2 Aug

Poetry and War

 

During these days of continuing massacre in Gaza I have found it difficult to focus the mind elsewhere. I came across a short statement of about 200 words by the great, enigmatic 20th century poet, Wallace Stevens, stuck between poems in his Selected Poems, p.270, with a characteristically unemotional title—‘A Prose Statement on the Poetry of War.’

 

Stevens seems to be telling us that true poetry is a peacetime activity generated by the imagination while poetic responses to war are products of our consciousness derived from the domain of fact. In his words, “consciousness takes the place of imagination.” It is, to be sure, a special kind of consciousness, imbued with what Stevens refers to as the ‘heroic,’ and I would add, the ‘tragic’ and ‘unimaginable.’ We witness horror visually and viscerally, and yet we still too often rely on statistics about killing and dying to shape our sense of the gravity of all that is happening.

 

Stevens also reminds us that the imagination is not without its own ambitions, seeking to impart a sense of reality that supersedes the facticity of what Stevens is calling consciousness. Ambitions of this sort, situated in the hidden recesses of mental activity, also reflects the strong pull of desire, which if it challenges the prevailing images of what we might call ‘heroic fact’ generates severe feelings of hostility. It is a war zone of its own. Stevens alludes to “the endless struggle with fact” whether in peacetime or during a war, and adds, almost as a cautionary warning, “[b]ut in war, the desire to move in the direction of fact as we want it to be and to move quickly is overwhelming.”

 

There is of course a haunting ambiguity in Stevens’ use of the word ‘we’ in this sense. Who are we? Does not our answer, usually not articulated, tell us how we join imagination to fact under the stress of war. The intensities of the ongoing violence in Gaza stifles the imaginative voice because the domain of fact becomes truly, even appropriately, overwhelming. Yet fact can be as victimized by subjectivity as the realms of the imagination, especially when it collides with desire. I think these days of those who would rationalize ‘massacre’ as ‘self-defense’ or dehumanize and demonize victims by branding ‘the other’ as ‘terrorist.’

 

While attentive to the terrible reality confronting us by the ongoing happenings in Gaza, we should strive for root causes. What is it about our world that allows the Guernicas, Auschwitzs, Hiroshimas, Srebrenicas to keep happening? How do we best identify this genocidal virus that keeps attacking the body politic, and yields tears, but no antidote? Is it the reification of ‘the other’ and of ‘the self’ that allows us to see mostly ‘villains’ and ‘heroes,’ and not children, women, and men? Up to now, we allow these lines of division to be drawn and to dominate the public sphere, and affirm partisanship as ‘realistic’ because the tensions of our world means that either I die or you die, and our leaders find good reasons for us to live and you to die. And so atrocity

begets atrocity, a ceaseless cycle with periods of calm and shifts of place, culprit, and victim.

 

In reflecting along these lines I am reminded of Theodor Adorno’s extraordinary comment—“To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Adorno’s meaning is not immediately evident, nor will it ever be. The cultural critic, Brian Oard, insists that the assertion must be read in its broader context, and in light of Adorno’s own later clarification that softens the specific injunction. If so approached, the statement is meant less literally than if read or invoked as an isolated indictment of what could be described as the indecency of any return to ‘cultural normalcy’ after the enormity of the crimes of the Holocaust.

 

What Adorno wants us to grasp is that Western culture that allowed Auschwitz to happen included its cultural artifacts, incorporating even the work and worldviews of poets in an overall totality that facilitates the grotesque. It encourages the coldness of indifference and helplessness in the face of the severe abuses of all those who fall outside the protective umbrella of our conscience.

 

Can we capable of learning anything at all from the corpses being drawn from the rubble of devastation in Gaza day by day? Is not the beginnings of a response, whether in the domains of imagination or consciousness, a refusal to embrace the moral and political delusions of sub-species identities, whether of nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, and civilization? Until the self merges with the other on a planetary scale, we will feel the pressure to avert our gaze from those crimes against humanity committed on our behalf or against those with whom we have no tribal or national identification. Is such an affirmation of species unity a dangerous utopian dream? We cannot know, but we should realize by now that the its rejection helps explain the recurrence of genocidal nightmares.     

82 Responses to “”

  1. Fred Skolnik August 2, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    If you are implying that Gaza is to be grouped with Guernica, Auschwitz and Hiroshima and Israel is to be grouped with the perpetrators of genocide, then you are saying something that is despicable and inexcusable and your head really is in the sand. Do you still not understand what Hamas is and what Hamas has done?

    • Don Powell August 2, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

      Fortunately for all of us, Mr. Falk is irrelevant.
      He is a legend in his own mind…….. what might be left of it.

      • ray032 August 3, 2014 at 10:31 am #

        You speak of Zionists of course. You are not speaking for me and many more than your “US” and your mind will never reach the heights of his integrity and intelligence.

        It is unfortunate the Zionist extremists in Israel cannot see this is what they are doing that will boomerang against Israel with this murderous bombardment of the civilians of Gaza.

        The rest of the world can see and identify our common humanity with the People of Gaza even if Israelis don’t. They feel as righteous in their own minds in oppressing the Palestinians without guilt or conscience as the Nazis felt in oppressing the Jews.

      • rtucker41 August 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

        ray032 brings up the obvious comparison between the Nazis and the Zionists – anathema, sacrilege, horrifying from the point of view of the latter. However, it is actually a fair comparison and the only real question in my mind is which are/were worse. According to the research of those who refer to themselves as Historical Revisions – the Hive reflexively refers to them as “Holocaust Deniers – there are serious distortions in the history of WWII as written by the victors. My conclusion is that from the moral point of view the Zionists are worse. I discuss the similarity in my piece ‘Zionism and Nazism: Is there a difference that makes a difference?’ If you’re interested, it’s at

        https://sites.google.com/site/onedemocraticstatesite/Home/today-s-headlines/zionism-and-nazism-is-there-a-difference-that-makes-a-difference-by-roger-tucker

        This is probably my last contribution to this discussion, as we appear to be reaching the point of diminishing returns. So I will sign off with one last thought.

        There is an obvious pattern in the history of the Hive. One would think that after upwards of 100 expulsions from numerous places and over a great period of time that those who identify as Jews would notice this pattern and learn from it – after all, there is this notion that Jews are ‘smart.’ Surely learning from history is a sign of intelligence, one of the basic criteria of which is that we learn from our mistakes.

        Einstein’s famous dictum defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. So do we conclude that the Hive is irremediably and self-destructively nuts? There is another possible conclusion – that they are cursed with a streak of incredible stupidity. Or is it a death wish? Your guess is as good as mine.

      • Fred Skolnik August 3, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        I can perhaps understand your reluctance to have one of your admirers exposed for what he is but I would think that you would not wish his defamatory remarks about the Jews to go unanswered, nor his comparison of Israel to the Nazis, though I confess that I was being sarcastic when I wondered if he might not actually know what the Nazis did. As for his understanding of why Jews are hated, I offered him an explanation.

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15129

        I also noticed that you didn’t cjoose to remove rehmet’s antisemitic “Moshe” remark until I responded to it.

      • Richard Falk August 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

        I cannot undertake to monitor continuously, and I may make some errors of judgment when substance
        is mixed with insult or hate speech. I continue to believe that a website of this sort is better reserved
        for substantive discussion, and maintains a tone of civility.

      • The Zionist Tribe and its stooges August 4, 2014 at 3:32 am #

        Mr. Falk

        Shame on you. You cannot be trusted as I thought. You are another goldstone. You posted my comments for hours and then decided to remove them, exposed you as another goldstone.
        Thank god people saw my posts and can judge for themselves whom to believe and hopefully come to the same conclusion as I have arrived.
        Look at your weblog now filled with lies and insults of the member of ZIONIST TRIBE AND ITS STOOGES where you are most comfortable with and eager to please.
        Good luck

    • ray032 August 3, 2014 at 10:04 am #

      Your opinion is not the only one among the billions of humans living on this planet God created. You obviously can’t grasp the philosophic/realism Richard is conveying here.

      There were 2 holocausts men perpetrated during WWII. The American nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are less discussed and recognized for what it was. The difference was the Japanese were burned alive. The Jews carried to the ovens by Jews were already dead.

