On July 4th, Netanyahu lectures Middle East on Jefferson: ‘All men are created equal’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 35 Comments

Here are holiday greetings to the US from our good friend Benjamin Netanyahu. A long speech in which he lectured the US ambassador about democracy. Charming.

Here’s the second half of the speech. Notice the skepticism about the Arab Spring, “they’re not exactly Jeffersonians.” Notice the celebration of the principle All [people] are created equal, and minorities must have the same rights as everyone else… Notice the casual putdowns of Arab societies. This guy is shameless. 

… I wanted to express my appreciation to you, Dan [Shapiro], for the wonderful job you are doing as America’s ambassador to Israel.

And Sara and I also wanted to wish you and Julie a mazal tov [congratulations] on the Bat Mitzvah of your daughter, Liat.

Even though I can’t be there in person, I wanted to express my appreciation to President Obama and to the American people as you celebrate Independence Day.

You see, because as Israel’s prime minister, I appreciate deeply all that America has done for Israel.

And as the leader of one of the world’s most vibrant democracies — you know how vibrant — I appreciate all the great sacrifices that America has made in order to advance liberty and democracy throughout the world.

America’s revolution was founded on two very powerful ideas.

First, that people should have the right to elect their own leaders and be sovereign over their own destiny.

And second, that the power of those leaders, the power of governments, must be checked so that individual rights will be protected.

I’m always moved, no matter how many years pass, I’m always moved when I read Thomas Jefferson’s words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal.
That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
That among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The American Revolution brought these two powerful ideas together and they made America a beacon of liberty for all humanity.

Now, you know that the Middle East is undergoing a profound and historic transformation, and the question arises: will these twin ideas — will they become rooted in our region too?

All those who value freedom should remember that to be a real democracy, it is not enough to have a government that represents the majority of the people.

Real democracy also means having a government that respects the rights of each and every individual in it.

Real democracy is not merely about holding popular elections. 

It is about what happens between elections.

It means ensuring that no one is above the law.

It means protecting free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion.

It means upholding the rights of women, minorities, gays, children, everyone.

By ensuring both popular sovereignty and individual rights, the nations of the region can join America and Israel in being genuine democracies.

Now, will this happen?

In the near term, I think we’ll all agree, there’s ample reason for skepticism.

The forces currently throughout the region that are rising are not exactly…how shall I put it…they’re not exactly Jeffersonians.

But in the long term, in the long term I believe there’s reason for hope.

Because with the spread of information technology, it will become increasingly difficult to keep young minds closed, cloistered in darkness.

Ultimately, the power of freedom is bound to prevail.

Ultimately, people throughout the Middle East will enjoy the rights that we in free societies too often take for granted. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, July 4th is a time to not take freedom for granted. 

It’s a time to be thankful that history granted America the power to match its ideals with action.

It’s a time for free people everywhere to send their best wishes to the United States of America, to the country that has done so much to make the world a safer, freer and more peaceful place.

So on behalf of the people of Israel, let me wish President Obama and all the American people a Happy Independence Day. 

Or as they say in small towns across America,

Chag Sameach

! [Happy Holiday]

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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35 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    July 7, 2012, 11:29 am

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  2. William Burns
    July 7, 2012, 11:35 am

    Would it kill these guys to come up with a word other than “vibrant”?

    • Roya
      July 7, 2012, 5:43 pm

      @William Burns. C’mon, give ’em a little credit. They also throw in “thriving” now and then.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 8, 2012, 6:48 am

      “Would it kill these guys to come up with a word other than “vibrant”?”

      Good catch, Williams. :)

    • Mndwss
      July 8, 2012, 9:02 am

      “And as the leader of one of the world’s most vibrant democracies — you know how vibrant –”

      In the Democracy Index 25 countries are categorized as Full democracy. Israel is number 36 in the list and is categorized as a Flawed democracy.


      I guess in Netanyahus dictionary flawed and vibrant are listed as synonyms.

      “And as the leader of one of the world’s most flawed democracies — you know how flawed — “

  3. eljay
    July 7, 2012, 11:41 am

    >> Or as they say in small towns across America,
    >> Chag Sameach

    Do they really say that in small towns across America?

