Implications of the “Chosen People” Myth

“Goyim Were Born Only to Serve Us”

Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the people of Israel.

— Israeli rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shas party spiritual leader, Oct. 11, 2010

The Shas Party is a mainstream Israeli political party founded in 1984 by ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Jews. The name is an acronym for  Shomrei Torah Sephardim or “Observant Sepharadim.” (Sepharadim are for the most part Jews tracing their ancestry to the Iberian Peninsula, as opposed to the Ashkenazim who trace theirs to Germany, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. They are sometimes grouped together with the Mizrahim who have lived for centuries in the Arab Middle East, Iran and Uzbekistan.)

The party holds 11 seats in the Israeli Knesset (parliament). Its first leader, Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, served as a interior minister in the 1980s. Its current spiritual leader, 90 year old Rabbi  Ovadia Yosef, holds no political position but four Shas members now hold posts (including interior minister) in the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is an anti-intellectual, religiously fundamentalist party. Like many groups in the U.S., and many prominent U.S. politicians, it rejects (and misrepresents) evolutionary theory, a pillar of modern science. One of its TV campaign ads bore the message, “One old Sepharadi lady kissing a Torah book with a tear in her eye is worth more than 40 university professors who tell us we are descended from monkeys.”

Yosef is head of Shas’s “Council of Torah Sages.”  From 1973 to 1983 he was the Chief Rabbi of Israel’s Sephardic Jews, who with his Ashkenazi counterpart headed Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. By Israeli law this body regulates Jewish weddings, divorce proceedings, conversions and the recognition of Jewishness for immigration purposes. Especially revered by Orthodox Mizrahi Jews, he is widely considered the foremost authority on the Halakhah or Jewish religious law.

The rabbi has made explosive pronouncements in past sermons. On Passover in 2001 he preached: “It is forbidden to be merciful to [the Palestinians]. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.” In December 2009 he declared: “[The Palestinians] are stupid. Their religion is as ugly as they are.” In a sermon last August he raged, “[Palestinian leader] Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and all these evil people should perish from this world.  God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

These may seem the ravings of a madman, or at least prime examples of racist hate-speech. But this rabbi is no fringe phenomenon. He has a large and respectful following in Israel.

On October 11, Yosef gave his regular Saturday night sermon, some of it later broadcast on Israeli TV. This time he told his congregation that Goyim (a disparaging term for non-Jews in Yiddish) were created merely to “serve” Jews. Addressing the question of what types of work non-Jews should be able to perform on the Jewish sabbath, he stated, “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel.”

“Why are gentiles needed?” he asked rhetorically. “They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.” (“Effendi” is a word used in the old Ottoman Empire for an educated gentleman or lord.) This comment reportedly met with laughter from his flock.

Why does Yosef think God lets non-Jews live out their lives? “They need to die, but God will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant. That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”

*****

Reading this garbage, I thought of the daily abuse of Palestinians by Zionist settlers in Hebron on the occupied West Bank. The five or six hundred Jewish settlers routinely attack Palestinians (among the 160,000 Palestinians who inhabit Hebron), destroying their fruit trees, hurling rocks at them, attacking their homes with impunity protected by the “Israeli Defense Forces.” IDF soldiers have been video-taped this year doing a Macarena-like dance in the streets of this Arab city  during the Muslim call to prayer–a deliberate statement of contempt dismissed as a youthful “prank” by their commanding officers.  Meanwhile Palestinians’ movements are restricted, and they are banned from a Jews-only section of their city.

I thought of the low-paid Chinese, Thai, and Filipino construction, farm and health workers recruited by Israel as temporary workers to replace the feared and despised Palestinians. I thought too of the recent poll showing that half of Israeli high school students don’t want to study alongside Palestinians, or believe they should enjoy equal rights, or be able to run for parliamentary office. (82% of those describing themselves as “religious” opposed equal rights. The figure for the kids describing themselves as “secular” was much lower. Only about one-third of Israelis are religious Jews–about the same number as are atheist or agnostic).

I recalled how one Rabbi Yaacov Perin had declared at the funeral of Baruch Goldstein, the U.S.-born Jewish settler who killed at least 29 Palestinian Muslims praying at a mosque in occupied Hebron in February 1994: “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail… There are no innocent Arabs…”

I thought about Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, a West Bank settler, who wrote in his best-selling book The King’s Torah (2001), “ It is permissible to kill the Righteous among non-Jews even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” and “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

I also couldn’t help but think of how former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert once boasted to an Israeli crowd in the formerly Arab town of Ashkelon that he had forced then-President Bush to humiliate then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was in January 2009, after the vicious Israeli attack on Gaza. In the face of international horror, the U.S. had (for purely pragmatic diplomatic reasons) helped author a resolution calling for an end to violence on both sides.

Olmert proudly told his audience: “When we saw that the Secretary of State, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favor of the UN resolution … I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech. I said,  ‘I don’t care. I have to talk to him now… They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, ‘You can’t vote in favor of this resolution.’ He said, ‘Listen, I don’t know about it, I didn’t see it, I’m not familiar with the phrasing.’”

Olmert said he’d then told Bush: “‘I’m familiar with it. You can’t vote in favor.’ [Bush then] gave an order to the Secretary of State and she did not vote in favor of it, a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged.”

This was, of course, after the U.S. Congress had near unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Gaza blitzkrieg, demonstrating the extraordinary power of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has successfully avoided the demand of critics that it be registered as the agent of a foreign government. (Recall how in November 2009, after a UN inquiry headed by South African judge, Richard Goldstone, who happens to be Jewish, concluded that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes during Israel’s assault on Gaza–resulting in over 1,300 Palestinian deaths, overwhelmingly civilian, and a total of 9 Israeli deaths at the hands of Palestinians–the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning the UN report! The official position of the U.S. Congress has become: No one can be allowed criticize Israel.  Any such criticism is unfair, “one-sided,” “unbalanced.”

Reading Yosef’s remarks I also thought of Netanyahu’s 2001 interview, leaked last July, in which he frankly discussed his intention to ignore the Oslo Accords, continue settlements and launch a “total assault” on the Palestinian Authority. When asked about a possible negative U.S. reaction, he exclaimed: “Especially now, with America, I know what America is. America is a thing that can be easily moved, moved in the right direction. They  will not bother us. Let’s suppose that [the Americans] will say something . . . so they say it…  Eighty per cent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd! We have such support there! And we say… what shall we do with this?” He was virtually ridiculing the pathetic manipulability of the U.S. public and Congress.

And then there was that statement by former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon (also known as the “butcher of Sabra and Shatila” due to his complicity in the annihilation of up to 3500 Palestinians refugees in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982) to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in October 2001: “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that …  I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”

Last March Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel to pledge the U.S.’s undying loyalty to the Jewish state. His message was that, despite President Obama’s request — based on U.S. geostrategic interests — that Israel freeze settlement on occupied Palestinian land, and Israel’s refusal to do so more than partially and temporarily, U.S. support would continue as always. The Israeli Interior Ministry (headed by Shas Party member Eli Yishai) used the occasion of the visit to announce the construction of 1,600 new homes for Jews in occupied East Jerusalem. The insult was so brazen that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “condemned” the move which she said “undermined trust and confidence in the peace process.” Zionists responded with their typical indignation. (The Anti-Defamation League called Clinton’s remarks a “gross overreaction” towards a “policy.” Former New York City mayor Ed Koch accused Obama of wanting to “make Israel into a pariah” and called Clinton’s comments “outrageous.”)

