Jewish History, Jewish Religion - Israel Shahak's shocking revelations

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In another thread I posted
There is a recent interview with Russel Gmirkin in which he has time to put forward his findings about the origin of the Bible and it's borrowings from the templates put forward by Plato. [...]
And received the answer:
thorbiorn,

I think this really relates to another thread you posted to especially here, here, here and here.

I don't know if you think it relates enough to cross post or not.
Good advice and I hope to write a more informative post, so rather than reposting, I will redo.

The interview mentioned is on youtube on a channel called Dagger Squad. Initially there are sound problems, but it gets better after 13 minutes. Overall the interview is very informative and Gmirkin mentions, he is planning to publish two more books, one apparently soon.

Gmirkin talks about how the Bible is influenced by Greek culture from about 17 min. He mentions that the foundation stories of the type found in the Old Testament are not found anywhere else in the ancient Middle Eastern literature, but in Greek literature there are many. He says that the cosmology of Genesis 1 appears to be based on Plato's book Timaeus. For context, Timaeus is a dialogue between Socrates, Critias, Timaeus and Hermocrates; see for instance the Stanford entry or the translated text.

Likewise when it comes to the laws in the Old Testament, there is no constitutional literature to be found in the ancient Near East but there is much available in Greek. (This is around minutes 19-21). The idea of a sacred national law is from Plato's laws (min 21-22) How the laws of Moses were written in Alexandria under the influence of Greek thought is mentioned in minutes 22-25:30).
From minute 27-29 he speaks about the history of Israel and Judea, and that there were never 12 tribes. The idea of 12 came from the Greeks among whom Plato recommended 12 tribes for the ideal state. Plato also had the idea that there should be a national literature and that everything else should be forbidden (minute 31-32).

The writing of the Books of Moses was a cooperative work between the Samarians and the Judeans in Alexandria, while the books that followed were written by Judeans in Jerusalem, when the alliance with the Samarians was no longer recognized (minute 32-33). The formation of the Pentateuch is elaborated on from about minute 37-42. Apparently Hecateus of Abdera wrote a history og Egypt in around 315 BC according to which an Egyptian named Moses was sent out to colonize Judea, Moses built Jerusalem, built the temple, conquered the surrounding territory and gave the Jews, the people of Judea their constitution and laws.

Later in Alexandria they, wondered why they had no copy in their library of the Laws of this Moses, and under Ptolemy II Philadelphus they requested a copy of the laws of Moses fom the areas of Israel and Judea. They invited scholars, basically Greeks from the Seleucid empire in the part that is now Israel and Ptolomaeic Greek form the South. None of these had heard of the laws of this Moses, but they created a fitting text in Alexandria, based on laws from Athens, based on Plato's Laws, and on a handful of Near Eastern laws. (Minute 37-42).

Then comes a question and answer about why the Jews or the Samarians and Judeans at the time decided to adopt this story. Gmirkin responds by elaborating on the idea presented earlier that Plato had laid out a plan for how to establish a nation by controlling the narrative of the formation of the state. The idea is that one has to convince people that it was given by God and goes way back, so that they believe in it and they can not even think of an alternative (min 43-47). The strategy has worked very well as one can read in the book by Shahak.

Then at about minute 56:30-1:01 they go into the story about Abraham and how the elements from Babylon and Mesopotamia came into the picture. Gmirkin argues that many of the scholars at the time, who constituted part of the ruling class had origins in the East. He says that the Assyrians in the 7-8th century swapped the ruling class of Samaria and Babylon. This might explain why "Abraham" came from Babylonia.

At 1:02 they discuss Berossus as a source for some of the Biblical material and Gmirkin agrees. Berossus, a Babilonian scientist translated much of the Babylonian myth and stories into Greek around 280 BC ready for the scholars in Alexandria to incorporate. For an example of what Berossus is supposed to have written about the flood, see this link. It reads like the story of the Ark of Noah.

