These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 6, 2012.
Friday, 6 April 2012
Jews Against Jihad: An Antidote for American Jews Who Prefer Muslims Over Christian Zionists
Jerusalem Post Washington Correspondent Hilary Leila Krieger had a comment to an article she filed this week about a finding from the results a recent poll of American Jews. The comment was that American Jews allegedly preferred Muslims over the Christian Right sic Zionists, see here. That finding was drawn from a poll on Presidential prospects in 2012 that indicated that 62 Percent of American Jews supported Obama’s re-election, a drop from the 78 % that voted for him in 2008.
Jews have warmer feelings towards Muslims and Mormons than the Christian right. None of the groups cracked the warm feelings half of the favorability scale, where 100 equals very warm feelings and equals very cold feelings. But Mormons came close with an average score of 47 out of 100 points and Muslims behind that at 41 out of 100 points. Jews rated the Christian right at an average of just 21 out of 100.
This may come as a shock, but it shouldn’t. Most American Jews are committed to interfaith dialogue, including with Muslims. However they are virtually ignorant of the primordial Jew hatred in doctrinal Islam. That is compounded by the Da’wa tactics of religiously sanctioned taqiyya and kitman used to great effect by Imams in Dar al Hijra (the land of immigration in the West) to deceive the unbelievers in these dialogue sessions, whether Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and other of the world’s major faiths. We have written about how prevalent and dangerous dialogue is to American Jews in a January 2012 New English Review (NER) article, Dialogue with Radical Muslims is Dangerous for American Jews.
At the B’nai Israel Synagogue presentation, a mixed audience composed of mainstream and Evangelical Christians, Reform, Conservative, and Messianic Jews with a sprinkling of religious skeptics listened attentively to his discourse on the broad sweep and diversity of Muslim demography across the Ummah, the EU and potentially here in America. He revealed how Jews and Christians fared in the wake of the Islamic Jihad conquest across northern Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Israeli explained the Islamic system of dhimmitude for subjugated peoples in conquered lands under the oppressive creed of Islam. These conquered lands were predominately Christian with Jewish minorities in North Africa and the Middle East, Hindu and Buddhist in other realms. Israeli’s presentation showed how rapid conquest and occupation of settled communities by rampaging Islamic Arab nomads evolved into a system of Islamic Sharia laws. This system pressured indigenous captured populations survived to accept the choice of conversion, living in a despised status without human or civil rights, or fleeing. Over time, the Islamic system turned once non-Muslim majority countries into majority Muslim ones. He addressed examples of the contemporary eruption of fundamentalist Islam that appears poised to further deplete the remnants of ancient Jewish and Christian communities in the Middle East who suffered centuries of depredations from jihad conquest, subjugation and persecution. That is evident in the continuing pogroms against the Coptic community in Egypt and the Assyrian Christian one in Iraq. Like the one million Jews who fled Arab and Muslim lands and found sanctuary in the Jewish State of Israel and the West, the surviving Christian communities are now seeking refuge in their respective diasporas in the wake of the "Arab Spring."
At the conclusion of Israeli’s Pensacola lecture the audience streamed up front to linger and ask both of us questions about the implication of his talk. Without hesitation the all too frequent response was, “there are no negotiations with their God Allah”. Proving that if a cross section of Americans, Jews, Christians and skeptics, can get this message after getting the facts about Islamic doctrine, then there is hope that message could penetrate the fog of ignorance conveyed by mainstream and even Jewish media.
Should you wish to join the new group, write directly to Don Feder as his website, here. In the alternative, you may write me at my NER email address and indicate your support by using this response, “I’m in” and indicating your affiliation.
Below is the Statement of Principles of Jews Against Jihad:
Jews against Jihad -- Statement of Principles
Everywhere the Jewish people are under attack by Muslim terrorists, regimes and religious authorities.
Jews are regularly murdered, tortured, terrorized and demonized in the name of Islam. This is happening in Israel , the Middle East, Europe, and the United States and around the world.
Far from being isolated incidents, these crimes are connected and come from a central source – Islam’s theological hatred for the Jewish people and paranoia stretching back centuries to its origins.
