BDS 2
Israel

BDS – the evil of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel

 

The narrative surrounding the mere mention of Israel has becomes so toxic that BDS – the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – has managed to position itself as the enlightened, progressive, just and virtuous solution to the intractable Israel-Palestine problem. That is, you agitate politically and amass economic pressure on Israel to end ‘occupation’ of the West Bank and ‘free Palestine’, or they demand that we all boycott Israeli goods, divest ourselves of assets and impose trade or travel sanctions of the sort meted out to apartheid South Africa, to which the Israeli treatment of Palestinians is often compared.

BDS supporters campaigned to have Israel expelled from FIFA, as though its footballers and ‘La Familia’ are responsible for the abduction and lynching of Palestinian teenagers. Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill has just cancelled a planned concert, because “the presence of artists is routinely used by Israel to legitimize its policies and maintain its reputation as a normal member of the international community”. And now Ken Loach is calling on London cinemas to boycott Israeli films, and “not to accept money from a state that has blood on its hands”, as though its actors and directors are responsible for the lack of progress on a two-state solution. If Tesco stops selling Jaffa oranges, it is because their shelves are being routinely vandalised and ‘health and safety’ trumps retail choice.

You can still buy your ‘Made in China’ iPod, despite their treatment of Tibet, its appalling record on human rights, the routine jailing of dissidents and execrable cruelty toward animals. You can still enjoy contemporary Iranian art, despite their flogging of bloggers, jailing of Christian pastors and daily subjection of women to sub-human levels of degradation. Don’t mention the Palestinian treatment of Jews, gays or Christians, by the way, at the hands of (inter alia) the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. The BDS movements doesn’t care: their hate is reserved exclusively for Israel, which some BDS-ers desire to de-legitimise to the extent of eradication. It is not peace or justice they seek, but the end of Zionism and the expulsion of Jews from their homeland. In this, they are the Islamists’ greatest ally.

To call BDS ‘anti-Semitic’ is routinely met with a tedious riposte along the lines of “So, criticising Israel or opposing Netanyahu is anti-Semitic, is it?” And the patient response is blown aside by the fierce spittle of unreason. Of course you can criticise the Israeli government, and of course you are free to campaign for the liberation of the oppressed. But to single out the democratic Jewish State for ‘special treatment’ when so many other nations of the world are far worse is shameless anti-Semitism. And then to rail against that allegation with a pompous charge of ‘whataboutery’ is to de-legitimise the basis of comparative debate and rational philosophy.

The former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks gave a speech earlier this week at the Herzliya Conference, entitled ‘Islam and BDS in Europe: a strategic threat?’. He pointed out that unlike the anti-Semitic pogroms of centuries past, the BDS campaign is succeeding in its objectives. “Israel was always a uniting factor in Jewish life; it has become a divisive factor,” he explained. The BDS movement has made it “almost impossible” for Jews living in Europe to support Israel: “Jews have been faced with a choice: live in Europe and criticise Israel or be silent, or leave Europe,” he said.

And he placed the BDS movement in ‘blood libel’ perspective on a historic continuum: “In the middle ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, they were hated because of their race. In the twenty first century, they are hated because of their nation state. Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism,” he said.

The status of Jews and the land of Israel in God’s design may well be a matter of controversy: it has been so since St Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans. But we must not forget that the gospel of Christ is ‘the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16). We so easily forget that the Church came out of the Synagogue: Christians were grafted in to the Jewish vine of salvation.

“If Israel is thoroughly isolated, it too will be seen to be defenseless, and that will be very dangerous indeed,” Lord Sacks said. “Jews have for far, far too long defined themselves as Am Levadad Yishkon, a people that dwells alone. If believed for long enough, it becomes a self-justifying prediction.” The solution, he avers, is for Jews to make it clear to us all that if Europe “is not safe for Jews, it is not safe for Europeans”; that “if Europe loses its Jews, it will have lost its freedom”. And he invoked a familiar spectre: “The hate that begins with Jews never ends with them… We must not be left to fight this battle alone.”

The evil of the de-legitimisation of Israel is that it isolates the only democracy and persecutes the only free people in the Middle East. BDS casts Israel as villain and Palestine as hero, when theologically and politically it is much more nuanced. God has not rejected His people: ‘And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins‘ (Rom 11:26f). The Sinai covenant remains soteriologically valid: you may repudiate Israel, but God is true and faithful.

If the past century has taught us anything at all, it is that our failure to confront anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism has tragic consequences. How Christians should regard Israel and the Jews should be a central ethical issue; not one shunted to the periphery by church obsessions about gender and sexuality. If you think the Nazis were bad, try living under the reign of terror of the Islamic State. We may yet live to see another holocaust.

  • David

    Lord Sacks has always impressed me with his incredible wisdom.
    As a Christian I dislike the fact that so many vaguely liberal (in the modern sense) Christians are strongly anti-Israel, despite it being a vastly better place for all of its peoples to live, than the surrounding generally tyrannical countries. Sure, yes, Israel makes mistakes, but who wouldn’t defending themselves in the desperately rough neighbourhood they occupy.
    The Universal Church of all believers, whose members are known only to God, is a graft onto the vine of Israel. We forget that at our peril.

  • Anthony

    The main driving force behind BDS and similar anti-Israel activities is the mindset that paints everything as black and white. Israel is entirely evil and the Palestinians are entirely virtuous. Since the mindset is irrational it is impossible to argue against rationally.

    If you want to see this then scrape away at the “whataboutery” charge. Assuming the BDSer can articulate rational thought then when you lay the charge “why boycott only Israel?” at them they will respond, eventually, by saying that Israel is a Western country and should be held to higher standards. How their heads must ache to live with such a blaring contradiction. They must boycott Israel because it is all evil but not any others because Israel is mostly good.

    But here’s the key point in the BDS discussion. It is based on irrationality and no amount of debate will stop it. Its success, however, is not based on firm beliefs or ideals but on ignorance. BDS does not succeed because artists, councillors, union members etc have thought deeply about the Arab-Israeli conflict and concluded that this is the way to go. It succeeds because the people who vote for it and implement it know virtually nothing about the subject. Therefore, when presented with a group shouting “do this and save the day” and another group saying “do nothing”, their innate feeling that they ought to do something wins out.

    If we want to fight BDS we must go on the offensive. Pleading with people to not do anything will not work. Pointing out the horrid nature of BDS will not work. What we need to do is place the status quo as the middle ground and that means pushing back the other way.

    Let us campaign for a recognition of Israeli sovereignty over an undivided Jerusalem. Let us campaign for support of the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria – whether under Israeli or Palestinian sovereignty – in their ancient homeland. Let us campaign for an end to the corruption of the PA.

    If we do those things then the majority, who have no opinions and no knowledge one way or the other, will be faced with the choice between bashing Israel more or supporting it more. In that context, doing nothing suddenly seems like the middle ground.

    How often do we hear “if both sides are complaining then I must be doing it right”. Well, in the BDS campaign only one side is calling for action and that is why they are winning.

    • The Explorer

      As for knowing nothing about the subject, Douglas Murray attacked a group calling itself ‘Gays for Palestine’. He asked them a simple question: did they know what the attitude of Palestinians towards gays actually was.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Some horrific accounts in this link about how the Palestinians treat gays. BDS simply don’t want to know if it doesn’t fit their prejudices….

        http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_(Palestinian_Authority_area)

        • The Explorer

          Thanks for the link. Confirms the things Douglas Murray was saying.

      • Hi explorer

        And by contrast ,tomorrow is the Tel Aviv gay pride day ….

        • Ivan M

          I am sure Hashem will be most pleased when he returns. With Tel Aviv the most gay friendly city, can Jerusalem be far behind?

  • The Explorer

    The Western liberal conscience feels guilt, but since it does not believe in Christ it cannot take its burden to the Cross. It must assuage itself by some other method.

    Solution: attack a perceived social/political problem. But not one too close to home, because then one might have to solve it oneself at one’s own time/expense etc.
    Israel is perfect. Sufficiently similar for a common identity; sufficiently remote not to be a danger. Expunge one’s moral outrage without the inconvenience of having to do something about it.

    If you had to do without oranges altogether, that might be an issue: but not if you can get them from somewhere else.

  • Anton

    Rather than call BDS people anti-semitic it is better to get them on the back foot by asking them why they hold Israel to higher standards than other countries. In any case Israel makes too much innovative stuff to be boycottable – in laptops and mobile phones, for example.

    Jonathan Sacks said that if Europe “is not safe for Jews, it is not safe for Europeans”. That is a wise comment. The Jews of Europe were an asset. Are their distant relatives, who have largely replaced them since the Holocaust?

    “Those who bless you I will bless; those who curse you, I will curse” (Genesis 12:3).

    • dannybhoy

      Good reasoned points Anton.
      I mentioned to someone lately that I am reading “How Civilisations Die (and why Islam is dying too.)”
      The basic premise is that once a culture loses faith in its core beliefs that culture will die, and this is manifested by a seriously declining birthrate that fails to replace the elderly population.
      Very interesting, but in relation to what you’re saying the author then goes on to say that the US should be buildling trade and defence relationships with those countries whose values most match their own. In the Middle East of course, that is Israel, whose technological innovations and venture capital investment is currently more than the whole of Europe..
      He argues that despite all the problems Israel flourishes because in the main it retains a strong sense of religious belief and relationship to God, coupled with an objective scientific and technological skill base.
      That this current US administration is somewhat anti Israel and pro Iran’s determination to develop nuclear weapons is against America’s best interests.

      • Anton

        It deserves to be said that the author of How Civilizations Die is Jewish – although I agree with just about everything in that book. Too few people understand one of his major points, that Islam is facing its own crisis of secularisation and that the birthrate in Iran, for instance, is as far below par as in some European countries. It is not the case in Muslim immigrant populations in Europe, however.

        • dannybhoy

          Yes he is Jewish but his analysis of the Christian founding of America and the subsequent development of the Christian church up to the present day is pretty accurate.

          What I liked about the book is that he fronts up to America’s foreign policy failures (and Americans in my experience can be awfully defensive when it comes to criticism of their nation!)
          and perhaps because he’s not a Christian his take on how Christianity is, is more objective…

          • Anton

            Yes, it’s a great book. Everyone is defensive when their nation is criticised!