      If the military winners of WWI did not continue the war economically against Germany by the terms of the Versailles Treaty, the fertile ground it created would not have sprouted a Hitler as a Saviour to the German People in the atmospheres of those Times. Richard is alluding to this vicious cycle that reappears in different forms among different people from generation to generation in human history.

      Sowing what it reaped, the economic depression the Allies imposed on Germany, much like the economic depression Israel has imposed on Gaza these last 7 years, eventually spread to the whole Western World. No National Leader could pull the world out of it until Hitler arrived on the scene and got a system going which the Allies copied.

      Interesting to me, at least, you mention “Heros” and “Villains”, Richard.

      You might enjoy the “coincidence” concerning Heros and Villains from this letter, ‘Unjustly Silenced’ written by a Citizen on my behalf to THE OTTAWA CITIZEN in 1977.

  2. Fred Skolnik August 2, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    And I must ask you this too: What poetic statement did you quote after the thousandth Israeli victim of Arab terrorism was buried in the ground?

  3. Judith Deutsch August 2, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Do you know Aharon Shabtai’s poem J’Accuse, written in 2003 after witnessing the murder by the IDF of the child Muhammad?
    J’ACCUSE by Aharon Shabtai 2003
    The sniper who shot at Muhammad the child
    Beneath his father’s arm
    Wasn’t acting alone –
    Someone else in uniform,
    A junior cog in the wheel who was briefed
    At a higher level,
    Positioned him there on the roof,
    A public servant,
    A cantor
    For the Days of Awe;
    And someone else
    Manufactured the ammunition,
    And another had it distributed
    Like bars of chocolate.
    The tree doesn’t go green
    When a single leaf unfurls,
    Many wrinkled brows
    Leaned over the plans.
    History has known
    Foreheads like these –
    Technicians of slaughter,
    Bastards in whose eyes
    Morality is a pain in the ass.
    But even cucumbers
    Need dirt and a little dung.
    The worm isn’t born of air;
    A million words are required
    To reconstruct the manner
    In which public discourse itself
    Is corrupted and turned into refuse –
    That which within the body politic
    Was created to preserve
    The heart of justice.

    But now
    There isn’t time for any of that,
    When right in front of the cameras,
    Without any shame,
    Grown men in uniforms
    Are shooting into a helpless crowd.
    From the back with their necks and behinds
    They look like guys at the airgun range
    By the screen at an amusement park,
    Trying to win their girlfriends
    A doll or a box of candy.
    Atop a hill,
    At the distance dictated
    By the administrators’ handbook,
    The prime minister looks on
    With his company of advisers.
    They gave down
    Into the Vale of Tears,
    Toward the horde which is scrambling
    Like jackals and rabbits,
    Grandchildren
    And great-grandchildren of refugees
    Who were stripped of their homes and fields,
    Wells and towns,
    And with an iron hand were driven
    Into enclaves and ghettos,
    Each one of these authorities
    Sees to his part in the plan:
    One’s in charge of liquidation,
    Another of the daily harassment’
    This one’s field is public relations,
    That one’s collaboration;
    This one deals with expulsion and fencing,
    That one with the destruction of homes.
    Because, when it comes down to it, we’re only speaking
    Of a population of a certain size,
    Which needs to be pounded and ground
    Then shipped off as human powder.
    The outrage itself has to be packaged
    Like any piece of merchandise,
    With all the clichés
    Of corporate politics:
    They’ll give it a name,
    Then a format can be arranged
    For staged negotiations,
    With “breakthroughs” and “concessions,”
    And moments of press-covered heightened tension,
    Complete with a pr blitz full of talk:
    For this purpose we have the spokesman,
    The journalist and author as well,
    The TV announcer and the professor,
    A long lineup of Men of Letters,
    All blowing into the Process’ trumpets -.
    For the sniper who fired at the child
    Is only a single stinking instrument
    Within an enormous orchestra,
    Which is conducted by the man who knows
    More than anyone else
    That long-term solutions can be found
    For any and every problem,
    When it’s no longer breathing.
    The moment that man smiles,
    The skin over skulls becomes transparent;
    When hoarsely, he pronounces
    The word “Peace” –
    Mothers wake up trembling;
    He knows that words
    Are only the skins of potatoes
    With which the stupid are to be stuffed –
    And now, at long last,
    He’ll roll up his sleeves
    And get down to the work at which he excels,
    And bring about a blood bath.

    • Fred Skolnik August 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

      You are a little too eager to embrace anything that defames Israel. The question of whether Muhammad was killed by Israeli or Palestinian fire remains controversial to this day and the suggestion that it is Israeli policy to take potshots at Palestinian civilians is. dishonest in the extreme. In any case, whatever criminal acts individual Israelis are guilty of pale in comparison with Palestiinian terrorism.

    • Fred Skolnik August 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      Here is Hamas’s own scorecard for the 2000-2011 period, as quoted in the Palestine Times
      :
      • 4303 terror attacks
      • 61 suicide attacks
      • 24 attempts to capture Israelis
      • 423 bombings
      • 90 sniper attacks
      • 146 ambushes
      • 8085 rockets fired from Gaza
      • 910 “Zionists” killed

      This does not include terrorist acts by other terror groups like Fatah and the Islamic Jihad.

      Why don’t you send us a poem about this too.

      • Fred Skolnik August 3, 2014 at 3:01 am #

        Many years ago, Professor Falk, Jean-Paul Sartre produced a penetrating psychological portrait of the antisemite. I suppose you would have condemned it for being “personal” and not dealing with substantive issues, namely the accusations made by antisemites against the Jews. I think that when Israelis are accused of Nazism, genocide, fascism and all the rest, it is perfectly legitimate to examine who the accusers are, because such accusations transcend the bounds of rational discourse and enter the familiar realm of hatred. I do not appreciate being called a fascist by Ms. Deutsch though I have no objection to your allowing her remark to appear, as it exposes her for what she is and further degrades your project, I am only a little perplexed by your unwillingness to allow me to reply in kind.

      • Richard Falk August 3, 2014 at 3:29 am #

        I will write more later. I am familiar with the Sartre essay, and found it illuminating when I read it many
        years ago. It set the mentality of the anti-Semite in an archetypal fashion as I recall, and was entirely congenial
        with my own perceptions. I also read your article explaining your views that helped me understand a bit better your way of
        categorizing me and other Jewish critics of Israel and the US Government.

        I am trying to do my best to depersonalize attacks here, naming others in a denigrating spirit. I have excluded others
        who rant against Zionism or that I am somehow a closet apologist for Israel’s crimes.

      • ray032 August 3, 2014 at 10:32 am #

        Write your own. I’ll read it.

    • rtucker41 August 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Judith, J’Accuse is the name of the collection. Where can I find a copy of this poem on the Internet – just the name of it would suffice.

      Thanks,
      Roger

      • Judith Deutsch August 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

        Hello Roger,
        The poem J’Accuse is in the collection called J’Accuse. I haven’t found it on the internet. It’s in a New Directions Book — hope you can find it. Regards, Judy

      • rtucker41 August 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

        Thank you, Judith. I’ll adjust the attribution on my site accordingly.

  4. Jane Adas August 2, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you.

  5. rtucker41 August 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Mr. Falk asks an important question: “Is it the reification of ‘the other’ and of ‘the self’ that allows us to see mostly ‘villains’ and ‘heroes,’ and not children, women, and men?” The answer, I believe, is yes. Moreover, there is a name in the lexicon of politics that, when properly defined, refers to this fundamental phenomenon – it’s “fascism.”

    Clearly, this is a different, though far more explanatory, definition from the one that identifies fascism as a phenomenon that just popped up, like Topsy, in the 20th Century. Please see my essay “Us. vs. Them: On the meaning of fascism” which can be found here:

    https://sites.google.com/site/onedemocraticstatesite/Home/today-s-headlines/us-vs-them-on-the-meaning-of-fascism-by-roger-tucker

    Roger Tucker
    One Democratic State
    https://sites.google.com/site/onedemocraticstatesite/

  6. federica pasquini August 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Please add my name “Federica PAsquini”

  7. Weston, Burns H August 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Dick . . .

    Exquisite! Magnificent!

    But how about sending the text of Stephens’ poem for those of us away from our poetry bookshelves!

    B

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  8. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    Prof. Falk:

    You ask, “What is it about our world that allows the Guernicas, Auschwitzs, Hiroshimas, Srebrenica to keep happening?”

    May I propose an answer?