This can be met in one of two ways.
The Jewish establishment and Jewish left choose to pretend reality doesn’t exist – to ignore the atrocities and hate speech – or to blame it all on the Middle East conflict, thus rationalizing a pogrom in progress.
Worse, they indict those of us who dare speak the truth as“Islamophobes” – bigots and hate-mongers who incite violence against innocent Muslims.
While Jews are slaughtered by Muslims in the name of Islam – while a modern Kristallnacht takes place in Western Europe (spurred by Muslim immigration), while 80% of U.S. mosques contain pro-jihad material (according to one survey) -- they engage in campaigns against “Islamophobia.” It’s the Stockholm syndrome on a massive scale.
Or the gravest threat to the survival of the Jewish people since the fall of the Third Reich can be met by Jews who unflinchingly stand for the truth and are determined to sound the alarm.
Jews Against Jihad was born out of necessity and exists to warn both Jews and non-Jews of the nature of Islam and the relationship between this savage war against the Jewish people and the rhetoric of the Muslim elite and history and tradition of Islam.
Holy Water! Or, There Is An Eastertide In The Affairs Of Men
by John M. Joyce (April 2012)
Many a parish priest can't help but mark off his time on earth by using the Christian Kalendar and in that respect I am no different from most of the other priests in England; many, many years of serving in this my lovely country parish as priest, and often confidant, to my parishioners has meant that I too tend to think from one Advent to the next, from one Lent to the next, or from one Easter to the next rather than from one years end to the next. more>>>
Eldad: End Centuries of Muslim Occupation in Judea and Samaria
Israeli MK Dr. Arieh Eldad of National Union
Just before the combined Passover-Easter weekend, National Union MK Dr. Arieh Eldad met this week with a group of American Christian Zionists at the Knesset in Jerusalem. The occasion, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, was the fourth Jerusalem Assembly. Gil Hoffman who filed the report noted the program of the Christian Zionist group:
In cooperation with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the assembly brought together 115 pastors and lay leaders from around the world who represent tens of thousands of churches and hundreds of millions of Christians. Over two days, they heard many lectures from MKs, academics and pastors about the Middle East conflict and the biblical attachment of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, but Eldad’s speech especially enthralled them.
According to this Jerusalem Postreport, Eldad told the group:
The entire world wants two states for two peoples and to end the occupation, I am in favor of ending the Muslim occupation that began in the seventh century and establishing a Palestinian state in Jordan. This might have been questioned a few years ago but after what is called the Arab Spring, it is becoming increasingly likely. After Bashar Assad falls in Syria, Jordan will be next and it will become the Palestinian state it already is.
Eldad said the help of Christian Zionists was more important than ever, because there are too many Jews in Israel for whom Israel has become mere real estate and not a homeland.
Eldad, whose NER interview leads off the collection in The West Speakshas been remarkably consistent and unwavering in this proposal.
That resonated with one of the Christian Zionist attendees at this Knesset session:
Pastor Charlotte Phillips of Glory Center Ministries in Maryland said she hoped Israel would hold on to all of the land of Israel, citing the Biblical comparisons between Israel and a tree.
“We need the boundaries of God,” she said. “We know there is talk of land for peace. We say hold fast, steadfast, and unmovable.”
Another leader of this Christian Group addressed the Obama Administration’s indifference to Israel’s sovereignty in this regard and noted:
Bishop Quintin Moore, who represents a communion of 80,000 churches all over the world, said he would advise US President Barack Obama “to open his heart for the right of Israel to govern herself.”
Perhaps, an invitation should be extended to Dr. Eldad by a new group being formed here in the US, Jews Against Jihad, see our post on this recent development.
Abuja — What could have led to one of the bloodiest Easter celebrations in recent times in Gombe State was averted, yesterday, as operatives of the State Security Service(SSS) discovered 60 Improvised Explosive Devices planted in different locations at the British Cotton Ginnery Area (BCGA) of the metropolis. They were programmed to explode yesterday, the eve of Easter Friday.