          • dannybhoy

            Not so.
            I will acknowledge my country’s (and therefore to some extent my own) failings to anyone.
            Up until they try to make out that we are responsible for every wrong thing and they are but noble victims.
            And then I say, “Hey, what about…..”

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I understand that the Anti-Semitic movement is particularly strong on our university campuses. It is almost an admission requirement now to hate Israel. The short-sightedness of this movement is mind-boggling. Actually, I think it has absolutely nothing to do with intellect. No thinking person taking a rational view of the situation in the Middle East could adopt such a blinkered and unbalanced view. Instead, it is more about coercion, which can completely bypass the more objective parts of the mind, particularly amongst the young. How many students do we see protesting about the atrocities committed by ISIL? None. How many do we see protesting about the horrors of North Korea? None. How many about the atrocities committed in Africa? None.

    I would call them hypocrites but I feel they are simply naïve and totally brainwashed. They are the Left’s useful idiots – useful because they really believe they are on the right side. BDS proves that the Left are just as capable of fascism as the Right.

    I pray that God will protect and bless Israel and all Jews, wherever they live

    • Athanasius

      Stopped reading at “anti-Semitic”.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        I suspect a lot of people in the 1930s did too

        • Athanasius

          Really? You’re actually going with the “worse than Hitler” line?

          • Politically__Incorrect

            It seems you either don’t read comments or read them but don’t understand them

      • avi barzel

        Of course you would.

    • dannybhoy

      Absolutely. In my younger days at college I can remember being confronted with some incredibly (spirit based) aggression from young students of different backgrounds who were vehement in their hatred for Israel. It was almost irrational. No one no matter how supportive, should be uncritical of Israel; just no true friend is uncritical of another.
      But a good rule of thumb is to always bear in mind that Israel’s greatest concern is security for its borders and its citizens.
      Whatever the arguments over its founding, the fact is that the UN recognised Israel as a legitimate state after she accepted the partition plans and the Palestinian people (there was no State of Palestine), didn’t.
      That’s the starting point. Israel is a true democracy with Palestinian representation in the government and money invested in building up and protecting the interests of Israeli Palestinian citizens as much as anyone else.
      Israel exists (I think), because God has still loves His Covenant people, and being back in the land He promised to them is part of our Lord’s return to this world.

  • len

    This world lies so much in the power of the evil one that it has started calling good bad and bad good.
    With all the chaos death and destruction going on in the world today with the so called Islamic State death cult butchering its way across the middle east with dictators abusing and terrorizing their own people and threatening to bring destruction on entire countries what’s the answer?….blame the Jews of course!.
    Haven`t we been here before?. Did we learn nothing?…

  • Uncle Brian

    BDS, Shmee DS.

  • Athanasius

    Arguing sophistry. There are two lines in life, between which is a grey area. In that area, people can meet, but when one party crosses back over its line, people of conscience cannot follow to engage with them. Israel has to look backward to see that line. It doesn’t matter that in Israel’s case they can still see the line with the naked eye whereas other counties need a telescope, they’re over the line and that ends the matter. Like apartheid South Africa, what’s protecting the Israelis is that they’re white (and I’d appreciate it if our in-house cod intellectuals spared me the line about the Ethiopian Jews; the Ashkenazi rule Israel and they treat their black brethren like the Boers did in SA). Nor does it matter that the liberals sponsoring a boycott have no moral core and no ethical foundation; even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and this is their hour.

    • Uncle Brian

      what’s protecting the Israelis is that they’re white

      All the Palestinians I’ve ever seen were white as well.

      • Athanasius

        Yeah, but with the merest tinge of the tar brush, and since they’re marginally darker than the Israelis, they’re the bad guys.

        • None of which explains Arab treatment of fellow Arab Palestinians.

          • Athanasius

            Go back and read what I actually wrote. Then I won’t get annoyed with someone who goes into atavistic “the other guy is worse” mode as an excuse and you won’t look like you didn’t read what I wrote before you answered.

          • O, I couldn’t care less if you are annoyed. It was YOU who tried to bring in racial /skin tone into this. But your argument is flatter than cheap beer because Arabs, of the same skin tone, mistreat their Palestinian brothers appallingly. So this isn’t a racial issue of whites verses natives.

          • Athanasius

            Yes, I appreciate you don’t care about anyone else, but you’re STILL not reading what I wrote, and you’re certainly not addressing it. What I ACTUALLY WROTE was that the Israelis get away with it because they run the old “the wogs” are worse” line and the west buys it because Israelis are mostly white.

          • dannybhoy

            Garbage Athanasius.

          • CliveM

            Agreed DB.

            Considering the centuries of anti semitism (and the comments about their ‘sallow’ appearance) it is bizarre to suggest that they are being supported because of their whiteness!!!!!

          • Athanasius

            They’re whiter than Palestinians, so in the western mind, that makes them right, or at least white/right enough.

          • CliveM

            What evidence do you have for that?

            And why did most of the west back the black SA against the white SA?

            Skin colour has nothing to do with it.

        • dannybhoy

          You think it’s the colour of their skin that defines them – or us?
          Balderdash!
          What we are physically is beyond our control. What we are as people is influenced by our parents our extended family, the community at large.
          It is Islam which is stuck in an intellectual fiefdom, refuses to examine its beliefs, and knows only that Allah must be obeyed that causes the problems. Islam is in crisis because the rest of the world is moving on without them, and once the oil runs out they will have nothing.
          Currently Islam is defined by death and destruction and hopelessness.

          • Athanasius

            It’s quite amazing, the ability the liberal on one side and the Torygraph reader on the other share for not reading/hearing/seeing what is directly in front of them. If ever there was proof needed of the inherent superiority of Catholic scholasticism, with its objective morality, over the “every man his own priest” philosophy that Protestantism and Islam have in common, here it is. I never said I consider that the Palestinians’ skin colour defines them – I said YOU believe it does, and because of that the Israelis can not only get away with what they do, they get active help from the west doing it. If you had an objective morality to guide your thought processes you wouldn’t be trying to twist what I write.

          • dannybhoy

            ” I never said I consider that the Palestinians’ skin colour defines
            them – I said YOU believe it does, and because of that the Israelis can
            not only get away with what they do, they get active help from the west
            doing it. If you had an objective morality to guide your thought
            processes you wouldn’t be trying to twist what I write.”
            I never said,
            I never said…
            “Yeah, but with the merest tinge of the tar brush, and since they’re marginally darker than the Israelis, they’re the bad guys.” (to Uncle Brian)

            I never said….
            ” Like apartheid South Africa, what’s protecting the Israelis is that
            they’re white (and I’d appreciate it if our in-house cod intellectuals
            spared me the line about the Ethiopian Jews; the Ashkenazi rule Israel
            and they treat their black brethren like the Boers did in SA).”

            All Isaid is,
            ” You think it’s the colour of their skin that defines them – or us?
            Balderdash!
            What we are physically is beyond our control. What we are as people is
            influenced by our parents our extended family, the community at large.
            Man is a tribal creature. We need to belong and our ‘tribe’ affirms and shapes us.”
            Calm down and start again.
            What ARE you saying?
            Apart from,
            ” Like apartheid South Africa, what’s protecting the Israelis is that
            they’re white”
            On kibbutzim mostly European origin and therfore white.
            Outside in the larger community they tend to be the same colour as the Palestinians..
            So what’s your point, whitey?

          • CliveM

            Which one if us is the liberal? Where’s my libel lawyer!!!

            I take Catholic Scholasticism doesn’t require evidence!

          • dannybhoy

            I really don’t know what he’s getting at, and I’m not going to insult devout Catholics because some weird white guy says something vaguely provocative about us Protestant dimwits…

          • CliveM

            Well you know me DB, I have no problems with any denomination. Everyone has their good people (and idiots).

          • Inspector General

            Look, old man, and assuming you are a white man, what is it with you furthering the aims of Islam. Because that is what you are doing…

          • dannybhoy

            It’s white man’s logic Inspector..

    • Funny then that the Arab list is the third largest party in the Knesset.

      Oh and that around half isrsel’s population is Sephardic.

      And that there is a big amount of intermarriage between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Israel.

      And that a Muslim Arab woman was the person who lit the memorial flame on Israeli independence day.

      So much for apartheid

      • Anton

        Hannah, I agree with the points you are making in response to Athanasius. But what does “sephardic” mean in practice so many centuries after the Jews were (horribly) kicked out of Spain and Portugal and began to mingle with other Jewish communities? Is it a matter of self-definition, and what are the differences in culture, please?

        • Hi Anton,

          It’s not a matter of self definition, but geography or rather descendents of geography (my grandparents came from Iraq) and how various communities have absorbed different cultures, of course when in days gone by there was communication between the different groups and after the Jews left Spain, we joined existing Jewish communities already in north Africa and the middle east.

          The Ashkenazi (which means Jew of Germany, even though most lived in Russia , Austria Hungary and then the UK /US) are a broad sweep for those descendent of northern Europe and the Sephardi southern European /north African and middle eastern . In Israel, Sephardi are also called mizrahi , or eastern /oriental.

          1)languages :

          Ashkenazi , which means Jew of Germany, tended to speak Yiddish (a mixture of German and Hebrew) , whereas Sephardi spoke (it’s a dying language, but is being popularized by the traditional songs and poems ) Ladino (Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic) and Jewish Arabic.

          2) culture :

          Sephardic culture is folksy , small c conservative , with a strong emphasis on community, family loyalty , tradition and custom: although we have been traditionally more open to secular as well as religious studies, as well as toward non Jews . Some of the greatest of Jewish philosophers and Rabbis being Sephardic and the cuisine is adapted and based around the Mediterranean, middle east and north Africa, rather than stuff like bagels. Having said that we are also seen by secular Ashkenazi, especially in Israel as akin to being simple minded , but right wing Country bumpkins who vote for Benjamin Netanyahu.

          3) religion :

          Sephardi are basically seen as Orthodox and even the less observant are Shomer Masoret , as unlike the Ashkenazi we didn’t undergo a formal split, so we just do Judaism as we have done in the past . Some are more mystical than others, but others are more into the rationalism school of thought.

          There are a few differences in respect of custom and religion (such as we eat beans and rice over Passover and we don’t , in cook fish in milk, whereas Ashkenazi apply this only to meat). We also have different prayer books, but when interpreting halakhah, -Jewish law – Sephardic Rabbis tend to follow the principle that “the power of leniency is greater” . This is why we are seen as the more liberal of the two groups, e.g. it was on the recommendation of the Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel that women were allowed to vote.