Then as Biden was addressing the Jewish Federations of North America two weeks ago assuring them that U.S. support for Israel was “literally unbreakable,” and would “continue forever,” and dismissing the recent rift as being “only tactical” in nature, Israel’s cabinet announced more illegal settlement housing construction plans.

Is all this mere chutzpah? Or is it the behavior of a true effendi? Is it not amazing that a regime claiming to represent the Jews in Israel (under 0.01% of the total global human population) or even all the Jews on the planet (under 0.02% of humankind) can boast of its ability to arm-twist U.S. presidents? That officials in a country with a stagnant economy with no raw materials dependent annually on two or three billion dollars in direct U.S. aid (matched by private U.S. donors) to sustain a First World type living standard (for Jews if not for the Palestinians in the occupied territories) can claim to “control America”? That it has been able since 1972 to count on the U.S. to veto practically every UN resolution even mildly critical of its behavior, often supported by all other member states except Israel itself?

Is it not amazing that such Zionists enjoy free license to provoke, thorough their occupations and aggressions, the outrage of 1.57 billion Muslims (23% of the world’s population), some of whom predictably vent their rage on the U.S. as Israel’s unconditional friend?

And is it not amazing that agents for Israel within AIPAC (Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman) could spy in the U.S., obtain classified documents pertaining to Iran (which Israel demands the U.S. bomb), get arrested by the FBI and charged with serious crimes in 2005, only to have all charges dropped in 2009? Or that ranking Congresswoman Jane Harmon, who agreed to “waddle in” to that case in an FBI-intercepted call with an Israeli agent, could escape any charges?

Is it not amazing that the presumptive Majority Leader in the new House of Representatives, ardent Zionist Eric Cantor (R-Va.), was in Israel last week meeting with Netanyahu, telling him that “the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington”, and that “the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other”?

The implicit criticism of Obama’s lack of adequate obsequiousness was obvious, and a number of pundits noted that such deference towards a foreign leader by a Congressional leader on a trip abroad combined with such criticism of a president is unprecedented.

Obama, recognizing what his intelligence officials and military leaders (including Gen. Petraeus) are telling him, has been trying to nudge Israel towards compliance with international law and a settlement with the Palestinians. He probably knows that Israel has become an albatross around the neck of the U.S. (which is to say, the U.S. ruling class and its geopolitical objectives). Still, he capitulates in the face of Israeli intransigence, fearing to offend the Lobby and a crucial voting bloc.

Even so (despite Obama’s own abject deference to Israel), Cantor visited the Israeli prime minister, who heads the most racist, pro-settler cabinet ever, and assured him that the Republicans in Congress will be even more unquestionably pro-Israel. And he blithely tossed out what to thinking people must seem an infinitely absurd proposition–that the security of the U.S. depends upon the security of Israel! The security of an imperialist country with over 300 million people (4.5 percent of the world’s population) and half the world’s military budget, bounded by two oceans and long secure borders with client states, never subject to invasion, with 2.5 million troops stationed on over 700 military bases all over the globe depends on the security of a settler-state of 7 million, imposed on the Middle East, hard-pressed to maintain a Jewish majority in the face of the colonized Palestinian’s procreation rate and the outflow of disillusioned Jews?

The security of the U.S. depends upon more invasions of Lebanon, more attacks on the concentration camp that is Gaza, more Israeli strikes against Syria, maybe an Israeli assault on Iran? The security of this country, largely dependent on oil imports from Arab countries whose peoples hate the Zionists for what they’ve done, depends on the security of a nuclear-armed state that routinely attacks its neighbors? The logic is just crazy.

It is indeed contradicted by top U.S. officials. Didn’t Gen. Petraeus tell the Senate Armed Services Committee last March that the “enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the area of responsibility”? Vice President Biden reportedly told Netanyahu, “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples [in the region]. This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”

But recall that Petraeus, informed by his neocon friend, Max Boot, a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and contributor to Commentary magazine, that his comment was producing charges of anti-Semitism in the Zionist community, subsequently sought to minimize it. He had Boot write an article defending him as pro-Israel and wrote his friend: “Thx, Max.  (Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?!  And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome…)”

Imagine that. The most powerful U.S. general since Eisenhower concerned that honest words might offend Israel and its powerful supporters.

The contempt that Israel and its Lobby show for both logic and compassion, their expectation that people can be easily duped and/or bullied into confusing moral right from wrong (into seeing knee-jerk support for Israel as a virtually religious duty)—-is sickeningly amazing. But it’s more sickening to see it work so consistently and well in the manipulation of U.S. public opinion.

*****

One wants, out of respect for religion, its historical roots and the complex role it fills in people’s lives, to dissociate people’s doctrinal loyalties from their politics. But reading Yosef’s comments, I can’t help but link their arrogance and viciousness to the ancient texts the rabbi reveres.  The scriptures that Jews call the Tanakh and Christians the Old Testament are filled with references to the Chosen People slaughtering the peoples of Canaan following their supposed period of bondage in Egypt (during which God among other things struck down dead all the eldest sons of all Egyptians to punish the pharaoh for not allowing the Hebrews to leave).

In the Book of Deuteronomy, the prophet Moses having descended from Mt. Sinai after receiving the Laws from God tells the Hebrews:

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you—the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites—seven nations mightier and more numerous than you—and when the Lord your God gives them over to you and defeat them, then you must utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them …  break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles, and burn their idols with fire. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, the Lord your God has chosen you out of the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7: 1-6)

The Book of Joshua describes one bloodbath after another, emphasizing that the Israelites killed all non-Israelite men, women and children, with the exception of some who abjectly submitted to them acknowledging that “the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you.” (These having surrendered were enslaved, made “hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation,” Joshua 9: 24-7.) The accounts detail the humiliations meted out to the kings of the slaughtered.

When Israel [in the course of conquering Canaan, the “promised land”] had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword. The total of those who fell that day, both men and women, was twelve thousand — all the people of Ai. For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the sword, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their booty, according to the word of the Lord that he had issued to Joshua. So Joshua burned Ai, and made it for ever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day. And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree… (Joshua 8:24-25)

Moses became angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war [to conquer Canaan]. Moses said to them, “Have you allowed all the women to live? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him.  But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers  31:14-18)

These Canaanites hadn’t done anything wrong, nothing to deserve annihilation. They were just there, and according to the story the God who made the whole cosmos in seven days wanted them eliminated to make room for His people to enjoy the “land of milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).

Psalm 137 expresses bitterness at the Assyrian/Babylonian conquest of Judah in the sixth century BCE, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and subsequent Babylonian Exile. “O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us! Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!” (Psalm 137: 8-9)  (By the way, towards the end of this period the exiles exposed to Persian Zoroastrian thought borrowed ideas about heaven, a devil, a messiah, etc. And many, content with their lot in what is now Iran, elected not to return to Israel when the Persian king Cyprus allowed them to do so in the 530s BCE. So the Exile was not an entirely negative experience.)

Is there no linkage between such murderous Bible passages and the hateful rantings of the esteemed rabbi?

