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watch out for those paper cuts

April 20, 2016

who-what ignited this mass exodus … ?


and the beat goes on


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  1. opheliart permalink

    this is news? of all the abuse going on in that pontiff loving state and the best rosie O’scammie can come up with is …

  2. opheliart permalink

    nice job, kimberly! (RNS, thumbs up 😀 )
    I did not listen to the whole video because it seemed a bit rambling … but the article is a delight because it addresses a very interesting topic without slant … and uses several relevant voices.
    as my readers know, I have posted several hitchens videos (recently, actually) … I have also spent some time discerning on his “person” (recently) because something about him spoke to me. I cannot say all that I would like to say here, but … I wish that he had lived long enough for us to meet. this I am sad about and that he indulged to the point of illness … and it upsets me that no one was chastising enough to challenge his lifestyle to keep him healthy. it takes a unique person to be firm under these conditions … and likely hard to come by.

    and honestly, I did not know there was a book being written, and very honestly, I did not know anything about hitchens until a few years back when I watched the M. Teresa video. I knew he was an atheist but was not engaging in any form of atheism and would not know details other than celebrityhood that accompanies a person of his stature.

    my thoughts on the book? one thing christian “evangelical” types often do is READ things through a filter designed by a mindset of CHRISTIAN ETHICS. this is common and something so few understand about themselves and even fewer outside this circle realize. and is likely why such back and forth biting. evangelicals are often in the business (work) to bring people into their fold. they are reared/trained this way. if arguing SPIRIT with staunch believers you might hear something like: how many people have YOU brought to the Lord?
    a way of establishing dominance or expertise in this arena. and some really staunch egotistical types who view their religion or religious doctrine as GOD’s WORDS will tell you you are doing satan’s work if you question their ethics. 😀

    I think taunton is being genuine on this pc, but I tread lightly here. also, I read where many christians were very fond of hitchens and I can very easily see why. now, do I think he was considering christianity nearing his death? no, not really. I do not sense this but I sensed before while discerning that christopher knew of something within himself that he could not identify, and he argued with this within himself and is partly why he was so self-destructive (drinking smoking) … this “presence” was above him as it was not of the flesh and he wanted to reach it but did not know how.

    that my dear people is what comes to ALL … and please do not allow anything, including religious dogma, to obscure this view … of what is within … and without.

    continued …

    • opheliart permalink

      PS … tis a shame that most of the comments to the article are weedy. are any of these ATHEISTS doing the work of christopher or are they just a-bitchin’ their usual ? they think they own him and …

      that my dears is very D-O-G-M-A-T-I-C … in other words, RELIGIONIST in form. christopher had an ARTICULATE approach, and HE DID HIS RESEARCH (example: M Theresa) … do these atheists do their own RESEARCH or do they just accuse? have they ever spoken PERSONALLY WITH CHRISTOPHER or do they just KNOW EVERYTHING? a lot of atheists act like KNOW NOTHINGS because they do not know how to converse in an articulate manner. they cannot understand that there are those WHO DO NOT THINK LIKE THEM AND WHO DO NOT EXPERIENCE LIKE THEM AND THAT SOME HAVE MADE DIFFERENT CHOICES ..

      all they know how to do is play the blame game and it shows their deep hatred … bias … racism and anti-christian (religion) stance … WHILE IN THEIR RELIGION CALLED ATHEISM 😀

      really now … atheism will die out. *yawn*

      now, which of you bitches is going to pick up where christopher left off and do even better than him because … he was definitely beginning to engage in something more than unbelief … even sam harris knows there is more than atheism …

      what about you?

      • opheliart permalink

        they really know how to ruin a good piece, kimberly! you should delete all their posts just to see what happens. it might be fun to watch? I have already watched EPISODE 7 twice and need something else to see … politics is rather boring at present.

        added: now that I think about it … had christopher been alive during this pope grandstanding, he would have seen the truth behind the display ….
        oh, hey, maybe we picked up and continued what he started 😉

  3. opheliart permalink

    The fact that Christopher Hitchens has a problem with the Jews has been an open secret for years. No one much likes to talk about it, and for various reasons his journalistic peers have remained silent on the subject. But it is nonetheless the case, and there is little sense in denying it.

    The sixty-one-year-old Hitchens, a native of Great Britain and a recently naturalized U.S. citizen, is one of the most widely read and admired columnists in America, as well as a celebrated author who, in the words of the New York Times, “embraces the serious things, the things that matter: social justice, learning, direct language, the free play of mind, loyalty, holding public figures to high standards.”