          Here’s a quote in summary :

          “One of the greatest, if not the greatest, contribution of Sephardic Jewry was its approach to the theory and practice of Judaism.whether in halakhah, philosophy or mysticism, to offer a balanced theory and practice, not given to excess, seriously Jewish, yet worldly and cosmopolitan. Classic Sephardic Judaism was designed by men who lived in the larger world and were active in its affairs, most of whom wanted a Judaism no less rigorous than their Ashkenazi brethren in its essentials, but flexible in its interpretations and applications….”

          Professor Daniel J Elazar

          • Anton

            Thank you – that’s most interesting.

          • Hi

            Well we’re all Jews when all told, it’s just different ways of practising Judaism.

          • Dude

            Of course we are quite an open family and I’m marrying an Ashkie gal . But as we sing during Shabbat, this is a tradtional sephardi tune ( it’s sung as “grace” after the meal ):

            http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=owpKvz-ZGoo

          • Anton

            May your marriage be blessed.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    ‘In the middle ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, they were hated because of their race’

    Implicit in being a Jew is the certainty that anti-Semitism is never the Jews’ fault. So whose fault is it?

    ● [Anti-Semitism] is endemic to every Christian culture whose religions made Jews the eternal villain in the Christian drama of salvation.—Sidney Hook, quoted on page 214 of The Culture of Critique

    ● Freud suggests that anti-Semitism is the result of—and the expression of—resentment on the part of many Christians, as well as secular people, who hold the Jews responsible for the creation of the Christian religion and morality: ‘They have remained what their ancestors were, barbarically polytheistic.’—Nathan Lopes Cardozo, The Jerusalem Post

    ● The Jew is persecuted because he brought ethics and the conception of sin into the Western world: ‘The European Christian cannot forgive the Jew for giving him Christianity. It is not because they are “good Christians” that the Europeans are instinctively anti-Semites. It is because they are bad Christians, in reality repressed pagans.’—ibid

    Small wonder that the nineteenth century Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz wrote ‘we must above all work to shatter Christianity’ [AS Lindemann, Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews, 91, quoted in MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 190]. Get rid of Christianity, you get rid of anti-Semitism. Makes perfect sense to Jews.

    • dannybhoy

      ● The Jew is persecuted because he brought ethics and the conception of
      sin into the Western world: ‘The European Christian cannot forgive the
      Jew for giving him Christianity. It is not because they are “good
      Christians” that the Europeans are instinctively anti-Semites. It is
      because they are bad Christians, in reality repressed pagans.’—ibid

      I kind of agree with that. Again reference the book I quoted, the author believes that Christianity in Europe became dominant because the leaders of the various tribes and nations adopted it, then imposed it on top of their own culture. So Christianity became a tribal/national thing with European nations fighting to show themselves as the ‘best’ Christian nation displacing the Covenant people -the Jews..

      I think Jewish people (got the inlaws- got the experience- got the t-shirt!), have to accept that the stranger in a strange land is always viewed with suspicion, and that those strangers who insist on remaining strangers and separate will continue to be viewed with suspicion.

      Current example the Belz Hasidic sect forbidding their women to drive to school..
      Only Christians who read the Old Testament and understand some of the differences between the two faiths, will have some understanding of the reasoning, but most people definitely will not; especially those who for whatever reason dislike the Jews.
      So Jewish people who insist on keeping to themselves will have to accept that it carries its own problems. Just as those evangelical Christians like myself accept that we will be ridiculed or ostracised because we don’t join in with dirty jokes or do drugs or swing or believe that anything goes….
      It’s the same principle.

      • Johnny, is no friend of Jews and he’s trying to blame antisemitism on Jews themselves, not the perpetrators of those acts.

        • dannybhoy

          I know that but it doesn’t disprove my observations Hannah.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ dannybhoy—Jews would do themselves a big favour if they acknowledged their role in giving rise to anti-Semitism. For example, Iberian Jews welcomed the Muslim occupation and collaborated with the occupiers for 700 years, subjugating the indigenous Christians; Jews in Poland took over the economy from the 16th to the 19th century and reduced the indigenous Christians to poverty; once in government in Russia, Jews destroyed the churches and monasteries, executing monks and priests; throughout Europe, Jews were ruthless tax collectors.

        The rules of the game, as played in Europe, are that when Jews disadvantage non-Jews, the non-Jews hit back, or they used to before they became feminized. When the hitting back begins, the Jews, playing by Middle Eastern rules, flatly deny provocation and shriek ‘anti-Semitism’. One is tempted to advise the Jews to grow up, but that would be anti-Semitic.

        • Someone’s been watching Der Ewige Jude….

        • dannybhoy

          I could point you to no end of verified historic refutations of what you say in your first paragraph. That the truth is that the Church used the Jews as a whipping boy firstly because they called for Yeshua’s death, and secondly that as relations worsened the Jewish nation rejected His claim to be the Messiah.
          Thirdly as I pointed out the Jews do mostly keep themselves separate -but that’s no reason to persecute anyone is it?
          Fourthly the Jews having found themselves delegated to funding or loaning the church and kings money, became very good at it
          and fifthly they excelled in many fields of endeavour – a relatively common phenomenon amongst any immigrant group with talent and intelligence who want to get on..
          I went through a lot of this stuff on another blog, and my opponents wrote in a style similar to yours. No matter what evidence was presented, they refused to acknowledge it.
          I gave up in the end.

          If you had said for example, some Jews cry “anti semitism” in some situations, I would agree, ‘cos every group does that when it suits them.
          However, Jewish people are so much a part of our national life and represented in every field of endeavour, that to say they are a problem is absolute rubbish.
          For instance during my five years in Israel I met with no ‘anti goyism.’ There were people who viewed me with suspicion,
          -understandable if you saw me-
          and kept their distance; but on the whole I was treated with great kindness and genuine interest.
          If you spoke with Israelis for example, you would find that there is every shade of opinion on every subject going.
          Getting to know Jewish people can be as hard as getting to know some of my own countrymen, but like anybody else once you establish a friendship it’s mutually pleasing and beneficial.

        • boyinthebubble

          Have a bagel, Johnny, you need cheering up!

    • Anton

      “Get rid of Christianity, you get rid of anti-Semitism. Makes perfect sense to Jews.”

      Are you joking? The greatest antisemitic movement on earth today is Islam.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ Anton—The Jews’ main experience of anti-Semitism derives from living in the land of white Christians, Europe.

        • Anton

          Historically, yes. But it is still true that the greatest antisemitic movement on earth today is Islam, and still false that if you get rid of Christianity then you get rid of antisemitism.

          • Johnny Rottenborough

            @ Anton—For us, Islam embodies anti-Semitism. For the Jews, it’s Christianity. Charles Silberman wrote in 1985 [A Certain People: American Jews and Their Lives Today, 350, quoted in The Culture of Critique, 244, link above]: ‘American Jews are committed to cultural tolerance because of their belief that Jews are safe only in a society acceptant of a wide range of attitudes and behaviors, as well as a diversity of religious and ethnic groups.’ In other words, the less white and less Christian a country, the safer Jews feel.

          • Anton

            “For us, Islam embodies anti-Semitism. For the Jews, it’s Christianity.”

            That’s changing. Netanyahu is aware – if perplexed – that the best friends Israel has today are evangelical zionist Christians. And those Jews who live in Israel know very well that Islam is the greatest threat to their nation. The difference between us reflects simply the difference between the past and the future.

    • Ivan M

      Freud did his bit to destroy the West. For the longest time I thought the Oedipus plays was about someone bonking his mother due the Oedipus Complex much bruited about at one time. In reality the Sophoclean plays were about the workings of Nemesis which is relentless whether one knowingly or unknowingly commits a crime. The technique that these fellows including the Frankfurt School uses is simple enough. By themselves they can never produce any great works of art. Why not then make a name for themselves by becoming iconoclasts and critics, And the fools lap it up.

      • avi barzel

        Freud did his bit to destroy the West.

        What are you snorting now? Freud was contemptuous of both Christian and Jewish modern bourgeois culture, which he saw as indistinguishable and which he despised for its shallowness, hypocricy and lack of self-awareness. His ambition was to heal the West, not destroy it, you evil-tongued muppet, you. He tried a scientific approach to behaviour and cognition without the benefit of advanced brain sciences and came up with a symbolic, psychology-based model where the the reptillian brain stem was his Id, the mid-brain the Ego and the Neo-cortex the Superego. I suppose according to you Einstein did his destruction bit by confusing everyone about time and space ?

        • Ivan M

          So he did do his bit to destroy the Western bourgeois, supposed good intentions aside. What then is the problem? The man is a fraud, no real surprise to me that he is a Jew to boot since they make the most magnificent ones.

          • Ivan M

            Einstein had a good gig as a practitioner of the old quantum mechanics. No one doubts his skill in explaining the photo electric phenomena, population inversions and such like.

            Things get dicey with special relativity, since the content was already known to Fitzgerald and Poincare – the latter of whose works Einstein himself read avidly. These older men were however reluctant to jettison the conventional ideas of space and time simply on account of the null result of the Michaelson-Morley experiment. Shrinking lengths and distorted time was simply uncalled for to a man with a mind like Poincare. In the standard accounts Poincare stand accused of “conventionalism” for not screwing with peoples’ minds as Einstein did with his parlour tricks. For that great mathematician though the operationalism of the mathematics was sufficient. Hence even today they are known as Lorentz-Poincare transformations. As a great geometer it was child’s play for Poincare to come with the Poincare invariant in SR, which I cannot do since my geometry is very poor. It however gave him no warrant to make tricks with synchronised clocks and long rulers and so on. All of which paraphenalia was invented by none other than Poincare himself during his long service to the French state, and taken over by Einstein without so much as a “by your leave”.

            Then there is the story the Brownian motion equation. Again known to other scientist(s), here the Australian Sutherland who sorted out of much of it in 1902 to 1904. Whose work was already known to Einstein and uncredited as usual. This work by Einstein is alledged to have been a pillar in support of the atomic hypothesis. But this is significant only in the context of the flaky German science of that time. It would be news to anyone who read of the work of Dalton, Avogadro and Faraday whose work established atomism beyond challenge in the UK. But since it involves the great egghead, it must be important.

            I’ll come back to you on the GR, since I have a serious problem understanding tensor calculus.

