Saturday, January 31, 2009

Open Letter to Noor Ali

On January 30, 2009, the Ann Arbor News published an op-ed piece by Noor Ali entitled "In crisis, humanity should unite us." This open letter is a response to that op-ed. It is published here at the request of the author.

Dear Noor Ali:

In the Ann Arbor News, you write about Tamar Weaver, "a Jewish Israeli American who attends the Beth Israel Congregation" and her "concern for humanity." If Tamar Weaver has a "concern for humanity" then why is she a member of the Beth Israel Congregation where they affirm "without any hesitation or equivocation the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state," where they send their children to Israel and pose them with armed Israeli soldiers, and where the Rabbi explains to the congregation how to justify torture under Jewish religious law?

Noor, how about supporting the call by 171 Palestinian civil society organizations for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international humanitarian law? How about respecting the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel by boycotting and protesting the Israeli apartheid dance company coming to Ann Arbor in two weeks. See how long Tamar Weaver and her pals stay friends and in dialogue with you if you come out strongly in favor of those two nonviolent Palestinian campaigns (to see why it is wrong to have dialogue with Zionists read "When Dialogue is NOT our Hope" by Joseph Phelps in the Mennonite Conciliation Service's journal, Conciliation Quarterly).

You write that an "ongoing peace" lies in "mutual dialogue and respectful, honest and difficult negotiation." And you invoke the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. The Rev. King didn't spend a whole lot of his time in dialogue groups with KKK members and their sympathizers. Zionism is every bit as racist as the KKK's ideology ever was and Zionists have undoubtedly killed, maimed, and immiserated far more people. Most, probably all, of your Jewish friends in the Common Ground for Peace for Palestine and Israel task force (which replaced a task force that supported BDS) are Zionists, i.e. they support a Jewish state in +78% of Palestine.

No, the Rev. King wasn't focused on dialogue; rather, he organized and participated in direct action campaigns to confront racism and it supporters. Now, the Rev. King did engage in negotiation but his negotiation was not for negotiation's sake but it was based on making demands for justice. What demands are you making in the Common Ground task force? Here's something he wrote in the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" about the relationship between negotiation and direct action:
You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. ...
There are millions of Palestinians and their descendants living in forced exile from their homeland. 78% of Palestine was violently occupied in 1948 and the rest was occupied in 1967. So, my question to you is what are you doing to "create such a crisis and foster such a tension" that Americans can no longer ignore and silently abet the US government's wholesale support of Palestinian dispossession and misery? Are you working "to create a situation so crisis-packed" in the Common Ground task force, the ICPJ, or Ann Arbor that people will be compelled to accept and work for the just demands of the BDS campaign for full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end to the occupation of the lands seized in 1967, and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN GA Resolution 194? If not then I suppose that Frederick Douglass described you aptly more than 150 years ago:
If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Perhaps, you think I am an extremist. If so, I would wear the title proudly. Here's what the Rev. King had to say in the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" on that subject:
But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?
Noor, I hope you will aspire to be an extremist for love and for the extension of justice. The Rev. King didn't get labelled as such an extremist by engaging in interminable dialogue with White racists and their sympathizers and neither will you earn such a privilege by engaging in interminable dialogue with Zionists and their sympathizers.


Michelle J. Kinnucan

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Four Cities Now to Protest Batsheva Dance Company

Reposted from Next Year in al-Quds:

Four Cities Now to Protest Batsheva Dance Company

Their tour hasn't even started yet but protests against the Israeli apartheid Batsheva Dance Company are now planned or in the works in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Vancouver, and Pittsburgh.
There's still time to sign the e-letter to UMS and you don't have to live in Michigan or Ann Arbor to take a stand against Israeli apartheid. Please sign today.

Send UMS an E-Letter--Boycott the Israeli Apartheid Dance Troupe

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Send UMS an E-Letter--Boycott the Israeli Apartheid Dance Troupe

Reposted from Next Year in al-Quds:

Send UMS an E-Letter--Boycott the Israeli Apartheid Dance Troupe


No Dancing on Gaza's Graves--Boycott the Batsheva Dance Troupe

Please ask Executive Director Ken Fischer and members of the Board of Directors of the University Musical Society (UMS) of Ann Arbor, Michigan to honor the Palestinian people's boycott against Israel by canceling the Batsheva Dance Company performances scheduled for February14-15, 2009, and by endings all scheduling of Israeli performers until such time as the boycott against Israel is ended by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee.