    Hitchens’s career began on the radical Left, with a strong affinity for the legacy of the Communist ideologue Leon Trotsky and his followers. His real gift, however, was not for ideology but for polemic, and his blistering prose quickly made him a literary celebrity, first in the pages of Britain’s New Statesman and then, after he emigrated to America, as a regular columnist at the Nation. Before long, Hitchens’s colorful opinions and even more colorful public image became fixtures of mainstream publications like Vanity Fair and the Atlantic.

    For much of his career, Hitchens was known as a ferocious critic of American power and American policy. But in the 1990s, with the war in the Balkans and the long campaign to secure American intervention against the Serbs, he began a slow turnabout that would come to a head on September 11, 2001. Following the 9/11 atrocities, and the conspicuous failure of many of his left-wing comrades to acknowledge the guilt, and the threat, of radical Islam, Hitchens split from the Left for good, becoming one of the most vocal and, in conservative quarters, most prized supporters of the war on terror and American intervention in Iraq.

    As a result of this about-face, Hitchens is now loathed both by his former comrades on the Left and by apologists for radical Islam. At the same time, many conservatives have proved willing to overlook his less palatable opinions: his implacable hatred of religion, for example, or his claims that Mother Teresa was morally depraved and that Henry Kissinger should be tried for war crimes. Nonetheless, it has been hoped that, along with his turn against the Left, Hitchens might have mellowed somewhat on the Jewish question, and in particular on his longstanding antipathy toward Israel. But this was not to be, as he took care to remind the world in a November 15 essay in the online magazine Slate, enchantingly titled “Israel’s Shabbos Goy.”

    In this article, Hitchens’s trademark indignation was aroused by the Obama administration’s offer to Israel of various benefits in exchange for a moratorium on settlement building. Any such deal would have had to be approved by Israel’s coalition government, one of whose members is Shas, a Sephardi religious party whose founder and spiritual leader is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. The once-formidable scholar, referred to by Hitchens with typical subtlety as “this elderly Sephardic ayatollah” and a “scrofulous medieval figure,” is now in his nineties and, as evidenced by some recent nasty remarks about non-Jews, much in need of retirement. For Hitchens, however, Ovadia Yosef and his attitude toward Gentiles are not the real problem. The real problem is Judaism itself:

    The only mystery is this: why does the United States acquiesce so wretchedly in its own disgrace at the hands of a virtual client state? A soft version of Rabbi Yosef’s contemptuous view of the Gentiles is the old concept of the shabbos goy—the non-Jew who is paid a trifling fee to turn out the lights or turn on the stove, or whatever else is needful to get around the more annoying regulations of the Sabbath. How the old buzzard must cackle when he sees the Gentiles [i.e., America] actually volunteering a bribe to do the lowly work!

    The tone of unrestrained invective in these passages is part of Hitchens’s cachet as a writer. The substance, however, is very ugly stuff indeed, composed out of some of the most barbarous and reactionary stereotypes of the Jewish people. In one paragraph alone, Hitchens evokes an image of the Jews as preternaturally crafty, hypocritical, manipulative, supremacist, animalistic, and morally diseased creatures who, with the help of their corrupt talents, set themselves to exploiting Gentiles for financial gain and “cackle” with glee at the resultant spectacle. Nor is this sort of defamation particularly unusual for Hitchens, who has been writing similar things for years and, for the most part, getting away with it.

    Hitchens’s bestselling atheist jeremiad, God is Not Great (2007), provides an excellent overview of its author’s sentiments on the topic of Jews and Judaism. While the book is ostensibly opposed to all religions equally, Hitchens goes out of his way not merely to criticize Judaism but to portray it in the ugliest possible terms, invoking many of the classic themes of anti-Semitism in order to do so.

    He informs us, for example, of the “pitiless teachings of the God of Moses, who never mentions human solidarity and compassion at all,” and whose Ten Commandments have nothing to say about “the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide.” Indeed, according to Hitchens, “some of these very offenses are . . . positively recommended” by the God of the Hebrews, with far-reaching historical consequences. According to Hitchens, the Jews’ genocidal God and His order to drive the Canaanite tribes out of the land of Israel form the basis not only of a “19th-century irredentist claim to Palestine” but of the current debate among Israeli rabbis over “whether the demand to exterminate the Amalekites is a coded commandment to do away with the Palestinians.” Who these rabbis might be, the extent of their influence, and whether anyone listens to them are questions that go mostly unaddressed.