    Tragic catastrophes happen when people turn a blind eye on evil. Or find excuses for not confronting it.

    During the past decade thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired at Israel from inside Gaza, Each of every one of the nearly 10,000 lethal weapons arriving since 2008 was smuggled into Gaza under the deliberately unseeing eye of the UN Commission on Human Rights, whose Special Rapporteur on “The situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories reported only alleged Israeli violations.

    Hamas’ own scorecard for the 2000-2001 period, as quoted in the Palestinian Times, lists more than 5000 ground-based acts of terrorism, including suicide bombings, attempted kidnappings, sniper attacks and ambushes. These also went unreported, although virtually everybody except UNCHR knew what was going on.

    This is what Elie Wiesel calls “the sin of silence”. When committed by the agency responsible for monitoring human rights violations, it sends the terrorists a clear message that they can act with impunity knowing that the beat cop will be looking the other way. Inevitably, this emboldens them to expand and intensive their terrorist operation.

    Why is there any doubt that Hamas is a terrorist organization? Indeed, it’s one of those rare terrorist groups that, like Hitler in Mein Kampf, is straightforward in proclaiming its objectives and tactics for achieving them. These are enshrined in Hamas’ National Charter, among them:

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (Preamble)

    “The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.” (Article 11)

    “Palestine is an Islamic land… Since this is the case, the Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Moslem wherever he may be.” (Article 13)

    “The day the enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In the face of the Jews’ usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” (Article 15)

    “Ranks will close, fighters joining other fighters, and masses everywhere in the Islamic world will come forward in response to the call of duty, loudly proclaiming: ‘Hail to Jihad!’. This cry will reach the heavens and will go on being resounded until liberation is achieved, the invaders vanquished and Allah’s victory comes about.” (Article 33)

    “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” (Article 7)

    This jihadist call to genocide and ethnic cleansing is not the rantings of a rogue operative who’s gone mad with homicidal fury. The National Charter has been Hamas’ official foundational document since 1988. It affirms what the organization believes and intends to do in language that is crystal clear. And yet, the same SR who failed to report Hamas’ human rights violations and its build-up to terrorism on an ever-increasing scale now assures readers of this blog that these precisely stated objectives are only “vague aspirations,” and that Hamas is nothing more than an unfairly maligned band of freedom fighters who seek only to end the Occupation. Nonsense. In fact, very dangerous nonsense.

    How does one stop human catastrophes like Gaza from happening? Yes, Israel must do a radical revision of its approach to the Palestinians. But whoever places total blame on Israel makes himself, to use Prof. Falk’s words, “…victimized by subjectivity …when it collides with desire.”

    Are we capable of learning anything at all from the corpses being drawn from the rubble of devastation in Gaza day by day? Or from the deaths of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers? Or the brutal murder of a Palestinian counterpart?

    I think we can. Or more accurately, I hope and pray that we can. But we can only if we can overcome our desires, such as obliterating a sovereign state, as well as our proclivity for withholding or distorting facts that discredit our self-serving and utterly subjective narratives.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • rtucker41 August 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      Dear Rabbi,

      I have taken the liberty of making a few corrections to your text. Perhaps they were just typos, but I do discern a pattern which is typical of rabbinical (talmudic) thinking – the reversal of cause and effect, oppressed and oppressor, victimizer and victim, and so forth. It is a kind of mirroring where one’s own sins are projected onto the image of those perceived as the “other,” the enemy, whose status as enemy was self-created in the first place. It’s a very interesting psychological pathology.

      Prof. Falk:

      You ask, “What is it about our world that allows the Guernicas, Auschwitzs, Hiroshimas, Srebrenica to keep happening?”

      May I propose an answer?

      Tragic catastrophes happen when people turn a blind eye on evil. Or find excuses for not confronting it.

      During the past decade thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired at (Gaza) from inside (Israel), Each of every one of the (hundreds of thousands) of lethal weapons arriving since 2008 was (bought and paid for by the US under the domination of tribal Jewry).

      (Acts of terror were committed by the Jewish terrorist groups the Stern Gang and Irgun, aided and abetted by the Haganah. Since 1948, these acts have been committed by the State of Israel on a daily basis, far too numerous to count.)

      This is what (that enormously successful fraud) Elie Wiesel calls “the sin of silence”. When committed by (those responsible for informing the public, let alone responsible for the spiritual well-being of their parishioners) it sends the terrorists a clear message that they can act with impunity knowing that the beat cop will be looking the other way. Inevitably, this emboldens them to expand and intensi(fy) their terrorist operation.

      Why is there any doubt that (Israel) is a terrorist organization? Indeed, it’s one of those rare terrorist groups that, like Hitler in Mein Kampf, is straightforward in proclaiming its objectives and tactics for achieving them. These are enshrined in (Quotes from the real Middle Eastern terrorists , among them:

      “The Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs.”
      ~ Menachem Begin

      “The Palestinians would be crushed like grasshoppers…heads smashed against the boulders and walls.”
      ~ Yitzhak Shamir

      “Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more.”
      ~ Ehud Barak

      “We have no solution… You [Palestinians] shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads.”
      ~ Moshe Dayan

      “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.”
      ~ Raphael Eitan (former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces)

      This (Zionist) call to genocide and ethnic cleansing is not the rantings of a rogue operative who’s gone mad with homicidal fury. …the same (MSM) who failed to report (Israel’s) human rights violations and its build-up to terrorism on an ever-increasing scale now assures readers of (their rags) that these precisely stated objectives are only “vague aspirations,” and that (Israel) is nothing more than an unfairly maligned band of freedom fighters who seek only to (defend themselves). Nonsense. In fact, very dangerous nonsense.

      How does one stop human catastrophes like Gaza from happening? Yes, Israel must do a radical revision of its approach to the Palestinians. But whoever places total blame on (Hamas) makes himself, to use Prof. Falk’s words, “…victimized by subjectivity …when it collides with desire.”

      Are we capable of learning anything at all from the corpses being drawn from the rubble of devastation in Gaza day by day? Or from the deaths of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers? Or the brutal murder of a Palestinian counterpart?

      I think we can. Or more accurately, I hope and pray that we can. But we can only if we can overcome our desires, such as obliterating (the Palestinian people), as well as our proclivity for withholding or distorting facts that discredit our self-serving and utterly subjective narratives.

      Roger Tucker (as a mitzvah on behalf of the deluded) Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk August 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

      To Rabbi Youdovin:

      I am glad that you are reengaged in these issues at this time, and I share the view that your voice is relevant and seeking peace, and your reasoning deserves serious consideration.
      At the same time, you do test the limits of my civility guidelines my personalizing your disagreements and characterizing my views in ways that I find both provocative and inaccurate (for example, that I favor ‘obliterating a sovereign state’; there are other positions attributed to me that paint me into an extremist corner).

      In your comments above, both as to the rockets and the character of Hamas, I can grasp the critique in both instances, but I wonder why you completely ignore the other more
      balanced side of an assessment, even if you reject the counter-narrative put forward by the Palestinian side:
      –the time-line for the firing of the rockets needs to include the brutal Israeli anti-Hamas campaign immediately following the kidnapping incident that was blamed on Hamas
      without producing evidence, and in opposition to most accounts of the identity of probable culprits; this campaign seemed calculated to provoke Hamas, arresting legislators, nighttime raids, house demolitions, over 400 detentions, air strikes on Gaza targets; these events do not excuse the rockets, but they are part of the context, just as Israel’s retaliation cannot be understood without the provocation of the rockets;
      –same with Hamas: you portray only the negative sides, and ignore the decision to take part in elections, to forego suicide bombing, to seek and uphold truces, to be subject
      to a prolonged blockade that even Israel’s supporters have condemned, and to offer long-term co-existence arrangements. I am not claiming that this side is the whole story, but
      it is always the case that political actors who have engaged in extremist violence are called ‘terrorists’ until the other side is ready for diplomacy–as with IRA, or even the
      PLO at an earlier stage. I have talked with Hamas leaders at length, and find them intelligent and seeking a solution. I may be wrong, but both sides of their profile should be
      considered if a just peace is the solution. If Israel agreed to lift the blockade and start negotiating on a return to 1967 borders, there would almost certainly be no more
      rockets fired.