At 1:07 the interviewer asks why the Greeks would allow the Jews to write that they were chosen people? Gmirkin responds by saying the Plato believed in one cosmic monotheistic god who created the Universe, but he also believed in the Olympian gods, any gods they wanted to have running around on Earth. People should be able to get along and be nice to every ones else's gods. The idea was that the world was peacefully divided up among all the gods, and that everyone respected that. Every god had their own land, they were like patron gods, they protected special people. Every people was a chosen people by that particular god and they all got along. It was a concept of inclusive polytheism.

Perhaps the last few lines gives an idea of why in Shahaks book some Zionists are not strictly monotheistic. It was simply not part of the base from which they arose.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hmmm... a little high strangeness just happened here respecting this topic.

I had just written the above comment, closed the browser and wanted to check my email quickly before going downstairs for Reiki night. Well, the last email I received was just 4 minutes BEFORE I wrote the above comment, though I had not seen it. It was an announcement from Academia.edu that Etienne Nodet, bible scholar, had just uploaded a review of Gmirkin's book "Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible."

I went to check; it's in French, but I figured I would download it, print it, Pierre could read it and tell me the gist of it.

Just as I was opening the downloaded file to print, Pierre walked in my office and announced that he had just read confirmation from Gershom Sholem that Jews had fomented the French Revolution and he was gobsmacked by that; he had long suspected it, but to hear from a Jew, that it was Cabbalistic Jews behind it all, was astonishing. He then commented that it is the Cabbalistic business that was pure Satanism.

Which, of course, brings me back to my comment about Plato and the Satanic system he designed and passed of as "philosophy", and there has been, according to Stove, a "Cult of Plato" ever since.

Yikes.

That's really fascinating. I'm really behind on reading about Talmudic Judaism, but one author I've been following (mostly online) is E. Michael Cummings, who wrote a large number of books on Judaism and the behavior of Jews in history. The one I read the most and watched the most about (regret to say I haven't read this yet) are The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit (and @Pierre's comment above made me think of it explicitly), and Libido Dominandi (which is about cultural/sexual subversion and its political dimension). He talks about a lot of things in it here:


A review of the book is here.
A series of select readings from it is here.

He's a devout Catholic, and brings a lot of Catholic and medieval religious and political history into his discussion about Jewish behavior during those time periods. I found it interesting that some information he pulled together about the 2 compilations of the Talmud (one in Babylon and another in Palestine) essentially made this codified Judaism a younger religion than Christianity, similar to Islam. And it is interesting that the both the Talmud and Koran were compiled specifically to negate Christianity and its tenants.

Cummings also cites Henirch Graetz, who lived in the 19th century and was considered the father of Jewish historiography. But apparently even Graetz did say that the Polish Jews were corrupted by the teachings of the Talmud, teaching them to be deceitful and exploitative when dealing with outsiders, and also said the Zohar itself was a very wicked book. He also extends criticism to Popes and principalities that began to accommodate usery and so exploit and drain the surplus value the peasants of the land produced via money lending and alcohol production (most specifically in Poland, I'm not sure how common the latter was elsewhere). He ties this in with the decadence of Pope Alexander VI and the Italian city states, the Spanish Netherlands, Lutheranism/Calvinism/Anglicanism, etc. essentially all resorting to usery and expropriation of Church land to enslave the peasants.

What I found kind of interesting was how he managed to tie communism to neoconservatism by way of Irving Kristol, who is considered the father of neoconservatism while being a Trotskyite in his youth. When you think about the US upending as many ex-Soviet client states as it can, it doesn't seem like so big a stretch when you consider that both ideologies want to impose their view on whole regions of the world and upend governments and peoples the world over.

All of this could be wrong for all I know, since I don't know as much as others here.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I am half way the book and just like Konstantin I am astonished and shocked. It is as though through these rules they are perfectioning the lying and cheating.
I also feel sorry for the majority of the Jews to have to live like that, the more because , according to Shahak , most of them don't know about the orgin of these rules.

