November 2010

…well, you know how that ends. Turns out that James Wall objects to people pointing out the smell that rises from his anti-Israel writings and the playmates with whom he associates his message. Specifically, he objects to yours truly.

In his latest blog entry, “Chose This Day Whom You Will Serve” (with himself as Joshua, natch), Wall draws inspiration for his anti-Israel rantings from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, managing to compare himself to King in terms of the “vilification” that has come his way lately. Then he gets to the meat:

Those sites that link my postings to their sites place me in a larger company of notable and creative writers whose comments are inspiring in their determination to expose the Israeli government’s policies against the Palestinians.

Those would be people like Norman Finkelstein, Gordon Duff, Debbie Menon and an assortment of other anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and 9/11 Truthers.

My presence on these international websites has evoked angry postings on US websites, some written by Presbyterian clergy and lay members, who are yet to forgive those of us who supported Presbyterians who endorsed a call to justice for Palestinians at the 2010 General Assembly.

One US Presbyterian blogger, for example, has accused Debbie Menon, a blogger located in Dubai of linking to a ”horribly anti-Semitic site”, not mine in this case, but another blog, bringing back the old “guilt by association” line of attack.

Actually, the blogger in question, my friend Viola Larson, has joined me in pointing out that Veterans Today and My Catbird Seat are joined at the hip, sharing many of the same writers as well as the same extremist ideologies. It isn’t a matter of guilt by association; it’s a matter of writing for a site that is devoted to an anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism that is so extreme that it becomes anti-Semitic regardless of whether standard anti-Jew hate language is used or not.

The charge is bogus, of course, or I would not want to be associated with Debbie, a creative and courageous blogger. But anti-semitism is always the first bullet fired by advocates of fear/anger/hate to intimidate the faint hearted. They do it through deception.

Deception? How is it deceptive to quote people’s own words? Debbie Menon, you’ll remember, is the one who wrote this:

This is the way the world is, and this is Israel, the remorseless, unprincipled barbaric in the most and truest sense, of nations. I think the ruthless barbaric sense of superiority and invincibility Israel is, is in the myth of their “Nation” if not their blood, for there is no such thing as an ethnic or blood Jew or “people.”  These God’s chosen people?  My God!

I tire of this charade, and it is time someone began calling these shenanigans, what it is, spades are spades, and naming Zionist Israelis for what they are and, not simply calling them to account, but going to their house, knocking on their door, dragging them out, holding their feet to the fire and calling them to account… at the end of a figurative rope if necessary, and virtual ropes if at all possible!

She also wrote this, in a column on Helen Thomas on June 10, 2010:

They [Jews] became unwanted and unwelcome guests in Babylon, Egypt, Palestine, Germany, Russia, Poland and just about everywhere else in the world they have ever settled in three thousand years, and now the world is witness to what they have done and continue to do with impunity to poor defenseless Palestinians in Palestine everyday. You’d think they would learn.

They did not become known as the “wandering Jew” without cause.  It’s time they faced up to the facts and begin mending their ways.  The world is getting fed up.

“Why do they hate us so?” they ask?

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who are the most obnoxious and disliked people of us all?”

Mr. Interlocutor, look into the mirror and repeat the question!

In her column at Veterans Today, she frequently posts articles by other authors whose views I have to assume she agrees with. Here’s a sample:

Israel has never given a damn about a single American life, should anyone be so foolish and stupid to believe it cares about an Arab child?

Listen to its racist leaders across the political and religious spectrums who believe that the sole purpose of Gentiles is to serve the interest of Jews or die. (Mohamed Khodr, 11/20/2010)

[Iranian journalist Kourosh Ziabari]: The former Italian President had once said that Mossad had played a role in the 9/11 attacks. Is there any convincing evidence that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks? Can we rely on some implications including the five dancing Israelis who were seen cheering while the Twin Towers collapsed, or the closure of Zim Shipping Company’s headquarters at the World Trade Center two week before the 9/11 attacks?

[Former CIA intelligence officer Philip Giraldi]: Most intelligence officers believe that Israel, which was conducting a massive and illegal spy operation inside the U.S. aimed at Arabs living here, knew at least parts of the 9/11 conspiracy. It did not share that information and it is also clear that leading Israeli politicians welcomed the attacks because they made Washington a totally committed ally in full agreement with the Israeli view of Islamic terrorism. The Israel view, i.e. that anyone hostile to Israel is a terrorist, has done great damage to the United States because it has created enemies where no enemies previously existed. (Interview posted 10/15/2010)

Jeffrey Goldberg is the Israeli agent who is currently national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine….In a column published Oct. 12 on the website of The Atlantic magazine, Goldberg indicts the eminent Catholic historian and philosopher Joseph Sobran as a “Nazi.”

