Daniel Berrigan’s 1973 prophecy: Israel is becoming ‘the tomb of the Jewish soul’

US Politics
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After Daniel Berrigan, poet, priest and antiwar leader, died last April 30, the New York Times referred unfavorably in its obituary to a 1973 speech that was unflinching in its criticism of Israel’s militarism and repression of Palestinians, and that earned the Jesuit the enmity of many Israel supporters. We publish that speech in full below because so many of the points that Berrigan made 43 years ago are as fresh today as then, notably his understanding of: the destruction of Palestinian human rights and property, the importance of refugees, the complicity of leading American Jewish organizations in Israel’s militarism, and, most crushingly, the spiritual effect of Israel’s emergence on the formerly “peaceable” Jewish presence in society. 

On the scales of the spirit, as the nations are finally judged, it is a tragedy beyond calculating, that the State of Israel should become the repository, and finally the tomb, of the Jewish soul…. in place of Jewish compassion for the poor and forgotten, Israel should legislate evictions, uprootings, destruction of goods, imprisonment, terrorism.

Titled “Responses to Settler Regimes,” the speech was given to the Association of Arab University Graduates in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 19, 1973, shortly after Berrigan completed his parole in a federal sentence for acts of resistance against the Vietnam war. The speech was printed that month in American Report, a publication of Clergy and Laity Concerned, the anti-Vietnam War group. We dug up the original on microfilm, and Tamara Nassar transcribed it. –Editors. 

Responses to Settler Regimes

I come before you this evening, as a non-expert in every field of human expertise, including the subject you have invited me to explore. I wish to include also in my field of inexpertise my own religious tradition; I am a non-expert Christian, by any conceivable standard.

This admission is in the interests of both clarity of mind and of moral conduct. I am interested, as a Christian, in one thing only; in so simple a thing as sane conduct in the world. The experts in my tradition, the theologians, the biblical scholars, and by and large, the hierarchy, go in another direction than mine. “Sane conduct” (whatever that means) is taken for granted; what really counts is the jot and tittle of the tradition, or its worldly prospering, or its honorable reception among peoples. Sane conduct is taken for granted; are not Christians by definition sane, in touch with the truth, destined to share infallibly in their reward?

I say no. The exemplary conduct of expert Christians, as indeed of most experts in human disciplines is to fiddle while the world burns. Hardly sane! A kind of lethal fatalism, looks equably upon combustible human flesh, shrugs its shoulders the better to nestle the violin, and coax from its entrails the immortal (and irrelevant) stroke…

Sane conduct in the world. Let me explain. I do not believe it is the destiny of human flesh to burn; and for that I am in trouble, as are my friends, to this day. I do not believe that a violin concerto, however immortal in execution, is the proper comfort to offer a napalmed child. I believe that the fiddler should come down from the roof, put his violin aside, take up his extinguisher, raise a cry of alarm, break down the intervening door. I believe that he should on occasion of crisis destroy property in favor of human life.

You see, I am a heretic in a consuming and killing culture, as well as in a complicity church.

These are troublesome statements; but do not call them naïve, or shrug them off as generally accepted by the civilized; or, in the presence of scholar, as irrelevant. Do not say: it is of course the generals who light fires, we deplore that. I answer: Most scholars, most priests, most Jews, most Arabs, while they would prefer some less horrendous sight than the burning flesh of children, are not seriously shaken in their style of mind, their taxpaying, their consumerism, their spiritual, economic, or political complicity, by such “incidents.”

I begin in so odious a way because I do not wish to narrow our question so sharply as to exclude ourselves from its orbit. I do not wish to take us off the hook, even while I wish to say something unequivocal about one instance of cruelty, racism, murder, as political tools.

It is of course scarcely possible to open the moral question of Israeli or Arab conduct today, without exciting the most lively passion, and risking the most serious charges. A war is underway. We are assured by the Israelis, and by most of the Jewish community throughout the world, that the war is a war of survival. We are assured just as vehemently by the Arabs that the war is one of expansion and aggression by Israel.

Moreover, the interests of the super powers are deeply imbedded in Near Eastern soil. Those interests include western oil contracts, and, East and West, an impalpable element of outreach, something hard to define, a cold war afflatus perhaps, something called an “ideological sphere of influence.” In any case, both East and West are shoring up their interests with that most concrete and bloody proof devotion: arms, and more arms.

Certainly these facts must be respected, if this evening and the days to follow are to be more than an exercise in national or racial or religious frenzy. A ceasefire has been offered by Egypt; something unprecedented in the history of this conflict. Moreover, the terms of the ceasefire seem reasonable and clear of Arab arms-rattling. The offering includes a declaration of de facto respect for the existence of Israel, a de facto state; it asks for a return to the boundary lines which existed before the 1967 War, and some justice for the Palestinian people.

Suicidal Adventure

In the seriousness and sanity of the ceasefire offer, therefore, I believe that events themselves are helping set the stage for a fruitful study. In supporting the Egyptian proposal, I hope to answer those who would make the present war into an Israeli spasm of survival. Nothing of the sort. Or those who would make the critics of this war, into proponents of Israeli extinction. Nothing of the kind. Or those who would make critics of the united states, into supporters of the Soviet Union; nothing of the sort.