    • CloakAndDagger
      July 7, 2012, 2:12 pm

      >> Or as they say in small towns across America,
      >> Chag Sameach

      Do they really say that in small towns across America?

      Hey, I say it to everyone I know every weekend. It is my next most frequent benediction after TGIF.

  4. DICKERSON3870
    July 7, 2012, 12:34 pm

    RE: “On July 4th, Netanyahu lectures Middle East on Jefferson: ‘All men are created equal’” ~ Weiss

    AN EARLY SUMMER AFTERNOON’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, sponsored by the makers of new Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®:

    Two little babies, lying in bed
    One was sick and the other ‘most dead
    Sent for the doctor and the doctor said
    “Give those children some shortnin’ bread.” . . .
    . . . Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed—
    Rake de coals out hot an’ red—
    Putt on de oven an’ putt on de led,—
    Mammy’s gwineter cook som short’nin’ bread. . .
    . . . When those children, sick in bed
    Heard that talk about short’nin’ bread
    Popped up well, to dance and sing
    Skipped around and cut the pigeon wing. . .
    Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’, shortnin’
    Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread
    Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’, shortnin’
    Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread. . .

    Nelson Eddy sings Shortnin Bread 13.09.1939.wmv (VIDEO, 02:39) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCsLAlf_Ztg

    • SOME SANITIZED VERSIONS: History of “Shortnin’ Bread” – 4 versions (Paul Chaplain +) [VIDEO, 08:35] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQmSlxWcd-k

  5. Dan Crowther
    July 7, 2012, 12:35 pm

    First off, the founders weren’t interested in the people electing their leaders, all the people could do was elect (from a pre-chosen group) who would do the electing. So, Bibi needs a history lesson (shocking)

    And second, Im pretty sure during the revolutionary war, all sorts of people were locked up or herded together because they were of a certain national origin and were considered threats – so, this seems like the government running roughshod over the individual. This of course would continue with the alien and sedition acts, the taft hartley acts and of course, everyone’s favorite, the patriot act. I know Im missing some.

    Bibi must be talking about a different America. And not for nothing, Thomas Jefferson believed that the earth belonged only to the people alive on it at a certain time – he was for “rights of possession” rather than iron clad property rights, which could be passed down etc. So, one has to ask, what would Tommy Jefferson have to say about a bunch of wa-hoos who say they have claim to land based on inhabitancy 2000 years ago? the question answers itself. TJ would tell Bibi to go get his shinebox

  6. Blake
    July 7, 2012, 12:36 pm

    As hypocritical as it may be most Americans probably believe it.

  7. American
    July 7, 2012, 3:16 pm

    What?…no lecture on how the Jews invented America?
    Bibi must be slipping. LOL

  8. piotr
    July 7, 2012, 3:23 pm

    By ensuring both popular sovereignty and individual rights, the nations of the region can join America and Israel in being genuine democracies.

    Now, will this happen?

    In the near term, I think we’ll all agree, there’s ample reason for skepticism.


    I fully agree. In an unlikely event that, say, Egypt will become a genuine democracy, will it JOIN Israel? Now we need two unlikely events! OK, stranger things happen. But now THREE unlikely events? USA without assassinations, torture or cops killing with impunity, or inhuman conditions in prisons?

  9. DICKERSON3870
    July 7, 2012, 3:45 pm

    RE: “On July 4th, Netanyahu lectures Middle East on Jefferson: ‘All men are created equal’” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: As to Netanyahu lecturing the Middle East on Jefferson and equality (despite Jefferson’s having had slaves), I have never understood how Netanyahu managed to get a degree from M.I.T. (even in architecture). In fact, Uri Avnery (blessed be he) revels in derisively referring to Netanyahu as a “furniture salesman”.
    I have a doctor who is a graduate of M.I.T in math (yet another Weiss; they’re everywhere) and he seems like a pretty smart guy. But Netanyahu strikes me as the kind of person who would be doing well to get a business degree from a community college (graduating with a 2.5 cumulative average).
    At any rate, the incredible irony of Netanyahu lecturing on Jefferson and equality is that I fear Likudnik Israel and Revisionist Zionism (largely due to their effect on the U.S.*) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment ! ! !
    I might also point out that that Jefferson’s U.S. and Netanyahu’s Israel were two of the last countries to support South Africa during the apartheid era. Dare I mention the word chutzpah?

