Joseph and Mary can’t make it to Bethlehem, on Banksy’s Christmas card

Israel/Palestine
on 319 Comments
banksyx mas
Banksy Christmas card

ARTINFO.com

Yesterday an image that is purportedly British street artist Banksy’s Christmas card this year started making the rounds on Twitter. The artwork in question is, in many ways, a conventional Biblical landscape painting, which shows what are presumably the figures of Joseph and Mary — she astride a donkey — making their way toward Bethlehem, only to find their route blocked by the graffiti-covered Irsaeli West Bank barrier.

To the left, a shepherd tends his sheep, while in the distant sky a cross-shaped star lights up the heavens over the imposing concrete wall.

Card is available at If Americans Knew.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Other posts by .


Posted In:

319 Responses

  1. OlegR
    December 8, 2012, 12:24 pm

    Banksy forgets that Miriam and Yosef were Jews so they would not have a problem going through.
    They might have a hard time buying property in Beit Lehem.
    You know all that ,selling real estate to Jews punishable by death in the PA
    stuff…

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      December 8, 2012, 1:45 pm

      ”Banksy forgets that Miriam and Yosef were Jews so they would not have a problem going through.”

      At least you’re honest about the blatantly racist nature of the wall.

      ”You know all that ,selling real estate to Jews punishable by death in the PA
      stuff…”

      Isn’t it a bit odd then, that there are about half a million Jews residing in the West Bank? Oh yes, of course. They didn’t buy the land. They stole it. Which makes it all OK.

      • Accentitude
        December 9, 2012, 4:04 am

        Oleg is talking as if there’s any land left to buy in Bethlehem, most of it has been stolen already and illegally annexed into the borders of Israel’s Jerusalem municipality.

    • AM
      December 8, 2012, 1:49 pm

      The Hebrews of Yore can be genetically & ancestrally found in the Palestinians of today. They simply speak Arabic, and now have a major component of Arab identity.

      The image evokes a powerful sense of how the life of a Palestinian is affected – even shared religious wisdom (ie: The Christian story) cannot escape the powerful grips of racist Israeli government policy.

      Its a beautiful postcard.

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 3:01 am

        If one of the intentions of the postcard is to build more support among Jews for ending Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, then this is an awful postcard. I’m a Jew who is against the occupation, but I would immediately suspect the creator of this postcard of pandering to historic Christian anti-Semitic tropes about Jews “rejecting” Jesus – only this time it’s the Jewish state that is obstructing the movement of his parents. It is also logically and historically incoherent, conflating a Christian biblical narrative of events that allegedly took place thousands of years ago with contemporary issues in Palestine and Israel.

      • seafoid
        December 10, 2012, 8:14 am

        Jews shouldn’t need a postcard to wake up. They shouldn’t need to think especially hard about what Israel is doing in the name of their religion. Israel shouldn’t expect to be able to hid behind the slur of antisemitism as it concretes over the West Bank.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 10, 2012, 9:26 am

        It is also logically and historically incoherent, conflating a Christian biblical narrative of events that allegedly took place thousands of years ago with contemporary issues in Palestine and Israel.

        do you think justifying the presence of a jewish state in palestine based on biblical narrative is logically and historically incoherent?

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 10, 2012, 10:29 am

        “I would immediately suspect the creator of this postcard of pandering to historic Christian anti-Semitic tropes about Jews “rejecting” Jesus”

        Only if you have a knee-jerk ignorance of the meaning of these stories to Christians.

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 9:32 pm

        I’m replying to myself tonight, because I’m not happy with the way I responded to this image yesterday. I’m going to try a different way, a way that perhaps will create greater space for dialogue between us:
        When I see this image, I feel frightened. I’m not certain what the full intentions of the artist are. When I see images that juxtapose contemporary issues in Palestine and Israel with classic Christian imagery, I start to feel uneasy. I wish that I could sit down with the artist and ask the artist what was fully intended in this image – to promote justice and peace between Palestinians and Israelis, or to project unease with Jews who chose a theological path distinct from Christianity. In addition, please know that tomorrow, on the fourth night of Chanukah, I will light my candles in honor of Palestinians and Israelis who are seeking justice and peace, including those I disagree with. Salaam/Shalom/Peace, Marion

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 12:44 am

        ask the artist what was fully intended in this image – to promote justice and peace between Palestinians and Israelis, or to project unease with Jews who chose a theological path distinct from Christianity.

        ahh, i don’t really think it’s a message for jews who ‘chose a theological path’. that seems kinda out there. primarily, it’s probably a message about the wall. it sort of screams..wall. just sayin’.

        the thing about good art, it’s supposed to get a reaction, but everyone can only see it from their own eyes. it’s safe to assume lots of zionists wouldn’t like it. on the other hand most people who find the wall disgusting will find something in the art that resonates for them. except maybe ….you.

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2012, 1:09 am

        ” or to project unease with Jews who chose a theological path distinct from Christianity.”

        How on earth can you think that it projects “unease” with anything other than the wall? There is not a single reference to Jews or their theology in the picture.

        (Unless the wall has become part of Jewish theology.)

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 1:13 am

        When I see this image, I feel frightened.

        that reminds me. did you ever read the talking pts distributed on UC Berkeley’s campus in the days leading up to the 09 debate over divestment?

        link to mondoweiss.net

        tom pessah recently linked to it in his recent excellent ‘time to call out the israel lobby: link to mondoweiss.net

        anyway, probably just a coincidence ..but apparently being emotional (ie:’frightened’) is a big seller on getting sympathy for zionists. check this out:

        Unifying Strategies for Our Jewish Community

        The message: The bill is an attack on our Jewish community. It silences our voices.

        Keep it very short, about a minute

        Make it personal, include personal experiences and emphasize feelings of personal attack.

        BE EMOTIONAL. Don’t be afraid to show how you feel (angry, sad, etc.)

        ….

        An unjustified attack on Israel is an attack on my Jewish identity. It is attacking ME.
        ….
        Instead, focus on how it is an attack on the Jewish community.

        so please tell me more about how frightened it made you feel. earthmoving, really. be..emotional.

      • MarionL
        December 11, 2012, 1:16 am

        I think you are being a tad defensive, Annie. And strange but true, there are Zionists who are working hard to end the occupation. Here is one example: link to facebook.com

      • eljay
        December 11, 2012, 7:38 am

        >> When I see this image, I feel frightened.

        :-(

        I can only imagine how frightening the actual wall must be to Palestinians.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 10:15 am

        marion, re your FB link. arik said the policy of home demolition is immoral. do you agree? my comment was not directed at arik or ‘zionists’ marion, it was directed at your allegations of fright. just pointing out that is an allegation routinely used as a defense of pro israel activists lately, some of which has made it’s way into our legislation in california and being bandied about by defenders of israel all throughout the UC system here. it’s just not a very compelling argument in my opinion. but hey, if you want to make the argument you’re fearful when you look at the art, have at it.

        your allegation of ‘fright’ rather contradicts your first 6 comments on the thread tho, just thought i’d point that out. (if you click on your name you can read them)

        I’m replying to myself tonight, because I’m not happy with the way I responded to this image yesterday. I’m going to try a different way, a way that perhaps will create greater space for dialogue between us:
        When I see this image, I feel frightened.

        if i am reading you correctly, after your original allegations of ‘logical and historical incoherence’ (and antisemitism) fell flat, you thought communicating fright would create greater space for dialogue. carry on, let’s see if that works.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 11, 2012, 10:33 am

        “When I see this image, I feel frightened.”

        What, exactly, is frightening about this image? Surely the world’s fourth most powerful military is strong enough to protect you from a carpenter and a pregnant woman…

      • Taxi
        December 11, 2012, 11:48 am

        Lol Woody!

      • American
        December 11, 2012, 12:30 pm

        MarionL says:
        I’m replying to myself tonight, because I’m not happy with the way I responded to this image yesterday. I’m going to try a different way, a way that perhaps will create greater space for dialogue between us:
        When I see this image, I feel frightened. I’m not certain what the full intentions of the artist are. When I see images that juxtapose contemporary issues in Palestine and Israel with classic Christian imagery, I start to feel uneasy.”>>>>>

        I am very offended by your *implying* that Christians always persecuted Jews because of the inherent evilness of Christianity.
        It makes me feel ‘very uneasy’, ‘frightened’ and threatened by Jews/Judaism/Israel to see you promoting the classic Jewish depiction of the eternal evilness of Christians and non Jews.
        You should be more sensitive to the persecutions and slaughters of Christians by Jews .
        Christians are still severely traumatized by their past victimization at your hands and have nightmares about Jews turning on Christians again.

        ”In 41 AD, when Agrippa I, who already possessed the territory of Antipas and Phillip, obtained the title of King of the Jews, in a sense re-forming the Kingdom of Herod, he was reportedly eager to endear himself to his Jewish subjects and continued the persecution (of Christians) in which James the Lesser lost his life, Peter narrowly escaped and the rest of the apostles took flight. ”

        Wand, John Williams Charles A History of the Early Church to AD 500, p. 12, Routledge 1990

        ”Shortly after the Persian army entered Jerusalem in 614, unprecedented looting and sacrilege took place. Church after church was burned down alongside the innumerable Christian artifacts, which were stolen or damaged by the ensuing arson. Given that Khosrau II generally practiced religious tolerance and did deem Christians respectfully, it is not known why Shahrbaraz ordered such a massacre. One reason could simply have been Shahrbaraz’s rage at the resistance that had been offered by Jerusalem’s Christian populace. Accounts from early Christian chroniclers suggest that 26,000 Jewish rebels entered the streets of the city. Some Jerusalem Christians were taken captive, gathered together and murdered in mass by Jews. The Greek historian Antiochus Strategos writes that captive Christians were gathered near Mamilla reservoir and the Jews offered to help them escape death if they “become Jews and deny Christ”. The Christian captives refused, and the Jews in anger had purchased the Christians from Persians and massacred them on spot. Antiochus writes: Then the Jews… as of old they bought the Lord from the Jews with silver, so they purchased Christians out of the reservoir; for they gave the Persians silver, and they bought a Christian and slew him like a sheep.

        According to Antiochus, the total Christian death toll was 66,509, of which 24,518 corpses were found at Mamilla, many more than were found anywhere else in the city. Other manuscripts suggest less where found at Mamilla 4518 or 4618.[23] Other sources give a figure of 60,000 slain. The Jews destroyed the Christian churches and the monasteries, books were burnt and monks and priests killed. A mass burial grave at Mamilla cave was discovered in 1989 by Israeli archeologist Ronny Reich.

        Israeli archeologist Ronny Reich excavated the cave, verifying that it was a mass burial site for the victims of a well-known massacre committed during the epic Byzantine-Sasanian War. Jews and Persians joined forces in the Galilee, and together destroyed Byzantine churches and other Christian buildings up and down the coast from Antioch to Gaza in 614 A.D. All of the churches and Christian buildings in Palestine, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem were destroyed, and the remnants of the True Cross was taken triumphantly to Persia. The Persians ransomed their hostages to the Jewish fighters, who then marched them to the Mamilla Pool and slaughtered them. The only church that remained untouched at this time was the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, because the Persians, recognizing the Magi depicted in a mosaic as Persian sages, decided to leave it unharmed.
        link to neareastupdate.blogspot.com

      • Betsy
        December 11, 2012, 2:29 pm

        @MarionL — When people jump to accusations of anti-Semitism, when contemporary I/P is discussed critically — ARe the comments about Christians so stereotyped, so tied to old history, so incurious about fellow Americans’ (who happen to be Christian) actual faith & practices — because folks *need* to see Christianity only as a dyadic Other — in which Christianity is primarily defined by it’s imputed hatred of Jewish people & faith — and Christianity is an unchanging ‘essence’ — that can best be understood by not listening to real persons who are practicing, pluralist Christians? As I have seen this card used — it is as a Christmas card (by definition almost entirely between Christians — I send “holiday” or Hanukkah cards to non-Christian friends around this time). It’s primary context is the flood of sentimentalized images of Bethlehem in America in December — it is designed to make people ‘uncomfortable’ — the way many great spiritual myths do — to force questions of displacement, injustice, violence. These are both specific — e.g., to sweep away the mystified Hallmark, happy-wappy views of Bethlehem — to wake Americans up to their complicity in funding the military machine that builds such outrageous walls (across landscapes filled with meanings for diverse faith traditions) & to wake American Christians up to what Rusty Pipes has called a “soft Zionism” — that gets emotionally attached to vapid imagery, while dodging *precisely* the kinds of urgent calls for love, healing & justice which Jesus & other prophets made & make. In Christian liturgy, imagery — the stories of Jesus birth are typically (in my experience) used & retold in all sorts of contexts in which poor teenage mothers & fathers have to struggle & are denied care/lodging/respect, etc. This is a use as a ‘universal’ moral allegory that needs to be redeployed in all sorts of historical contexts — I’ve heard it retold in many ways — poor unwed mother in Chicago, a couple in rural American south thrown off welfare. To insist that this must have, for others, the associations you make, misses the point. When Cornel West recently invoked the black Christian rhetoric — that equates Pharaoh with forces of Empire against Moses of liberation — that is not anti-Egypt in contemporary situations. Egyptians shouldn’t feel insulted or scared by Dr. West. Nor, when he speaks of Pontius Pilate washing his hands, should Italian Americans feel that he is ‘pandering’ to deep-rooted anti-Italian prejudices in America.

        If you feel that anti-Jewish or anti-Judaism racism is a significant problem among American Christians — please raise the call to work on that directly! I think many Americans of many faiths or non-faiths would be galvanized to join you! Put forth the facts, show that Christians are *nowadays* demeaning, discriminating, attacking, accusing Jewish peoples or faiths — let’s get a movement going to stop this now! But, separate that from discussions of Israels current policies & actions. And, separate it from discussions of American military support for Israel. If accusations of “anti-Semitism” ONLY come up when Christians talk about Israeli govt policies or actions, US aid to Israel — it feels odd — as if you aren’t really worried about anti-Semitism in general & as if you’re not actually interested in inter-faith dialogue, or pluralistic exchanges among Americans of diverse backgrounds.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 11, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Just for the sake of clarity of terminology,
        – there is no “Christian theological anti-Semitism” as Marion says and
        – there is no “anti-Judaism racism” as you say.

        You either attack the Jewish religion, a system of beliefs and rituals – that’s anti-Judaism; or you attack the Jewish people (who are Jews by birth), no matter whether they believe in their religion and practice the faith or not – that’s anti-Semitic racism. – There are of course combinations of both.

        It would never make sense for instance to talk about anti-Christian racism.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 3:38 pm

        “(Unless the wall has become part of Jewish theology.)”

        Ro Ha, I can see that you haven’t been following the discussion between Sean McBride and himself, or you would know the Wall is the result of Jewish theology. At any rate, I think you’ve chosen the wiser course.

      • MarionL
        December 11, 2012, 4:44 pm

        Right Seafold. Jews don’t need this postcard to wake up. For that we have Rabbis for Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace, Peace Now, Americans for a Progressive Israel, Jews Say No, and J Street.

        And yes Annie, I don’t think God is a real estate agent – for either Jews or Muslims. or for that matter – Christian crusaders.

      • Kathleen
        December 11, 2012, 6:15 pm

        I thought the Bible was written by a bunch of Jewish guys

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:32 pm

        The wall is not a result of Jewish theology. It’s a result of Israeli (primarily Israeli) and Palestinian politics.

      • NickJOCW
        December 14, 2012, 10:55 am

        Marioni, The card the artist’s Christmas card. He didn’t send it to you.

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 6:32 am

        @ Klaus Bloemker

        “It would never make sense for instance to talk about anti-Christian racism.”
        So what do you conclude is the fundamental difference, that Christianity is universal while Judaism is tribal? If not, what?

      • Elisabeth
        December 19, 2012, 7:02 am

        That was terrific Betsy: Thank you!

    • W.Jones
      December 8, 2012, 8:32 pm

      Oleg,

      You write:
      “Banksy forgets that Miriam and Yosef were Jews so they would not have a problem going through.”
      Aren’t Israeli Jews banned from visiting the West Bank?

      • talknic
        December 10, 2012, 11:43 am

        “Aren’t Israeli Jews banned from visiting the West Bank”

        The Hasbara claims Jordan prohibited Jews from worshiping for 19 years.

        The Hasbara is for stupid people and propagandists. It is NORMAL when there’s a war. Both Jordan and Israel banned their citizens and residents from entering the territory of a hostile entity.

        Under the Israel military ordinance of 1948, still in force, Israeli citizens and residents, be they Jewish or Arab, were prohibited from entering the territory of a hostile entity. Of course Israel now ignores it’s own laws when it comes to illegal Jewish Israeli settlers.

      • MHughes976
        December 11, 2012, 5:46 pm

        Even if you have a pass which will let you through the barrier you still, in this context and others, face the horror and inhumanity which the barrier represents. If you have a sense of complicity things are no better for you.

    • Taxi
      December 8, 2012, 11:49 pm

      Oleg,

      You forgot Mariam and Yousef were Palestinian.

      • OlegR
        December 9, 2012, 5:30 am

        And so were Neanderthals while you are at it…

      • Accentitude
        December 9, 2012, 5:45 am

        Well, that’s certainly an offensive remark.

      • Taxi
        December 9, 2012, 8:05 am

        Your Russian ancestors weren’t Palestinian – I’m pretty sure of that, Oleg.

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 3:10 am

        Whether Miriam and Yosuef were Palestinian Jews is irrelevant. They allegedly lived thousands of years ago, not now. They don’t belong in a juxtaposition with a wall built by the contemporary state of Israel. There are plenty of ways to debate whether the wall should come down completely, be re-routed or remain without invoking images that can be (mis)used as Christian anti-Semitic tropes.
        This image is historically and logically incoherent. Although I’m against Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, I find this image insensitive and offensive, if not implicitly or explicitly anti-Semitic. Christians against the occupation of Palestine ought to be a lot more sensitive about thousands of years of theological anti-Semitism and then they would not be so cavalier about images like this one.

      • Shmuel
        December 10, 2012, 7:40 am

        Marion,

        The town of Bethlehem (like other Palestinian towns and villages) is being choked by an 8-metre-high concrete wall. In the minds of Christians and non-Christians in Palestine and around the world, Bethlehem is also inexorably bound to the stories and traditions surrounding the birth of Jesus (which include themes of oppression and exclusion).

        Why is linking these two things, in order to raise awareness of the plight of Palestinians and the injustice of the wall, inherently anti-Semitic? Is it just this image that bothers you, or would you find any attempt to link the current situation in Bethlehem to its historical and religious significance offensive?

      • American
        December 10, 2012, 11:49 am

        I find this image insensitive and offensive, if not implicitly or explicitly anti-Semitic. Christians against the occupation of Palestine ought to be a lot more sensitive about thousands of years of theological anti-Semitism and then they would not be so cavalier about images like this one”…MarionL

        Well I can top that….I find the Israel Wall to be insensitive and offensive to the world as well as Palestines. Israelis and Jews against the occupation of Palestine ought to be a lot more sensitive about the thousands of years of hostility between Jews and Others, then they would not be so cavalier about encrouching on other’s land and adding to the hostility with their Wall.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2012, 12:37 pm

        “inherently anti-Semitic?”

        Suggesting that Jews don’t deserve their homes and property isn’t anti-Semitic? I’m sure Shem, father of all Semites, wouldn’t stand for it!
        Shmuel, as “Semites” don’t we deserve a piece of the Holy Land?

        BTW, it’s easy to see the mark of persecution on Zionists. Afraid to open their mouths, no matter how grievous and direct the insult to Jews. Yeah, persecution teaches you about your entitlement to a good public image.

      • sardelapasti
        December 10, 2012, 1:07 pm

        “Although I’m against Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, ”

        Yeah, all you want is a just occupation from the sea to the Euphrates. With a little Persia thrown in.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2012, 9:16 pm

        The town of Bethlehem (like other Palestinian towns and villages) is being choked by an 8-metre-high concrete wall.

        I suppose MarionL is really trying to distract us from the implicit message that the Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city David. The picture might cause a reasonable person to wonder if some of the inhabitants living behind that wall are the most likely modern-day descendants of the House of David, if such a thing exists, and to question the need to build a wall to separate them from “the Jews”.