In calling attention to this proposal I am simply urging that attention be paid to the first sane option that has arisen in the course of this suicidal adventure. Indeed there are no sides worth talking about tonight. There are indeed immense numbers of people whose lives and rights are being violated, degraded and denied. Any real solution will take into account these peoples: the Palestinians—a people without a country; the Israelis—a people in danger; the Arab nations—a people invaded. How carefully one must proceed on these matters if he is not to worsen an already tortured situation. I endorse the Egyptian ceasefire proposal while opposing many aspects of the Egyptian regime, and of the Sheikhdoms, and of Jordan and Syria. We must take into account their capacity for deception, which is remarkable even for our world. We must take into account their contempt for their own poor, a contempt that would be called legendary if it were not horrifyingly modern. We must take into account their willingness to oil the war machinery of the superpowers making them accomplices of the American war criminals. We must take into account their cupidity masked only by their monumental indifference to the facts of their world. no, I offer no apologia tonight for the Arab states any more than I do for Israel.

I do not wish to begin by “taking sides”; nor indeed to end by “taking sides.” I am sick of “sides”; which is to say, I am sick of war; of wars hot and cold; and all their approximations and metaphors and deceits and ideological ruses. I am sick of the betrayal of the mind and the failure of compassion and the neglect of the poor. I am sick of foreign ministers and all their works and pomps. I am sick of torture and secret police and the apparatus of fascists and the rhetoric of leftists. Like Lazarus, staggering from his grave, or the ghost of Trotsky I can only groan: “We have had enough of that, we have been through all that.”

Thus this evening, and my presence here. When I received the invitation some months ago, I winced. Another crisis? If the nerve ends of Israelis and Arabs were raw, so were mine. More; why should I enter their back yard on a cleanup project when my own, America, was a moral shantytown? And the war broke; and I winced again; and very nearly begged off. Then a better, second thought occurred; something like this. If it was important to speak up while the peace, at least a relative peace, held—then why not when a war broke? Indeed, did not the need for dispassionate and reasonable courage increase, while the guns were cutting down whatever rational exchange remained alive? If the first casualty of war was the truth, might it not be important to prevent, at least on one scene, that mortal casualty from occurring?

Human Community

I do not wish to heap conflict upon conflict. If I seem to concentrate upon the conduct of Israel, it is for reasons, which to me at least, are profound, of long pondering and finally inescapable. It is not merely because my government, which has brought endless suffering to the world, is supporting Israel. It is not merely because American Jews, as well as Israelis, have in the main given their acquiescence or their support to the Nixon ethos. The reasons go deeper, and strike harder; they are lodged in my soul, in my conception of faith and the transcendent, in the vision Jews have taught me, of human conduct in a human community.

I am (to put the matter as simply as I know how), I am paying an old debt tonight. It is a debt of love; more properly, a debt of outraged love. I am a western Christian, in resistance against my government and my church. That position, as I read it, makes me something very like a Jew. It is of that uneasy circle, ever changing, widening, contracting, including, excluding, that I wish to speak. I am a Catholic priest, in resistance against Rome. I am an American, in resistance against Nixon, and I am a Jew, in resistance against Israel. But let me begin.

A common assumption exists in the West, buttressed by massive historical and religious argument, to the effect that Israel is exempt from moral criticism. Her people have passed through the gentile furnace; how then shall the goy judge the suffering servant? And is not the holocaust the definitive argument for the righteousness of this people, heroically determined to begin again, in a promised land, that experiment in survival which so nearly went awry, so often, under such constant assault at our hands?

Mean of Love

In such a way, bad history is mightily reinforced by bad faith. The persecutor is a poor critic. His history weighs on him; like a bad parent, he alternates between cruelty and indulgence, without ever striking the mean of love.

In such a way, Christians yield to Israel the right to her myths; to indulge them, to enlarge them, to live by them, even to call them biblical truth. If the Jews are indeed the people of promise, and Israel the land of promise; then it must follow that God has willed the two to coincide. The means? They are swallowed up in the end, they disappear into glory. And if the means include domestic repression, deception, cruelty, militarism? And if the classic refugee people is now creating huge numbers of refugees? And if technological warfare has become the instrument of expansion, and pre-emptive warfare the instrument of so called peace? And if this people, so proud, so endowed with intelligence, so purified by suffering, sends its military missioners into every part of the world where minority people are bleeding under the heel of jackboots? Israeli military advisers in Iran, Israeli military advisers in Ethiopia? And if these advisers (that cruel euphemism under whose guise America kindled the Viet Nam holocaust) are sought and hired because Israelis have become as skilled in the fashioning of espionage and violence as ever were their oppressors? Are such means as these swallowed in glory? Or do they stick in the throat of those who believe, as Judaism taught the world to believe, “Thou shalt not kill”?

I started to say something about my own church, and I proceed to talk about Israel. I did so advisedly. I did so because today my church has helped Israel exegete her own texts—wrongly, harmfully, as I believe. My church has helped Israel in that project of the settler state—whether of South Africa or Israel or the United State—which is to seek a biblical justification for crimes against humanity.

