And you thought they just followed the Dow! WSJ publishes bible story to justify occupation

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Even at its worst back in the day, the Wall Street Journal editorial page didn’t go in for Christian evangelical malarkey. Can you believe they’re running this kind of religious talk as a basis for foreign policy? From a man who calls himself a strategy and policy analyst, no less? My lord, but some American Jews are religious crazies, and they ought to keep this stuff in religious spaces– for the good of the rest of us. 

A review of Peter Beinart’s book by Daniel Freedman:

Israel isn’t just an ordinary state; it’s the continuation of a story beginning in history’s most famous book, the Bible. And one of Judaism’s greatest legacies is the belief that tomorrow can be better—even as existential threats and true crises loom.

Mr. Freedman, the director of strategy and policy analysis at The Soufan Group, a strategic-intelligence consultancy, is the co-author of “The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al Qaeda.”

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12 Responses

  1. DICKERSON3870
    March 29, 2012, 11:20 am

    RE: “Israel isn’t just an ordinary state; it’s the continuation of a story beginning in history’s most famous book, the Bible.” ~ Daniel Freedman in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal

    SEE: Were Jews ever really slaves in Egypt, or is Passover a myth? ~ By Josh Mintz, Haaretz 3/26/12

    (excerpt). . . The reality is that there is no evidence whatsoever that the Jews were ever enslaved in Egypt. Yes, there’s the story contained within the bible itself, but that’s not a remotely historically admissible source. I’m talking about real proof; archeological evidence, state records and primary sources. Of these, nothing exists.
    It is hard to believe that 600,000 families (which would mean about two million people) crossed the entire Sinai without leaving one shard of pottery (the archeologist’s best friend) with Hebrew writing on it. It is remarkable that Egyptian records make no mention of the sudden migration of what would have been nearly a quarter of their population, nor has any evidence been found for any of the expected effects of such an exodus; such as economic downturn or labor shortages. Furthermore, there is no evidence in Israel that shows a sudden influx of people from another culture at that time. No rapid departure from traditional pottery has been seen, no record or story of a surge in population. . .


    P.S. “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but facts will never sway us.” ~ Neocon Creed (This creed also works for Team B, Republicans, Fox News, Fundies, and now even The Wall Street Journal.)

    • Pixel
      March 29, 2012, 8:17 pm

      Watch out, Dickerson. You’re perilously close to being branded a “Slaves in Egypt” Denier.

      • DICKERSON3870
        March 30, 2012, 11:55 pm

        RE: “Watch out, Dickerson. You’re perilously close to being branded a ‘Slaves in Egypt’ Denier.” ~ Pixel

        MY REPLY: I’m literally quaking in my Hush Puppies™! Damn, that reminds me of my beloved Tater Tots®. I think I’ll fry me up a mess of extra greasy “Tots” right now!

  2. seanmcbride
    March 29, 2012, 11:52 am

    Daniel Freedman puts “settlements” in quotes, as if to imply that they are not actually settlements (even though the settlers themselves refer to them as settlements). He claims to have no idea what the term “tribal privilege” means.

    I have yet to encounter a neocon (and that is what Freedman plainly is) who didn’t strike me as being quite stupid, but at the same time gifted with a remarkable ability to pull the wool over his or her eyes — they are capable of rationalizing absolutely anything in pursuit of their tribal self-interest and privilege. And one wonders if their religious indoctrination might have played a key role in forming these mental habits.

    Regarding “higher standards” — members of modern Western democracies expect Israel to respect and honor modern Western democratic values and practices — it’s really quite simple. If you want to be a member of the modern Western democratic community behave appropriately. Modern Western democracies are not ethnic, religious or ethno-religious nationalist states that discriminate against ethnic and religious outsiders on the basis of holy books.

    By the way, check out the comments: many of the attacks on Beinart are boiling over with extreme hatred and bigotry of the kind which have already turned much of the world against Israel.

  3. seanmcbride
    March 29, 2012, 11:56 am

    On the belief system of many religious Zionists (from the comments):


    The “crisis” is not with the State of Israel but the “credentials” of the author.

    Whatever kind of Judaism he practices it is obvious he has not read the first Bible commentary by Rashi one of the greatest Jewish scholars. The Bible begins with the creation of the world and states that God chose the land of Israel for the Jews. That also included the West Bank.