      Richard Falk

      • Fred Skolnik August 2, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

        Prof. Falk

        Rabbi Youdovin will answer for himself and I am not going to repeat what I have already written. You are actually writing here in a tone that is completely different from the one-sided language of the Declaration and it is a shame that you did not see fit to alter this language before endorsing it.

      • rtucker41 August 3, 2014 at 12:38 am #

        Mr. Falk, you are a decent, civilized, erudite man who has struggled with this problem for a long time, on the world stage and no doubt in your own mind. You continue to attempt to use sweet reason and to appeal to the better nature of your adversaries. At what point do you realize that such an approach is futile?

        Like you I was born into the tribe. I’m well aware that Jews are fundamentally no different from anyone else. In my chosen tradition we say that everyone has buddha nature, that anyone can become enlightened if they follow the path of wisdom.

        However, what I have discovered since become involved in this horrendous mess is that our adversaries are impervious to reason, impervious to appeals based on morality or ethics, impervious to spiritual concerns and certainly impervious to legal arguments.

        We are dealing with a hive mind. It responds to perceived threats the same way that wasps do when they sense that the hive is threatened. They attack. It is not entirely mindless, but the considerable learning and experience of tribal Jews is not deployed in a manner that might solve the problem. Rather all of these qualities are brought to bear for one purpose and one purpose only – to defeat the enemy, the dreaded ‘other. – to win, and to win at all costs. Alan Dershowitz, for example, embodies this pattern, as do countless others. It’s like a festival of paranoia.

        I no longer have any doubt that the only way to bring justice and peace to the Middle East, and much of the rest of the world, is to dismantle the State of Israel – hopefully without them resorting to the Sampson Option, which is a real and grave danger. We have to defeat them.

        This can and must be done without further bloodshed, to the extent that they will allow that. It can only be done through arousing the better nature of humanity, a process that is already well under way. It comes down to an information war.

        We have to penetrate the elaborate and noisy smokescreen they have deployed, with thousands of hasbarachiks, a specialized form of soldier wasps, haunting the internet, just as they do on your blog, spreading their toxic disinformation, aka lies.

        People are basically good. In the end they will see through the fog of talmudic sophistry and go with their natural empathy for those who are suffering. We just have to keep at it. In the end the balloon will burst, not with a bang but a whimper.

        As Andrew Levine put it in this weekend’s edition of Counterpunch, ‘The Moral Universe Will Swing Palestine’s Way.’ People like yourself are critical to this process. So please keep on keeping on and God bless you.

        Roger Tucker

      • Kata Fisher August 3, 2014 at 8:09 am #

        @ “The Zionist Tribe and its servants”

        Yes, one approach to all will be most useful – this is as simple as basic fairness.

        We can apply any discipline that we want, but it comes down to International Law and human approach. When you submit them to the International Laws – you will achieve a humane society.

        You have to nurture that what is valid and natural to the human race, and stamp out that what is not of the human race: religious fanaticism (in their approach on both sides).

        Religious issues of Faith can be laid out; however, these are not realities applicable to religious fanatics – to them it is irrelevant.

        International Law as a discipline can give them strict rules that they should not walk over each other’s day in a full blown hate (as we see now). Rather, they need to cool off.

        A sweet twisting Note: “The Zionist Tribe and its servants” – you wrote disrespectful thing toward me: the Church-Charismatic. Should I call you “Supporter of terrorist tendencies and acts of Gaza’s Hamas?” (Both are inaccurate and irrational, in fact.) We can go back and forth in fallacies and disrespect; however, that is a dead-end.

    • ray032 August 3, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Welcome back, Rabbi!

      My favourite Jewish Prophet Isaiah records, I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

      WE, as humans have The Potential to be made in the image and likeness of the best of God. We have our choices, and are the instruments by which we can make Peace or do evil.

      The concept or notion of a Master or Superior race among other human groups was repudiated after WWII.

      Where could such an idea come from, to have taken hold of human minds throughout history?

      As a Rabbi, you must understand the war in Heaven started when the Angel thinking he was created so much Superior than humans and refused God’s decree the Angels were to serve the humans who were to become heirs of God’s Salvation.

      The war in Heaven is ended.

      Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
      Revelation 12:12

  9. Kata Fisher August 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I am in agreement with Rabbi Ira Youdovin about issues that surround Hamas.

    This is what I understand and already have written about it, as well:

    Hamas has to nullify their religious expression because they are not in any other ecclesiastical law, except, a law of a conscience.

    They took ecclesiastical property outside its appointed area and have created consequences for themselves and people in Gaza. They are views as terrorists in the Land in which they are valid citizens –the Land that was settled by their ancestors– just because of that.
    In addition to that – the specific part of the Land in which they have no Spiritual Authority — they applied things on their own.

    That is, and that is the Holy Land that is in Spiritual authority of the Old Testament and descendant of King David, who is a Jew under Spiritual authority of Old Testament.

    Who has Spiritual authority over Hamas has to explain to them their approach: Arab-Muslims in a valid /authentic Islam Faith — they would have to explain ecclesiastical consequence of misplacing the Sacred Tests and spiritual authority.

    We here in corporate can indicate these things to them, but we have no spiritual authority over Hamas ecclesiastical approach that they have made up for themselves.

    • Dan Livni August 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      http://youngcons.com/this-is-what-evil-looks-like-one-picture-going-viral-that-depicts-the-barbarism/#lightbox/0/
      Hamas terrorists hangs and positions kids on a fence in front of a house to insure that the IDF will not strike the building.

      This is what evil looks like: One picture going viral that depicts the level of barbarism…
      Joshua Riddle on August 1, 2014

      Israeli-American community activist Adam Milstein tweeted this image and, while it’s not clear that the image actually depicts Hamas in Gaza, it’s certainly true that Hamas has embraced the abominable tactic of using children as shields against Israeli Defense Forces. It’s vitally important that people understand just how evil Hamas is and what Israel is up against. It’s hard and heartbreaking to look at, but it cannot be ignored.

      • Kata Fisher August 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

        Dear Livni,

        I have read this. Who will investigate this and give a report as evidence in order to hold someone in Gaza and/or Palestine accountable for that very specific acts of violence?

        It is time to start collecting evidence against all violence (one by one…who does what), and not let it fly by in the air of the time. Meaning, stronghold it this time…all.

  10. Dan Livni August 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Hamas kills people for just criticizing the insane war Hamas started.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/07/29/Report-Hamas-Killed-20-Palestinian-Anti-War-Protestors-in-Gaza
    Hamas executed 20 Palestinian anti-war protesters in Gaza.
    7/29/14

    • Dan Livni August 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm #


      Hamas Terrorists Fire Rockets from a Gazan School
      —————-


      Hamas Uses UNRWA School To Fire Rockets At Southern Israel

      • Dan Livni August 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

        Left wing Ari Shavit. Israel is right. Hamas are Palestinian neo-Nazis.

        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.606865
        In this sad war story, Israel is in the right
        Those who are even slightly forgiving of Hamas are cooperating with a fanatically religious tyrannical dictator. Hamas are Palestinian neo-Nazis.
        By Ari Shavit
        July 24, 2014

  11. Dan Livni August 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    Kata Fisher, its urgent you tell the world this since reporters are scared to criticize Hamas in Gaza cause they know they’ll be killed.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/reporters-threatened-for-revealing-hamas-rocket-fire-near-hospital/
    Reporters Threatened for Revealing Hamas Rocket Fire Near Hospital
    by Daniel Greenfield
    July 24, 2014

  12. Dan Livni August 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Kate Fisher, a very good article for you.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/joseph-klein/a-tale-of-two-gazas/
    A Tale of Two Gazas
    July 21, 2014 by Joseph Klein

    This perfectly describes Hamas leaders.

    As Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor described Hamas’s exploitation of civilians to the Security Council: “From the safety of their luxury hotels in Qatar, Hamas leaders like Khaled Mashaal order room service with one hand and order Hamas to use Palestinians as human shields with the other.

  13. The Zionist Tribe and its servants August 2, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Elie Wiesel calls “the sin of silence”.

    Another defender of criminal Zionist regime is quoting the words of a person where many call him fraud , painting the victims as oppressors and the oppressors as victims, yet these misrepresentation is posted and will be answered, beginning with “Dear Rabbi”, but the comments of others have been CENSORED. This tells you that this is a CHAT ROOM for members of the Zionist tribe and its servants.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2713964/Israel-pounds-Gaza-leaving-mosques-ruins-Hamas-admits-kidnapped-soldier-insists-fighters-did-not-kill-him.html

    We never accept Palestine to be stolen by the COLONISTS by waging wars and killing the indigenous population to “exhaust its powers in never-ending wars.”