            But I can already maintain that the unmerited, mindless worship of Einstein’s work on relativity, weakened the link between engineering and science in the UK, contributing to that nation’s decline as a hub for inventors and engineers which had been the hallmark of Industrial Revolution.

            Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein; two down, one left. We are getting there.

          • avi barzel

            Not sure what your point here is. Science and its discoveries are cumulative. Of course neither Marx, Freud or Einstein “invented” theories on their own, in a vacuum, as neither did those whose work they build on. Crediting of others’ work even fifty years ago was not at the formalized and methodological level it is at today; they addressed a much smaller audience of knowledg people. What the three did was to synthesize the knowledge, simplify the formulae and provide coherent and workable explanations.

            As for the GPS claim, you are attacking a straw man supplied by the ignorant. The time/space discrepancies in running and using the system do not affect its usability; the Newtonian model will work just fine. The limitations would only challenge us theoretically, such as if we were to place navigational beacons on distant galaxies.

          • avi barzel

            PS, I’m surprised that you didn’t bring up Darwin. Evolution theory makes mincemeat out of theologies which pinned their foundations on literalist biblical interpretations of Creation. The overwhelming success of the theory and the inexplicably dogged determination by some to demolish it with embarrassing inanities has done more to damage religion than deterministic cultural materialism, psychoanalysis and GR combined. How lucky for us Yids that Darwin was a verified and certifiable Goy.

          • Ivan M

            As for Marx I retain my respect for him as a great economist and critic of the capitalistic system. Freud as a penetrating critic of the prevailing culture – as you say. Aa for our friend Einstein I was 26 once and really don’t hold it against him for not crediting his sources. So basically my beef seems to be that these guys talk too much.

          • avi barzel

            Well, yes, it’s those who talk too much…but in effective ways…who can “sell” knowledge well enough to impose new paradigms. And new paradigms always tear at society and cause disruption. The bottom line is that Marx did not cause the Russian Revolution or tha gulags; Freud did not start the sexual revolution of the 60s and Einstein…well, he escapes blame for who knows what disasters people wpuld have come up with if they only understood what the Hell he was going on about.

          • Ivan M

            The sexual revolution happened because everyone loves sex. When we passing around hard to come by Playboy magazines in my school we would have thanked Freud if he had anything to do it. But they need to finger Alfred Kinsey if any one person is to blame for normalising deviancy if only to spare Freud and Marcuse all the rhetorical blame.

        • Ivan M

          Anyway I feel in my heart that I have offended you needlessly. Please accept my apologies.

          • avi barzel

            No, Ivan, you didn’t offend me. Our interactions here are usually…energetic. I was about to pile into your hypotheses with equal vigour, but preparations for the Sabbath intervened. No apologies required, truly, but thank you for your kindness!

          • Ivan M

            Thank you my friend.

          • avi barzel

            Welcome, buddy.

  • “To fight for Israel on the international stage is also to fight for the values of democracy, freedom of speech and expression, and civilized social values everywhere. All of the principles and virtues that once made Britain great.Make no mistake. This afternoon I have spoken about Israel’s fight. But the danger that Israel faces and that the media projects extends far beyond Israel, and threatens us all.We should never forget the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller: “When they came for the Jews I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no-one left to speak for me.”Israel’s fight is the Western world’s fight. Upon Israel’s survival depends the survival of Western civilization.”

    Extract from a speech by (retired) Col. Richard Kemp, former Commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on May 19, 2015.

    • dannybhoy

      It is indeed astonishing
      (-or perhaps not, considering our and Europe’s apparent abandonment of our Christian heritage)
      that the West is so morally vapid that it would side with the forces that wish the destruction of Israel, a people from which our own Messiah Jesus came forth and remains in the flesh, a Jew..
      Make no mistake, it was to the Jew first, and then the Gentile, that salvation was brought..
      Rabbi Saul…
      “16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth, to the Jew first and also to
      the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “The just shall live by faith.”

  • Maggie Thatcher

    I wonder if the church thinks that the boycott of apartheid South Africa was evil?

    • Anton

      You did, Maggie!

      • Maggie Thatcher

        Erm… Im not the real Maggie. Nice try though

        • carl jacobs

          Im not the real Maggie

          Yes, Ersatz Maggie. That has been obvious from the beginning.

        • Erik van der Slaag

          I’d like to reply to your response to my reply on BDS on jpost.com It would take a great deal of time to respond to all of your points. I will assume you are sincere when you say that you are interested in the facts. So am I. I generally don’t want to respond to Israel-bashers because facts mean nothing to them. If you care about facts, I would be open to providing a more complete reply to your assertions about Israel. For starters, here is one fact to consider with regard to Gaza. Israel provides about 60% of Gaza’s electricity. Hamas / Gaza has not paid their electricity bill for the past 7 years. Israel still continues to supply the electricity. There is so much more to discuss on the situation with Israel and the Palestinians. If you’d like to continue the dialog, you can reach me at erikvanderslaag at yahoo dot com

          • Maggie Thatcher

            I would like that Erik.

            I am interested in the facts. And I will be more than happy to put forward my point of view and listen to yours.

            I will try to respond to you in full tonight if that’s OK?

          • Erik van der Slaag

            Looking forward to the dialogue. I appreciate your open-mindedness and I plan to try to compete with you on open-mindedness .

          • Maggie Thatcher

            Hi Erik

            Thanks for your patience. You seem like a calm and rational chap, which makes a pleasant change from most other commentators on this forum. I accept your challenge.

            I am atheist. This is important because it means that I can see straight through the God delusion, which let’s face it is central to this conflict. To me it’s very obvious that Islam, Christianity and Judaism are all equally as wrong and as dangerous as each other. None of it is true, not one bit. As I don’t have any allegiance to
            this God or that God; I consider myself to be an independent adjudicator who is sick to the back teeth of this never ending cycle of doom. I am only interested in the truth according to the information available.

            I judge Israel for her policies and her actions. So without further adieu, the reasons why I boycott Israel are as follows:

            FACT 1

            Israel has 200+ nuclear war heads and multiple delivery options. Israel refuses access to UN weapons inspectors and even refuses to talk about the subject all together. I know Israel has not signed the NPT, but so what? That is a nonsensical argument, because if it was
            that easy then all Iran would have to do is withdraw from the NPT and job done feet up.

            This means that Israel is 100% banged to rights guilty of nuclear
            proliferation in the region. She was the first to build them, nobody else had them and thus the Genie is out of the bottle forever and it’s all Israel’s fault.

            Meanwhile Netanyahu has been telling us for almost 25 years
            that Iran is 1 year away from the bomb and we should join him in yet another illegal war based on ZERO evidence to send SOMEONE ELSE’ S boys to bomb another country that doesn’t deserve it. It is
            obvious… when you point nuclear bombs at other people they are going to want to build their own and point them back. If Israel didn’t already have them, then Iran wouldn’t need them. This is a situation entirely of Israel’s own making.

            The double standards and hypocrisy from Netanyahu is beyond belief. The only fair and just solution is for the UN to treat Israel in exactly the same way it treats Iran. Iran’s atomic policy has
            actually been to the letter of the law. You definitely can’t say that about Israel’s atomic policy. And yet crippling sanctions on Iran (no
            evidence of acquiring WMD), whilst no sanctions at all for Israel (already illegally obtained WMD). That doesn’t seem
            fair to me.

            If the UN treated everybody the same regardless, which is the
            way it’s supposed to be, then it would immediately demand that Israel formally declares its WMD stockpile and agrees to a time table for disarmament. We all know this will never happen; not because
            it justifies Israel’s conduct in anyway but because of the unconditional US veto blocking the international community from taking any sort of action. One rule for Israel and another rule for
            everybody else in other words

            FACT 2:

            Israel flouts international law. There are many examples to
            choose from but let’s start with the settlements. They are illegal; end of conversation. I refer you to UNSC resolution 446, March
            1979.

            The bottom line is… despite the fact that it is clearly illegal to continue building on occupied land, Netanyahu continues to build
            anyway. It’s obvious that his Zionist vision would be hampered by meaningful peace talks and so he makes offers they are guaranteed to refuse. He then plays the sympathy card by claiming he doesn’t have a peace partner…. Yeah Yeah… we know what you’re up to mate.

            There can be no peace talk whilst the settlements continue
            to expand. Added to the fact they are illegal anyway, so how do you think that any neutral person who values justice and international law would ever find this behavior acceptable? Is it really
            too much to ask that the law is respected??

            I could go on and on about this. I don’t think I need to. It is obvious that Israel is taking the Mickey.

            FACT 3: Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza

            OK so it’s not official (yet). But… according to every reputable Human rights and aid agency on the ground in Gaza it’s true. And that’s good enough for me.

            Israel refuses to acknowledge the validity of the ICC, which is a complete disgrace and is now trying to worm out
            of it by claiming technicalities. I have the opinion that all war criminals should be brought to justice. I am sure you would normally agree with that statement right?

            Hamas are so evil that they use human shields…I hear everybody collectively say to justify 80% civilians killed in Operation Protective
            Edge (Over 500 children, and not to mention the 10’s of thousands of injured and 100’s of thousands with no shelter).
            OK maybe they do, but I have seen video footage of IDF forces using Palestinian children as human shields. What’s the difference? I expect a terrorist to behave like a terrorist. I don’t expect that sort of behavior from a civilized nation who claims to have the most restrained and compassionate army ever in the entire Universe.

            Again, I could go on and on about this. I have plenty of other points to make but I think it’s time to give you the opportunity to have your say. Cheers.

          • Erik van der Slaag

            It will take me some time to respond perhaps tomorrow. I appreciate the depth of your argument and your substantive points without reversion to rhetoric. I thought it might make sense to do this off line; who knows how long this particular article will be up? that’s why i gave you the email address erikvanderslaag at yahoo dot com is there an address i can send a response to you after I’ve given this thought?

          • Now, now, you mustn’t deny other bloggers access to your responses. That’s what this blog does. Some threads go on for days.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s one of the reasons I like this blog HJ. You learn from others. You learn what can be resolved and what will forever (or at least this side of eternity) remain irresolvable.

          • Erik van der Slaag

            see my note below. i’m posting here until the blog closes (hopefully it won’t, but i don’t understand these rules / protocols).

          • Only one rule really – be polite and respectful. The threads stay open and people revisit them if an interesting discussion is running.
            Oh, and welcome Erik.

