli Forces a visual witness of nonviolent solidarity seeking to End Israel’s Occupation of the State of Palestine.
Because of that visual witness, a curious settler once visited the farm and when he learned what was going on, he built The Tent of Nations three out-houses and moved out of the settlement [all are illegal under international law] to Tel Aviv.
“The long-term goal of The Tent of Nations is to prepare youth to make positive contributions to their future and society through the values of understanding, tolerance, and respectful coexistence. These goals are achieved through education-awareness campaigns, youth empowerment, and work camps.” ###
Keith Reynolds is a Canadian supporter of Sabeel who builds playgrounds for children in war-torn areas and is a long time friend of Mordechai Vanunu, Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower who attended Sabeel’s Conference sessions and ate meals with old friends and met many new ones.
“Playground Builders is dedicated to building hope and peace through the gift of play. Since our inception in 2007 we have built approximately 20 playgrounds per year supplying safe play for over 250,000 children. But this is just the beginning.
“We not only build playgrounds. We help societies in crisis by injecting money into the local economy and creating much-needed jobs. This helps to keep our costs low. Additionally, our board and volunteers underwrite administrative and travel costs so that virtually every dollar donated can go directly to building a new playground.
“Playgrounds are more than just physical places to play. They are spaces where kids can be kids, community members can feel connected and empowered, new possibilities find a strong foundation and peace and hope begins. Playground Builders builds hope, one playground at a time.”
Beirut — Being subjected to the Zionist lobby can get tedious — particularly its chronic parading of an often disoriented and fast-deteriorating fellow, who should surely be tending a vegetable or flower garden somewhere in Occupied Palestine, where he lives on stolen land. International lawyers, even some at Hebrew University, have come to recognize the half century of crimes against humanity meted out by Shimon Peres upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, and thus one could be forgiven for rolling eyes at the Israeli president’s concerns over demons said to be haunting his sleeping and waking moments, as he complains that perhaps, just maybe, he was wrong in his calculations 70 years ago.
Those demons are Palestinians, and it is perhaps the supreme irony of ironies that Peres now finds himself lamenting over what became of the ideals of Judaism—the very same ideals he spent half a century of his life destroying in the name of fascist Zionism. “I could not face my parents were I ever to see them again,” the Israeli president, an avowed agnostic, told a member of Congress a few months back.
‘Peres’ Complaint’ has been increasingly heard over the past couple of years, confided to some of his US and EU Zionist lobby hosts during fundraising and legacy-reinforcing appearances. It often manifests itself as a continuous monologue, much as if narrated at his psychoanalytic group therapy session, and often about the same subjects he claims have haunted him for decades. One of these reportedly is the whole concept of an eretz Israel land grab as a divinely-ordained destiny for a “chosen” Jewish people.
At a cocktail party last year, Peres was overheard telling Vice President Biden, “Who knows if there is a god or not? But if so, I doubt he deals in real estate!” Biden appeared shocked, quickly summoning a waiter for replacement glasses of scotch, hoping to cheer the president of Israel up a bit. “He needs to be more philosophical,” Biden said, reporting on his “psychoanalytic session” with Peres, later explaining, “Sure the hand writing is on the wall regarding a future for Israel is clear for all to see, but it could be worse!”
Peres’ Complaint, like Portnoy’s in Philip Roth’s 1969 novel, revolves around the dilemma of, as Roth penned, “his sense of himself, his past, and that his ridiculous destiny is so fixed“.
Portnoy’s Complaint is a disorder in which claimed ethical impulses are perpetually warring, almost Hamlet-like, with extreme longings, often of a perverse nature, reminding some of a sort of sexual dysfunction.
Peres’s Complaint is similar in many ways, but takes a varied form. In an interview published by the Brazilian newspaper the Folha de Sao Paulo, Peres was asked what he would say to Iran’s President Rouhani if the two were to pick up the telephone and speak directly.
“I would tell him nobody in the world is threatening Iran. So why does Iran threaten other countries? Tell me. I don’t understand why Iran threatens Israel. Why?” he replied.
Peres knows that Iran has not threatened other countries, but rather that it is Israel which has threatened the whole region, and which did so within minutes of his Zionist-Labor terrorist-backed associates declaring themselves a “country.”
Peres ended his short interview with Folha de Sao Paulo with this bit of sage erudition:
“In politics, and in life, you can only judge things based on facts. There has been no change on Iran—the facts contradict the speeches.”
The words were spoken as if the speaker were satisfactorily contemplating the last remaining 19th century European colonial enterprise…along with his own role in setting up and governing it.
Peres’ Complaint to colleagues is that he has to say things to the public that are beginning to sound hollow after six decades of trying to parry and neutralize the Palestinian resistance to Zionist theft and colonization. Peres no longer believes what he used to “about the Zionist BS,” as one congressional source put it.
During his last visit to Washington, while rushing from a meeting at the Rayburn House Office Building with AIPAC and some Congressional staffers, Peres in his haste handed half an armload of documents and reports to an aid to carry for him. Unnoticed at the time, one of the documents slipped under the table where the meeting was held, and was found later. On it were some handwritten comments, in Hebrew, in Peres’ hand.
Common respect for individual privacy bars this observer from revealing what the handwritten notes said, but the document itself is most certainly in the public domain and includes some of the latest reports on the status of the Zionist occupation.
The first few pages are a summary of the UN Human Rights Council’s report criticizing the deep water drillings by the Israeli national water company Mekorot and the Israeli agri-industrial firm Mehadrin in the occupied Jordan Valley. These drillings have caused the drying up of Palestinian wells and springs. As Dr. Elias Akleh reminds us, nearly 80% of all drilled water from the Jordan Valley is consumed by Israeli illegal colonies in the West Bank. The Palestinians are not allowed to drill their own water wells, and the Israeli government routinely destroys Palestinian pools for collecting rain water, claiming “construction without permits”—permits which, of course, are impossible for Palestinians to obtain. Many other wells and water springs have also been destroyed, poisoned and contaminated as Israeli colonies have intentionally channeled their raw sewage into Palestinian towns and agricultural areas.
But getting back to the document, circled in pen is a statement in a 1941 speech by David Ben-Gurion: “We have to remember that for the Jewish state’s ability to survive it must have within its borders, the waters of the [rivers] Jordan and Litani.”
And there is another excerpt of note—documenting the decades-old practice of declaring a coveted piece of land a “military area” and then evicting its residents, surrounding it with barbed wire, uprooting all trees, stripping the land of vegetation, and facilitating the arrival of extremist squatters with mobile homes who later start building their colonies.
Still other findings relate to the intensification of home demolitions, citing recent figures showing that armed, religious-extremist squatters are allowed to illegally build their small colonies on top of confiscated Palestinian hills while enjoying the protection of the Israeli army. Palestinians are forbidden to build new homes or even remodel existing ones to make additional space for family expansion. The Israeli terrorist forces increasingly exercise their early hour routine of driving their bulldozers into some Palestinian suburbs to demolish a Palestinian home that was built without a permit.
“The army breaks into the Palestinian home, gives the Palestinian family ten minutes to evacuate and starts demolishing the home,” says Dr. Akleh. “Palestinians are denied building permits. Many Palestinians are given the order to demolish their own homes, otherwise the Israeli army would demolish it and the home owner will be charged exorbitant fees. In contrast, Israel continues its plans of illegal colonies (settlements) building. This Israeli systematic policy of Palestinian home demolishing and colony building on confiscated Palestinian land contravenes the 4th Geneva Convention.”
On and on the president’s document reads…
Included in bold type are excerpts from the recent Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights report documenting what Palestinian schools and students have suffered in recent weeks—a remarkable escalation in attacks by Israeli soldiers and extremist settlers. The report claims the attacks, including school raids, destruction of school property, as well as detaining and assaulting students, have become more frequent, especially by settlers. Recent examples include the Jalud School and Beit Dajan School in Nablus, and the Khader School in Bethlehem. The international community is increasingly reacting to these terrorist practices. Recently a letter by a group of British intellectuals, entitled “Action for Palestine” and calling upon Israeli authorities to end the pattern of abuse of Palestinian children, was published in the UK Guardian newspaper.
But the army has also intensified its arrests and kidnapping of Palestinian children accused of stone throwing. Many children are routinely intercepted on their way to school at Israeli military checkpoints, searched, humiliated, and at times arrested. Israeli forces conduct routine middle of the night raids of Palestinian homes, where they break into the homes, smash furniture, and terrorize the families, dragging young boys from their beds and blindfolding them before dumping them on the floor of a military jeep and driving them to a prison in Israel. In the prison, where their parents are not allowed to see them, the children are harshly interrogated, threatened, tortured; some raped and imprisoned.
The 213 page document was presumably heavy reading for the polish-born Szymon Perski, ardent protégé of Ben-Gurion and Dayan and an early supporter of the West Bank settlers during the 1970s.
Shimon Peres’ guilt-edged insecurity these days is far more important when it comes to the masking—and unmasking—of an abettor of racist Zionism. His complaint, like Portnoy’s Complaint, is also emblematic of the times during which he has lived and his uncertainty as to whether he has squandered his life in an evil cause.
“I am marked like a road map from head to toe with my repressions. You can travel the length and breadth of my body over superhighways of shame and fear.”
Portnoy’s Complaint…or Peres’?
Andre Pshenichnikov (24) is a most unusual kid. So unusual that he is languishing in Egyptian jail for crossing the border without proper papers. But his story begins earlier. I first heard of him when this young programmer from a Tel Aviv suburb stayed in Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. He did not go there to explore Palestinian way of life, or to write for a newspaper; he was not looking for publicity, he did not hide nor emphasize his Israeli identity. He did not act as an activist, marching at demos and enjoying popularity. He just rented a room, worked at a building site or waited tables in a tourist restaurant just like any Palestinian youth of his age in Deheishe, lived with ordinary people on his salary.
Andre did the impossible. He crossed the biggest chasm there is. Imagine a white boy from Philly, picking cotton and living with blacks in a cabin on a Mississippi plantation in the days of Jim Crow. No Freedom Rider went that far. He broke an important taboo: so many Israelis are convinced that the Palestinians would kill them on sight, at first occasion. By his example he refuted this fantasy. He renounced apartheid personally by living with Palestinians.
It did not work out very well: “I was always under suspicion”, – he says. People were hostile to him, excepting a few brave ones. Palestinians did not understand what he was doing there and subtly hinted at it by seizing him and passing him to Israeli security like a hot potato. Israelis charged him with entering the Palestinian Territories – it is forbidden by Israeli law.
He was not cooled off by this setback. He decided to continue his personal crusade – declared that he gives up his Israeli citizenship and asked for a Palestinian one. He’s got no reply from the PNA. Though there are many Israelis who would like to, the PNA does not position itself as an alternative government for the land.