The Batsheva Dance Company is funded by the Israeli government, it has no Arab performers, and is "proud to be considered Israel's leading ambassador." Ohad Naharin, the dance company's director, is an Israeli army veteran and current Israeli soldiers/reservists also belong to the company.

To send an e-letter to Ken Fischer and UMS Board members asking them to cancel the upcoming performance go to

Please plan to join us outside to nonviolently protest the performances unless the UMS cancels them. The protest is sponsored by the Middle East Task Force with support from Michigan Peace Team, Home for Peace and Justice, MidEast JustPeace, and Newaygo County People for Peace.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Anna Baltzer in Syria

The text below is from a report by the Syrian state news agency and my comments appear in italics:
American human rights activist Anna Baltzer, who participated in the march [in Damascus], described what is going on in Gaza as "insane…there are no words that can describe the situation there…I was very much affected by what I saw on TV screens."

PM: Really? I can think of some words to describe the situation: war crimes, slaughter, massacre, atrocities, genocide.

She added that she published a book titled "Witness in Palestine" documenting her diaries of the Israeli human rights abuses committed by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people, and calling on her country to change its policies in the Middle East and pressure Israel to change its hostile behavior.

PM: How nice to work in a plug for the book and how perfectly quaint to argue for the US to "pressure Israel". Why not go for the whole enchilada--a full cutoff of US diplomatic recognition and support and of US military and financial assistance? As Ben-Gurion observed, it's not a dream if you make it real.

Ms. Baltzer said that many Americans reject Israeli exercises against the Palestinians, adding that also many other Americans don't know what is really taking place on spot.

PM: What purpose and whose interests are served by telling Arabs that "many Americans reject Israeli exercises ..." when the vast majority of Americans passively or actively support Israel? Wouldn't it would be better if Ms. Baltzer had lent her support to growing calls to boycott Israel and the United States rather than make excuses for Americans?

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Tovah Shalom Strikes Again

Who knew Tovah Shalom was a rabbi? She even calls the Jewish slaughter in Gaza a Hanukkah Massacre. Oy!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

'Tovah Shalom' Writes to an IDF Soldier

Those dear hearts at Chabad House have provided a service to us all--an opportunity to write to an IDF soldier. Here's the message that "Tovah Shalom" sent recently:
Dear Soldier:

Please stop your complicity in the war crimes of the Jewish apartheid state. Refuse to fight. Go home and work for justice, democracy, and equality in all of Palestine for everyone including the Palestinian refugees from 1948, only when that is achieved can there be peace. Stop believing the lies of your leaders and rabbis.

Tovah Shalom
Here's the message she got back:

From ""
Date 01/15/2009, 09:52:31 AM
Subject Thank You For Showing Your Solidarity!

Dear Tovah Shalom,

Thank you so much for submitting an encouraging letter along with a personal picture to be submitted to an IDF soldier/Israeli citizen living under the threat of rocket attacks.

The delight of the soldiers/Israelis receiving these letters is really something to behold. Their hearts are warmed by the knowledge that so many people really care so deeply about their plight.

Jewish unity is the greatest conduit for G-d’s blessings. Seeing the amazing outpouring of love and care increases our faith and confidence that G-d will protect the citizens of the Holy Land, and we will soon see the fulfillment of the promise (Leviticus 26:5-6): “You will live in security in your land, and I will grant peace in the Land.”

If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us at:

P.S. Click below to see continuing coverage of the Gaza War: news, commentary, first-person reports and more:

Click here to send your own message to an IDF soldier.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Joel Finkel Whistles Past the Graveyard

Poor old Joel Finkel of the Chicago chapter of the openly Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), was reduced, once again, to sputtering nonsense by a fellow Jew who speaks the truth about Jews and Palestine.