    “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12

    [EXCERPT] I recently read a fascinating article by Scott McConnell, “The Special Relationship With Israel: Is It Worth the Cost?,” which appeared in the spring 2012 Middle East Policy Council Journal. Even for those of us who have closely followed the issue of Israel’s asymmetrical relationship with the United States, Scott provides some unique insights. He observes, for example, that the result of the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel has been the wholesale adoption of Israeli policies and viewpoints by Washington’s policymakers and pundits. As Scott puts it, there exists “a transmission belt, conveying Israeli ideas on how the United States should conduct itself in a contested and volatile part of the world. To a great extent, a receptive American political class now views the Middle East and their country’s role in it through Israel’s eyes.”
    I would add that Israel has not only shaped America’s perceptions, it has also supported policies both overseas and domestically that have fundamentally shifted how the United States sees itself and how the rest of the world sees the United States. This is most evident in failed national security policies, damaging interactions with the Muslim world, and the loss of basic liberties at home because of legislation like the PATRIOT Act. Israel and its powerful lobby have been instrumental in entangling Washington in a constant state of war overseas while at the same time planting the seeds for a national security state at home. In short, the end product of the relationship is that the United States has abandoned many liberties, constitutional restraints, and its rule of law [I.E. CORE VALUES OF ‘THE ENLIGHTENMENT’ – J.L.D.] to become more like Israel. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2012/07/04/america-adopts-the-israel-para

    P.S. ALSO SEE: ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK – http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/israelis-are-helping-write-us-laws-fund-us-campaigns-craft-us-war-policy.html

  10. piotr
    July 7, 2012, 4:25 pm

    Just a little tidbit about Israeli democracy last week. There is a strange law called “Tal Law” that was found illegal by Israeli Supreme Court which, in a bout of “legislating from the bench” postulated that all Israeli Jews should be treated equally (Hashem forbid to treat ALL citizens equally). Everybody knows it is a crazy idea: some Jews excel in military arts, and it is OK to conscript those, but some Jews excel in being anti-social religious bigots, and pacifist to boot, and IDF has a lot of troubles already. But they are very good Jews. It would be relatively simple to write a law that it would make it easy to avoid military service, but if you follow the foolish suggestion of equality, it would make life easier for the leftist, and these are very bad Jews. That will not do.

    [The weirdness of Tal Law is that you can avoid military service if you accept 10 years of non-working and collecting welfare, plus some evidence that you are engaged in religious studies. Needless to say, students of Quran do not enjoy any stipends. ]

    Now Member of the Knesset Elkin announced that if there will be no compromise by August 1, the draft will apply equally to all Jews. In other words, Knesset somehow has to avoid the absurdity of equal treatment for all Jews without too much bloodshed or even spitting.

  11. American
    July 7, 2012, 4:27 pm

    I am not surprised that Bibi would quote Jefferson but I wonder how much he really knows about Jefferson (very little I would guess) and the fact that Jefferson’s considerable intellect came from classical studies of religion and reason, which rejected the Hebrew Old Testament. There was a very interesting, probably little known intellectual engagement between Jefferson and Adams in America’s formative days. Adams was somewhat an Old Testament man and Jefferson definitely was not…..he was of the enlightenment and the New Testament. People always argue over and claim America was or was not based on Christianity. Both sides are about half assed right and wrong on that. You have to read what the founders wrote in their peer exchanges and own musings about religion to understand their thinking at the time. I think Jefferson comes closest to being the example of what thought and reasoning finally set the foundations America would adhere to. In the letter below Jefferson set out the difference between the Old Testament, which he thought lacked moral instructions for man and the new Testament and it’s requirements of morality and justice and responsibility in individuals. I think it is fair to say that the Jefferson believed the “morals teachings of Jesus’ had a place or needed to be reflected in the framework of what America was to be. Jefferson saw these morals though as what men needed to go by, what he called a “benevolent code of morals” in establishing a” nation for people” …as opposed to…. “establishing a religious nation for people”. And Jefferson’s beliefs and reasoning won out in setting the fundementals for America.
    That difference of belief and though in establishing a ‘nation for people” with religious freedom and the establishing of ”a nation for religion and the people of that religion” is the difference in Israel and America….it is an exact opposite of principles.


