February 2013 Archives

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Father Roy writes:

Peers, the article pasted below has been published in Israeli newspapers.  Alan Dershowitz has made a very serious charge.  An accusation of this magnitude cannot be swept under a rug. Is there any truth in what Dershowitz is saying?  Is there any truth in what Cardinal Maradiaga is reported to have said?

Peers, this matter cannot be allowed to fester.  Let’s do some independent research:  Who controls the media?

Peace, Roy+ 

source:  www.haaretz.com……

Alan Dershowitz says leading candidate for papacy is an anti-Semite

Harvard law professor says Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras blamed the Jews for scandal surrounding Catholic sex abuse, and ‘compared Jewish controlled media with Hitler’.

In a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that one of the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI is an anti-Semite.

Responding to a list published last week after the resignation of Benedict, which identified Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras as a possible successor to the current pope, Dershowitz wrote: "He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control, he said — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are ‘protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.’"

Maradiaga, in a May 2002 interview with the Italian-Catholic publication "30 Giorni," claimed Jews influenced the media to exploit the current controversy regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests in order to divert attention from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

At the time, the Anti-Defamation League expressed public outrage at the cardinal’s comments. In a later conversation with ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, Maradiaga apologized and said he never meant for his remarks to be taken as perpetuating an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish control of the media, and promised never to say it again.

"The Vatican has rightly called anti-Semitism a sin, and yet an unrepentant sinner is on the short list to become the leader of the Catholic Church," Dershowitz insists in his letter to the editor. "If that were to occur, all of the good work by recent popes in building bridges between the Catholic Church and the Jews would be endangered. This should not be allowed to happen."

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Can no one else see the irony here?  President Obama is having his choice for Defense Secretary blocked by by leading Zionist groups because the person in question allegedly complained about the undue level of Zionist influence in the US government!  If these groups are successful in overturning the President’s nomination they will surely prove precisely the allegation they seek to deny!

Father Dave

Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel

source: www.haaretz.com…

Two American Jewish organizations call for further review of Hagel statements

The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee request explanation from Obama’s defense secretary nominee on 2007 speech in which he allegedly said the State Department acted as an ‘adjunct’ of Israel’s foreign ministry.

Two mainstream American Jewish groups called for further review of Chuck Hagel’s record in light of an account of a 2007 speech in which he allegedly said the State Department acted as an “adjunct” of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, has the support of a majority of senators, but confirmation of his nomination was blocked on February 14 by several Republican senators exercising their power to hold any vote.

“Chuck Hagel has served this country, and his state, with distinction, as we have had the privilege to tell him in person,” the American Jewish Committee said in a statement January 15. “But in light of his complex record in the Senate and controversial statements he has made since his public service on strategic and political affairs – notably grappling with the range of pressing Middle East issues – AJC believes that further Senate deliberation is called for before any final vote is taken.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported January 14, in a posting just hours before the failed bid in the Senate to advance Hagel’s nomination, a contemporaneous account of a Hagel speech delivered in 2007 at Rutgers University.

George Ajjan, a blogger sympathetic to Hagel’s foreign policy views, quoted him as saying “The State Department has become adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.”

Hagel then was a Republican senator from Nebraska considering a presidential run.

The AJC statement alluded to that revelation. “Moreover, reports are now circulating that the nominee purportedly spoke derisively in recent years of U.S. policy-making regarding Israel and the vital U.S.-Israel relationship,” it said. “Thus, we feel it especially important that Senator Hagel be given a full opportunity to clear the air, so that the Senate can have a more thorough picture of the nominee’s views.” .”

Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, in a call to JTA, also called for Hagel to explain the remark.

“If it is true, it is very disturbing,” Foxman said. “If he didn’t say it, it behooves him to tell friends and detractors that he didn’t say it.”

Foxman added however: “It is somewhat puzzling that this quote would surface just on the eve of the vote” to advance the nomination

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This is the sort of rhetoric continues to widen the gulf between Israel and the rest of the world. At least the Israeli Prime Minister tries to pay lip service to the aspirations of the Palestinian people, even if his ‘peace process’ is a mirage.

As Israel becomes increasingly isolated and the surrounding Arab nations continue to appoint governments that are actually listening to their own people, the problem for Israel and its remaining ally – the United States – becomes increasingly serious. At some point Israel will be recognised as a serious liability to the US. It is only a matter of time.

Father Dave

source: news.antiwar.com…

Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett

Bennett: No Palestine in ‘God-Given’ Israel

Insists God Didn’t Set Aside Enough Space for a State in Occupied Territories

by Jason Ditz

The process of forming a new government is still slowly moving along, but Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, whose far-right party is seen as almost certain to be part of the next government, made his first parliamentary speech last week, rejecting the notion of a free Palestinian state on religious grounds.

“There is no room in our small but wonderful God-given tract for another state,” Bennett insisted, adding “it won’t happen” and that negotiations could only begin after the Palestinians accept that not only Israel, but all of their land belongs exclusively to Israel.