Andre Pshenichnikov (his long last name can be translated as Wheaten) was born in the USSR just before its collapse; his parents took him to Israel. He graduated from Israeli school and served in the Israeli army, but he remained a good, idealistic Russian boy. He failed as a Jew, but passed with honours as a human. It is amazing that such Turgenev-style kids still exist in our pragmatic age, and they still go out to “join the working people”. And the working people still surrender these good-wishers to the security forces, for they could not understand them.
Some young kids are positively influenced by what they witness in their military service. The occupation is so brutal, that it comes as a shock – and this shock causes them to reject the Israeli official thinking. After army service they emigrate or withdraw from public life; some go further. Andre Pshenichnikov, a Soviet-born son of a Russian Christian mother, was unable to understand his Zionist-brainwashed comrades who humiliate Palestinians at checkpoints, arrest the men and insult the women, or shoot Palestinian children for sport. That’s why he went to Deheishe.
His left-wing pro-Palestinian friends invited him to a conference in Cairo. The police took away his passport – the reckless kid hastily stepped over the Egyptian border without documents, with just a few newspaper clippings about himself. If he thought he’d get a hero welcome, he was wrong. The Egyptians arrested him and sentenced him to two years of prison, though such a crime usually is published by a fine, or a week of detention. To them he was just another dubious Israeli. Perhaps the Israeli secret services have requested of their Egyptian colleagues to keep Andre under wraps as long as possible. His sincere idealistic desire to support Palestinians to such a degree was understood neither in Deheishe nor in Sinai. It is tragic that people who cross lines make others extremely suspicious. This was the case with German anti-Nazis in the WWII: people often weren’t sure what to make of them, but they were the bedrock of post-war change.
Such kids are necessary if we want to undo the apartheid in Palestine/Israel. They should be promoted by Arab governments, not locked up. There are too few Israelis and/or Jews who live amongst native Palestinians. A few Israelis, men (Uri Davis) and women (Neta Golan), got married over the Green line. Amira Haas lived in Gaza and Ramallah, but she wrote for the Haaretz. Bigger part of my life passed in Palestinian seaside town of Jaffa, but it is a traditionally cosmopolitan city under Israeli rule, and many Israelis, artists and writers, live there. Andre did an important step.
Now Andre’s mother country, Russia, has learned of his fate and decided to help her hitherto lost son. The PNA should do more to help him out, and so can our friends and friends of Palestine in Egypt and elsewhere. Let him be free! Though his actions were reckless, his intentions were noble, and we need such people.
Fourteen centuries of Islam have fatally undermined Christianity in the land of its birth. The decline of the Christian remnant in the Middle East has been accelerated in recent decades, and accompanied by the indifference of the post-Christian West to its impending demise. Once-thriving Christian communities are now tiny minorities, and in most countries of the region their percentages have been reduced to single digits. Whether they disappear completely will partly depend on Western leaders belatedly taking an interest in Christian plight and persecution. This seems most unlikely, as the examples of Iraq, Egypt and Syria demonstrate.
In Syria the Obama administration is fully committed to supporting the rebels, although it should be well aware of the ideological outlook and long-term objectives of Bashar al-Assad’s foes. They are Sunni fundamentalists. The partnerships forged thus far are ominous. The New York Times reported last June that CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, deciding which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms. The weapons are being funneled across the Turkish border “by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood.”
Syria is the region’s only remaining country where Christians live effectively as equals with their Muslim neighbors. It has the second largest Christian community in the region (after Egypt), some 2.5 million strong. Most of them are supporting President Bashar Al Assad amidst ongoing rebellion in the country because they prefer a dictator who guarantees the rights as a religious minority to the grim future that Assad’s departure might bring. According to George Ajjan, an American political strategist of Syrian origin, an existential fear about a bloody fate awaiting them—should the Assad regime fall in Syria—is the main driver behind the Christian community’s almost unanimous support of its policies:
“The secular regime of the Baath Party dominated over the past four decades by the Alawites, a heterodox Shiite sect to which the Assad family belongs, undoubtedly secured life and liberty for the Christians— although dire economic circumstances resulting from the regime’s failure to provide growth have driven many middle-class Christians to emigrate, seeking a better standard of living abroad. Taking that into account, the commonly-cited figure of 10% Christians is perhaps close to double the real number living in Syria at the start of the uprising.”
It is not to be doubted that if the Obama Administration is successful in its stated objective of bringing Assad down, the Christians in Syria will follow their Iraqi brethren into exile. The predictable consequences of Assad’s fall and the Brotherhood’s victory would be the creation of a Shari’a-based Islamic state.
According to political analyst James Jatras, it sometimes appears as if Washington’s policy toward the unrest sweeping the Middle East is impacted by a network of Muslim Brotherhood agents working in cohorts with Obama who is only pretending to have strayed from his Islamic birth (as defined by Sharia). If this scenario is even only partly correct, Jatras says, then it would be hard to see how the result would be different from the one we have:
“If the conscious goal of the policy were the final uprooting of Christ’s followers from the region of His birth and earthly ministry, it could not have been better crafted. No one can doubt that should the regime of Bashar al-Assad fall, Syria’s Christians (primarily Orthodox), already singled out for attack by the ‘democratic’ opposition, would be subject to a full-scale campaign of elimination that they (unlike the Alawites, who at least can try to defend themselves in mountain areas in which they predominate) are unlikely to survive as a living community. It is thus not too strong to accuse, in so many words, those bipartisan champions of ‘Free Syria’ who urge outside intervention of advocating Christian genocide, whether or not that is their conscious intention.”
That this scenario seems acceptable to the Obama Administration became obvious in October 2011 when Dalia Mogahed, Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs, blocked a delegation of Middle Eastern Christians led by Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai from meeting with Obama and members of his national security team at the White House. Mogahed reportedly cancelled the meeting at the request of the Muslim Brotherhood in her native Egypt. Rai has warned repeatedly that a Brotherhood-led regime would be a disaster for Syria’s Christian minority, but his admonitions are unwelcome in Washington.
Last July, the Department of State vigorously lobbied against bipartisan Congressional legislation to send “protection envoys” to the Middle East to examine the position of the Christian minorities. The State Department called the protection envoy role “unnecessary, duplicative and likely counter-productive.” In the meantime, tens of thousands of Syria’s Christians have already fled rebel-controlled areas as Islamists who dominate in the rebel ranks target them for murder, extortion and kidnapping. As George Ajjan concludes, this gradual downward demographic pressure of recent years will explode with the exodus of Christians from Syria that is occurring and will accelerate without an end to the current armed conflict:
“Should the uprising continue, with the regime losing control of more and more territory to armed rebels and law and order further breaking down, Christians will increasingly become the targets of intimidation tactics, kidnapping, and overt hostility—if not ethnic cleansing from mixed areas.”
At the same time, Administration officials pressed Egyptian generals into gradual surrender to the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the country. The decision to treat the Muslim Brotherhood as a strategic partner has been on the cards at least since February 10 of last year—one day before Hosni Mubarak’s resignation— when President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made an astounding statement. He told the House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence that the Brotherhood “is an umbrella term for a variety of movements… a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam.”
The assertion by a top-ranking member of Obama’s team that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular” defies belief. It came into being in 1928 as an outright reaction against secularism, which the Egyptian elites had largely embraced during the British dominance in the country. To this day the Brotherhood’s simple credo remains the same: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Contrary to Clapper’s assurances, the Brotherhood is an archetypical Islamic revivalist movement that opposes the ascendancy of secular ideas and advocates a return to integral Islam as a solution to the ills that had befallen Muslim societies. Today it has branches in every traditionally Muslim country and all over the world, including the United States. Its members share the same long-term goal: the establishment of a world-wide Islamic state based on Sharia law. As is to be expected, they believe that the Koran and the Tradition justify violence to overthrow un-Islamic governments, and they look upon America as a sworn enemy.
During the Cold War, Washington routinely pandered to various Islamists as a means of weakening secular Arab nationalist regimes. In the mid 1950s, the Americans even promoted the idea of forming an Islamic bloc—led by Saudi Arabia—to counter the Nasserist movement. That approach may have made some sense during the Cold War, but it certainly makes none today. The strategy of effective support for Islamic ambitions against the Soviets in Afghanistan has helped turn Islamic radicalism into a truly global phenomenon detrimental to U.S. security interests. The ridiculous notion that the Muslim Brotherhood can become America’s user-friendly partner merely proves that the architects of our Middle Eastern policy have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
Egypt’s dwindling Copts have seen their position deteriorate over the past year from precarious to perilous. Already facing discrimination and harassment from Mubarak’s secular regime, they now see that things could get a lot worse under the Islamists who are now poised to take complete power. Their annus horribilis started on New Year’s Day 2011, when a powerful car bomb targeted a Coptic church in Alexandria, killing 25 parishioners and wounding nearly 100 just as they were finishing midnight liturgy. The next turning point was the Maspero massacre on October 9, 2011, when 27 unarmed Christian protesters were killed and hundreds more injured, not by some shadowy Islamic extremists but by the military. An official commission—established by the Army—has unsurprisingly absolved the Army of all responsibility for the killings.
Egypt shows that the prospect of the end of Christianity in Syria as a direct consequence of American policy is not unique, nor limited to one party or administration. The almost complete Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt already is accompanied by an accelerating Coptic exodus, as church attacks and kidnappings (mainly of girls, who after rape and supposed “conversion” to Islam are denied return to their families).
The process is accelerating. On August 1 Sherif Gadallah, a prominent lawyer from Alexandria, submitted a report to the public prosecutor demanding the exclusion of Copts from the committee in charge of forming Egypt’s constitution. That same week a sectarian crisis escalated in the village of Dahshur, only 25 miles south of Cairo, where hundreds of Muslims torched and looted Coptic businesses and homes. “As 120 families had already fled the village … the businesses and homes were an easy game for the mob to make a complete clean-up of everything that could be looted,” said Coptic activist Wagih Jacob. “The security forces were at the scene of the crime while it was taking place and did nothing at all.” The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement criticizing officials “for not dealing firmly with the events, demanding the speedy arrest of the perpetrators, the provision of security to the village Copts, their return to their homes, and monetary compensation for all those affected.” Its adherents see the Dahshur incident as a continuation of the Mubarak-era policy of collective punishment of Copts. Renowned Egyptian novelist Alaa Al-Aswany said, “What if the Americans acted the same way as the extremists of Dahshur; would you accept the expulsion of Muslims of America in response to Bin Laden’s terrorism?”