Sorry, Mr. Goldberg, but Mr. Sobran never “denied” World War II, or any battle therein; or that the persecution and murder of Judaics had actually occurred. He questioned the extent of the latter; a useful and worthy scientific inquiry which inquisitors like you can’t handle. This writer was present at Sobran’s speech in Irvine, California on June 22, 2002, when he asked, “Why on earth is it ‘anti-Jewish’ to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination? Surely these are controversial conclusions; but if so, let the controversy rage…”

It was Zionism’s de facto propaganda machine which, in the late 1960s, began referring to Adolf Hitler’s crackdown on Judaics as a “Holocaust,” and in this context the neologism was imposed as the standard against which all skeptics are now forever measured and judged. (Michael Hoffman, Holocaust revisionist, 10/15/2010–check out his web site and boggle at what Menon thought was a legitimate source)

But whereas extremism in other nationalist movements is an aberration, extremism in Jewish nationalism is the norm, pitting Zionist Jews (secular or observant) against the goyim (everyone else), who are either possible predator or certain prey, if not both sequentially. This does not mean that all Jews or all Israelis feel and act this way, by any means. But it does mean that Israel today is what it cannot avoid being, and what it would be under any electable government.

The differences between Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and that of other countries and cultures here I think are fourfold:

1. Zionism is a real witches’ brew of xenophobia, racism, ultra-nationalism, and militarism that places it way outside of a “mere” nationalist context — for example, when I was in Ireland (both parts) I saw no indication whatsoever that the PIRAs or anyone else pressing for a united Ireland had a shred of design on shoving Protestants into camps or out of the country, although there may well have been a handful who thought that way — and goes far beyond the misery for others professed by the Nazis; (Alan Sabrosky, 10/4/2010)

I could go on at great length, but what’s the point. Debbie Menon uses her space at Veterans Today to give oxygen to some of the lowest of the low, but she is herself, in Wall’s words, “a creative and courageous blogger,” and I’m being “deceptive” to call her an anti-Semite.

Back to Wall’s article:

A favorite technique of these bloggers is to associate any criticism of the policies of the state of Israel as “anti-semitic”, as though the policies of a government and a religion tradition are one and the same.

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, a load of crap. Wall knows nothing about me, but he just makes the standard accusation of anyone who objects to Israel being held to a moral standard to which no one nation is held. I’ve made clear in the past that there’s a lot about Israeli policy and practice that can and should be criticized, starting with its settlement policy. As for the distinction between “a government and a religion,” that’s a red herring. The reason why the Israel haters are referred to as anti-Semitic is because they maintain that the world’s only Jewish state is uniquely evil, uniquely guilty, uniquely culpable. It’s as though the Jews are the only people’s whose sins are worth examining, only Jewish sins are worth investigating, and only Jewish sins require condemnation and ostracism.

This tactic works for some people. But I find that the easy use of anti-semitism in a political discussion has largely lost its cache [sic–he means cachet] and become instead, an exploitation of an ugly and demeaning act of hatred.

The writers on Debbie Menon’s site, My Catbird Seat, are a varied lot, some of whom I had encounted earlier on the iternet.  I do not always agree with the style of all they write, but they are definitely more sensitive to the injustices suffered by Palestinians than any American Christian conservative bloggers I have yet to find on the internet.

So is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So is Anwar al-Awlaki. So is Osama bin Laden. What’s your point?

Now he gets to me:

My own brief moment in the vilification derby sun came recently when another Presbyterian blogger, a Reformed pastor [sic], employed the title, James Wall: Sewer Dweller, when he wrote about my most recent posting.

A rather nasty title, I confess, but this particular newly designated “Sewer Dweller” wears his title proudly, with the understanding that it is a merit badge on the way to the final goal of ending the immoral Israeli (not Jewish) Occupation of Palestinian land and people.

Right. Jews aren’t occupying the West Bank. It’s all those Methodist, Hindu, and Swedenborgian Israelis that are responsible. He goes on to refer to my calling Veterans Today as a “sludge bucket,” and responds:

The website Veterans Today is not a “sludge-bucket”.  It is a progressive website that sees injustice  and calls it for what it is, which explains why these days, I find myself more at home with my new friends at Veterans Today and My Catbird Seat than with any Presbyterian blogger who has failed to realize that the Israeli occupation is a moral evil which must be ended. Perhaps this is a new ecumenism of the faithful.

