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Sunday, October 24, 2010

God's politics?

The New York Times has discovered that in the Middle East, all conflict is religious.
To tens of thousands of supporters gathered here to welcome President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Mr. Nasrallah declared that Iran’s Islamic republic “supports the ‘no’s’ that the Arabs declared at the time of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser in Khartoum before many abandoned them. Iran renews these ‘no’s’ along with the Arab nation.”

The “no’s” refer to a dramatic Arab summit in Sudan in 1967, when, after Israel’s crushing defeat of its neighbors, Arab states declared “no” to peace with Israel, “no” to negotiations with it, and “no” to recognition of it. Nasser, the Egyptian president, was the standard-bearer of a secular nationalism whose moment had ended with that war; today, Iran is, by choice or default, the scion of a generation of opposition politics that now alone bears an indelibly religious stamp.

In a region once convulsed by a potpourri of ideologies — from unreconstructed Maoists to millenarian Salafists — no one is left standing save Islamist movements, from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas in the Palestinian territories to Hezbollah, perhaps the most formidable. Be it opposition to Israel, to autocratic Arab regimes, or to the plethora of injustices visited on Arabs, the Islamists are the only ones with a broadly popular message and an ardent following, with a fleeting exception or two.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has apparently decided that the few Christians who have not been driven out of this region would be better off under Islamic rule than living with Israeli Jews.
“The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston, Massachusetts, and president of the “Commission for the Message,” said at Saturday’s Vatican press conference.

“We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.

“Even if the head of the Israeli state is Jewish, the future is based on democracy.

The Palestinian refugees will eventually come back and this problem will have to be solved,” the Lebanese-born Bustros said.

Mordechay Lewy, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, told The Jerusalem Post that Bustros, in saying that Jesus nullified God’s covenant with the Jewish people, was “returning to successionist theology, contradicting Second Vatican Council teaching and Pope Benedict himself – who has welcomed the return of Jews to their ancient homeland.”

“Also,” added the ambassador, “by inviting all Palestinian refugees to return and denying Israel’s right to define itself a Jewish state – the only such in the world – he is regressing to hard-line positions that deny Israel’s right to exist.”
And where was the Pope while all this was going on? Good question.
During the meeting, several bishops blamed the Israeli- Palestinian conflict for spurring the flight of Christians from the Middle East – a position echoed in their final paper. While the bishops condemned terrorism and anti-Semitism, they laid much of the blame for the conflict squarely on Israel.
That's pretty funny given that the only country in the Middle East whose Christian population has increased over the last 100 years is... you guessed it: Israel.

Read the whole thing.


At 5:30 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Catholic Church's returning to the old-Semitic teachings that characterized much of its history is offensive to Jews.

Yes, G-d gave the Jewish people Eretz Israel as their Promised Land its right in the Jewish Bible. All the efforts of those who hate the Jews to erase it will never succeed.

On an off-topic note, here's something you might be interested in, Carl - Israel beat Iran for the longest chess match entered into the Guinness Book Of Records. Its here: Read it all


At 2:10 PM, Blogger Y.K. said...

What actually was said in the conference is much much worse that what's reported. See


For a full report (Israel is the last item mentioned, so one has to skip a bit), especially that blood-curdling speech at the bottom by the Maronite bishop.


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