Egypt’s ongoing transition to what passes for democracy in the Muslim world is going to make matters far worse for the Copts, who are fearful the army and courts will not shield them from ever-greater discrimination and harassment. The Freedom and Justice Party, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood, now controls the country’s parliament, and the president is a Brotherhood disciple. The adherents of political Islam are in charge. Their spiritual leader is Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, who in a recent video reminded the faithful that Christians are infidels. The Sheikh’s position is in line with orthodox Islamic teaching, which may explain the fact that he is still hailed in the West as a moderate. Five years ago, a U.S. News article described him as “a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam.” As a result, according to an August 14 report in El Fegr, jihadi organizations openly distribute leaflets inciting for the killing of Copts and promising them “a tragic end if they do not return to the truth” (Islam). The letter even names contact points and a location, Sheikh Ahmed Mosque in Kasfrit, where those supportive of such goals should rally after Friday prayers and join forces.
“Liberation” of Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s secular dictatorship has devastated that country’s Christian community, with many taking refuge in Syria, where they are now again under threat. “At least proponents of Muslim liberation in the Middle East can claim, however implausibly, that the negative impact on local Christians is an unintended and regrettable consequence of a fundamentally humane and progressive program,” James Jatras says.
“But in the Balkans, specifically in Kosovo and in Muslim-controlled areas of Bosnia, no crocodile tears are required. The victims are Serbs, and of course they deserve everything they get. But excuses and window-dressing aside, the bottom line is the same: Washington—supposedly the great global opponent of jihad terror—in fact is the consistent supporter of militant Islamization of one country after another, with the predictable result of streams of Christian refugees, burned churches, murdered clergy, and enslaved girls. Given the collusion between our government and media, not one American in ten has a clue what our government is doing in our name and with our money.”
Iraq’s dwindling Christian population marked Christmas 2011 with bomb attacks across Baghdad that killed dozens of them. After U.S. forces completed their withdrawal from the country, Christian exodus from Iraq accelerated. “Our faithful in Iraq live in fear,” Chaldean Bishop Shlemon Warduni complained, “they feel there is no peace, no security, so they go where they can live in peace… The government cannot ensure their lives.”
The Christian community in Iraq was some two million strong before the US-led invasion of 2003. Up to four-fifths is estimated to have left the country in recent years following a series of attacks by Muslim extremists. While they were still there, the U.S. forces did little to protect them, leaving the task to the Iraqis. On October 31, 2010, an assault on a Baghdad church left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force members dead. According to Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, “the security forces are not sufficiently prepared to ensure the protection of Christians.” He says that 57 churches and houses of worship in Iraq have been attacked since the invasion with a thousand Christians killed and more than 6 000 wounded.
At the outset of the Islamic conquests under Muhammad’s successors all of these lands were 100 percent Christian. By the time the Ottomans took over they had a Christian plurality, and in Palestine and Lebanon the outright majority. Under the British Mandate (1919-1947), Palestine officially was a Christian country. Bethlehem, for instance, had a population that was 90 percent Christian. Today, they are disappearing: Bethlehem is now less than 10 percent Christian. Among almost three million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, only 50,000 Christians remain. Within the pre-1967 borders of Israel there are six million people; only two percent are Christians. In the city of Jerusalem the Christian population has declined from 45,000 in 1940 to a few thousand today. At the current rate of decline, the Christian population will be a fraction of one percent in the year 2020, and there will be no living church in the land of Christ
If the Jewish or Muslim population of America or Western Europe were to start declining at a similar rate, there would be an outcry from their co-religionists all over the world. There would be government-funded programs to establish the causes and provide remedies, and heart-rendering Hollywood movies. The endangered minority would be awarded instant victim status and be celebrated as such by the media and academia. But the disappearing Middle Eastern Christians, or their remnant, remain invisible to the Western world. It is evidently hard to be “post-Christian” without becoming anti-Christian.
As America begins to awaken and take to the streets, let us remember the happily profitable WAR contractors/Profiteers who are scattered across the country. Over decades past, and still, they have received billions for designing, building, and transporting the weapons of war which have destroyed other nations and are now being deployed here at home against us.
They are directly responsible for sound cannons, droids, and other weapons now aimed at ordinary Americans as well as people around the world. War is being made on us and those providing the weapons are right next door, in many cases. We need to acknowledge this and act.
From the wikipedia:
“ Against protesters:
The LRAD device was on hand at protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City but not used; it was extensively used against opposition protesters in Tbilisi, Georgia, in November 2007.
The magazine Foreign Policy has revealed that LRADs have been sold to the government of the People’s Republic of China. American companies have been banned from selling arms to China since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Local residents of Dusit in Bangkok witnessed it in use during protests of Triumphfactory employees against dismissals on August 28, 2009. The LRAD was used for the first time in the United States in Pittsburgh during the time of the G20 summit on September 24–25th, 2009. Pittsburgh police again utilized LRAD as a precautionary measure to prevent unruly crowds from getting out of control following the 2011 Super Bowl. LRAD systems were also purchased by Toronto Police for the 2010 G20 summit.
In 2009, the government of Honduras used it on at least two occasions, on September 22 and 25, to communicate to those seeking refuge in the Brazilianembassy. In addition to embassy staff, these included the deposed president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, his family, and some supporters and journalists.
LRAD use was also reported as the New York City Police department cleared protestors during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park on the morning of 15 November 2011.”
LRAD Corporation is located at 15378 Avenue of Science, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92128 USA
The company which produces tasers, Taser International, their subtext is “Protect Life,” has its international headquarters at 17800 N. 85th St. Scottsdale, AZ. Another office is located in Arlington, Virgina, and yet another, TASER Virtual Systems at 5464 Carpinteria Ave, Suite I, Santa Barbara, CA 93013.
On August 28th Anonymous released the following information on the producer of drones, which many expect will soon be deployed against Americans within the United States, are all paid for by tax payers.
“August 28, 2011, Alastair Stevenson reports in the International Business Times: The hacker collective Anonymous has released a fresh batch of data taken from Vanguard Defense Industries, a Pentagon and FBI contractor.
The data release was revealed via a post on tor2web.org and later publicised (sic) on the group’s AnonymousIRC Twitter account. In it the group claimed to have released “1GB of private emails and documents belonging to Vanguard Defense Industries (VDI).”
But these are the obvious problems, the end products also imply subcontracters who provide software and other essentials without which the products could not be produced.
There are also the old line, military-industrial complex corporations which are very conscious they are a corporate military presence on alien territory, for instanceNorthrop Grumman. A friend of mine, a mind-mannered software engineer, and his partner, inadvertently drove into the company parking lot during broad daylight in Maryland to be met by ‘security’ wearing flack jackets and carrying AK47s.
Some defense contractors are open to their relationship with us. Others are covert.
Santa Barbara, that lovely resort where so many 1%ers live on the Pacific coast above Los Angeles, is also the headquarters for Green Hills Software, yet another defense contractor located at 28 Sola St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103. Notice the significant partners on their “defense customers” page for this company who are more easily recognizable.
Complex weapons systems, high level encryption, and other expensive toys used in war, are produced behind the seemingly safe and friendly doors of businesses which donate to local charities as they cash their government checks and pump out their products of death. We need to rethink our attitude here.
War is the health of the corporate state. General Smedley Butler said this of corporate war profits in his book, “War is a Racket,” written in 1937. “The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits — ah! that is another matter — twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent — the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.
Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket — and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples:
Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people — didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.
Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump — or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!”
The Occupy Movement is about confrontation. Since its inception more protests have begun and are broadening out in scope.
Protests are traditional tools for awakening the public and growing a movement but awakening is only the first step.
It is time to move directly to accountability. No person of conscience should have participated in making these weapons, no matter how profitable or what justifications were offered by those ‘in authority.’
We are facing a reality which includes a corrupt system of justice and elected officials who demand they not be held accountable for their actions. This cannot be tolerated.
We can no longer accept a moral justification based on lies sold to us by government and corporations. Instead, we should non-violently demand accountability and simultaneously work taking each of these areas into account with parallel efforts.
- How much was paid to each specific corporation, owner, and specific employee for these weapons or components which were used to produce weapons or controls on Americans and others around the world?
- What damage has been done to each of us, to others around the world, to our environment?
- What is owed to us, as individuals, for these damages? Certainly enough to reboot the system as we continue the fight to return governance to the most local level.
Asking the questions begins the process which ends in collecting and ending the use of a bogus ‘sovereign immunity’ to hold onto ill-gotten gains. If we stay in the Corporate-Government (Greedville) paradigm we cannot win.
Keeping us divided, Right and Left, was a strategy built into their game plan.
War contractors build a cultural shield around themselves. This shield is extended to their employees.
Keeping us apart has involved the use of oppositional cultural icons and ideas. As humans, we build our own worlds of these, ignoring the contractions as long as possible.
War is made only for the profit of corporations and to enlarge the power of Greedville. The people pay and bleed, Greedville profits.
This accounts for the shrill calls for a free market from people who should know a free market cannot exist if government is involved. This reinforces the R – L division.
What is a Free Market?
For more on this look at the use of Milton Friedman as a ‘free market economist.’ Those who knew him personally knew he was Chicago School and therefore entirely amenable to the use of government at the federal level.
This largely minimized the voice of Murray Rothbard, whose ideas define the free market far more exactly.
Markets are part of how we cooperate with each other. They cannot work unless our individual rights are affirmed and our system for justice is available to all, no matter what their income or condition.
War Contractors / Profiteers have built themselves into a privileged class, apart from the rest of us. This makes it very much in their interest to ignore the reality now about to hit all of us. Their lives have not changed. Ours have.
If these involved as war contractors are ignorant of the connection between their livelihoods and encroaching death and fascism we need to inform them directly.
To accomplish this we must have the facts in advance.
This requires research on each ‘contractor.’
Each ‘contractor, also needs to become visible to us and to the general population.
A site using google earth or other similar program can accomplish this. We can, in effect, ‘tour’ the contractors, heightening awareness nationally and within our communities.
This should impact those employed at each facility, as well as their owners, stock holders, boards of directors, and business partners.
The personal lives of those involved can be penetrated. We can confront them and this, we must do.
Research each contractor, each part and component of what they spend.
Confront, owners, employees, their subcontractors and suppliers, and so awaken a broad range of Americans to what is happening to all of us.
Always destroy the will of the enemy to resist before engagement begins.
[Originally written early last year, this grows truer every day. We need to start to anticipate what is coming far more effectively.]
I have no doubt that Day would be praying for and reporting on two particular brothers born of different Jewish mothers –one Moroccan and the other South American.
In 1963, Vanunu’s family planned on moving to “the land of milk and honey” but were banished to the ethnically cleansed village of Beersheba, which had been envisioned to be a part of the Arab state in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Following the declaration of Israel’s independence, the Egyptian army amassed its forces in Beersheba as a strategic and logistical base but in October 1948, Israeli Forces conquered the city.
Ro’i Tov was born in South America but grew up in a tight-knit communist kibbutz along the Jordan Valley. Against the odds, he graduated from Tel Aviv University and also the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Tov’s second book, The Cross of Bethlehem II: Back in Bethlehem shares “how he was caught between staying steadfast in his Christian faith and remaining obedient to his country’s military. Caught in a military that challenges his spiritual and moral beliefs, Tov achieved the rank of captain while serving in the IDF. When he left Israel and threatened to disclose the details of what he’s witnessed to the world, Tov became a refugee, traveling to Thailand, China, the United States and Bolivia, where he became first a refugee, and afterwards a political prisoner.”