*****

Many people, of course, seriously believe the Old Testament narrative. Half the world’s population is at least nominally Christian, and perhaps most buy the idea that the Creator of the Universe “chose” a specific bloodline for an ongoing, intimate, special relationship with him (at least until Jesus arrived to save everybody who believes in him). They believe that God communicated with his Chosen People through prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. and the scribes whose writings constitute “inspired” Holy Writ.

God (Yahweh) vowed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that they and their descendents, if they kept their “covenant” with him, would reside in the “Promised Land.”  If exiled, punished by their sins by this vengeful God, they would be forgiven and restored to their birthright eventually, as God shows his mercy. Thus, some believe, all Jews (any who define as such and are recognized as such by Jewish authorities) have a special right to live in Israel regardless of what any human-authored law might say about the matter.

Far more Christians believe this story line than Jews. There are around 75 million evangelical Christians in this country alone, far outnumbering the religious Jews in the world. (There are about 14 million Jews, maybe two-thirds of them religious.) These Christians may believe that “the Jews” are somehow collectively responsible for killing the Son of God, a conviction encouraged by such New Testament passages as Matthew 27:24-25, John 19:15-16, and 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15. They may believe that all those refusing to embrace Christianity will be incinerated by a wrathful God before the Rapture as prophesized in the Book of Revelation. But in the meantime some of these Christians delight in finding common ground with religious Jews. Some have even taken to celebrating Hannukah.

For many of us who do not believe in the existence of the vengeful, mercurial biblical God, and have studied the real history of the world, the scriptural narrative is at best interesting, quaint mythology. At worst it is a set of dangerous delusions that could justify genocide.

Consider how literal belief in this narrative has affected our own history. Many of the English settlers in the New World in the seventeenth century were convinced that they were the contemporary “Chosen People.”  Obviously, they reasoned, the Jews had lost their chosen status due to their rejection of Jesus as the messiah. The torch had been passed.

The English thought they were special in God’s eyes due to their virtuous and “correct” Protestant faith and the evident favor of God who’d brought Britons victory against heretical Catholic Spain and its invading Armada in 1588. So it was natural for the Virginia planter John Rolfe, who sought to marry the native American princess Pochahantas in 1614, to express anxiety about “the heavy displeasure which almighty God conceived against the sons of Levy for marrying strange [foreign] wives.” Rolfe was placing himself in the position of an Old Testament Jew, and was recalling that in the Book of Ezra, God had demanded that the Israelites allowed to return home from Babylonian exile cut themselves off from any non-Jewish spouses and half-Jewish children. Their “holy seed [had] mixed itself with the peoples” of Canaan, and with the Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. And this was an “abomination” (Ezra 9:1). The biblical prejudice against intermarriage between God’s “chosen” and “pagan” peoples deeply troubled Rolfe, although he did wind up marrying Pochahantas.

More commonly the settlers slaughtered or displaced the native peoples. The English settlers in the New World sometimes referred to America as their “Promised Land,” and they modelled their own savage attacks on the indigenous on the Israelites’ treatment of the Canaanites. When, for example, English “Pilgrims” including William Bradford torched a Pequot village in 1637 they were filled with the conviction that they were implementing God’s will:

Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.

There is a deep tendency in the U.S. psyche to identify with the biblical Hebrews and their legendary exodus from the Egyptian “house of bondage” into the promised land, celebrated in music from Stennett and Durham’s “Bound for the Promised Land” (ca. 1835) sung by settlers on the Oregon Trail to Negro spirituals and even to Bruce Springsteen’s “Promised Land.” (To be fair to Bruce, his song seems sardonic; it calls on people to “blow away the dreams that break your heart.”)

The settlers along the Oregon Trail realizing their “manifest destiny” slaughtered Sioux (Grattan Massacre, 1854), Shoshoni (Bear River Massacre, 1863) and members of other native tribes. This “promised land” theme in our own history prettifies what is, in fact, a horrifying tale of land seizure and ethnic cleansing.

The horror is not in the actual history of the Middle East. As Rabbi David Wolpe has honestly pointed out, there is no archeological evidence for a Hebrew period of bondage in Egypt, exodus, or Hebrew invasion of Canaan. And modern scholars such as Israeli historian, Shlomo Sand, have blown apart the myth that Jews constitute a bloodline dating back to the legendary Abraham.  This effectively undercuts the argument that Jews have a “birthright” to “return” to their ancestral homeland. The “homeland” of many is indeed the grassy plains of southern Russia and the mountains of the Caucasus, where the Khazars–of Central Asian Turkish origin–converted to Judaism in large numbers from the eighth century.  What historical, ancestral link do they have to the “promised land”?

*****

There are Christians and Jews today who find the Bible passages quoted above disturbing. Yet many shrug their shoulders declaring that “God moves in mysterious ways,” his reasons sometimes unfathomable to mere humans. Some may think that such behavior was appropriate in the distant past but barbarous in the twenty-first century. But once you accept the idea that the carnage described occurred at God’s orders, it doesn’t require a great mental leap to justify modern genocide.

That is, of course, what Rabbi Yosuf does. “You must send missiles to them and annihilate them,” he declares. “All these evil people should perish from this world… God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.” And certainly many West Bank settlers — such as those who glorify Baruch Goldstein — would just as soon slaughter any resisting their claim to a “birthright” to Palestinian land.

Doesn’t literal acceptance of the Old Testament narrative itself prompt or justify racism and genocide? Doesn’t the concept of a divinely “Chosen People” itself challenge rational and democratic values that have been spreading since the Enlightenment?

Many people, including the majority of ambassadors to the UN in 1975, have labeled Zionism a form of racism. Zionism is a modern nationalist political ideology that asserts the right of Jews to establish a state in what is posited (very dubiously) as the ancestral homeland of most modern Jews. It is not essentially a religious ideology; most of the early Zionist leaders including Theodor Herzl  were, in fact, quite irreligious. But Zionism plainly exploits the belief of the devout religious believer that the Creator of the entire cosmos really gave Jews rights to land in the Middle East that trump any centuries-old claim anyone else might have.

(It should always be noted — if bloodline is so important — that among the Palestinian Arabs there are undoubtedly the descendents of first-century Judaeans who at some point converted to Christianity or Islam. Might not God’s promise to Abraham apply to them?)

Many Zionists make their case in entirely non-religious terms, stressing the history of Jewish persecution culminating in the Holocaust, the supposed need for a state to insure the survival of the Jewish people, and the putative legality of the process leading to the establishment of Israel in 1948–usually tendentiously citing the Balfour Declaration and UN Resolution 181. But critics of Zionism note properly that it inherently privileges Jews at the expense of Palestinians.

Should we not all the more condemn the religious view that Jews are the Chosen People, and that those in Israel inhabit a land given them specifically by God?

When it comes to attacking fundamental doctrines of faiths, tolerant people, ecumenical people, tend to draw a line. “People are entitled to their religious opinions,” they say, the idea being that these opinions are cultural, inherited, fixed and matters of identity. This has been my own attitude. I’ve figured: a child grows up in a household where he or she is told “God chose us to be the light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6).  Many Jewish parents add that, since Jews have been so historically oppressed in so many countries, they have a duty to stand with all the oppressed and the campaign against intolerance and the privileging of Christianity. The Jewish contribution to workers’ and anti-racist movements is well known, and it includes the contributions of those who’ve taken this Chosen People concept seriously.