    The following statement establishes clearly that the colonists from Europe have been planted into the region to create chaos so they can plant a foreign body:

    This is a quote from The Bannerman Report written in 1907 by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and, as it was strategically important it was suppressed and was never released to the public until many years later:
    “There are people (the Arabs, Editor’s Note) who control spacious territories teeming with manifest and hidden resources. They dominate the intersections of world routes. Their lands were the cradles of human civilizations and religions. These people have one faith, one language, one history and the same aspirations. No natural barriers can isolate these people from one another … if, per chance, this nation were to be unified into one state, it would then take the fate of the world into its hands and would separate Europe from the rest of the world. Taking these considerations seriously, a foreign body (Israel) should be planted in the heart of this nation to prevent the convergence of its wings in such a way that it could exhaust its powers in never-ending wars. It could also serve as a springboard for the West to gain its coveted objects.”

  14. Judith Deutsch August 2, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    Mass psychology of fascism. Richard Falk and Aharon Shabtai are incomprehensible to the above respondents.

    • Kata Fisher August 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      I do not like Livnis’s approach; I get spiritually noshes by it. It just makes me very sick.

      Likewise, I do not like “psychological Philosophy” Meaning, Ecclesiastical property outside its appointed area/ spiritual authority which equals to witchcraft in terms that is “Psychology Theological” in fact – the deals of the essence of the conscience, and conditions of it.

      ”Fascism” equals to satanic seals and blasphemy of God’s Spirit; it is just that–either inborn (in blood line) and /or environmental due to charismatic-churches their disorders with the Orders of the Church Charismatic.

      Saying that is anything else is irrelevant such as “psychology of fascism” is confused with “Theology of fascism?”
      I would fear to confuse these terms, all together.

      Psychology is a doctrine in practice/application…that is very dangerous.

      Psychology as a science (lose science) would have to be under strict diplomatic oversight, all together. It is very prone to be destructive to the human existence.

      I wrote this while catatonic…according to Psychology I would be psychotic! Actually, I am ordained…(See that I may not be?).

    • rtucker41 August 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      Judith – amazing – you nailed it even before my comment, which involves the definition of fascism, has been approved. I have just added the Rabbi’s comment and my ‘correction’ thereof to my home page, entitled ‘Response to the Rabbi.” (I frequently link to Richard Falk’s pieces there.)

      Truth, insofar as it concerns their tribal identity, is indeed incomprehensible to them. It would require them to see themselves, and the world, from a totally different perspective, a humanist, universal perspective – something that would require leaping out of their cozy, albeit odiferous, nest into the unfamiliar territory of openness where wisdom and compassion reside.

      • Kata Fisher August 2, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

        Humanist approach to Psychology as science is the most valid one because it is as same as natural revelation.

  15. Fred Skolnik August 2, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    Dear Rabbi Youdovin

    I see that Roger Tucker was stupid enough to reprint your entire comment on his I Hate Israel website. You may ask yourself why any normal human being would put so much time and effort into vilifying Israel, Actually it’s easier than you think with the new I Hate Israel Truth Reversal app. It probably didn’t take more than 30 seconds. If you look through his website you’ll find his Poland invades Germany piece. It’s absolutely brilliant.

    • rehmat1 August 3, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      Dear Rabbi Youdovin – Do you remember your April 11, 1999 speech on the air? In it you called Mother Theresa, Albert Schweitzer and Elie Wiesel as “moral Giants” to follow. Well for your information the first and last of your heroes have been proven to be “frauds” while Albert Schweitzer was an anti-Black racist Zionist Christian whose wife happened to be Jewish.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 3, 2014 at 10:55 am #

        To: rehmat1

        Ohmygod, my dark secret has been revealed!

        Ever since I made those remarks fifteen years ago, I’ve lived in abject fear that an enterprising scholar-researcher like yourself would recall that I had the temerity to call three Nobel Peace Prize laureates “moral Giants.” You’ve got it right. Wiesel and Mother Theresa are proven frauds and Schweitzer had a Jewish wife. Did you somehow miss that Mother Theresa had a secret Jew husband, or are you saving it for a subsequent blockbuster revelation?

        It’s understandable that I would perpetuate a hoax. After all, I’m a deluded troll who belongs to an arrogant tribe bent on leading the world to Armageddon. Anybody who follows readers’ comments on this blog knows these embarrassing truths about me. But how did the Nobel Peace Prize committee become Zionist dupes? Do you think they were bought off by the House of Rothschild? Or succumbed to threats from the international Zionist-Jew lobby? Or seduced by alluring Jew women prowling the lobbies of their Jew owned hotels? There must be an explanation and I’m confident that you can come up with it.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin (Jew)

      • rehmat1 August 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        To Rabbi Ira Youdovin – Your claim that a Nobel Prize is divine certification of a person’s moral superiority – is totally false. Several Israeli leaders, who were designated “terrorists” by the British mandate authority, received Nobel Peace Prizes. So did, Israel’s No.1 “terrorist” Yasser Arafat. The good news is, the so-called “first Jewish president of United State”, Barack Obama, received the Nobel Peace Prize after in the White House less than ten months.

        So, my dear rabbi, pick-up some objective source to study the history of Zionism and the state of Israel.

        http://rehmat1.com/2008/12/13/obama-the-first-jewish-president/

      • Fred Skolnik August 4, 2014 at 6:05 am #

        Now I’m mixed up. Rabbi Youdovin. I thought you were the one who said Obama was Jewish and rehmat was the one who said Mother Tereza had a Jewish husband. Then who said 4,000 Jews didn’t show up for work at the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11? It couldnt have been rehment. He’s too smart.

  16. rehmat1 August 3, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    Poetry has always played a major part, both constructive and destructive, during wars and peace since the evolution of mankind.

    Some day, I’m sure some Jewish poet will come up with a poem to pay respect to the Israeli Jews murdered by their fellow Jews during military operations against Hamas and Hizbullah.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/08/03/hannibal-directive-israeli-soldiers-kill-fellow-soldiers/

  17. ray032 August 3, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Poem from Gaza: You have 58 seconds to run

    They call us now.
    Before they drop the bombs.
    The phone rings
    and someone who knows my first name
    calls and says in perfect Arabic
    “This is David.”
    And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
    still smashing around in my head
    I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
    They call us now to say
    Run.
    You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
    Your house is next.
    They think of it as some kind of
    war time courtesy.
    It doesn’t matter that
    there is nowhere to run to.
    It means nothing that the borders are closed
    and your papers are worthless
    and mark you only for a life sentence
    in this prison by the sea
    and the alleyways are narrow
    and there are more human lives
    packed one against the other
    more than any other place on earth
    Just run.
    We aren’t trying to kill you.
    It doesn’t matter that
    you can’t call us back to tell us
    the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
    that there’s no one here
    except you and your children
    who were cheering for Argentina
    sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
    counting candles left in case the power goes out.
    It doesn’t matter that you have children.
    You live in the wrong place
    and now is your chance to run
    to nowhere.
    It doesn’t matter
    that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
    to find your wedding album
    or your son’s favorite blanket
    or your daughter’s almost completed college application
    or your shoes
    or to gather everyone in the house.
    It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
    It doesn’t matter who you are
    Prove you’re human.
    Prove you stand on two legs.
    Run.
    Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

    • Judith Deutsch August 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      heartbreaking.

      • Kata Fisher August 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

        Yes, it is.

  18. rehmat1 August 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    On Friday, Netanyahu met his war cabinet. After 5-hour deliberation, they decided not to attend Cairo Ceasefire Forum arranged by their brotherly ‘criminals-in-arms’, American John Kerry and Egyptian military dictator Gen. Sisi – both Crypto Jews. They also decided to call-off further Israeli military aggression in Gaza. In other words, the situation in Israeli occupied Palestinian territories (Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem) will stay same as were before Israel “Unilaterally” invaded Gaza Strip 26 days ago.

    The Zionist regime has called its decision “Unilateral Stop of War”. What a “catchy” tile, don’t you think so? A war which was started by Israel “unilaterally” is now being stopped “unilaterally” by Israel.