Same here, it's basically psychopathic thinking hiding behind a religious mask, and Shahak shows how it is that they managed to maintain a mask of sanity for so long.
 

Hi_Henry

Dagobah Resident
Additionally,

Regarding these strange creatures who manage to make hugely successful careers despite being associated with despicable ideologies, Trotskyite. Jose Manuel Barroso has the following in his Wiki,

Barroso's political activity began in his late teens, during the Estado Novo regime in Portugal, before the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974. In his university days, he was one of the leaders of the underground Maoist MRPP (Re-Organized Movement of the Proletariat Party, later PCTP/MRPP, Communist Party of the Portuguese Workers/Revolutionary Movement of the Portuguese Proletariat).

But that did not stop him from reaching this position,
José Manuel Durão Barroso born 23 March 1956) is a Portuguese politician who is the current non-executive chairman at Goldman Sachs International.[1]
 

Altair

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
That's really fascinating. I'm really behind on reading about Talmudic Judaism, but one author I've been following (mostly online) is E. Michael Cummings, who wrote a large number of books on Judaism and the behavior of Jews in history. The one I read the most and watched the most about (regret to say I haven't read this yet) are The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit (and @Pierre's comment above made me think of it explicitly), and Libido Dominandi (which is about cultural/sexual subversion and its political dimension). He talks about a lot of things in it here:
Very interesting and rather shocking talk. By the way, the mentioned Solzhenitsyn's book Two Hundred Years Together is partly translated into English. Some chapters can be found here: http://www.mailstar.net/Solzhenitsyn-200YT.pdf
 

Approaching Infinity

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member

Hi_Henry

Dagobah Resident
My my, I didn't expect this turn of events but there it is. While looking for a review of a book by Andrew Joyce, Ph.D. I noticed that he had an article addressing Jordan Pederson. The title of the article is,
Hope you find it as interesting as I did because the angles it covers have a very contemporary vibe.

It surely has great significance for any psychological rendering of the tale that Jacob translates as “usurper” or “he who cheats,” and that Jews have always conceptualized Esau as representing gentiles, especially Europeans, or the racial or cultural descendants of the Romans. Daniel Elazar, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, comments that Esau displays “characteristics which are later to become part of the Jewish stereotype of non-Jews (“goyim”).” Meir Levin adds that “the rabbinic identification of Rome with the Biblical figure of Esau is basic to the traditional understanding of much of the relevant sections of Chumash Bareishis [Genesis].” Levin continues that the Talmud and later rabbinical commentaries presented Esau and Western civilization as sharing negative characteristics such as hypocrisy (Shocher Tov 14,3), individualism, and placing an emphasis on style over substance. Maimonides pictured Esau as an “evildoer” whose descendants were “Amalekites” who were “to be destroyed and their name blotted out.” Maimonides wrote that survivors of the Amalekites were “Rome and the Catholic Church.” Salo Baron writes that the idea that Europeans were the descendants of Esau was “widely accepted in medieval Jewry” along with the idea that the dominion of Edom-Rome would end with the coming of a Jewish messiah.[3] The Jewish-American History Foundation concurs that “Babylon, Rome, Edom, and Christianity are synonymous,” and remarks that the final end of Edom/descendants of Esau is interpreted from Jewish texts as meaning “that every one of the Mount (or House) of Esau may, or shall, be cut off by slaughter,” [Obadiah v.9] and will “perish forever.”