For a Christian who is trying to understand and live by his own tradition, the confusion of bible and imperialism in Israel represents an altogether unique tragedy. We in the U.S.A. learned to bear the filthy weight of South African religious violence, even while we abominated it. We learned to survive the filthy weight of American religious violence, even while we abominated it. In both cases, we tried to separate out the corrupt cultural elements from the truth of a tradition, and to live by the latter. We learned to do this, because we knew at least something of the history of Christianity, in both its criminal and saintly aspects.

But you must understand our horror, our sense of impoverishment, almost our sense of amputation. For while we had known criminal Christian communities, and suffered at the hand of our own renegades, and seen Viet Nam assaulted in the name of Christian civilization—we had never known a criminal Jewish community. We had known Jewish communities that were a light to the gentiles, that were persecuted, all but erased, that remained merciful, eloquent, prophetic. But something new was occurring before our eyes… the Jews arose from the holocaust, a cause of universal joy, but the Jews arose like warriors, armed to the teeth. They took possession of a land, they exiled and destroyed old Arab communities, they (a minority) made outsiders of those who were in fact, the majority of citizens. Then, they flexed their muscles; like the goyim, the idolaters, the “inhabitants of this earth,” like Babylon and Egypt and Assyria; like those kingdoms which Israel’s own prophets summoned to judgment, Israel entered the imperial adventure. She took up the imperial weapons, she spread abroad the imperial deceptions.

In the space of 25 years, this metamorphosis took place. The wandering Jew became the settler Jew; the settler ethos became the imperial adventure. More, the thought of Nietzsche, of Camus and Fanon was vindicated; the slave became master, and created slaves. The slave master created a “shadowy other.” Israel had emerged from the historical shadows determined to take her place in the company of nations; an ambition no decent conscience could object to. But the price of her emergence was bitter and heavy; and it continues. That price indeed, neither Israel nor ourselves have yet counted up. But we do know a few of the human items who have been placed on the block of Israeli hegemony. They include some one and a half million refugees, whom Israel has created in the process of creating herself.

Coinage of Israel

And let us not hesitate to state the price in Israeli coinage. Something like this; not only a dismal fate for foreign and indigenous victims, but the failure to create new forms of political and social life for her own citizens. The coinage of Israel is stamped with the imperialist faces whose favor she has courted; the creation of an elite of millionaires, generals and entrepreneurs. And the price is being paid by Israel’s Oriental Jews, the poor, the excluded, prisoners. Do we seek, analogies for this “sublime adventure of return”? They are not hard to come by. But they do not exist, alas, in the dreams of Zionist rhetoricians; they exist rather in the real world, where Zionist violence and repression joins the violence and repression of the great (and little) powers; a common method, a common dead end.

It is entirely logical for instance, that Russia, which crushed the Czechs, is now in the process of crushing the Ukrainians, and bottling the brains of political dissidents on the shelves of psychiatric morgues. It is entirely logical that the U.S., which determined to crush the Vietnamese, also spent a considerable part of the ‘60’s “mopping up” political dissidents at home. Imperialism has no favorites; it freezes all it touches. It is thus not to be wondered at that torture has been applied to Israeli citizens as well as to suspect Palestinian terrorists. It is logical that Israeli workers are exploited, even while the indigenous peasants are rooted out and their villages destroyed. Logical too, that racist ideology which brought the destruction of the Jewish communities at the hands of the Nazis should now be employed by the state of Israeli, fostering the myth of the “barbarian Arab,” and of Israel the “sublime expression of the liberation of the Jewish people.”

If only a people could know itself! If only a people could stand back from the welter of claim, the barrage of propaganda, the blood myths of divine election, the rhetoric which assures it that its case before history is unique and virtuous and in fact unassailable! If that could happen, Israel would see, as indeed some of her own resisters, some of her own victims, some of her own friends, do see; that she is rapidly evolving into the image of her ancient adversaries. That her historic adventure, which gave her the unassailable right to “judge the nations,” has veered off into an imperial misadventure; that she carries in the world, the stigmata of the settler nation; that she is ranged not at the side of those she once stood with, and succored and protected from extinction; the poor, the despised, the victims of the powers of this world.

Sacred Books 

No. she has closed those books, her sacred books. Her prophets shed no light upon her politics. Or more exactly to the point, she has not passed from a dispossessed people to a democratic state, as she would claim; she has passed from a dispossessed people to an imperial entity. And this (I say it with a sinking heart) is to the loss of all the world; to her own loss, and to the loss of Palestinians, and Americans, and Jews in the diaspora, and Jews in Russia, and the Pope in the Vatican, and Vietnamese, and Cambodians, and South Africans, and Chileans. For it is of moment to us all (I almost said of supreme moment) that Jews retain their own soul, their own books, their own vivid sense of alternate paths to the light, so that Jews might be the arbiter and advocate of the downtrodden of the earth. On the scales of the spirit, as the nations are finally judged, it is a tragedy beyond calculating, that the State of Israel should become the repository, and finally the tomb, of the Jewish soul. That in place of Jewish compassion, Israel should legislate armaments and yet more armaments. That in place of Jewish compassion for the poor and forgotten, Israel should legislate evictions, uprootings, destruction of goods, imprisonment, terrorism. That in place of Jewish peaceableness, Israel should legislate a law of expanding violence. That in place of Jewish prophetic wisdom, Israel should launch an Orwellian nightmare of double talk, racism, fifth-rate sociological jargon, aimed at proving its racial superiority to the people it has crushed. My sense of loss here is something more than academic. Let me say this; when an American is resisting the murder of the Vietnamese people, one of his chief sources of strength is the conviction that around the world, there exists a spiritual network of those who have put their lives to the same resistance. A network of conscience. One is joined in this way, to Blacks and Cubans and Brazilians and Chileans and so many others, who have made it their life’s work to create a better method than murder for dealing with human conflict. Now at any moment of my struggle, in the underground or in prison, did resisters such as I take comfort from the conduct of the state of Israel? Could we believe the rhetoric that she was packaging and huckstering in the world? I must answer no, in the name of all. Rather than being comforted, I was tempered and sobered. I knew that I must take into account two bitter facts about Israel: 1) that if I were a conscientious Jew in Israel I would have to live as I was living in America; that is, in resistance against the state. And 2) the reaction of Israel to my conscience would be exactly the reaction of the United States; that is to say, I would either be hunted by the police, or in prison.