    For Hitchens, the evils he lists are not just religious tenets; they are ingrained in the Jews themselves. The rituals and practices of Judaism, he charges, are debased by the Jews’ obsession with money, as exemplified by the “hypocrites and frauds who abound in talmudic Jewish rationalization” and who operate according to the principle: “‘Don’t do any work on the Sabbath yourself, but pay someone else to do it for you. You obeyed the letter of the law: who’s counting?'” (Hitchens’s world abounds, apparently, in dutiful shabbos goyim.) Circumcision, he claims, is the “sexual mutilation of small boys” and “most probably a symbolic survival from the animal and human sacrifices which were such a feature of the gore-soaked landscape of the Old Testament.” As for anti-Semitism, the Jews brought it on themselves. “By claiming to be ‘chosen’ in a special exclusive covenant with the Almighty,” Hitchens writes, “they invited hatred and suspicion and evinced their own form of racism.”

    Hitchens’s loathing for Judaism, or rather the grotesque caricature he refers to as Judaism, is particularly evident in his treatment of Hanukkah, a holiday marking the 2nd-century B.C.E. victory of a Jewish revolt led by the Maccabees. For Hitchens, the Maccabees’ defeat of the Hellenistic regime of Antiochus Epiphanes was a disaster, because Antiochus, far from being a villainous tyrant, had “weaned many people away from the sacrifices, the circumcisions, the belief in a special relationship with God, and the other reactionary manifestations of an ancient and cruel faith.”

    To put it kindly, this is false; for the rather less benign details, one may consult I Maccabees and Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews. In brief, the “weaning away” lauded by Hitchens involved the forcible suppression of Jewish culture, religion, and ritual, along with torture, imperial occupation, and mass murder, including the slaughter of children: in other words, the very things that this self-proclaimed global humanist violently denounces whenever the Jews are not involved.

    For Hitchens, the Jewish rejection of Hellenistic Greek culture in favor of what he calls “tribal Jewish backwardness” constitutes something like a crime against humanity. This belief is an important one, and he appears to have come by it very early on. In his recently published autobiography, Hitch-22, he laments that, in the world-historical struggle between Athens and Jerusalem, the former tragically lost out to the latter’s “stone-faced demand for continence, sacrifice, and conformity, and the devising of ever-crueler punishments for deviance.” The fact that, historically speaking, the “ever-crueler punishments for deviance” were inflicted by Athens upon Jerusalem, and not vice-versa, is something that, for Hitchens, is apparently not worth mentioning.

    In short, Judaism is to blame for everything Hitchens hates about monotheism as a whole. “As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire,” he writes of the father of Enlightenment anti-Semitism,

    that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam.

    “Most of the time,” he concludes, “I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical.”

    That tacked-on caveat about Judaism’s “dialectical” quality may seem curious, but Hitchens gives a good indication of what he means by it in describing the type of Jew he does find acceptable. These are the “non-Jewish” Jews like Spinoza, Trotsky, and, one imagines, the partially Jewish Christopher Hitchens himself. Needless to say, separating the Jews into “good” Jews and “bad” Jews has a rather nasty provenance, but Hitchens has indulged in the exercise on more than one occasion. Concerning, for example, the 2003 terrorist bombing of the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, he wrote with ostensible sympathy that “The worshippers were not killed for building a settlement in the West Bank: they were members of a very old and honorable community who were murdered for being Jews.” The implication that, had the Jews of Neve Shalom been building a settlement in the West Bank, murdering them would have been perfectly acceptable, points to where Hitchens’s dialectics can lead.

    It is also true that, on occasion, Hitchens has been outspoken in condemning anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, even a cursory examination reveals that these condemnations tend to be highly selective—so selective, in fact, that they often appear to be little more than an exercise in bad faith. For the most part, Hitchens condemns anti-Semitism when doing so can serve as a weapon against those he dislikes: e.g., certain right-wingers, certain left-wingers, radical Muslims, people who support radical Muslims, the Catholic church, or Christian evangelicals. When anti-Semitism serves his purposes, however, he is perfectly willing to make use of it and to engage in apologetics on its behalf.

    Indeed, Hitchens’s concept of anti-Semitism is itself a largely self-serving fantasy. “Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war,” he has said, “it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people but as the common enemy of humanity and of civilization and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason.” In other words, Hitchens appears to be opposed to anti- Semitism only to the extent that it has nothing to do with the Jews but serves as a proxy for other evils. Given that anti-Semitism, whatever else it may be, is most certainly the enemy of the Jewish people, to decline to condemn it on that basis is, in effect, to decline to condemn it at all.

    Hitchens has also proved quite willing to rationalize or explain away anti-Semitism when it is practiced by his friends or by those on his side of an argument. A notable beneficiary of his indulgence, as far back as the 1980s, was the leftist intellectual Noam Chomsky, who found himself in trouble after signing a petition defending the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson. Criticized by a group of French intellectuals, Chomsky shot back that he was merely standing up for Faurisson’s right of free speech, not his opinions, and attacked his critics as enemies of that right. In this he was duly parroted by Hitchens, who asserted that “the ‘fact’ here is that Chomsky defended not Faurisson’s work but his right to research and publish it.”