This interpretive pedigree is more than a little darker in tone than Jordan Peterson’s “clean your room” rendering. But it’s easy to see why Jews would applaud and promote the latter’s presentations. A takeaway message for Christian and atheist alike from Peterson’s lectures would be that these texts are full of rich and benevolent wisdom, with no mention of even the possibility of malignant intent or usage. As stated above, it’s highly likely that Jordan Peterson is naively ignorant of this interpretive pedigree, and there is nothing in his work or activism that suggests he has ever seriously engaged with Jewish cultural activity, or critical commentary on it (for all his bluster, I sincerely doubt he’s read a single sentence written by Kevin MacDonald). Indeed, if any reader wanted a serious, and novel, psychological profile of the Biblical stories, the third chapter of Kevin MacDonald’s A People That Shall Dwell Alone makes a succinct but powerful case for evolutionary aspects of the Tanakh. All things considered, I find it difficult to separate Peterson’s dubious approach to the lecture series from his 12 Rules for Life and later essay “On the So-Called Jewish Question.”

article

It seems that probing the Jewish Question never ceases to shock.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Well, yeah, Peterson needs to get a handle on that. But I notice so many conservatives going whole-hog for Jerusalem and Jews in general. That's one place where I have to part company with them. That's what makes things so maddening these days: I agree with some things on several different "side", but not with everything. I'm just not a "party line" person; each issue has to be considered on its own merits.

Perhaps we could get that referenced 3rd chapter of McDonald's book up here? I have the three volumes in hard copy, but maybe someone has a text copy and can get it that way?
 

Beau

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Well, yeah, Peterson needs to get a handle on that. But I notice so many conservatives going whole-hog for Jerusalem and Jews in general. That's one place where I have to part company with them. That's what makes things so maddening these days: I agree with some things on several different "side", but not with everything. I'm just not a "party line" person; each issue has to be considered on its own merits.

I feel the same way. The cons really have a blind devotion to Israel, although plenty of the classical liberals do as well. Both sides like to trash anyone who speaks up about Israeli influence in American politics. And then there are the people who DO speak up who just are fools otherwise, like Ihlan Ohmar. She criticizes Israeli influence (good), then essentially calls Trump inhuman (very bad). Very few people are able to look at everything with nuance.
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
History has been redacted to fit various agendas. African Origins Of Bantu ISRAELITES And Modern JEWS,
.

I think there was some factual information in the video but it has a high religious-gloss so to speak.

I also enjoyed this video by Dagger Squad posted by thorbiorn which asks some really good questions:

The interview mentioned is on youtube on a channel called Dagger Squad. Initially there are sound problems, but it gets better after 13 minutes. Overall the interview is very informative and Gmirkin mentions, he is planning to publish two more books, one apparently soon.
 

Meager1

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Interestingly, I found this little history book yesterday while doing a search on Columbia.
I`m still curious as to why it was named the District of Columbia or if it might be related in some way to
Columbus laying claim to the new world etc.. anyway I came upon this old book which makes mention
repeatedly to something called the Great Sanhedrim pretty much running the show in the founding of the United States.
The book is about the battle between this "Columbia" the United States and Great Britain.
What would this great Sanhedrin have to do with the founding of the United States I wonder..

[The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel, made up of 70 men and the high priest. In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Temple in Jerusalem. The court convened every day except festivals and on the Sabbath.]

here's a excerpt from the book linked below.

S0 it came to pass, in the one thousand eight hundred and twelfth year of the Christian era, and in the thirty and sixth year after the people of the provinces of Columbia had declared themselves a free and independent nation ;
2 That in the sixth month of the same year, on the first day of the month, the chief Governor, whom the people had chosen to rule over the land of Columbia 3 Even James, whose sir-name was Madison, delivered a written paper to the Great Sanhedrim of the people, who were assembled together. 4 And the name of the city where tho people were gathered together was called after the name of the chief captain of the land of Columbia, whose fame extendeth to the uttermost parts of the earth 5 albeit, he had slept with his fathers.

 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Interestingly, I found this little history book yesterday while doing a search on Columbia.
I`m still curious as to why it was named the District of Columbia or if it might be related in some way to
Columbus laying claim to the new world etc.. anyway I came upon this old book which makes mention
repeatedly to something called the Great Sanhedrim pretty much running the show in the founding of the United States.
The book is about the battle between this "Columbia" the United States and Great Britain.
What would this great Sanhedrin have to do with the founding of the United States I wonder..