          • Erik van der Slaag

            Also, none of my points about Israel will rely on any religious principles or ideas. I intend to deal with the here – and – now.

          • Maggie Thatcher

            ill send you my email for your reply.

          • dannybhoy

            A conversation with a Maggie Thatcher wannabe??

            Freaks me out.

            Good luck Erik.

            ‘Heb uw kaas bommen klaar ..’

            :0)

          • Erik van der Slaag

            Thanks, but I’m not a bomber (though I am lactose intolerant, so i do risk chemical bombs without my lactase pills). I enjoy rational, fact-based discussions where people disagree with me. I’m not going to learn anything from a person who agrees with me on everything, correct?

          • dannybhoy

            ” I enjoy rational, fact-based discussions where people disagree with me. I’m not going to learn anything from a person who agrees with me on everything, correct?”

            Correct and me too.
            Have you been to Israel at any time?

          • Erik van der Slaag

            No I haven’t. A lot of personal issues prevents me from much travel. I do a lot of reading. I’m so impressed with the Israeli people. I read that their aid workers were the very first to get to Haiti after the earthquake. Even faster than the USA, and look how much further away Israel is. And they have only 8 million people, but they do kindnesses around the world that exceed much bigger companies. Just amazing.

          • dannybhoy

            I met quite a few Dutch people in Israel and in France.
            I am sorry you are not able to travel Erik. Your English is good and you sound like a decent man. God bless you and please report back after your mini summit with Maggie…

          • Erik van der Slaag

            The crux of the matter IMO is who properly, fairly, has sovereignty over the West Bank. Here are facts. There were Arabs and Jews living in the West Bank prior to 1948. After the partition plan was adopted by the UN in late 1947, the Arab population there (and throughout Palestine) attacked Jewish communities, with massive murders of Jewish civilians. They imposed a siege on the Jewish section of Jerusalem which placed the residents literally next to starvation. When Israel declared independence in May 1948, Jordan illegally invaded. Jordan seized the West Bank and expelled 100% of the Jewish population.
            Moreover, the Arab armies (including Egypt and Iraq and Saudi Arabia) motivated the Arab residents in the more heavily Jewish areas to leave (temporarily they said) to make the massacre of Jews easier. And they did, despite all efforts, clearly on the record, that Israelis made to keep the Arabs from leaving.
            When Israel achieved independence, Jordan took the West Bank and settled the refugees onto the West Bank illegally. These are people who by their own admission were not indigenous to the West Bank–clearly, they called themselves refugees.
            In 1967 when Jordan attacked Israel, making explicit their intention, along with Egypt and Syria, to annihilate Israel, Israel defended itself and retook the West Bank.
            The so-called refugees have NO legitimate claim to any territory on the West Bank. Israel’s claim, especially given the illegal expulsion of Jews in 1948, is far superior in merit for sovereignty over the West Bank.
            That is why the settlements are not settlements, they are legitimate Israeli communities, the same as Tel Aviv and Haifa.
            The fact that almost all other nations see it differently is irrelevant to the facts. I’d ask you to consider why all the other countries deny Israel the right to sovereignty over the West Bank, despite Israel’s legitimate claim (note that I mention nothing whatsoever with regard to religion and the West Bank claims). The Palestinian claim to the West Bank is based on Jordan (and Egypt’s) explicit attempts at genocide against the Jewish people. GENOCIDE, that was their explicit, stated objective. To support the Palestinian claim to sovereignty over the West Bank is to explicitly support the attempts at genocide that are the basis of their claim to the West Bank–having been settled there as a result of the Arabs’ pursuit of genocide against the Jewish people.. There is no way around that connection.
            Please ask yourself why so many nations of the world, knowing the above, it’s all part of the documented record, support genocide against the Jewish people by supporting the fraudulent claim of Palestinians to sovereignty over the West Bank.
            There is much, much more to be said on the subject. I’ll stop here in order to continue the dialogue.

          • Erik van der Slaag

            As I read my post above, an additional thought comes to mind. When Jordan settled the refugees into the West Bank, it did so only as a result of its (Jordan’s) illegal invasion and seizing of the West Bank. Why is it that in the subsequent 67 years, no one has called those refugee camps illegal settlements? — which clearly they are.

          • avi barzel

            You’re doing a hero’s job explaining things, Erik, but in the world out there fairness and legalities won’t matter. Israel’s enemies have their own “narrives” from which they won’t budge, and the true friends who are receptive are too few and similarly marginalized. Israel will never win in the arena of “international law,” which is merely an extension of the political maneuvering among big international players and resembles a legal system only in name, fancy titles and the showy robes of its pretend-judges.

            What has secured Jewry’s post-WW II position in the world is Jewish wit, unity, money and the ability and will to use force in establishing and holding a nation state against heavy odds. Neither San Remo, Mandate shenanigans, UN’s initial recognition, nor tepid support from a few democracies and not even US “guarantees” and money mean a thing without Israel’s ability to defend itself and to wreak serious havoc.

            The “world” knows this and this is why it’s hell-bent-for-leather to establish another front, another Muslim terror platform in the form of a “Palestinian” state right in the strategic heartland of Israel. If a terrorist group in tiny Gaza can cause such disruption, imagine what a combination of an Iranian terror belt to its north, Muslim Brotherhoof’s Hamas and an uncertain Egypt to the South, emeging Islamist fundamentalists in Syria, a weak and duplicious Jordan and what will most certainly become another Iranian outpost (or a new ISIS playground) in the proposed “Palestinian State” will do.

            Fortunately, Israelis and Diaspora Jews are beginning to clue into the realities. And it’s hardly because we’re such geniuses; it took blatant rejectionism, years of terrorism, hatred, international bullying, bias and duplicity, not to mention random rocket attacks from Gaza, to drive home the point that the “humanitarian” shtik and the “gestures for peace” are a lethal ruse, an attempt to disable Israel in preparation for its multi-staged dismantling. It’s as it’s always been the world over; a nation and its people survives and thrives not through weakness and counting on the kindness of strangers, but by defeating its enemies, frightening the opportunists and the fence-sitters, and making friends who matter.

          • Erik van der Slaag

            Thank you. My purpose is to influence those people who have heard the palestinian faux-narrative but do not know the documented facts. the palestinians and arab nations generally are indescribably prolific liars which is how the palestinian narrative has become so widely accepted. I do not understand why Israel does not have 24/7 campaign of stating restating and restating again the historical record so that people of good will and who are objective will have the facts to come to an informed judgment. I fault Israel for allowing the palestinian narrative to go virtually unchallenged. Yes i understand that Jew-haters will not be influenced in the least by the facts. However, there are many people who support the palestinians who i feel would change their viewpoint if they had access to the facts. That’s why I do what I do.

          • CliveM

            I agree. Well done.

          • Dude

            You are swiftly becoming the ‘Van Helsing’ of this blog . Except it isn’t vampires, but the equally undead and never ending Israel bashing and Jew hate one is trying, metaphorically , to put a stake through.

          • avi barzel

            You are, of course right; decades of veritable agitprop by Western governments and media have raised a generation of misinformed and confused people. Indigenous Palestinians. Palestinian self determination. Occupation. Occupied Territories. Settlers. National resistance. Arab East Jerusalem. Apartheid state…these are the culturally embedded memes for you tackle. You must be younger than I, with a lot more energy and optimism, my friend. Bless you.

  • carl jacobs

    Western attitudes toward South Africa had nothing to do with the fate of black people in Africa. It had to do with vicarious atonement for slavery. White western liberals could hold up white South Africans as a sacrificial offering for the sins of their ancestors. “Yes, see. I am not like them. I have proven my enlightenment by helping to destroy apartheid.” What might happen afterwards was of no concern. White guilt was atoned, and white liberals could sleep in peace with a clean conscience. That’s why the fate of Zimbabwe registers not at all even to this day. The movement was never concerned about the oppression of black people. It only cared about oppression of black people by white people. The anti-apartheid movement in the West was essentially a narcissistic movement.

    • Maggie Thatcher

      So it had nothing to do with it being completely inhuman then?

      • carl jacobs

        But that is the lie isn’t it. “It’s about the inhumanity!” The world is filled with inhumanity, and most of it passes unnoticed. But in South Africa, white westerners felt implicated. The guilt had to be expunged, but preferably not at their own expense,

        Israel is seen by a certain faction as a white western colonial imposition on a non-Western culture. It has become yet one more symbol of western guilt. The Palestinians are simply one more foil in the never-ending fashion show of Western liberals parading their fine moral sensibilities in front of each other. And, as before, the ultimate fate of the Palestinians is of no concern.

      • The Explorer

        Apartheid was all too human. There was the posturing about Sons of Ham, Chosen People etc,, but at the end of the day it came about because someone did the arithmetic and thought about the implications of being outnumbered by a ratio of around ten to one. Give the majority the vote, and they might vote for the destruction of the minority.

        That has more or less come about. Those whites who could, left the country. Nearly half a million of those remaining are below the poverty line: unemployed and unemployable because of their skin colour.

  • CliveM

    Sanctimonious hypocrisy and the left are old bedfellows and that is what you have here with an added pinch of cowardness. If only these horrid Israelis would go away, all the unpleasantness in the ME will go away.

  • Saleem Shady

    Did you know that in the last few days, far-left academics sponsored by Muslim Brotherhood front organisations, alongside Salafi Jihadi Islamist group CAGE, have had a conference at Bath University, in which Exmuslims were described as ‘native informers’ and anti-semitism was dismissed as insignificant? The rise of Islamism abetted by the British Left is in full swing.

    • dannybhoy

      Here’s their June programme..

      http://www.bath.ac.uk/ipr/events/news-0126.html

      Part of the reason I am a nationalist is because I believe in national self determination. The one place a Western man or woman should feel safe in their beds, safe to express their opinions within the law, safe to express loyalty for their country, and above all, to know who their enemies are
      is within the (secure) borders of their own country.
      Once you breach that -and successive British governments have allowed it and continue to allow it- you are in serious, serious trouble.
      It’s the Trojan Horse to the power of ten.

      • David

        Well said, Sir !

  • preacher

    IMO the best answer to the BDS & others like them is to ignore them.
    Most agitators & demonstrators are fine when they grow up, take a deep breath & smell the coffee of reason.
    Some even become responsible members of society & are ashamed of the bigoted prejudices of their youth.
    The Jewish race are like everybody else. Some are good, some bad but, like all of us they want a quiet & peaceful existence.