    However, on the night the Zionist regime decided to cease its military actions in Gaza “unilaterally”, Jewish army destroyed five mosques. The photo below by APF, shows damaged Holy Qur’an being saved from one of the mosques.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/08/04/israel-defeated-in-gaza-looks-for-exit-strategy/

  19. ray032 August 4, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    It would appear all the Israeli propagandists have disappeared. Even the Honourable Rabbi could not address my theological thesis addressed to him, a Rabbi, on cause and effect.

    Obviously, big change is afoot in the world disorder, that may not have been anticipated. My Facebook news feed linked me to the Website of Norman Finkelstein, my 1st TIME here, although I have read his opinions before.

    I’m in total agreement with his introduction to a heart felt plea from the musician Brian Eno in a letter to the American people, to stop supporting and arming this Israeli Barbarism inflicted on the women and children of Gaza. The real tragedy for the Israelis is, the Israelis will mistakenly misinterpret the world’s statements on anti-barbarism as antisemitism, and that will be the worst “collateral damage” from this murderous war Israel provoked.

    Dear All of You,

    I sense I’m breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can’t keep quiet any more.

    Today I saw a picture of a weeping Palestinian man holding a plastic carrier bag of meat. It was his son. He’d been shredded (the hospital’s word) by an Israeli missile attack – apparently using their fab new weapon, fléchette bombs. You probably know what those are –hundreds of small steel darts packed around explosive which tear the flesh off humans. The boy was Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra. He was four years old.

    I suddenly found myself thinking that it could have been one of my kids in that bag, and that thought upset me more than anything has for a long time.

    Then I read that the UN had said that Israel might be guilty of war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a commission into that. America won’t sign up to it.

    What is going on in America? I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But – for Christ’s sake! – it’s not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think it’s just the power of Aipac [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee]… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be. The America I know and like is compassionate, broad-minded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my close American friends, symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered? How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word “America”? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouth isn’t and supports a ragingly racist theocracy………………………………………………………………?

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2014/as-for-the-peace-process-israel-wants-the-process-but-not-the-peace-while-the-process-is-going-on-the-settlers-continue-grabbing-land-and-building-their-settlements-and/

    p.s. Richard, why does this show up as ‘untitled post’ when the title is ‘Poetry and War’?

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Ray,

      I didn’t respond to your previous post for two reasons. One, I don’t think that this blog is a good venue for debate on religious issues except when they relate to positions taken by in-country parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Debates over religion often generate acrimony. We already have more than enough of that.

      Second, I was trying to be nice by not telling you that I read what you call your “theological thesis” as a lame attempt at pseudo-theology. Moreover, how do you come off telling me that “As a rabbi,” I must accept a statement in the New Testament Book of Revelations? Aren’t you presuming a Superiority of you over me, your religion over mine? I respect the right of Christians to embrace the theology of Revelations, and ask only that they reciprocate by respecting my right not to embrace it. You apparently think otherwise, although your earlier condemned presumptions of superiority. I would appreciate an explanation.

      It may discomfort you to learn that the Christians who most closely embrace the theology of Revelation are Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, most of whom are strongly committed to Israel.

      Finally, while I can’t disprove the biblical account of a war in Heaven you cite, I can address your triumphal claim that “all the Israeli propagandists have disappeared from the blog.” Here’s how. Place your word processor’s arrow right on this spot and scroll upward. You will find that 19 or the 54 comments on this thread were posted by us Israeli propagandists. Mine makes it 20 of 55. That’s not exactly disappearing, is it?!

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • ray032 August 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

        Welcome back again, Dear Rabbi Ira,

        To say the current Jewish-Arab dispute is not based on religion is disingenuous at least. I read the majority of Israelis are secular, not believing in the Spirit of God, but believing God gave the land to the Jews exclusively? That’s a recipe for disaster which is unfolding in our Time.

        Already, there are Jewish groups attempting to re-instate animal blood sacrifice on Temple Mount. That will definitely cause a great human blood sacrifice among Jews and Arabs.

        Did you not know much of the imagery in the Book of Revelation is re-worded imagery from the Jewish Old Testament?

        Ezekiel 28:17
        Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.

        Isaiah 14:12-16
        “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

        Yet you shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;”

        The enmity between Satan and humanity appears at the beginning of Genesis

        The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

      • Kata Fisher August 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

        Dear Rabbi Ira Youdovin,

        A note: As a Jewish Rabbi – you do not have to accept a statement in the New Testament Book of Revelations.

        And this is why: you are under Spiritual Authority of Old Testament.

        Mixing things up – to your Spiritual Authority would only confuse the lay-people that you are appointed over. In general, we can read and understand the Holy Books – but only God rules over one’s Faith.

        Paul Apostle tells us that he was not able to rule over one’s Faith / add to someones believe / Faith only increase the joy by the works of the Faith. Ultimately God rules one’s Faith.

        http://biblehub.com/text/2_corinthians/1-24.htm

        Paul wrote to the Church — he was not ruling their Faith (inside the Church). Likewise, this is applicable to this interfaith dialogue situation.

        That is apostolic teaching and instruction when we fellowship interfaith dialogue and /or in the pews. It is one application of Paul’s teaching, in obedience to apostolic Instruction.

        You cannot add New Testament Book of Revelations / Cannon to your Spiritual authority.

        You can, however, believe in any part of the Scripture that God Himself reveals to you — Faith is private, and no ones business or concern except to one who has realized the Faith.

      • Kata Fisher August 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

        Dear Ray,
        I think that is too much for Rabbi, who is not Charismatic Church in order to go about that. You have to remember that New Testament was written by Church Charismatic, and it is in Spiritual Authority of the Church Charismatic.

        God is faithful to Judea by His Spirit — Jews believe in that Shekinah glory and that manifestation by Old Testament…but they do not apply to their Spiritual Authority the Orders of the Church Rituals that are in Spirit of God –as Church Charismatic does.

        I hope this is helpfull

  20. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Ray,

    I never said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had nothing to do with religion. I said that I don’t think this blog is an appropriate venue for debating religious issues that do not relate directly to the conflict on the ground. Unless you know better, I would guess that Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims don’t send much time arguing over a quote from the Christian Bible. But I could be wrong!

    I continue to marvel at your ability to distort reality to conform with your ever-changing narrative. Initially, it was religious Jews claiming that God had given the entire Holy Land to Israel who were trying to drive out the Palestinians. Then you read somewhere that the majority of Jewish Israelis are secular. So now, the culprits are Israelis who don’t believe in the Spirit of God, but nevertheless believe that God—whose existence they deny—gave the land to the Jews exclusively. Those God-fearing/God-denying secular/religious Israelis must be one helluva tribe!

    But you saved your most ridiculous claim for last. One that is so weird that I must quote it verbatim:

    “Already, there are Jewish groups attempting to re-instate animal blood sacrifice on Temple Mount. That will definitely cause a great human blood sacrifice among Jews and Arabs.”

    In fact, there’s a teeny weenie kernal of truth in that. In a small handful of ultra/ultra Orthodox schools in Jerusalem’s ultra/ultra Orthodox Quarter, very small groups of students are studying biblical and Talmudic instruction manuals for performing animal sacrifices in the Temple…as they have for centuries. By Jewish law, these rituals cannot be performed until the Messiah comes and restores the Temple. But as nobody knows when that will be, it’s important that someone knows how to perform the sacrifices when those Golden Trumpets begin to sound. As ultra/ultra people can sometimes try to do ultra/ultra things, it’s not impossible that sooner or later one of them will grab a goat and attempt to sacrifice it on the Temple Mount, which has been a Muslim holy place for centuries.

    Now we come to reality. While the 1967 War was still raging, the Israeli government signed an agreement with the Waqf—a Muslim religious organization—to perpetuate Muslim control of the Muslim Holy Places as it had for centuries. That agreement continues until this day, bolstered by Israeli police whose job description includes keeping out the ultra/ultras. Any ultra/ultra Jew making it up the mountain will be politely but firmly asked to take his goat and go home. Those coming to watch the “great human blood sacrifice among Jews and Arabs prophesied by the Prophet Ray will be politely but firmly told to go home disappointed.

    Sorry about that, Ray.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin (who sometimes gets people’s goat but doesn’t own one)

    • ray032 August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Rabbi, I am not an ideologue. I can change my mind when presented with new, indisputable facts. I have to keep an open mind based on the Spirit of last sentence in the Gospel of John.