Which brings me to a reflection nearer home; the American Jewish community and the Viet Nam war: by and large, that community’s leadership, I stress leadership, fervent in support of Israel, was also fervent in support of Nixon. It was a massive support indeed; and it did not gather in a political vacuum. Nixon is a political manipulator of great astuteness; religion and religious interests are part of the fulcrum he exerts on world events. So he was able to mute the horrific facts of the Viet Nam war in light of Jewish concern for the wellbeing of Israel. The plain fact was that Mrs. Meir wanted Phantom jets and Nixon wanted re-election. Another fact was also plain, if of less moment to either party; in Nixon’s first term alone some six million Southeast Asians had been maimed, bombed, displaced, tortured, imprisoned or killed. This was one of those peculiar facts which must be called free-floating; it was a statistic, it did not signify. To put the matter brutally, many American Jewish leaders were capable of ignoring the Asian holocaust in favor of economic and military aid to Israel. Those of us who resisted the war had to live with that fact. The fate of the Vietnamese was as unimportant to the Zionists in our midst as was the state of the Palestinians.

But I venture to suggest that it is not merely we, nor the Vietnamese who must live with that fact. So must Israel. So must the American Jews.

If there is an ultimate hope in all this one must, of course, pay tribute to the great majority of the Jewish community which refused the bait offered by Nixon, and peddled by their own leaders. Their acute and legitimate concern for Israel never became a weapon against Vietnamese survival. They refused that immoral choice offered them by a leader who would make a price of the safety of one people, the extinction of another. As you may recall, the American Jewish community rejected that choice, and for that we must honor them.

Ceaseless Rage

I cannot but reflect how strong is the irony of this occasion; a Jesuit priest speaking of the sins of Israel. A member of the classic oppressor church calls to account the historic victims of Christian persecution. History has spun us about, a game of blind man’s bluff. In America, in my church, I am a Jew. I am scarcely granted a place to teach, a place to worship, a place to announce the truths I live by. I stand in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to pray for the victims of our ceaseless rage, I stand in front of the White House. And a question arises from both powers; how shall we deal with this troublesome Jew?

How does a Jesuit, a member of the church elite, come to such trouble? How does the son of the oppressor come to be oppressed? Even while the oppressed, the Zionist, the state of Israel, becomes the oppressor? I can offer only the clumsiest of clues.

The power of the Jew, as indeed the power of the priest, arises from the questions which his life raises. It comes from no other source. It cannot come from adherence to the power of this world. When the priest becomes the civil servant of the Papal State, he loses his true dignity, he becomes a secular nonentity. His passion for justice is blunted, his sense of the sufferings of the world grows dim and abstract. And the same holds for the Jew.

And I venture, for the Arab. Human life today, if it means anything, is meant to raise a cry against legitimated murder. Our lives are meant to be a question mark before humanity, whether we are Arab, Jew, or Christian. When a Zionist or American Catholic or an Arab Apologist loses that momentous dignity, he becomes a zero, his soul is torn in two. Let Amos Kenan, the Israeli writer, speak the bitter truth: “I believe that Zionism came to establish a shelter for a persecuted people, and not to persecute other people. Even when facts strike me in the face and prove to me ex post facto that Zionism was nothing but a useful tool to deprive the Palestinian Arab people of their homeland, I will stick to the lie.”

Let him stick to the lie. But let him also know, the lie sticks to him. It sticks in the throat, it sticks to the very soul. To the point where a Christian must continue to ask of Israel those questions which Israel proscribes, ignores, fears. Where indeed are your men of wisdom? Where are your peacemakers? Where are your prophets? Who among you speaks the truth to power? Where are the voices that abhor militarism, torture, bombing, degrading alliances with the great powers? Israel knows the answers. She has dealt with “this people,” who are her truest people. Her peacemakers, her men of truth and wisdom, are dispensed with, are disposed of. They have neither power nor voice in the affairs of the Israeli state. Many of them are in prison, or hounded from the scene, living in exile. They are equivalent to Palestinians; no voice, no vote; non-persons.