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 9:38 pm

        I don’t think it’s inherently anti-Semitic. I do think that it will make many Jews, including Jews like myself who are opposed to the occupation, feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Please see my new comment above today, where I replied to myself. I would not at all be offended by a card that showed contemporary scenes in Bethlehem, for example a church.

        I do understand that Bethlehem is an important site in Christian theology and history, and I am sorry that Palestinian Christians are being oppressed by Israel’s unjust matrix of control in the area, as well as by indigenous Muslim extremists.

        I hope for a day when that damn wall can fall, when Palestinians and Israelis can at last live in peace.

        Seasons Greetings to All,

        Marion

      • Annie Robbins
        December 10, 2012, 11:59 pm

        I do understand that Bethlehem is an important site in Christian theology and history, and I am sorry that Palestinian Christians are being oppressed by Israel’s unjust matrix of control in the area, as well as by indigenous Muslim extremists.

        what about the other 99.9% of palestinian muslims israel is oppressing?

        ps, you’ve probably informed us at least tweleve times you are opposed to the occupation. goin’ for a baker’s dozen?

      • Taxi
        December 11, 2012, 12:33 am

        Marion you got proof that Palestinian christians are being oppressed by “indigenous Muslim extremists”?

        You’re phrasing it in such a way as to make the reader think that ALL Palestinian moslems are extremists.

        But you can’t help that now can you? You claim to be well-intended and I have no reason to doubt you, but really sis, so long as you are in denial of the Nakba, zionism will always be the tint of your spectacles.

        You fool yourself if you think you’re justice-seeking and simultaneously a ‘liberal’ zionists, or any kinda zionist, without going through a spiritual and intellectual reckoning with the Nakba. It’s ALL ABOUT THE NAKBA, dear. Once you’ve FULLY ‘realized’ the Nakba, I very much doubt that you’d call yourself a zionist.

        Every zionist lives in the heart of an onion: such is the body-and-mind-snatching nature of zionism. To be free from it, many tearful layers must be shed. Yes, clearly you’ve shed a few, but, Marion, you’re still captive inside the heart of the onion.

        But acknowledging the Nakba can free you from all this moral and emotional wretchedness.

        There are ex zonist jews on this blog who escaped the dreaded ‘onion’ – braved a journey out of the briny tunnel of tears. Their personal journeys are well worth an acquaintance.

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2012, 1:15 am

        “I do think that it will make many Jews, including Jews like myself who are opposed to the occupation, feel uncomfortable and uneasy.”

        Jews who don’t feel uncomfortable and/or uneasy about Zionism’s co-option of “Jewishness” either don’t know about the horrors Zionism has unleashed or are morally deficient.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 8:37 am

        the Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city David.

        i didn’t know that. after gutting silwan i wonder if some fanatics will start unearthing the ground beneath the Church of the Nativity.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 8:41 am

        edit, i realized i read that blockquote (11:59) wrong. i thought marion was saying israel was oppressing palestinian christians and muslim extremists when she was actually claiming palestinian christians were being oppressed by israel and muslim extremists.

        a few months ago 60minutes interviewed a group of palestinian christians and they said palestinians were united. they didn’t say anything about being oppressed by palestinian muslims, extremists or otherwise.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 11, 2012, 9:28 am

        “a few months ago 60minutes interviewed a group of palestinian christians and they said palestinians were united. they didn’t say anything about being oppressed by palestinian muslims, extremists or otherwise.”

        Correct. From what I’ve seen, the notion that “the Palestinians Muslims are oppressing the Palestinian Christians” is a blood libel concocted by the israeli supporters to distract Western Christians from the fact that the israelis are oppressing Christians in the post-1967 occupied Palestinians lands and limiting Christian practice in all of occupied Palestine. It helps foment the Islamophobia which they are encouraging in the West.

      • Ellen
        December 11, 2012, 9:41 am

        Marion, that is rich. as well as by indigenous Muslim extremists.

        Can you share with us where the “indigenous Muslim extremists” who, as you claim, are also oppressing Christians in Israel or Palestine just as in Israel’s horrific “matrix of control” over Christian because they are Palestinians?

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2012, 9:46 am

        the Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city David.

        i didn’t know that. after gutting silwan . . .

        I had meant to say the city David was from. 2 Samuel 5:9 relates that David took the Jebusite stronghold of Zion and that he himself had built it up and called it The City of David.

        The only reference to Bethlehem, as the city of David, is in the Christian Greek texts, not the Hebrew scriptures. The author of Luke said each person went to their proper city to enroll for the Roman tax, and that Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, that is called Bethlehem, because of his being of the house and family of David.

        There is a passage, Micah 5:1, which the Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a, Rashi’s commentary, & etc. have interpreted to mean that the King Messiah, the Son of David, will be born in “the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah”:

        And you, Bethlehem Ephrathah-you should have been the lowest of the clans of Judah-from you [he] shall emerge for Me, to be a ruler over Israel; and his origin is from of old, from days of yore

      • American
        December 11, 2012, 10:36 am

        MarionL says:

        I don’t think it’s inherently anti-Semitic. I do think that it will make many Jews, including Jews like myself who are opposed to the occupation, feel uncomfortable and uneasy.”>>>>>>>>

        I am always totally and completely blown away by the narcissistic complaint of what will make Jews “feel uncomfortable and uneasy”….you should feel as uncomfortable and uneasy as the Palestines Israel oppresses and occupies and steals from and kills. Really..so self concerned, so sensitive…it’s actually disgusting you would even say that. I as an American feel damn uncomfortable and uneasy ..and ashamed of the US re Israel, so should you and they. …it’s ‘the least’ you can feel.

      • Cliff
        December 11, 2012, 11:21 am

        Jews like MarionL exude a narcissistic sense of entitlement

        No one else gets to get offended because only Jews (correction, ZIONISTS) are holy enough for such privilege

        Looks like we got another hophmi sock puppet account

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 12:13 pm

        “I hope for a day…”

        Ah, you hope for a day! Ah well, that makes it all better! Whoopee!

        Am I the only one who notices this? When pressed, a Zionist will finally offer, lower themselves enough to admit they may have a glimmer of humanity. As if their willingness to admit there might be the teensiest-weeniest thing wrong buys them an indulgence.
        Oh well, must be all that emotional scarring from persecution.
        Me, I’d rather see prosecution.
        Enought to “hope” but never enough to do anything.

      • yrn
        December 11, 2012, 12:55 pm

        “Whether Miriam and Yosuef were Palestinian Jews is irrelevant. They allegedly lived thousands of years ago, not now.”

        The Christian slaughtered Jews all along History for something that they claim the Jew Killed Jesus thousands of years ago.
        Till today you find Antisemites all over the world, that blame the Jews for something they claim happened thousands of years ago.

        So irrelevant or relevant have a significance for everyone, who wants to hold on something that happened Thousands of years ago and use it as his main argument

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 1:00 pm

        who wants to hold on something that happened Thousands of years ago and use it as his main argument

        zionists? israel? i am not really hearing anyone else holding on to something that happened Thousands of years ago and using it as his main argument..or claim..other than…the mythology propping up a jewish land claim over palestine.

      • Cliff
        December 11, 2012, 1:16 pm

        yrn said:

        So irrelevant or relevant have a significance for everyone, who wants to hold on something that happened Thousands of years ago and use it as his main argument

        I agree, Zionism is a morally corrupt, oppressive, colonial ideology based on pure religious fanaticism and nationalistic mythology.

        It should (and will) be overcome.

      • MarionL
        December 11, 2012, 4:45 pm

        I find the wall to be offensive too. That does not mean I have to automatically like every image used to oppose it.

      • john h
        December 12, 2012, 12:00 am

        Just in case you haven’t seen this, annie, or a gentle reminder if you have.

        link to kairospalestine.ps

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:11 am

        I don’t think that the majority of Muslims are extremists. I think that most of the Muslims in the world want want I want – justice and peace in the world, including Palestine and Israel.

        The hard part is: how do we get there?

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 2:48 am

        No sardelapasti – I want an end to all unjust occupations and human rights abuses everywhere, including Palestine and Isral.

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 6:36 am

        @ Shmuel
        In other words, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    • Shmuel
      December 9, 2012, 7:16 am

      Banksy forgets that Miriam and Yosef were Jews so they would not have a problem going through.

      A comforting thought, although as Jews they would also have been privileged oppressors rather than victims of foreign domination. As such they would have lived happily ever after in (Upper) Nazareth, without ever having to make the arduous journey to Bethlehem to pay the occupier’s tax. Hardly a good basis for a soterial faith (no tribulation, no salvation).

      Were they Palestinians, on the other hand, the administrative trip to Judaea (without any consideration for Mary’s condition) – just because Joseph’s “hawiya” happened to list Bethlehem as his family’s place of origin – would have been perfectly logical. In fact, the young family would probably have been forced to remain in the West Bank (in a refugee camp?). Escape to Egypt in order to avoid the massacre of the innocents might have been tricky (depending on the stage of occupation, administrative divisions between bantustans/tetrarchies, closures and sieges, etc.), and return to Nazareth (not to mention Capernaum, Tabha, etc.) would have been quite impossible.

    • Hostage
      December 10, 2012, 1:52 am

      Banksy forgets that Miriam and Yosef were Jews so they would not have a problem going through.

      Funny the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Prof Richard Faulk, is Jewish – and he has never been able to get there despite the fact that Israel is a state party to “The Convention On The Privileges And Immunities Of The United Nations”. Article VI provides that:

      Experts performing missions for the United Nations shall be accorded such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions during the period of their missions, including the time spent on journeys in connection with their missions. In particular they shall be
      accorded:
      (a) Immunity from personal arrest or detention and from seizure of their personal baggage;

      link to un.org

      See “Israel’s detention of UN expert ‘unprecedented and deeply regrettable’ – rights chief”, 16 December 2008 – Israel’s refusal to allow a United Nations expert to transit to carry out his officially mandated functions in the occupied Palestinian territory, his detention and subsequent expulsion is “unprecedented and deeply regrettable,” — link to unispal.un.org

      Norman Finklestein, Noam Chomsky, and Jews who participated in the flotillas and fly-ins would have trouble getting there too.

      • MarionL
        December 11, 2012, 4:46 pm

        Right – and they are here now – as opposed to Biblical characters who may or may not have been there thousands of years ago, according to the archeological evidence.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 11, 2012, 6:24 pm

        “Biblical characters [Mary and Joseph] who may or may not have been there thousands of years ago, according to the archeological evidence.”

        Marion –
        Is there any archeological evidence that you are Jewish?

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:07 pm

        Yes, Klaus – in addition to the genealogical, historical, cultural, social, and cognitive evidence.

  2. Eva Smagacz
    December 8, 2012, 12:32 pm

    Does not look like Banksy’s work at all.

    This notwithstanding, the image is evocative, at least to Christian.

    • pabelmont
      December 8, 2012, 1:23 pm

      Eva — the picture is evocative to anyone who KNOWS the Christian story. And to anyone who cares about truth, justice, and peace.

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 2:55 am

        This image is offensive, insensitive and unhelpful on its face. It evokes “the Christian story” out of historical context, and panders to centuries of Christian theological anti-Semitism – ie. – implying that if Jews were the “killers of Jesus” who “rejected” him, now the contemporary Jewish state is somehow responsible for obstructing the travels of his parents – as if that were the reason behind Israel’s decision to put up the security barrier – a barrier that reasonable people can disagree with, but that has nothing to do what with Mary and Joseph were allegedly doing thousands of years ago.

      • Cliff
        December 10, 2012, 4:35 am

        @MarionTheZionistTroll who waits to make her first comment in THIS thread and not all the others for the past nearly six years

        (This troll is just like the Zionist trolls who ‘spoke out’ against the Palestinian rights advocates who were beaten at a Nonie Darwish Zionist speaking engagement. The Zionist trolls in that thread at first pretended to be benign on the issue and upon further exchanges with the MW regulars, were revealed to be foaming-at-the-mouth Zionist trolls.)

        (That is what is going to happen to you, “MarionL.”)

        WOW

        Recently, in the UK a case debated some issue of antisemitism. It’s documented on JSF’s website/blog.

        The lawyer representing the ‘Palestinian side’ spoke about how a man was pushy at an event about the I-P conflict. The man was a Rabbi I think or a Zionist Jew (or both).

        ANYWAYS – after the lawyer said this man was ‘pushy’ – the Rabbi/Zionist Jew said ‘yes, it’s common for antisemites to say Jews are ‘pushy”.

        LOL

        Such a blatant twist/misrepresentation of the lawyer’s story. The Rabbi/Zionist Jew had literally been disruptive and PUSHY outside the event and was asked to leave (I believe).

        Similarly, you are intentionally dishonest and employing a DISGUSTING slippery slope while prefacing all of your comments in this discussion with the transparent qualifier ‘[...]and I say that as a Jew who opposes the blah blah.’

        You yourself are exploiting Jewish identity to meet your political goals (as a TROLL).

        This isn’t blood libel or any number of Zionist PARANOIA. It’s about a religious group being persecuted by another religious group.

        THE PALESTINIANS are people too with their own history of persecution and YES, the people who persecute them are JEWS. That identifier is not divorced from the persecutor, in his or her mind, AS THEY persecute the Palestinians.

        This is yet another example of how muddy the waters become in the pro-Palestinian movement when phony personalities (Zionist losers pretending to be ‘even-handed’ or advocating ‘dialogue’ or any number of diversionary tactics dressed up as rationalism) attempt to infiltrate the movement.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 10, 2012, 10:24 am

        Actually, it’s extremely helpful. The fact that the Israelis have walled off Bethlehem and continues to oppress Paletinian Christians (among others) should be of major importance to Christians around the world. If the Israelis are going to use their religious stories and images to support their position (and they do, without end), then they must expect the opposition to do the same, with their religious stories.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2012, 12:39 pm

        “This image is offensive, insensitive and unhelpful on its face.”

        Get used to it. Why do you, or rather we, deserve better treatment than billions of Arabs and Muslims?

      • American
        December 10, 2012, 1:38 pm

        MarionL says:
        December 10, 2012 at 2:55 am
        This image is offensive, insensitive and unhelpful on its face. It evokes “the Christian story” out of historical context, and panders to centuries of Christian theological anti-Semitism – ie. –**** implying *****that if Jews were the “killers of Jesus” who “rejected” him, now the contemporary Jewish state is somehow responsible for obstructing the travels of his parents.

        Let’s expose the zio .. *Implying*… tactic shall we.
        For those who haven’t noticed lately , accusations of what we all are…*implying*……is the new zio slur tactic.
        Instead of just direct hysterical screaming at all the anti semites they now do the what we are *implying* thing.

        Oh look, there’s a donkey in the drawing… omg, you’re **implying** Jews and Israelis are jackasses!!!!!

        And what is Marion *implying*?…. The picture means Christians want to breach the Wall so they can get in and settle the score with the Jesus killers!!!!

        It would take a 1000 page book to list all the *implications* they can mine and make up to call people anti semitic.

      • pabelmont
        December 10, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Israel’s reasons for building the wall were the desire [1] to oppress the Palestinians living in the West Bank including, as it does, occupied East Jerusalem, [2] to provide some safety for the settlers (Jewish Israelis all) who are present (as we all know) in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and would if living inside Israel be safe behind a wall built ion Israeli territory, and [3] as part of a land-seizure program (also illegal under UN Charter and UNGA 242).

        This wall was most certainly built to oppress the people who live nearby (as Joseph and Mary would have done had they lived in these post-Biblical times),

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 9:42 pm

        Hi Mooser,

        Please see my new comments towards the top of this page. In addition, all of us deserve a forum like this one in which we can express our honest responses to an image, and my honest response is that this image would be unhelpful in trying to get more American Jews to oppose Israel’s unjust occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. I realize that some Christians will want to go ahead and use it anyway, but I’m being honest. I think that all people of all religions and nationalities deserve justice, peace, and universal human rights. The hard part, the part where so many of us disagree, is how are we going to get there? Salaam/Shalom/Peace to you Mooser – Marion

      • Cliff
        December 11, 2012, 4:12 am

        American Jews like you are not helping this issue at all.

        You are not needed because reaching American Jews like you is as futile is reaching Christian eschatologists.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 8:11 am

        If the Israelis are going to use their religious stories and images to support their position (and they do, without end), then they must expect the opposition to do the same, with their religious stories.

        i think marion understands that. this is why, after her initial comment she started over (ie: ‘frightened’) instead of answering this simple question:

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • American
        December 11, 2012, 11:05 am

        MarionL says:

        In addition, all of us deserve a forum like this one in which we can express our honest responses to an image, and my honest response is that this image would be unhelpful in trying to get more American Jews to oppose Israel’s unjust occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.>>>>>>

        Sooo …..you’re saying that showing Jews what the Jewish State is doing with an image that really is “accurate”…..and accurate because we have seen
        how many Israelis (and the gov) are hostile to both Muslims and Christians…is unhelpful?
        How is it unhelpful?
        Are you ‘implying’ that when shown the truth they will just call all of it a lie and nothing but an slanderous attack on Israel/Jews so they won’t feel uncomfortable about it— instead of getting involved in stopping the injustice?
        That appears to be what you are saying.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 11:45 am

        Marion, you couldn’t be honest if your life depended on it, and you don /’t even think it does. I look forward to the day parasites like you can no longer suck the blood of Judaism.
        Am I making myself clear, Marion? I’m trying to be honest, but not give the Moderators a hard time.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 1:26 pm

        unhelpful in trying to get more American Jews to oppose Israel’s unjust occupation

        american jews are a fraction of who we need to reach to change US policy,and global policy towards israel’s unjust,oppressive,and illegal occupation. while lots of israel supporters may not like this image (like you), i didn’t really post it for you.

        i don’t support focusing primarily on american jews to change US policy (although i respect people who make the effort) and think it places too much importance on one community at what has become a detriment for all americans.

        there’s been a lot of concerted effort to silence people over this issue and primarily listen to jews discuss it. whether in journalism, the pundit class etc, at the expense of the rest of us. we need to wake up the american public to the truth and to reality and this card does that. if that is at the expense of your fears i think that is a price worth paying. we can’t have american foreign policy be determined by the fears of one very small percentage of the american population. not when assuaging those fears requires supporting/funding war crimes.

        the churchs just wrote an important letter to congress. there are 10’s of millions more christians in the US than jews. so my target for the card is ordinary americans regardless of religion, but if i did have to pick one demographic (wrt this card), it would be christians.

        also, since israel firsters and other hardcore zionists are such tough nuts to crack i don’t focus my activism on changing them. the same amount of energy exerted towards people who do not already have a heavy bias will likely bring more rewards. i always find it instructive to listen to ‘liberal zionists’ in our comment sections trying to change us and our approach. it signifies they think changing us is a priority, as if we held the keys to ending the occupation they claim to not support. when clearly, as liberal zionists, their energies would be much better spent turning in the other direction and changing the radical rightwing zionists whose like kind have taken over israel and are perpetuating this madness.

        if you think this card is unhelpful trying to change american jews..think of it this way; if it inspires even 1 person to boycott israel i would be more than satisfied. money talks. if just one person sees this image this holiday season and wakes up, great. it doesn’t have to be an american jew, at all.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 4:01 pm

        Annie, when people have been subjected to oppression, they tend to think the world revolves around them and their feelings. Oh, the scars of anti-Semitism are with us yet!

        Takes about 30 or forty years of thinking Zionism is BS to hone sarcasm like that. It’s not the kind of thing you’ll get from that ‘I-woke-up-and-discovered-Zionism-wasn’t-all-it-was-cracked-up-to-be” crowd. Assuming of course, that anybody wants it, which I doubt. Can’t say that I find it extraordinarily useful myself.
        And dearie me, I’ve got so much of it in stock!

      • john h
        December 12, 2012, 12:05 am

        Cliff, a few Christian eschatologists or their fellow-travellers can be reached. There’s nothing like a personal visit.

        link to pcpj.org

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:15 am

        Cliff – How many people do you think Mondoweiss is reaching?

        Has Mondoweiss reached enough to materially change American foreign policy towards Palestine and Israel?

        Does the Obama administration seek out Mondoweiss’ opinion about how to respond to Netanyahu’s racism and idiocy?

        As awful as you think that I am, the Obama administration would consider my opposition to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza – and what should be done – pressuring Netanyahu to stop the human rights violations – to be too “radical” for it to follow.