[The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel, made up of 70 men and the high priest. In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Temple in Jerusalem. The court convened every day except festivals and on the Sabbath.]

here's a excerpt from the book linked below.

S0 it came to pass, in the one thousand eight hundred and twelfth year of the Christian era, and in the thirty and sixth year after the people of the provinces of Columbia had declared themselves a free and independent nation ;
2 That in the sixth month of the same year, on the first day of the month, the chief Governor, whom the people had chosen to rule over the land of Columbia 3 Even James, whose sir-name was Madison, delivered a written paper to the Great Sanhedrim of the people, who were assembled together. 4 And the name of the city where tho people were gathered together was called after the name of the chief captain of the land of Columbia, whose fame extendeth to the uttermost parts of the earth 5 albeit, he had slept with his fathers.



Very weird writing style I think. It was not Sanhedrin but they spelled it "Sanhedrim". I wonder it it is not a kind of Masonic version of the Late War or the War of 1812. I am not sure it has anything to do directly with Jewish History other than the mixture of influences within Freemasonry.

Old books are interesting I think. Allan Watt (Scottish-Canadian) used to say that they didn't try to hide Masonry as much in books years ago because the average citizen could not afford the books anyway.
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Here are some quotes which I think may be useful when sharing articles about Israel/Paslestine, or simply to spread the word about Shahak's book. They don't cover all the details about specific practices and beliefs (some of which are outrageous and maddening), but those are more difficult to quote without providing more context.

From the foreword by Edward Said
Israel is unique in the world for the excuses made on its behalf: journalists either do not see or write what they know to be true for fear of blacklisting or retaliation; political, cultural, and intellectual figures, especially in Europe and the United States, go out of their way to praise Israel and shower it with the greatest largesse of any nation on earth, even though many of them are aware of the injustices of the country. They say nothing about those. The result is an ideological smoke screen that more than any single individual Shahak has labored to dissipate. A Holocaust victim and survivor himself, he knows the meaning of antisemitism. Yet unlike most others he does not allow the horrors of the Holocaust to manipulate the truth of what in the name of the Jewish people Israel has done to the Palestinians.

[t]he real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews. This is what many Jews justly demand from non-Jews: to confront their own past and so become aware of the discrimination and persecutions inflicted on the Jews.

In the last 40 years the number of non-Jews killed by Jews is by far greater than the number of the Jews killed by non-Jews. The extent of the persecution and discrimination against non-Jews inflicted by the ‘Jewish state’ with the support of organised diaspora Jews is also enormously greater than the suffering inflicted on Jews by regimes hostile to them. Although the struggle against antisemitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease, the struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance.

The widespread misconception that Israel, even without considering its regime in the Occupied Territories, is a true democracy arises from the refusal to confront the significance of the term ‘a Jewish state’ for non-Jews. [...] The state of Israel is not a democracy due to the application of a Jewish ideology directed against all non-Jews and those Jews who oppose this ideology.

I suspect that the Jews of the USA or of Britain would regard it as antisemitic if Christians would propose that the USA or the United Kingdom should become a ‘Christian state’, belonging only to citizens officially defined as ‘Christians’.

[t]he same kind of exclusivity that is regarded by a majority of the diaspora Jews as antisemitic is regarded by the majority of all Jews as Jewish. To oppose both antisemitism and Jewish chauvinism is widely regarded among Jews as a ‘selfhatred’, a concept which I regard as nonsensical.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), […]denies the right to reside, to open a business, and often also to work, to anyone who is not Jewish, only because he is not Jewish. At the same time, Jews are not prohibited from taking residence or opening businesses anywhere in Israel. If applied in another state against the Jews, such discriminatory practice would instantly and justifiably be labelled antisemitism and would no doubt spark massive public protests. When applied by Israel as a part of its ‘Jewish ideology’, they are usually studiously ignored or excused when rarely mentioned.