    This too was false. The petition Chomsky signed, and from which Hitchens himself quoted extensively, was clearly written by a Holocaust denier and presented Holocaust denial as a perfectly acceptable form of historical inquiry. This was what Chomsky’s opponents criticized—not his defense, such as it was, of Faurisson’s right to free speech.

    Something similar occurred in the case of the British pseudo-historian David Irving, a self-declared fascist who has also described himself as “a hardcore disbeliever” in the Holocaust. In 1996, when St. Martin’s Press declined to publish Irving’s biography of Joseph Goebbels, Hitchens rushed to announce that the press had “disgraced the business of publishing and degraded the practice of debate.” He also asserted that Irving “has never and not once described the Holocaust as a ‘hoax.'” This was obviously untrue, since Irving had been publicly denying the Holocaust for nearly a decade. Nor was “the Irving suppression,” as Hitchens dubbed it with his usual bombast, anything more than a simple case of a publisher deciding, on fairly firm grounds of intellectual and moral integrity, not to publish an extremely bad book.

    Even the symbols of Nazism seem to exercise Hitchens in strikingly counterintuitive ways, depending on who is deploying them. Remarking on the use of swastika flags by pro-Palestinian protestors, Hitchens publicly claimed to be “sickened” but then admonished his audience to remember that “this is an auction of imagery that was started by [Menachem] Begin and other Israeli extremists who once openly and regularly compared the PLO to the Nazi party.” By way of contrast, on a 2009 visit to Beirut, Hitchens went out of his way to deface a swastika displayed by a pro-Syrian fascist party, endangering his traveling companions in the process. The contrast serves as something of an object lesson in Hitchens’s selective outrage: When a swastika is the symbol of an obscure Lebanese political bloc, nothing, including the safety of others, must be spared in order to destroy it. When a swastika is brandished by pro-Palestinian activists, it is an understandable reaction to the rhetoric of “Israeli extremists.”

    The truth is that, beneath the surface platitudes, Hitchens’s attitude toward the Holocaust and Nazism, like his attitude toward anti-Semitism, is disturbingly bizarre; but it is of a piece with his general attitude toward the Jews, Judaism, and their enemies.

    There is, of course, no issue on which Hitchens’s anti-Semitism has been more aggressive and outspoken than that of Zionism and Israel. That Hitchens hates Israel has long been known, and he has made no secret of it. Indeed, it practically leaps off the pages of his Slate article as well as countless other essays and interviews. Somewhat less well known is the extent to which this antipathy appears to be based on Hitchens’s embrace of the racist proposition that the Jews have no homeland in Israel (and thus, by definition, no homeland anywhere).

    According to Hitchens, the widely held delusion that the Jews are a people with the same rights as any other is a direct result of the deleterious influence of Judaism itself. As he puts it: “The only actual justification offered” for Zionism “is that God awarded the land to one tribe a good many years ago, and of course this appalling racist and messianic delusion . . . only makes a terrible situation even worse.” In reality, one is constrained to point out, there is a bit more than God involved, such as the existence of a Jewish nation in the land of Israel for centuries, its sovereignty ended only by genocide at the hands of Roman legions; the centrality of Israel and especially Jerusalem to Jewish thought and culture; the fact that only the land of Israel has ever been regarded as the Jewish homeland by both Jews and non-Jews (including Muslims); and various other significant and notably secular historical facts.

    Many of Hitchens’s claims against Zionism go far beyond simple distortion. About Theodor Herzl, for example, he tells us: “If I could rewind the tape, I would stop Herzl from telling the initial demagogic lie (actually two lies) that a land without a people needs a people without a land.” In fact, Herzl never wrote this. Hitchens’s claim otherwise is no less false than his subsequent assertion that “If you give the most cursory attention to the writings of Herzl and [Max] Nordau and other founders of the Zionist movement, or if you read the memoirs of Yitzhak Rabin closer to our own day, you will notice at once that . . . they wanted [the Arabs’] land, and wanted it without its inhabitants.” Herzl, in fact, hoped that the Arabs would be integrated as equal citizens in a future Jewish state, as did most of the “other founders of the Zionist movement,” and Yitzhak Rabin never advocated an Israel emptied of its Arab citizens but publicly denounced such sentiments. One is not permitted to “lie about history,” Hitchens once lectured a supporter of Israel, a rule that appears to be forgotten when it comes to Hitchens himself.