        I admit that I over-reacted to the image. I am sorry. But I still feel uncomfortable with it. I wouldn’t if it just focused on contemporary Palestinians having their human rights violated by the wall. But it doesn’t. It brings Mary and Joseph into the picture and I disagree with doing that.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 2:50 am

        Hi Cliff,

        If that were true, why would I have bothered supporting organizations like New Jewish Agenda, J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, Peace Now, The Dialogue Project and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions?

        What are you doing to be an ally to Palestinians that is more effective? I’m asking because if I like what you are doing maybe I will start to do some of it.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:41 pm

        This is not a direct reply to Mooser because the comment in question by him does not merit the dignity of a direct reply.

        However, I do wish to point out that I’m not a parasite, I’m a human being. And that people calling other people “parasites” has a long and very disgraceful history; a history that would presumably deter Jews from calling other Jews “parasites,” even when they vehemently disagree with them.

        I’m wondering what Mooser would call the Palestinians who have open dialogues with Zionists, including the Palestinians who have spoken at J Street conventions, and at meetings of J Street’s predecessor organization, Brit Tzedek v Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace. I call those Palestinians allies in the struggle for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.

        So shame on Mooser.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 8, 2012, 1:54 pm

      eva, i don’t think this means it was necessarily bansky’s artwork. it means he is using it for his christmas card. (“purportedly”)

      The artwork in question

      but look at this:
      link to banksy.co.uk

    • Accentitude
      December 9, 2012, 5:51 am

      Actually it very well could be Banksy’s work. Alot of people think that he just does monochromatic stencil work (as you’ve no doubt seen on walls in Bristol, Israel/Palestine, and elsewhere), but he also does what you might call “traditional” paintings (in that they’re painted in full-color with acrylic or oil paint). However as I said, it could be because he’s also been known to “remix” classical works, infusing them with political or social messages such as the ones Annie points to in the link above.

      The most mysterious man in the art world has alot of methods and medium at his disposal.

    • Taxi
      December 9, 2012, 11:41 am

      Eva,

      Banksy buy all these second-hand classic repro paintings from thrift stores and adds his own thumbprint to them. He’s known for this as well as his stenciling.

    • MarionL
      December 10, 2012, 3:13 am

      The image is plenty evocative to Jews too, including Jews like me who oppose Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The image convinces me that Christians have a long way to go in understanding Jewish concerns about thousands of years of Christian theological anti-Semitism. It also convinces me that I have zero trust in the creator of this image, and would do zero coalition work to end the occupation with its creator. I’ll stick to groups like Meretz, J Street, and Jewish Voice for Peace, because I can’t imagine any of them producing an image like this one.

      • Cliff
        December 10, 2012, 4:27 am

        This has nothing to do with antisemitism.

        Your movement (because you are not who you say you are and you do not oppose the colonization of Palestine) regularly puts Jewish this and that in front of the political agenda of Zionism.

        That people are using that imagery against Zionism is not antisemitic but legitimate and apropos.

        You keep reiterating that you oppose Israel’s presence in the OT so as to qualify your TYPICAL Zionist response to the image above.

        Israel persecutes Arabs and Muslims and Christians. Israel regularly uses Jewish identity and exploits the history of antisemitism to meet its political goals.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 10, 2012, 10:26 am

        The fact that you would sign up, solely to comment on this image by spewing your victimization nonsense, shows the shallowness of your commitment. If the choice is between the physical oppression of the Palestinians and Jews getting their feelings hurt, anyone who would delay relieving the former in order to prevent the latter is clearly on the side of the oppressors. Get over yourself.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:17 am

        Hi Woody,

        Other than exposing my “shallowness” what are you doing other than what I’ve done – to show the “deepness” of your commitment? I’d like to know because I’m betting that at least some of the things that we’ve done on this issue are similar.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 12, 2012, 10:41 am

        “Other than exposing my ‘shallowness’ what are you doing other than what I’ve done – to show the ‘deepness’ of your commitment? I’d like to know because I’m betting that at least some of the things that we’ve done on this issue are similar.”

        Why are you trying to change the subject, rather than discussing the issue on the table: The fact that you seem more concerned about someone feeling uncomfortable over this image than the fact that other people are being oppressed in Palestine?

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:44 pm

        Woody,

        I’m concerned about both issues – the image and ending oppression in Palestine.

        I would still like to know what you’ve done that manifests a deeper commitment to ending that oppression than my “shallow” commitment, because if there are things you’ve done that I have not done yet and I think that they are good things to do then I may do them too.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 13, 2012, 9:38 am

        “I’m concerned about both issues – the image and ending oppression in Palestine.”

        That’s not the issue. The issue is why do you seem so much more interested in this image than the fact that the Palestinians are being oppressed? Especially as this image could be a very strong, striking and persuasive image for American Christians — one the most important groups who the Palestinians need on their side if they’re going to wrestle control of USA’s policy from the likes of AIPAC and use that to get the israeli dog to heel. (And that is especially so, given that your reaction to the image demonstrates little but a knee-jerk anti-Christian bias, bordering on hysteria.)

        “I would still like to know what you’ve done that manifests a deeper commitment…”

        I’m sure you would. But, again, the issue here is you, and your clumsy attempts to change the subject or pretend to find common ground with me are contemptuous. You asked someone else how the artist could expect you to act in concert with him. Well, I would ask: How can the pro-Palestinian community act in concert with you, when, at any moment, you’re likely to undercut their messages by siding with the Enemy??

      • Donald
        December 10, 2012, 12:01 pm

        “This image is offensive, insensitive and unhelpful on its face.”

        Fine. No argument from me. It could be seen as part of traditional Christian anti-semitism and shouldn’t be used. But while you’re right on the merits, many of us have gotten more than a little tired of the sensitivity card being employed in one direction only. You’re new here, so I don’t know if that applies to you or not, but quite a few people who say they are opposed to the occupation turn out to be incredibly insensitive to the rights of Palestinians. I’m thinking of obscure folk like Tom Friedman or the editorial writers at the NYT.

        “It also convinces me that I have zero trust in the creator of this image, and would do zero coalition work to end the occupation with its creator.”

        So you wouldn’t bother to try and persuade the artist that this sort of symbolism has unpleasant historical connotations? He’s imperfect, so that’s it for him. Unlike those wonderful people at J Street, who never say or do anything even remotely insensitive. (I wonder if the people at JVP would appreciate being lumped in with J Street.)

      • MarionL
        December 10, 2012, 9:50 pm

        Hi, Donald,
        Please see my additional comments towards the top of this page, and thank you for agreeing that I’m “right on the merits.” As for commitment, you hardly know me and I hardly know you so we will just have to judge as we go along.
        I’m not the only Jew against the occupation who is sometimes confused, sometimes feels vulnerable, sometimes agrees more with J Street, sometimes agrees more with Jewish Voice for Peace and alas, sometimes does not think things through enough before she pushes the “Post Comment” button. I recall hearing at one meeting or another that some people may belong to BOTH organizations at once. I’ve also gone to house parties for the Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions and have contributed money when I could. When New Jewish Agenda was still a viable organization (wow – does that ever age me!) I demonstrated with them in front of the Israeli consulate. So that’s a bit of what I’ve done and what I’m trying to do. In addition, tomorrow, on the 4th night of Chanukah, I will light my candles in honor of all Palestinians and Israelis who are seeking justice and peace, including those who disagree with me.

      • Donald
        December 11, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Marion, I’ve read a bit about Christian Jewish dialogue and also big portions of “Constantine’s Sword”, so I’m aware of how that card would be seen by many Jews and from my perspective, that’s a good enough reason not to use that imagery. I’d recommend my fellow Christians to not go there.

        But where I disagree with you is that I think you’re too quick to judge the artist. Betsy made a similar point somewhere upthread. I’ll state it my own way. I think a great many Christians would see this postcard and it would never cross their minds that it could be seen as anti-semitic because they simply wouldn’t make the connection with past centuries of Christian anti-semitism. They would just see the Christmas story being used the way Biblical images often are–as a way of calling attention to a current injustice. They’d probably find it clever and moving and not realize that Jews would see it very differently.

        Now given the history, I think the card is a mistake, but it’s unfair to assume that there is some deep anti-semitic motive at work when it’s as likely or more likely to be simple ignorance.

        I also think you may have a few unexamined and unconscious biases of your own (don’t we all), but I think your motives are good and since you’re being piled on by quite a few people here I’ll refrain from adding any more criticisms. You can possibly learn something from the criticisms you’re getting in this thread, but you’ll need a thick skin to do it. (Personally, when subjected to a pile-on my own inclination is to either fight back or limp away. It’s not easy to sit back and objectively examine about 50 different critiques aimed in my direction.)

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:19 am

        Thank you Donald, for you thoughtful post. I’m learning a lot from it. I’m going to copy and paste it into an e-mail to myself so that it will be there for me to think about it because it’s the most thoughtful response I have received.

        I have learned a lot by reading all of the responses to my comments, but most of all from yours.

        Once again, thank you.

      • eljay
        December 12, 2012, 7:23 pm

        >> I have learned a lot by reading all of the responses to my comments, but most of all from yours.

        Donald’s a pretty nice guy that way. :-)

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2012, 2:04 pm

        “I’ll stick to groups like Meretz, J Street, and Jewish Voice for Peace, because I can’t imagine any of them producing an image like this one.”

        Yeah! Thank God we’ll never get stuff like that “Hostage” guy is saying from Jewish Voice for Peace! You can count on them, they’re true, ah…blue, yeah, that’s it, true-blue!

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 11, 2012, 1:30 pm

        “Christians have a long way to go in understanding Jewish concerns about thousands of years of Christian theological anti-Semitism.”
        —————————————————————————————
        Marion –
        You should have said “Christian theological anti-Judaism”.

        And there were thousands of years of Jewish theological contempt and abhorrenec of Jesus and his followers. – Aren’t you aware of that?

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 6:55 pm

        “And there were thousands of years of Jewish theological contempt”

        Anotherwords, Klaus, they were hating on Jesus before He was even born? Wow, that’s some hatin’! Why, the only way you could even get close to “thousands” is if theJewish theologians started hating on Jesus during His lifetime. And in those days, Jewish theologians aren’t the wusses and natterers they are today. When they saw heresy, they rolled up their sleeves, spit on their hands and went to work.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 12, 2012, 8:14 pm

        Mooser, you bloody idiot, Marion had said, and I had quoted her:

        -“thousands of years of [Christian] theological anti-Semitism”
        I just reversed her sentence to:
        – “thousands of years of Jewish theological contempt … of Jesus

  3. calm
    December 8, 2012, 1:35 pm

    I always thought that this was a pretty good Christmas Card.

    Merry Christmas From Palestine
    December 23, 2005
    link to karmalised.com

    Maybe off topic but I read a pretty good article today ….

    The Middle East, America, and the Emerging World Order
    Remarks to the National Research University Higher School of Economics
    Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)
    November 29, 2012
    link to mepc.org

    And Freeman has an interview on RT

    Killing Palestinians popular in Israel around election time
    RT talks to Chas Freeman, the Former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia about the flaring conflicts in the Middle East.
    RT – Interview
    Host Sophie Shevardnadze interviews Charles W. (“Chas”) Freeman, Jr.
    December 07, 2012
    link to rt.com
    link to en.wikipedia.org.
    (YouTube Video)
    link to youtube.com

    Calm

    • Annie Robbins
      December 8, 2012, 2:01 pm

      thank you so much for the freeman links calm.

    • john h
      December 12, 2012, 12:16 am

      Thanks Calm for that RT Freeman interview. I saw it but then couldn’t find it to download, so it’s good to see it here.

  4. edwardm
    December 8, 2012, 2:19 pm

    If only they could have taken one of the “Romans Only” bypass roads…..

  5. Taxi
    December 9, 2012, 3:52 am

    Oleg,

    You think jesus would be allowed into ‘modern’ israel? Welcomed into the zionist fold?

    Just curious what you think.

    • OlegR
      December 9, 2012, 5:52 am

      Yeshua (the mortal man not the deified son of god made up by the church) was an observant Jew, all of his teachings were directed towards Jews and the Jewish religious establishment of the time.

      Regarding your question, it’s in essence meaningless, given the severe
      futureshock (link to en.wikipedia.org) we can expect him to
      suffer after encountering the modern world.

      • justicewillprevail
        December 9, 2012, 6:31 am

        It’s a parable. Choose to believe ancient myths as real events if you want. But the image, like the biblical stories, has a message. In this case, this is the face israel presents to the outside world.

      • Taxi
        December 9, 2012, 8:03 am

        You didn’t answer the question, oleg.

        So I take it as a resounding ‘NO’. Nor israel nor zionism would welcome the arrival of a peace-loving ‘jew’.

      • aiman
        December 9, 2012, 10:33 am

        Jesus like others before was a universalist and humanist. He would be opposed to Zionism just like Gandhi, Tolstoi, Abduh and Elmer Berger were or would have been, four greatest moral men of the modern world. Talk about “future shock” all you want, that’s what you’re going to get when the world awakes and Zionism becomes synonymous with racism. The change has already started.

      • OlegR
        December 9, 2012, 12:49 pm

        That’s your imaginary Christian Jesus you are talking about Aiman.
        He didn’t exist.
        The historic human being Jesus probably was as ethnocentric as the best
        (or worst) of the settler rabbis.

      • justicewillprevail
        December 9, 2012, 1:05 pm

        Ha ha, Jesus has had many qualities ascribed to him, but only a zionist could describe him as rabid fundamentalist racist settler (or, in Oleg’s worldview, a perfectly ordinary Israeli). lol

      • Taxi
        December 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

        By your ‘standard’ of judgement, moses is as “imaginary” as jesus, my dear. I know you won’t like this but the muslim Mohamad DID actually exist and has had billions of followers since his time on earth some fourteen hundred years ago.

      • Cliff
        December 9, 2012, 2:31 pm

        So OlegR is saying that Jesus Christ was not a moral human being or otherwise decent man. Rather – he was a Zionist.

        Well, at least you admit your movement is evil.

      • aiman
        December 9, 2012, 11:38 pm

        Your logic as usual is wearing thin, OlegR. If Jesus was as “as ethnocentric as the best (or worst) of the settler rabbis”, he would have presented no challenge to the establishment. The only way I can imagine Jesus in the presence of maniacal fundamentalists or ethnocentric ignoramuses of whatever religion is him being the victim of a stoning or a hanging.

      • OlegR
        December 10, 2012, 4:47 am

        /If Jesus was as “as ethnocentric as the best (or worst) of the settler rabbis”, he would have presented no challenge to the establishment./

        Yeshua was preaching to the Jews for the Jews.
        “The only way I can imagine Jesus”
        You can imagine him any way you like that was the church and Christians
        did.I am not discussing figments of imaginations i am talking about what we know about the historic person.

        Recommend this reading if you are interested.

        link to amazon.com

      • Cliff
        December 10, 2012, 5:09 am

        Jesus was preaching to Jews for Jews?

        back that up with evidence and simply a link to a random amazon.com book that no one has heard of

      • aiman
        December 10, 2012, 5:26 am

        You appear to be dodging or circumventing your own arguments. First you place a humanist alongside racist settlers under a “Jewish” umbrella. All members of the tribe, whether moral or amoral, are the same? No one is arguing about interpreting whether Jesus was Jewish or not but his moral persona, not even the link you provided justifies your reasoning. After all how can one defend racism in today’s world without drawing blindfolds? It must be tough being a Zionist, what with the 24/7 cognitive dissonance.

      • Ellen
        December 10, 2012, 5:51 am

        wowzzza. Enter Oleg’s world. Yeshua was preaching to the Jews for the Jews. Read some some real scholarship. Most of Jesus’s followers (and I am not talking about his inner circle) were Hellenists. Poor people, those on the fringes, not Jews.

        That was one of the big threats Jesus brought to the established Rabbinical powers. Here was a Jew preaching ideas of universalism, preaching beyond the tribe, bringing all those unclean Hellenists into the fold of ideas of monotheism and the Jews.

        Like aiman says, it must be tough living in Zio fantasy land where myths keep bumping up against realities.

      • OlegR
        December 10, 2012, 6:27 am

        I am not arguing anything Aiman this whole thread is based on taxis
        attempt to argue that Jesus would not be welcome in Zionist Israel.
        I am merely deconstructing this argument by showing that
        A.
        Jesus you all talk about is a figment of your imagination that has nothing
        to do with the Historical figure of Yeshua.
        B.
        That figment of Chirstian imagination Jesus you all talk about though he didn’t exist is anathema to Jews.
        To religious ones he is anathema on religious grounds.
        To secular ones it’s the knowledge of history and how much pain and suffering the false belief in that Jesus caused the Jewish people.

        It’s not something that is PC to talk about since we are all friends
        now and the Pope even said we are no longer guilty of murdering the Son of God
        but that does not mean that the history is not there and these kinds of cheap
        shot propaganda postcards (Very popular among the Palestinians)
        are just the right thing to bring that all up again.

        You wanna pull the old Jews vs Jesus card against us fine lets see how far it gets you all.

      • OlegR
        December 10, 2012, 6:42 am

        Ellen do go and read some serious historical scholarship and not religious
        fairytales.
        I have provided a link to a good book on the subject,
        there are other researches on the Historical person of Yeshua.

        Read about the Synoptic gospels for starters
        check from which book the No Jew no Greek passage is taken from and what book when it was historically written
        etc

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Cliff
        December 10, 2012, 6:51 am

        OlegR, what is your argument?

        Substantiate the argument. Details. Evidence.

        You have provide none of these this except to say vaguely that Yeshua was a rabid Zionist settler.

        Prove it.

        Posting a link to a book on Amazon.com is not evidence. Do you expect us to go buy the book, read it entirely and then return here to you to either agree or disagree?

        Do you know how to debate? LOL

      • Cliff
        December 10, 2012, 6:53 am

        Wikipedia is not a scholarly source.

        Why can’t you form an argument based on the books you’ve supposedly read in this issue?

        Or can you even recall from memory the gist of the books’ arguments?

        Continuing to cite Wikipedia is pathetic and desperate. Then again, you’re pathetic and desperate.

      • aiman
        December 10, 2012, 7:17 am

        OlegR, no one is attributing the morally reprehensible charge of deicide. Jews are equal members of humanity. Zionism is an ethnoreligious monstrosity that is not special either, it is similar to other ethnoreligious monstrosities that were born in at least three different traditions through the last two centuries. There, that shatters the myth of uniqueness that Zionism adores. We don’t like walls between people. So the central point is: Jesus as a universalist and humanist would have been opposed to Zionism. That you wish to stand with an ethnoreligious monstrosity is on you. It is not on all Jews. It is not on Elmer Berger, Adam, Phil and the many right-minded Jews. Apply this to any tradition including Islam.

      • Taxi
        December 10, 2012, 7:35 am

        Goodness oleg – you know SO MUCH about “Yeshua” that none of us non-jew could possibly know, right? And you’re as sure about it as a sworn eye-witness, you fascinating time-traveller you!

        Man I never seen anyone set themselves up to fall like you do!

        You lost the argument before you even started because of your obvious envy and hostility towards Banksy, Palestinians and Jesus.

        LOL! By all means professor Bible, tell us more about this “Historic Yeshua”.

        But maybe you shouldn’t waste your time educating us “friends” on “Yeshua”. Maybe your time is better spent in idf uniform looking for those stolen F-16 engines :-)

        link to tech.slashdot.org

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 10, 2012, 8:52 am

        “The historic human being Jesus probably was as ethnocentric as the best
        (or worst) of the settler rabbis.” – Oleg
        ————————————————
        You are right on the ethnocentric count. But there is still a small difference:

        – Jesus was fighting an imperial power (see ‘the life of Brian’)
        – which imperial power are the settlers fighting?

      • justicewillprevail
        December 10, 2012, 10:00 am

        One religious/ideological zealot to another: “your fairy stories are fairy stories, but my fairy stories are facts”.

        Thankyou, Oleg, for clearing that up.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 10, 2012, 10:48 am

        LOL. Flusser. Typical. I’m surprised you didn’t cite to Boteach. But if you’re going to posit the “The Christians stole the Jewish Jesus” theological libel, I guess you quote the dean.

      • Ellen
        December 10, 2012, 11:10 am

        Here you go Oleg….

        The Monotheists by F.E. Peters, two volumes and fascinating reading. Peters is an excellent and secular historian.

        His books are quite readable.

        link to press.princeton.edu

        Please spare us the Wikipedia tripe to back up Oleg’s world.