I’ve been inclined towards anthropological indulgence. If I’ve smiled at the belief of some elderly Japanese that theirs is the “Land of the Gods” and they themselves are of special status in the world, such conviction resting on charming Shinto myth, can I not also smile good-naturedly at the biblical myth of the Chosen People?

No,  I can’t anymore.  Because the concept’s not harmless. It’s toxic, just as the claim to Japanese superiority based on State Shinto is potentially poisonous.  I can’t imagine a delusion with greater negative potential, more difficult to spin into something warm, fuzzy and mellow, than this notion of a “Chosen People.” Even if interpreted to mean, “We Jews have special ethical responsibilities because we were chosen by God,” doesn’t it, grounded in writings that exuberantly celebrate the annihilation of whole peoples, inevitably produce the ravings of a Rabbi Yosef?

*****

Millions of fundamentalist Christians in this country, persuaded that the establishment of the modern Zionist state is in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, ignore the massive evidence for Israel’s brutal treatment of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. They might be disconcerted by Yosef’s disparagement of non-Jews, Olmert’s boast about strong-arming Bush, or Netanyahu’s observation that their own uncritical support for Israel is really “absurd.” But because they buy the notion that there is a God, who “chose” Jews as “his people,” and granted them a land in perpetuity, they demand that their representatives in Congress rubber-stamp every Israeli action and endorse every Israeli request for funds or demand for U.S. action.

I suppose it’s possible to say to such people, and to believing Jews:

Ok, I respect your religious beliefs. I understand that you think today’s Jews are the lineal descendents of Abraham and that as such God has granted them the state of Israel in accordance with his promise and biblical prophecies. I understand that you believe Jews are special, appointed by God to be ‘a light unto the nations.

(To the Christian evangelicals one might add: “And I respect your view that in accordance with Book of Revelation prophecy, Israel has to be re-established before the Second Coming, Apocalypse, and Rapture.”)

All of that’s your business, just like it’s the Mormons’ business if they want to think a lost tribe of Israel settled in North America and Jesus appeared among them and delivered the Sermon on the Mount 2000 years ago. I personally think these views are totally irrational and historically unsupportable. But I know a lot of people hold them and they can be perfectly nice, decent people.

But can’t you find some way to reconcile those beliefs with a principled rejection of what, in any other context, would clearly be called ‘terror,’ ‘ethnic cleansing,’ ‘collective punishment,’ ‘war crimes’?

Can’t you acknowledge, as Israel’s best historians have done, that over 700,000 Palestinians fled in fear in 1948 after massacres in Deir Yassin and elsewhere? Can’t you confirm on the basis of just a little reading that Zionist leaders made their intention of driving them out very clear?

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, said in 1948, ‘We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.’ Yitzak Rabin’s memoirs quote Ben Gurion as responding to a question about what to do with the Palestinians. ‘Ben Gurion responded with a hand gesture which said ‘Drive them out!’

Does your understanding of your religion justify all this? Do you think the God you believe in approved of all that, just to create a state of anti-Arab racists, self-absorbed religious fanatics, and disillusioned youth eager to repatriate, dependent on U.S. taxpayers’ largesse?

Can you ask yourself whether it was fair of the UN recommendation in 1947 to award 56% of the land in Palestine to Jews, who were only 33% of the population legally owning only 7% of the land? And was it wrong of the entire Arab and Muslim world to  reject that partition plan–authored by western powers who had colonized much of the world–as unacceptable? Can’t you understand why they would be reasonably opposed to it? And don’t you realize that the massacres at Deir Yassin and in Hebron occurred before the Arab armies even tried to intervene to prevent the emergence of a specifically Jewish state on disputed land?

Can’t you be a little more critical about how this Chosen People is treating the Palestinians in the Promised Land?

But I’m not that hopeful the appeals to reason and compassion can move the fundamentalist religious mind, once it’s fixed on a stance as a “matter of faith.” For many years the Israeli leaders’ not so secret weapon in influencing U.S. policy has been the Christian fundamentalists whom they privately disdain, but who accord them superstar status as God’s people doing God’s will.

These “useful idiots” do not understand that from the point of view of leading Zionists they exist, like donkeys, merely to serve the chosen ones. At least Rabbi Yosef states that viewpoint frankly. In doing so he challenges anyone willing to think to recognize what Israel’s all about–not the Sunday school myths but religiously-sanctified racism and atrocity.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu. Read other articles by Gary.

37 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. hayate said on November 18th, 2010 at 10:06pm #

    This article delineates many of the reasons why zionism and israel need to go.

  2. bozh said on November 19th, 2010 at 9:23am #

    rabido yusef doesn’t know that even canaanites cld no live well in canaan; thus began 5k yrs ago immigrate into mesopotamia.

    and if diaspora ‘jews’, white, shephardi, mizrahi one day get chased around by nongoyim, they cannot settle in the ‘holy’ land [means hellyland] since it can only house ab. 3mn people!
    and the fur will fly or one day we’d have no ‘jews’ anywhere in diaspora!

    in fact, the hebrews left mesopotamia ca. 4k yrs ago; in order to return one day to it. some returned, but as slaves. others beat it to caucasus, majority either slaughtered or melted away among other shemites of the mesopotamia.

    but a new horde of talmudim arose in caucasus. now, these people wanted to obtain mesopotamia; palestina being just collateral gain.
    but i do not think christians and muslims wld stand by and watch them obtain iraq and its oil! ok, we’l see! tnx

  3. MichaelKenny said on November 19th, 2010 at 9:50am #

    It’s an aside, but I can’t help noting the climbdown regarding Shlomo Sand. His theory, as originally propounded, claimed that the modern Jews were Europeans who had converted to Judaism and he explained away the absence of records, as well as the fact that, until the 19th century, “apostate” Christians who converted to Judaism would have been persecuted even more than the Jews were themselves, by claiming that it “had” to be like that, because of the number of Jews living in Europe. I always regarded that as “kite-flying”, to see how Europeans would react to the idea of the Jews returning to Europe. Obviously, the kite didn’t fly, since we are now told that the Jews are Central Asians who converted to Judaism 1200 years ago, neatly avoiding the problem of the absence of public records! Let them eat turkey!

  4. Don Hawkins said on November 19th, 2010 at 11:02am #

    90 year old Rabbi Ovadia Yosef you would think in 90 years you might have learned that to say;
    Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the people of Israel.

    Just might piss off a few people not me old man as here in the greatest nation on Earth same kind of thinking even hear of Goldman Sach’s.

  5. Don Hawkins said on November 19th, 2010 at 11:36am #

    Rabbi you have your problems we have are problems many of us are starting to understand that not just Goldman Sach’s but Wall Street in general you know hedge fund’s, investment banks and on and on are in very simple terms crazy. We have been trying to get the word out and so far with no success because those same people control the media. I think many of us are trying to figure out our place in the World if that’s alright with you of course and we didn’t even talk about China that just might take some cool smart minds of course there’s alway’s………………….?