      And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
      John 21:25

      “But you saved your most ridiculous claim for last. One that is so weird that I must quote it verbatim:”

      You must have missed this, ‘Temple Mount, a flash point ready to ignite’
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.586489

      I’ve bookmarked in my Israel file, several other articles reporting on the attempt by extremists to bring goats to the Temple Mount to offer a blood sacrifice. I will provide then if the one link is not enough.

      Again, my fav Jewish Prophet Isaiah writes: Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.
      To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? says the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
      When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

      Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
      Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them.
      And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
      Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;

      Learn to do well; seek Judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
      Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land:
      But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.

      How is the faithful city become a harlot! it was full of Judgment; Righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
      Your silver is become dross, your wine mixed with water:
      Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loves gifts, and follows after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither does the cause of the widow come unto them.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

        Ray,

        This is getting tiresome. The newspapers you cite confirm what I wrote. A handful or ultras try to take possession of the Temple Mount and the Israeli police thwart them. An attempt is not a success, unless one. somebody like you, is so eager to defame Israel that that he publicizes failed attempts as if they succeeded.

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin

      • Fred Skolnik August 5, 2014 at 12:07 am #

        What Ray doesn’t understand is that the so-called Temple Mount Faithful are people pretty much like himself. I actually had a look at his website once, where he boasts about getting arrested in Ottawa for ranting and raving on streetcorners.

      • ray032 August 5, 2014 at 2:33 am #

        Here’s another example of Fred not understanding the words he reads.

    • ray032 August 5, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      Ira, let me remind you of what I did write exactly, and what you used again, verbatim.

      “Already, there are Jewish groups ATTEMPTING to re-instate animal blood sacrifice on Temple Mount. That will definitely cause a great human blood sacrifice among Jews and Arabs.”

      I made no other claim other than those exact words. We are in agreement then, and you just can’t take yes for an answer!

      Shalom!

      • Kata Fisher August 5, 2014 at 11:53 am #

        I have a reflection:

        “The Law of Moses is under the Law of the Spirit…”

        Why are they and / or can be only ATTEMPTING?

      • Kata Fisher August 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

        I have a reflection:

        Rabbi Ira Youdovin wrote this:

        ” As ultra/ultra people can sometimes try to do ultra/ultra things, it’s not impossible that sooner or later one of them will grab a goat and attempt to sacrifice it on the Temple Mount, which has been a Muslim holy place for centuries.”

        I am starting to be concerned about this issue, to the extreme point.

  21. rehmat1 August 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Most Jews like the “Rabbi” don’t follow Moses Laws even though they had been corrupted by rabbis many centuries ago. The great majority of Jews take inspiration from Talmud or the Holocaust. Israeli professor Yeshyahu Leibowictz had proclaimed Holocaust as “new Jewish religion”. Abraham Foxman and even Barack Obama said that by equating Holocaust with Jesus and Mohammad (pbuh) during his address at the 2012 UN General Assembly.

    Kabbalah professor, Jacob Needleman, once pointed out that the Holocaust caused a great many Jews to loose their faith in God.

    http://rehmat1.com/2009/11/02/holocaust-is-new-jewish-religion/

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      Rehmati1

      Can we make a deal? I don’t tell you about Islam and you don’t tell me about Judaism…although I will miss the entertainment that arises from your endless supply of misinformation, lies and fantasies.

      I will endeavor to correct one thing. You say that Zionism is based on “Holocaustism.” Alas, Zionism emerged around 1880 and the Holocaust didn’t begin until 1936. Besides, more than half the Jewish population of Israel traces its roots to North Africa and western Asia so that neither they nor their ancestors experienced the Holocaust.

      Other than that little detail, your understanding of Judaism and Jewish history is perfect…but only in the confines of this blog.

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Kata Fisher August 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      rehmat1:

      The Law of Moses is under the Law of the Spirit during the dispensation of Grace to Non-Jewish tribes/nations.

      Jewish Rabbis will not do some of all/total works of the Law (as some contemporary Muslims are practicing — by the Islamic Laws) rather, as Jews they would be under the Law of the Faith of the Old Testament and/or prophesy (contemporary Muslims).

      You can legitimately follow Laws that are under the Law of the Spirit…automatically they are of Faith, and you are not always under the Grace/the Law of the Spirit!

      Sin and Sanctification are by the Law of the Faith and works of the Law of Faith–not the work of the Law during the Church age–don’t you understand? The Law of Moses is Spiritual and non-applies to the sin and sanctification in Church age.

      You must be sarcastic & funny – or you just do not know? It is impossible for Jewish Rabbis to follow all of the works of the Law of Moses that have expired in age of the Church for Jews.

  22. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    To: Fred Skolnik:

    You got it wrong. Rehmati never said that Obama is Jewish. He said that F.D. Roosevelt was, and that Manny, Moe and Curly are crypto Zoroastrians. btw, my grandmother also thought Roosevelt was Jewish (well, sort of.) Not because he killed Christians but because he defeated Hitler. She thought there were three velts (worlds). Die velt (this world). Yennevelt (the world to come) and Roosevelt. It loses something in translation but better to compromise a good punchline than have Rehmati accuse us Israel Propagandists of communicating in code.

    Best of all is Rehati’s claim that Dwight Eisenhower was Jewish and that “he’s blamed for the murder of 1.7 million German Christians as result of his Jewish hatred toward Christians.” I’ve never heard that before. Have you ever heard that before ? I haven’t. Live a little; learn a little. I believe most people call that incident World War 2 which, if memory serves, was started by the Germans.

    Ira

    • Fred Skolnik August 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      Dear Ira

      While reading the Ray-Rehmat Chronicles, I have been thinking about the Israeli estimate that over the last 4 years, Hamas has poured 40% of its annual budget into its system of attack tunnels. This struck me as slightly incredible, but not being an engineer I really had no way of verifying it, so I did a little exercise. Hamas’s annual budget is around $900 million, making $3.6 billion for the 4 years, so that 40% would be $1.4 billion for what must be at least 100 miles of tunnels. That also seemed incredible, so I checked out the cost of building the Holland Tunnel in New York, which took about the same time to build back in the 1920s at a cost of $48 million, which is the equivalent of $600 million today. The Holland Tunnel is a mile and a half long but twice as high and probably ten times as wide as the Hamas tunnels, so that you can say the latter would cost 3 times more to build, very roughly of course. That would come out to around $1.8 billion, including the kickbacks to support the lifestyle of Hamas’s leaders – a ballpark figure, you could say, and all for the sole purpose of infiltrating Israeli settlements and murdering civilians!

      But how many civilians could they murder in this way? A few dozen? A few hundred? Is it really worth it for them? Worth more than building homes and hospitals and schools for their population? Prof. Falk mentioned that the Hamas people he talks too are very intelligent. I don’t doubt it. They are intelligent enough to understand that he will buy whatever they tell him about their intentions. The are also intelligent enough to understand the value of murdering a few dozen or a few hundred Jews in the world of radical Islam. That is the “victory picture” they have been looking for and it is worth everything to them, much more than the welfare of their people. Forty percent of their total budget to kill a few Jews!

      • ray032 August 5, 2014 at 11:32 am #

        Fred, I saw all the so-called smart Israeli missiles and the tank artillery just aimed in the direction of Gaza neighbourhoods=Hamas unguided rockets just aimed at Israel.

        I bear witness to the massive destruction and Death Israel has inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza. The pictures show ALL the homes and buildings Israel destroyed were made of reinforced CONCRETE. Your claims are specious.

        Before Israel started this latest war with Gaza, like Israel did in 2008 and 2012, there was not 1 report I saw of these tunnels reaching all the way into Israel being used to kill Israeli civilians. The war would have happened earlier.

        They were used effectively in this war to kill only military personnel this Time. If you can provide me with a link showing me when those tunnels were used to kill civilians since the last war in 2012, I will stand corrected.

      • Fred Skolnik August 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

        When you say you “saw” I assume you “saw” on television. How you can tell what is aimed at what on your television screen is beyond me. But if all you’re doing is watching televsion then you surely saw the terrorists coming out of the tunnels opposite Israeli settlements and being blown away by the army. I’m not going to get into a discussion with you about your television watching and what you ubderstand or don’t understand. And what difference does it make what the houses are made of? And how can you tell when a house is made of reinforced concrete on your television screen? Actually they’re made of cinder blocks. Your mind is wandering again. If you think there were no military installations embedded in populated areas, that’s fine with me. If you want to curse Israel or go into your pseudo-prophetic soapbox mode, that’s fine too. I see no point in having discussions with you.