Israel also propagates among its Jewish citizens an exclusivist ideology of the Redemption of Land. […]The land which belongs to non-Jews is [...] considered to be ‘unredeemed’. Thus, if a Jew who committed the blackest crimes which can be imagined buys a piece of land from a virtuous non-Jew, the ‘unredeemed’ land becomes ‘redeemed’ by such a transaction. However, if a virtuous non-Jew purchases land from the worst Jew, the formerly pure and ‘redeemed’ land becomes ‘unredeemed’ again. The logical conclusion of such an ideology is the expulsion, called ‘transfer’, of all non-Jews from the area of land which has to be ‘redeemed’.

The main danger which Israel, as ‘a Jewish state’, poses to its own people, to other Jews and to its neighbours, is its ideologically motivated pursuit of territorial expansion and the inevitable series of wars resulting from this aim. The more Israel becomes Jewish or, as one says in Hebrew, the more it ‘returns to Judaism’ (a process which has been under way in Israel at least since 1967), the more its actual politics are guided by Jewish ideological considerations and less by rational ones.

The more a society becomes open, the more it is interested in reflecting, at first descriptively and then critically, upon itself, its present working as well as its past. But what happens when a faction of intellectuals desires to drag a society, which has already opened up to a considerable extent, back to its previous totalitarian, closed condition? Then the very means of the former progress – philosophy, the sciences, history and especially sociology – become the most effective instruments of the ‘treason of the intellectuals’. They are perverted in order to serve as devices of deception, and in the process they degenerate.

Many Jews in Israel (and elsewhere), who are not Orthodox and have little detailed knowledge of the Jewish religion, have tried to shame Orthodox Israelis (or right-wingers who are strongly influenced by religion) out of their inhuman attitude towards the Palestinians, by quoting at them verses from the Bible in their plain humane sense. It was always found, however, that such arguments do not have the slightest effect on those who follow classical Judaism; they simply do not understand what is being said to them, because to them the biblical text means something quite different than to everyone else [i.e. the Talmud]

[…] insane as it sounds, it is nevertheless plain upon close examination of the real motives of the zionists, that one of the most deep-seated ideological sources of the zionist establishment’s persistent hostility towards the Palestinians is the fact that they are identified in the minds of many east-European Jews with the rebellious east-European peasants who participated in the Chmielnicki uprising and in similar revolts – and the latter are in turn identified ahistorically with modern antisemitism and Nazism.

Do decent English historians, even when noting the massacres of Englishmen by rebellious Irish peasants rising against their enslavement, condemn the latter as ‘anti-English racists’? What is the attitude of progressive French historians towards the great slave revolution in Santo Domingo, where many French women and children were butchered? To ask the question is to answer it. But to ask a similar question of many ‘progressive’ or even ‘socialist’ Jewish circles is to receive a very different answer; here an enslaved peasant is transformed into a racist monster, if Jews profited from his state of slavery and exploitation.

The maxim that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it applies to those Jews who refuse to come to terms with the Jewish past: they have become its slaves and are repeating it in zionist and Israeli policies.

[...] a booklet published by the Central Region Command of the Israeli Army, whose area includes the West Bank. In this booklet the Command’s Chief Chaplain writes: “When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that those civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even should be killed ... Under no circumstances should an Arab be trusted, even if he makes an impression of being civilised ... In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good.”


Letter from the soldier Moshe to Rabbi Shim‘on Weiser

‘With God’s help, to His Honour, my dear Rabbi,

‘First I would like to ask how you and your family are. I hope all is well. I am, thank God, feeling well. A long time I have not written. Please forgive me. Sometimes I recall the verse ‘‘when shall I come and appear before God?’’ I hope, without being certain, that I shall come during one of the leaves. I must do so.

‘In one of the discussions in our group, there was a debate about the ‘‘purity of weapons’’ and we discussed whether it is permitted to kill unarmed men – or women and children? Or perhaps we should take revenge on the Arabs? And then everyone answered according to his own understanding. I could not arrive at a clear decision, whether Arabs should be treated like the Amalekites, meaning that one is permitted to murder [sic] them until their remembrance is blotted out from under heaven, or perhaps one should do as in a just war, in which one kills only the soldiers?