Back in 2005, when Chicago JVP was still called Not In My Name, Finkel had a conniption over Paul Eisen's essay "Jewish Power." Finkel was so mentally impaired by that bout with the truth that, among other things, he was apparently rendered incapable of understanding that "a single state 'between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, one country with equal citizenship for all' " is fully compatible with Palestinian "national aspirations." Palestinians--not including millions of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and elsewhere--already comprise a demographic majority 'between the river and the sea' and it is Jewish opposition to equality and democracy that comprises the primary obstacle to the realization of Palestinian national aspirations.

Recently, Finkel was set to frothing over the 12-27-08 vigil report from Henry Herskovitz of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends. On January 3rd on the Chicago JVP e-mail list Finkel writes:
Henry is a reactionary fool. As a critic of the vigils outside the synagogue during Sabbath services, I never claimed that these desecrated the Sabbath. The issue is that the message that is given to the public is that Jews--­religious Jews­--are guilty of the crimes of the Israeli government. This message is false and incites anti-Jewish sentiment, which is exactly what it is designed to do.
In fact "Jews-religious Jews" are guilty of Israeli government crimes especially those Jews in the Israeli government but also those who freely lend their support to the Jewish apartheid state. According to a poll conducted by an Israeli organization, 95% of Israeli Jews support the Hanukkah Massacre in Gaza and you can bet that includes a lot of religious Jews and reflects the attitude of, probably, millions of American Jews.

The synagogue that JWPF holds vigil in front of has publicly declared itself in support of Israel. In 2006, as Israel devastated Lebanon, killing hundreds and wounding thousands, Beth Israel waved the flag (Israeli, that is) and prayed "for those who defend Israel and for the three kidnapped soldiers." Beth Israel attendees have assaulted JWPF members because of their criticism of Israel. Like Finkel, Beth Israel spreads lies about the vigils. They send their children to Israel and pose them with armed Israeli soldiers. And Rabbi Dobrusin has offered a halachic justification of torture from the bima. Yet, to Finkel, none of this justifies public protest.

Are all Jews guilty of Israel's crimes? Of course not, and JWPF has never claimed otherwise. The blanket guilt is the phantom of Finkel's fevered imagination.

Finkel continues:
Secondly, Henry believes that anyone who, in any way, speaks of solidarity with Israelis is necessarily a Zionist. This is a right-wing view that betrays a deep-seated loathing for international solidarity. It is a view that is as reactionary as Zionism itself. It is of little wonder that Henry’s group is widely despised within the Palestinian community in the Detroit area.
The question I've heard Henry ask again and again is "Do you support Israel's claimed right to exist as a Jewish state?" That is Henry's test: Do you support an outlaw, exclusivist apartheid regime? I remember the American movement in support of the struggle against South African apartheid and the internationalist position is the same now as it was then--solidarity with the oppressed, not with the oppressor class. In the 1980s people of conscience supported the Azanian/Black South African people and today's internationalists stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Henry is a living example of such solidarity, which is why he has hosted visiting Palestinians (and anti-Zionist Jewish Israelis) in his home.

As for "Henry's group" being despised, sure, some Palestinians probably despise JWPF because it shows them up as compromised defeatists. But when opponents of the vigils waged public campaigns against JWPF they couldn't find a single Palestinian, other Arab, or Muslim individual or group to publicly oppose the vigils. And four months ago when the Arab American News profiled JWPF none of Finkel's imagined "Palestinian community" members had anything to say against them.

Finkel writes:
As for me, I was proud to carry a sign, which read "Solidarity with the families of Gaza and Sderot," at our demonstrations in Chicago. A Palestinian man, who had spent 20 months in Israeli prisons before being deported, asked if he could help me carry the sign. The only people who objected were the right-wing Hamas supporters, who surrounded us and tried to intimidate us with chants of "God is Great," "Long live Hamas," "Long live Hezbollah," and "Down with Israel." But, as we expected, the overwhelming Palestinian response was to thank us for being there.
It was undoubtedly people like Finkel whom Emerson had in mind when he wrote: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Finkel is proud to equate the situation of Gazans with that of the colonizers in Sderot as if that grotesquerie made sense anywhere but in the racism-addled minds of Finkel and his ilk or to a few broken, desperate Palestinians abasing themselves for crumbs fallen from the master's table. Of course, as an Arab friend points out, it is possible that Finkel has also exploited and distorted, for his own political agenda, simple expressions of kindness and generosity, the type for which Palestinians are renowned. That is, Finkel has solipsistically spun a charitable indulgence of his absurd comparison into a ringing endorsement of it.