    Monticello Oct. 12. 13.

    Dear Sir

    Since mine of Aug. 22. I have received your favors of Aug. 16. Sep. 2. 14. 15. and ____ and mrs Adams’s of Sep 20. I now send you, according to your request a copy of the Syllabus. to fill up this skeleton with arteries, with veins, with nerves, muscles and flesh, is really beyond my time and information. whoever could undertake it would find great aid in Enfield’s judicious abridgment of Brucker’s history of Philosophy, in which he has reduced 5. or 6. quarto vols of 1000. pages each of Latin closely printed, to two moderate 8 vos of English, open, type.

    To compare the morals of the old, with those of the new testament, would require an attentive study of the former, a search thro’ all it’s books for it’s precepts, and through all it’s history for it’s practices, and the principles, they prove. as commentaries too on these, the philosophy of the Hebrews must be enquired into, their Mishna, their Gemara, Cabbala, Jezirah, Sohar, Cosri and their Talmud must be examined and understood, in order to do them full justice. Brucker, it should seem, has gone deeply into these Repositories of their ethics, and Enfield, his epitomiser, concludes in these words. “Ethics were so little studies among the Jews, that, in their whole compilation called the Talmud, there is only one treatise on moral subjects.— their books of Morals chiefly consisted in a minute enumeration of duties. from the law of Moses were deduced 613. precepts , which were divided into two classes, affirmative and negative, 248 in the former, and 365 in the latter.—it may serve to give the reader some idea of the low state of moral philosophy among the Jews in the Middle age, to add, that of the 248. affirmative precepts, only 3. were considered as obligatory upon women; and that, in order to obtain salvation, it was judges sufficient to fulfill any one single law in the hour of death; the observance of the rest being deemed necessary, only to increase the felicity of the future life. what a wretched depravity of sentiment & manners must have prevailed before such corrupt maxims could have obtained credit! it is impossible to collect from these writings a consistent series of moral Doctrine.’ Enfield B. 4. chap. 3. it was the reformation of this ‘wretched depravity’ of morals which Jesus undertook. in extracting

    —page 1265—

    Title: The Thomas Jefferson
    Papers, Series 1, Page
    More informationthe pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to them. we must dismiss the Platonists & Plotinists, the Stagyrites & Gamalielites, the Eclectis the Gnostics & Scholastics their essences & emanations, their Logos & Demi-urgos, Aeons & Daemons male & female, with a long train of Etc. Etc. Etc. or, shall I say at once, of Nonsense. we must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the Amphibologisms into which they have been led by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. there will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently, his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. the result is an 8 vo of 46. pages of pure and unsophisticated doctrines, such as were professed & acted on by the unlettered apostles, the Apostolic fathers, and the Christians of the 1st century. their Platonising successors indeed, in after times, in order to legitimate the corruptions which they had incorporated into the doctrines of Jesus, found it necessary to disavow, the primitive Christians, who had taken their principles from the mouth of Jesus himself, of his Apostles, & the Fathers contemporary with them. they excommunicated their followers as heretics, branding them with the opprobrious name of Ebionites or Beggards.

    For a comparison of the Graecian philosophy with that of Jesus, materials might be largely drawn from the same source. Enfield gives a history, & detailed account of the opinions & principles of the different sects. these relate to the gods, their natures, grades, places and powers;
    the demi-gods and daemons, and their agency with man;
    the Universe, it’s structure, extent and duration;

    —page 1266—

    Title: The Thomas Jefferson
    Papers, Series 1, Page
    More informationthe origin of things from the elements of fire, water, air and earth;
    the human soul, it’s essence and derivation;

    the summum bonum, and finis bonorum; with a thousand idle dreams & fancies on these and other subjects the knolege of which is witheld from man, leaving but a short chapter for his moral duties, and the principal section of that given to what he owes himself, to precepts for rendering him impassible, and unassailable by the evils of life, and for preserving his mind in a state of constant serenity.’