    The highest spiritual level of the world was when Judaism was at the pinnacle of success at the time of Orthodox Jews like King David and Solomon. Gentiles lived in peace and offered sacrifices at The Temple of Solomon while in paying homage to God.

    As secular government fades away and the Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, and Haredim become a majority Israel will become a “light unto the nations” when even the Palestinians and the Arab world will praise God.


  4. Annie Robbins
    March 29, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Mr. Freedman, the director of strategy and policy analysis at The Soufan Group, a strategic-intelligence consultancy….

    this would be funny if it wasn’t so weird.

    Our Evidence Based Intelligence Interview and Interrogation (EBI3) Method was meticulously developed by an international cadre of professionals with decades of first-hand experience as special agents, intelligence officers, counterintelligence specialists, and police officers and who have conducted literally thousands of interviews and interrogations.

    more from mr freedman

    Israel isn’t the brute occupier of the land beyond the 1948 borders that critics make out either. For an example of brutality in the raw, you need only look to next-door Syria. While Israel is a Goliath in strength, it has David’s conscience. Its military code stresses maintaining “humanity even during combat.” At the root of this conscience lies the Jewish faith.

    Prayers and festivals are a continuous reinforcement of Jewish law’s strong code of ethics. On Passover, for instance, Jews think back in history and ponder what it’s like to be held in slavery. In daily prayers, Jews praise God (Psalm 146) as the one who “brings justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry.” As noted by Britain’s Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a leading Orthodox Jewish thinker, Jews are commanded to emulate God, and Psalms is one of their guides.

  5. seanmcbride
    March 29, 2012, 1:15 pm

    I don’t want to go off on a tangent here, but Daniel Freedman is a contributor to Ali Soufan’s book “The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda”:

    Ali Soufan has issued a major challenge to the official story on 9/11:

    “Former FBI agent says truth of 9/11 remains hidden”


    A former FBI agent has told the BBC that he is being prevented from telling the truth about the events of 9/11 and what has happened since.

    Ali Soufan alleges that crucial intelligence was not passed on from the CIA before the attacks in 2001.

    He has written a book detailing some of his claims and has been speaking to the BBC’s Security Correspondent Gordon Corera in his first on camera interview on the subject.


    Soufan’s charges nicely jibe with those made by Richard Clarke. Add his book to a long list of books by 9/11 skeptics.

    It was curious to discover Daniel Freedman entangled with these controversies.

    • American
      March 29, 2012, 2:10 pm

      Coleen Rowley was a participant or observer in the following events:
      Rowley was the FBI whistle blower who testified before congress how her FBI peers and superiors prevented other FBI agents from sending out the alarm. Click on the link and read all of it, it gets worse and worse, right up to the day before 911 and after numerous other countries imput into impending strikes some in the FBI still refused to open any investigation in to the hijackers even though other agents said they were positive they intended to fly a plane into some buildings. To fine out if it was all incompetence or if some in the FBI were letting the hijackers go on with their plan you would have to find the now retired FBI agents who “deliberately ” hindered the investigation and probably water board them to get the truth. At any rate I do not buy that they buried the investigation into the hijackers because of their ‘career’ concerns. With the amount of warnings they were getting from numerous sources on this group it makes no sense they would not follow up because of “careerism” would have been the opposite, they would have followed it to prevent any blame in the event something happened.