  6. bozh said on November 19th, 2010 at 12:45pm #

    not all that torah or bible say is unclear. many statements are clear. they need no interpretation.
    their historical record, tho, appears much untrue and quite inventive. i reject about 90% of the record.
    for one thing, priests probably lied about canaan being a land of milk and honey. or that incoming hebrews to canaan came from egypt or that they have slain utterly some 20 kings and their peoples.
    it is more likely that hebrews may have encountered no more that 1000,000 people in canaan.
    or if any, save some beduins. tnx

  7. Ismail Zayid said on November 19th, 2010 at 1:08pm #

    The statements by rabbi Ovadia Yosef and his colleagues testify to the substance of the real ideology that Zionism brought about and continues to effect against the Palestinian people in a brutal savage policy of ethnic cleansing and dispossession.

    The idea of God promising his ‘chosen people’ the Land of Canaan [Palestine] defies credibility. For one, I was not aware that God was a real-estate agent who can apportion land to those he chooses, nor I am aware that the Bible is a Registry of Deeds.

  8. 3bancan said on November 19th, 2010 at 1:13pm #

    The racist supremacist genocidal rabbi Ovadia Yosef is not a rare phenomeon in the Jewish world.

  9. mary said on November 19th, 2010 at 2:53pm #

    This Canadian university has had to warn this rabbi off his hate- mongering.

    National Post · Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

    University threatens to sue rabbi over anti-Galloway email
    Kathryn Blaze Carlson

    York University this week threatened a Toronto rabbi with legal action if he continued to spread “defamatory” remarks about the school’s president and did not stop encouraging non-students to protest George Galloway’s speech on campus on Tuesday night.

    Rabbi Aaron Hoch sent an email to 700 people on his community mailing list last week informing them about the speech by the controversial former British MP, and asking them to “take part in protesting this outrage” on campus. Mr. Galloway was banned in 2008 from entering Canada under suspicion that he financially supported Hamas — the Palestinian entity deemed by Ottawa to be a terrorist group — and who is currently on a speaking tour of the country.

    /…..

    (www.nationalpost.com/news/University+threatens+rabbi+over+anti+Galloway+email/3845066/story.html#ixzz15cW4Nuey)

  10. Don Hawkins said on November 19th, 2010 at 2:54pm #

    The idea of God promising his ‘chosen people’ the Land of Canaan [Palestine] defies credibility.

    It sure does Ismail and here in the States oh heck let’s just pick one Goldman Sach’s. Who has more power the government or Goldman. The leader of Goldman used to say he or the company was doing God’s work. Well a few people now in big trouble because of Goldman and yes a few more Worldwide and they didn’t even blink an eye but yes to big to fail so they got money money money makes the World go around not really gravity is a better word. Yes in a mad world only the mad are sane and money makes there World go around they want more money to make more money and am surprised they even sleep there so busy. Busy busy little beavers indeed. For one, I was not aware that God was a real-estate agent who can apportion land to those he chooses, nor I am aware that the Bible is a Registry of Deeds, indeed.

  11. Rehmat said on November 19th, 2010 at 3:21pm #

    The other day I happened to come across J. Bruce Campbell’s latest article titled Defence Against Zionist Aggression in which the writer proposes several ways to “neutralize the Zionist threat before they try to use them again”.

    I agree with most of JB Campbell’s views in the article but disagree with his dumping both religious and Zionist Jews in the same basket. In fact, the religious Jewish leaders in England and Germany were very much against the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist movement for their leaders being Atheist and anti-Semites. It was the British-appointed first Chief Rabbi of the British Occupied Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), a Zionist Jew, who was able to convince the religious Jewish leaders to “take Zionists as the biblical donkey (vehicle) who is promised to bring the Jewish Messiah (Jews don’t accept Jesus being the biblical promised Messiah) into Jerusalem”. Furthermore, many of intellectuals who are critical of the actions of the Zionist-regime or even the supporters of one democratic Palestinian state with equal rights for the Jews, Muslims and Christians – happen to be Jewish. In fact, Israel Hasbara Committee has listed more than 8,000 Jewish academic, actors, journalists, writers and anti-war activists as “Self-Hating, Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T).

    On Monday young Jews disrupted Benji Netanyahu’s speech at the packed ballroom in New Orleans – yelling that the Zionist regimes brutal policies are the main cause of the delegitimation of Israel. Watch video below.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/jb-campbell-countering-zionist-aggression/

  12. jayn0t said on November 19th, 2010 at 5:23pm #

    This is one of those historic articles that makes this site and others like it worthwhile. Gary Leupp expresses the astonishment that we should all feel – how did we allow the likes of Rabbi Yosef to attain so much power, not only over Palestinians, but over we Western people, while we abolished apartheid, segregation, and so on? When we get over our astonishment, we can start to work out what we are going to do about it. How do we purge the left of the diversion of anti-white racism (pun intended) and tackle the orders-of-magnitude greater problem of Jewish supremacy?

  13. Jeffrey Blankfort said on November 19th, 2010 at 8:33pm #

    This is a brilliant article that covers very important ground and then some. That the Old Testament is or isn’t based on fact is irrelevant. Despite the protestations of many well meaning Jews and non-Jews who oppose Israeli policies that Zionism is not connected to Judaism or must be viewed separately, anyone taking the time to read the OT beginning with Deuteronomy can clearly see that Zionism has been Judaism’s ugly and predictable spawn.

    What else can one expect from people who genuinely believe that they are “the chosen” when they are in a position of power and that this belief of natural superiority extends to those for whom the religion is nothing more than engaging in what they consider to be “progressive” Passover rituals as if any observance of a holiday that, in essence, celebrates the mass death of others can be considered progressive. (Purim is even worse. That’s a holiday in which Jewish children dress up in clown costumes and disguises to celebrate the murder by Jews of 75,000 Persians and a good time is had by all. As the story goes, Esther learned that the Persians were about to massacre the Jews, so the latter turned the tables on them. Whether or not the story is true–how likely could a potential victim in such a situation switch and become the perpetrator?–that most Jews see nothing wrong with the holiday is something those who drone on about “Jewish values” and “Jewish morality” should seriously think about.

    Leupp makes one error here that is not too serious but it should be corrected. Cantor did not go to Israel to pledge his loyalty to Netanyahu. He did it right here in the US when the Israeli PM came to speak to the national gathering of Jewish federations in New Orleans. Netanyahu also met with Israel’s number one agent in the Senate, Charles Schumer but that received less publicity. It should be noted that heads of state as a matter of protocol usually do not visit other countries unless invited to do so by the host head of state. This, like every other international norm, obviously does not apply to Israel.

  14. bozh said on November 19th, 2010 at 8:57pm #

    i like what jeff blankfort wrote in the above post. i wld just add that the ‘zionists’ [land robbers] also abuse other ‘jews’ and not just goyim.

    i do not expect white ‘jews’ to behave respectfully to iraqi, yemeni, moroccan ‘jews’.
    these appear used as meat for battlling palestinians. tnx

  15. shabnam said on November 19th, 2010 at 11:47pm #

    Israel cannot dispossess Palestinians without active support from accomplices such as US, France, Germany and state of RUSSIA. Russia, a terrorist state is fully cooperating with the Apartheid state of Israel, and soon is going to Join NATO to expand her cooperation with the criminals in US and Israel even further.
    According to a report:

    A former Israeli military officer wanted in Colombia for training illegal right-wing militias employed by drug lords that were responsible for hundreds of killings was released from Russian custody Friday, news reports said. Israel’s Channel 2 TV showed Yair Klein Friday leaving a Moscow jail where he had been held on Colombia’s extradition request. The station said he would fly home this weekend, and Russia’s Interfax agency also reported he was heading for Israel.