    • Blake
      July 8, 2012, 8:26 am

      There are a lot of quotes from all the founding fathers that explicitly say America is not a Christian nation:
      “Lighthouses are more useful than churches” – Benjamin Franklin;
      “This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it” – John Adams;
      “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man” –Thomas Jefferson.

      • American
        July 8, 2012, 11:27 am


        I think you’re missing the point about Jefferson…..he did indeed dislike Christianity or any religion AS A SYSTEM…..that is the point….BUT …..he thought the ” moral principles” ,…. NOT THE RELIGION…..should be reflected in the governing of the nation.
        That government should be ‘inclusive of all men (the people) ,”enlightened”. …he saw no conflict between morals even if taken from religion with ‘reason’. IOW he thought moral principles combined with reason was the best guarantee for the success and longevity of a nation.

      • Blake
        July 8, 2012, 5:13 pm

        Thank you. I do value your opinion.

      • AllenBee
        July 8, 2012, 2:07 pm

        Don’t feel badly, Blake.
        Presbyterians are struggling with the inability of making the same distinction: they are wrapped so tightly around disorthagonal notions of Christianity that they have lost comprehension of the fundamental principles of morality that Jesus taught/lived/modeled and that Jefferson was ahead of his time in isolating and appreciating, and upon which he constructed a unique nation.

        Letter to Benjamin Rush, Apr 21, 1803: “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.”

      • American
        July 9, 2012, 3:28 am


        Thanks for quote.
        That’s an excellent one for representing Jefferson’s view.
        Makes it clearer.

      • Blake
        July 9, 2012, 2:34 pm

        Brilliant quote and thank you.

    • seanmcbride
      July 8, 2012, 9:27 am

      “Despite his reservations about the perceived “defects” in Judaism, Jefferson never wavered in his commitment to civil and religious freedom for Jews.”

      TITLE Jefferson and the Jews
      SOURCE Jewish Virtual Library
      URL http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/jeffjews.html
      Thomas Jefferson is deservedly a hero to American Jewry. His was one of the few voices in the early republic fervently championing equal political rights for Jews. Jefferson’s Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia is a classic American statement of religious toleration. Significantly, while Jefferson championed the rights of Jews and other religious minorities, he did not do so out of respect for Judaism but because he respected the right of every individual to hold whichever faith they wished.

      Jefferson’s advocacy of civic equality for American Jewry began as early as 1776, when he co-sponsored a bill – which the Virginia legislature ultimately defeated – which would have allowed the naturalization of Jews, Catholics and other non-Protestants as Virginia citizens. During the debate, Jefferson quoted John Locke’s argument that “neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.”

      Four decades later, in 1820, Jefferson wrote to the Charleston Jewish physician, Dr. Jacob De La Motta, that “religious freedom is the most effectual anodyne against religious dissension.” Jefferson told De La Motta that he was delighted to see American Jews assuming full social rights and hoped “they will be seen taking their seats on the benches of science as preparatory to their doing the same at the board of government.” Subsequently, referring to the reading of the King James version of the Bible in public schools, Jefferson expressed his belief that it was a “cruel addition to the wrongs” Jews had historically suffered “by imposing on them a course of theological reading which their consciences do not permit them to pursue.” To Joseph Marx of Richmond, Jefferson expressed “regret . . . at seeing a sect [the Jews], the parent and basis of all those of Christendom, singled out for persecution and oppression.”

      While Jefferson advocated for Jewish liberty, he held certain aspects of Judaism in low regard. In fairness, Jefferson opposed all religions based on divine revelation. He believed that God’s existence could be proven by reason and common sense rather than faith. A detractor of all priests, he found those of the Hebrew Bible “a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family of god of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel.”