Following weeks of surveillance we gathered enough intelligence information on the hoodlums which led to the raids that led to the recovery of the weapons in the two hideouts," secret police chief Bitrus Asha told reporters late Thursday outside the house where the bombs were found. "We recovered among other things 60 improvised explosive devices in soft drink cans, 48 bags of ammonia nitrate fertilizer and other chemicals for bomb-making and detonating cables," he said.
He said five suspects were arrested during that raid and another one during a second raid.
Asha added that 51 rocket launchers were found in the second raid on a house in the Barunde surburb of the city.
The military joint task force deployed in central Kogi state said Friday it had found a bomb factory operated by Boko Haram at the town of Ogaminana, the second one in two weeks. "The discovery of the bomb factory followed information extracted from one of the suspects arrested in the previous operation," military chief Major-General Alphonsus Chukwu said. "The suspect led security operatives to this place and we discovered that the rooms were being used for the manufacture of bombs and other explosive devices," he said, showing reporters the factory. He said locally made bombs, guns, gas cylinders, aerosol cans, metal detectors, bullet-proof vests, police and military uniforms were also recovered during the raid.
Nigeria has stepped up security across the country to forestall any attacks by Boko Haram during the Easter festivities
Readers will remember that Jos and the surrounding Plateau State is the frontline of incursions of Muslim nomads coming down from the north into Christian faming areas. JOS – Security agencies in Plateau have banned movement of motorcycles in the state from Friday to Tuesday as part of measures to ensure hitch-free Easter celebration. The state Police Commissioner, Emmanuel Ayeni, said in a statement on Friday in Jos that the decision was taken at a stakeholders’ meeting attended by all heads of security agencies and religious bodies in the state.
Ayeni said the stakeholders also resolved that all worshippers should park their vehicles outside their places of worship throughout the Easter period.
“Preachers should shorten their sermons and all worshippers should disperse to their various homes immediately after the service rather than loitering or clustering at the premises. There will be no rally or procession during the festive period as the ban on such is still in force. If any meeting is to be held, it should be at different venues and not worship centres.”
Ayeni said there would be constant patrol by security agencies to avoid security breach, adding that worshippers would not be allowed into worship centres with handbags.
Places of worship would be cordoned off and diversion created where necessary, he added.
Men of the military Special Task Force maintaining security in the state, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the Police have also beefed up security around the metropolis. Surveillance aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force also carried out aerial patrol of suspected hotspots in Jos and its environs.
From The Grantham Journal Once again there is more information about things happening in big cities in the local papers of small Midlands towns than in the national newspapers or the big provincial papers.
A Rochdale man accused of being part of a child sexual exploitation ring has denied being a pimp and said that one of his accusers was "the Devil", a court has heard. Eleven men are on trial at Liverpool Crown Court charged with conspiring to engage children in sexual activity.
On Thursday Abdul Aziz, 41, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, repeatedly denied having sexual relations with any of the alleged victims and called on the prosecution to present "proof" of his wrongdoing. Taxi driver Aziz, who also denies two counts of rape and one allegation of trafficking for sexual exploitation, spoke with the aid of an interpreter and denied using his cab to transport underage girls to other men who would use them for sex and then pay him.
Speaking through his interpreter, Aziz - a married father-of-three - said: "No, that's not true. No such thing happened. She is lying and lying again. There's no truth in it. I have not taken her to any flat, to any house." Later he said the victim had once tried to blackmail him. He said: "(She) was the Devil. She is responsible for us being here today . . . I had no sexual relationship with her. If you do have any proof then show it." He also denied raping a third girl in his taxi and asked the prosecution to present DNA evidence if they had any.
Earlier, the defendant Kabeer Hassan, 24, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, Greater Manchester, denied raping one of the girls upstairs in a takeaway. He said: "No, I never had sex with (her). I never touched her. I wouldn't touch her with a barge pole. I used to keep myself to myself. Simple as that."
The jury was sent home for the Easter break and the trial will resume on Tuesday.
We live in an age of Peter Pan. It is not eternal childhood that we seek, however, but eternal adolescence; not perpetual innocence, but perpetual aggravation of the grown-ups. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer grown-ups left to aggravate.