    [http://wire.antiwar.com/2010/11/19/israeli-wanted-by-colombia-released-in-russia-2]
    Pravda on the other hand raised the following concerns:

    {The U.S. has been overtaken by a financial criminal cabal and is ruled by a military-industrial complex and financial capital The representatives of this cabal sit in the White House and legislate in the U.S. Congress. Obama’s financial officials are the same Wall-Street types who were responsible for the financial deregulation and other measures which created the current world economic crisis. And his secretary of defense is the same man who occupied that position under the Bush regime which instigated the Iraq and Afghan wars.
    The real policy of the cabal which now rules the US is, in the words of their own military doctrine, “full spectrum dominance” of the world, and they are willing to kill as many people, and to invade conquer, and occupy as many countries as necessary to achieve such dominance.
    At that time, Hitler’s government was seeking to overawe and occupy one European country after another on various pretexts. Instead of firmly opposing these actions, Britain repeatedly accepted them, most famously when then-prime minister of Britain Chamberlan claimed that he had “brought peace in our time” by accepting the German occupation of part of the nation of Czechoslovakia. }

    Pravda selectively borrows from history and forgets to mention NAZI-SOVIET PACT. According to this agreement:

    On 23 August, 1939, the world was shocked when, suddenly, Russia and Germany signed a ‘Non-aggression Pact’.
    People would have been even more shocked if they had known at the time that, in addition, the two countries had made a number of a ‘secret protocol’ agreeing to ‘spheres of influence’ in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland. It amounted to an agreement to invade and divide the countries of Eastern Europe between them … with Poland first on the list.

    [http://www.johndclare.net/RoadtoWWII8.htm]

    The Soviet Union, Stalin, played an important role in creation of Israel in Palestine and dispossession of Palestinians.

    Rumy Hasan in an article, “The Soviet Hand in Israel” reveals the dirty hand of the Stalin in dispossession of the Palestinians.
    We surely need to recognize that the political terrain in the US with regard to a Jewish state was very different 60 years ago than it is now. On the other hand, the USSR’s late change of stance and its uncompromising support for the Zionist project during the fateful years of 1947-48 was arguably the decisive factor.
    So when Israelis and their supporters celebrate the 60th anniversary, they ought to give a special toast to the role played by the Soviet Union; equally, as Palestinians drown in sorrow for the Nakba, they ought to raise an accusatory finger at those who took them to the path of perdition, not least the Soviet Union.

    [http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/897/op6.htm]

    Today, Russia is doing the same dirty game in Iran. There is a rumor widely spread throughout the country that the virus was introduced into the Iranian computer at the enrichment facility by Russians to help Iran’s enemy, Israel and US. Now, Russia indicates that is willing to join NATO to cooperate with Iran’s enemy through missile shield project. Down with Iran’s enemies.
    No one can trust Russia. Russia throughout her history has cooperated with Judeofascits. The reason that ‘left’ including ‘left’ in the Arab world supported Israel is due to SOVIET support for ZIONISM and judeofascism.
    Pravda is not necessary to warn others about the United States. Pravda should be concern with Zionist puppet Dmitry Medvedev and state of Russia. Russia must be viewed as criminal as US and Israel.

  16. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 11:19am #

    shabnam said on November 19th, 2010 at 11:47pm

    You never answered my question, shaby:

    Why are you more interested in attacking zionism’s current targets, China and Russia, than you are in attacking the zionists themselves. Here’s a few more your israeli hasbara fails to address:

    How many Iranians have Russia and China killed or injured?

    How many times have Russia or China threatened Iran with aggression?

    If the Russian’s and Chinese are so bloody zionist, why then are they the targets of massive ziofascist/fascist destabilisation campaigns using terrorism, narcotics and falseflag ops, identical to the crimes the zionists are doing against Iran? Many of these same crimes the zionists are also using on that “evul zionist colony” (I’m sure, according to you ;D ), Venezuela.

  17. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 11:34am #

    Jeffrey Blankfort

    “Despite the protestations of many well meaning Jews and non-Jews who oppose Israeli policies that Zionism is not connected to Judaism or must be viewed separately, anyone taking the time to read the OT beginning with Deuteronomy can clearly see that Zionism has been Judaism’s ugly and predictable spawn.”

    It’s tempting to write that zionism is Judaism’s witch hunts or Spanish inquisition…

  18. shabnam said on November 20th, 2010 at 12:36pm #

    hayate:

    Apparently you have neither followed the News nor have reviewed the link included with my previous post, thus, you cannot follow what is going on. According to the news:
    Russia appears ready to join forces with NATO in a variety of ways that will aid ISAF in the short term, but will also make a 2011 withdrawal easier to achieve.

    In the short term, Russia has been asked to allow US and NATO convoys to transport fuel, weapons and ammunition to the front-lines — a much needed alternative to the route through Pakistan, where recently many such conveys have been attacked and destroyed. This, if it’s agreed upon, helps the current war-effort by the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).

    So, Russia is going to join the war criminals and the occupational forces. Russian’s role has created worriness in some circles including Pravda. It is obvious that you did not read the link I included:

    [http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/11036]

    {Officials or ‘experts’ in China or Russia sometimes say it is “only practical” or “realistic” to go along with U.S., measures aimed at world domination, because ‘we need them’ as trade partners or for other reasons.
    But if we in Russia, China, India, Pakistan and other emerging countries fail to robustly oppose such U.S. dominance, we will in the end reap a bitter harvest. That harvest is prefigured by the dramatic expansion of Nato into Russias’ backyard in Eastern Europe, by the growing military encirclement of China by U.S. military bases and navel activities, and by much else. The harvest will come when, if we fail to stand up now, our turn comes to accept the U.S. dictate or see our countries threatened, sanctioned, or even attacked.}

    Furthermore, you have no knowledge of the history regarding Iranian-Russian relations, then are not able to learn from the past to remember the vicious policy of Russia, which was based on expansionist ambicion in the Muslim and other countries of the region.
    World opinion poll shows that Russians are second, after Americans, who are anti Palestinians, pro Judeofascists against Arabs. This poll can be found on the Internet.
    Furthermore, please read my previous post and review “the Stalin- Hitler pact” to see that this kind of secret dealings that divide the region among ‘great power’ may repeat itself, therefore, Iranians will make sure that whoever has eyes on partition of Iran will be WIPE OFF THE MAP OF THE REGION.
    The Iranian people were the victim of this kind of secret agreements among imperialists, Britain and Soviet Union in the past, where Iran was divided I into two spheres of influence, the North reserved for Russia, and the South for Britain during the WWII, 60 years ago, where Russia intended to grab Azerbaijan to be added to her other stolen land of Muslims.
    Russia in 18th and 19th centuries waged war against Iran, like the criminal US today, and carved many territories out of Iranian territories.