    One likely reason behind Hitchens’s hatred of Zionism is the (to him) irritating fact that the movement succeeded despite the opposition to it of many of the “non-Jewish” Jews he so admires. “One of the advantages of a Marxist and internationalist training,” he has stated in an interview, “is that it exposes one to the early writings of those Jewish cosmopolitans who warned from the first day that Zionism would be a false messiah for the Jews and an injustice to the Arabs. Nothing suggests to me that they were wrong on these crucial points.” This assertion is either tragic or absurd, considering that the Jewish cosmopolitanism glorified by Hitchens ended in the Auschwitz gas chambers, while the despised Zionists went on to found a relatively strong, prosperous, and culturally vibrant nation-state.

    To a great extent, such violent hostility appears to be driven not by the delusions of Zionism but by the delusions of Christopher Hitchens. In a remarkable piece of bluster, he once wrote that “if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world,” he would not repair to Israel because “I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction.” The obvious truth behind this swaggering fantasy is that if “anti-Jewish fascism” were to rise again, Hitchens would most likely share the fate of almost everyone who followed his recommended course the last time such a dilemma presented itself. His complacent formula for permanent Jewish victimization calls to mind something his hero George Orwell once wrote about pacifism: that it “is only possible to people who have money and guns between them and reality.” Much the same, and worse, appears to be true of Hitchens and his anti-Zionism.

    Without taking anything away from Hitchens’s native gifts as a polemicist, it is not difficult to pinpoint the source of many of his poisonous attitudes toward the Jews and Judaism. He has done so himself many times by naming the late Israel Shahak as his “beloved guide, in the superior sense of that term,” occupying a place in his pantheon of intellectual heroes next to Thomas Paine, Edmund Burke, and, of all people, Gore Vidal. “He was never interviewed by the New York Times,” Hitchens lamented after Shahak’s death, “and its obituary pages have let pass the death of a great and serious man.”

    Unfortunately, the “great and serious man” was barking mad. This is made apparent by the merest glimpse into Shahak’s magnum opus, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, which Hitchens has recommended as a reliable guide on matters Jewish. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece of anti-Semitic literature, whose thesis is quickly summarized: Judaism is racist and evil; as a result, Zionism is racist and evil; as a result, Israel is racist and evil. For Jews to cease to be racist and evil, they must divest themselves of Judaism.

    To support this thesis, Shahak spins a lengthy conspiracy theory according to which the ancient rabbis cooked up the Talmud in order to create “one of the most totalitarian societies in the whole history of mankind.” Here are a few characteristic passages:

    * “[B]oth before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands, uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on the other he is worshiping Satan, who likes Jewish prayers and ritual acts so much that when he is offered a few of them it keeps him busy for a while and he forgets to pester the divine Daughter.”

    * The “dominant feature” of talmudic Judaism “is deception—deception primarily of God, if this word can be used for an imaginary being so easily deceived by the rabbis. . . . Together with the deception of God goes the deception of other Jews, mainly in the interest of the Jewish ruling class.” Indeed, “Marx was quite right when, in his two articles about Judaism, he characterized it as dominated by profit-seeking.”

    * Zionism, along with Orthodoxy, is the true successor of “historical Judaism.” Both are “sworn enemies of the concept of an open society.” Indeed, a Jewish state “cannot ever contain an open society. It can [only] become a fully closed and warlike ghetto, a Jewish Sparta, supported by the labor of Arab helots, kept in existence by its influence on the U.S. political establishment and by threats to use its nuclear power.”

    And so on in the same vein, including the revelations that Martin Buber was a mass murderer and that American Jews—who are all racists—became involved in the civil-rights movement only in order to further Jewish interests.

    To anyone who has read Hitchens, much of this will sound familiar enough: at various times he has repeated whole passages from Shahak, occasionally word for word. The line about “Arab helots,” for example, is a particular favorite. He is also, as we have seen, especially fond of Shahak’s idea that there are some exceptional Jews “who have internalized the complex of ideas which Karl Popper has called ‘the open society.'”

    We have returned to the good Jews and the bad Jews. The good Jews are those who rid themselves of any semblance of a particular Jewish identity. The bad Jews are those, secular or religious, who choose to remain who they are, and are therefore corrupted by the racism, chauvinism, power worship, and hatred of Gentiles inherent in Judaism itself. It is worth pointing out that, according to these criteria, almost all Jews are bad Jews.

    Indeed, this final point is the essential one, because it goes to the heart of Hitchens’s attitudes toward Judaism. Like Shahak, Hitchens’s vision is of a world in which there will be no more Judaism. One should be honest about what this means: it means the religious, cultural, political, and social extinction of the Jews as Jews. In the world as Hitchens would have it, the Jew would cease to exist.