Savage Triumph

These are among the most sorrowful facts of the world we live in. Israel, that millennial dream, belonged not only to Jews, but to all of mankind—it belonged to me. But the dream has become a nightmare; Israel has not abolished poverty and misery; rather, she manufactures human waste, the byproducts of her entrepreneurs, her military-industrial complex. Israel has not written justice into law; she has turned the law of nature to a mockery, creating ghettoes, disenfranchised peoples, exiles, hopeless minorities, cheap labor forces, Palestinian migrant workers. Israel has not freed the captives; she has expanded the prison system, perfected her espionage, exported on the world market that expensive blood ridden commodity, the savage triumph of the technologized West; violence and the tools of violence.

In Israel, military might is increasingly both the method and the goal of political existence. Her absurd generals, her military junk, are paraded on national holidays before the narcoticized public. The model is not the kingdom of peace, it is an Orwellian transplant, taken bodily from Big Brother’s bloody heart. In Israel, the democratic formula is twisted out of all recognition; the citizens exist for the well-being of the state; it follows, as the imperialist corollary, that that measure of terrorism and violence and murder is applied to dissidents, as shall guarantee the “well-being of the state,” as the ominous phrase is understood by those in power.

Who will save us from such saviors? I venture to say; neither Egypt nor Libya nor Syria nor Al Fatah nor Golda Meir nor General Dayan; neither Migs nor Phantom jets nor nuclear skills. After such saviors do the gentiles lust.

The present course, I suggest, leads to the same dead end for both sides. The settler state and the long settled state, both are in mortal danger, daily increasing, of metamorphosing into slave states, clients of the fascist super powers. At home, a slave mentality is progressively created; the reduction of rights of citizens, slave labor forces, slave wages, the domination of slave masters, politicized police, the militarization of national goals and policies.

Then the same process is in internationalized. Such a nation inevitably becomes the instrument of great-power politics. It serves as a foreign military for one or another of the world powers, to that purpose everything is mobilized, including the truth itself.

To demobilize the truth may be one useful way of putting our task. Other terms occur; to demilitarize the truth, to demythologize it. In any case, to snatch the truth from its betrayers and belittlers. I wish you well in the task.

Dear Friends, my concluding words are addressed especially to the Arab peoples. My argument with you is also made in a spirit of love and even deep concern. You have suffered greatly from colonialism and colonization and your demand for justice and self-determination deserved more attention than it has received.  Yet my central argument with you is ultimately my argument with the Jewish people, in the sense that both of you have ignored your own symbols and history. But in different ways. Israel has betrayed her exodus by turning it into military conquests. And the Arabs have often betrayed their resistance to rhetorical violence and blind terrorism. The question of the weekend is: What else can we do?

Some two or  three years ago Eqbal Ahmed suggested, I believe, at one of these meetings, a massive and worldwide reversal of symbols on the part of the Palestinian people. If I understand him correctly he was saying something like this: What if the Arabs throughout the world would raise a great cry and implement their cry after the manner of Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez? What if your cry became “let my people go?” What if your people equipped boats to enter Israeli harbors to speak the truth and implement the Palestinians’ right to return? What if you were to begin knocking on doors of the embassies—Russian, American and Israeli—demanding peace, demanding the restoration of your  rights and your homes. Taking into account at the same time Jewish fears, welcoming Jews to a community of compassion, welcoming Israel’s people to your sides among your people?

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83 Responses

  1. Qualtrough
    September 2, 2016, 10:09 pm

    What a great human being, thanks for sharing that. So much in there to be impressed by. I think this passage is particularly notable vis-a-vis the issue of the profound change Zionists wrought post war:

    “But something new was occurring before our eyes… the Jews arose from the holocaust, a cause of universal joy, but the Jews arose like warriors, armed to the teeth. They took possession of a land, they exiled and destroyed old Arab communities, they (a minority) made outsiders of those who were in fact, the majority of citizens. Then, they flexed their muscles; like the goyim, the idolaters, the “inhabitants of this earth,” like Babylon and Egypt and Assyria; like those kingdoms which Israel’s own prophets summoned to judgment, Israel entered the imperial adventure. She took up the imperial weapons, she spread abroad the imperial deceptions.”

  2. DaBakr
    September 2, 2016, 10:27 pm

    while entitled to his opinion he ought to have been focusing on the soul of his fellow catholics at the time and up until the present who were (and may still be) engaged in one of the largest pedophilia cover-up in history. that, in addition to all the soul searching catholic subjects he could have focused on from the 14th century thru the 20th. while he missed these areas and obsessed over the israeli effect on the ‘jewish soul’ it turns out the jewish soul is doing just fine while the same fringe collectives of far-left ideologues are still obsessing over israel and their worries about the so-called coming battle between far-left jews and jews identifying as zionist.
    berrigan, may he rest in peace. he was certainly willing to suffer deprivation and consequences for his beliefs.

    • Citizen
      September 3, 2016, 1:12 am

      Bill Maher, is that you?