    The criminal state of Russia used Iran trump card to gain many concession via Judeofascist zionist lobby, in return Russia postpone the completion of Bushehr reactor for more than eleven fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuing years.
    They also canceled S300, a defensive system, where was signed in 2005 to please the Judeofascists and voted for the illegal sanctions against Iran multiple times.
    Iranian people repeatedly said: DOWN WITH RUSSIA. Iranians do not want Russians to remain in Iran and Iranians want these spies out of the country. Russians want a base in Iran to be closer to the Persian Gulf where will never get it.
    It is not necessary for you to defend a country who is not ashamed to confess openly that Russia gives more value to her relations with the war criminals than Iran to protect her interest. Who are you that trying to hide the destructive role of Russia in the region and the world?

    You should read the history of Iran – Russia relations to understand the suffering of Iranian people at the hand of the brutal Russians.

  19. shabnam said on November 20th, 2010 at 1:08pm #

    {Al Qaeda now in Gaza, with Hamas. Did you know that or is that to your liking?}

    Take you lies, that are copied from Mossad propaganda, somewhere else.
    NO AL-QAEDA ever existed. Al Qaeda is CIA and Mossad, but killing the Palestinian toddlers with phosphorous bombs is a FACT THAT NO FOOL FROM MOSSAD can deny. No one can ignore multiple war crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity, according to Goldstone, committed by Israel any longer, then ICC, a western tool, must go after war real criminals in Washington, occupied land and Britain to be credible otherwise people continue to ignore zionist’s puppet, ICC, until its destruction.

  20. Don Hawkins said on November 20th, 2010 at 1:19pm #

    one or more nuts among the sane what the heck are you talking about things that are the truth we are told are lies and the lies we are told is the truth. It sure seems things are well backwards now a few I guess find this out and join the club so to speak because it’s a great way to make money for at least a little while longer.

  21. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 1:32pm #

    hayate:

    “Apparently you have neither followed the News nor have reviewed the link included with my previous post, thus, you cannot follow what is going on. According to the news:
    Russia appears ready to join forces with NATO in a variety of ways that will aid ISAF in the short term, but will also make a 2011 withdrawal easier to achieve.

    In the short term, Russia has been asked to allow US and NATO convoys to transport fuel, weapons and ammunition to the front-lines — a much needed alternative to the route through Pakistan, where recently many such conveys have been attacked and destroyed. This, if it’s agreed upon, helps the current war-effort by the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).

    So, Russia is going to join the war criminals and the occupational forces. Russian’s role has created worriness in some circles including Pravda. It is obvious that you did not read the link I included:”

    [http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/11036]

    That article says nothing of what you wrote there. No where in that article does it claim the Russians are about to allow the israeloamericans to use their country to transport war materials to Afghanistan. You lied about what is in the article. What israeli hasbarats repeatedly do is post something and misrepresent what is in it as support for their propaganda. That is exactly what you did there, shaby. You misrepresent every “source” you post that I have checked. I stopped bothering a while back and only did so here so I could document here how you are lying and twisting material to support your israeli hasbara.

    You know, it’s a pity your hole digging services were not available to the Chilians recently. You’re quite adept at it and no doubt those miners could have been rescued weeks sooner had you been on the digging team.

    ;D

  22. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 1:39pm #

    BTW, shabys, I notice you managed to avoid posting after the one recent Iran related article. The one about the warhead plans stitch-up the zionists did. Guess there was no way to work in a an israeli hasbara smear of China or Russia from that one. ;D Plus, since the crime was done by zionists, best not to draw any further attention to it, eh.

  23. Don Hawkins said on November 20th, 2010 at 1:47pm #

    bring monotheism to the world. How is that going so far and for me if you don’t mind of course am a believer in something called free thought. I have these thoughts on the known Universe and yes it’s a hard job but somebody has to do it.

  24. bozh said on November 20th, 2010 at 2:43pm #

    it is not true that hebrews were chosen by anyone but their priests for also victimhood and victimizing other people.
    present robbers and occupiers of palestina r an admixture of hundreds nonshemitic peoples.

    that fact alone wld doom chosen victims like russians, yemenis, iraqis, et al now inhabiting another people’s land.
    most of the white ‘jews’ r busy robbing wealthy lands. tnx

  25. Don Hawkins said on November 20th, 2010 at 2:57pm #

    If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
    Albert Einstein

    I am neither Jew nor Gentile, Mahomedan nor Theist; I am but a member of the human family.
    Frances Wright

    It’s not the economy stupid it’s the Earth stupid.
    unknown author

  26. Deadbeat said on November 20th, 2010 at 4:11pm #

    From Shabnam’s article …

    It seems that the former Cold-War adversaries have been drawn together by the common threat of Islamist terrorism as much as concerns about the flow of heroin from Afghanistan in all directions, including to Russian cities.

    This cannot be a good development. If this is how the Russians thinks then in the long run the Zionists will cut their throat.

  27. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 5:44pm #

    shabnam said on November 20th, 2010 at 2:09pm

    “This News is everywhere in the media, how come you don’t know about the news?
    Here is the article babbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbby

    [http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/299469]”

    You really are a shameless phoney. You didn’t post the link to that article, but the one to this one:

    [http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/11036]

    Keep digging that hole, israeli.

    The israeloamericans have been asking Russia to give permission to transport war material through their territory for years. The Russians have so far denied them this, though several times in the past your zionist corporate media have said the Russians OK’d the transport. We’ll see what happens this time around, I guess at the end of the month.

  28. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 6:05pm #

    Deadbeat

    “This cannot be a good development. If this is how the Russians thinks then in the long run the Zionists will cut their throat.”

    The Russian involvement in Afghanistan has been smack related. They’ve been working with the Afghans and nato to curb export of this item into Russia and neighbouring countries. In Russia alone, heroin kills 30,000 annually now. This is direct result of zionist control of Russia during the yeltsin years. That’s when the Jewish mafia got it’s hooks in Russia. The zionists already did cut the Russian’s throat back in the 90′s. I doubt the Russians are going to let it happen again. Beyond the anti-drug training and collaboration, I’ve yet to see anything in the Russian media about Russia actively helping the israeloamericans fight in Afghanistan. Were the Russian guv to actively get involved in the fighting, especially with Russian troops, it would probably kill whatever politician’s career that ordered it. The Russian people are extremely antiwar, like 10x that of americans, literally, especially with regard to Afghanistan. That war killed to USSR due to Russian antiwar sentiments.

  29. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 6:18pm #

    Here you go:

    Russia opens overland transit for ISAF

    Nov 21, 2010 00:51 Moscow Time

    Russia has agreed to allow overland transit of nonlethal cargoes for the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.

    Briefing the media in Lisbon on Saturday, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would give more help to the Afghan people.

    “We are ready for across the board economic cooperation and I hope this interaction will gain strength during the Afghan President’s visit to Moscow in January,” Medvedev said.

    [http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/11/21/35350919.html]

    The Russians have allowed non lethal cargos on and off all along. Nothing new there.

    More:

    “Afghanistan

    Russia and NATO have completed negotiations on drafting an agreement allowing the alliance to carry supplies to and from Afghanistan across the Russian territory, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

    The Lisbon Summit Declaration welcomed “the new extended arrangements offered by Russia to facilitate ISAF transit to and from Afghanistan.”

    The new deal on the so-called reverse transit will allow NATO to ship armored vehicles and other equipment from Afghanistan back to Europe by the same route through Central Asia and Russia.