      August 20-September 11, 2001: FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit Unhelpful with Moussaoui Search Warrant The FBI Minneapolis field office wishes to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings, which will later be found to contain enough information to potentially stop 9/11 (see August 16, 2001). To do so it must get the approval of the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters. However, the RFU throws obstacles in the warrant request’s path:
      RFU chief Dave Frasca stops the Minneapolis office from pursuing a criminal warrant (see August 21, 2001);
      When French authorities say that Moussaoui is connected to the Chechen rebels, RFU agent Mike Maltbie insists that the FBI representative in Paris go through all telephone directories in France to see how many Zacarias Moussaouis live there (see August 22, 2001);
      Maltbie stops Minneapolis from informing the Justice Department’s Criminal Division about the case (see August 22, 2001);
      When RFU agent Rita Flack, who is working on the Moussaoui case, reads the Phoenix memo suggesting that bin Laden is sending pilots to the US for training, she apparently does not tell her colleagues about it, even though it was addressed to several of them, including Frasca (see July 10, 2001 and August 22, 2001);
      The RFU does not provide the relevant documentation to attorneys consulted about the request. In particular, Flack does not tell them about the Phoenix Memo, even though one of the attorneys will later say she asked Flack if anyone is sending radical Islamists to the US to learn to fly (see August 22-28, 2001);
      When Minneapolis learns Moussaoui apparently wants to go on jihad, Frasca is not concerned and says jihad does not necessarily mean holy war. However, a top Justice Department attorney will later say “he would have tied bells and whistles” to this comment in a request for a search warrant had he known this (see August 17, 2001 and August 29, 2001);
      Maltbie tells the Minneapolis office that getting a warrant will “take a few months” (see August 24, 2001). He also tells Minneapolis, “We know what’s going on. You will not question us.” (see August 27, 2001);
      Maltbie weakens the warrant request by editing it and removing a statement by a CIA officer that Chechen rebel leader Ibn Khattab was closely connected to Osama bin Laden, despite there being intelligence linking that leader to bin Laden (see August 28, 2001);
      In a key meeting with an attorney about the request, Maltbie and Flack, who are submitting the warrant, are adamant that it is not sufficiently supported (see August 28, 2001);
      Frasca opposes a plan to put an undercover officer in the jail cell with Moussaoui to find out more information about his connections to Islamic militants (August 29, 2001 and Shortly After);
      The RFU does not want a Minneapolis agent to accompany Moussaoui when he is deported (see (August 30-September 10, 2001));
      The RFU does not re-consider getting a criminal search warrant after a decision is taken not to seek a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (see After August 28, 2001);
      Frasca and Maltbie are said to oppose a search warrant after 9/11 (see September 11, 2001).
      It is unclear why the RFU opposes the warrant so strongly. The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General will later criticize the RFU staff, but will conclude that they did not intentionally sabotage the warrant application. [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 101-222 ] A 2004 book by independent researcher Mike Ruppert will speculate that Frasca is actually a CIA agent. Ruppert suggests that the CIA placed Frasca in the FBI to prevent CIA operations from being compromised by FBI investigations. But he does not provide any direct evidence of ties between Frasca and the CIA (see October 1, 2004). The Minneapolis agents will offer a different interpretation of RFU actions. Coleen Rowley will say, “I feel that certain facts… have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mischaracterized in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons.” She asks, “Why would an FBI agent deliberately sabotage a case? The superiors acted so strangely that some agents in the Minneapolis office openly joked that these higher-ups ‘had to be spies or moles… working for Osama bin Laden.’… Our best real guess, however, is that, in most cases avoidance of all ‘unnecessary’ actions/decisions by FBI [headquarters] managers… has, in recent years, been seen as the safest FBI career course. Numerous high-ranking FBI officials who have made decisions or have taken actions which, in hindsight, turned out to be mistaken or just turned out badly… have seen their careers plummet and end. This has in turn resulted in a climate of fear which has chilled aggressive FBI law enforcement action/decisions.” [Time, 5/21/2002] Minneapolis FBI agent Harry Samit will agree with explanation, telling the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General that the RFU is guilty of “obstructionism, criminal negligence, and careerism.” [Associated Press, 3/20/2006] Samit will also say that Maltbie even told him he was acting this way to “preserve the existence of his advancement potential” in the FBI. [Newsday, 3/21/2006]
      Entity Tags: Radical Fundamentalist Unit, Michael Maltbie, David Frasca, FBI Headquarters, Harry Samit, Rita Flack, Coleen Rowley
      Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

    • LanceThruster
      March 29, 2012, 6:37 pm

      Thank you for providing this. I was recently banned from the Center for Inquiry forum for expressing my exasperation at their pronounced *lack* of inquisitiveness re: 9/11.

      Their main “talking point” was that no one credible refutes the events of 9/11.

      Needless to say, I was quite dismissive of such a misrepresentation.

      • Pixel
        March 29, 2012, 8:52 pm

        If anyone reading here has to ask themselves what 911 – directly – has to do with Israel/Palestine and the War of Ideas in the Middle East they haven’t done their research.

    • Pixel
      March 29, 2012, 8:31 pm

      “…these controversies”

      Sincere cudos, Sean, for using such a respectful description.

  6. eljay
    March 29, 2012, 2:05 pm

    >> From the linked-to WSJ article: “While Israel is a Goliath in strength, it has David’s conscience. Its military code stresses maintaining ‘humanity even during combat.’ At the root of this conscience lies the Jewish faith.”

    Looks like someone forgot to inform Rabbi Qarim.

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