For decades Tov has been monitored, followed, trapped, poisoned and brutally beaten to get him to shut up, and although he has been silenced from speaking in public due to the damage inflicted upon his throat he cannot be silenced on the Internet or on printed page, because he is driven to share the story of his soul.
Regarding the ongoing violence against him, Tov explained:
“You could ask why I wasn’t assassinated during the 2009 attack. The attack was predicted. I told Bolivia’s refugees office that I was about to be attacked already in March, four months before the violent event. They laughed at me; understandably so since the Bolivian government was a side to the attack. I asked for help from my congregation. They denied it, despite my request not being financial; they have been bought by the aggressors. Since the attack was predicted I took precautions. Substantially before it, I asked for political asylum in Iran. They got copies of all my documents. They have copies of documents I don’t have anymore. This is what saved my life. I was treated by them seriously and even met the ambassador. Neither Israel nor Bolivia knows what would have happened following a successful assassination. As far as they know, Iran may come out and credibly have denounced the crime. Instead, they inflicted a slowly killing wound.”
In another email Roy wrote:
“I don’t have a Facebook account, because after I opened one, it was deactivated in less than two hours. This is not a coincidence. Victor Ostrovsky disclosed the fact that American Jews are used by Mossad as ‘sayanim,’ (‘helpers’ in Hebrew, the word bears connotations of ‘traitors’ as well).
Previously Roy wrote:
“Is Zuckerberg Mossad?
“I care very little about Mark Zuckerberg’s formal statistics; he was born – at least in spirit – in 1984. On September 2010, he gave an interview to the Oprah Winfrey Show. Among other things he suggested not to talk about politics or religion.
“Politics can be defined as ‘the peaceful solution of conflicts.’ The only alternative to politics is violence and war. Religion defines ones attitude toward God and his fellow humans. As such religion is the base for our politics. There is no other choice for each one of us to be actively involved in both. Any other claim takes us straight into the criminal hands of the Big Brother; then, every year would become 1984.”
In The Cross of Bethlehem, Roy explained:
“The year was 1983, but at school we were already studying Orwell’s 1984, a book which frightened us by its similarity to life in Israel. The Lebanon War, which had begun a year earlier, was still called ‘the War for the Peace of Galilee’ by the government. The Hebrew possessive contraction brought together the two words which sounded exactly like ‘War-Peace,’ creating a perfect Orwellian oxymoron. We all skipped the obvious contemporaneous context of the book in our commentaries; such semantics could belong only to the enemy and we lived in an enlightened society.
“Our government could not have made such an Orwellian choice consciously. And yet a little voice in my head told a different story, one that must be kept to myself. The glitch allowing such a subversive book to be on our reading list could only be interpreted as some inconsistency of the system.
“However, a frightening alternative explanation was that 1984 had been placed on the Education Ministry’s official list of books intentionally, so that we would forever fear authority and behave. It was our first lesson in government manipulation of its people.”
Orwell’s nightmare titled, “1984” was published in 1949. When I reread it a few years ago, I was struck at how much Vanunu reminded me of Winston Smith, Orwell’s man with an independent thought that Big Brother found so threatening that they tortured him beyond his endurance in order to break him, brainwash him and strip him of his humanity.
In 1987, from Ashkelon Prison, Vanunu wrote: I had no choice. I’m a little man, a citizen, one of the people, but I’ll do what I have to. I’ve heard the voice of my conscience and there’s nowhere to hide…yes, it’s there all right. I’m all right. I do see the monster. I’m part of the system. I signed this form. Only now I am reading the rest of it. This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is me…Who else knows? Who has seen? Who has heard?”  ” A working prophet, is able to see deeper than most of us into the human soul. Orwell in 1948 understood that despite the Axis defeat, the will to fascism had not gone away…the irresistible human addiction to power were already long in place…the means of surveillance in Winston Smith’s era…are primitive next to the wonders of computer technology…most notably the Internet.” 
“Universal peace and justice are the goals of man, and the prophets have faith that in spite of all errors and sins…[and] although under the illusion of fighting for peace and democracy…all the fighting nations lost moral considerations…the unlimited destruction of civilian populations…atomic bombs…can human nature be changed so that man will forget his longing for freedom, dignity, integrity, love-can man forget that he is human?” 
The Orwellian named “Fabric of Life Road” in occupied Palestine is in reality an apartheid road; separate and unequal. Palestinians must travel through sewage and tunnels, but Israelis ride on only well maintained contiguous highways. On The Wall that divides Jerusalem from her sister city the little town of Bethlehem, the Ministry of Tourism had draped a doublespeak sign that proclaimed “Peace be with you” but there is no peace in the Holy Land, for Justice has not been done unto the indigenous people.
In Orwell’s epic, Winston Smith played the role of the archetype of all threats to Big Brother; an individual with an open and free mind, independent thought, memory of history, a voice of dissent and willing to take bold action. Orwell’s Big Brother tortured all threats in order to get inside their head and then to brainwash them into accepting doublethink as truth.
The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki cannot compare to the 21st century slaughter that could be achieved by thermonuclear weapons with capacities to wipe out 100% of a country within minutes. The Industrial Military Complex cranks out new weapons about every five years and soon the minds driven mad with doublethink-“war is peace”- will create 100 or 1,000 megaton bombs!
“Orwell demonstrates the illusion of the assumption that democracy can continue to exist in a world preparing for nuclear war…leaders…have only one aim, and that is power…and power means to inflict unlimited pain and suffering to another human being……how can a minority of one be right?…we spend a considerable part of our income and energy in building thermonuclear weapons, and close our minds to the fact that they might go off and destroy one third or one half of our population and that of the enemy…another example of doublethink-from a Christian standpoint” is the evil of killing any other. [Ibid]
From emails Vanunu wrote between March 24-27, 2008:
“Court hearing postponed to May 13, 2008-the appeal against 6 month prison sentence for speaking to foreign media. I found out about the change a few days before Easter, but not until Easter Day, did I learn about the day for the next hearing. My lawyer and prosecutor want to move it to different day.
“I think the hearing was postponed because, from the beginning of the trial until now, they really don’t know what they want. All was a game to try to put me under new pressure to see if they can gain something by holding me here…
“All this means is that Israel just continues what they have done since my release in 2004, delaying and holding me here…instead of sending me for real freedom…they want me very poor and angry, but I am surviving…One thing is very clear: my case is over. They should let me go free…There is a lot of suffering here…Israel wants to hide so much because it is not good for its image as a democracy and a friend of America…
“1984, yes I read it many times and many years ago. 1984 is here now…”
“In The Cross of Bethlehem I describe two technologies transfers to Israel, which I saw from very close. The one from America cost me my earthly life; I became a refugee.
“Given this background, the life story of Mark Zuckerberg looks slightly different from what mainstream media claims. He was born into a Jewish family; his compromise to Judaism was so big that he had a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. Don’t laugh at this; this isn’t just a familiar event with good food. A Bar Mitzvah is the formal acceptance of Judaism from those born into Jewish families. It isn’t a familiar obligation, but an act of choice. Growing up in a Communist Kibbutz, I must tell that only a minority of its kids chose to participate in such a questionable event. Yet, Mark was happy to participate.
“That means Mark Zuckerberg was in an excellent position to become a formal ‘sayan’ of the Mossad. Did he become one? Let’s see. He entered Harvard, and violated its computers, robbing an important database. He belonged to Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity. Then, Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally making them believe he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com (later called ConnectU); in such a way, Mark Zuckerberg stole the technology that allowed him to build Facebook.
“One could claim that Mossad wanted to get formal access HarvardConnection.com technology. It is useful for monitoring and controlling social networks, as I recently discovered after opening a Facebook account. Spotting Zuckerberg as a cooperative individual wasn’t hard. Giving him an informal tip on how to break into Harvard’s computers was even easier. Explaining him how to trick out the technology from Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra – none of them would have cooperated with Mossad – was also easy. Afterwards, the marketing of Facebook against other social media networks was easy due to the Harvard connection, everybody wanted to share the splendor.
“Facts speak for themselves: Zuckerberg stole technology in a method not unknown to Mossad. It belongs to the most faithful recruitment base of that organization. Let me ask you, Mr. Zuckerberg: are you Mossad?” 
I doubt Roy will ever receive a reply but I am well acquainted with Zionist trolls all over the Internet and the primary reason I was Primary Administrator of the Facebook Cause: Free Mordechai Vanunu [currently with 5,417 MEMBERS ] was precisely to send a message to Israel that the World would not ignore or forget Vanunu.
Martial Law, Karma, Facebook and Vanunu
On July 28, 2011, Tov’s lawyer wrote:
“Roy, have a look at this report of what a UN torture investigation agency is doing for a US soldier in solitary confinement here:
“The United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. The army private is charged with the unauthorized use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.
“The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture based in Geneva, received the complaint from a Manning supporter; his office confirmed that it was being looked into. Manning’s supporters say that he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day; this could be construed as a form of torture. This month visitors reported that his mental and physical health was deteriorating.
“I would make sense to make a similar complaint to the UN about your Bolivia treatment. I was unaware that the UN investigated individual human rights cases. The one above concerns solitary confinement in a US prison… The fact that the UN is helping 1 man does not mean they will help all…”
LEARN MORE: Before Manning and Assange: There was Vanunu Mordechai
“In The Cross of Bethlehem II there is one chapter dedicated to Mordechai Vanunu, a true hero of our era. I expand there on the reasons for his and our persecution.
“On three other central chapters in the book I expand on what he has described as ‘psychological torture,’ but I prefer to call ‘psychological warfare.'”
Roy concluded, “In another show of the pettiness and ungodliness of its culture, Israel won’t allow the rise—or even respect their basic human rights —of any of its own preaching for the Lord. One advantage People of God have is their capability to rejoice in the Kingdom of God, where ‘there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain’ (Revelations 21:4).
“I have faith we both will emerge victorious out of our respective tests and enjoy the best coffee in the universe at Celestial Jerusalem. My prayers are for him and all other victims of evil.” ###
My faith compels me to pray for Tov and Vanunu and to work to have their stories known.
I do believe that The TRUTH and only The TRUTH can and WILL SET US ALL FREE.
+ Godspeed on it!
2. Thomas Pynchon, Foreword, Centennial Edition 1984
3. Erich Fromm, Afterword, Centennial Edition 1984
But He Was Tortured And Crucified By Occupying Forces…
The biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19. They tell the story of when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches. The story goes that immediately following this triumphant celebration Jesus began his tortured journey to the cross.
The Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; also called the Via Dolorosa, Way of Sorrows, or just The Way) is a series of artistic representations depicting Christ Carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours or Passion of Jesus before he died.