‘A second problem I have is whether I am permitted to put myself in danger by allowing a woman to stay alive? For there have been cases when women threw hand grenades. Or am I permitted to give water to an Arab who put his hand up? For there may be reason to fear that he only means to deceive me and will kill me, and such things have happened.

‘I conclude with a warm greeting to the rabbi and all his family. – Moshe.’

Reply of R. Shim'on Weiser to Moshe

‘With the help of Heaven. Dear Moshe, Greetings.

‘I am starting this letter this evening although I know I cannot finish it this evening, both because I am busy and because I would like to make it a long letter, to answer your questions in full, for which purpose I shall have to copy out some of the sayings of our sages, of blessed memory, and interpret them.

‘The non-Jewish nations have a custom according to which war has its own rules, like those of a game, like the rules of football or basketball. But according to the sayings of our sages, of blessed memory, [ ... ] war for us is not a game but a vital necessity, and only by this standard must we decide how to wage it. On the one hand [ ... ] we seem to learn that if a Jew murders a Gentile, he is regarded as a murderer and, except for the fact that no court has the right to punish him, the gravity of the deed is like that of any other murder. But we find in the very same authorities in another place [ ... ] that Rabbi Shim‘on used to say: ‘‘The best of Gentiles – kill him; the best of snakes – dash out its brains.’’

‘It might perhaps be argued that the expression ‘‘kill’’ in the saying of R. Shim’on is only figurative and should not be taken literally but as meaning ‘‘oppress’’ or some similar attitude, and in this way we also avoid a contradiction with the authorities quoted earlier. Or one might argue that this saying, though meant literally, is [merely] his own personal opinion, disputed by other sages [quoted earlier]. But we find the true explanation in the Tosafot. There [ ... ] we learn the following comment on the talmudic pronouncement that Gentiles who fall into a well should not be helped out, but neither should they be pushed into the well to be killed, which means that they should neither be saved from death nor killed directly. And the Tosafot write as follows: ‘‘And if it is queried [because] in another place it was said The best of Gentiles – kill him, then the answer is that this [saying] is meant for wartime.’’ [ ... ]

‘According to the commentators of the Tosafot, a distinction must be made between wartime and peace, so that although during peace time it is forbidden to kill Gentiles, in a case that occurs in wartime it is a mitzvah [imperative, religious duty] to kill them. [ ... ]

‘And this is the difference between a Jew and a Gentile: although the rule ‘‘Whoever comes to kill you, kill him first’’ applies to a Jew, as was said in Tractate Sanhedrin [of the Talmud], page 72a, still it only applies to him if there is [actual] ground to fear that he is coming to kill you. But a Gentile during wartime is usually to be presumed so, except when it is quite clear that he has no evil intent. This is the rule of ‘‘purity of weapons’’ according to the Halakhah – and not the alien conception which is now accepted in the Israeli army and which has been the cause of many [Jewish] casualties. I enclose a newspaper cutting with the speech made last week in the Knesset by Rabbi Kalman Kahana, which shows in a very lifelike – and also painful – way how this ‘‘purity of weapons’’ has caused deaths.

‘I conclude here, hoping that you will not find the length of this letter irksome. This subject was being discussed even without your letter, but your letter caused me to write up the whole matter.

‘Be in peace, you and all Jews, and [I hope to] see you soon, as you say. Yours – Shim‘on.’


Reply of Moshe to R. Shim'on Weiser

‘To His Honour, my dear Rabbi,

‘First I hope that you and your family are in health and are all right.

‘I have received your long letter and am grateful for your personal watch over me, for I assume that you write to many, and most of your time is taken up with your studies in your own programme.

‘Therefore my thanks to you are doubly deep.