The tenfold increase in the number of late-middle-aged people who smoke cannabis or take other drugs by comparison with the previous generation is but one manifestation of a widespread desire for eternal adolescence. Increasing numbers of people – especially men – on the verge of old age dress as in their youth, as if reluctant to acknowledge that their youth has passed.
The tendency is international. In the part of France in which I live for half the year, ageing soixante-huitards, their lizard skins wrinkled by having been too much in the sun, wear short denim jackets and try (but thanks to nature fail) to grow ponytails. They are not so much young, as immature at heart; they long for the days when it was forbidden to forbid. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
We are now entering the first era of the geriatric adolescent, or the adolescent geriatric. Everyone who has to deal with the old knows that in general they are a delight: gentle, dignified and undemanding. But when they are fractious, egotistical and difficult, they are as bad as any adolescent. I suspect that in future cohorts of the elderly there will be more of this type.
Recently, Paul McCartney told Rolling Stone that, aged 69, he had decided to give up cannabis. The reasons he gave for his conversion to abstinence were unintentionally revealing, not only of him, but of our increasingly immature and self-centred, that is to say adolescent, world-view.
The slowly ageing idol said that it was finally time to give up smoking cannabis because he now had a “sense of responsibility” towards his eight-year-old daughter. He added, “When you’re bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you’re lucky, at some point.”
This statement was very revealing – far more revealing than it was probably intended to be – because it constituted an admission that smoking cannabis was an act of irresponsibility. There is, of course, a time and place for irresponsibility in a man’s life, namely adolescence, but 69 is a little late in the day to grow out of it.
Of course, Paul McCartney was protected from the consequences of his own irresponsibility by his talent and great wealth; he didn’t really need to be responsible. But most of us have no such luxury. Responsibility is required much earlier in our lives, because of both our circumstances and our choices. Airline pilots and train drivers cannot behave like superannuated rock stars. Unfortunately, more and more of us kick against the traces, as if we were still 18; we want to be superannuated rock stars.
The development of a sense of responsibility does not “kick in” if we are lucky. No one is self-indulgent by virtue of bad luck; he is self-indulgent by virtue of egotism and an indifference to others. The adoption of a culture of adolescence is therefore bound to result in a society of isolated self-absorption and indifference to the welfare of others.
Yesterday, I happened to be walking through the church of St Mary the Virgin in Nottingham. On the wall was a plaque to the memory of Frederick John Cox, “a youth of great promise”, who was “cut off in the morning of his life” and who “died on the 28th of November 1809 in the sixteenth year of his age”. To this some verses were appended:
“Farewell dear Youth! Too soon thy course is sped.
Fond Nature cries, and mourns, the untimely dead.
Yet why these tears? In everlasting day
Still blooms thy youth, and never shall decay.”
We have impiously – and ludicrously – brought down from heaven to earth the hope of an everlasting day of blooming and undecaying youth.
Remembering China’s forgotten Jewish community at Passover
Passover is that Jewish holiday that celebrates the Children of Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt, under their leader Moses. This year it has fallen on the week beginning Friday, April 6, which is the same day as Easter Friday. It is a springtime festival that commemorates a move from slavery to freedom, from servitude to responsibility and from dependence to independence. It is also a family holiday whose ritual takes place at home. The Haggadah asks us to invite anyone who is hungry or thirsty to join and in multicultural Toronto it is a festival where Jews often invite their non-Jewish friends to share this festive meal. In that sense, it is a bit like Christmas.
The “script” for the ritual meal and the “telling” of the Exodus is set out in a small liturgical text called the Passover Haggadah. In their numerous migrations, wherever Jews have found themselves, they have devised versions of the Haggadah that reflect their specific geographical and historical circumstances. The Haggadah has Israeli versions, Canadian versions, American versions, Moroccan, Turkish and Yemenite versions, Bukharin (central Asian) versions and modern Chinese versions.