Words fail me. Apparently Wall is quite comfortable embracing as friends people like Gordon Duff and Joe Cortina, whose views I quoted here. Here’s another one of James Wall’s new friends, a guy named J.Bruce Campbell, a VT staff writer who penned this today, the lead story on the front page of this rag:

Disgrace and redemption. The disgrace is of course our acceptance of Jewish domination of our lives, thanks entirely to the mind control system of tax-exempt Christianity in which we are all immersed regardless of our piety, our agnosticism or our hard, heathen rejection. America is a Christian nation and that means that we have not been allowed to defend ourselves against Jews. Christianity protects Jews from being killed, which is its main purpose. That’s why it is tax-exempt.

American lies are Jewish lies. Since Jews control every important aspect of our lives through banking, finance, law, war, food & drugs and entertainment, we are literally floating on a reservoir of truth blocked by a dam of lies that keeps us from understanding anything about those several subjects, among many others. But now I’m thinking that we can break the dam that contains this reservoir, let out the truth and produce tremendous energy, which we would see in the form of anger. Anti-Jewish anger. When dams break we all need to get to high ground or be swept away. Big dams are impressive things but I think rivers are supposed to run. Truth also is meant to flow, not be dammed up by lies….

But we can’t bust this dam of lies if we’re using bad equipment. For example, it has not proven possible for Christians to defend themselves from Jewish aggression, beginning with the Jewish genocide of Christians in 1917, in Russia. Some say 20 million Christians were slaughtered by Bolshevik Jews in just a few years, some say a lot more. It was a lot, whatever the actual number. What could be the reason the Jews wanted to kill so many people?

At the other end of the Christian control scale, we see more and more Jews infiltrating Christian churches, pretending to be converts, welcomed with open arms by the faithful. Do the Christians suspect that their new friends are there to observe and perhaps suppress anti-Jewish sentiments? My wife and I reluctantly attended services at a church in Carmel, California at the invitation of a new friend. We were startled to be introduced to a member of the flock who quickly identified himself as a Jewish convert to Christianity. He had overheard my wife’s mild remarks about human rights after the sermon, was obviously determined to prevent any talk about the Palestinians and he interrupted with, “I suppose you’re against the war, as well!” He was referring to Bush’s invasion of Iraq (this was in 2006). My wife replied, “Well, naturally – aren’t you?” Here we were in a Presbyterian church, a place of peace, with an aggressive Jewish “convert” suppressing a guest’s humanitarian remarks that he knew could become criticism of Israel. I piped up and asked, “What about Jesus? Would Jesus support war?” His assignment: to prevent criticism of Israel.

It’s not as extreme as the Bolshevik version, but it’s the way American Christians have been controlled for decades and it’s worked very well. By keeping American Christians tame, the Jews have ruled Russia, England, America and Palestine and much of Europe. I’m not counting the destruction of Europe by the Jewish allies of World Wars I and II – just their passive-aggressive method in “peacetime.” We only think it’s peacetime because the Jews are always at war, as they explained in the Jewish Protocols. You don’t need to read all twenty-four of them – just one. Any one. See if you think it’s “a forgery.”…

So far, there has been only one modern country that has tried to remove Jews from power. We know what happened to the Germans. Or do we? I doubt that most Americans will ever know what was done to them in our name. Millions killed during the war but many more millions killed by us after the war.

here’s the point: we were on the wrong side in World War II. Or rather, we were the wrong side, the Capitalist-Communist side. We destroyed a country and a people that were only trying to defend themselves from the most horrific, beastly war criminals in human history: Us and our Soviet partners.

Germany was the good side. That’s the big bitter pill that Americans will someday have to swallow. Now that the vicious fairy tale known as the Holocaust has been shown to be a complete fabrication of the Jewish Allies (America, England and the Soviet Union) at Nuremberg, what exactly is there to dislike about Germany’s behavior before, during and after World War II? Those snappy uniforms? Hitler’s mustache? Rounding up Jewish declared enemies and trying to deport them?

Okay, Germany was wrong to send Khazar Jews to Palestine. Very wrong. They should have sent them to New York, where they belong. FDR wouldn’t have taken them, however.

I bring all this up so that you can feel free to criticize Jews and feel absolutely no guilt at being compared with the Nazis.

I hope you’re proud of the new friends you’ve found at Veterans Today and My Catbird Seat, Mr. Wall. I’m sure you’ll be very happy together. Please excuse me now. I have to go throw up, and then take a shower.

UPDATE: Please note that the first comment under Campbell’s obscene ravings belongs to VT senior editor and My Catbird Seat contributing writer Gordon Duff, whose comment in its entirety is:


UPDATE: Demonstrating yet again the slimy ties between elements of the anti-Israel left in the mainline churches, we have this Facebook post from the PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network:

Americans who speak out against Israeli human rights violations are villified – please support Jim Wall’s latest post on his site!