    Maybe it’s a thing of youth that they will always want to change the Status Quo but it so often ends in tears.

    The PLO & others have made their position towards Israel perfectly clear for years, their only wish is to eradicate Israel completely.
    The West cannot allow that to happen. We have the benefit of hindsight now from Iraq to Egypt of the results of supporting the wrong side & loosing the dogs of war. Chaos & Anarchy reigns & thousands Die or are forced to flee their homes in a vain attempt to find solace.

  • Inspector General

    Cranmer, dear fellow. It’s all about presentation, you know. Presentation is everything. So, with immediate effect, you are to refer to Israel’s next door enemies as “Israel’s Islamic neighbours, and Gaza as “Islamic Gaza”. Then, you throw the newly packaged into the ring and let public opinion do the rest. Do you see how it’s done, that man?

    And of course, once you’ve twigged how to do it, there’ll be no stopping you, and we’ll have “The Islamic Palestinian creation that is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement”

    Mention Islamic or muslim these days and you are guaranteed to chill the marrow of the blissfully ignorant (that is, most of the population). If the popularist sentiment is blowing your way, you sail with it. The mob will send the academic smart arses running scared for cover every time. So, step lively, advance and carry on!

    Pip Pip !

    • michaelkx

      can I just add to this. the ‘Land’ that is being argued over was given to the Jews, by GOD for ever. (read the letter to the Romans) If GOD can change his mind and then give it to someone different, then what is it to changing his mind on your salvation. Think on that.

    • avi barzel

      Something you need to tell the Israeli government and media, Inspector; they won’t listen to me. For years I’ve been preaching that the proper term should be “Palestinian Muslims” or just “Muslims”. Just as most Israelis are technically Palestinian Jews, if we are to still call the region, including Jordan, “Palestine,” and as the Mandate authorities defined their subjects. Golda Meir had it down right with her “Palestinians-Shmalestinians,”, when she laughed off the Arab attempt to distance themselves from their, and their religion’s, failures and ineptitude by concocting a fake minority people.

      In any event, definitions will be irrelevant once Hamas and possibly even the ISIS characters liquidate the quasi-secular, pretend-nationalist “Palestinian” leadership. All that’s needed is an Israeli government which stops protecting them from themselves. When they are all in burqas and turbans, turning their offspring into suicide bombs or tank barricades and lopping off heads left, right and centre over Koranic nuances, even the dimmest Western liberal or fascist will clue onto what it’s always been about.

      • Pubcrawler

        “even the dimmest Western liberal or fascist will clue onto what it’s always been about”

        I wouldn’t go betting the farm on that.

      • Inspector General

        Quite right Avi. There must be tens of thousands of casual supporters of these ghastly rotters who, if they only gave it a modicum of thought, would realise they have been duped.

  • sarky

    Lauryn Hill cancelled a concert……not all bad news then.

    • The Explorer

      Sarky, It’s a pleasure to agree with you!

    • IanCad

      What you learn on this blog. I’ve never heard of Lauryn Hill.

      • sarky

        Ignorence is bliss!!

  • IanCad

    Ken Loach still alive??!! Wisdom does not come with age.
    No doubt about it; Young schmucks grow into old schmucks.

  • Colin Austin Barnes
  • not a machine

    Your grace chooses a chilling last line ,I perhaps think that the politics of the middle east , is here with us in the UK and the EU , I was once told a local tale of a local german shop owner who had lived happily and respectfully in a UK town , until the Lusitania was torpedoed without warning , a crowd gathered and ransacked the shop such was the horror and anger .
    Political hegemony has not had a good history , rabbi Jonathan Sacks has been a blessing in that he was happy with Jewish belief not having much to be concerned about in Christianity as it has rich inter dialogue . The strange thing about the holocaust was, that blame of the out come of the first world war was seen to be , because of financing in the first instance , and war reparations as suffering in the second instance.
    The old testament has number of references as to how financing worked , even to handing over your coat until evening , and no doubt the early roman empire had something similar in the centuries before Christ .
    Blame for debt is a curious subject more so at a national level, Islam does not consider interest on borrowing a good thing , although it clearly doesn’t have much of problem with interest on savings or in ISILs case looting and sales to those who will buy.
    That I think is a much as I can say.
    On a different note if your grace managed to catch R4 in our time , there was an interesting discussion on utilitarianism , it was perhaps a line of philosophical thought that shaped the last 200years of western politics , I could see a rather powerful influence in projecting its possibilities without considering its practicalities. The interesting thing was that I distinctly remember lord Bragg doing a program on how the 10 commandments were finished in 90s .Your grace may find it interesting to perhaps see philosophy of utilitarianism having its effects on the ten commandments .
    It is a problem I have been trying to find some solutions to and utilitarianism seemed to be a much more pernicious , for some groups , even if calling it something else , than I realised .I think it is possible to take a crow bar to it as a philosophy as I can see some flaws , but for now I will try and mull it over as it is undoubtedly a very powerful ideological movement . One for the former holder of the see of Canterbury , who made philosophers have to think on .

  • Jack’s been pondering a question that first occurred to him during his other life as a political student and Marxist: Does theology drive a nation’s ambitions and shape political attitudes, or does economic self interest drive and shape theologies?
    Of course, it is both but a significant shift has taken place. Mankind has moved from belief in the Divine, of one form or another, and living according to his/her/it or its intentions, to a position where we’ve abandoned the Divine, embraced the material and live according to how we feel and not how we think and for what we want rather than what is moral and just.
    To think we have inherited the Truth in all its beauty and rationality, passed on by millennia of men and women devoted to understanding scripture and the nature of fallen man. Within Christian doctrines the nature of reality and objective Truth is revealed in its splendour. When people picked up the sword for Christ, whether objectively right or wrong. for the most part, they believed in what they were killing and dying for. Yes there were economic benefits too but religious limits of sorts were set. Why do people fight today? What higher truth drives killing and dying? In the West, it’s for the nation and the nation’s ‘self-interest’. It’s for human and democratic rights, for equality and diversity.
    The Arabs, Jack believes, are different. Their theology and self interests are in union. It’s the same with the Israelis. Both sides believe God is on their side. Theology and territorial/economic interests are motivators. Israel is secularising and Islam is hardening.
    Jack can’t see an end in sight to this conflict.

    • Ivan M

      That is about the sum of it. Both sides justify their positions based on abuses of their respective tribal deities. Some are comfortable with one of these entities, while some prefer the other. For the peace of mind of those uninterested in both, it is to be hoped that the religious nuts and their commercial sponsors are taken in hand.

      • Ivan M

        As my small contribution to ward off the excitable fanatics, there is substantial evidence that the al-Aqsa mosque is not built over Solomon’s temple, but rather over the remains of a Roman fortress.

        http://www.wrmea.org/2011-august/misunderstandings-about-jerusalem-s-temple-mount.html

        Thus those looking for the “red heifer” to blow on the ram’s horn that signals the Restoration of the Kingdom, should blow up some other place. “Rapture” enthusiasts hoping to be lifted off their sleaze over a lake of lust and debts, should also look elsewhere.

        • Uncle Brian

          Ivan, I’m afraid you’ve fallen for a legpull. Arafat tried that one on the U.S. negotiators in the Clinton period but he was laughed to scorn and learnt his lesson. He never mentioned that nonsense again.

        • dannybhoy

          Sweet, sweet boy!
          The content I agree with, the manner of delivery however, drips with unpleasantness..

          • Ivan M

            Its better than getting killed for no good reason Danny. Zen masters are not known for their pleasantness, son.

          • dannybhoy

            This one of the reasons we Western Christians need to get down on our knees and then stand up for our Lord..

            http://freedomforce.com/4250/88-refugees-kidnapped-by-isis-many-christians-including-12-women-and-children/

          • Ivan M

            Do so with all blessings, stand up for them in Tripoli, in Benghazi, in Palmyra, in Mosul, in Damascus, in Baghdad.

          • The delivery and content are rubbish.

          • dannybhoy

            Hannah,
            I don’t think we are going to see a new temple or a reinstitution/renewal of the sacrificial system. There are those who want to see it happen..
            http://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-dare-to-dream-dare-to-build-the-third-temple/?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Three+videos+that+you+want+%28and+need%29+to+see!&utm_campaign=20150612_m126175232_Three+videos+that+you+want+%28and+need%29+to+see!+%284+ads%29&utm_term=more_btn_light_png
            but unless there is some dramatic act by the Almighty that so unites the various Israeli religious factions that they agree to rebuild, agree on who is fit to serve as Cohen or Levi in this new temple, and they do indeed find the perfect red heifer- I don’t think it’s going to happen.
            That’s why I agree with what he said even if I disliked the way he stated it.

          • Dude

            I’m just a simple jew of simple faith, so just try and live a life as per tradition and my religion . I suspect that Hannah’s reaction is more about Ivan using threads to trash Jews, Israel etc, by whatever way he can think of, rather than him or you engaging in a specific cosmological, epistemological, ontological, philosophical, theological, ideological or sagacious and erudite Dialectic. Anyways just watching a talented brunette babe on BBC 2 play the violin. Very peaceful way to usher in Shabbat.

          • avi barzel

            Easier to rebuild the Temple than to wrestle a new nation, Israel, with refugees and against the wishes of pieerful players. At least the practical bit. Whether Jews are united enough on the ways and means, on reinstituting a halakhic-modern legal and administrative system is another matter. I suspect this, like the miraculous reemergence of a Jewish state, would require another nudge from the Almighty.

        • You say we’re excitable fanatics and dismiss the Jewish religion , which is your prerogative ….. but to Jews the kotel is the holiest site in our religion, where the presence of God still dwells . I recall you are a Catholic, Zen master or not. How would you like it if Islam had conquered and built a mosque on top of the remains of St Peters and the Sistine chapel ….

          • Pubcrawler

            Give it time: they did it with Hagia Sophia, Rome’s next on the list.

          • Ivan M

            There have been other historical moments before to rebuild the temple in say 618/20 AD:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_revolt_against_Heraclius

            But the Talmudists had different priorities .

            When the Arabs swept in later into Palestine, they didn’t find a temple, the Romans having thoroughly devastated the place. Naturally the Arabs built their mosque on the highest place they could find. They didn’t destroy any pre-existing structure since there was none. The Muslim complex has withstood all history, it belongs to Islam by right of possession over many hundreds of years and certainly not to some people with funny hats from Europe and the US.