      • seanmcbride
        December 10, 2012, 1:09 pm

        OlegR,

        Can you post the best quotes from David Flusser’s “Jesus” that support the argument that Jesus Christ was, essentially, a Likud Zionist?

        Flusser’s background according to Wikipedia: “Flusser was a devout Orthodox Jew who applied his skills in Torah and Talmud to the study of ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic texts, as well as the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

      • seanmcbride
        December 10, 2012, 1:10 pm

        OlegR,

        Towards which group do feel the greatest animosity?

        1. Arabs
        2. Christians
        3. Europeans
        4. Muslims
        5. progressive Jews

        Which group do you think represents the greatest threat to Israel? To “the Jews”?

        Perhaps some other group?

      • seanmcbride
        December 10, 2012, 1:40 pm

        OlegR,

        David Flusser wrote a foreword for Claude Duvernoy’s “The Zionism of God” here:

        link to israelinprophecy.org

        that substantiates an important claim I have been making: many leading Jewish thinkers — especially leading Jewish religious thinkers — have placed Zionism — contemporary Jewish ethno-religious nationalism — firmly within the tradition of Judaism:

        “The Zionism of God” seems to me a highly important work, in particular for the non-Jewish reader. It has repeatedly been said that there can be no free dialogue between Christians and Jews unless the Christians understand how the Jew himself experiences his Judaism.

        The author makes it very clear that the idea of the Jewish people’s return to the Holy Land has always been at the heart of authentic Jewish thought. It should be kept in mind that the majority of contemporary Jews, throughout the world, have linked their fate to that of Zion with stronger bonds than ever before since the destruction of the Temple. For the Return is no longer an eschatological dream, but historical reality.

        Perhaps Mooser would like to comment.

        Flusser seems to have been involved in a propaganda project to help push traditional Christianity towards the bizarre anti-Christian theology of Christian Zionism.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 10, 2012, 1:48 pm

        “The Christians stole the Jewish Jesus” – Woody “quoting” Oleg
        ———————————————————–
        This is so. The Christians reinterpreted Jesus, the Jewish military-messianic anti-Roman zealot as the ‘prince of peace’ that he wasn’t.

        The Gospels were written AFTER Vespasian and Titus had wiped out the Jewish-messianic insurgency.Therefore, the Christians distanced themselves from that to become acceptable to the Romans.

      • seanmcbride
        December 10, 2012, 2:24 pm

        From a Los Angles Times obit in 2000:

        David Flusser, 83, whose pioneering research on Jesus and Christianity’s relationship to Judaism won him international recognition. Born in Vienna and raised in Prague, Flusser emigrated to Israel in 1939. He received his doctorate at Hebrew University, where he taught in the comparative religions department. An expert on early Christianity and Judaism of the Second Temple Period (538 BC to AD 70), Flusser popularized the idea that Jesus never intended to start a new religion but was born and died a faithful Jew. In his 1965 book “Jesus,” Flusser applied methods of literary criticism to the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke to tell the tale of the Christian Messiah. Thirty years later, Flusser rewrote the book to incorporate new data from the Dead Sea Scrolls and years of historical research. His other books included “Judaism and the Origins of Christianity.” In 1980, Flusser, who spoke nine languages fluently and could read 26, received the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious honor. In Jerusalem on Sept. 15, his 83rd birthday, after a long battle with heart disease.

        A Kindle version of the latest edition of the book OlegR cited can be purchased for $9.99:

        book; David Flusser, Steven Notley; The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius; 2007; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. link to amazon.com

        My curiosity has been piqued.

        My impression is that Flusser attempted to fuse Judaism, Zionism and Christianity into a single ideology — a project that would warm the hearts of Christian Zionists like John Hagee and Mike Evans. But I need to read more.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 10, 2012, 3:06 pm

        “This is so. The Christians reinterpreted Jesus, the Jewish military-messianic anti-Roman zealot as the ‘prince of peace’ that he wasn’t.”

        That’s one theory, sure. Just because it upsets conventional wisdom doesn’t mean it’s true, though.

      • OlegR
        December 10, 2012, 3:25 pm

        Enjoy the reading , at least some good came out of this argument.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 10, 2012, 3:38 pm

        “Jesus … was born and died a faithful Jew.”
        —————
        I agree, and today’s Israelis, in paricular Netanyahu and the settlers, are faithful Jews as Jesus was, believing in military messianism to liberate – i.e.
        to “redeem” – their God given land.

        The Jesus of the Gospels is probably more a literary figure. But that doesn’t invalidate his ‘literary’-religious teaching.

      • Donald
        December 10, 2012, 4:29 pm

        “My impression is that Flusser attempted to fuse Judaism, Zionism and Christianity into a single ideology — a project that would warm the hearts of Christian Zionists like John Hagee and Mike Evans. ”

        No way. Not a chance. I’m not familiar with Flusser, but New Testament scholarship is a battleground with people constantly finding new ways of claiming they know what the historical Jesus was really like. Flusser sounds like a standard New Testament scholar using the standard tools of the field. That would already make him suspicious to a typical Christian fundie. The notion that Jesus was just a Jew and not the Son of God Incarnate would be utter anathema to someone like Hagee. (Actually, most Christians would be unhappy with that notion.)

        Christian Zionists, of course, place great stock in supporting Israel, but they’ve got zero interest in fusing Christianity and Judaism, unless you want to count the “Jews for Jesus” people as Judaism.

      • libra
        December 10, 2012, 7:24 pm

        OlegR: Yeshua was preaching to the Jews for the Jews.

        Oleg, I’m sure you meant to to add “…and the Christian Zionists”.

        Frankly Oleg, your amateur blundering about in the Hasbara Toyshop, especially this close to Christmas, could do serious damage to the cause. I mean all those millions of Christian Zionists may be idiots but they are nevertheless useful idiots. And they’re not as stupid as you think.

        Let’s hope your New Year’s resolution is to sharpen up your act.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2012, 10:49 pm

        Yeshua was preaching to the Jews for the Jews.

        Matthew 15:21-28; John 4:4-26; and John 12:20-36 were stories about non-Jews.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2012, 11:50 pm

        I am not arguing anything Aiman this whole thread is based on taxis
        attempt to argue that Jesus would not be welcome in Zionist Israel. Jesus you all talk about is a figment of your imagination that has nothing
        to do with the Historical figure of Yeshua.

        Fair enough but many scholars say the same thing about the Moses, Joshua, and David that Judaism talks so much about too. FYI, the late Flusser and his disciples, like Roy Blizzard, certainly do write that Jesus was a historical figure and that he was a learned Rabbi. They provide their own Hebrew translations of the Greek Synoptic Gospels based upon an imaginary Hebrew original and Hebrew vorlage that they think is preserved in the Greek texts. Most serious scholars simply conclude that the Greek was written by authors whose normal everyday language was Aramaic or Hebrew.

        Despite Flusser’s other views on the subject, he wrote “Yet it would be absurd to suppose that Christianity adopted an unambitious, unknown Jewish martyr and catapulted him against his will into the role of chief actor in a cosmic drama.” See The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius, Eerdmans Publishing, 2007, page 163. So you are exaggerating his position just a little bit.

        You’re sure as hell exaggerating, if you’re suggesting that Jesus would be given a warm welcome in Zionist Israel, unless you count New Testament book burnings at the Knesset or in Or Yehuda.

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2012, 12:01 am

        Posting a link to a book on Amazon.com is not evidence.

        Flusser and others explain that the Synoptic Gospels aren’t good English or even good Greek, but that in many instances, they can be translated back into perfect Hebrew. There are many examples where the Greek even preserves Hebrew idioms which are familiar to students of the Talmud. That’s all fine and good, but Flusser assumed in most cases that passages which contradict Orthodoxy are spurious. No one studies the texts from Qumran that way. In fact, we know that they were frequently at odds with the Temple cult and its various factions and that there was more than one “Judaism” in that era.

      • OlegR
        December 11, 2012, 7:38 am

        /Matthew 15:21-28
        New International Version (NIV)
        The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

        21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

        23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

        24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

        25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

        26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

        27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

        28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment./

        Oh ye extremely not ethnocentric …

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 11, 2012, 9:39 am

        “Flusser … Jesus never intended to start a new religion”
        “a propaganda project … of Christian Zionism.”
        ————————————————————————–

        Traditionally, Jesus was dispised as a con-man who betrayed his people.
        Now his is reclaimed as a faithful Jew and Christian Zionist.

        I like the traditional Jewish con-man nterpretation – based on the somewhat fictional Jesus of the Gospels – better:

        There is someone who claims to be the Messiah and Yahweh’s son, raises hell against the idolating Roman occupiers and the corrupt, collaborating Jewish establishment, says he will kick them out and restore the glorious Kingdom of David … and then what? – He suddenly gets himself arrested by two Roman soldiers and proclaimes: “my kingdom is not of this world”.
        —————
        Anyway, if it wasn’t Jesus himself who started the new religion and ethics, it were the Evangelists and Paulus. – But it IS a new religion and ethics.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 11, 2012, 9:41 am

        “Oh ye extremely not ethnocentric …”

        Yes, the woman was a Canaanite, the original inhabitants of the land who were ethnically cleansed by the israelites and who suffered the theft of their land at the hands of the same israelites. (plus ça change…) If The Lord, God, Jesus Christ, was a Judeo-supremacist bigot like the zionist colonialists, as you posit, would he have answered her entreaties at all? No.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 11:51 am

        “Perhaps Mooser would like to comment.”

        While I am truly grateful for your permission to comment (now that’s what I call Christmas Spirit, Sean) I feel no need. You’re doing a great job all by yourself, and you are making fast progress towards your inevitable destination.

      • seanmcbride
        December 11, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Mooser,

        While I am truly grateful for your permission to comment (now that’s what I call Christmas Spirit, Sean) I feel no need. You’re doing a great job all by yourself, and you are making fast progress towards your inevitable destination.

        What do you think is my inevitable destination?

        You didn’t reply to my main point: many Jewish religious leaders have attempted to place Zionism squarely within the tradition of Judaism — to fuse Judaism and Zionism into a single ideology. David Flusser is a perfect example.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 1:18 pm

        “You didn’t reply to my main point: many Jewish religious leaders have attempted to place Zionism squarely within the tradition of Judaism — to fuse Judaism and Zionism into a single ideology”

        Yup, that’s true, no denying that. And so, what of it. A lot of people say a lot of dumb stuff for a lot of different reasons, although the reason for them saying that are somewhat painfully obvious, don’t you think?

        It must have been a real shock to you when you found out that religious leaders aren’t all saints, or even Theosophists. I don’t think you’ve gotten over it. Have you heard what some Catholic Priests and Protestant Ministers have done, and said? No, better not tell you, I’m not sure you could stand it.
        Of course, if you want to argue that Jewish religion is more corrupt than any other, that’s your privilege, no one will hinder you on your journey.
        Anyone who starts a comment:
        (seanmcbride December 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm)
        “Judaism’s core driver: messianic ethnocentrism and ethno-religious nationalism organized around a particular physical territory (Eretz Israel and Jerusalem).

        The key components:

        1. ethnocentrism
        2. territorialism
        3. nationalism
        4. messianism”

        is well on their way, and needs no help from me.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 1:22 pm

        “The Jesus of the Gospels is probably more a literary figure. But that doesn’t invalidate his ‘literary’-religious teaching.”

        Very true. The Gospels, especially the parts reputed to be the words of Jesus, have inspired many to better things, myself among them. I’ve gotten a lot from them, even the little I know of them.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 3:52 pm

        Okay, then, a hideous admission: It was a very slight, very surface acquaintance with parts of the Gospel (and how typically banal, probably the Beatitudes, or the equestrian ones, the Sermon on Horseback…. no that’s not right, feh, I’ll correct it later)) which gave me glimmers there were other ways to think then the ones I knew of. Assuming, of course, I could think at all, which has not been adequately verified as of yet.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 3:53 pm

        Okay, it’s “on the Mount”! No wonder I thought it was delivered agee.
        Thank God for Google!

      • Hostage
        December 13, 2012, 1:58 am

        Oh ye extremely not ethnocentric …

        One of the bona fides of the Jewish Messiah is that he is the fulfilment of the expectations of the nations; that they will rally around him; and that the Temple will finally be a house of prayer for all the nations; and etc.

        You might come to the erroneous conclusion that the message of the Book of Jonah was ethnocentric, if you had only read the 3rd Chapter. But if you stick around until the finish, you’ll discover that the Gentiles of Nineveh responded to his warnings; repented; and that God spared them (much to Jonah’s chagrin).

        I’m not a believer, so I don’t have an axe to grind in this case, but the author of Matthew was not conveying an ethnocentric message in this passage either. He actually ends up saying that, the Jesus was NOT going to exclude the Gentiles. In fact, their faith in the miracle of his death and resurrection turns them to God – and that is the ONLY SIGN™ that the unbelievers among the Jews were ever promised in any of the Gospels, i.e. this “sign” in Matthew 12:40 and 15:28 leads-up to the story a few verses later about the “The Sign of Jonah” in Matthew 16:4: “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given to it, except the sign of Jonah. Jesus then left them and went away.”

        In the earlier passage, 12:40 he had said “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Of course, the author concludes the Book of Matthew with “The Great Commission” to go and make disciples of all the nations.

        “Matthew” was only speaking figuratively about “little dogs”, the children’s pet puppies (See Young’s Literal Translation of the passage). He employed an example of typical rabbinic hyperbole. The account of the same events in Mark Chapter 7:24-30 doesn’t even mention the House of Israel at all, just the idiom of allowing others “to fill themselves first” utilizing an illustration that employs the everyday example of children and their little dogs.

        The author of Luke 4:25-26 noted that “Many widows were in the days of Elijah, in Israel, when the heaven was shut for three years and six months, when great famine came on all the land, and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but — to Sarepta of Sidon, unto a woman, a widow;

        There are two versions of the story of this woman that Jesus encountered in the same region of Tyre and Sidon. The account in Mark says that the woman was Greek (Gentile) and had been born in Syro-Phonecia. Like the widow in Elijah’s story, when she was told to let others fill themselves first, and to wait until last, it was actually a sign that it was her lucky day, i.e. this is actually one of the many parallels to the story of Elijah and the widow:

        And he rose and went to Zarephath, and he came to the entrance of the city, and behold there was a widow gathering wood. He called her and said, “Please take to me a little water in a vessel and I shall drink.”

        And she went to take, and he called her and said, “Take to me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

        And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, if I have a cake, [nothing] but a handful of flour and a little oil in a flask. Behold, I am gathering two pieces of wood and I will come and make this for myself and for my son, and we will eat it, and we will die.”

        Elijah said to her, “Do not fear. Come and do as you said, but first make for me a small cake from there and bring it out to me, and for you and your son make last.

        Rashi says but first make for me a small cake: There is a Midrash Agadah in Gen. Rabbah (why he wanted his cake first) on the verse: “And Leah said, ”Good fortune has come” (Gen. 30: 11).

        1 Kings 17:10-13
        link to chabad.org

        All of the other Gospels talk about the effect of “the sign” of his death and resurrection and say that it will attract all peoples. Luke 11:29-32 even connects the sign to Jonah’s mission to the Gentiles of Nineveh: “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

        The Gospel of John 12: 20-36 and the Acts of the Apostles 15: 16-17 describe the sign of his death and resurrection and the response of the Gentiles with analogies to the destruction and rebuilding of the Temple or the Tabernacle of David – and Christians view their bodies as the dwelling place of God. In John, the arrival of the Greeks who are inquiring after him even signals the approach to the hour of his death. He says “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.”

        In Acts the Church Council notes the prophecy from Amos 9:11-12 “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’.

        So people who don’t catch the meaning of the embedded references to Jonah and Elijah, and don’t comprehend that the authors are talking about the in-gathering and salvation of the Gentiles, have actually missed the whole point of the story of the Canaanite woman.

      • Elisabeth
        December 19, 2012, 7:22 am

        I have read Flusser years ago, and he never even mentions Zionism as far as I can recall. He is able to clarify many aspects of the stories in the NT by adding context from his knowledge of Judaism. (He is not the only one to do so by the way: This is almost standard fare in progressive post-WO2 churches in Europe.)

        One thing I recall is that he showed from other, similar decriptions, that the scene where Jesus is mocked by the Roman soldiers (who dress him up as a king) is something that Romans did on other occasions as well. So it seems they had a habit of making fun of the Jewish hope for a future king to liberate them. That really adds a whole new perspective to the story, doesn’t it?

      • Elisabeth
        December 19, 2012, 7:23 am

        I meant to answer to your post about David Flusser Donald, but it ended up somewhere way down.

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 11:24 am

        @ OlegR

        “The historic human being Jesus probably was as ethnocentric as the best
        (or worst) of the settler rabbis.”

        Where is there anything documented showing from the mouth of an Israeli settler rabbi the sentiments of something like, say, the Sermon On The Mount? OTOH, there is documentation of the public speech of some settler rabbis that is as racist as anything ever heard. And, there’s

        not much evidence of a settler rabbi doing things like washing the feet of a known prostitute or, turning the other cheek, or kicking the Jewish Establishment out of the temple for turning it into a currency exchange, and place to wear royal robes….

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 11:53 am

        @ Klaus Bloemker
        Jesus was fighting an imperial power? I recall he told his fellow Jews, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. I don’t recall he ever physically committed an act against Rome or Roman property, but he did crash the Jewish Establishment Temple for turning it into a moneychanger’s block and promenade for rich royal rabbinical garbs, instead of maintaining it as a house of God. OTOH, yes, which imperial power are settlers fighting?

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 12:10 pm

        @ I read somewhere, in essence, that St Paul (Saul) was the first converted Jewish Christian that directly preached Jesus’s oral message(s) to Gentiles, not just to Jews, and that Jesus was dead before the very Jewish Saul morphed into the very Christian Paul on the road to Damascus, where he stopped following Jewish Establishment orders to track down Jews who believed in Jesus, stopped in his tracks, and started preaching about Jesus to anyone who would listen.

        I have some of the books around here somewhere, one of them is a book devoted to historical Paul/Saul.

      • RoHa
        December 19, 2012, 8:07 pm

        The sources are so uncertain that it is impossible to tell whether there is any truth in any of the stories about Jesus or Paul, but some of the stories certainly seem to be made up.

  6. tidings
    December 9, 2012, 9:46 am

    As far as I know, this is not a new card. It’s been around for a couple of years at least, which makes it even more poignant.

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2012, 3:56 pm

      “As far as I know, this is not a new card. It’s been around for a couple of years at least, which makes it even more poignant.”

      We do that, too. Why should they go in the garbage after one holiday, and not be-reused. We always sign ours in pencil, too, so it’s easier for others.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 9:51 pm

        i reuse wrapping paper. my mom used to save the leftovers from wallpaper. i was always impressed with santa matching the wrapping paper with our bedroom walls.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 6:39 pm

        “i reuse wrapping paper. my mom used to save the leftovers from wallpaper. i was always impressed with santa matching the wrapping paper with our bedroom walls.”

        Okay, there’s my favorite Christmas anecdote for this year!

      • Annie Robbins
        December 12, 2012, 7:07 pm

        i’m so honored! i didn’t think anyone would notice.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 7:20 pm

        I’m gonna tell my MIL about that, she’s from a family of big savers and improvisers like that. I’ve seen mocassins made of duct tape given as a Christmas present in that family!

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 11:57 am

        Did you get the same thing under that wrapping paper each Christmas, like maybe 3 pairs of underwear and 3 pairs of socks? Santa was very consistent at our house.

    • Philip Munger
      December 11, 2012, 5:50 pm

      I believe it was created before or during 2008, which was when I first saw it and posted it at my blog around this time of year. Banksi has done other Bethlehem wall art, and others have created art with similar depictions of Mary and Joseph being stymied at the wall.

      Back in 2008, when I posted the card at my blog, I first asked myself, “Is this image anti-Semitic?” The answer was “no.”

      I than asked myself, “will someone consider it anti-Semitic?” The answer was “yes.”

      I then asked myself “will some Hasbarist who could care less whether or not the image is anti-Semitic, accuse it of not only being anti-Semitic, but personally hurtful, maybe even hateful?” Some of the comments here echo my thought on this four years ago – “absolutely!”

    • Annie Robbins
      December 11, 2012, 9:55 pm

      It’s been around for a couple of years at least,

      art has a way of doing that.