    • talknic
      September 3, 2016, 2:23 am

      @ DaBakr

      “while entitled to his opinion he ought to have been focusing on the soul of his fellow catholics at the time and up until the present who were (and may still be) engaged in one of the largest pedophilia cover-up in history. “

      I wouldn’t lift that carpet if I were you pal https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Jewish+community+sexual+abuse the opportunities for Jewish sexual abusers and any subsequent cover ups have been around a lot longer than Catholics

      Let’s say he acted to your satisfaction tho. Would the Zionist Federation in 1897 decided not to colonize Palestine? Would Israel have adhered to the Law, the UN Charter, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, the Israeli Government’s plea for recognition, ending the illegal occupation of non-Israeli territories, ending the building of illegal settlements, withdraw to its own territory rather than illegally acquiring more and more non-Israeli territory?

      “while he missed these areas and obsessed over the israeli effect on the ‘jewish soul’ “

      One speech is ‘obsessing’ WOW!!

      Even a cursory glance at his history shows us he ‘obsessed’ over numerous issues for far far longer and deeper than one speech expressing concern for Jewish folk.

      ” it turns out the jewish soul is doing just fine”

      What’re you doing here if you’re not needed? Blowing it out u’r rrrrrrs?

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2016, 7:18 pm

        ” it turns out the jewish soul is doing just fine”

        Oh, the haredim are giving it all the soul they’ve got, but everybody else in the Jewish world, well, we’re barely at the replacement level.

    • CigarGod
      September 3, 2016, 3:38 am

      Since you like telling people what they should talk about, you will no doubt do what I tell you, you should do and re-direct your focus and talk about all the various ways Israel has murdered Palestinian children and tried to cover it up, justify it…and just like a slimey pedophile…blame the victims. You and yours have been doing that since before Israels inception. I give you permission to “obsess” about those murders all you want.

    • Marnie
      September 3, 2016, 4:36 am

      ‘When a Zionist or American Catholic or an Arab Apologist loses that momentous dignity, he becomes a zero, his soul is torn in two. Let Amos Kenan, the Israeli writer, speak the bitter truth: “I believe that Zionism came to establish a shelter for a persecuted people, and not to persecute other people. Even when facts strike me in the face and prove to me ex post facto that Zionism was nothing but a useful tool to deprive the Palestinian Arab people of their homeland, I will stick to the lie.” Let him stick to the lie. But let him also know, the lie sticks to him. It sticks in the throat, it sticks to the very soul. To the point where a Christian must continue to ask of Israel those questions which Israel proscribes, ignores, fears. Where indeed are your men of wisdom? Where are your peacemakers? Where are your prophets? Who among you speaks the truth to power? Where are the voices that abhor militarism, torture, bombing, degrading alliances with the great powers? Israel knows the answers. She has dealt with “this people,” who are her truest people. Her peacemakers, her men of truth and wisdom, are dispensed with, are disposed of. They have neither power nor voice in the affairs of the Israeli state. Many of them are in prison, or hounded from the scene, living in exile. They are equivalent to Palestinians; no voice, no vote; non-persons.’

      Did you read this Dbakr? Why’d you bring up pedophilia? Deflect, distract and deny.

      • jd65
        September 3, 2016, 11:52 am

        @ Marnie:

        “Why’d you bring up pedophilia? Deflect, distract and deny.

        Yup. This is it: Distract. How boring, transparent, and common. The “Why are you singling out Israel while there are so many other awful things happening in the world?” trope is sooooooooo played. It’s also idiotic intellectual gobbledygook…

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2016, 12:31 pm

        “Did you read this Dbakr? Why’d you bring up pedophilia?”

        Oh that’s an easy one. “Dabakr” thought it was safe to bring up pedophilia because he heard the “Failed Messiah” got taken down.
        Next he’ll be flogging Catholics for using glass straws to drink through.

    • JustJessetr
      September 3, 2016, 9:44 pm

      Yeah, it’s interesting how the Left loves to conflate Judaism with Israel. But they blame the right-wingers for doing so. Like MW cares one whit for the Jewish soul. Or for the Palestinian one for that matter.

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2016, 9:59 pm

        “Like MW cares one whit for the Jewish soul. Or for the Palestinian one for that matter.”

        Yeah? Ya mother’s faustache! It just so happens, Mr. “JustJessetr”,
        that Mondo’s little pinky cares more about the Jewish, and Palestinian soul than your whole body does!!

      • eljay
        September 3, 2016, 10:10 pm

        || JustJessetr: Yeah, it’s interesting how the Left loves to conflate Judaism with Israel. … ||

        So now you Zio-supremacists are calling yourselves “the Left”. Huh. Well, yeah, it is interesting.

        || … Like MW cares one whit for the Jewish soul. … ||

        Zio-supremacists care about Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine. There’s no evidence that you care about the “Jewish soul”. Given how for the last ~70 years you’ve been doing your best to undermine international laws and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford all people, there’s no evidence that you care much about Jews either.

      • jd65
        September 3, 2016, 10:53 pm

        @ JustJessetr & Mooser:

        Like MW cares one whit for the Jewish soul. Or for the Palestinian one for that matter.

        Mondo’s little pinky cares more about the Jewish, and Palestinian soul than your whole body does!!

        Personally, I don’t care about either “soul.” Namely because the concept of a “soul” is meaningless to me. Soul? Nonsense. As for caring about the lives of actual human beings, with bodies, and families, and aspirations… That care about quite a bit. And, as far as I can tell, so does MW.