This is an appropriate time to remind readers that my latest series of posts on Israel is not about Veterans Today or My Catbird Seat. Those are the dregs of the Internet, and they will have to account to God for their spreading hate. This is about those who collaborate with them: James Wall, the IPMN, the mainline church-supported US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. There is a darkness at the heart of the anti-Israel movement in the mainline churches, and it must be exposed.

There has been a rush in the evangelical community of late to baptize illegal immigrants. Leaders such as Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church have spoken out in favor of immigration reform that would essentially give amnesty to millions of people who came to the United States illegally. They have joined with the Roman Catholic bishops, mainline church leaders, and evangelical leftists such as Jim Wallis to advocate for what is called “comprehensive” reform.

Personally, I’m split on this issue. On the one hand, I was once an ardent supporter of open borders–allow anyone to come to the United States who didn’t have a criminal record back home. The prospect of terrorism gave me pause, but I’m still for more immigration rather than less. On the other hand, the idea of rewarding law-breaking doesn’t strike me as the best way to foster good citizenship, either in immigrants or the native-born.

More than anything, the thing that bothers me the most about the debate, I think, is the way those in favor of “comprehensive” reform glide over the moral issue with a glib “Christians should welcome the stranger!” slogan based on Old Testament injunctions that have little to do with the subject under debate. At the same time, they assume that anyone who opposes “comprehensive” reform is either a racist, a business shill, or a xenophobe. So I’d like to inject a bit of moral reasoning from the other side, specifically from Victor Davis Hanson, who poses moral questions that can’t be so easily evaded:

But what is often left out of the equation is the moral dimension of illegal immigration. We see the issue too often reduced to caricature, involving a noble, impoverished victim without much free will and subject to cosmic forces of sinister oppression. But everyone makes free choices that affect others. So ponder the ethics of a guest arriving in a host country knowingly contrary to its sovereign protocols and laws.

First, there is the larger effect on the sanctity of a legal system. If a guest ignores the law — and thereby often must keep breaking more laws — should citizens also have the right to similarly pick and choose which statutes they find worthy of honoring and which are too bothersome? Once it is deemed moral for the impoverished to cross a border without a passport, could not the same arguments of social justice be used for the poor of any status not to report earned income or even file a 1040 form?

Second, what is the effect of mass illegal immigration on impoverished U.S. citizens? Does anyone care? When 10 to 15 million aliens are here illegally, where is the leverage for the American working poor to bargain with employers? If it is deemed ethical to grant in-state-tuition discounts to illegal-immigrant students, is it equally ethical to charge three times as much for out-of-state, financially needy American students — whose federal government usually offers billions to subsidize state colleges and universities? If foreign nationals are afforded more entitlements, are there fewer for U.S. citizens?

Third, consider the moral ramifications on legal immigration — the traditional great strength of the American nation. What are we to tell the legal immigrant from Oaxaca who got a green card at some cost and trouble, or who, once legally in the United States, went through the lengthy and expensive process of acquiring citizenship? Was he a dupe to follow our laws dutifully?

And given the current precedent, if a million soon-to-be-impoverished Greeks, 2 million refugee North Koreans, or 5 million starving Somalis were to enter the United States illegally and en masse, could anyone object to their unlawful entry and residence? If so, on what legal, practical, or moral grounds?

Fourth, examine the morality of remittances. It is deemed noble to send billions of dollars back to families and friends struggling in Latin America. But how is such a considerable loss of income made up? Are American taxpayers supposed to step in to subsidize increased social services so that illegal immigrants can afford to send billions of dollars back across the border? What is the morality of that equation in times of recession? Shouldn’t illegal immigrants at least try to buy health insurance before sending cash back to Mexico?

As I said, I’m not entirely sure where I stand on all this, but I think Hanson raises questions that people like Anderson, Land, and Hybels need to take some time to consider and deal with if they are going to seek to be out in front of the evangelical community on this issue.

I’ve long been a fan of Bishop Will Willimon. He’s a terrific writer and preacher who has spent his career calling the mainline church and its members back to its primary mission of worshiping God, proclaiming the gospel, and living lives of sacrificial discipleship. I guess it’s my previous admiration for his work that makes me wonder just how bad a day Willimon was having when he wrote on the blog of the North Alabama Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church:

Knee deep in the church’s response to the crisis in Haiti, overwhelmed by the determination of United Methodists to respond to the suffering there, I received an unsolicited email from the folks at the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) complaining about the President’s health care plan. (Victims of Obamacare, By Mark Tooley, 1.28.10)

I’m not sure why he would have received this particular item from the IRD just now–it was from a January column in the American Spectator. Anyway….