      • Philip Munger
        December 12, 2012, 2:51 am

        Indeed it does.

        Reading the comments to this post got me to thinking of an art exhibit of art about the apartheid wall, or art put up on the wall itself. Maybe we could get the Israeli minister of overseeing cultural aspirations at the edge of the wall to let us jackhammer the best art on the wall, and place it in an exhibit in Oslo or London or Ramallah or Hebron….

  7. just
    December 9, 2012, 11:36 am

    Perfect in every way.

    Thank you.

    • MarionL
      December 10, 2012, 3:17 am

      Offensive in every way to Jewish sensibilities, and I’m a Jew who opposes Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

      Also logically and historically incoherent.

      • notatall
        December 10, 2012, 5:12 am

        Years ago Chicago columnist Mike Royko wrote a story imagining Joseph and Mary visiting Chicago looking for a place to have their baby. The column made fun of the bureaucracy and the welfare dept., etc., and had them winding up in a manger. It was a classic, and reran several times over the following years, around Christmas. Was that Christian theological anti-Semitism? Your comments on this topic are perfect examples of the eagerness of J-Street types and liberal Zionists in general to see anti-Semites under every bed, and proof of why you are worse than useless in spite of your claims to oppose the “occupation.”

      • seafoid
        December 10, 2012, 8:19 am

        link to ft.com

        I liked the story of Henry Kissinger going to meet and brief the then US vice-president, Lyndon Johnson, at his home in Texas. He was given a tour of the ranch. “This was Comanche territory,” LBJ told him. “You know, you Germans were great Indian fighters.” Passing some picnic tables, LBJ pointed out he had them installed along the roadside instead of hot dog stands “because you Germans love picnics”. It soon dawned on the foreign policy adviser that LBJ had confused him with the then West German chancellor Kurt Kiesinger.

      • American
        December 10, 2012, 2:03 pm

        MarionL says:

        Offensive in every way to Jewish sensibilities, and I’m a Jew who opposes Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.>>>

        Humm….I ‘m trying to figure out why I should care about your ‘sensibilities” when you don’t care about others sensibilities.
        Explain it to me.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2012, 9:48 pm

        Offensive in every way to Jewish sensibilities, and I’m a Jew who opposes Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

        Also logically and historically incoherent.

        The Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the home town of David. One of the Christian accounts indicated that Joseph had to return to the birthplace of his ancestor to pay taxes.

        What evidence do you have that there are no Palestinian members of the House of David living behind that separation wall today or that Jews returning to the land of their ancestors aren’t being separated from their own brethren?

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 12:16 pm

        “and I’m a Jew who opposes Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.”

        But wait a minute, that doesn’t mean I don’t want every benefit which accrues from it! Let’s not go overboard here.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 2:53 am

        Hi Mooser,

        I live in the United States, not Israel, so I haven’t accrued any benefits from the occupation, at least not directly. Have you?

  8. Denis
    December 9, 2012, 2:10 pm

    With all due respect, I feel you folks are missing the point of the contemporary Christmas Story in the Holy Land, which is spelled out on the back of the card:
    link to ifamericansknew.org

    The point is that the US is giving Israel $8M/day to support Israel’s apartheid agenda and Palestinian land-grab. The generosity of the American people knows no bounds.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, whatever . . .

    • Annie Robbins
      December 9, 2012, 3:47 pm

      The point is that the US is giving Israel $8M/day to support Israel’s apartheid agenda and Palestinian land-grab. The generosity of the American people knows no bounds.

      with all due respect denis, although i applaud ifamericansknew for promoting the card and their ideas and all the incredible work they do, while anyone can speculate what the point of the artist is, only the artist knows. (i don’t think ifamericansknew was speculating btw) when i look at the card i don’t imagine the point of the artist was “the US is giving Israel $8M/day to support Israel’s apartheid agenda and Palestinian land-grab.”

      that’s just not what i see, although of course i agree the US is giving Israel $8M/day to support Israel’s apartheid agenda and Palestinian land-grab.

      not sure who the ‘you folks’ is you were referring to but art arouses different meanings/thoughts and emotions for different people.

      • Betsy
        December 10, 2012, 11:07 am

        Here’s what the card says on the back

        The people of Bethlehem are asking for our help.

        Towering walls and militarized fences now encircle Bethlehem, turning the 4,000-year-old city into a virtual prison for its Palestinian Christian and Muslim citizens. Bethlehem has only three gates to the outside world, all tightly controlled by Israeli occupation forces.

        Israel has confiscated almost all the agricultural land in the area for illegal settlements, making it impossible for many Palestinian farmers to continue tending their land. Outside the town, the fields where shepherds once watched their flocks are being filled by Israeli housing blocs and roads barred to the descendants of those shepherds.

        “It is unconscionable that Bethlehem should be allowed to die slowly from strangulation,” says South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Bethlehem’s residents increasingly are fleeing Israel’s confining walls, and soon the city, home to the oldest Christian community in the world, will have little left of its Christian history but the cold stones of empty churches.

        Though most Americans don’t know it, we are directly involved in Israel’s strangulation of Bethlehem. Fortune Magazine and other analysts consistently rank the Israel lobby as one of the most effective special interests in Washington; Americans give Israel over $8 million per day. In its just over 60 years of existence, Israel has received more US tax money than any other nation.

        As we seek peace and joy for the world, it is time to reconsider an expenditure that perpetuates injustice, tragic violence, and conflict. Please help.

        For more information: IfAmericansKnew.org

      • Denis
        December 11, 2012, 10:43 pm

        ar — What are your moaning about now?

        Do you see anywhere that I speculated on the intent of the artist? Why are you making stuff up in lower case?

        I said, uber-clearly that people were missing the point of the contemporary Christmas Story, which seems to have morphed into giving $8M to Israel every day. You know . . . as in once upon a time most Americans gave gifts to each other for Christmas, now they’re giving $8M a day to Israel, as is nicely articulated on the back of the card, which you entirely failed to mention.

        Like, Merry Christmas, ar.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 11:00 pm

        hi denis. sorry for not understanding your meaning. when you said I feel you folks are missing the point of the contemporary Christmas Story in the Holy Land, which is spelled out on the back of the card….The point is that the US is giving Israel $8M/day to support Israel’s apartheid i interpreted that to mean ..the point of the art (bansky’s, the topic of the post although most understandably that might not have been clear from the title).

        now i see what you meant was the contemporary Christmas Story….giving $8M to Israel every day.

        of course. how could i have missed such an obvious connection. my bad.

        ps, i really enjoy your rhetorical flourishes, (my ‘moan’, my lowercase). it really adds to your contributions here. thanks!

      • Denis
        December 12, 2012, 1:56 pm

        We are always on the same page, ar. Although often it doesn’t sound like it. Please don’t ever interpret my own “moans” as disrespect.

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 12:16 pm

        Actually it’s $8.2 M/day direct aid. Lots more indirect aid of course.

  9. Henry Norr
    December 9, 2012, 2:47 pm

    It’s true that the card has been around for a while, but it’s still very useful. For years now some of us in the Bay Area – organized by NorCal Sabeel, I believe – have held an vigil in Union Square (the heart of the shopping district) in San Francisco on Christmas Eve or some other day shortly before Christmas, and we’ve handed out copies of that card. Generally speaking, it gets a sympathetic response.

    • MarionL
      December 10, 2012, 3:18 am

      Well, Henry, I doubt that you would get “a sympathetic response” if you happened to hand the card to anyone who is Jewish, including Jews like myself who oppose Israel’s unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

      • eljay
        December 10, 2012, 8:51 am

        >> … I doubt that you would get “a sympathetic response” if you happened to hand the card to anyone who is Jewish [emphasis added]

        How do you know this to be true? Hostage and Shmuel – both of whom are Jewish – don’t appear to have any issues with the card. Are they anti-Semites, or just self-loathing Jews?

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:23 am

        Eljay – That is a very valid point. I can’t speak for anyone who is Jewish, I can only speak for myself, and to some extent for my family. Thank you.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “if you happened to hand the card to anyone who is Jewish, including Jews like myself”

        Only anti-Semites think all Jews are the same. Why do you? Most Jews at the time thought Zionism was a very poor idea. And an awful lot of Jews don’t like the idea that Zionism has always worked by criminality.
        Jews and Judaism has lots of problems, but Zionism is not the answer, in fact, it is a symptom of our problems and weakness, more than it is anything. A sucessful religion needs no more land than a bit of landscaping (and parking) outside its temples or church. Why would any sucessful religion run a state? Who neeeds that kind of overhead?

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2012, 2:24 pm

        Whoops, another great big error from Mooser. Everybody knows most Jews are in favor of Zionism, and everybody knows majority rules in Judaism. It’s that Jewish democracy we always talk about.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        December 11, 2012, 7:28 am

        Hey Mooser could you elaborate on “successful religion” … ?

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2012, 11:55 am

        “Hey Mooser could you elaborate on “successful religion” … ?”

        And have my acolytes, apostles, priests and congregation members see what a hypocrite I am? And endanger my flow of offerings, gifts, and inside deals? Not to mention my first pick of the underaged?
        You think I’m nuts or something?

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2012, 3:25 pm

        “Well, Henry, I doubt that you would get “a sympathetic response” if you happened to hand the card to anyone who is Jewish

        It’s very kind of Marion not to list, in excruciating detail, what the penalties for failing to elicit “a sympathetic response” from “anyone who is Jewish” are. I’m sure Mr. Norr wouldn’t want his penchant for self-destruction broadcast like that.

        But it’s about time all you lunks (you know how you are, even if I don’t) came face-to-face with what persecution has done to us Jews. After a couple thousand years of that persecution, you become the kind of craven, frightened, timid person who demands the correct emotional response from others, and thinks they are entitled to it. Breaks my heart every time I see it.

    • Bumblebye
      December 11, 2012, 9:21 am

      There’s a good argument for activists to place “Walls” around nativity scenes, dressed up with relevant quotes about the indigenous people and the land from Herzl, Jabotinsky, Begin et al. Then have postcards with those quotes available to take away.

      • Betsy
        December 13, 2012, 9:30 am

        @Bumblebye — brilliant! we’ll get on this…and add mirrors to the wall with little legends saying “Paid for by my tax dollars”, so Americans can see themselves as co-builders…

  10. iResistDe4iAm
    December 10, 2012, 2:47 am

    FYI, I did a quick image search and found the same image on many blogs. The oldest I found was on the israelitybites blog dated 15 December 2006 (disclaimer: not an exhaustive search):
    link to israelitybites.blogspot.com.au

    Here’s an old Mondoweiss article with the same image from 5 December 2010:
    link to mondoweiss.net

    A few of the blogs hosting the image attributed it to Banksy (though there were also quite a few Spanish language blogs which I couldn’t read).

  11. Accentitude
    December 10, 2012, 3:47 am

    How did this article turn into a debate on the characteristics, personality traits, and religious and political ideologies of Jesus Christ who may or may not have existed in what may or may not have been Israel or Palestine?

    • justicewillprevail
      December 10, 2012, 10:04 am

      It’s called diversion, particularly into the minutiae of historical myths, which derails the debate into a never-ending circumlocutory discussion over belief systems, which avoids the facts over human and political rights, justice and equal access to resources, now.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:26 am

        Do you see the irony in that? It is part of what I was trying to get at. By using an image that points to a religious or historical myth from thousands of years ago, the image on the card does divert attention from the contemporary issue – getting that wall down for good through justice and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. How we get there is the question, and for precisely the “diversion” issue that I cite, I don’t think the card, however evocative it is, is effective.

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 3:03 am

        MarionL

        This is your first comment in MW

        There is awful news coming out of Israel everywhere wherein the Israelis are stealing or demolishing or killing or discriminating

        And you chose this thread to invest yourself in first

        OlegR, the fake Jewish Russian, who is so lonely that he confides in an antizionist website that he’s being called up to Gaza when he really isn’t because Israel just aerial bombs civilians (instead of fighting on the ground), is also deeply concerned about this Christmas card

        Except olegR thinks Jesus was a Zionist Jew

        How come none of your comments have been directed towards him

        You are a troll

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 12, 2012, 10:38 am

        “By using an image that points to a religious or historical myth from thousands of years ago, the image on the card does divert attention from the contemporary issue ”

        Nonsense. To a Christian, it would do the opposite, reinforce attention to the issue. And there are a lot of Christians in the USA who need to get their heads straight about the israel/Palestine issue.

    • Woody Tanaka
      December 10, 2012, 10:52 am

      Because it’s a powerful image and has a truthful quality to it applied to the current situation, so zios like Oleg and maybe Marion have to play the Christian guilt card to defuse its impact.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 12:28 am

        Woody,

        I’m not playing a Christian guilt card. I’m responding honestly to the image. Daniel’s comments have made me seen that the artist may have had the best of intentions. However, the image is diversionary precisely because it conflates “the Christmas story” from thousands of years ago with a contemporary issue – the wall that Israel built that abuts on Palestinian land, hurts Palestinian agriculture, and curtails freedom of movement for Palestinians.

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 3:00 am

        And your honesty is to exploit and perpetuate the trope of Christian guilt

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 12, 2012, 10:51 am

        “I’m not playing a Christian guilt card.”

        Oh, bull. Your very first post, ever, on MW was a cornocopia of Christian-guilt baiting, with the specter of Christians calling Jews “Christ killers,” which you followed with your repeated claims that the image “frightened” you clearly because you believed it was antisemitic and that Christians “have a long way to go in understanding Jews concerns” about the history of antisemitism. If that’s not playing the Christian guilt card then nothing is.

        And who is this “Daniel” you’re referencing? I see no post by anyone named “Daniel” on this thread.

        And, finally, you are absolutely wrong about the image being diversionary. Christians would find the image very provacative in a very, very good way.

  12. Taxi
    December 10, 2012, 5:40 am

    Marion,

    So you’re okay with the Nakba but not alright with the current occupation of the West Bank and Gaza?

    Also, according to the ‘myth’, did the Palestinian jews at the time embrace or antagonize jesus? The myth tells us he was antagonized and betrayed. Should non-jews NEVER mention this?

    • MarionL
      December 12, 2012, 12:31 am

      Taxi,

      I’m not okay with the Nabka. I think it is a terrible tragedy.

      I think the issue of what happened to Jesus (if indeed the historical Jesus was actually one man and not an amalgam of many itinerant Jewish preachers from that era) is complex, and I think that one of the best scholars dealing with this issue is, perhaps, ironically, the Jewish feminist professor of religion Amy-Jill Levine, whose area of expertise is New Testament studies.

      • Taxi
        December 12, 2012, 1:42 am

        Marion,

        The Nakba is NOT just a “terrible tragedy”! It’s a freaking war crime of the highest order and in my book equivalent to a holocaust. Especially unconscionable is that the Nakba was committed by the very people, the very victims who were fresh out of a holocaust themselves. Do you understand the gross and despicable immorality of this?!

        Zionists committed the Nakba atrocities against an innocent people – all in the name of YOUR zionism!

        You think there’s a difference between you and a likudnik? Both of you certainly call the Nakba a “terrible tragedy”. A freaking car accident is a “terrible tragedy”!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        If there’s an honest and humanitarian bone in you, you wouldn’t call yourself a zionist – bleeding-heart liberal or not!

        Give up your zionism – it won’t kill ya – it’ll free ya and absolve you from the blood of the Nakba which remains up to this day on every zionist hand.

        And just out of curiosity, what kind of reparations should israel be paying the Palestinians for inflicting such unspeakable Nakba crimes?

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 2:59 am

        So, Marion

        You’re not ok with the Nakba and think its terrible but you do not support a 1SS or presumably the full RoR

        Do you support the Jewish law or return

        Do you support Jewish privilege vis a vis the institutional racism and prejudices in Israeli society against non Jews and Zionists

        Where is your evidence that Palestinian Christians are being persecuted by Palestinian Muslims

        And why did you state that the latter as being on par with Israelis treatment if Palestinian Christians earlier in the discussion

  13. OlegR
    December 10, 2012, 6:33 am

    So moderators what do you think.
    Do the Palestinian struggle benefit from
    Jews against Jesus argument as depicted in this little propaganda card.
    Or is this just Zionists against Jesus argument ?
    And are you sure this sort of argument will fly ?

    • Annie Robbins
      December 11, 2012, 10:34 pm

      Jews against Jesus…Or is this just Zionists against Jesus

      looks like a wall against jesus to me. and since jesus was a jew, i guess it could look like a wall against a jew too.

      but i am a secular person who has never read the bible. i don’t know the ins and outs of all the christian vs jewish theological arguments. and at the same time i am not one of those people who halt at the notion of artwork that may stir fury or remind someone of one particular pt of view. i like seeing it fresh. and what i see is very similar to real life. bethlehem has a very very big wall. so, it’s just reminds me..if jesus were alive today that is what he would see, going to his birthplace. it’s not only what every christian who visits bethlehem sees, it’s what any person can see if the go there, regardless of religion.

      it’s just what bethlehem looks like now. only more crowded than the image.

      what i find odd is people who cannot look at it for exactly what it is. there’s a wall there. if you scroll up and take a peek again, it is the most dominant feature in the image. same if you approach bethlehem. the wall…it doesn’t scream ‘jew’ to me,it screams occupation.

      if that’s scary, it’s working. be scared because it’s real, it’s ugly and it’s an affront to civilized people. those who require we all know the baggage of every person looking at it are fools. i have just as much right to seeing this image and interpret it my way as anyone else. i find it completely baffling, anyone who looks at it and doesn’t see….the wall.

      and to answer your question, heck yes i think my argument will fly. what are you afraid of oleg? you don’t think bansky’s wall can speak for itself, you have to fill it with all this mumbo jumbo crap? the wall is an accurate depiction of the current wall. you don’t like it? change it. bring it down.

      i am thinking right now of christo’s fence. instead of billowing white sails changing the landscape someone should photoshop bethlehem’s walls into landscapes across the globe. now wouldn’t that be incredible.

      • Betsy
        December 12, 2012, 10:23 am

        @Annie — ok. I like where you’re going with this art thing. Art can mean many things to many eyes & that’s the good & provocative thing about it…

        But, this isn’t being used just as art. It’s also resonating with spiritual meanings for living faith communities. Several commentators on this thread are dodging that. I appreciate that MarionL seems to be trying to be in dialogue — and that Donald is trying to respond in kind.

        But, neither are getting to the immediacy of the burning issues for American faith communities. While accusing others of gross insensitivity, MarionL has made a string of remarkably negative & reductive & uninformed comments about Christianity — it would take me too long to explain what’s ‘insensitive’ on her part. I shrug it off…she seems ignorant & unable to empathically engage diversity in spiritual paths. (e.g., I imagine her saying to Native Americans practicing in Dine tradition — “Spider Woman wasn’t a historical figure! why do you want the National Park Service to give you access to Canyon De Chelley for your ancestral sites of worship!” as if Dine people had never had a complicated thought in their poor little heads about the relationship between sacred & ‘historical’ time. Thank goodness, she’s found the ‘best’ scholar to explain this all to us poor benighted folks!)

        What matters is that she is dodging the realities of what’s happening in US in interfaith dialogue about I/P. MarionL has not responded to the question of whether she is participating & complicit in, a widespread movement of disinformation & accusation against Christians who are critical of US military aid for Israel. Many on this site know that I’m a Presbyterian. My church has been bitterly & repeatedly attacked over the past decade by multiple groups claiming to speak for all Jews, and attributing heinous motivations to us. Linking us with unspeakable medieval ideas & practices. And, showing a staggering lack of interest in what the church believes theologically, or practices in real everyday spiritual life. I have concluded that this is a systematic campaign of propaganda — because we hear the same, tired points made. It does not matter how often we counter with facts. The attacks on us, go directly to core tenets of our faith — especially in our attempts to resist Empire & the military/industrial complex because of Jesus call (as we understand it) to be peacemakers. There are strong alliances in this attack on mainstream Christianity between Rightwing Christianity & the groups claiming to speak for all Jews.

        MarionL has not responded to my question re/ all this. This is an urgent question which is of real importance to millions of your fellow Americans. I say again, why, these days, do mainstream Christians only hear these accusations of anti-Semitism — when we criticize US military support for Israel or Israel’s actions or policies? If you think this card shows deep seated anti-Jewish prejudices, wouldn’t those prejudices be appearing in many areas? If yes, where do you see mainstream Christianity engaging in such heinous behavior?