2,000 years ago the cross had no religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry. When Jesus said, “Pick up your cross and follow me” everyone then understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads in Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any others who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces.
Jesus was never a Christian, for that term was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus walked the earth a man.
Jesus was a social justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up and challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Military Occupation.
What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces and teaching the subversive concept that Caesar only had power because God allowed it and that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Occupation above the elite and arrogant.
During my second [of seven] Reality Tours through the West Bank, I was introduced to Sabeel, Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center Contemporary Way of Cross.
The Sabeel way, transforms the traditional Christian tradition of meditating upon the journey that Christ took after his condemnation as he carried his cross to where he was crucified with an updated meditation on empire and occupation.
In Jerusalem there are fourteen plaques along The Via Delarosa hanging on the walls of buildings depicting where Christ may have fallen three times, meets his mother, is stripped, nailed and dies.
The Contemporary Way suggests fourteen reflections beginning with 1948, The Nabka: The Catastrophe which followed the failure of the UN partition plan of ‘47 when the Irgun and Stern Gang [Zionist terrorist groups] depopulated 400 villages and forced 726,000 Palestinians to flee to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
Station Two reflects on those refugees and the 460,000 more that fled during the War of 1967. Currently there are 675,670 registered refugees in the West Bank, 938,531 in Gaza and over two million in Arab countries who have never received compensation and have been denied the right to return as guaranteed in Articles 13 and 15 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in UN Resolution 194.
At Anata, [Jerusalem’s refugee camp] The Wall is butted up to the boy’s high school. The ‘playground’ where around 800 male adolescents ‘play’ is in reality a slab of cement about the square footage of a basketball court and is walled in on all four sides by the high school, two small cement walls and Israel’s Separation Wall.
A refugee informed me that on a daily basis, “The Israeli Occupation Forces show up when the children gather in the morning or after classes. They throw percussion bombs or gas bombs into the school nearly every day! The world is sleeping; the world is hibernating and is allowing this misery to continue.”
I wandered around taking photos and was warmly greeted by a teenage boy who asked my name and where I was from. I cringed when I said America, for I am ashamed that over one hundred billion USA dollars since 1948 has supported the occupation, promoted violence and helped build The Wall which is “financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile. The Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” 
A five-minute car ride from the refugee camp, lies an Orwellian Disney Land of lush green grounds in the colony called the Pizgatzeev settlement. I was sick at heart and in my gut as I rode less than a mile into the colony and counted three playgrounds and a swimming pool. I still wonder how many USA tax dollars helped to build them.
As my Sabeel group was praying a gunshot issued from the Anata refugee camp, then another and another in rapid succession. I was told that the IDF was showering the refugees with gunfire and that terror is just a normal daily occurrence. I lost it completely then, and sobbed uncontrollably. I felt like the Magdalena when she could not find her Lord, and then I thought of Jesus, and how he cried buckets of tears over Jerusalem.
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.-Luke 19:41
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” -Matthew 23:37
While in Bethlehem in July 2007, I also met with Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, the Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas church in Bethlehem since 1988 who was also born in that little town in Occupied Territory.
Raheb spoke with passion:
“We are not spectators, we have a role to play…we are nonviolent but I have problems with nonviolence; people from abroad come here and give us sermons on nonviolence and I appreciate it, but why don’t they preach nonviolence to Israel and America?
“It’s a miracle that the Palestinians are so nonviolent in spite of the abuse we live with on a daily basis. If you lived here every day you would get fed up too. The world assumes it is the Palestinians who are the violent ones, but nonviolence is who we are. If you operate in a system of violence you will also be violent when you go home.
“Palestinians who throw stones; and many think that is ok, but I say why do that? One day you will throw stones at Palestinians too and that is exactly what happened in Gaza, but the reason is the occupation! Where do you think Hamas learned to torture? In Israeli prisons from their captors!
“There is no way to end the violence without first ending the occupation!
“Our Palestinian government was boycotted for a year and a half by America and the EU: this is violence! As long as the violence is exercised against us that is OK with the world. When the Presbyterians talked divestment the Zionist rose up and said ‘you can’t do that!’
“I started interfaith dialogue in 1985 because Christians should not be islands and you don’t dialogue just with yourself, you must dialogue with the other and the biggest temptation for the church is to stay within their walls and only be dedicated to their own members; which leads to a dead church.
“We are called to go out, and we do not just preach with words, people here are fed up with words; they hear one thing and see another with their eyes.
“They hear peace, peace, peace and for 85 years the politicians have been working for peace and the situation gets worse. Blair, and all the politicians are into PR for themselves; they do nothing for our situation. Blair got himself a good job marketing himself and he will come and go and Israel will continue building the wall, settlements and carving the West Bank into Swiss cheese; Israel gets the cheese and we Palestinians fall into the holes!
“Fifty million American dollars went to build the checkpoints to ‘make our lives easier’ we were told, but these checkpoints and terminals are not for people, they are for cattle!
“We have too much religion and it suffocates us! If God would speak today he would say, ‘I am fed up with your religion!’ The more religion there is; the less spirituality.
“During the Israeli invasion in 2002 when the Church of Nativity was occupied by the IDF and Palestinians were sheltered within, as an eyewitness I wrote 18 short stories that will keep you awake at night, in my book “Bethlehem Beseiged: Stories of Hope in Times of Trouble.” 
One of the refugees I spoke with in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp told me, “I left Gaza on March 20, 2007. My husband has been there ever since he was sent there in 2002, after Bethlehem was besieged.
“It began on an ordinary day, helicopters and airplanes circled above and tanks came up the street. The soldiers were on the roof and breaking in doors and through walls. The resistance fighters and many young people ran to Manger Square. The soldiers stole money and jewelry. The Franciscan father Abraham Feltus sheltered my husband in the Church of the Nativity. After it was all over, I went and prayed and lit candles there.”
Reported by the National Catholic Reporter on 4/26/2002, “the standoff between the Israeli Defense Force and the 250 Palestinians holed up inside the church along with 45 monks, nuns and priests…is taking a toll on both those inside the church and without. Bethlehem residents living near Manger Square, where the church is located, continue to live under curfew. The Israeli army has said it will continue its siege, which began April 3, until it captures about 30 men inside the church whom the army says are wanted as terrorists.
“Reached by telephone April 16, Franciscan Fr. Amjad Sabbara, parish priest at St. Catherine’s Church, the Latin church that adjoins the 1,400-year, old Orthodox basilica enshrining Christ’s birthplace, said the most serious problem for all those at the Church of the Nativity is water. The Nativity complex, which includes Catholic, Orthodox and Armenian monasteries in addition to the basilica, has one well. With some 250 more people now living there, water is running low. So far, the Israelis have permitted the delivery of a crate with 20 bottles of water, but no food. Sabbara reported that those inside the church are living on one meal a day.
“A youth who escaped from the Church of the Nativity April 15 provided a fuller picture of the squalid conditions inside the church. In an article printed in The New York Times April 17, 16-year-old Jihad Abdul Rahman said cold and the stench from rotting bodies and gangrenous wounds drove him from the church. There was no water for washing and only one toilet for the 250 Palestinians taking shelter inside the church, Rahman said.
“Dwindling supplies of food and water are not the only problems those inside the church are contending with. The Israeli army is exerting psychological pressure by blasting loud music and shrieking cries at night as well as intermittent demands to those inside the church to give themselves up.
“It’s the Noriega technique,” said Bethlehem resident Br. Kenneth Cardwell, referring to the tactics the U.S. government adopted in its efforts to dislodge former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from the Vatican embassy in Panama City where he sought refuge in 1989.
“They play really repulsive music very loudly. They broadcast loud commands to surrender in the middle of night. They explode huge explosive charges and then lesser flash-bangs I call them. We’re a half-mile away and we wake up five, six times a night with this racket. There are blimps with a cable below. There’s been a drone flying overhead all day today. Yesterday colored gasses wafted across the square,” Cardwell said.
He added that a box dangling from a large crane the Israeli army has brought into or close by Manger Square “gave a laser light show the other night and that was pretty exciting…all the computers of the Palestinian Authority in Bethlehem have been destroyed in what he called a deliberate attempt by the Israeli government to destroy the Palestinian economy and the Palestinian Authority.”
Cardwell added, “We watch on TV the great support Israel is receiving from the Jewish people in the United States. If they only knew what this government is doing to the Palestinian people, they would repent in dust and ashes. American Jewry has a very high sense of moral responsibility for the widow, the stranger and the orphan, and they just are blind to what the Israeli government is doing.” [IBID]
Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy ends his emails with:
“Jesus did not simply ‘suffer and die,’ just as Abel did not simply ‘suffer and die.’ Jesus was ‘tortured and murdered,’ and He responded to His torturers and murderers with a Nonviolent Merciful Love. ‘Suffered and died’ are minimizing, obscuring, evasive, amnesia-inducing, all-purpose, generalizing words. They do not convey properly the Gospel history of what took place on Golgotha. They do not convey properly the revelation and glory of God in Jesus during His final hours on earth, nor do they convey properly the revelation of the redeeming and redemptive Way of God through Jesus. The raw animal pain of suffering and death is not what saves. Identification with Jesus being tortured and murdered is identification with Jesus loving—loving the Father by doing the Father’s will and loving those responsible for His torture and murder. Communion with the tortured and murdered and risen Jesus Christ is communion with a love that conquers any evil and is stronger than death.”- Center for Christian Nonviolence
Jesus is also called The Prince of Peace and although I no longer attend or support any church institution, because I love Jesus and try to follow him, I am connected to the mystical Body of Christ and the most rigid of Christian fundamentalists are my sisters and brothers.
St. Paul, who never failed to express his freedom of speech, warned the followers of Christ, NOT to judge the unbeliever but to provoke the believer onto good works.
Ever since my first trip to Israel Palestine in 2005, my work, hope and prayer has been to mend, heal and repair the flabby Body of Christ in the West by trying to reconnect it to its very roots in the land where Jesus walked and taught that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God; not those that bomb, torture or occupy others.
The Christian EXODUS from the Holy land-which is in pieces; Bantustans, has rendered their numbers from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% since 1948. Their dwindling numbers are due to low birth rates coupled with their escape from a brutal, inhumane military occupation, which is aided and abetted by American foreign policy and ‘we the peoples’ tax dollars.
Every individual Christian is but one cell in the cosmic Body of Christ.
“So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4
“Its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part [of The Body] suffers, every part suffers with it.”-1 Corinthians 12:25-26
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and all the prophets said, “You will recognize the believers in their having Mercy for one another, and in their Love for one another, and in their Kindness towards one another; like the body, when one member of it hurts, the entire body hurts.”