      In 1787, Jefferson summed up his view of Jewish revelation in a letter to his nephew, warning him to be skeptical of “those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature.” As one example, he cited the assertion in the Book of Joshua that the sun stood still for several hours. Since that would have meant, in scientific terms, that the earth stood still, Jefferson asked his nephew to consider how the earth, spinning on its axis, could have stopped suddenly and started rotating again without enormous destruction to natural and manmade structures. Similarly, the rationalist Jefferson doubted that God personally inscribed the Ten Commandments on a tablet which Moses later destroyed and then re-wrote.

      It bothered Jefferson that the God of the ancient Hebrews was, in his words, “a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.” He could also not understand how Jews could believe that “the God of infinite justice” would “punish the sins of the fathers upon their children, unto the third and fourth generations.” He agreed with the view expressed by John Adams that, in respect to God, “the principle of the Hebrew is fear.”

      Jefferson thought that reason and logic demanded a belief in an afterlife, an area in which he found Judaism deficient. Jefferson argued that, without fear of punishment beyond the grave, individuals lacked an incentive to behave well and that, without hope of reuniting with loved ones, family commitments and friendships would lose their gravity. Since a definitive afterlife was not universally accepted in Judaism, Jefferson thought it a religion without utility.

      Despite his reservations about the perceived “defects” in Judaism, Jefferson never wavered in his commitment to civil and religious freedom for Jews. Jefferson’s most notable achievement in establishing religious and civic toleration for American Jewry was his 1779 Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia. Adopted in 1785, the Bill proclaimed: “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess. . . their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise . . . affect their civil capacities.”

      Two years later, in 1787, the U. S. Constitution was adopted. Article VI contains the following, Jefferson-inspired phrase: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

      Despite his attitude toward Judaism as a religion, Jefferson’s advocacy of the rights of Jews –and those of other religious minorities – has become the law and custom of the land. Toleration of all religions, the absence of an official government religion, and the right to practice and express religious thought freely are the hallmarks of Jefferson’s legacy. Despite his private views of Judaism, he was indeed a most “righteous Gentile.”

      • AllenBee
        July 8, 2012, 1:06 pm

        Sean —
        got anything on Jefferson’s position on the whether it is salubrious to the United States commonweal for agents of a foreign state to refuse to register as such? Did Jefferson have an opinion on whether a person should be permitted to serve in the military of a foreign state and simultaneously act as a decision-maker in the United States?

      • seanmcbride
        July 8, 2012, 1:57 pm


        I think Thomas Jefferson would strongly oppose the current generation of Zionists, Christian Zionists, neoconservatives and neoliberals — he would be in the camp of Jimmy Carter, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Chas Freeman, Philip Giraldi, etc.

        A question for Benjamin Netanyahu occurred to me:

        Thomas Jefferson described the culture of Old Testament Judaism and Jews as being, *in his precise words*, anti-social, bloodthirsty, capricious, cruel, depraved, remorseless, superstitious, unjust, vicious and vindictive. He remarked that biblical Jews displayed “the most anti-social spirit towards other nations.”

        What do you think Thomas Jefferson would think about Likud Zionists and the activities of the Israel lobby in American politics? Would you describe Thomas Jefferson’s views on biblical Jews as being antisemitic?

      • American
        July 9, 2012, 3:23 am


        It’s been decades since I looked at the Old Testement but ‘anti-social, bloodthirsty, capricious, cruel, depraved, remorseless, superstitious, unjust, vicious and vindictive ‘ describes my impression of it.
        I don’t think Jefferson was anti semitic, as in hating Jews, that wouldn’t fit with his morality. I think he probably regarded Jews as being ‘primitive’ because of the Old Testment.

      • seanmcbride
        July 9, 2012, 9:48 am


        I’ve read the entire Bible at least five times, and on each reading I come away with new impressions. Certainly the racism and violence is prominently there (the Bible may be the bloodiest and most bloody-minded classic in world history), but on each rereading I keep noticing a certain psychological complexity in the biblical narrative that intrigues me. In many ways it is a modern confessional work that has a certain Shakespearean (or even Philip Rothian) flavor. The authors of the Bible let it all hang out — they don’t put on airs. They honestly show human nature in all its weirdness.