Thousands of you are on the IRD’s unsolicited email list. From time to time I hear from you, upset about something that the IRD is upset about. They tend never to be concerned about anything that concerns the church – like the suffering of sisters and brothers in Haiti, the content of our preaching, the quality of our discipleship, the orthodoxy of our theology.

This is where it starts getting bizarre. If Willimon thinks that the IRD is not concerned about “the orthodoxy of our theology,” then he knows next to nothing about what they’ve been doing for the last couple of decades, which has been far more focused on combating the growing heresy and politicized theology within the mainline churches than anything else. As for the alleged lack of concern for the suffering of Christians, I don’t know how involved, if at all, IRD has been with Haiti, but it certainly has been doing all it can to bring the plight of persecuted Christians in places such as Sudan to the world’s attention for many years.

The email tirade was fairly typical for the IRD – snide, caustic, right wing conservative, devoid of any reference to the Bible or Jesus. Mr. Tooley is a good enough writer but he is utterly innocent of any theological interests. And so is the IRD. Note their title: Religion and Democracy. They never talk about Christ and they seem to think that politics and government is the answer to everything.

Actually, it’s their left-wing opponents in the mainline churches who tend to think that “politics and government is the answer to everything.” It’s exactly that mindset that the IRD was founded to combat. And again, if Bishop Willimon thinks that the IRD is “utterly innocent of any theological interests,” he clearly has not been paying attention.

The IRD seems to be a group of people who worship “religion” and “democracy” whereas the United Methodist Church is trying to worship and to obey Jesus.

Uh, “snide” and “caustic,” Bishop? And where exactly is the worship and obedience to Jesus in the UMC’s support of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights or the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation or the hyper-politicized National and World Councils of Churches?

Emails from the IRD could as easily be released by Mormon Glen Beck or some Islamic Society as by any Christian church. Though their main function is to attack mainline churches, “church” is not in their name. Right wing politics appears to be their church.

“Church” is not in the name of Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, Bread for the World, Campus Crusade, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, or Duke Divinity School, either. I guess that means that something other than Christian faith is what they’re all about, too.

Of course, I’ve been critical when left wing politics plays a greater role in our conversation as a church than scripture or Jesus. But standing there, trying to get those water purification systems out of Alabama and into Haiti, wading through the hundreds of health kits that Alabama Methodists produced in one week, with our Conference website jammed with Methodists attempting to give money to Haiti, I was once again reminded of the irrelevancy of the IRD. They may have generous funding from a few right wing fanatics, they may have some interesting things to say about politics, and Mr. Tooley may be (in certain moments) a good satirist, but they don’t have much to do with being the church. Jesus Christ ought to control the church’s imagination – not politics left or right.

I don’t agree with everything that comes from the IRD, but I don’t have to. I’ve had more than enough contact with its employees to know that they are Christians of deep convictions, whose motivations stem from their love of Christ and His church, and who are seeking to bring the mainline churches of which they are members back to some semblance of theological orthodoxy. Before Bishop Willimon fires off another snide, caustic, uninformed, and frankly embarrassing screed about a fellow Methodist (Mark Tooley) and his colleagues, he ought to take a few minutes to get past his own political prejudices and learn something about them.

(Via IRD, but the opinions are all my own.)

Looks like we’ve got another anti-Israel activist who likes to go dredging around in the muck, and this one may come as a surprise to some. It’s James Wall, the former long-time editor-in-chief of the Christian Century, and it appears that he’s been hitting the pages of my favorite sludge-bucket:

Stephen Lendman, a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization reported in Veterans Today that the New York Times gives its typical pro-Israel slant on Clinton’s offer.

He writing about the offer that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu last week that would be an incentive for him to reinstate the settlement freeze. But it isn’t the particulars of the column that are interesting, of course, but rather the sources. Veterans Today, as I’ve previously documented, is home to a variety of anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and 9/11 Truthers. Why Wall, supposedly reputable journalist, is getting information through its slimy pages is for you to decide.

Then there’s the author of the particular article that Wall cites. Stephen Lendman bills himself as a “retired small businessman” of “progressive” inclinations. He has, among other things, referred in his Internet writings to Barack Obama as a “war criminal” and “neo-conservative” (!), to the Dalai Lama as a “covert CIA asset,” to convicted terrorist-enabler Lynne Stewart as a “heroic human rights lawyer,” and has written as a serial apologist for Hugo Chavez and various terrorists such as the men who plotted to attack Fort Dix. He’s written articles with titles such as:

•”Ethnically Cleansing East Jerusalem: Israel plans to totally Judaize East Jerusalem”

•”Class Warfare Jeopardizing American Workers Rights: Obama’s deficit cutting scheme is to take a giant leap toward ending all social benefits, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid”

•”Lurching Toward Gomorrah: Growing Israeli Fascism”

•”America: Land of Police State Persecution” (complete with photo of Nazi courtroom)

•”Israel’s Slow-Motion Genocide in Occupied Palestine

•”Pro-Zionism–Defending the Indefensible: Defending Zionism is like defending cancer”

In other words, Lendman is the worst kind of kook, a Workers World Party-type (if not member) who supports some of the world’s most despotic regimes at the same time that he calls Israel a racist, fascist apartheid state. This is the kind of writer James Wall feels comfortable quoting, after reading his writing in a cesspool like Veterans Today. And Wall is still considered a respectable voice in the mainline churches.