      • echinococcus
        September 4, 2016, 3:13 am

        the Left loves to conflate Judaism with Israel

        Jeezus-aitch-Christ, this one is my dream come true.

        Mooser, try to imagine the elation experienced by a biologist when the object of its attention is suddenly revealed in its virgin habitat, unmodified by the observer’s eye, nay unaware of it and unable to even react to it. This one is obviously on his maiden tip-of-the-pinkie-toe outing out of the Ziobubble.

        Observe how he has never ever heard about any “Left” or “Right” outside the bubble. Even if he was deaf, *&^%, blind and bereft of the sense of touch. Even if he had read one line from any outsider to the Bubble, he’d know better.

        Your Stephen Grover can’t touch this one. I’m telling you, even the Narr can’t!

      • jd65
        September 4, 2016, 9:24 am

        @ echinococcus:

        -aitch-

        LOL… Nice.

      • MHughes976
        September 4, 2016, 10:35 am

        If it were to be agreed generally that Judaism and Zionism are not to be conflated, that there is no good reason for support of one to imply support of the other, that would be a great step forward. However, Berrigan’s talk of the Zionist ‘dream become nightmare’ marks him as being in his principles what we would now call a liberal Zionist. His constant use of religious language suggests that he sees the ‘millennial dream’ of Zionism as a legitimate expression of Judaism and shows how deep the conflation of J and Z had gone in postwar Christian theology, liberal theology especially. This was the time of Reinhold Niebuhr and Krister Stendhal.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 12:51 pm

        “Mondo’s little pinky cares more about the Jewish, and Palestinian soul”

        And that leaves a whole lot of Mondo to care about the other stuff you mentioned, “jd65”.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 1:13 pm

        “Your Stephen Grover can’t touch this one. I’m telling you, even the Narr can’t!”

        Well, it’s a wonderful world. “JustJessetr” cares about the Jewish soul and Jesse T Rosenfeld cares about Palestinians. “What have you ever done for a Palestinian to ease his suffering?” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/justjessetr/#sthash.2Bo8z1NL.dpuf

      • jd65
        September 4, 2016, 3:55 pm

        @ Mooser:

        “Mondo’s little pinky cares more about the Jewish, and Palestinian soul”

        And that leaves a whole lot of Mondo to care about the other stuff you mentioned, “jd65”.

        Yup :)

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 4:06 pm

        “Yup :)

        I agree!

      • echinococcus
        September 4, 2016, 8:58 pm

        What have you ever done for a Palestinian to ease his suffering?

        Ah. Good question.
        In fact, worth starting a competition. The Good Samar… ooops blasphemy… Good Judaean Awards.
        Examples of a good answer would range from: “I made his desert grow alpine pines over the ruins of his house and his fields”
        to
        “I put a couple bullets in the poor bastard’s brains to put him out of misery”

  3. Mooser
    September 2, 2016, 10:41 pm

    1973 was 43 years ago.

    • RoHa
      September 3, 2016, 5:03 am

      Mooser, don’t say such terrible things. I remember 1973 well, so it can only have been a year or two ago.

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2016, 12:35 pm

        ” I remember 1973 well…”

        Well, I hate to contradict you so early in the morning, but if you remember 1973, you weren’t there.
        As far as I know, it never happened.

    • Doubtom
      September 3, 2016, 2:37 pm

      43 is my favorite number, this must be an omen.

  4. silamcuz
    September 2, 2016, 11:11 pm

    I disagree. In my opinion, it is becoming the tomb of the White Supremacist interpretation of the Jewish soul, because the true Jewish soul is still strong within many both in Israel as well as the rest of the world. Similarly, America is also fast becoming the tomb of the Christianity as interpreted by Constantine and the Council of Nicea. Jesus didn’t give a shit about building Churches or electing popes or policing sex, he preached that people directly pledge their lives to God and God’s laws instead of submitting to the unjust socio-economic order that existed at that time.

    Also, nowadays it is those who proclaim their allegiance to Jewish values and heritage are the ones who are most anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian. Note I said allegiance to Jewish values, not Israel, not Zionism.

  5. BBSNews
    September 3, 2016, 1:27 am

    From Daniel to Abby I had forgotten for a while how eloquent we all were before they killed the butterflies above our nation. When the new boss turned out the same as the old boss. And how much President Obama fits right into that mold. The high hopes entertained after many dinners with Rashid Khalidi. How disappointing that we are all still living the same terror these decades later at what we could become, at what we’ve become.

    • CigarGod
      September 3, 2016, 9:26 pm

      So, maybe the mistake was non-violent resistance?

      • echinococcus
        September 4, 2016, 3:22 am

        Cigar God,

        It’s never a mistake, provided the other kind has been used judiciously and appropriately to soften the ground and prepare for the takeover. Non-violent action is often very useful in the concluding stages of fights, as in India or South Africa.

  6. yourstruly
    September 3, 2016, 2:28 am

    If Daniel Berrigan had been chosen to be Pope, would he have accepted that honor? If not, why not, and if so, what conditions, if any, would he have attached to his acceptance?

    • xanadou
      September 3, 2016, 4:59 am

      yourstruly,

      DB would never have been chosen for the job, and if he were, I would have hoped that he would accept the job to clean out the proverbial Stables at the Vatican, and more. The job of the Pope is that of a, hopefully, benevolent despot, not a haggler.