    Hitchens often makes much of the necessity of facing truth as it is, and of not making convenient excuses for looking away. As he often quotes Orwell, “to see what is under one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” Indeed it does. In the present case, the anti-Semite is under all our noses, and it is well worth the struggle to see him.

    • opheliart permalink

      This past Shabbos my family and I hosted Rabbi and Mrs. Nachman Holtzberg, parents of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the head of Chabad in Mumbai who was brutally murdered with his wife Rivkah. You’d think that a family that watched their son and daughter-in-law slaughtered on TV by Islamic terrorists would feel hatred and a desire for revenge. But what this saintly father asked of our many guests was simply their participation in rebuilding Chabad of Mumbai so that his son’s selfless work would continue.

      What a shame Christopher Hitchens did not join us. It might have dissuaded from penning yet another ignorant and slanderous article about the murderous intent of orthodox Jews. To read Hitchens these days is to be transported to an alternate universe where religious Jews are often terrorists inspired by racist Jewish ideology that is fomented by their Rabbis. Of course, those who live in the real world and who never read about orthodox Jews setting off bombs in Bali and Baghdad might be a trifle confused by Hitchens’ regular rants against Judaism.

      You should be. Most of the time he is simply fabricating, like this famous quote taken from his 2007 book G-d is Not Great. “Dr. Baruch Goldstein… killed twenty-seven worshippers… While serving as a physician in the Israeli army he had announced that he would not treat non-Jewish patients, such as Israeli Arabs, especially on the Sabbath. As it happens, he was obeying rabbinic law in declining to do this, as many Israeli religious courts have confirmed.” For this particular blood libel against Jewish courts Hitchens relied on a well- known hoax perpetrated by writer Israel Shahak and which was exposed as a fraud more than 40 years ago by Lord Immanuel Jakobovitz, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth. This is the same Israel Shahak who once accused Jews of worshipping Satan. When I challenged Hitchens about his use of a well-known forgery, and when he could not cite a single other religious court to have ever ruled that a non-Jewish life could not be saved on the Sabbath, he wrote to me and agreed to amend the item in the next edition of his book.

      He did not.

      Now he is at it again, only this time he’s outdone himself. Writing in the March 23rd edition of Slate, Hitchens argued that the religious settlers in Israel are preparing for a future where “Torah verses will also be found that make it permissible to murder secular Jews as well as Arabs” as they all coalesce together to make the West bank into an apocalyptic Jewish theocracy.

      What makes Hitchens so sure that his vision of Jewish mass-murder is just around the corner?

      He cites three proofs. First, Baruch Goldstein, whom he cites yet again. Second, Army Chief Rabbi Avichai Rontzski who ‘said that the main reason for a Jewish doctor to treat a non-Jew on the Sabbath… is to avoid exposing Diaspora Jews to hatred.” And third, the story in Numbers 31 of how Moses commanded the Jews to slaughter the Midianites. Of the story Hitchens writes, “The nationalist rabbis who prepare Israeli soldiers for the mission seem to think that this book might be the world of G-d, in which case the only misinterpretation would be the failure to take it literally.”

      Now the fact that Hitchens must consistently fall back on Baruch Goldstein proves the very opposite of the point he is trying to make. Jewish religious terrorism is rare to non-existent. He must consistently use one lone attacker from 15 years ago and example of Jewish terrorism. More importantly, Goldstein has become a symbol to Jews everywhere of evil and is almost universally regarded as an abomination to the Jewish faith.

      By contrast, many of our Muslim brothers and sisters and many clerics have the tragic habit of elevating suicide bombers to the rank of religious martyrs. But any Rabbi who was to praise a Jewish murderer would be fired from his post and banished from his community. The Torah is clear: ‘Thou may not murder’ (Exodus 20) and ‘Thou shalt not take revenge’ (Leviticus 19).

      Second, no Biblical story of massacre, which is a tale and not a law, could ever be used to override the most central prohibition of the Ten Commandments and Biblical morality. Murder is the single greatest offense against the Creator of all life and no Jew would ever use a Biblical narrative of war or slaughter as something that ought to be emulated. In our time Churchill and Roosevelt, both universally regarded as moral leaders and outstanding men, ordered the wholesale slaughter of non-combatants in the Second World War through the carpet- bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, and Tokyo. Truman would take it further by ordering the atomic holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How did men who are today regarded as righteous statesmen order such atrocities? They were of the opinion that only total war could end Nazi tyranny and Japanese imperial aggression. They did it in the name of saving life. Which is of course not to excuse their actions but rather to understand them in the context of the mitigating circumstances of the time. I do not know why Moses would have ordered any such slaughter even in the context of war. But I do know that the same Bible who relates the story also expressly forbids even the thought of such bloodshed ever being repeated.