Oh, and by the way: I was alerted to Wall’s article by the Facebook page of the PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network. Big surprise, huh?

UPDATED: Well, that explains it. It isn’t that James Wall is Dumpster-diving. He lives in the Dumpster. Via my friend Viola Larson, it turns out that he is a “contributor” on a sister site of Veterans Today called My Catbird Seat, which is run by an anti-Semite named Debbie Menon, a Dubai-based freelance writer who also happens to be a “featured staff writer” for VT. The “About” for My Catbird Seat, which Wall presumably agrees with, says this among other things:

We are committed to exposing the Zionist Lobbies control of American policy for the Middle East.

Control which amounts to treason by the Zionist Lobbies in America and its stooges in Congress, and that guarantees there can never be a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only catastrophe for all, in the region and the world.

Menon herself wrote at My Catbird Seat earlier this year:

This is the way the world is, and this is Israel, the remorseless, unprincipled barbaric in the most and truest sense, of nations. I think the ruthless barbaric sense of superiority and invincibility Israel is, is in the myth of their “Nation” if not their blood, for there is no such thing as an ethnic or blood Jew or “people.”  These God’s chosen people?  My God!

I tire of this charade, and it is time someone began calling these shenanigans, what it is, spades are spades, and naming Zionist Israelis for what they are and, not simply calling them to account, but going to their house, knocking on their door, dragging them out, holding their feet to the fire and calling them to account… at the end of a figurative rope if necessary, and virtual ropes if at all possible!

James Wall is still listed as a contributing editor of the Christian Century. I don’t care how long he was in charge there–if that magazine wishes to maintain any credibility at all when it reports or opines on Middle East issues, it should discharge Wall immediately. Whether he is an anti-Semite himself is irrelevant. He has inextricably linked and identified himself with them through the sites he writes for and uses as sources. He is a blot on the Christian Century, and on the mainline churches that have looked to him for journalistic wisdom.

I found out recently that the PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network has a Facebook page, so I thought I’d check it out. It mostly consists of links to various news articles and propaganda pieces (including those linked from anti-Semitic web sites), but there’s also the typical Facebook opportunity to comment.

They posted a story about DePaul University, a faux-Catholic college in Chicago, that has decided to boycott Israeli-made Sabra brand hummus. Ho hum. What caught my eye was this exchange between Noushin Framke, who is apparently in charge of communications for the IPMN, and another reader:

Marilyn Kauffmann: Norman Finkelstein has to be celebrating. And movement continues to do the right thing.

Noushin Framke: ‎@Marilyn – it had escaped me that Finkelstein’s tenure battle was at DePaul! thanks for the reminder! Yes, he will get the last laugh one day too …

This is yet another reminder that the Presbyterians of the IPMN seem to have a predilection for–how shall we put it?–fringe characters. Norman Finkelstein is the author of The Holocaust Industry, among other tomes, and was refused tenure by DePaul (as well as every other school he’s taught at, including Rutgers, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and NYU) because of politicized, shoddy, and frequently dishonest scholarship. Finkelstein has:

Held up neo-Nazi David Irving for his “indispensable contributions” to the history of World War II Germany;

Denied that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in Europe;

Regularly compares Israel and Jewish organizations to the Nazis;

Claimed that MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute, which regularly makes available in the West translated Arab-language broadcasts and articles, many of which are of the most vulgarly anti-Semitic sort) is a Mossad operation;

Praised Hezbollah;

•Regularly used language that, if used by a non-Jew, would undoubtedly get the writer ostracized from polite society as a vicious bigot;

•Become a darling of anti-Semites on both the right (, Institute for Historical Research) and the left (Counterpunch,, Veterans Today)

In short, Finkelstein falls in a category of bizarre individuals (one which includes people like Noam Chomsky, Shlomo Sand, Gilad Atzmon, Paul Eisen, and Israel Shahak, among others) known as “Jewish anti-Semites.” He’s a person that anyone of good will who genuinely wants to see peace in the Holy Land, rather than simply the destruction of Israel, would run the other way from. But Noushin Framke declares that “he will get the last laugh one day.”