In the gospel [good news] told in Mark 3: 31-35, the mother of Jesus’ and his brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him out. The crowd around Jesus told him, “Your mother, sisters and brothers are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “I am here with my mother, sisters and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.”-Mark 3: 31-35
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” – Micah 6:8
Being just means correct, true, accurate, right and fair.
Merciful is to have, feel and show compassion, that sense of viscerally feeling the pain of another and being moved to help.
Being humble is knowing yourself-the good and the bad-for both cut through every human heart and all FREE WILL means is we get to choose which rules ours.
1. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007
2. MEMOIRS of a Nice Irish-American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory
“When I come here and see the situation here, I find that what is happening here is ten times worse than what I had experienced in South Africa. This is Apartheid.”- Arun Gandhi, after his 2004 visit to The Holy Land.
This week in Bethlehem, the second international Christ at the Checkpoint Conference concluded with a “major breakthrough in the evangelical world” and was attended by over 600 Evangelical Palestinian Christians, Christian Zionists and Messianic Christians.
They came together with “Hope in the Midst of Conflict” under the banner “Christ at the Checkpoint,” to seek understanding between Jews and Christians and reflect on ‘what would Jesus do’ about the Israeli occupation of Palestine and concluded with:
The Christ at the Checkpoint Manifesto:
- The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.
- Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another.
- Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.
- The Church in the land of the Holy One, has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost. It must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict.
- Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.
- All forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally.
- Palestinian Christians must not lose the capacity to self-criticism if they wish to remain prophetic.
- There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored. Any solution must respect the equity and rights of Israel and Palestinian communities.
- For Palestinian Christians, the occupation is the core issue of the conflict.
- Any challenge of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.
- Respectful dialogue between Palestinian and Messianic believers must continue. Though we may disagree on secondary matters of theology, the Gospel of Jesus and his ethical teaching take precedence.
- Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam. We challenge stereotyping of all faith forms that betray God’s commandment to love our neighbors and enemies. 
Also this week, peace and justice activists in Johannesburg concluded a week of programs highlighting the similarities between the Apartheid regime in South Africa and that of Israel.
Learn More about that @ Prophets on Apartheid: Part 1
Israeli Apartheid Week is a global annual international series of events held in cities and campuses with the goal to educate people about Israeli Apartheid and because ‘it’s always about the money’ to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns.
Last year, Israeli Apartheid Week took place in more than 40 cities across the globe and the good news is that over 100 participated this year!
When it came to South African Apartheid, the US was one of the last to get on-board and only did so when President Ronald Reagan was forced to sign a Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act “because the citizens’ movements in the United States had so effectively turned around United States politics that the Republican senators were telling him that it was in the interest of the Republican Party to sign.”
Last week in D.C. thousands of US Christians united with Jewish AIPAC supporters who converged on the Capitol to lobby Congress in support of the state of Israel and push America into war with Iran.
The Christians who attended the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference sought to answer, “How should Christ followers respond to this political, multi-faceted conflict?”
They desired “to promote awareness, a message of unity, and contribute to peace and justice for all of the world’s inhabitants. [With] hope to be challenged and to challenge the global church on its moral, ethical, and prophetic responsibility.”
In 1948 there were 29,000 Palestinian Christians living in the land many call Holy but because of The Christian Exodus, they number less than 10,000 today; not because of Judaism or Islam, but because of a brutal and illegal military occupation that denies their human rights and prevents them from reaching their jobs, land, holy sites and families which have been separated by Israel’s wall.
“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]
During the conference, the Mayor of Bethlehem, Victor Batarseh, spoke about the Apartheid Wall and other “walls in this world – walls of religion, race, gender… we want to break down all the seen and unseen walls in the world. [he thanked the delegates for] breaking down the wall – not physically, but psychologically [and continued] we live in a big prison in this city but as Muslims and Christians we always have hope” and he concluded by saying that “with your help we can achieve peace.” 
The first time I met Mayer Batarseh was when he traveled to Florida in 2005, to meet with Mayor Buddy Dyer, with the hope to re-ignite The Twinning Agreement that was signed in May 2001 by the then Mayors of Bethlehem and Orlando.
The Twinning Agreement is a sister-pact that affirmed Orlando and Bethlehem would encourage tourism to the other and promote a global community. I followed up on Mayor Batarseh’s visit with my own visit to Mayor Buddy Dyer’s office one week after the Mayors had met.
I informed the Orlando Mayor’s public relations representative about an opportunity to help the city of Bethlehem and was seeking the Mayors support in getting the word out about two events that were already scheduled and my involvement with Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund, who imported goods crafted by the artisans in Bethlehem that volunteers sold throughout the world. We returned 100% of all proceeds back to the crafts people and any remaining went to help support the children who endure in the refugee camps of the Holy Land.
Mayor Buddy Dyer did not even have the common courtesy to respond to any of my three follow up emails and multiple phone calls.
I also informed The Orlando Sentinel about the opportunity for the Central Florida community to do something to make true the words of the Twinning Agreement without traveling all the way to the Little Town of Bethlehem in occupied territory.
I got nowhere, but I keep writing about it because the proverb is; ‘if you want to change the world: WRITE!’
In 2006, while I was in Bethlehem I again met Mayor Batarseh and he told me:
“When the occupation is ended there will be peace. If the world boycotted Israel for six months they would comply with the UN Resolutions which is all we want! There is state terrorism and Israel must be forced to recognize our right to exist. For the past ten years Hamas has worked with and helped the poorest of people, they have built schools and orphanages. The PA took the money but Hamas was providing the social services!
“Israel is a state built on religious beliefs. The US and EU and all the free world are against theocracies. But Israel has the right to do anything! The world needs to WAKE UP! If there is no peace in the Holy Land there can be no peace anywhere. End the occupation and there will be peace the very next day. All the terrorism in the world can be traced back to the Palestinian situation. All the money spent on weapons and war could eliminate world poverty.” 
There can be no peace without justice and there is no justice without accepting the truth.
There is more than enough blame to be shared by all but playing that game- as well as living in the past- has got no soul!
For this American struggling Christian Anarchist and candidate for US HOUSE of Representatives, who seeks to change US foreign policy and challenge all Christians, I propose believers and unbelievers would do well to consider just WHO their Jesus is.
The gospel [which means good news] that Jesus preached, was very political and a direct challenge to the politically powerful, arrogant, self-satisfied and self-righteous.
Two thousand years ago the Cross had NO symbolic religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry.
When Jesus said: “Pick up your cross and follow me,” everyone back then understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads in Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any others who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces.
Jesus was never a Christian, for that term was not even coined until the third decade after his crucifixion.
Jesus was born, lived and died a devout Jewish nonviolent Palestinian whose last message to his community was “Put down the sword!”
In the latter days of Nero’s reign [54-68 A.S.] through the domination of Domitian [ 81-96] Christians were persecuted for following the nonviolent, loving and forgiving Jesus.
That Jesus was first left behind when Augustine penned The Just War Theory.
Augustine was the first Church Father to consider the concept of a Just War and within 100 years after Constantine, the Empire required that all soldiers in the army must be baptized Christians and thus, the decline of Christianity began.
With the justification of war and violence supplied by Augustine’s Just War Theory, wrong became right. Nothing much has changed in two millennial, for in today’s Orwellian world politicians claim the way to peace is through war and that nuclear weapons provide protection.
The first mention of Israel in the Bible is in Genesis 32, when Jacob wrestled, struggled and then clung to the Divine Being and was then renamed Israel. I contend that ANYONE who does the same is that Biblical Israel too!
“This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic.”
In the third ATLANTIC EXCHANGE series, Senator George Mitchell, former U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East, is featured in the segment of Is Peace Possible?, a multimedia presentation and special report on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the opening comments, Robert Wexler who retired from congress to become president of The S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, claims, “no one agrees less than 80%” with Senator Mitchell.
I won’t quibble over percentages, but as only an “honest and objective view” is the way forward, I offer why Senator Mitchell gets it wrong about apartheid.
When the “A” word comes up at around the 50-minute mark, Mr. Mitchell expresses his disapproval of using “complicated words” and “inflammatory words and phrases that create aggravation and hostility”.
Not facing the true facts on the ground creates aggravation and increases hostility and although Apartheid is complex, the word itself is not.
According to a 2007 UN report,, Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein said, “Israel today was an apartheid State with four different Palestinian groups: those in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, each of which had a different status…even if the wall followed strictly the line of the pre-1967 border, it would still not be justified. The two peoples needed cooperation rather than walls because they must be neighbors.” 
“An apartheid society is much more than just a ‘settler colony’. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, whereas civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges.” 
On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the establishment of Israel affirmed that, “The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.”
However, reality intrudes, for “The truth, which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp.”- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006,
How could a state founded on “equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” come to be such a state of hypocrisy?
A Little History:
On July 5, 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return by which Jews anywhere in the world, have a “right” to immigrate to Israel on the grounds that they are returning to their own state, even if they have never been there before. 
On July 14, 1952: The enactment of the Citizenship/Jewish Nationality Law, results in Israel becoming the only state in the world to grant a particular national-religious group—the Jews—the right to settle in it and gain automatic citizenship. In 1953, South Africa’s Prime Minister Daniel Malan becomes the first foreign head of government to visit Israel and returns home with the message that Israel can be a source of inspiration for white South Africans. [IBID]
In 1962, South African Prime Minister Verwoerd declares that Jews “took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” [IBID]
On August 1, 1967, Israel enacted the Agricultural Settlement Law, which bans Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality- Palestinian Arabs- from working on Jewish National Fund lands, well over 80% of the land in Israel. Knesset member Uri Avnery stated: “This law is going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs and was handed over to the Jews.” [IBID]
On April 4, 1969, General Moshe Dayan is quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz telling students at Israel’s Technion Institute that “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don’t even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don’t blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”[IBID]
On April 28, 1971: C. L. Sulzberger, writing in The New York Times, quoted South African Prime Minister John Vorster as saying that Israel is faced with an apartheid problem, namely how to handle its Arab inhabitants. Sulzberger wrote: “Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruder states. They were built by pioneers originating abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas.” [IBID]
On September 13, 1978, in Washington, D.C. The Camp David Accords are signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The Accords reaffirm U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force, call for Israel’s withdrawal of military and civilian forces from the West Bank and Gaza, and prescribe “full autonomy” for the inhabitants of the territories. Begin orally promises Carter to freeze all settlement activity during the subsequent peace talks. Once back in Israel, however, the Israeli prime minister continues to confiscate, settle, and fortify the occupied territories. [IBID]
On September 13, 1985, Rep. George Crockett (D-MI), after visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, compares the living conditions there with those of South African blacks and concludes that the West Bank is an instance of apartheid that no one in the U.S. is talking about. [IBID]
In July 2000, President Bill Clinton convenes the Camp David II Peace Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton—not Barak—offers Arafat the withdrawal of some 40,000 Jewish settlers, leaving more than 180,000 in 209 settlements, all of which are interconnected by roads that cover approximately 10% of the occupied land. Effectively, this divides the West Bank into at least two non-contiguous areas and multiple fragments. Palestinians would have no control over the borders around them, the air space above them, or the water reserves under them. Barak calls it a generous offer. Arafat refuses to sign. [IBID]
August 31, 2001: Durban, South Africa. Up to 50,000 South Africans march in support of the Palestinian people. In their “Declaration by South Africans on Apartheid and the Struggle for Palestine” they proclaim: “We, South Africans who lived for decades under rulers with a colonial mentality, see Israeli occupation as a strange survival of colonialism in the 21st century. Only in Israel do we hear of ‘settlements’ and ‘settlers.’ Only in Israel do soldiers and armed civilian groups take over hilltops, demolish homes, uproot trees and destroy crops, shell schools, churches and mosques, plunder water reserves, and block access to an indigenous population’s freedom of movement and right to earn a living. These human rights violations were unacceptable in apartheid South Africa and are an affront to us in apartheid Israel.” [IBID]
October 23, 2001: Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and a minister in the South African government, co-authors a petition “Not in My Name,” signed by some 200 members of South Africa’s Jewish community, reads: “It becomes difficult, from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression expressed by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule.” [IBID]
Three years later, Kasrils will go to the Occupied Territories and conclude: “This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale.” [IBID]
April 29, 2002: Boston, MA. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is “very deeply distressed” by what he observed in his recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, “It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa.” The Nobel peace laureate said he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Referring to Americans, he adds, “People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists.” [IBID]
In November 2005, this reporter attended the Gainesville, Florida, Anarchist’s Against the Wall Power Point Lecture by Jonathon Pollak, an intense young Israeli and organizer for Anarchist’s Against the Wall/AAtW, which is a collaborative NONVIOLENT resistance and civil disobedience group of Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals who are dedicated to bringing the separation/apartheid wall down and ending the occupation of Palestine.