Bennett maintains that all of the occupied territories, including the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip, belong to Israel as a sort of divine set-aside, and has faulted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being “ambiguous” about whether or not peace could ever be allowed.

Bennett’s position as an opponent of peace talks on general principle is odd, as Jewish Home has come to a sort of joint arrangement with Yesh Atid, a secular centrist party that has pushed peace talks in the past, to join the government together to strengthen their bargaining position.

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It is remarkable how often internationals lament ‘if only the Palestinians would embrace non-violent methods to bring about change!’ The truth is that Palestinians have been involved in non-violent protests and ‘Ghandian’ techniques such as hunger-striking since the First Intifada. The response of the IDF then, as today, was to respond with violence.

Father Dave

pic courtesy of the Palestinian Solidarity Project

pic courtesy of the Palestinian Solidarity Project

source: www.worldbulletin.net…

Israeli forces teargas Palestinian hunger strike protesters

Israeli forces clashed with protestors outside Ofer detention center near Ramallah on Tuesday at a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Palestinians in Israeli jails were on Tuesday refusing food in solidarity with four fellow inmates who have been on long-term hunger strike, officials said.

According to the Ramallah-based Prisoners’ Club, 800 prisoners in three prisons were taking part in the one-day strike, among them members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

The one-day strike was the latest show of solidarity with four detainees who are on long-term hunger strike and whose state of health has sparked mass protests across the West Bank as well as statements of concern from rights groups and Western governments.

The four, Samer Issawi, 33, Tareq Qaadan, 40, Jafar Ezzedine, 41, and Ayman Sharawna, 36, have been refusing food for between two and seven months.

An Israeli court in Jerusalem was on Tuesday to hold a hearing on Issawi’s case, his lawyer said.

Prisoner rights group Addameer says Qaadan and Ezzedine were arrested on November 22 and handed a three-month administrative detention order, meaning they can be held without charge.

Both began refusing food on November 28 in protest and their detention orders are due to expire or be renewed on Friday.

Issawi, 33, and Sharawna, 36, were long-term prisoners who were released by Israel under a prisoner swap deal in October 2011, but both were rearrested last year.

Israel has ordered that they serve out the remainder of their original sentences, prompting Sharawna to start refusing food on July 1 followed by Issawi who stopped eating on August 1.

Statistics published by Israeli rights group B’Tselem show by the end of 2012, 4,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails.

Tear gas at protesters

Israeli forces clashed with protestors outside Ofer detention center near Ramallah on Tuesday at a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners.

The rally in solidarity with hunger-strikers marched towards the Israeli prison from Birzeit, Beitunia and Ramallah.

Israeli forces fired tear gas at protesters and youths responded by throwing stones at military forces.

At least 18 people were lightly injured, witnesses told Ma’an news agency, and journalists at the scene said Israeli forces deliberately targeted them with smoke bombs and sound grenades.

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It’s hard not to feel a little cynical when you read this report. As an Anglican myself I can testify to the fact that our church has a sad history of making insipid statements on critical issues and this pronouncement from the Bishop of Bath appears to be sadly consistent with that history.

The Bishop’s statement seems to imply that all that stands in the way of peace is a little more goodwill between Israelis and Palestinians – a naive view that overlooks completely the way in which successive Israeli and US governments have sabotaged every potential peace plan for almost a generation!

It would be nice if goodwill were sufficient to establish a long-term peace between Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately it also requires a willingness on the part of the politicians involved to make genuine concessions – something that the Netanyahu government has shown no interest in doing.

Father Dave

source: www.christiantoday.com…

Israel and Palestine must seek peace – bishop

The Bishop of Bath & Wells has spoken of his hope for long-term peace in the Holy Land following a recent trip to the region.

Addressing the House of Lords, Bishop Peter Price said civil society was “key to unlocking peace” between Israel and Palestine.

“Peace is the prize that all must seek for the welfare of generations of children growing up against the backdrop of uncertainty and fear,” he said.

Bishop Price made the visit as part of a delegation led by Christian Aid that also included the Bishop of Worcester.

He said the recent ceasefire between Israel and Gaza offered “hope for some measure of peace” and that US President Barack Obama’s forthcoming visit could open up non-violent solutions.

“What is hopeful is an increasing sense among the young that this situation cannot last forever,” he said.

During his visit, Bishop Price met Palestinian children taking part in a post-conflict trauma group.

He was moved by their dreams to become doctors, lawyers and teachers when they grow up.

“What kind of humanity leaves behind a child – any child – unable to hold onto its future?” he said.

“I am not seeking to make a partisan point here but a humanitarian one.

“Unless we can see in the eyes of the other the same human identity that is in ourselves, we risk only demonising the other.”

An evening of prayer and meditation is being held at Lady Chapel at Wells Cathedral next Tuesday, during which the bishop will talk about his visit.

The cathedral will host a Christian Aid photography exhibition until 3 March displaying work by young people in Gaza involved in campaigning against child labour.