Whoever is in charge of the Facebook account for the PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network apparently doesn’t read this blog. He/she/they should–it would save them the embarrassment of doing what even the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (the IPMN’s pals in the so-called Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement) wouldn’t do, once it was caught: get in bed with flagrant anti-Semites.

On November 2, I wrote about the USCEIO linking on its blog to a sewer called Veterans Today, a platform for anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers. The next day, with no acknowledgment, the link and the post in which it was found disappeared. I can only presume that once the nature of Veterans Today was pointed out, the poster decided that he didn’t want his organization associated with the likes of VT.

The IPMN, however, apparently has no such qualms. So today, on its Facebook page, it does the same thing. Just scroll down to the third entry, and there it is: “Eric Cantor and the Provoking of American Anti-Semitism: Veterans Today”. The article itself can be found here. It’s by Lawrence Davidson, a history professor at West Chester University who has written as an apologist for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, blamed Iranian Holocaust denial on Israeli “imperialism,” and equated Zionism–the aspiration for a Jewish national homeland–with apartheid.

Feel free to take a look at the article, which is about what you’d expect. Here’s the real point: why is the IPMN giving publicity and links to a publication like Veterans Today? For that matter, why does IPMN consider it to be a legitimate source of information? Here’s a sample of the comments to Davidson’s article, which will give you a flavor for the kind of people who frequent VT:

Anti-semites are people the jews hate, not people who hate jews. (“Equalizer”)

Regarding the rise of anti semitism.
I say give ‘Fear’ a chance.
Nothing else has worked. (“Cal”)

The truth is anti-semetic! (“John”)

Modern “Jews” are predominantly Europeanized Khazars and as such the descendants of Japheth, not Shem. The term “Jew” in fact was unknown (being a 19th century mistransliteration of “Judean”) in the time of Jesus and only appears in English bibles because of the aforementioned mistransliteration.

So no, no true Christian should have any love for the terrorist-born neo-colonial Sabbatean abomination called “The State of Israel”, for it has nothing whatsoever to do with the God Christians claim to serve nor the true meaning of biblical references to “Israel” (people of God) which IS the Church, not the enclave of genocidal interlopers in Palestine. (“Penumbra”)

You get the point.

(Hat tip: Viola Larson.)

UPDATE: There’s a new link for the Facebook post. (Thanks, Viola.)

From the New York Post comes a story that says a lot about where we are as a culture. It’s about the funeral of crime writer Philip Carlo, where something bizarre happened:

It could have been a funeral-home scene out of a “Sopranos” episode. At the wake for crime author Philip Carlo, Tony Danza angrily interrupted the priest, claiming he was talking too much about God and not enough about the best-selling biographer of mass murderers, including Richard Kuklinski and Richard Ramirez, during his eulogy.

A source at Thursday’s wake at Peter C. La Bella Funeral Home in Bensonhurst said the priest–“who said he was a substitute priest from a federal prison, which made some people smirk–started to ramble on and on about religion, quoting the Bible and making mourners uncomfortable.

“Tony, who was one of Carlo’s closest friends, walked right up to the priest and said angrily, ‘Excuse me, but this is not about you. It’s supposed to be about my friend, and if you can’t do that, maybe you should let someone else speak!’

“People were stunned, while the priest was visibly shaken. He tried talking about Carlo before quickly wrapping things up. Danza took over and eulogized Carlo with memories from their younger days.

“When someone then heckled Tony, he said, ‘Will you give me a break? Will you stop and let me talk?'”

Danza’s behavior was boorish, self-centered, and juvenile–you know, about what you’d expect from an inconsequential actor. But his action, as appalling as it was, gives me the opportunity to say this: the church should not seek to play chaplain to the culture.

Clearly, the assembled multitudes, or at least a significant portion of them, at Carlo’s funeral were there, not to hear the gospel of Christ’s triumph over death and our part in that triumph by faith. Rather, they were there to celebrate the life of a friend. That’s fine, and that’s what should have been done. Tony Danza should have presided and rambled on to his heart’s content about the good ol’ days when he and Carlo were the cat’s pajamas, or whatever. There was no need for a priest, or any other kind of clergy, because the gathering wasn’t about God, it was about Carlo.

If that is the kind of memorial people want to have, they should be willing to say so, rather than subject ministers who are only trying to do the job the way they were trained to and believe it should be done, to this kind of harassment. I can respect folks who don’t want God to intrude on their ceremonies–just don’t ask God’s representatives to be there. And by the way, in case you’re thinking that this was just one overgrown adolescent being a jerk, the widow made clear that she thought what he did was terrific:

His wife, Laura, told us, “The funeral went very well, and we know Phil would have been very happy. We all agreed that the priest had to go and leave it to Phil’s friends to come to the rescue.”