        As far as I can see, my church & other mainline American churches have been making strong & consistent efforts against anti-Jewish or anti-Judaism for many decades. For overview from the World Council of Churches from over 30 years ago see link to oikoumene.org WHAT MORE NEEDS DOING? Rather than these vague implications, you should spell it out. I’m ready to start & I can guarantee that my church will revv up it’s justice work — if you can show evidence that anti-Jewish behavior or beliefs are a pressing global or American issue. (Please do remember that it would have to be ranked on a list of our prime social justice priorities that includes: deepening poverty & inequality, global warming, collapse of health care/education/public services, military industrial complex, land grabs & displacement, neoliberal globalization & bad trade deals, hunger, women’s & gay rights, etc., etc., etc., etc.)

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 5:32 pm

        “My church has been bitterly & repeatedly attacked over the past decade by multiple groups claiming to speak for all Jews, and attributing heinous motivations to us.”

        1)Remember, Betsy, nobody owns the word “Jewish”, there is no central organisation which can, either direct by Divine instruction or by human consensus, forbid its use to anyone. Anybody may claim to represent anything or everything “Jewish” and nobody can stop them.
        It’s best to keep that in mind, and I believe it has a lot of ramifications and relevance in the situations you refer to.

        “There are strong alliances in this attack on mainstream Christianity between Rightwing Christianity & the groups claiming to speak for all Jews.” But none of the groups involved have names? Isn’t that the same as saying you do believe they speak for all Jews.

        I’d like to see those attacks on the on Prebystertarians “linking us with unspeakable medieval ideas & practices” I mean, if anybody ought to know an effective blood libel, it’s us! Got a link?

        The funny part is (and it sure ages me) is that I misread that sentence as ‘There are strong alliances in this attack on mainstream Christianity between Left-wing Christianity & the groups claiming to speak for all Jews.” How mixed must a person be to do that!

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Betsy, you’ve told us about the struggle for dis-investment from the Zionist occupied territories in the Presbyterian Church. and this is a laudable goal, a good policy for the Church, to not invest money in human oppression.
        Now it’s funny, but I’ve never heard any calls for Judaism to disinvest in the territories, let alone Israel. Is this because the idea (of having Judaism pull its money out of Israel) is considered hopeless, or because of something else?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 12, 2012, 6:53 pm

        “Many on this site know that I’m a Presbyterian.” – Betsy
        —————-
        So was I before I became an agnostic, but I still hold them in high regard.

        But let me tell you a little anecdote: Many years ago I had an affair with a Jewish woman who had come to Germany from Poland. There was a picture
        on the wall of my bedroom by the Russian artist Kasimir Malewitsch, “red cross on a black circle” . – To me, that picture was abstract modern art from the 1920s, but that woman got nervous about the picture and told me to
        take it down because she couldn’t stand to see the cross.

        Maybe, Marion would have felt as tense about that picture as that woman. From then on, I decided to have never again both a (Christian) cross and a Jewish woman in my bedroom :-).

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 7:26 pm

        “Maybe, Marion would have felt as tense about that picture as that woman.”

        Assuming Marion was in the bedroom in place of the “Jewish woman”? You are one fast worker, Klaus. You don’t waste any time.

      • eljay
        December 12, 2012, 7:57 pm

        >> From then on, I decided to have never again both a (Christian) cross and a Jewish woman in my bedroom :-).

        I can see the Christian cross being of no use – when was the last time anyone got off on that (other than Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”)? ;-)

        But a Jewish woman – hell, any woman with whom you are having a pleasurable time! – is worth having your bedroom! :-D

        IMHO only, of course…

  14. anonymouscomments
    December 10, 2012, 6:07 pm

    all this blah blah about land and who can buy it or go (or not go) where. the hasbarists are deluded.

    jews can go to bethlehem any day they want. they can drive right in and smile at a PA policeman, if they happen to go by one. i have stated many times that i have met with dozens of jewish israelis in bethlehem ~2 years ago.

    but there is a *simple* solution if jews desire to live *anywhere* in palestine/israel.

    a SINGLE STATE. much like many jews, and almost all palestinians wanted, circa 1947. zionists vetoed this logical solution with blood, terrorism, lobbying, and other acts.

    make the single state democracy, and all jews (and more importantly and rightfully, palestinians) can live and travel and buy land anywhere in israel/palestine.

    oh, but i forgot…. zionism has become a fascistic ideology based on ethnic nationalism. whoops. ….well turn that absurd regressive ideology around, and all will live in peace with full mobility.

    ….but of course that isn’t in the (zionist) cards, cause the zionists hold the aces and wild cards. so they will continue to forge greater israel on an ethnoreligious basis, and plan for the day when they can spark off a regional war, ethnic violence, and repeat the ethnic cleansing of ~1948.

    orwell couldn’t have predicted the deluded upside-downism, beyond hypocrisy of modern day zionists. hasbara bots go beyond even 1984 paradigms…

  15. piotr
    December 10, 2012, 6:29 pm

    OlegR:

    That figment of Chirstian imagination Jesus you all talk about though he didn’t exist is anathema to Jews.
    To religious ones he is anathema on religious grounds.
    To secular ones it’s the knowledge of history and how much pain and suffering the false belief in that Jesus caused the Jewish people.

    ====

    I guess that covers ALL Christmas cards, as well as Christmas carols that American commercial establishment provide as background music in December. As MK Ben-Ari nicely express by tearing down a copy of New Testament and posting the video.

    ====

    Historicity of Jesus is a bit doubtful in the sense that the account of Gospels is to some extend confirmed by historical sources but everything that is confirmed is also garbled. For examples, the events of the year he was born do not match exactly any particular year. Jesus life predates the Jewish war so he was not a messianic rebel against authorities. Gospels were written after the huge dislocations of the Jewish war, and were written by mystics rather than historians.

    =====

    Zionists and Christian share a myth of Immaculate Conception, in the case of Zionist this is the story of Conception of Israel.

    • OlegR
      December 10, 2012, 8:05 pm

      /I guess that covers ALL Christmas cards, as well as Christmas carols that American commercial establishment provide as background music in December. As MK Ben-Ari nicely express by tearing down a copy of New Testament and posting the video./

      Only the ones that try to blame Jews for this and that wrong using christian symbology.

      Regarding Ben Ari, i guess he learned from that christian preacher that burned the Koran.

      • john h
        December 12, 2012, 12:44 am

        No comparison, Oleg. Ben-Ari is someone, Terry Jones is a no-one.

  16. tidings
    December 11, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Thinking perhaps more nonJews will find this Banksy image and post on Facebook than on MW, I’ve just posted a link to this article on mine.

    I don’t usually subscribe to comments so is it my imagination or has this subject generated more than usual? 141 at time of writing!

  17. MarionL
    December 11, 2012, 4:42 pm

    And yes, I’m against house demolitions Annie, which is why I’ve contributed to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

  18. anomalous
    December 11, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Jeepers people, do some homework. This article is talking about an image “making the rounds yesterday” and explains it is “purportedly” by Banksy.

    The image is wonderful but at 7 years old it can hardly be called news. It’s called “Vandalised oil painting #031″ and dates from 2005. It was all over the place at the time – it’s had thousands of views on my own flickr since i posted it in 2005, and was featured on electronicintifada as “Photo of the Day” in December 2005.

    Eva mentions that it doesn’t look like Banksy’s work – that’s because it’s part of a series where he alters found paintings.

    My two cents: a lot of the comments on this page are mind-boggling and repulsive to me. Not sure what is going on with this site lately, but… ugh.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 12, 2012, 8:02 am

      7 yr old art ‘making the rounds’, that’s truly astonishing. why, everyone knows only crappy art gets chucked around year after year after year as if it was…what’s the word i’m looking for?… still relevant. if it’s not fresh off the block it can’t be news then, can it? and to think, at artinfo.com no less, an otherwise reputable site usually covering…art!

      i think we’ve all been snuckered, and to think this one post has been shared over 300 times. why, you’d almost think this cultural stuff gets repeated over the holidays.

      one day, palestine will be free, the wall will come down and this art will resemble some old relic from the past. but until that day i hope it’s hauled out every holiday season and shared and shared and shared as if it’s fresh off the block. even if it serves just to piss some people off.

      • anomalous
        December 14, 2012, 8:31 am

        I am delighted this image is shared and that it continues to be a subject of discussion. As an artist, few things make me happier than people taking art seriously and artists engaging politically.

        However, I come to this site for well-informed news, not for “hey look at this cool thing I found on the interwebs.” I guess it just got made yesterday on tumbler and my sister said it was posted by some guy called Banker but I can’t be bothered to check any of that stuff out.”

        While I’m sure you’re doing fine work in general, smirking condescension after the fact doesn’t make your editorship less shoddy here.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 14, 2012, 9:02 am

        I come to this site for well-informed news, not for “hey look at this cool thing I found on the interwebs.”

        some of my very favorite posts here fall under the category of “hey look at this cool thing I found on the interwebs.”

        link to mondoweiss.net

        it’s art and requires no preface.

        as for not checking stuff out, there’s a link provided beneath the blockquote that leads to information about the art. if a curious reader clicks on it it will drive traffic to that site, which we think is a good thing. the artist, bansky, has a reputation for being somewhat mysterious. the art itself has not been curated. which, i presume, is why artinfo.com used the phrasing they did.

        i am not sure a fuller explanation accompanying the art would have enhanced the presentation here or led to more traffic. but either way, i hope this discussion between us does. so thank you very much for coming back and expressing yourself further.

        please excuse me for responding to your insults with condescension. my suggestion would be to write the publisher and co-editors with your concerns, or spend your time elsewhere, either on another thread or another site.

        good luck, and happy holidays.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 11:53 am

        “I come to this site for well-informed news, not for “hey look at this cool thing I found on the interwebs.”

        You don’t know the half of it! Before they started Mondo, Phil and Adam ran a restaurant. Everybody said the food tasted like poison, and the portions were too small. And nobody knew if it was in Pinsk, Minsk, Diaspora or Exile!

        Me I live in Seattle, head quarters of Boeing, which is why it’s always being compared to the “cities of the plane”. Or maybe it’s I-502?

      • anomalous
        December 14, 2012, 4:42 pm

        I’m not sure how saying “Jeepers people, do some homework” constitutes “insults”. I think that artists deserve attribution, whether your sole interest is as you say “to drive traffic to the site” or not. A proper editorial response to that concern might have been “actually, I probably should have done ten seconds of homework, my bad,” rather than 3 paragraphs of hostile sarcasm and “my suggestion would be to spend your time elsewhere, good luck.”

        Perhaps you should remove me as one of the featured links on this site.

  19. Klaus Bloemker
    December 11, 2012, 8:41 pm

    To finish this damned debate on Jesus, I would like to finally say this:

    Jesus and the Evangelists of the New Testament, who promoted him, were the greatest con-men of all time. – They managed to establish a false Jewish Messiah to become the founder of a religion that came to dominate the world.
    I understand the horror of the Jews about that.

    But anyway, aren’t we enlightened enough to see – beyond Mary, Joseph and Jesus – what’s wrong in Palestine? – Merry Christmas

    • MarionL
      December 12, 2012, 12:37 am

      Klaus –

      I see what is wrong in Palestine and I want it to stop. I wish I knew the best way to stop it. I despise Netanyahu and Likud, but I also dislike people who generalize about anyone who has at anytime called her or himself a Zionist. All Zionists do not agree with Netanyahu and Likud.

      What do you think? Do you endorse all forms of BDS, including academic and cultural boycotts? Do you think Palestinians have the right to use any methods of resistance against Israel, or are there any that you would find objectionable? Do you prefer a one state or a two state solution? – I’m interested in your views on any or all of these questions.

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 2:54 am

        Academic – yes

        Cultural – yes

        1SS – yes

        Dismantlement of Israel as a racist Jewish State that privileges Jews over non-Jews – yes

        And Zionism is Zionism, whether its Likud or leftist (fantasy since there is no Zionist Left).

        I think Palestinians have every right to use violence against Israeli soldiers and the settlers stealing from them. I don’t think they have the right to kill civilians or indiscriminately fire rockets at civilian population centers.

        Nevertheless, the Palestinians are under occupation and colonialism – NOT you.

      • eljay
        December 12, 2012, 8:08 am

        >> All Zionists do not agree with Netanyahu and Likud.

        But all Zionists do support the existence of a supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 11:27 am

        Cliff:

        And Zionism is Zionism, whether its Likud or leftist (fantasy since there is no Zionist Left).

        To me, folks like Uri Avnery are leftist Zionists, and their views–and actions– are significantly different that fanatical, violent religious fundamentalist Zionist settlers, and secular national -militarists-fascists like Lieberman. I see no moral or analytical imperative to collapse all streams in Zionism into one. Nor, though, do I deny that they all share a fundamental value in Israel as a Jewish state.

        I put a Zionist who, however ineffectively, mistakenly or ignorantly, supports a *real* two-state settlement, who opposes the apartheid/ethnic cleansing occupation regime, and who feels great empathy for the victims of Zionism, past and present–I put that person on a higher moral plane than violent, terrorist, racist and potentially genocidal settlers and war-seeking secular-miltarist-nationalists.

        It’s true that the Zionist left is in near total eclipse and that “Liberal Zionism” is now little more than Likudism sugared over with hypocrisy and duplicity. It wasn’t necessarily always that way though; and the future isn’t entirely predictable.

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 11:54 am

        Gee thanks for the info, Sibriak. Some Zionists aren’t as murderous as others!

        Uri Avnery believes in maintaining a Jewish democracy. That’s why I lump him with the rest.

        It doesn’t matter whether he is against bombing a killbox like Gaza. The end result is that he isn’t opposed to Zionism on moral grounds.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:12 pm

        Eljay,

        No they do not.

      • Sibiriak
        December 13, 2012, 7:14 am

        Cliff:

        Some Zionists aren’t as murderous as others!
        Uri Avnery believes in maintaining a Jewish democracy. That’s why I lump him with the rest.

        Uri Avnery is not murderous. That implies an intent to kill innocent people. What evidence is there of such an intent?

        And, as a point of fact, Avnery does NOT “believe in maintaining a Jewish democracy”.

        link to countercurrents.org

        Avnery :

        I’ve lived in this state from its first day, and from its first day I objected to its being defined as ” A Jewish State”

        [...]. I am part of a group of citizens who lodges and appeal to the Supreme Court to remove the definition “Nationality: Jewish” from our identity cards and replace it with “Nationality: Israeli”.

        [...] if after fifty years of common life in the State of Israel the demographic balance will change [so that there is an Arab majority], then it will change. Many things change in the world.

        In America, too, there is such a process. If fifty years ago somebody would have told the Americans: let’s create here a Hispanic majority, an uprising would have broken out. But later the Hispanics came and slowly increased, and quite soon there will be more Hispanics than White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

        There are things which change in the course of a lifetime, there are natural processes, which should not be opposed.

        Avnery supports a two-state settlement in the short term —not because he believes it would be a just solution, but because he believes that is a realistic possibility, while a 1ss is not. In the long term, he sees the two-states coming together in some kind of federation, or as part of a larger Middle East Union.

        Now, Avnery may very well be wrong about a 1ss being unrealistic in the short term. Reasonable, well-intentioned people can disagree on that.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:02 pm

        “Uri Avnery is not murderous.”

        Nope, if I remember his column right, Uri Avnery disavowed violent Zionism while he was lying on the field of battle with a bunch of Egyptian machine-gun bullets in his belly. And I agree, that was a real good time for him to rethink things, since he probably would never be the soldier he was, even with the best possible recovery.
        ‘About time I switched to not-a-Zionism’ is exactly what I would have thought if it was me, too.

      • gamal
        December 12, 2012, 4:59 am

        Perhaps you should tell us what Zionists, in your opinion, have the right to do to Palestinians to achieve their aims? This passive interrogatory approach is deeply dishonest of you, an attempt at manipulation and evasion, you dont see what is profoundly funny in your usage “Do you think Palestinians have the RIGHT to use any methods of resistance against Israel” you cant help yourself its the threat of “right(s)”. Perhaps you should tell us what “right(s)” Palestinians have?

        When people are marked for destruction, expulsion, dispossesion discussion of rights is a non-sequitur, not being able to construct an argument based on a rational approach to the crimes of Zionism, you opt for the contingencies of a war conspiratorially begun maintained and prosecuted by Zionists of all stripes, its stupid and not worth engaging with, fascistic racism posing as humanitarianism, privilege posing as under-privilege, your vain attempt to indict the victims of settler colonialism is the mark of liberal Zionism, it is disgusting, give me Begin and Benzion Netanyahu any day over this shit. You should be ashamed of yourself. Yes we know Palestinians have no right to engage in alliances with the murder states of Latin America, Apartheid South Africa, the brutalities of American colonialism and all the other blood soaked tyrannies globally, oh that was, you, the innocent Zionists,

        It should be clear no one is under any obligation to plead before your phony rigged tribunal, i hope my every breath offends you, i hope people like me infect your dreams with madness, you came here under the cover of murderous british colonialism, you have killed and killed viciously for a hundred years and now presume to sit in judgement of your victims, how revolting.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 12, 2012, 7:24 am

        n-n-n-n-not mincing any words today gamal!

      • gamal
        December 12, 2012, 7:44 am

        there is an Islamic principle that you must accept responsibility when you become the object upon which others generate destructive actions, we dont need innocence, we are not innocent we are responsible not to comport ourselves in such a manner that others abuse us to all our of detriment, resistance is neither anger nor hatred and its ultimate fulfillment is for the benefit of all, being mealy mouthed doesnt help, because i have no skins in any game i can at least be honest and i am as person such a spectacular failure that i am free of any pretension, i am in fact the scum of this earth and i learn from all Menachim Begin said “we must be honest with ourselves” and i couldnt agree more, no one requires any special virtues to be the object loving kindness and compassion, some times love is brutal, its not all flowers, i kind of love everyone wish i could help, but i am tired and stupid so do what i can, while struggling on with my debacle of a life. The people of the middle east are great, if these zionist fools cooled it with the crimes they could emerge from their claustrophobic identity and have great happy lives, i am so sad i have not the skill to help, so one does what one can.

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 7:45 am

        gamal:

        you have killed and killed viciously for a hundred years and now presume to sit in judgement of your victims, how revolting.

        MarionL? She’s that old? A vicious killer? Collective guilt?

      • notatall
        December 12, 2012, 7:58 am

        She’s part of it unless she decisively separates herself from it. No one has the “right” to tell any oppressed people what methods they are allowed to use in fighting for their freedom.

      • Taxi
        December 12, 2012, 7:58 am

        Wow Sibriak, you have such an inquiring mind.

        Where do you get all these packaged questions from? The frozen section at SmartyPants Supermarket?

        And just in case I’m reading wrongly your utter lack of empathy with the victim ( I occasionally see you as zio Trojan, and right now is an example of it), yeah just in case I’m wrong, I gotta tell ya pal, you just ain’t funny. Too staid.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 12, 2012, 8:09 am

        some times love is brutal

        ;)

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 8:21 am

        Taxi:

        And just in case I’m reading wrongly your utter lack of empathy with the victim

        Yes, you are reading me very wrongly.

        I gotta tell ya pal, you just ain’t funny.

        Good. I wasn’t trying to be funny.

      • gamal
        December 12, 2012, 8:28 am

        the movement for whom she is speaking, the Zionist movement has an unbroken century of crimes and duplicity, why deny it? but not genocide eh, when you take it upon yourself to deceitfully discuss these crimes in terms of what do you think should constrain our victims and support inhuman murderous policies in the guise of a reasonable attempt to find a solution through apathy generating confusion, and dishonesty i think it is helpful to point it out, you think you can imply i am an anti-semite or something go ahead i couldnt care less, fool, collective guilt indeed, i can see why you have trouble grasping very simple conceits like the legal definition of genocide, possibly you need to read her contributions, perhaps you are impressed by dissimulation, she entered this thread with emotional appeals about 2000 years of christian oppression, so perhaps she is that old and older, do you think it likely that she has personally suffered oppression by Christians? she never said so but on behalf of 2000 years Christian oppression of Jews, not Zionists, they are different things you know, she shudders to see an Xmas card. ooh collective guilt?, weak stuff Sib,

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 8:56 am

        Collective guilt? Anyone who is a Zionist today is ‘guilty’ if they believe in a Jewish majority.

        Are you a ‘not-a-Zionist’ Zionist, Sibriak?