As in an earlier paragraph, Finkel invokes "right-wing" as a sort of bogeyman. I mean, who else would say "God is great," uphold Hamas and Hizbullah, or worst of all say, "Down with Israel"? No, poor old Joel Finkel has drunk so much Trotskyist-Zionist kool-aid that the can't even imagine that progressives might express solidarity with such popular (and in the case of Hamas, democratically elected) indigenous liberation movements as Hamas and Hizbullah, let alone denounce the blessed Jewish state. It is a measure of the decrepitude of the American Left that, when it comes to Hamas and Hizbullah, they are mostly on the same side as the US government.

Finkel closes as follows:
In the end, Henry’s little group, which has successfully isolated itself from the Peace and Justice movement, will not even be a footnote in history. And that is just fine with me.

/Joel Finkel

Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago
American Jews for a Just Peace
It's clear that Finkel is whistling past the graveyard here. His deepest fear is that Israel is headed for the garbage heap of history and that JWPF is playing a small but significant role in hastening that inevitable conclusion and exposing Jewish complicity in the crimes of Zion.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

95% of Israeli Jews Support Hanukkah Massacre

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting:
Israel's deadly "Operation Cast Lead," unleashed against Hamas on Saturday in retaliation for persistent rocket fire from its Gaza stronghold, is enjoying massive support among Jewish Israelis, the poll found.

Some 95 per cent of Jews among those questioned for the poll support the offensive - one of Israel's deadliest in Gaza in decades - with 80 per cent backing the bombardment without reserve.

The poll was carried out by the Teleseker institute among a sample of 800 Israelis, both Arab and Jewish. The pollsters gave a margin of error of 2 per cent.
This is consistent with a Judaic culture of death and is reminiscent of the fact that Israelis lead the world in their support of torture, according to a 2006 BBC poll.

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Readers Respond to "Israel's Hanukkah Massacre & Judaism's Culture of Death"

All of the reader responses to Israel's Hanukkah Massacre & Judaism's Culture of Death discussed below came to me by e-mail.

Here's the first one I got from a Muslim friend:
I'm emailing you from Arizona. Weather is perfect over here.

I don't know enough about Jewish law and Israel's history to know about this, but is it possible that Israel is to Jewish law what Saudi Arabia, for example, is to Islam? So Saudi Arabia gives a bad image of Islam by misinterpreting Sharia and prohibiting women from driving etc. There is no shortage of Muslims who misapply Sharia law i.e. Al-Qaeda types who take a verse from the Quran to mean that Muslims should kill "infidels" wherever they find them. And Taliban types who find in Islam a justification for prohibiting girls from attending school. Or Christians who find justification in the Bible for attacking abortion clinics or burning witches at the stake. You know what I mean. The examples are countless.

As the Neturei Karta would argue, Zionism and Judaism are polar opposites, so is it also possible that Israel misapplies halacha and that "authentic" Judaism is innocent from Zionism's crimes?
Here's the response I sent a couple of days ago:
It's about 25 degrees here--happy? ;-)

As to your question, to an important extent I think religion is as religion does and religion says. So, I don't think I can tell anyone what "authentic" Judaism is nor can the Saudi family tell us what "authentic" Islam is nor can the Neturei Karta tell us what "authentic" Judaism is. Ditto for Christianity. What I think we have to do is consider what is actually being done by the adherents of those religions. Thus, when I have written about Judaism I never insist that I am writing about "authentic" Judaism. I may quote someone else who makes that claim but it is up to the reader to evaluate such claims.

To get more concrete, let's look at Zionism and Judaism. As you have noted, Neturei Karta would argue they "are polar opposites" but the evidence suggests that the vast majority of adherents of Judaism disagree. The main bodies of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism have all explicitly endorsed Zionism in practice, if not in name, that is they all support Israel as a Jewish state in Palestine. The same is true of the smaller Reconstructionist and Secular Humanist movements. But it is not for me to say whether or not that represents "authentic" Judaism.