‘As for the letter itself, I have understood it as follows:

‘In wartime I am not merely permitted, but enjoined to kill every Arab man and woman whom I chance upon, if there is reason to fear that they help in the war against us, directly or indirectly. And as far as I am concerned I have to kill them even if that might result in an involvement with the military law. I think that this matter of the purity of weapons should be transmitted to educational institutions, at least the religious ones, so that they should have a position about this subject and so that they will not wander in the broad fields of ‘‘logic’’, especially on this subject; and the rule has to be explained as it should be followed in practice. For, I am sorry to say, I have seen different types of ‘‘logic’’ here even among the religious comrades. I do hope that you shall be active in this, so that our boys will know the line of their ancestors clearly and unambiguously.

‘I conclude here, hoping that when the [training] course ends, in about a month, I shall be able to come to the yeshivah [talmudic college]. Greetings – Moshe.’

Of course, this doctrine of the Halakhah on murder clashes, in principle, not only with Israel’s criminal law but also – as hinted in the letters just quoted – with official military standing regulations. However, there can be little doubt that in practice this doctrine does exert an influence on the administration of justice, especially by military authorities. The fact is that in all cases where Jews have, in a military or paramilitary context, murdered Arab noncombatants – including cases of mass murder such as that in Kafr Qasim in 1956 – the murderers, if not let off altogether, received extremely light sentences or won far-reaching remissions, reducing their punishment to next to nothing.

Stealing (without violence) is absolutely forbidden – as the Shulhan ‘Arukh so nicely puts it: ‘even from a Gentile’. Robbery (with violence) is strictly forbidden if the victim is Jewish. However, robbery of a Gentile by a Jew is not forbidden outright but only under certain circumstances such as ‘when the Gentiles are not under our rule’, but is permitted ‘when they are under our rule’. Rabbinical authorities differ among themselves as to the precise details of the circumstances under which a Jew may rob a Gentile, but the whole debate is concerned only with the relative power of Jews and Gentiles rather than with universal considerations of justice and humanity. This may explain why so very few rabbis have protested against the robbery of Palestinian property in Israel: it was backed by overwhelming Jewish power.

In addition to Israeli policies it may be surmised that the ‘Jewish ideology’ influences also a significant part, maybe a majority, of the diaspora Jews. While the actual implementation of Jewish ideology depends on Israel being strong, this in turn depends to a considerable extent on the support which diaspora Jews, particularly US Jews, give to Israel. [...] The image of the diaspora Jews and their attitudes to non-Jews, is quite different from the attitudes of classical Judaism[...]. This discrepancy is most obvious in English-speaking countries, where the greatest falsifications of Judaism regularly occur. The situation is worst in the USA and Canada, the two states whose support for Israeli policies, including policies which most glaringly contradict the basic human rights of non-Jews, is strongest.

US support for Israel, when considered not in abstract but in concrete detail, cannot be adequately explained only as a result of American imperial interests. The strong influence wielded by the organised Jewish community in the USA in support of all Israeli policies must also be taken into account in order to explain the Middle East policies of American administrations. This phenomenon is even more noticeable in the case of Canada, whose Middle Eastern interests cannot be considered as important, but whose loyal dedication to Israel is even greater than that of the USA. In both countries (and also in France, Britain and many other states) Jewish organisations support Israel with about the same loyalty which communist parties accorded to the USSR for so long.

Stalin and his supporters never tired of condemning the discrimination against the American or the South African Blacks, especially in the midst of the worst crimes committed within the USSR. The South African apartheid regime was tireless in its denunciations of the violations of human rights committed either by communist or by other African regimes, and so were its supporters in other countries. Many similar examples can be given. The support of democracy or of human rights is therefore meaningless or even harmful and deceitful when it does not begin with self-critique and with support of human rights when they are violated by one’s own group. Any support of human rights in general by a Jew which does not include the support of human rights of non-Jews whose rights are being violated by the ‘Jewish state’ is as deceitful as the support of human rights by a Stalinist.
 
Top Bottom