      • ray032 August 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

        Fred, maybe you have eyes and will not see? For the others, here’s Google images showing massive amounts of reinforced concrete homes and apartment blocks destroyed by Israel.

        While the US supplied Iron Dome systems gave Israel the “Protective Edge” without this massive Israeli destruction, I see it as a deliberate Israel policy to force or ethnically cleanse the Palestinians out of their homes.

        https://www.google.ca/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=922&q=gaza+destruction+2014&oq=gaza+destruction+2014&gs_l=img.3..0.4063.11228.0.11570.21.17.0.4.4.0.224.3136.0j12j4.16.0….0…1ac.1.51.img..1.20.3130.9lPiJzz5p6c&gws_rd=ssl

  23. Roger Tucker August 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Mr. Falk, I feel compelled to post one more comment. I simply don’t understand why you have enabled comments on your blog. If you were to use the moderation function to keep hasbarachiki out, then it would make some sense, but even then not much. Instead you give them carte blanche to befoul this one little corner of cyberspace that is yours.

    You are a respected international figure who has had the wit and the courage, against all odds, to make the case not only for the hapless Palestinians, but for the ideals that the UN ostensibly was created to support. This has garnered you the acclaim and admiration of millions who yearn for peace and justice. Those who represent the opposite, the dark side of human possibilities, the forces of egoism, arrogance, greed, ignorance, fascism et al – in short, evil – view you as a dangerous enemy. And you give them a platform to do do their work of deceit and obfuscation. You even respond to their spitballs with grace, temperance, and politeness, very diplomatically, as if this would somehow have some ameliorative effect. As if they would view whatever you say as anything but meat for their grinder.

    Perhaps you feel compassion towards them, along with the notion that they too are remediable. They are not – they are sunk far too deep in self-deception and the false narrative that they identify with. They are, quite simply, beyond redemption. So, please, for the sake of your physical and mental health, your general well-being, stop subjecting yourself to such unnecessary and futile stress. Please do yourself a great big favor. Disable the Comments.

    ps: for those of you who choose to take issue with this comment, don’t address it to me. My stomach can take only so much. I’m outta here.

    Roger Tucker.

  24. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 5, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    To Kata Fisher

    Kata,

    May I propose to you the same agreement I proposed to Rehmati: you don’t write about Judaism and I don’t write about Charismatic Church. I appreciate that you are a caring person who’s trying to be of help. But you really don’t know anything about Judaism so that what you write about it are fantasy..

    I’d also like to point out that Prof. Falk has asked readers to avoid comments that do not bear directly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflct. Whether rabbis like Ira Youdovin do or do not obey the Laws of Moses fits into this category of irrelevance.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Kata Fisher August 5, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      Dear Rabbi Ira Youdovin,

      Thank you for your kind note.

      I do understand by the New Testament and by the all of Apostolic Instruction the Law of Moses, the Law of Faith and the Law of Spirit—and the works of it.

      From that perspective, I have written about that what concerns the Law of Moses in the age of the Church; meaning, dispensation of Gods Spirit/Grace to Non-Jewish tribes and Jewish tribes. That is: Jewish-tribes that are/were spiritually excommunicated; meaning, broken off from Faith of Old Testament, and often permanently because of disobedience of the Old Testament and consequences of that conditions/works—that were not of the Faith and / or the Law of the Faith.

      I do understand that this is not by the Theology of Judaism but rather by the teaching office of the Church-Charismatic.

      Rehmati (as a Jewish-exile, as I see that he is ); he is entitled to be overseen and be corrected by the Church-Charismatic – but he does not have to accept it.

      Teaching office of Judaism, Islam, and of the Church-Charismatic are distinctly different by complexity of the appointing of the Spiritual Authority over different tribes / nations. Nevertheless, the Secret Texts, traditions, and rituals are relatively distinct to each by the means applicable to the grafting in of the people-tribes.

      I am moved to write that and nothing further.

  25. Roger Tucker August 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    “..there is no point in wasting any more words on Israel and its shrill apologists: after nearly seven decades of seeing what we are seeing yet again, they have to be written off as being beyond redemption. Let them proceed on the path they have chosen until it reaches its bitter end.”

    The ‘New and Brutal Israel’? by Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle
    http://www.palestinechronicle.com/the-new-and-brutal-israel/#.U-JnE2PmJK8

  26. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    Readers of this blog who lay total blame on Israel for the carnage is Gaza are invited to consider the following:

    As of this hour (2:00 PM in California, USA) Israel has agreed to extend the cease fire that expires in a few hours, while Hamas says that it will resume firing unless its demands s are met. That’s right: the side suffering the greatest damage and complaining about Israel’s alleged excessive use of force is threatening to be the one that resumes hostilities.

    What are Hamas’ demands? Foremost among them is terminating the blockade without its renouncing violence. Israel, too, wants to terminate the blockade, but on condition that Hamas agree to de-militarize Gaza so that materials brought in for reconstructing residences and commercial buildings will not be used to restore an extensive network of tunnels built for the purpose of attacking Israeli civilians, as has been the case until now. This proposal is being widely discussed in Israel, and is included in a peace plan being drafted by the EU. So far, Hamas has refused.

    Hamas regards this as a win-win situation for them. If Israel accedes to their demands, they will soon be positioned to resume preparations for attacking civilian communities in southwestern Israel. Plans for a (now thwarted) massive attack on the Jewish holy day of Rosh Hashana in mid-September have been discovered. But if Israel holds firm and Hamas resumes firing missiles from launchers embedded in residential areas, hospitals and schools, Israel will have no option but to retaliate, adding new Gazan casualties, some of them children, and stoking international ill will.

    This has been Hamas’ strategy from the very beginning. It explains why it has refused or broken many cease fire agreements, including an explicit offer clearly articulated by Prime Minister Netanyahu at the very beginning of the escalation to exchange “quiet for quiet.” Hamas not only uses innocent civilians as human shields, but deliberately positions them to be targets. It’s a cynical strategy that relies on apologists to turn a blind eye, or explain away obvious facts.

    When anguishing over a photo of a dead Gazan child, as I do, people of good will must consider not only who fired the shot, but who put the child in harm’s way.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk August 8, 2014 at 3:24 am #

      To Rabbi Youdovin:

      You have long criticized my reference to ‘constructive imbalance,’ a term I used to describe my outlook on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
      You have convinced me that it was a poor choice of words, inviting misinterpretation of the meaning I meant to convey. I didn’t intend to
      suggest that it was justifiable to distort the reality being presented or to overlook Israel’s positive behavior in relation to international
      humanitarian law, international law generally, and international morality.
      I also wanted to express a rejection of what to me is a tendency of some on the liberal side of the debate to place more or less symmetrical blame
      on the two sides–in this respect, I believe it is essential for an accurate assessment of responsibility, wrongdoing, and criminality that account is
      taken of the multi-faceted disparity of circumstances. This disparity shows up in comparative casualty figures, per capita income and energy use, protection by rule of law,
      situation of occupier and occupied, status of full membership in UN and observer membership, access and possession of lethal weaponry, in the contrast
      between Israeli land acquisition and Palestinian land loss, in the contrast of the Jewish right of return and the refusal to allow even Palestinian refugees
      and their descendants a right of entry, and on and on. I acknowledge there are a few disparities in the other direction such as world public opinion and
      potential Israeli security risks in the region, but these factors do not alter the basic assessment. Without taking account of these disparities, reinforced in their
      presentation by Israel’s alignment with the US and Western media bias, the picture of the interaction of the two sides is consistently tilted in favor of Israel.
      Just one example: no mention in relation to discussing the Gaza tunnel network that it was initially, at least, a response to a crippling blockade, that it had not caused a single Israeli casualty, that Egypt destroyed the tunnels into their territory without crossing the border or launching attacks in Gaza, and that Israel could avoid these
      confrontations by lifting the blockade and agreeing to negotiate the end of occupation. There is more that can be said, but essentially my views seek to be fact-based,
      but with attention to the fuller context and narrative associated with the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians.
      casualty

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  1. Richard Falk: Poetry and War - Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics - August 5, 2014

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