It should therefore come as no surprise that Chinese and Persian Jewish scholars, Fook-Kong Wong and Dalia Yasharpour, have just jointly published a well-annotated reproduction of the Passover Haggadah of that now defunct Jewish community of indigenous Jews in Western China who once lived and prospered in the city of Kaifeng. As the community most probably came from Persia before establishing itself there more than a thousand years ago, the Haggadah and its commentary makes use of Hebrew, Aramaic and the Judeo-Persian language.
The rise of the Islamic empire in the 8th century AD and the subsequent urbanization of the Jews of Islam created of this once agricultural people a religious minority that was spread across both the Islamic and Christian worlds during late antiquity and the early middle ages. Medieval Arab geographers of the time describe one group of Jewish traders called the Radanites, who were said to have trading networks that included both France and China at either end.
Scholars now believe that there was a flourishing Jewish community in medieval Kaifeng, which had established itself by the 11th century. In a curious twist of fate, some of their ritual artifacts are now on display at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, because during the early 20th century, the site of the Kaifeng Jewish community’s former synagogue was bought by Bishop White, an Anglican Canadian missionary and antiquities collector who also founded the Department of East Asian studies at the University of Toronto. Until recently, Bishop White’s massive study of the community, called Chinese Jews, was the definitive scholarly work on this most obscure branch of the people of Israel.
Who were the Jews of Kaifeng? How Jewish were they? How Chinese did they become and, of perhaps greater interest, why did some of Europe’s most erudite Christian intellectuals and scholars once believe that the future destiny of the world depended on an examination and dissemination of the scriptures of these isolated descendants of Moses?
It is believed that by the early middle ages, there was a thriving Jewish community in Kaifeng. There they practised the basic elements of Judaism: Circumcision, marriage, funerals, the daily reading of the law and the celebration of Passover, Hanukkah and other festivals. They had knowledge of Hebrew and their Hebrew Torah scrolls were kept in circular containers in their synagogue, in a style that goes back to Iraq and ancient Babylon.
They adhered strictly to the Jewish dietary laws called Kashrut, which include a strict avoidance of pork, a tradition that contrasted them with their Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist neighbours, but one that they shared with the Muslim minority in the region. As a result of this similarity, they were once mistakenly identified by their Chinese neighbours as “Muslims with blue turbans,” in contrast to the “white turbans” of their Muslim neighbours in Kaifeng. Eventually, a synagogue was built. The ROM has rubbings from and a replica one of the original commemorative tablets from 1489/1512.
In Judaism there are only three criteria that make a synagogue: A mezuzah on the door, a place (the arch) for the five books of Moses (the Torah) and a table, or “bimah,” from where the scriptures are read. The synagogue at Kaifeng had an arch and table, but it was designed to look like a Confucian temple. Later it acquired aspects of its wider environment, so not only were there halls dedicated to ancestors, such as Moses and Jacob, but a hall dedicated to Confucius as well. From soon after the 1500s, China closed itself off to the outside world and the Jews of Kaifeng were left to their own devices. They slowly began losing knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish rituals, and through intermarriage and religious syncretism, joined mainstream Chinese culture.
Yet from the time of their arrival, these Jews were never persecuted and many of them served the Emperor in advanced capacities, gaining merit and the respect of the wider Chinese society. As the foundational beliefs of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism make no mention of Jews or Judaism, anti-Semitism does not exist in the traditions of these cultures.
Despite their almost total isolation from the outside world, there were members of the community who were still able to read Hebrew up until the the end of the 18th century. Only during the late 19th and early 20th centuries did isolation, poverty and the architectural decay of the building finally indicate a major rupture with the past that culminated in the selling of their once-precious Torah Scrolls and manuscripts to Western scholars and missionaries. And so we ask again, why were these scrolls so special?
One of the darker themes of Christianity’s relation to Judaism was a theological and intellectual assumption by medieval and counter-reformation Christian theologians that the Rabbinical scribes had altered what later came to be called the Old Testament. In the New Testament, there are quotations, which seem as if they come from the Old Testament, but which cannot be found in the Hebrew Torah. Thus, Catholic theologians assumed that in the original Jewish scriptures, which they thought must have existed during the time of Jesus, these versions would no doubt have clear passages, which definitively predicted the coming of the Messiah — if only these lost scrolls could ever be found. Despite massive efforts by Hebrew speaking Christian scholars no evidence of these assumed passages could be found. This goes some way to explaining the medieval Catholic obsession with inquisitions, the burning of innocent Jewish victims and the burning of their religious books, especially the Talmud, which was held to be responsible for preventing Jewish conversion to Christianity.