      Finally, the Talmud’s debate as to whether a non-Jewish life may be saved on the Sabbath took place at a time when the Jews were subject to brutal Roman oppression and the non-Jews in question where cruel Roman centurions. Should we violate our religion to save the life of those who oppress us? It is remarkable that even then the Rabbis of the Talmud answered in the affirmative, mipnei darkei hashalom, because of the ways of peace. But whereas Hitchens quotes a Rabbi who translates this to mean, ‘peace with our non-Jewish neighbors,’ the Lubavitcher Rebbe explained it to mean that ‘because all of Judaism is about love and peace.’

      How sad that Hitchens, a self-proclaimed truth-teller and child of Orwell, has yet again ignored evidence clearly presented to him in pursuit of pre-existing prejudices.

      • opheliart permalink

        pope fran says that “even atheists go to heaven” … of which heaven do you think he was referring? roman catholic heaven?

  4. opheliart permalink

    I have been asking around but so far … I haven’t seen him …

    • opheliart permalink

      could it be because I don’t work in the roman pontiff’s heaven?


      • opheliart permalink

        and … as you can see from the two articles … some atheists are known for having a verbose tongue, but …

        strange that christians and … other … is not permitted this same selling jargon


  5. opheliart permalink

    jp2 stopped communism or did he just reinsert himself into the position of dictator

    mystical body of christ? wow … nothing like raping children and hiding it … they must have a very dangerous and odd understanding of the Christ, because it went from the top down on those abuses … and JP2 is part of that clique … fed into it … fed on it and … reinforced the secrecy, power over the people and the crimes.

    as you all will see soon enough. I would not go anywhere near that kind of evil, dressed in white.

    • opheliart permalink

      he found a way to get into the pockets of the citizens of the united states … just become a bureaucrat … play with politicians as a politician … no different from what shook hands with the emperor and silenced those not like them

      • opheliart permalink

        and america became a roman catholic nation?

  6. opheliart permalink

    ask yourselves WHY DID PEOPLE LEAVE EUROPE?

  7. opheliart permalink

    we have shared in SPIR on the situation in europe with the muslim youth gangs and young men and women on the outskirts of the norm of society or what we might view as community proper … angry young men and young women looking for a place to express something about what is going on in their neighborhoods and in their hearts. drugs, sex trafficking … theft, murder … commonplace in their world? look at the densely populated cities of america where there has been unrest … violence in protests … places ripe for radicalism to take root. radicalism in the the form of terrorism. who is tiptoeing around these conditions? who refuses to take the bull by the horn? who is pandering for votes?

    why do our lawmakers and government leaders tiptoe around the most volatile homesteads … essentially looking the other way by driving by and ignoring that these are the hatching grounds for real extremism, along with some institutions and that online menace, which is really the lighter to get to what they know to be many matches. they know this … it is a bomb waiting to explode, baltimore and many other cities …

    what’s on your map?

    • opheliart permalink

      your roman pontiff cannot save you from these … he advocates for more of the same that causes more of the same volatile conditions in your cities and towns … as many of these youth have no dye leaders and no direction home

      • opheliart permalink

        look at the poor and destitute in his catholic nations? and why did so many leave the dictates of rome … in europe ?

        will they come here and bring their dictators (law) with them? how many dictators can one nation have and still survive? how many dictators can a nation have during an epidemic or during a severe catastrophe?

        who-what do you want in charge when things go terribly wrong? your roman pontiff sitting on his throne in the palaces of vatican city? judging you? praying to JP 2 who allowed the CHILDREN to be sexually abused? his own elected officials … abusing and hiding this, along with a litany of other crimes (as you will see) … expecting “he” will save you?
        billionaire politicians? the ESTABLISHMENT (lawmakers/public servants) THAT HAS FOR MANY LONG YEARS ALLOWED THE CRIMINALS TO CONTINUE COMMITTING THE CRIMES AND REFUSING TO INVESTIGATE … a priest or a bishop … or a pope …
        their own politicians and law enforcement …

        how can any one deny this is lacking in the most important sense? the CONSCIENCE … where is this if your superiors are abusers … and care not for you or your children but their reputations and titles and religion/political party/seats?