        Regarding Jefferson: I am not sure whether or not he was an antisemite. He may have been. Quite a few Enlightenment leaders (like Voltaire) were. We do know that, like many other luminaries of his generation, he held racist ideas about blacks. I doubt that he confused contemporary Jews with Moses and biblical Jews. But I do think that he would be appalled by the current crop of religious Zionists, some of whom are indeed bloodthirsty and superstitious fanatics.

  12. seafoid
    July 7, 2012, 4:36 pm

    One thing that Bibi slots into all his speeches is tech. Because the Ziobots believe in tech. Because they are future people.

    And it is such a load of horseshit. Because they are going back to the Middle Ages socially.

    “It means ensuring that no one is above the law’

    Generally it means there is one law for everyone rather than a special LOreal style law for Jews “because we’re worth it” .

  13. Mndwss
    July 7, 2012, 7:59 pm

    All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others…

  14. MRW
    July 7, 2012, 10:17 pm

    Netanyahu as acting US President giving a July 4th address?

    • AllenBee
      July 8, 2012, 1:53 pm

      July 4 is a very special day in Bibi’s psychological profile: On July 4, 1976, “while Americans were celebrating the bicentenary of their freedom,” Bibi has written, Yonathan Netanyahu, Bibi’s sainted elder brother was part of an Israeli team “liberating” hostages at the airport in Entebbe, “the other fourth of July miracle.”

      Yoni was killed, and that changed the course of Bibi’s life.
      Bibi — and even more, Benzion, who idolized — literally– Yoni, framed the Entebbe incident as the first formal act in the ‘war on terror.’

      By the time Bibi regained some psychological balance, the Iranian revolution occurred and Israel simultaneously lost the protective function Iran had served in Israel’s “peripheral doctrine.” Bibi conflated the “terrorism” he had ascribed to what eventuated in Entebbe, with Iran and especially Khomeini who, among other things, cut off the revenue stream Israel had enjoyed in an Iran-Israel (shadow) oil transport (Marc Rich had acquired his fortune by brokering Iranian oil shipments to Eilat and thence to Spain, Great Britain & other European states desperate for oil during the 1973 Arab embargo, which was a consequence of US aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur war).

      Khomeini’s self-confidence, and his attempt to unite Iran and Arabs in the region in the name of Islam, frightened the Netanyahus. By 1979, father and son created the Yonathan Institute, which served as the venue for the Jerusalem Conference on Terrorism. Speakers included John Danforth, Jack Kemp, George Will, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Ambassador George H. Bush, and Maj Gen George J Keegan, Jr. They drew up the blueprint of the Global War on Terror that finally became fully operational with Ehud Barak’s announcement from a BBC studio on Sept 11, 2001.

  15. dbroncos
    July 7, 2012, 11:33 pm

    Does Netanyahu understand that the text of his speech contains many of the same words and phrases that will be repeated in Zionism’s eulogy?

    ” … people should have the right to elect their own leaders and be sovereign over their own destiny”.

    “… the power of governments, must be checked so that individual rights will be protected.”

    “Because with the spread of information technology, it will become increasingly difficult to keep young minds closed, cloistered in darkness”

    “Ultimately, the power of freedom is bound to prevail.”

    “Real democracy also means having a government that respects the rights of each and every individual in it”

  16. Denis
    July 8, 2012, 3:37 am

    Bibi? Bibi? Did someone say “Bibi?” Funny I was just reading about Bibi. . .


    According to a documents recently released by FBI, Bibi was buddy-buddy with convicted Israeli spy Richard Kelly Smith and Smith’s master, Arnon Milchan. Smith got busted for the sale of US nuclear triggers to Israel. Milchan is a big-deal Hollywood producer — Pretty Woman, etc. Probably an untouchable.

    Can’t imagine Bibi would have anything to do with trying to obtain nuclear secrets from the US from slime-ball spies. Where’s that MW Jonathon Pollard hate group?

  17. piotr
    July 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

    This is a problem that Americans, and people who flatter Americans try to resolve tactfully. In blunt words that should never be used, Founding Fathers were well meaning idiots. “We hold these truths to be self-evident:
    That all men are created equal.” Really? Even bad men? Even the “untaxed Indians”, pursuit of happiness by the savages? Surely you jest. Ditto “pursuit of happiness” for Palestinians.

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