You ask, "is it ... possible that 'authentic' Judaism is innocent from Zionism's crimes." My short answer is yes but what is "authentic" Judaism? Who gets to decide? What are the consequences of absolving/obscuring Judaism as it is actually practiced here and now by most of its adherents because some small minority insists that Zionist Judaism or Judaic Zionism are not "authentic"? As Paul Eisen writes:
The present, too, is full of ambiguities. Zionism is not Judaism; Judaism is not Zionism has become an article of faith, endlessly repeated, as is the assertion that Zionism is a secular ideology opposed, for much of its history, by the bulk of religious Jews and even now still opposed by true Torah Jews such as Neturei Karta. But Zionism is now at the heart of Jewish life with religious Jews amongst the most virulent of Zionists and Neturei Karta, despite their impeccable anti-Zionism, their beautiful words and the enthusiasm with which they are welcomed at solidarity rallies, etc., may well be just Jews in fancy dress, a million miles from the reality of Jewish life."
I think Ludwig von Mises was on to something when he said "To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war." And that is why it appears as an epigraph to my blog and why I as an, anti-Zionist, write about Judaism. In this, I am trying feebly to follow in some of the footsteps of Jews and former Jews like Benedict Spinoza, Moshe Menuhin, Israel Shahak, Norton Mezvinsky, Paul Eisen, Gilad Atzmon, and Israel Shamir.

I don't try to write for Jews in particular but I aim for others in the peace movement because I think the Zionism of so many Jews in the peace movement is connected to their Judaism even when they are not conventionally devout/observant. Zionism must be understood and challenged and I don't think that can be adequately done without understanding its Judaic roots. Any way I hope I respectfully and thoroughly answered your question.
A less friendly response appears next:
what crap! Trying to wrap an entire Jewish culture into one of death is NOT a way to comprehend today's issues. This old anti-antisemitism has no answers, only bullshit!
Here's how I responded:
No one is trying to "wrap an entire Jewish culture into one of death." The point is that there is a "culture of death" within Judaism and Jewish society. The phrase "culture of death" comes from an Israeli Jew, Professor Idith Zertal of Hebrew University, in her book Israel's Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood (Cambridge University Press, 2005). But you probably don't need to bother with such books because you already have all the answers, right? So answer me this: The timing of the current Israeli assault on Gaza was of the IDF's own choosing, if it has nothing to do with a Judaic "culture of death" then why did the IDF choose to start it during Hanukkah and why did they choose to give it a name associated with Hanukkah?

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IOF Major--"I am also a civilian"

We've all known that Zionist Jews are world champion liars but surely Israeli Occupation Forces Major Avital Leibovich deserves a special prize for sheer gall. Watch at 2:34 in the video below as she bleats "I am also a civilian" while shown dressed in her military uniform.

The fact is that, except for children, there are relatively few civilians in Israel as:
All Israeli citizens and permanent residents are liable to military service. ... Reserve service is required up till the age of 51 in the case of men (54 for officers) and up till 24 in the case of women. Reservist duty involves one month training annually.
Leibovich also gets caught red-handed peddling more lies for the Jewish state in this video: "B'Tselem questions Israeli account of attack".

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Shtulman, Jewish Federation on the Hanukkah Massacre

I was curious to see what the "local cadre of the Zionist state terrorist infrastructure," i.e. the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County (now the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor), are saying about Israel's Hanukkah Massacre in Gaza. The Federation refers to it as the "Gaza situation." On their web site, I found a national Federation statement that says in part:
United Jewish Communities/the Federations of North America expresses its solidarity with the State of Israel at this critical time as Israel engages in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. ...

"This is not the first time that Israel has been under attack and is not likely to be the last time. ... During this crisis, UJC Israel coordinates closely with our partners and with the Government of Israel regarding realities on the ground. We are monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis and should things deteriorate, we will consider additional needs including possible emergency fundraising efforts. ..."
Israel has turned Gaza into the world's largest prison and dropped more than 100 tons of bombs on Gaza just in the first day and, yet, Israel is "under attack." Go figure.