    The bloc already uses routes through Russia and neighboring Central Asian states but current arrangements allow only for the transport of non-lethal supplies such as food and fuel.”

    NATO, Russia embark on new era of cooperation (WRAPUP)

    [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20101120/161425965.html]

    IE: nato can withdraw their military rubbish through Russian territory, but the may not use the route to bring in more lethal material. It facilitates the withdrawal of nato from Afghanistan, but not the introduction of new nato hardware.

  30. shabnam said on November 20th, 2010 at 6:42pm #

    You are not able to analyze, period. The Russian have been using Iran card to earn concession through ISRAEL LOBBY, from the United States. This in fact was Israel’s idea like what they did with India. The following link is from Pravda where they expressed their concern about the cooperation of Russia and China with the war criminals, US and ISRAEL. If you cannot extract basics from these articles, then I am not going to waste

    [http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/11036]

    my time to explain further.
    THE BOTTOM LINE IS: RUSSIA and TURKEY HAS JOINED WAR CRIMINALS to receive the missile Shield defense system in thre country. Of course, Turkey first said that WE WILL NEVER ALLOW THAT, but any fool knows they say these rubbish first to bring the bar HIGHER to be able to squeeze more benefit for their services. Russia and China always said we don’t agree with more sanction, but the history shows THEY ARE NOTHING BUT LIARS. They say these rubbish to squeeze more concessions.

    Russia is to join with NATO soon to create a front against IRAN, like WWII, all including the Soviet Union worked together against Hitler Germany. Now, these war criminals, including RUSSIA, have turned Iran into Germany and Islam has been substituted for Nazi.

    I am sorry that you are not able to understand these simple facts. The situation has turned for the worse since Russia has agreed to cooperate with NATO on the missile shield defense system.

    Zionist plutocracy has penetrated Russia. Russia is going after her interest, so they view cooperation with US and Israel against Iran is in their interest. They might have already divided Iran into different sphere of influence, we don’t know. Iranian people never trust Russia and Dr. Ahmadinejad has already told Russia that Russia has sold Iran for her interest.
    The following link shows that your president has already kissed the Zionist’s behind.
    {http://farm1.static.flickr.com/232/499076712_c75990e3e5.jpg}

    It was Zionazis’s policy to bring Russia and US closer so they cooperate with Israel and US against Iran and ‘Islam’.

    [http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/lieberman-u-s-to-accept-any-israeli-policy-decision-1.274590]

    {Lieberman granted his first major interview to Alexander Rosensaft, the Israel correspondent of one of the oldest Russian dailies, not to an Israeli newspaper. The role of Israel is to “bring the U.S. and Russia closer,” he declared.}
    Read the following link with google translator:
    [http://www.shahbazi.org/blog/Archive/8902.htm#Melamed_Russia_Mafia]

  31. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 6:57pm #

    Oops, forgot a part of the sentence:

    If Russia is one of your zionist allies, why are your people bombing Russians at random, if they are your allies?

  32. kalidas said on November 20th, 2010 at 7:10pm #

    “yet more evidence that russia is totally under israel’s thumb”

    http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/yet-more-evidence-that-russia-is-totally-under-israels-thumb/

  33. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 7:58pm #

    You should have posted this one instead:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/avi_abrams/499076712/sizes/o/]

    It was the one right out there in front on a google image search. Why did you chose such an obscure source of the photo instead of this one? But I think this one is a better shot of the occasion. One can see how thrilled putin is with this diplomatic formality:

    [http://englishrussia.com/images/putin_shadows/1.jpg]

    :D

  34. hayate said on November 21st, 2010 at 8:01pm #

    The zionist in action:

    PM asks for Pollard’s release as part of freeze deal

    [http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=196093]

    Good thing son of sam was not being employed by israel.

    Or was he…..

  35. kalidas said on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:54pm #

    “As you probably have noticed, the good folks at Iraq-war.ru have for quite some time been treating Putin and Medvedev with the same contempt that we generally treat Obama, Clinton, etc., and for exactly the same reason: they are convinced that Putin and Medvedev, like Obama and Clinton, are bought-and-sold Jewish and zionist pawns. And both in the Russian and in the USAian cases, ‘Jewish’ and ‘zionist’ do not precisely coincide, since being sold out to Judaism expresses itself by submission to the usurious system of global finance, which bankrupts both countries, whereas being sold out to zionism expresses itself in submission to Israel-centric foreign policy, which destroys their international relations.”
    _Niqnaq

  36. bozh said on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:07pm #

    well, if one calls it theft of land then ‘jews’ own in it. all ‘jews’? well, that i don’t know! venturing a guess: 9,999/permille [pm] support the theft of land and deny ROR. ok, it is only a guess; welcoming others’. tnx

  37. hayate said on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:09pm #

    kalidas said on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:54pm #

    “As you probably have noticed, the good folks at Iraq-war.ru have for quite some time been treating Putin and Medvedev with the same contempt that we generally treat Obama, Clinton, etc., and for exactly the same reason: they are convinced that Putin and Medvedev, like Obama and Clinton, are bought-and-sold Jewish and zionist pawns. And both in the Russian and in the USAian cases, ‘Jewish’ and ‘zionist’ do not precisely coincide, since being sold out to Judaism expresses itself by submission to the usurious system of global finance, which bankrupts both countries, whereas being sold out to zionism expresses itself in submission to Israel-centric foreign policy, which destroys their international relations.” _Niqnaq”

    Interesting. I had not thought about that iraqwar.ru site in quite a while. Back in 2003, it was a decent source for finding news pieces, but it’s changed hands a couple of times since then and has been completely changed. Both in its general politics and the sort of articles posted there and also in the type of people who hang around on it. Also, it is no longer Russian in any real sense. Currently it is an israeli “honey-pot” site that caters to white supremacists. And western white supremacists and sayanim are mostly what hang around there now, at least from around 2006 on. A lot of the posted articles and commentary come from western far right white supremacist sites. Though they did still post up some good stuff, and material, from normal sources that was actually quite informative, last time I checked – hence the “honey-pot”. Many of the comment writers there since 2006 or so are white supremacist site regulars. I’m guessing the current purpose of the site is to lure in white supremacists, who are also anti-zionist and to do a bit of data mining on them for israeli sources.

    It’s not a safe site to browse, something I learned back around 2007. While browsing iraqwar one evening, one of my computer security programmes picked up something attempting to change security settings on my computer and asked if I would OK the changes. To be certain, a few days later I again tried browsing that site, and again, the same thing happened. Whether I was specifically targeted (I had criticised some of the bigots on the site) or they were attempting to access everyone’s computer who browsed the site, I don’t know.

    I had no idea the guy who hosts that niqnaq blog was a regular at iraqwar.ru. That’s interesting. I wonder how long he’s been there and if he’s one the ones I criticised there. :D This same guy would try and push the envelope at mondoweiss to see what sort of subtle antisemitic trolls he could swing before wiess or somebody else caught on. I noticed in the last week both shabnam and kalidas have posted blurbs to this niqnaq blogger/troll’s site. That’s also interesting.

    I wonder which other anti-zionist sites this guy has been trolling to get his kicks at…or whatever else it is that he’s working at with them.

    BTW, opinions gathered from iraqwar commenters about putin or meds would be about as valid as those about obama from fans of david duke.

    (hint – editors…)