And then in the 1600s and 1700s, the Jesuits came to China to convert the masses to Catholicism. To their shock and delight, they discovered the Jews of Kaifeng. They met with them, visited their synagogue and described their life leaving us the only drawings we have of their synagogue from the middle of the last millennium.
Jesuit master Matteo Ricci himself was met by an informed Jewish elder of the Kaifeng community during a visit to Peking. At first, Ricci believed him to be a member of the lost Christian communities of ancient China. Likewise, the elder believed that Ricci was a Rabbi and delighted in the thought that he had finally made contact with a representative of the Jewish communities, which they knew existed outside of China, but with whom they had no contact for centuries. Eventually, the two educated literati realized that they were Jewish and Christian and parted ways, but not before the Jewish elder eventually offered the Rabbinate of the community to Ricci upon one condition, that he give up eating pork.
For the next century, Jesuits did whatever they could to get access to the Torah scrolls of the Jewish community, but the growing realization of the Jews of Kaifeng that the Jesuits wanted them to abjure their Jewish faith prevented the Jesuits from purchasing or obtaining the Torahs for study and export to Europe. Nevertheless, some Jesuits were allowed to make copies of the beginning and ending sections of the five books of Moses. Having done so, they could still not find the passages that they so desperately sought for they (wrongly) believed that the Jews of Kaifeng had been isolated since the time of Jesus and that they must possess Torah scrolls that would predict the coming of Jesus. They argued that if the Jews in Europe were confronted with these different texts, they would leave Judaism. During that time the Jesuits and many other Catholic Europeans believed that if only the last remnants of Jewry would convert to Catholicism, then the second coming would be imminent, and the end of time would be at hand.
The Jesuits were also fascinated by the Jews of Kaifeng. They argued that as they shared a similar origin with Christianity and had adopted many Confucian customs, such as the veneration of ancestors in temples, then it was reasonable to assume that Chinese Buddhists, Daoists and Confucians could be brought into the church through a similar “accommodation.” This created a theological debate within Catholicism that almost split the church. However, the Jesuits were never given the chance to pursue their mission in pre-modern China, as they were eventually expelled by the Emperor who did not want a Christian presence in his realm. The Jews of Kaifeng remained unconverted.
Sara Irwin is the retired manager of the East Asian collections at the Royal Ontario Museum. Articulate and good natured, she is a historian of Chinese art. She explained that she had inherited the responsibility of curating the eleven objects associated with the former-Kaifeng community that was acquired by Bishop White, along with her other responsibilities. I had come to her office to meet with her to make sure that my bibliography was up to date and that the facts of my article were in order.
She told me that back in 1984, she was on a flight to a museum in Tel Aviv where many of the articles and manuscripts relating to the Kaifeng community were to be displayed in Israel’s Museum of the Diaspora for the first time. Not trusting the airlines packing facilities, a fellow curator from L.A. had rented a seat for one of the Torah case that came from the Kaifeng community that would soon be on display. Although it had no Torah inside, it caused considerable consternation from the stream of Orthodox Jewish men who were conducting their daily prayers at the back of the plane. Sara told me that she wisely avoided mentioning to any of them that “there was another identical Torah case in the jet’s luggage compartment,” as she feared this would create just a tad too much cognitive dissonance and she was anxious to make sure everything arrived in good shape.
As she walked me through the galleries where some of the artifacts of the Kaifeng community were on display, my eyes rested on two objects. The first was a black stone gong that in good Chinese fashion was once used to call the faithful to prayer in the Kaifeng synagogue. The second was a Torah case, now empty, which once held the scrolls that those Jesuit scholars of a bygone age were convinced would bring us to the end of time. Realizing that this had yet to occur, I looked at my watch and realized I was late for my next appointment.