Pollak said, “Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall’s path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.
“In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children. The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons [bantusans/ghettos]. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.
“We believe that, as with Apartheid South Africa, Americans have a vital role to play in ending Israeli occupation – by divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation, boycotting Israeli products, coming to Palestine as witnesses, or standing with Palestinians in nonviolent resistance.” 
In June 2005, a young American who had moved to Israel because of the incentives of Aliyah told me:
“Aliyah means ‘going up,’ and this deal was hard to pass by. I get fifteen hundred shekels or about thirty-six hundred dollars a year in increments to help with my expenses. I can apply for unemployment benefits after seven months, as long as I look for a job.
“I just completed Ulpan, which was five hundred hours of Hebrew language immersion studies that took five months, five hours a day, for five weeks. I get subsidized rent and just moved out of the Absorption Center Projects. All the new immigrants get room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months in Israel. We also receive free medical care and all the doctors here are dedicated. We can go to the university with 100 percent of the tuition paid by the government. College is much cheaper here; it’s about three thousand to four thousand dollars a year. Until I am thirty years old, I can receive up to three years of education for my master’s degree.” 
Apartheid can be summed up as a structured process of gross human rights violations perpetrated against a conquered ethnic majority by a state and society mainly controlled by an invading ethnic minority and its descendants, mainly immigrants, that have been deemed part of the ethnic elite.
The following nine categories make up the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of apartheid regimes:
1. Violence: Apartheid is a state of war initiated by a de facto invading ethnic minority, which at least in the short term originates from a non-neighboring locality. In all main instances of apartheid most if not all members of the invading group originate from a different continent. The invading ethnic minority and its self-defined descendants then continue to dominate the indigenous majority by means of their military superiority and by their continuous threats and uses of violence.
2. Repopulation: Apartheid is also a continuation of depopulation and population transfer. One example is seen in the obliteration of the indigenous Bedouins that Israel denies free movement to graze their herds and are silently transferring the Bedouins to new locales, such as atop of garbage dumps.
3. Citizenship: The indigenous people are often denied citizenship in their own country by the apartheid state authorities, which are ironically and irrationally, run and staffed by the recent arrivals to the country.
4. Land: Apartheid entails land confiscation, land redistribution and forced removals, almost without exception to the benefit of the invading ethnic minority. Usually, members of the ethnic majority are forced on to barren and unfertile soils, where they must also try to survive under impoverished and overcrowded conditions.
5. Work: Apartheid displays systematic exploitation of the indigenous class in the production process and different pay or taxation for the same work.
6. Access: There is ethnically differentiated access to employment, food, water, health care, emergency services, clean air, and other needs, including the need for leisure activities, in each case ensuring superior access for the favored ethnic community.
7. Education: There are also different kinds of education offered and forced upon the different ethnic groups.
8. Language: A basic apartheid characteristic is the fact that only very few of the invaders and their descendants ever learn the language(s) of the indigenous victims.
9. Thought: Finally, apartheid contains ideologies or ‘necessary illusions’ in order to convince the privileged minorities that they are inherently superior and the indigenous majorities that they are inherently inferior. Much of apartheid thought is shaped by typical war propaganda. The enemy is dehumanized by both sides’ ideologies, words and other symbols are used to incite or provoke people to violence, but mostly so by the invaders and their descendants. 
During my 2005 visit to Hebron, there were 450 Israeli settlers and 3,000 Israeli Forces who patrolled the streets with their weapons at the ready and refused us access through one of the many checkpoints.
My guide was Jerry Levin, who had been a secular Jew and CNN’s Mid East Bureau Chief in the 1980’s when he was kidnapped in Lebanon and held for nearly a year by the Hezbollah. During his captivity, on a Christmas Eve, Jerry had a mystical experience of Jesus and miraculously escaped a short time later. [Jerry shares that story in “Reflections on My First Noel” by HOPE Publishing House].
When I met Jerry, he was a full time volunteer with CPT/Christian Peacemaker Teams and he told me, “Most of the soldiers don’t like the CPTs. Whenever they won’t let us through, we just go another way, and always, eventually, get where we want to go.” 
The village of Hebron had once been a thriving Palestinian neighborhood, but now the narrow, winding stone streets between the colonists and the indigenous people are only connected to the other by a deeply sagging netting that the squatters hurl huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture, and all manner of debris upon with hope it will break and hit an unfortunate Palestinian upon the head.
Levin informed me, “It gets cleaned out about every year or so. Come back in a few months, and this netting will be much closer to your head. The settlers just throw whatever they want onto the netting; they do what ever they want and get away with it. The CPT’s run interference by nonviolent resistance; we get the children and woman to where they need to be going and back again. Sometimes, the settlers curse and stone us all; it keeps it interesting.” 
Hundreds of now empty formerly Palestinian homes had been spray-painted by the settlers with Stars of David and graffiti such as: “GAS THE ARABS.”
When Minister of Intelligence in South African Government, Ronnie Kasrils returned to Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, he wrote how it was “like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints — more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger…A journey from one West Bank town to another that could take 20 minutes by car now takes seven hours for Palestinians, with manifold indignities at the hands of teenage soldiers…The monstrous apartheid wall cuts off East Jerusalem…Bethlehem too is totally enclosed by the wall, with two gated entry points. The Israelis have added insult to injury by plastering the entrances with giant scenic posters welcoming tourists to Christ’s birthplace.” 
On the cover of my second book, Meir Vanunu provided the photo of the enormous Orwellian sign Karlis referred to, which hung upon The Wall next to the checkpoint that leads from Jerusalem to her sister city, Bethlehem: “PEACE BE WITH YOU” in English and Hebrew.
The Wall or as Israel prefers to spin it as a ‘security barrier’, “is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Like a reptile, it transforms its shape and cuts across agricultural lands as a steel-and-wire barrier, with watchtowers, ditches, patrol roads and alarm systems. It will be 700km long and, at a height of 8m to 9m in places, dwarfs the Berlin Wall. The purpose of the barrier becomes clearest in open country. Its route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israel the illegal Jewish settlements — some of which are huge towns — and annexes more and more Palestinian territory.” 
If The Wall is truly to keep out terrorists, why was it not built on Israeli land?
“It has become abundantly clear that the wall and checkpoints are principally aimed at advancing the safety, convenience and comfort of settlers.”- Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad. [Ibid]
“The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison…roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.” [Ibid]
On December 20, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless work confronting and challenging South Africa’s Apartheid regime spoke to The Guardian: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land. I have seen the humiliation at the checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice…If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.”
George Mitchell, Robert Wexler and I do agree with Tutu that peace can come to the Holy Land; but only if it is a JUST peace which ensures equal human rights, liberty and self-determination for all the people of that troubled land.
Justice requires honoring International Law and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace asenvisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.” – May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the establishment of Israel
“From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught…that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, ‘vomit you out’ if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]:
“When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ but also ‘you shall love the other.'” 
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8
As Americans we all need to understand every one of us who pay taxes is culpable.
“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]
2. Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.
3. The Link, “About That Word Apartheid”, April-May 2007, Published by Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc.
4. Eileen Fleming, Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory, pages 55-56
5. Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.
6. KEEP HOPE ALIVE, by Eileen Fleming, page 99.
7. Paraphrased from pages 71-73, Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present.
8. KEEP HOPE ALIVE, page 105.
10. Mail & Guardian, Israel 2007: Worse than Apartheid, by Ronnie Kasrils.
11. Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007
As I was walking down Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley yesterday, I passed a homeless man huddled against the cold at a bus stop bench near the corner of Shattuck and Channing — and the man was talking to himself. “I just can’t do this any more,” he was saying. “I just can’t.”
I felt so bad for this poor guy that I gave him a few dollars — yeah, like a measly two bucks might even begin to help stop his hunger, chill, weariness and desperation.
A week from now — or perhaps a month from now or, hopefully, maybe even a year — that man will most probably be dead.
Living out in the cold, having very little food to eat, having no healthcare or dental care options, having no warm place to stay, lacking even a toilet or a shower, having nothing but rags to wear, and having no place to feel safe? That level of deprivation can actually kill people. Under these bleak circumstances, I myself would probably be dead within days. And what about you? How long could you survive that kind of merciless gauntlet, that kind of ordeal?
“I can’t do this any more.”
And recently the mayor of Oakland has actually had the chutzpah to accuse OWS of committing “economic violence”. That really takes some nerve — when you consider that, for the past 30 years, 99% of America has had to suffer endless and brutal economic violence under the jackboot of Wall Street and banksters and their lapdogs in Congress, on the Supreme Court and in the White House. “Economic violence”? Us? You gotta be kidding, Mayor Quan!
And also here’s a belated Christmas carol video, coming to us from the deep and dreamless streets of Bethlehem — where people still optimistically celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, even after having suffered over 60 years of occupation under corporatist Israel’s brutal and merciless jackboots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
I wonder if Americans will be holding up even half as well as the Palestinians have done after we too have spent 60-plus years under corporatist domination.