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 9:11 am

        gamal,

        the Zionist movement has an unbroken century of crimes and duplicity, why deny it?

        I don’t.

        support inhuman murderous policies

        I don’t.

        you think you can imply i am an anti-semite

        I don’t. (And I despise fraudulent use of the “antisemite” label–been called that myself many a time.)

        possibly you need to read her contributions, perhaps you are impressed by dissimulation,

        Actually, the more I read of her, the more I suspect her of disingenuousness.

        I don’t rule out though, that she really does see herself as a feminist democratic socialist who opposes the Occupation. She may be a “liberal Zionist”! Maybe not.

        It doesn’t matter whether she is for real or not. That’s her stated position, and I believe THAT position must be addressed, if one is going to respond to her at all. YMMV

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 9:49 am

        @ Cliff: Anti-Zionist

      • gamal
        December 12, 2012, 10:03 am

        ok fair enough, but i think her stated position is deeply dishonest, actually its palpable, and is constructed by ignoring the realities of I/P and of the ongoing destruction of most societies in the middle east, of which, the Zionist movement is but one part, you clearly love to talk and frankly given this intervention, i would have to say i think you are one of the best promoters of Zionist propaganda and intersts i have as yet encountered, respect for that and i mean it, its not an easy gig and you are very very good, many could learn from your example. It does matter, you know, whether she is for real, actually thats all that matters, have fun with the endless story approach. i will not engage again Sib, whats the point. life is too short, its like Oslo, the appearance of progress one qualification after another ad infinitum, good faith is all that matters, with out it nothing is possible. you do, also, have a po-faced charm that is quite impressive, well done. but i am old and very experienced and can see through you to your malicious heart as if you were made of perspex, love the polls, how utterly irrelevant. discuss till the end of time.

      • Taxi
        December 12, 2012, 10:15 am

        You were trying to be what exactly, sib?

        If not “funny” then it’s gotta be that you enjoy listening to your own voice just for the heckavit right?! Filling up the cyber airwaves with your inscrutable genius, right?

        Like I said, unsympathetic with the victim. Staid.

      • Cliff
        December 12, 2012, 11:55 am

        I know I’m an anti-Zionist, Sib.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:16 pm

        Thank you Sibiriak. I’m 61 years old, I’ve never killed anyone, have never served in any military, and ironically, for a country whose occupation I’ve devoted so much time thought and action to trying to end over the years – Israel – I’ve never been there – which ironically may please the supporters of all forms of BDS on Mondoweiss.
        Never been there because I’m not as well-traveled as I’d like to be and don’t have a lot of income to devote to travel and other expensive leisure time activities.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 5:37 pm

        “n-n-n-n-not mincing any words today gamal!”

        Annie, I agree.
        Gamal is not the one mincing around any substantive points, and making mincemeat out of facts.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 5:42 pm

        “you (Zionists) came here under the cover of murderous british colonialism”

        You know, I think that’s one thing they don’t like to talk about. But that is, in essence, how it went down.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 5:48 pm

        “Are you a ‘not-a-Zionist’ Zionist, Sibriak?”

        Cliff, the first rule of not-a-zionism is NEVER SAY YOU ARE A ZIONIST! So the disparity between your words, and what you choose to call yourself (like that makes a whole lot of difference) and absolutely stalls the discussion. And not-a-Zionism scores another victory!

      • eljay
        December 12, 2012, 6:52 pm

        >> “n-n-n-n-not mincing any words today gamal!”

        The punk with the stutter.

        (Gawd, I love that album.)

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 7:56 pm

        Cliff,

        I know I’m an anti-Zionist, Sib.

        Good, That makes two of us.

      • Sibiriak
        December 12, 2012, 8:00 pm

        ““you (Zionists) came here under the cover of murderous british colonialism”

        True. First the Evil British Empire, then the Evil American Empire.

      • MarionL
        December 13, 2012, 12:14 am

        notatall

        So any methods are ok as long as someone is oppressed? Oppressed people are allowed to use the methods of their oppressors – including for example torture? Is that what you are saying? I think many Palestinians of good will would disagree.

      • Donald
        December 13, 2012, 11:44 am

        “So any methods are ok as long as someone is oppressed?”

        There’s been no poll, but I think the majority of people here would oppose Palestinian terrorism as a legitimate tactic, but not everyone. I’m opposed. I think it’s wrong morally and in the long run tactically, though Palestinians at the moment disagree, since rocket fire in the latest “war” seems to have put some pressure on the Israelis to stop shooting at fishermen and farmers in Gaza. (Judging from posts here, the Israelis haven’t really stopped, however.)

        But you’ll get angry reactions if anyone is perceived as condemning Palestinian terror without condemning Israeli atrocities at least as harshly, given that Israel has killed far more civilians. I’m not saying you’ve done this, just giving the background. And also, there are some here who do think oppressed people have the right to use any tactic. I think that aside from the immorality itself, when a movement employs terror you get a group of ruthless people who have a taste for that sort of action and who keep right on using it, sometimes against outsiders and sometimes against their own people. Zionism itself is an example (though most of the violence is directed at people outside the fold).

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 13, 2012, 2:31 pm

        “So any methods are ok as long as someone is oppressed?”

        When you start questioning how people who are fighting for their very lives carry out that fight–when they’re fighting an evil far in excess of any of these methods–you’ve already sided with their oppressors.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 13, 2012, 3:55 pm

        Gamal is not the one mincing around any substantive points, and making mincemeat out of facts.

        yeah, he’s a real addition to our discourse here mooser.

      • Taxi
        December 13, 2012, 11:33 pm

        I agree with Woody. I will also add that it’s outrageous that ANYONE NOT FACING a slow and unrelenting crush to death should be complaining about the methods of resistance of the crushed.

        Let’s put YOU complainers on the rack and see how that goes.

      • RoHa
        December 12, 2012, 8:15 am

        “All Zionists do not agree with Netanyahu and Likud. ”

        Since quite a few Zionists do agree with Netanyahu and Likud, this is clearly not true.

        But probably not all Zionists agree with Netanyahu and Likud.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:20 pm

        RoHa –

        Let’s try this again. Some Zionists agree with Netanyahu and Likud and I disagree with them. Zionists in groups like Peace Now, J Street, Americans for Progressive Israel, and yes, Jewish Voice for Peace – I’ve asked them, some of their members identify as Zionists and calling yourself a Zionist does NOT bar you from membership in Jewish Voice for Peace – disagree with Netanyahu and Likud, hope they will lose in the next election, and are opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:06 pm

        “and yes, Jewish Voice for Peace”

        Uh, Marion, I could be wrong about this, but I believe Hostage, who you could not agree with at all, is from Jewish Voice for Peace, and is a fair representative of their stances. My apologies if I am wrong.

      • RoHa
        December 14, 2012, 11:50 pm

        MarionL –

        “Some Zionists agree with Netanyahu and Likud…”

        That’s pretty obvious. Earlier you said that none of them agree, which, as I pointed out, isn’t true.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 12, 2012, 9:48 am

        Marion,

        if I were a Jew, I would first ask myself and my Jewish friends:
        ‘Are we living in the diaspora, in exile?’

        I would come to think of the Israeli Jews as a different category.
        Is their existence there (beyond the actual refugees) legitimate?
        Isn’t the Zionist talk of ‘return’ indeed nutty.

        Everything else follows from that.

        – I hope I didn’t offend any true believer in Christ with my above post.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2012, 5:55 pm

        “if I were a Jew, I would first ask myself and my Jewish friends:
        ‘Are we living in the diaspora, in exile?’”

        Klaus, I heard a story about a Jewish man in 19th Century Russia who, whenever he saw his friend on the train, would ask him: “Where are you going, Chaim, diaspora or exile? And sometimes his friend would answer…..
        Oh, you’ve heard it? Okay, never mind.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 13, 2012, 11:37 am

        No Mooser, I haven’t heard this joke, but I’ll pass it along.

        I just made up a Christian anti-Jewish joke for you (modeled on an Irish anti-English one) – but it didn’t pass the moderators.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:21 pm

        Klaus, was my joke anti-Christian, or anti German? As you know, I have a real horror of offending, so I’d appreciate it if you would tell me so.

  20. Sibiriak
    December 12, 2012, 8:04 am

    MarionL

    Do you prefer a one state or a two state solution?

    A recent Palestinian opinion poll:

    link to pcpsr.org

    52% support and 46% oppose the two-state solution but 57% believe such a solution is no longer practical due to continued settlement expansion.

    But 68% oppose a one-state solution and only 30% support it.

    • MarionL
      December 12, 2012, 3:51 pm

      Sibiriak,

      I’d prefer a two state solution but I think that Netanyahu’s plans to expand settlements into E-1 are jeopardizing it along with other inhumane, internationally illegal and stupid things he’s authorized like the vandalism at three Palestinian human rights organizations.

      If we get a one state solution, I’m not sure what it will look like and it may not look like justice for Palestinians, because we have one state now, and that one state is Israel.

      • Cliff
        December 15, 2012, 2:43 am

        You do not have one state now.

        You have apartheid now.

      • notatall
        December 15, 2012, 10:18 am

        Cliff says:
        You do not have one state now. You have apartheid now.

        I beg to differ. There is only one state in Palestine, an apartheid state. The so-called Palestinian Authority has authority neither over land, nor water, nor air.

  21. Betsy
    December 12, 2012, 10:43 am

    How about we all dump on the Italians — if we’re digging up millenia of misbehavior — shouldn’t the Italians be held primarily accountable for reparations for the Roman Empire?

    I still don’t understand what is ‘insensitive’ about this card. The heinous crimes of European Christianity in middle ages, early modern era against Jewish minorities — did use ideas of deicide — putting guilt for Jesus death on Jewish people. But, this was very focused on the death of Jesus, not the birth. If this were an Easter card featuring the crucifixion & minimizing the Roman soldiers & foregrounding Jewish authorities…I can see her argument. But, deicide is a doctrine that has been thoroughly repudiated by all of mainline Christianity. It wasn’t about Jews “rejecting” Jesus — I mean, for Pete’s sake, were not all the main disciples Jewish? Christians were pretty much “rejected” everywhere for centuries — if we were still worked up by that — we would be glowering at folks all around the Mediterranean. I don’t see how you can plausibly link that medieval doctrine of deicide to the Christians who are circulating this card. What is MarionL suggesting Christians do? Set the Christmas story in New Orleans, and change everyone’s names?

    • Woody Tanaka
      December 12, 2012, 1:10 pm

      “But, this was very focused on the death of Jesus, not the birth. If this were an Easter card featuring the crucifixion & minimizing the Roman soldiers & foregrounding Jewish authorities…I can see her argument.”

      That is a very perspicacious comment. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that someone who is “frightened” by this image due to past antisemitic incidents by Christians is, in fact, acting with an anti-Christian bigotry akin to antisemism, but I might entertain the notion.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      December 12, 2012, 1:37 pm

      “I still don’t understand what is ‘insensitive’ about this card.”

      Betsy,
      The Christmas card says (to Jews): ‘From the old days of Jesus to this day you are anti-Christian. Now you would even keep Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus and a family of your own, from reaching Bethlehem.’

      Is it ‘insensitive’? Maybe it’s true ;-).

      • Betsy
        December 12, 2012, 2:50 pm

        @Klaus — thanks for the straightforward statement. I will ponder this & try to understand — and once again search my heart to see if I’m harboring unconscious prejudices.

        The reason that this is hard for me to understand — is that it never crossed my mind to think “the Jews” built that wall. The only Jews in this card are Mary, Joseph & shepherds — who seem to be hurt by the wall. I think of the wall has having been built by a whole matrix of military industrial security states — if you wanted to put a nasty person in here, signifying who was ‘behind’ the wall — it could have included W or Dick Cheney or any other the war-mongers from US who push military aid all over the world (not just in Israel). Heck, I see *myself* as complicit in building that wall — insofar as it is my hard-earned tax dollars which fuels the Israeli war machine. In fact, maybe Banksy could add a little mirror to the card next year?

        All the Christmas sermons I have ever heard have emphasized that it was rich & powerful people who gave them ‘no room in the inn’ — in other words, it is a parable of the mighty vs. the humble — this story in particular, doesn’t tie in w/ negative views of Jews. E.g., I can see that some of the descriptions of the Pharisees or of Herod could lay seeds for anti-Jewish prejudices (as theologian Rosemary Ruether I believe says) — but still don’t see how this does.

        For me, as a Christian, this is about peace & war — the ‘sin’ or ‘evil’ that gives rise to it is not in only one ‘people’ — we are all fallible, liable to violence & oppression. This is a collective problem — no one is exempt. I don’t think “Jews” are anti-Christian — my life is too interwoven with people of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim & other faith backgrounds to generalize like that. The problem is the wall & the occupation — and that does not break down neatly on ethnic, religious lines. Americans of all types are complicit, along with Israelis.

        It is a simple fact, that Bethlehem is barricaded & occupied right now in a militarized strip of land that has become like an open air prison for Palestinians — yet it has also, for centuries been an icon for Christians of Jesus message of peace-making. I would think that anyone from the other faiths in the region, would understand why Christians would be motivated to meditate on Bethlehem, to grasp its various meanings. That doesn’t mean that we might not ALSO spend time, trying to empathically understand what it means to Jews who ponder Rachel’s tomb or other sites in Bethlehem which might have meaning for them.

        If I were trying to understand what Rachel’s tomb or David’s birthplace means to Jews (for whom Bethlehem has spiritual meanings) — I would want to first listen to what they say it means, rather than tell them what it means.

        But, I will think about what you’re saying. I just getting tired of being accused of anti-Semitism ONLY when critical of Israel.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 13, 2012, 10:04 am

        Betsy,
        I was at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Christmans Day 2002.
        Although I’m not a man of faith, I never felt such an intense silence when I went down the stairs there. But it wasn’t a silence in the sense of a total absense of any noise. There was something there although there wasn’t. –
        Few people were there, praying. Tourism at the time was at a record low.
        —————-
        Don’t worry too much about possible Christian ‘insensitivities’ concerning Jewish feelings. – By the way, what I wrote in my comment on ‘con-men’,
        I didn’t make that up myself, I got it from an American Jew who told me:
        “Jesus was the greatest con-man of all time.” That’s not particularly sensitive to Christian feelings either.

      • Betsy
        December 13, 2012, 5:37 pm

        @Klaus — you know, it’s funny what offends one & what doesn’t. I kinda liked that ‘con man’ comment — I love how hard to pin down Jesus is — with all of those strange parables — as Emily Dickinson says “tell the truth but tell it slant”. I love how trickster he can be.

        What’s REALLY bothering me on this thread is MarionL — dodging questions, not listening…

        Concerned about all this, I’ve taken to asking my practicing Jewish friends to take me to Temple services — it’s been great! I like the music lots & the liturgies are beautiful. Really good — I’m going to keep it up…As I’d expected I knew lots of people already (mostly from social justice activism).

        The important stuff about faith, for me, is very mystical — as you describe, beyond words. Experiences & presences that require ‘talking slant’…I’m with Gandhi — diverse spiritual paths converge in God in ways that can’t be expressed rationally…

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:28 pm

        “you know, it’s funny what offends one & what doesn’t. I kinda liked that ‘con man’ comment — I love how hard to pin down Jesus is — with all of those strange parables — as Emily Dickinson says “tell the truth but tell it slant”. I love how trickster he can be.”

        That’s it! Keep Torquemada on the down-low! Man, no wonder the main-line churches are sinking! At the independent evangelical and pentacostal churches around here, they don’t let nobody diss’ The Saviour! Prayer Warriors, every one of ‘em, and quite a few go into the military, too.

      • MarionL
        December 12, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Klaus – precisely. The Mary and Joseph image on the card is a distraction into issues other than how the wall impacts contemporary Palestinians.

      • Betsy
        December 13, 2012, 10:20 am

        @MarionL — “a distraction”? are you reading the comments on this thread? are you listening?

      • eljay
        December 13, 2012, 7:59 am

        >> The Christmas card says (to Jews): ‘From the old days of Jesus to this day you are anti-Christian. … ‘

        The Christmas card only says that to Jews or to anyone else who interprets it that way.

  22. Mooser
    December 12, 2012, 6:22 pm

    “The Christmas card says (to Jews):”

    You see what I mean Betsy? Even Klaus feels free to “speak for all the Jews”. Anybody can do it. You should try it yourself, it’s fun!

    • Betsy
      December 13, 2012, 10:14 am

      haha! the dance of pronouns on this thread is dizzying. We need a linguist. It *is* like a game — just grab an image, preferably from someone else’s faith tradition, and then stick whatever meanings you want into it, while gaining the magical power to be the pope of “all the Jews” — for like 2 minutes. Once you’ve got that hat on your head, you not only have the power to speak “for all Jews”, you can put the dunce cap on others — one is marked “all Christians from the old days of Jesus to this day” — fortunately the person who ends up with the dunce cap is not allowed to speak & noone can respond to them…Game on! should be fun! wait, why am I not having fun??

      Mooser, re/ your comment up-thread re/ wanting links to anti-Presby bitterness. It never crossed my mind that such anti-Presby tirades came from folks who could speak for Jews — I thought about listing groups — but then thought, no, it’s the principle that is important. That it’s this linguistic free-for-all that is a huge problem — where folks are passing around the “I’m the voice of all the Jews” hat in a way that’s really destructive of moral debate in USA. Also, I decided to ignore & forget these anti-Presby tirades. The only one I remember clearly was the phrase “the mucky swamps of Presbyterian anti-Semitism”! (rather charmingly earthy don’t you think? compared to more typical “white bread” and declining demographics comments). But, if you really want links you could start by searching the Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting under “Presbyterian”. Also, ADL, Simon Weisenthal Center, Dershowitz, Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) — all made strong accusations of anti-Semitism & linked it to attributions of ancient & unbroken bigotry & persecution. This burst out around 2004 when PC(USA) was moving towards BDS. I followed some of the comments on these websites at that time. I won’t say that I was shocked, because that word upsets your delicate sensibilities Mooser — you worry too much about me…but pick any other word from the thesaurus under “shocked”…

      Mooser, maybe you can explain this to me. I’m getting so befuddled by MarionL. Can you help clear my addled mind? Didn’t she suggest that this card scared her & that it implied deep Christian bigotry against Jewish peoples going back in one unbroken historical line to Jesus? Don’t you think that this is a gravely serious fact, if true? Shouldn’t all ethical Americans, jump up when faced by such concerns to change it? Why is she now calling “Mary & Joseph” on the card “a distraction”? Why did she drop the “anti-Semitism” concern just like that? I told her I was all set to start a movement among Christians in my home town to break this heinous sin…(which we thought we’d already done to a manageable, ‘good enough’ type level some decades before)

      Mooser, why hasn’t MarionL responded to any of my questions? could it be that if you’ve got the dunce cap on, you’re sent to Coventry?

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:34 pm

        “Mooser, why hasn’t MarionL responded to any of my questions? could it be that if you’ve got the dunce cap on, you’re sent to Coventry?”

        Betsy, do you have any idea how many times I have had to explain this to people? This may surprise you, but not every Jew, even in this social-media age, necessarily knows every other Jew, and can answer for them.
        Hard to fathom, but Marion and I have never met, and may not (better sit down, Betsy) even have relatives in common. At least, I hope so.

        Good try with the mention of “linguist”. That was clever, but somewhat sneaky.

      • eljay
        December 14, 2012, 12:49 pm

        >> Good try with the mention of “linguist”. That was clever, but somewhat sneaky.

        I’m surprised you didn’t suggest that it was cunning. Or would that have been too un-gentlemanly? ;-)

      • Betsy
        December 14, 2012, 1:24 pm

        Moose, Moose, dear Moose — not fair, not fair…I was talking to you about this because I was already in a thread talking to you about an idea you brought up in response to comments she made so I wanted to know what you thought of my idea about your idea in reaction to her comments and if you know any linguists who can help extricate ourselves from this pronomial spiral if not slippery slope I would appreciate it while I vociferously say I care not a farthing for these labels you’re using because your particularity of being is much more interesting and important in its specificity and ungulation than any label you are imagining might connect you to the virtual being of one MarionL…help I can’t get out of this sentence!