            Zen will help you come to terms this, avoid tunnel vision, and if you still can’t get used to it, pray for an earthquake. The Almighty is supposed to take care of these things, why are you doing his job for him?

    • Linus

      The biggest mistake Christians make when dealing with secular people is to imagine that because we do not recognise Christian morality, we have no morality beyond getting what we want.

      In reality secular morality is well defined and is based upon respect for individual liberty within an overarching imperative of respect for the “common weal”. In practice this means constraining individual liberty only when it harms others or society as a whole.

      The problem that Christians have with this is the problem that all deluded zealots have with anyone who rejects their deluded zealotry. It’s essentially a power issue. “How dare they not bow down to me and my god?” is the basic Christian attitude towards non-Christians, which illustrates quite nicely the ultimate raison d’être of religions. It’s all about gaining more power and imposing your will and your vision of how society should work on other people, and anyone who refuses to be bound by your rules is a savage and therefore incapable of having any kind of moral code other than a purely selfish one.

      One of the basic rules of warfare is “never underestimate your enemy”. The Christian sense of superiority and your ego-driven need to belittle your opponents and treat us as immoral savages amply explain why secularism has completely defeated your religion. You’re like knights in shining armour on charging steeds being mown down by the new-fangled artillery you dismissed as irrelevant because it didn’t fit your rigid model of what constituted a real weapon.

      When your enemy wins, and wins again, and keeps on winning, it’s time to re-examine your own strategy and figure out what you’re doing wrong. If you continue to look down your nose at your opponents and keep on using the same tired old tactics that haven’t worked for generations now, you’re doomed to ultimate failure.

      Warriors for Christ, eh? More like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail who’s just had both arms and legs chopped off and his teeth knocked out and is now struggling to lift his sword with his tongue…

      • The Explorer

        The one most concerned about telling others to bow down to him is Satan. ‘Matthew’ 4:9. When the risen Christ is involved, the action appears to be spontaneous. ‘Revelation’ 1:17.

      • Dreadnaught

        Your first three paragraphs were sound, then you threw it away by introducing blather.

      • Anton

        Linus, Jack did say that secular people are typically willing to die for their country. That’s not a selfish act.

        “amply explain why secularism has completely defeated your religion”

        You see Christianity in political terms. But its founder didn’t. He refused to go political against the Romans: refused to be martyred in a physical attack on them, refused to start or ally his disciples with any political movement to kick the Romans out of Judea. Christianity has been defeated politically in Europe, but politics is a game it should never have been in. There are higher playing fields than the political which secular people seldom acknowledge. And Christianity is doing fine in China: a small percentage of the population but the population is 1.5 billion making this the largest movement in church history, and in a place that has scarcely known the faith. On the world scale these are great days for the cause of Christ.

        I’m also sceptical just how Christian the Middle Ages were. Everybody said they were Christian, certainly, but Christ said that he would acknowledge only those who did his will, and the amount of violence around suggests a profound disconnect between head and heart.

      • bluedog

        A remarkable post, M Linus. You are clearly unaware that the secular French republic now enjoys the presence of a Muslim population of nearly 10% of the total.

        This development is of considerable significance in terms of your mistaken belief that Christians are purely interested in power. You should spend a little time finding out what the French Muslim minority believe and want and why. If your research is successful you may conclude that Islamic morality is the anti-thesis of the Christian morality from which your secular beliefs derive. However you may not be able to recognise that secularism has no answer to Islam.

        After all, when your enemy wins, and wins again, and keeps on winning, it’s time to re-examine your own strategy and figure out what you’re doing wrong. If you continue to look down your nose at your opponents and keep on using the same tired old tactics that have never worked, you have already failed.

      • Such histrionics and ignorance, Linus.

        • Linus

          That’s just about the level of “intelligent” reply I’ve come to expect from Sad Jack. No cogent arguments, just hysterical accusations. For a supposedly straight man, he doesn’t half act like a stereotypical mincing queen with his “biatch-slappin'” one liners…

          Blood will out, eh?

          • Jealously is so unbecoming, Linus.

          • Linus

            On this we can agree.

            Why is it you’re so jealous of me then? Is it because you can’t stand to see a happy gay man living the life you would have wanted for yourself had your own internalised homophobia not forced you to play the straight?

            Oh well, soon enough you’ll be dead and gone and your regrets and pain will die with you. While you’re still around however, at least your psychosis serves as an object lesson to others about what happens when you try to suppress your true nature.

            Even the most evil and twisted among us can serve a purpose…

          • The Explorer

            Hello Linus, old couch potato. (Psychiatric couch, of course).
            A couple of thoughts.

            1. “Soon enough you’ll be dead and gone.” Can’t quarrel with that: true enough for all of us. “And your regrets and pain will die with you.” There’s the rub. “For in this sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?” In other words, what if there’s an after life? (Hamlet’s soliloquy in one easy sentence.) And if the Resurrection happened, then there is. Without that, I agree, it’s simply the is/isn’t endlessly of mutual guesswork.

            2. “Suppress your true nature.” What if one’s true nature doesn’t concern sex/gender or whatever one likes to call it these days at all? Suppose Augustine had it right: “We were made for thee”? In which case, suppression of one’s nature would consist in the denial of this truth. (If it is a truth.)

          • Linus

            “What if there’s an afterlife?” can just as easily be rephrased as “what if there’s no afterlife?”

            You looks at the available evidence and you makes up your mind.

            As there IS no evidence of an afterlife, and the claims of those who claim to have witnessed it during a so-called “NDE” are inconsistent and show clear cultural and religious bias, rational minds don’t find it difficult to dismiss the idea of life after death as a manifestation of human narcissism and wishful thinking.

            To believe that the universe in all of its vastness, or even just this world, serve only as a theatre in which our eternal fate is acted out, is navel-gazing taken to the ultimate extreme.

            God didn’t create us in his image. We created him in ours. If he were real, like all other naturally occuring processes, his impact upon the world would be quantifiable and measurable. Christianity wouldn’t rely on a series of anecdotes and tall tales of magic and wonder. You’d be able to point to specific phenomena as evidence of God’s existence. But you can’t. And even if it’s only because we haven’t yet gained the knowledge needed to discern his presence, that only begs the question of why he feels the need to hide from us.

            If some scientist invents a God detector that reveals the deity much like an infra-red camera shows us the nocturnal creatures that are otherwise invisible to our eyes at night, the first question we should ask him, once we’ve located his exact position and can direct a query at him, should be “So why so shy, eh? Scared we might ask for an explanation of your aribtrary and quite frankly ludicrous rules, and you’d be forced to admit it’s all a divine whim?”

            It’ll never happen though, because there’s nothing to detect and no deity to unmask. Now if the same scientist were to invent a Christian BS detector, then we’d realise we’re actually drowning in the stuff. The first step towards personal hygiene is realising you need a bath…

          • dannybhoy

            “You’d be able to point to specific phenomena as evidence of God’s existence. But you can’t. And even if it’s only because we haven’t yet gained the knowledge needed to discern his presence, that only begs the question of why he feels the need to hide from us.”

            Then free will would be compromised and there would be no need of faith.
            He has no need to hide from us. I think it is us who hides from Him, or else we stick our fingers in our ears whilst shouting “La La La!”

            We wouldn’t do what is right and compassionate because it is best to do what is right and compassionate, but because we would feel compelled to do so by the Divine Presence.
            We wouldn’t sacrifice ourselves or our lives for what we see as Truth, because there would be no need.
            People would do good for reasons of self interest.
            Contrary to what you seem to believe Christians have no need to prove anything, or to impose their worldview on other people.
            We believe and live as Christians because as individuals we have become inwardly (the non physical part of us) and intellectually convinced of the truth of God and His diagnosis of our condition.
            It is the sense of joy and peace and worship and service that so affects our being we feel compelled to share our faith.

          • Linus

            You see, it’s this kind of illogical and poorly thought-out argument that gives Christianity such a bad name.

            If free will is contingent on god hiding himself away from us so we’re not dazzled by his brilliance, how is it that angels manage to fall?

            Angels live in the presence of god, or so we’re told. If this is true, then using your logic, they cannot fall because they have no free will.

            So how do you explain Satan, then? Using your arguments, he cannot exist.

            Maybe this is one of those things that Christians are intellectually bankrupt enough to label as a “mystery” and ask no further questions about, for fear that their unenquiring minds might be disturbed out of their complacent and utterly illogical beliefs.

          • dannybhoy

            Good morning Linus.
            You were right to pick me up on my sloppy thinking – or rather -I hope to show- my sloppy presentation.

            “If free will is contingent on god hiding himself away from us so we’re
            not dazzled by his brilliance, how is it that angels manage to fall?

            Free will is not contingent upon God hiding Himself. Free will is as I understand it given to all sentient creatures, men and angels.
            The ability to hold a position or choose a course of action in accordance with, or in defiance of, the evidence is what I understand to be the exercise of free will.

            So as regards angels they do have free will, and one would have thought (I often have), that being so much closer to God they would never want to rebel. And yet the Bible speaks of Lucifer..
            (you probably know this)
            Ezekiel 28
            You were the signet of perfection,[b] full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, carnelian, chrysolite, and moonstone, beryl, onyx, and jasper,
            sapphire,[c] turquoise, and emerald; and worked in gold were your settings and your engravings.[d]
            On the day that you were created they were prepared.
            14 With an anointed cherub as guardian I placed you;[e] you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the stones of fire.15 You were blameless in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.”

            My point was that if God were to make Himself clearly visible, if God were to throw thunderbolts from heaven at every wrongdoer even before they wrong do’d, we would probably all start doing good; but for the wrong reasons.

          • Linus

            There’s a vast difference between God showing himself to us, and hurling thunderbolts at us every time we put a foot wrong.

            The first implies no coercion. It would simply let us know that he exists rather than forcing us to rely on the unreliable witness of other fallible humans, who themselves have never seen God and are merely stating their opinion and expecting us to accept it as incontrovertible truth.

            The second would indeed be coercive. Which is exactly how God is described in the Old Testament. But if he’s anything like the God of the New Testament and wants us to accept and obey him out of love, wouldn’t an intelligent approach be to show himself so we have something to focus our affections on?

            How can anyone who isn’t making a deliberate decision to suspend disbelief love a shadow and a phantom?