Probably, if American corporatists have their way by then, most of the rest of America will be homeless too — and, like the man on the corner of Shattuck and Channing, muttering desperately to ourselves, “I can’t do this any more.”
This weekend millions of cultural Christians throughout the world will flock into churches and sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and hear stories of Nazareth and Jerusalem.
Too few know the 21st century realities about the land where Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace promised that the Peacemakers are the children of God.
The indigenous Christian population in the Holy Land has shrunk from 20% in 1948 to less than 2% in Israel and the West Bank today.
In 1970, The World Christian Database reported that the Christian population in the West Bank was 5.3% of that population and in 2011 their numbers have shrunk to half that.
Most all Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land never even visit the occupied territories or meet a Palestinian Christian for they tour with Israeli led groups and miss the reality tours conducted by organizations like SABEEL. [Read more…
Eileen Fleming at Claire’s Tomb, 2007, photo by Meir Vanunu.
The day is rapidly approaching when that troubled piece of real estate many claim is holy will be bereft of the most highly educated and consistently nonviolent Palestinians –the indigenous Palestinian Christians/AKA The Forgotten Faithful.
Researches predict that if things do not change very soon, Holy Land churches will be nothing more than museums for Christian communities across the region are declining due to low birth rates coupled with increasing emigration due to the persecution and violence rooted in the now 44 years of Military occupation of Palestine.
Some Christian leaders and many politicians claim the rise of radical Islam in the area is causing the decline of indigenous Christians and it does contribute, but the bigger truth is that it is religious fundamentalism within Judaism and Christianity entwined with Israeli-USA government policies versus justice and equal human rights for Palestinians that is most culpable!
In Israel, the indigenous Palestinians are labeled “Israeli-Arabs” and approximately 9% are Christian.
There are also growing numbers of Messianic Jews whose ethnicity is Jewish but they recognize Christ as the Messiah and they are supported by global Christian Zionists who profess strong support for Jewish people but are blind, deaf and dumb to their sisters and brothers in Christ: the indigenous Palestinian Christians who are most Forgotten Faithful.
The little town of Bethlehem is festooned with sparkling decorations but for those who know the brutal truth it is just smoke and mirrors over the military occupation of Palestine.
Nabil Giacaman, co-owner of a souvenir shop called Christmas House is a third-generation woodcarver who daily witnesses around 200 tour buses that roll in from the Israeli side of The Wall for a quick visit to the Church of the Nativity. The pilgrim-tourists are all escorted directly from the bus to the church and then back again without any time to browse the nearby shops.
Giacaman laments, “My total sales the other day were $4.13. My shop is in the middle of it all, but it gets worse every year. We have tourists, but not profits.” 
The decades-old political conflict aided and abetted by USA foreign policy also is an economic battle raging between Israel and the West Bank based Palestinian Authority and the livelihoods of all Palestinian merchants.
“At 1.1 million a year, the number of Christian pilgrims — those who describe their visit as chiefly spiritual in purpose — now surpasses Jewish tourism to Israel. Many of the top Christian sites are in the West Bank, and tourists have been returning in droves thanks to a recent lull in violence.
“Many Christian pilgrims belie the image of austere travelers sleeping in religious hostels. These visitors, mostly Catholics and Christian evangelicals, spend about $200 a day on hotels, restaurants and souvenirs, compared with an average of $140 for all tourists, according to Israeli figures.” [Ibid]
That would be gospel/good news for Palestinian businesspeople but the simple truth is that most all visitors to the Holy Land arrive by air in Israel and immediately join Israeli-led tours so they never get to see what is hid behind the faux-painted and extensively landscaped apartheid wall which is adorned with graffiti-against the occupation in the West Bank.
Recently, Israel’s Tourism Ministry opened a “religious affairs desk” and launched Christian-themed websites and a YouTube channel to entice them.
The Israeli government is also providing free trips for government officials and religious leaders from Latin America, Africa and Europe and in 2011, 81 members of Congress took an AIPAC political vacation and never spent an hour in occupied territory.
For Christmas, Israel is offering free bus transportation to Bethlehem for midnight Mass so that the pilgrims can avoid the lengthy wait at Israeli checkpoints. The Tourism Ministry is also promoting an alternative to Bethlehem [under the control of the Palestinian Authority] by inviting pilgrims and foreign diplomats to the Israeli city of upper Nazareth for a Christmas market which will be staffed by Israelis and no doubt supplied with goods made in the settlements-all of which are illegal under international law.
Palestinian Authority Tourism Minister Kholoud Daibes, contends that Israel collects 90% of pilgrim-related revenue and said, “They are promoting occupied territory as part of Israel.” [Ibid]
The mayor of upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso refused to allow Christmas trees to be placed in his town square and told the AFP, “The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative. Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen — not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor. Nazareth is right next door and they can do what they want there.” 
The town’s indigenous Palestinian and Christian minority accused him of racism. A 35-year-old Christian resident of Nazareth Illit nailed it, “The racism of not putting a tree up is nothing compared to the real racism that we experience here.”
“When we asked the mayor to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab neighbourhoods of Nazareth Illit he said this is a Jewish town, not a mixed town,” said Shukri Awawdeh, a Muslim Arab member of the town council.
Awawdeh said there were 10,000 Arabs, most of them Christian in the town and there was also a large community of Christian Russian immigrants.
“We told him that decorating a tree is just to share the happiness and cheer with other people in the town,” said Awawdeh.
“People here, Jews, Christians and Muslims live in harmony, but when the mayor does something like that, it does not make things better.” [Ibid]
Last year, Israel began allowing Israeli tour guides to lead groups in Bethlehem and only Israeli approved tour guides are allowed into Israel. Legislation is also pending that will require all Jerusalem guides to be Israeli citizens.
Professor Virginia Tilley wrote:
“Just twenty years ago, Christian pilgrims could still walk to the old city of Jerusalem or Rachel’s Tomb on ancient trails laid down over five thousand years among the rocky hills of Judea, following the footpaths of prophets and disciples that wove among the springs and valleys of biblical legend. Just twenty years ago, shepherds still tended their flocks by night around the hills of Bethlehem, playing on wooden flutes. Now these sacred landscapes are paved over, blocked off, and the West Bank is an uglified mess of four-lane highways, broken up by hideous concrete barriers and electrified fences, the old olive terraces crushed and buried under acres of monolithic Jewish-only apartment blocs. The shepherds are arrested, harassed and gone. The ancient trails are gone forever. Millennia of humanity’s historical heritage, razed and effaced in a scant few decades, to serve not natural population growth but an artificial state-sponsored project to take over land in the name of an exclusive ethnic nationalism. The loss is heartbreaking on so many levels that it cannot be expressed.
“And the world’s great Churches, whose cathedrals are nested in all this? To Israeli authorities, quiet pleas, in stiff meetings behind closed doors, tactical manoeuvres to keep privileges and access. To the world, silence or token gestures, even as Israel’s construction and archaeological excavations press up against their churches’ very walls.” 
Maria Khoury writes from the last remaining self-sufficient Christian West Bank village of Taybeh, where they produce Holy Land olive oil and beer. Her latest email was titled:
Politics at Christmas
It’s that special time of year where you simply want to wish everyone a blessed holy Christmas celebration but I can’t help it that it’s the only chance I get to remind my friends of the horrors that are still happening where Christ was born. Every time I travel to Boston, I simply feel I am escaping from the day-to-day misery of Israeli occupation and take a break from seeing the new illegal Israeli settlement getting bigger in front of my kitchen window in Taybeh.
By the way, Israel approved 4,000 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem. These days, I cannot even get the Orthodox Churches to invite me to speak about the Christian community in the Holy Land because people don’t want to hear politics. Although I don’t mean to be political but I am giving my life to promote a Christian presence in the very land where Christ lived, was crucified and resurrected for my salvation.
I am very sorry, I have a need to tell someone that this year, Israel, doubled up its efforts in demolitions of Palestinian property over 500 homes, wells and other structures to add to over 24,000 Palestinian homes that have been demolished since 1967. This also means displacing more than 1,000 people just in the last few months not to mention over 700,000 Palestinians who ran away at gun point to save their lives when Israel was created in 1948 creating the catastrophe of the current eight million Palestinian refugees who have no right to return to their home.
No one is paying attention to the twenty human rights organizations including Amnesty International reporting Jewish settler violence against Palestinians increased in 2011. The attacks from settlers are up 50% because maybe they are going crazy with Palestine’s effort for full UN membership and the recent admission of Palestine to UNESCO, thus over 10,000 olive trees were deliberately damaged this year alone to add to the over one million trees that have been uprooted since 1967. This is a huge destruction to Palestinian livelihood and to the mother earth.
If anyone knows Newt Gingrich personally can you please tell him that with my own eyes I have seen my late father-in-law’s birth certificate (1925) that was entitled “State of Palestine” issued under the British Mandate!
Mr. Gingrich said Palestinian people were invented. I did not know what he means? Because before the peace talks and Oslo Peace Agreement (1993) it was forbidden to even say the word Palestine. With my own eyes I have experienced a historic moment when I saw the Palestinian flag raised for the first time at the Friends Boys School in Ramallah in November 1996 without the students being shot at by soldiers or thrown in jail. Also I need Newt Gingrich to know that it took two Palestinian pounds (local language called Jeneh Philestinee) to pay for the tuition at FBS (1920’s) when our uncle Hanna Khoury was a student, which was a huge financial burden for his father the local Orthodox priest in Taybeh.
Please forgive me to remind you that more hard worked tax payers’ money was sent to Israel this year because seven million dollars a day from the USA was not enough to keep up this awful occupation that includes hundreds of checkpoints and more illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It is currently costing more than 8 million dollars a day in military aid to support what I call the 51st state and very spoiled child of the USA. If you have an only child or an only son you might know what I mean. Parents are not supposed to have favorites but we do. Israel has ignored more than 65 United Nation resolutions.
I am being so political that I have to keep saying the Jesus prayer every second to keep my sanity!
Please, Dear Lord, remind me that these most holy days all eyes are on Bethlehem which is a big prison with the wall surrounding it and help me stop being political because people will pray for peace.
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born for you.” (Luke 2:13)
We keep our hope because we believe life with Christ overpowers death. His Light overcomes the darkness of our times. Christ’s love is the answer to the current hate and discrimination.
Palestine exists in the heart of every Palestinian child and a needed Christmas gift of 47 years would be the end of occupation. Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Wishing all of you a most blessed Holy Nativity celebration with all of your loved ones. And, I wish not to be remembered for politics but for someone who believes Christ is our greatest gift.- Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.
OK Maria, but please remember that Christ was never a Christian for that term was not even coined until the third decade after he walked your homeland a Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up against a corrupt Temple and agitated the status quo of a brutal Military Occupation.
And “Christ you know it ain’t easy” to persist in the good fight for justice and peace when one’s only weapons are truth and love.