The new JFGAA Executive Director is David Shtulman, a dual US-Israeli citizen, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) veteran, and, in all likelihood, a current IOF reservist. Naturally, there is no indication that the local Federation repudiates any part of the above statement or its pathetic claim to Israel's victim status. On the contrary, in his weekly shabbat message--wittily entitled "The New Year Enters with a Bang!"--Herr Shtulman refers to the Israeli attacks as an "Israeli counter-attack on Hamas."

Shtulman next pulls a predictable role reversal of the Judaic culture of death with the unsourced claim: "Hamas has often responded with the mantra, 'We will win because we love death and Israel loves life.' " If Hamas uses this "mantra" frequently then it is pretty strange that it is not attributed to Hamas in the New York Times even once. In fact, in searches using two different databases, the phrase "we love death" turns up in the NYT archives only three times between 1851 and the present. The "mantra" never made it onto the news pages of the NYT.

In two instances, it appears in editorials by Jewish neoconservative pundit David Brooks. In March 2004, Brooks attributed it to Al Qaeda and by September of that year he had expanded it to the "fringes of the Muslim world." The third instance, was just five days before Brooks' second invocation of the "mantra." At the invitation of the NYT "Op-Ed page," in his proposed "conclusion to President Bush's [2004 RNC] address," former Bush I speech writer Daniel McGroarty attributed the phrase "to the statement the terrorists released to claim responsibility for the carnage ... in Madrid."

Terrorism: A Documentary and Reference Guide by Burns and Peterson (Greenwood, 2005), which includes Hamas, has only one documented reference to terrorists loving death and that is a statement attributed to "al-Qaeda in Europe" in connection with the Madrid bombings. It says: "You love life and we love death." There are two problems, though.

First, this is one of at least two statements claiming responsibility for the 2004 Madrid bombings. The apparently first alleged claim of responsibility by al-Qaeda does not say anything about loving death. It was discredited by the pro-Israel group, MEMRI. More importantly, a "two-year investigation into the attacks has found no evidence that al-Qa'ida helped plan, finance or carry out the bombings, or even knew about them in advance," which would indicate that both of the claims of responsibility are fabrications.

It is plausible that Shtulman's claim began as an Israeli false flag operation to smear Islam (see also the "Gil Affair" and "Israeli Psyops Against EU and US"). If that is the case, then it is awfully helpful to have someone to discredit the competing claim of responsibility. In this case the guy doing the discrediting, author of the MEMRI analysis, was Yigal Carmon, an IOF Colonel who served at least twenty years (1968-88) in the Israeli intelligence service. In sum, there is nothing credible linking Shtulman's "mantra" to Hamas. But since when have supporters of Israel ever cared about the truth?

Shtulman expresses surprise at the very unsurprising: "following a full week of heavy bombardment and hundreds of deaths, the majority of western newspapers and most European governments are still standing firmly with Israel." He notes that "the 'moderate' members of the Arab League – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority especially – while critical of Israel are placing the blame squarely on Hamas" and he helpfully identifies the real enemy to peace in the Middle East: Iran. Again, none of this is surprising--all of these "moderates" are bought, paid for, and/or propped up by the US government and have colluded--openly or otherwise--with Israel and the US on several occasions.

Shtulman continues: "Although civilian suffering is inevitably great, this is not a war against the civilian population." The only thing inevitable about the Israeli massacre is that when you attack densely populated neighborhoods with massive aerial bombings and missile attacks, you will kill civilians. It bears pointing out that since Gaza has no recognized sovereignty, no standing army, and almost nothing but small arms, a case can be made that everyone Israelis kill in Gaza is a civilian.

Shtulman closes with: "We must never become immune to the horror of war or accept it as anything but the last resort. But we also must accept that sometimes it is the only resort and hope that when it is over it will open a window to a more peaceful time for all." We have here a fine example of the Jewish "art of moral anguish" so admired by Barack Obama, the first Jewish president. Echoes of Rabbi Robert Dobrusin's justification of torture can also be heard.

See also:
"We love death": Projecting the American Culture of Death onto Islam

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