Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Religion Is Gone, But The Prejudice Remains

In an otherwise good post by JE Holman, contributor on Debunking Christianity I found the following objectionable statement:

"I'm afraid of our nation having to one day face greater difficulties because of religiously influenced leaders and commanders who feel compelled to put our soldiers in harm's way out of the Christian compulsion to keep helping the Jews fight their wars, while it costs the lives of our boys in green."

To which I replied:

"You may not realize it, but your charge of the US fighting wars for the Jews is highly offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth, and this is the last place I expected to see a typical anti-semetic blood libel. If you are the open-minded skeptic that you claim to be, you wouldn't believe all of the claims you hear from the left without investigation."

I was rather surprised at the answer that I recieved from Mr. Holman. Instead of a honest quest for knowledge and clarification, I got a very defensive diatribe full of christian prejudice.
The following is his response, with my own thoughts interspersed in blue.

First, I am no leftist. I'm not a rightist either. I am a staunch independent. Second, I have a decent grasp of political knowledge, nothing to brag about, but decent.

This is true, if decent means almost no knowledge of middle east politics.

I research everything I write before I write it. If I am found to be wrong, I'll gladly stand corrected.

Good, I'll look forward to your retraction.

The reference you are taking offense to was a small side point in my article, and a summation of a fact about what motivates America -- Christian religion. Christianity was being faulted, not Judaism.

I never claimed that Judaism was being faulted, only that you make an unfounded accusation of the Jewish people.

Whether it's in the past or present, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam end up creating factions and wars. Always has been this way.The very reason you are taking issue with this is because your people are in a religious holy war over land and religion.

Obviouly, you understand nothing about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is a secular democracy, not a theocratic state. Its founders were mostly secular Jews. The secular government of Israel has no religious agenda, it has only the security of its citizens in mind. Israel has demonstrated in the past that it has been willing to give up land for peace.

It should sicken you.

What sickens me is the venomous hatred and callous disregard for life of the Arab/Islamic terrorists.

Third, I am no where close to anti-semitic.

I'll bet that some of your best friends are Jewish.

It's just that you guys tend to see everything as anti-semitic.

"You guys"? I've heard that before.

It sounds like a classic projection of the old Persecution Complex. You know, in this stupid, paranoid day and age, even if you don't like rap, you're basically a racist! Get off persecution and racism claims. They've lost their power because everyone has abused them.

Perhaps you are right. Just because a third of my people were mudered just 60 years ago, and Iran is currently threatening six million Jews in Israel today is no cause for alarm. I guess I am just too sensitive.

Fourth, the US is fighting Jewish wars for them in some very real ways. At least, that's what it amounts to. By talking about fighting the Jew's wars for them, I was talking about the US's Christian compulsion to support and help Jewish causes because of Jesus and their belief that he is returning to re-establish the Kingdom on Earth, save the Jewish people...the throne of David...etc. Just listen to John Hagee, who represents most of orthodox Christianity on this.

Silly me, I thought that the US was fighting wars to protect itself from terrorism.

I catch the Dennis Prager and Michael Medved shows quite often, and callers call in vouching for the need to bless and help Israel financially and otherwise.

Dennis Prager and Michael Medved are christian ass-kissers. Their views do not represent the majority of Jews. They are pandering to a christian audience.

I heard a commercial about this very subject just the other day. Tons of campaigns are being run with these goals in mind.

It must be the vast Jewish conspiracy at work again.

You can't even turn on TBN without all those religious commercials about cruises to the Holy Land with Pastor so-and-so. You don't think all this influences American thought and war motives, especially when some profit is involved (aka "oil")??? You don't think Bush's "God told me to invade Iraq" thinking had something to do with this??? Think again, my friend.

No sir, it is you that needs to think again. If the US was really fighting a war for Israel, why didn't it fight Iran which is a much greater threat to Israel, or the palestinian terrorists which are the most immediate threat?

I once published an article by an Orthodox Jew when I was editor of the College Hill Counselor on how much Christians have done for Judaism, and that's why, he said, all Jews should praise the US's efforts.This obsession saturates our leadership and filters down into their decisions. We've done so much in those holy land disputes, I couldn't list it all here. Israel and the US are superclose allies for obvious religious reasons.

Yet another myth perpetrated by the anti-semitic left.
Israel and the US are allies because Israel is the only stable democratic state in the region that guarantees rights for all its citizens regardless of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. In fact, it is the only state in the region in which women are not second class citizens, and in which homosexuality is not a criminal offense.
Israel has been a bastion of freedom in the region during the years of the cold war, and today fights for the same freedoms that Americans hold dear (and take for granted).
We are always discussing sanctions and other consequences for totalitarian and human rights abusing nations. Should we not support a nation that has democratic freedoms? Especially in that part of the world?

I think you realize this and only take offense to the part about Israel needing the help to fight off those Islamic savages over there. I cant help that.

Israel has been far more successful than the US in fighting terorism. Except for US soldiers supervising patriot missiles during the first Gulf war, no US soldier has ever fought for Israel. In fact, there have been many instances in which the US has hindered the military progress of Israel.

Aside from basic surveilance to watch for growth of terrorist training camps and weapons of mass destruction (as all nations should be concerned with to a degree), being over there and supporting these efforts is none of our government's business. My nation's leader talking about putting democracy to the savages involves us in a war that has been dressed up to be about a lot of other things than what it really is about: religion and oil. Christianity plays a tremendous part in this and gets many of our people killed. That was my point. Superstition, as it always has done, ends up promoting hatred and war. I wish it weren't so.

It seems like you can take the man out of the church, but it is harder to take the church out of the man. Many of your prejudices about Jews come from the same church that you have so noisily rejected. Israel is not full of Sadducees and Pharisees running around in robes, and Jews are by no means monolithic in their opinions regarding Israel, religion or anything else. Many non-religious Jews are very nationalistic, and there are many ultra-orthodox religious Jews that vehemently oppose the state of Israel. If you read my writing you will see that I am no great fan of christianity, and I don't care for any type of religious fundamentalism. On this we agree. My point is this: to say that the US is fighting and dying for Jewish interests is irresponsible and dangerous. Our people have been killed in the past for far lesser claims.

Addendum: Shortly after I published this post, Mr. Holman wrote a comment apologizing for any offense. It would seem that Mr. Holman is a man of integrity with a truly open mind. While we don't need to agree on everything, Mr. Holman has demonstrated that his ego does not stand in the way of his knowledge, and that is very impressive indeed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Does Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism?

In the past several years I have heard the same nauseating complaint over and over again:

"If I criticize the State of Israel, I am automatically accused of anti-semitism"

This claim has been made by many, including Arabs, Europeans, Leftists, and even some Jews!

For those who are suddenly so concerned about being labeled an anti-semite, simply ask yourself the following question: Do you in any way criticize Israel's right to defend her citizens? If you do then you are an anti-semite, plain and simple.