When Philip Carlo stands before the Lord God Almighty, do you suppose his friends will be able to “come to the rescue” then? Just wondering.

(Via Religion News Service blog.)

Jim Wallis is concerned about the federal deficit, as well he should be. In a column at Sojourners today, he takes a whack at solving what has become the single biggest political conundrum in Washington: how to make a serious dent in the deficit without causing increased unemployment among congresscritters. Unfortunately, his “solution” only demonstrates that he doesn’t really think the deficit is a serious problem after all:

The good news is that in three easy steps, we can head much closer to a balanced budget and quickly reduce the deficit to a more sustainable level. There is an added bonus: We can also significantly reduce extreme poverty.

First, it’s time to cut needless military spending….Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul came up with a plan that they say would leave our country just as safe but save us $960 billion by 2020!

That amounts to $96 billion a year over the next ten years. So what’s next?

Second, return tax rates for the wealthy back to Clinton-era levels of 39.6 percent from the Bush top level of 35 percent.

OK. There’s debate over the effect that would have on an economy that needs investment, but let’s go with it. This is the famous $700 billion that various folks claimed the feds couldn’t forgo without unleashing the wrath of God, or something like that. But that figure is shorthand for “$700 billion over the next ten years.” So again, we’re talking about a much smaller amount–$70 billion–that could be used to reduce the deficit each year. Finally, there’s this:

Third, eliminate farm subsidies….Simply eliminating these subsidies would save taxpayers the equivalent of getting rid of every last earmark from our budget.

I happen to agree with Wallis here–most farm subsidies go to agribusiness that doesn’t need them. There’s just one problem: they only total about $20 billion.

So, add together Wallis’ three “easy steps” to a “more sustainable” deficit, and you’ve only got about $186 billion a year in savings. That might be a start, but it doesn’t even begin to bring a deficit of over $1.4 trillion under control.

The fact is that there’s no way to do so unless the matter of entitlements is engaged. At the least, I think it is time to means-test both Social Security and Medicare and raise the retirement age. I can’t find figures on what those two moves will save, but I can’t help but think that it would dwarf what you’d get from eliminating farm subsidies. If Wallis is ready to discuss entitlements, then I’ll change the title on this post.

The blog at the mainline church-supported U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has chosen to highlight a propaganda film of the most abased sort from the Arizona State University Students for Justice in Palestine. It seems that Sun Devils for Israel had invited an Israeli Defense Forces soldier, Sergeant Nadav Weinberg, to speak about “Ethics of the IDF.” In response, ASU SJP organized one of those typically brainless protests that one sees so often on college campuses these days, wherein the participants make their statement without bothering to listen to or engage with the other side. Here’s the video:

I guess you can at least say that the protest didn’t prevent Sgt. Weinberg from speaking, which is the usual modus operandi of such campus activists. They did, however, in typically bigoted fashion manage to completely ignore those Israelis (Jews and Arabs alike) who have been “silenced” by the actions of the Islamist and secular Palestinian terrorists that ASU SJP (and USCEIO) implicitly if not explicitly supports.

I had another amazing day at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Pastors’ Conference today. The highlight was unquestionably the prayer meeting, which was every bit as full (in a sanctuary that seats something like 2500) as any Sunday worship service.

There were two focuses for prayer this evening: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the pastors’ conference participants. The approach is very definitely not pulpit centered. After a short but wrenching video about the conditions in the Congo, those in attendance were invited to find another person, join hands and pray for that tortured country. I joined hands with a young black man with a West Indian accent who put a genuine passion into his prayer. I did likewise, and truth be told I’m not sure I’ve ever prayed for anything with more fervency. There was simply an atmosphere that encouraged one to pour out his heart to the Lord.

The congregation then prayed for the pastors and others from the conference, and that was just as powerful. As folks came to the front of the sanctuary, church deacons came around to pray specifically with each of us, as well as anointing us with oil as a sign of God’s anointing on our ministries.

Oh, and before the service (which started filling up at 5 pm for a 7 pm meeting!), members of the church’s prayer band–which I was told numbers over 400 people at this point–were available at the front of the church to pray with anyone who had a specific need. I came forward, and me and my church were prayed over by another West Indian, a woman named Lorna who spoke to the Lord in an incredibly personal way about me and my congregation after just a couple of minutes of conversation about our needs. It was a humbling and inspiring evening.

I will be heading back to Northern Virginia tomorrow morning, and I feel ready to take on the serious work of ministry again. More on that to come. Praise the Lord!

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