    • Betsy
      December 13, 2012, 11:30 am

      @Mooser — ya wanted links, I gave you Dershowitz. But, if you want more sophisticated — here you go. It feels to many of us in PC(USA) that we have been repeatedly slandered as anti-Semitic & pressured for the past decade — ONLY WHEN WE TALK ABOUT US AID TO ISRAEL. These accusations are thrown around very lightly, as if this isn’t a grave charge.

      A good view into how this works in my area, at the grassroots level, is conveyed by Russ Greenleaf link to mondoweiss.net I know & respect Jonathan Miller, we have family connections — but he was astonishingly unethical I think in his HuffPost article. It was upsetting to Presbys here.

      But, at a more subtle theological level, let’s talk about Amy-Jill Levine. MarionL has kindly explained above that Levine is the person to ‘best’ explain Christianity to us Christians. Levine has made important points, that I strongly agree with, re/ how Christian reading the Jesus story can get a negative view of “the Jews” (your & her language not mine, dear Moose). See the first part of:
      ‘Misusing Jesus: How the Church Divorces Jesus from Judaism,’ Christian Century
      (December 26, 2006), 20-25; excerpted reprint “C21 Resources: The Church in the 21st Century Center” (Fall 2008), 13-14.

      Her argument is that Christian sunday school classes don’t show Jesus wearing the tzitzit & tallit & practicing kosher — and other ways efface his “Jewishness”. Good points — fixing Sunday School books & posters would be an excellent local interfaith effort — I like that idea. She also goes after liberation & feminist theologians — saying that they portray “the Jews” as the old guard oppressors & Jesus as something new & prophetic — that this creates anti-Semitism among Christians now. Yes, good points. But, this is widely noted & practiced now among Presbyterians — this theme circulates in sermons. But, hold on. I would also offer, that Presbyterians strongly identify “the prophetic” (in Marc Ellis’ sense) with, well, the prophets, as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. — this strong respect for the prophetic & liberationist dimensions of Judaism goes along with the many webs of solidarity between temples & churches built up at local level over decades in common social justice fights. That’s where I think there’s a facile attribution of anti-Semitic ideas, without enough listening to what non-Jews actually think.

      Finally, this same article by Levine ends with several pages of slamming Palestinian & other liberation theologies — as, surprise, surprise ” prejudicial” ” anti-Jewish” “commentary that divorces Jesus from Judaism and then uses the story of Jesus to condemn all Jews” & “is not a Christian message. It is, a recycled anti-Judaism that depicts Israel as a country of Christ-killers”. She has a few wan sentences about her support for Palestinian statehood — but really, don’t you think she should grapple a little teeny bit more with the problems of Palestinians from their own perspective — problems that are MUCH more pressing than what clothes Jesus wears in highly sentimentalized Christian Sunday School books?

      Finally, Levine co-authored an article “Habits of anti-Judaism:Critiquing a PCUSA report on Israel/Palestine” — that was eagerly read by Presbyterians, in our earnest studious little way. In the first paragraph it begins “the old habit of bearing false witness against Jewish neighbors lives on. In recent years this practice has thrived especially in mainline Protestant statements on the Middle East.” The minister of my parents’ church urged me to read it, when I expressed concerns re/General Assembly votes. He said, essentially, we Presbyterians first have to cleanse our souls of any traces of historical anti-Semitism, before we can speak in public about US military support for Israel. All across the country, there were study groups on this article.

      I’m sorry, dear pastor, but having read it carefully, I say NO! this article claims very subtle “echoes” of historical anti-Semitism — that become arcane. For instance the metaphor in PC(USA) report’s title “Breaking down the walls” is anti-Semitic because…

      “The report’s consistent lament that the time for a two-state solution is rapidly ending solidifies that impression. “Breaking down the walls” in order to form “one new humanity in the place of two” evokes old echoes of theological supersessionism and transposes them into a political key.”

      And, they say, the

      “PCUSA statement that “the State of Israel is a geopolitical entity and is not to be validated theologically.” Thus Israel, having neither special sanction nor special obligations, should be judged by the same standards applied to any other nation.”

      is linked, they say, to explications that

      “draw upon old tropes of Christian anti-Judaism. The first describes the incarnation as a rejection of God’s covenant with Israel. The second singles Jews out as a people condemned to wander, a people without “natural” ties to land like other people. The third follows a narrative in which Jews are replaced by others.”

      In other words, PC(USA) critics of US military aid to Israel are in a Catch 22 to the third power. We’re anti-Semitic if we follow our churches teachings that all nations should be judged by the same standards (because that violates the idea that *some* not all Jews, and our Right wing Christians, have that God covenanted a specific piece of property to “the Jews” whatever that means). But, on the other incompatible hand, we are unfairly ‘targeting’ Israel, if we employ prophetic scriptures to say that universal human rights & social justice should be respected by Israel. And, on the third hand, we are suggesting that Jews should wander the earth, if we caution that US military support for Israel’s current policy could lead to the collapse of 2 state possibility & grave & destructive events in Middle East.

      The brilliance of this article & others like it — was that it kept Presbyterians huddled in their dutiful little study groups, trying to purify their souls & their theologies — FOR YEARS. While real people were gravely suffering in the real world in Middle East.

      I say, in response, that real racism or religious bigotry is not that subtle & arcane. People who are actually racist or bigoted show that in many dimensions of their lives. You see real people being discriminated against over real things (like housing, employment, political voice, etc.). The facile use of the “anti-Semitism” card is discrediting the users of it…And, too many mainline Christians have wasted time purifying themselves, when they should have been responding to urgent contemporary, concrete suffering & justice issues

      • Sibiriak
        December 13, 2012, 8:21 pm

        Betsy, good post. Your “Catch-22″ point is compelling. It seems to me that because Zionism/Israel selectively adopted many elements from Judaism, and because Judaism/Jews to a significant degree later adopted Zionism, arguments that criticism of Zionism/Israel= attacks on Judaism/Jews= anti-Semitism have a superficial logic and inevitable resonance.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:15 pm

        “I say, in response, that real racism or religious bigotry is not that subtle & arcane.”

        And you always run the risk of it until you find out what is a private (even if non-profit) organisation which uses the word “Jewish” in its title, and what is actually Judaism. One question, Betsy: you have described to us in detail the procedures leading to a vote on the dis-investment policy at the general meetings of the Presbyterian Church.
        And it is wonderful, even if the vote didn’t go the way you wanted that Presbyterianism has a procedure to attempt a consensus on these things

        Now, Betsy, I ask you: in what city is the headquarters of Judaism located? How often are the general meetings, and how are representatives selected. Is it run by committes, or a single charismatic person in touch with the divine?
        How would you propose a resolution to be debated at the next meeting of the Jewish Congress? (Ooops, I gave away the name!)

      • Annie Robbins
        December 14, 2012, 12:33 pm

        (Ooops, I gave away the name!)

        you are sooo bad mooser. go to your room.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 12:43 pm

        “@Mooser — ya wanted links, I gave you Dershowitz.”

        And neatly proved my point.
        Okay, for you, Dersh speaks for the Jews. Got a pretty low opinion of us, dontcha?

        “Her argument is that Christian sunday school classes don’t show Jesus wearing the tzitzit & tallit & practicing kosher — and other ways efface his “Jewishness”. Good points — fixing Sunday School books & posters would be an excellent local interfaith effort — “

        Okay, you caught me, I was going to do that when I got into the local church under the cover of organ practice. But this is Washington State, and all the Sunday School Books and Dore’ Bibles had already been altered to show the Savior with a joint in his mouth or holding a “bong”. Things have changed since the days of Model Boys, ‘jimson weed’ and ‘yaller tickets’, huh?

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “Her argument is that Christian sunday school classes don’t show Jesus wearing the tzitzit & tallit & practicing kosher — and other ways efface his “Jewishness”. Good points — fixing Sunday School books & posters would be an excellent local interfaith effort — “

        Uh, hate to mention this, but Jesus was strictly Reform Judaism, all the way.
        But if you want to side with the Orthodox in mis-representing Him, be my guest.

      • seanmcbride
        December 14, 2012, 1:13 pm

        Mooser,

        The American Jewish establishment — including the American Jewish religious establishment (the most influential leaders of Judaism) — has demanded that Americans and Europeans “love” Israel and provide the Israeli government with unconditional support, without regard for American and European interests and values. And it has attacked and punished any American and European leaders who have questioned or resisted this demand.

        This is the main thing one needs to understand about contemporary mainstream Judaism — its agenda is driven overwhelmingly by militant Zionism and narrow ethnic-religious nationalism. And the state to which it owes its allegiance has crossed the line into blatant racism.

      • Betsy
        December 14, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Mooser please — why me? Please, please, please. Do you notice how diligent we vote-lovin’, committee-formin’, democracy-mad Presbys have been in trying to explain these intricacies of Presby self-governance to MondoWorld? I’m actually really curious to learn answers to the questions you raise. But, why do I have to answer these questions? I googled the name you gave & found — eagles & American flags rampant & waving in the breeze — things flashing by saying “Women’s Rights”, “Hasbara Training Sessions”, “Intelligence & Terrorism Training Center”. I don’t understand.

        To your questions, I would like to add — What does this have to do with the Temple where I’ve been attending (sporadically) for several months to try to keep warm, real interfaith community bonds? This looks to me like a lobbying group, disconnected from real, living communities of faith. But, if it’s an ‘ethnic’ group, not a ‘religious’ group — I still don’t see any clear lines of democratic accountability or boundaries to this group. How can you have democratic representation or right to speak for people if not?

        Btw, I’m not directing above questions to Mooser — just to anyone who wants to answer it…

        Btw, this is an example of what comes up if you search under “Presbyterian” on this site:
        link to ajcongress.org

        “The moral blindness of the Presbyterian officials who met with these murderers was compounded by their statement of solidarity with Hezbollah and their complaints about American Jews who have urged Presbyterians to stop their divestment campaign against Israel…We also believe that deafening silence from Presbytery leaders opposed to Worley’s comments and actions is as shocking as the meeting itself. …The meetings demonstrate that the Presbyterian ideologues opposing Israel and United States foreign policy know no moral bounds or political wisdom. …these Presbyterians do not merely disagree with Israel policy, but harbor animosity toward the Jewish people around the world. …They seek to legitimize terrorist enemies of the United States and Israel. [and]… erodes the moral credibility of the Presbyterian Church and contributes toward the church’s loss of stature in the eyes of Americans….The American Jewish Congress is a membership association of Jewish Americans, organized to defend Jewish interests at home and abroad, through public policy advocacy, in the courts, Congress, the executive branch and state and local governments. It also works overseas with others who are similarly engaged.”,

        Nice.

        If you search the http://www.pcusa.org site with “Jewish” you get this link to pcusa.org — with phrases like

        Interfaith Relations
        link to presbyterianmission.org
        All

        about 1060 results for jewish

        previous 1 2 3 4 … 130 131 132 133 next
        Dabru Emet: Jewish statement on Christians and Jewish …

        … Ecumenical & Interfaith Resources. Thinking & Working Together: Study and Action Suggestions for Jewish and Christian Congregations. …
        link to store.pcusa.org
        A Jewish Perspective on Israel, Covenant, and the Land …

        A Jewish Perspective on Israel, Covenant, and the Land
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com
        Jewish Mysticism – JH Laenen : TheThoughtfulChristian.com

        Jewish Mysticism
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com
        The Jewish People in Classical Antiquity – John H. Hayes …

        The Jewish People in Classical Antiquity
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com
        Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age – John J. Collins …

        Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com
        From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God – Maurice Casey …

        From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com
        Jesus in the Jewish World – Geza Vermes …

        Jesus in the Jewish World
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com
        Jewish Messianism and the Cult of Christ – William Horbury …

        Jewish Messianism and the Cult of Christ
        link to thethoughtfulchristian.com

      • Betsy
        December 17, 2012, 8:19 am

        Mooser — you are baiting me. You asked me for links re/ the kinds of bitter, unfair attacks that my faith community has experienced for a decade — suggesting that MondoWorld would be interested. I responded with links. You then suggest that these links represent *my* view of people of Jewish background or persuasion.

        And neatly proved my point.
        Okay, for you, Dersh speaks for the Jews. Got a pretty low opinion of us, dontcha?

        That is RIDICULOUS! That “us” pronoun, as is “the Jews” category — are being concocted by you. I wasn’t saying anything like Dershowitz speaks for “the Jews” — the whole point of almost every post I’ve made in this thread, is that as a rabbi recently in an interfaith gathering w/ Presbys & other mainline faith communities — “If someone claims to speak for ‘the Jews’, they aren’t”. You should be able to tell from my many comments on this site that I wouldn’t think or feel such a stupid, stupid, stupid thing — as you are trying to attribute to me! I am not the ‘them’ to the ‘us’ you’re concocting.

        I have distinguished between the big lobbying groups, actual faith communities, and the other tangled strands of ethnicity & culture. Why are you doing this? You keep trying to twist what I’m saying to make me sound like an ‘anti-Semite’ (a problematic word IMO, btw) — thereby, dodging the issue I brought up with MarionL — which is that flip (and strategic rather than substantive) accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ are undermining American public’s capacity to debate these important issues carefully.

        I’m a flawed & frail human being — but this is one evil that I am not.

      • Sibiriak
        December 17, 2012, 9:36 am

        Betsy,

        link to ajcongress.org:

        …these Presbyterians do not merely disagree with Israel policy, but harbor animosity toward the Jewish people around the world. …They seek to legitimize terrorist enemies of the United States and Israel.

        Despicable slander. Not surprising though. Straight from the AIPAC playbook: anti-Semitism, supporting terrorism–two extremely emotionally-charged accusations.

        The American Jewish Congress is an association of Jewish Americans organized to defend Jewish interests at home and abroad through public policy advocacy – using diplomacy, legislation, and the courts.

        “Jewish interests” = unconditional support for Israeli expansionism and denial of Palestinian rights?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 17, 2012, 11:29 am

        P.S.
        The only social-political category that Mooser accepts as such are THE Zionists (because he doesn’t like them). But a Jew who asks:”Is it good for the Jews?” must be nuts.

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2012, 2:00 pm

        Betsy, I owe you an apology, and I’ve got nothing to blame except my poor writing and badly organised mind. (being dumb as dirt and having a big malicious streak doesn’t help either, and I got both). I have apparently screwed up, badly. Again, I’m sorry if I’ved caused distress, the ‘sin’ I suspected you of (if it’s even that) is philo-semitism, not anti-semitism.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 17, 2012, 2:46 pm

        Mooser,
        did you go to Minsk or to Pinsk in that last comment of yours?
        ———————————————————————-
        Two rival businessmen meet in the Warsaw train station.
        “Where are you going?” says the first man.

        “To Minsk,” says the second.

        “To Minsk, eh? What a nerve you have! I know you’re telling me you’re going to Minsk because you want me to think that you’re really going to Pinsk. But it so happens that I know you really are going to Minsk. So why are you lying to me?”

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 17, 2012, 8:48 pm

        Mooser’s funny logic
        ——————————–
        In another thread I said that Jews have a low rate of alcoholism.
        – Mooser concured.

        I said: How come Mooser, you don’t scold me for generalizing about Jews?
        – Mooser: “I was drinking”.
        —————————————-
        HOW Mooser says something is funny – but it doesn’t matter WHAT he says.

      • Betsy
        December 18, 2012, 9:29 am

        @Mooser — it’s ok. To make up, I would like to share a scriptural joke with you.

        So, the weekend after the Nov elections, we were in Asheville NC & went to a wonderful New Agey church. Whilst trying to be non-partisan, yet joyful over dodging a bullet, the pastor said:

        This is the election when voters turned out, in large numbers, to support both marriage equality and marijuana liberalization. God must be pleased with this election.

        As it says in Leviticus, if two men lay down with each other, they shall be stoned.

        Let me tell you, that had people rolling in the aisles — giving a whole new meaning to the phrase Holy Rollers. I’ve been looking for somewhere to repeat that joke, because it would deeply offend many of my circles — so hope you find it funny.

      • seafoid
        December 18, 2012, 11:04 am

        “…these Presbyterians do not merely disagree with Israel policy, but harbor animosity toward the Jewish people around the world. …They seek to legitimize terrorist enemies of the United States and Israel. [and]… erodes the moral credibility of the Presbyterian Church and contributes toward the church’s loss of stature in the eyes of Americans”

        Church and state are all mixed up there. Render under Caesar means nothing to Zionists. And implying the Presbyterians are antisemitic is beyond the pale.

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2012, 12:24 pm

        “@Mooser — it’s ok.”

        Ho-Kay! Thanks for responding, thanks for accepting my apology, very glad to see that. Thanks again. I’m glad I did not provoke (thanks to your forbearance- you guys are big on that, right? Me too, when I’ve got some.) an irreparable break, either with me (of small moment) or (more momentously) with Mondo.

        “To make up, I would like to share a scriptural joke with you.”

        Say what? A joke? Beat it, sister, I’m working this side of the street!

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2012, 12:34 pm

        Klaus, I saw that version of the joke, and I wouldn’t model my delivery after it. Way too short. The best part of the joke is acting the parts of the two men in the railway coach. Who should be more friends than rivals, so there’s a little hurt in the deception, which one discovers when he glimpses the other’s ticket, provoking the Pinsk-Minsk exchange While the above version may satisfy the nub or gist fans among us, those who like their punch-lines gift-wrapped in a nutshell, I prefer to draw it out.
        I’m always being begged to perform this joke at parties. Oh, people are too polite to ask me directly, but they just sit there, yearning for it. I can tell.

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2012, 12:47 pm

        Anyway, Betsy, I was upset by what a bad job I did, trying to explain what I meant. So I thought about how I could do it without all the sarcasm, misdirection, ad argot absurdity and general ad nauseum and I can’t.
        But I will say this (try and stop me!): Always remember, Betsy, when you are dealing with Judaism, you are dealing with one of the world’s oldest and greatest disorganised religions.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        December 18, 2012, 1:09 pm

        Be careful Betsy,

        this pastor may be hiding the “thousands of years of Christian theological
        anti-Semitism” (MarionL) behind a scriptural joke.

        But I for one, liked it.

      • Philip Weiss
        December 18, 2012, 9:21 pm

        I performed the Minsk-Pinsk joke at a party the other night…
        Have to hear yr version, Mooser

      • seanmcbride
        December 19, 2012, 1:19 am

        Mooser,

        Always remember, Betsy, when you are dealing with Judaism, you are dealing with one of the world’s oldest and greatest disorganised religions.

        Christianity is much more diverse (disorganized) than Judaism — comprising dozens of often contradictory sects and ideological streams. And of course Christians do not organize their beliefs around the interests of a single physical nation or ethnic group — they are not (with a few exceptions) ethnic nationalists. There is no Conference of Presidents of Major American Christian Organizations in the United States organized around the agenda of a foreign nation.

        Ethnic nationalism — Zionism — is what binds together the four main streams of contemporary Judaism into a single movement and lobby.

        By the way: in what way exactly do you define yourself as a Jew? Do you identify with any particular branch of Judaism? Or is this more an ethnic cultural thing for you? Which Jewish values do you most care about? Just curious.

        And did you ever get around to introspecting about the high level of ethnocentrism in your comments? What drives it? Most commenters here (and most Americans) display few signs of ethnocentrism — they swim in an American mainstream in which traditional ethnic boundaries have largely dissolved.

      • Citizen
        December 19, 2012, 3:53 pm

        @ Betsy
        The difference, Betsy, is that you are earnest and Mooser is just entertaining himself, taking cheap shots at you, taking you out of your own context in your comments, and playing the court jester in this blog, this blog, which has no crowned king–his big point is always that no Jewish individual or Jewish organized collective or entity body represents all Jews, so none can speak for all Jews. But you caught him doing just that, even if he was just being coy and playful with you. He has no Shakespearean function in his role as clown here.

  23. merlot
    December 13, 2012, 3:56 pm

    I didn’t see this article when it came out, but think it important to note that I used this same picture as my Facebook profile picture over a year ago and used it as a Christmas card several years ago. It may be Bansky, I’m not sure, but it certainly isn’t new.

  24. LanceThruster
    December 14, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Away in a manger…

    link to rudepundit.blogspot.com

  25. NickJOCW
    December 14, 2012, 6:16 pm

    You go round in circles looking for something that isn’t there. An artist works in response to feeling. He attempts to convey feeling with music, paint or whatever. He hopes it will evoke the same or similar feeling in the listener/viewer but that is not his primary purpose, his primary purpose is to express his feeling. That is all, there is nothing else.

Leave a Reply