  8. opheliart permalink

    John 5King James Version (KJV)

    5 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

    2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

    3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

    4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

    5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

    6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

    7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

    8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

    9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

    10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

    11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

    12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

    13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

    14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

    15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

    16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

    17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

    18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

    19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

    20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

    21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

    22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

    23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

    24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

    26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

    27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

    28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

    29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

    31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

    32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

    33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

    34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

    35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

    36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

    37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

    38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

    39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

    41 I receive not honour from men.

    42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

    43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

    44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

    45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

    46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

    47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

    • opheliart permalink

      if one reads the above Writing in a mindset that says, who is this MAN that he should judge us? who is this man that he should work on the sabbath? who is this man that he thinks himself God’s son? let us kill him that we won’t be judged by our stock.

      that one knows not of TRUTH. he does not HEAR the NEW within the Prophet on Truth (Godhood: truth as masculine and wisdom as feminine). SON represents the truth through the vein of necessity. example: a mid-wife delivers a child on the sabbath because the child cannot wait another day. do you deny this feast? do you deny this truth? do you deny this is within the nature of the WORD of GOD?

      the denier sees through a window of wickedness. why wickedness? because he desires to kill that one sent to instruct in an unjust and wicked society where LEGALISM bears false witness …

      the question one should be asking is: what is posing as GOD while in denial on Truth?

      • opheliart permalink

        another comes and says: okay, you can give birth … the mid-wife can deliver the baby and mother can work nursing and taking care of this newborn, her other children and her husband (:D) … but, that man over there cannot help his neighbor to seek help for his donkey … his donkey was injured and may die without a skilled donkey-tender … because it requires work to get the donkey and cart ready … too bad for the donkey and the neighbor in need of that donkey. it’s the law of the land.

        another comes and says: wait, mother must see to all the needs of the children and her husband AND that man should be able to help his neighbor take his donkey to the donkey tender but,

        we cannot allow the WISDOM of previous folly to be our judge! stone those who speak in the name of the Lord.

        another comes and says: what? have you learned nothing? if not for the Son of the Living God, we would not be free of sin!

        the others scratch their balding heads. what are you saying? what sin?

        the sins of your fathers.


  9. opheliart permalink

    religious ‘fathers’—-religious gods

    and oddly, dangerously, they are still posing as these same.

    look at the ports … look at the religionists (bait) for these false witnesses. look over here—look over there! look at our pontiff! isn’t he humble and holy? no … he is a legalist and anyone who cannot see this is still making whoopee in that sheep’s pool

    • opheliart permalink

      JESUS never tells him to go into the pool with the others. he says what?

      how much longer will you be pandering to this current pontiff and his heads of state? how much longer will you praise and applaud a denier and a disabler?

      this is your excess not mine but do know that you will be judged by your peers because you chose the way of legalistic audience.

      • opheliart permalink

        there is no protection when your house bows to these institutions.

  10. opheliart permalink

    and lastly on this thread … regarding the transgender locker room topic

    boy or girl … young women or young man … can choose not to comply with gym/sports mandates if not comfortable in these facilities.

    end of discussion

    if female thinks jamie is faking it, and really wants to watch the young women undress and dress … female can tell teacher/coach: bug off … I will use the private teacher’s facilities for my own comfort and … if you give me a hard time, I will go to another school and play sports for them


    • opheliart permalink

      wait … wasn’t there a transgender tennis athlete that played on the women’s tennis circuit and crushed his opponents? probably made a lot of money in that deal.

      • opheliart permalink

        I can hear the hisses and those decapitating me because their health profs have already decided for the world … right? it is what one side says and that is all there is to it, yes? until the problems arise …but hey, my children will not be competing in these olympic gymnasiums so …each to his own …

        but what I am shown is many health profs in it for the money and the reputation and … doesn’t a scientist love guinea pigs–hmm? and when has the mainstream doctors cared about giving drugs and stronger drugs and even stronger drugs to their patients? and where has this led? can anyone HONEST answer this question? what I see is depression, suicide … and murder. but why listen to us? you have made your choices … live and learn as you fail to see the devastating patterns because … you love to play gods … king of the hill … fascism: your way or be destroyed


  11. opheliart permalink–election.html?nhp=1

    yes, unfortunately you are not really engaging in democracy when voting because the system has already decided for you … including what public servants and the press want you to know. you are a clown wearing no suit …

    • opheliart permalink

      the best you can hope for is your will to be heard … and voting creates statistics unless the stats have been tampered with … but above all … do you homework

      RESEARCH … don’t believe everything put out there for you to lap up

      • opheliart permalink

        and CHALLENGE THE THEOLOGY (theocracy of the rule)
        man may say he is just following the rules but do ask who-what made up those rules

  12. opheliart permalink

    a good man that loves the Lord? well, we cannot speak for what he loves but he sure as heck made it his priority to hide his crimes …

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