            Of course the answer to that is that they aren’t falling in love with a shadow and a phantom. They’re falling in love with something very real: a perfected reflection of themselves.

            They aren’t worshipping a god. They’re worshipping what they themselves want to be, and desperately want to believe that death will transform them into.

            If God exists, free will is no justification for his stubborn refusal to show himself to us. An apparition is not by its nature coercive. I’ve met Tony Blair in the flesh, shaken his hand and talked to him about his “humanitarian” work in the Middle East. Am I therefore required to believe that he’s anything more than a narcissist who wants to be worshipped for his selfless peacemaking efforts while he skims a fat profit off the top? No, I am not.

            I can’t deny that Tony Blair exists. I can deny that he’s the sainted hero he wants us to think he is.

            If he were just a story in a book, his very existence could be questioned. But his permatanned physical presence and vulpine grin can’t be. They’re all too real, and deeply significant to anyone equipped with even a modest ability to detect self-serving insincerity.

            Is that God’s problem with showing himself? Wizard of Oz-like, does he realise tbat his actual presence is so underwhelming that it would undermine all faith in him?

          • dannybhoy

            But if he’s anything like the God of the New Testament and wants us to accept and obey him out of love, wouldn’t an intelligent approach be to show himself so we have something to focus our affections on?

            Well He has Linus, hasn’t He?
            But you refuse to believe in Him too!
            There is no greater example of love than Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God.
            At the end of your life the only thing that will matter is to what extent you seriously and sincerely sought for the truth.

            “God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
            You can keep on ranting and raving and indulging your melodramatic side, but God says in Jeremiah 29…

            11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

            I think whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, you have embarked on a pilgrimage towards God.
            I know He loves you and He really wants you to be happy and at peace Linus. Perhaps one day you will let go all the baggage and past experiences and preconditions and preconceptions, and just kneel before God so that He can lift you up and say “Welcome home Linus..”

          • The Explorer

            Still in cracking form I see, old chap.

          • Linus

            I would thank you for your “good wishes” if I were not persuaded of the essential ill-will behind them.

            What you mean by “good wishes” is that my marriage should break down and that I should end my days alone, celibate and groveling on my knees before the perfected reflection of you that you call god.

            These are not “good wishes”. They are a curse you call down on my head to punish me for not being like you or wanting what you want. They are therefore motivated not by any form of affection or respect, but rather by contempt and a desire to punish me for being different from you. They are in fact extremely bad wishes, and can therefore only be construed as an expression of hostility and ill will.

            Of course, I’m not surprised. I’m no stranger to Christian hostility and ill will. The Church is full of it and does its utmost to spread it around. The Gospel according to most Christians can be reduced to “how dare you argue with MY interpretation of god?” Anyone who does becomes anathema, to be attacked with all possible venom and, if the Christian’s power fantasies can be actuated instead of just dreamed about, to be reduced to as miserable and unhappy a state as possible. The only thing that gives a Christian joy, it seems, is the utter defeat and discomfiture of his enemy.

            As this is exactly what your “good wishes” for my husband and I amount to, perhaps you will not be surprised if I reject them completely. Such a cordial expression of your desire for our future unhappiness quite simply makes my blood run cold.

          • Ivan M

            You are a man . How can you call another man “husband”? Much of the ill-will you feel is the pressure in your head, as it bounces these types of contradictions in your head everyday. I would laugh at you if I feel ill will, but as it is I have some pity for your ridiculous life.

          • The Explorer

            A sad misconstrual of intent.

          • dannybhoy

            “Such a cordial expression of your desire for our future unhappiness quite simply makes my blood run cold.”
            So very dramatic Linus!
            Can’t you accept that people here genuinely appreciate you and want you to be happy? That we wish you well, even if we disagree with gay marriage?

          • Linus

            But you don’t “wish me well”. You wish me to submit to the rigid laws that govern your religious faith. Laws that, if followed, would guarantee my unhappiness due to the unwanted celibacy they would force on me.

            What you’re really wishing on me is lifelong punishment for being gay. A punishment you want me to accept of my own free will, submitting my will to yours and admitting that you are right and I am wrong.

            Dream on, old bigot. And don’t pretend that you appreciate me when your wishes for me involve my lifelong misery as a living sacrifice to your moral code.

            If that’s appreciation, I’d hate to get on your wrong side. What evil and pain do you wish on those you’re honest enough to overtly hate?

            Oh … stupid of me! All I have to do is look at your comments about Muslims to know what you wish on those you overtly hate. It’s spine-chilling stuff. Ethnic cleansing, rounding them up and putting them in camps, then deporting them, and too bad what happens to them then.

            So when you’ve got rid of them, will I be next?

          • dannybhoy

            :0)
            ” Laws that, if followed, would guarantee my unhappiness due to the unwanted celibacy they would force on me.”

            It seems to me that you are limiting the Almighty as to how your life would be should you start talking to Him humbly and without the histrionics.
            You surely don’t imagine that no homosexuals have ever become Christians for the same reasons I or any other sinner have? Were they, or are they happy and fulfilled as Christians?
            You have to talk to them to find out.
            Is a serial adulterer or fornicator never again tempted to sin or cheat on his wife?
            Of course.
            You’re guilty of sloppy thinking here Linus…
            It is illogical to assume that because I won’t condone gay marriage I wish you to suffer.
            Why do you get angry because a God you don’t believe in and whose followers according to you hate everybody who is not a Christian, won’t bless and condone your lifestyle?

          • The Explorer

            I am reminded of an episode in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’. When the animals speak to Uncle Andrew in friendly fashion, he manages to convince himself that all he can hear is hostile snarls.

          • The Explorer

            “But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
            And they couldn’t stop Jack from being happy.”

          • Hmmm …. and what purpose are you serving, dear Linus?

          • dannybhoy

            Even in his current state of unbelief and anger Linus still serves a purpose in God’s economy.
            I think our Lord uses his antagonism to teach us more about truly loving one who does not want to be truly loved.
            Not by God anyway.
            And certainly not by His imperfect children.
            God respects and loves Linus.
            He sees past the calculated insult and the taunts, past even his outward persona of the gay man standing up for his friends against us bigoted dinosaurs.
            He sees into the very heart of Linus, and still loves him and would receive him back as a joyful Father a wayward son.
            Just as He has been to us.
            Linus cannot escape that he serves God, whether willingly or unwillingly.

          • Well, yes, we all serve God’s purpose , one way or another. Jack was interested in Linus’s views on his own purpose in behaving like a petulant and spoilt child.

          • dannybhoy

            I doubt he sees it like that Jack.

          • Sometimes, just sometimes, one has to push against the pricks, Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            Some kind of double entendre there, or exasperation?

    • dannybhoy

      Jacko!
      How are you?
      “Of course, it is both but a significant shift has taken place. Mankind
      has moved from belief in the Divine, of one form or another, and living
      according to his/her/it or its intentions, to a position where we’ve
      abandoned the Divine, embraced the material and live according to how we feel and not how we think and for what we want rather than what is
      moral and just.”

      You read that book too?
      There is a chapter or two devoted to that very issue, and the author’s thesis is that civilisations die because they lose faith in their religion.
      Those religions which demand unquestioning adherence to the faith will disintegrate faster because there is no way that the religion can adapt to a changing reality. He points out that both Judaism and Christianity believe in a personal Creator God who has revealed Himself to man and given him free will and intelligence. So those two faiths have been able to adapt their faith in the modern world.
      Just an example, it is reckoned that the number of Chinese Christians has risen to somewhere in the region of 120 million, and the Chinese Communist government tolerates it because it works for the betterment of China’s interests.
      (YWAM has had representation at some of these enormous conferences, where Chinese Christian pastors and ministers of quite different cultural backgrounds have been coming together in prayer and repentance and reconciliation..)
      I used to mull over the role of theocracies, and came to the conclusion that even a Jewish theocracy had but a limited ‘shelf-life’ because it could have never adapted to modern conditions. “The Kingdom of God is within you..”

      The dilemma of Islam and therefore the Palestinians, is that they cannot break out of that absolute unquestioning obedience to an autocratic Deity.

      • Truth be told, Jack is fair worn out. We’ve bought a property in Kirkcudbright and so granddad duties have been taking up my time. Plus, you know what women are like – all sorts of “little jobs” to do.

        Jack hasn’t read a book on this subject. He’s always wondered about this passage from 1 Timothy:

        “The love of money is a root from which every kind of evil springs, and there are those who have wandered away from the faith by making it their ambition, involving themselves in a world of sorrows.”
        The Old Testament focussed on the objective laws of God and particularly on sexual relationships, family and community life. It seems to Jack, the 21 century is very much focussed on material interests and not on spiritual matters.

        • dannybhoy

          Well bless your old heart Jacko.
          Would you believe I had a very brief stay up there years ago
          Go out of the town south towards that spit of land where there is or was an MOD area towards the sea.
          There was a row of houses off the top road, onew owned by a Christian family…
          So there you are.
          I was a bit worried because I hadn’t seen you posting much recently and now I know why..

          One could argue that the theocracy of Israel had a pretty materialistic approach too,( although I wouldn’t dare question my Maker’s wisdom)
          But it was very much a carrot and stick approach, no?

          • Jack knows the area you stayed in very well. The MOD area is still there. Kirkcudbright is a lovely little town.
            That’s Jack point, theology and material interests are interwoven – or rather were. Nowadays, in the West, the theology has all but gone and we’re left with self interest supported by national flags, so called freedom, human rights and equality to win hearts and minds. And these values are not based on anything objective.

          • dannybhoy

            Agreed.
            I am learning to trust the Almighty to provide, and I think that if we have surrendered all that we have materially for Him for use in His kingdom’s purposes, He draws closer to us and fills us with joy whatever happens.
            Consumerism is a false god. Our joy comes from ever deeper surrender to Him.

          • It is the only way.

          • dannybhoy

            So He sent you to Kirkcudbright?!
            Hmmmmmmmm…

          • Jack has been very blessed in his life.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Forgive my bluntness, but BDS is B-S.

    Among those hurt by this are many Palestinians who work in Israeli run and owned factories.

  • HolylandIsraelTours

    They will be defeated.

  • sarky

    Just goes to show, not all pop stars are ignorant 🙂

  • John Thomas

    “We may yet live to see another holocaust.” If/when Iran gets the atomic bomb we certainly will …