    • Mooser
      September 3, 2016, 12:27 pm

      “If Daniel Berrigan had been chosen to be Pope, would he have accepted that honor?”

      No, I heard Berrigan said they make the Pope shit in the woods- and the bears in them aren’t really Catholic!

      • xanadou
        September 5, 2016, 1:32 am

        Agreed. But then isn’t that what happens when a company of what once may have been reasonable men had ossified into living relics of a past that never was off the pages of their story book?

        Frankie was elected b/c he was known to have his own mind, was following a more humane path and is trying to drag the relics into the modern world by reconnecting with the humble original, before the self-adulating hierarchy puts off the global congregation. Judaism is not the only religion with problems with reality and membership.

        Dealing with the hierarchy is part of Frankie’s job description as benevolent despot. The forest is his domain, but he has to tread carefully among the shitty bears. One way he is trying to create a distance is by living in small digs off campus and connecting with the congregation on the street. He has to be careful, at his age there’s a lot of “natural causes” that can impede an old man. No? (rhetorical)

      • Kathleen
        September 5, 2016, 3:43 pm

        No way in hell would Berrigan be chosen to be Pope. He might have burned the place down. He threatened the patriarchal, oppressive, extremely wealthy system

        Who knew that Jeremy Scahill knew the Berrigan brothers. Their inspirational actions touched so many. They were so consistent in their application of their deep humanitarian beliefs. Vietnam, Civil rights, nuclear weapons, Israel’s oppressive system.

        In this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc28QfybR34 Chris Wallace ask Berrigan if not being as big as they had been in the 60’s, 70’s bothered Father Berrigan.

        Berrigan’s response “No I don’t think we ever felt our conscience was tied to the other end of a T.V. cord. I think we have tried for a number of years to do what was right because it was right.” Whether the issue is Vietnam, Iraq, Israel…the Berrigan brothers were deeply committed to their humanitarian values.

  7. Kay24
    September 3, 2016, 8:16 am

    The EU and the US keeps acting like hypocrites. They whine and condemn, but do not do anything to stop these zionist criminals from stealing lands and building illegal abodes.
    How about doing something about it like sanctions and boycotts? The EU and the US have become enablers to a decades long occupation and theft of lands.

    http://www.juancole.com/2016/09/condemns-approval-palestinian.html#comment-382703

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      September 3, 2016, 4:21 pm

      So true Kay. Complicit in horrendous war crimes and getting away with it. Barbaric and twisted in ultra nationalistic racism. The US knows all too well about that and has not yet faced its own barbaric crimes.

      • Kay24
        September 3, 2016, 7:10 pm

        It seems the outrage and condemnation from the US and the EU are part of this huge charade.
        If they genuinely are outraged about the illegal settlements, then they would not be aiding and arming the war criminals, and would have halted any support until it stops breaking international laws. This is sheer hypocrisy, on the one hand every time the evil empire keeps announcing more illegal settlements, the US/EU seems shocked and condemn such actions, on the other hand they reward the rascals by pouring in more aid and deadly weapons, which surely they know are used against unarmed civilians. The world knows it too, but does nothing.

  8. Elizabeth Block
    September 3, 2016, 11:58 am

    In 1973, Israel had just fought a war with Egypt, and there was some reason to think it was, or had recently been, in danger. That’s not true today.
    And a hell of a lot of blood, mostly Palestinian, has gone under the bridge since then.

    As for pedophilic priests, I don’t think that was known publicly in 1973.

  9. Elizabeth Block
    September 3, 2016, 12:00 pm

    As for Israel being the tomb of the Jewish spirit, I was in Hebron in March. Shots were fired on Shuhada Street — that’s the street that used to be a main commercial street for Palestinians, and is now forbidden to them — and settlers poured out of the settlement and danced around the body.
    What kind of Jewish spirit is that?

  10. Amy1
    September 3, 2016, 12:41 pm

    How have the Arabs betrayed their resistance? By resorting to rhetorical violence and blind terrorism? Palestinian struggle has always largely been unarmed and nonviolent and its impractical for people to expect that there won’t be pockets of resistance within the Palestinians who won’t opt for an armed resistance. Presuming this would be naive at best. Almost every colonized people in history have had conducted various forms of struggle and when he refers to Gandhi and his strategy he clearly is unaware that there were more than a couple of heroes that struggled under the British raj by committing acts of terrorism and violence and were more committed and concerned for their people than Gandhi ever was. Their names might not be recognized by the western world due to its blatant hypocrisy but they were just as significant in the larger scheme of events. Secondly, the British presence in the sub continent is not comparable to the Israeli occupation for various reasons and to pretend what worked there would work in Palestine is not accurate in my opinion. I admit non violent resistance has a potential to work but Israelis aren’t going anywhere they are settlers and they have a long term stake in the land they have occupied so it might be humiliating if a few states even go as far as support BDS or issue strong statements to cease building illegal settlements but as long as the American green light doesn’t switch off, nothing really hurts them enough to evacuate. That’s why they invest so much on forming the American public opinion favorable to Israel. Most Americans think Israel and Palestine are two forces at war with armies of their own while others think its a conflict that’s going on for centuries so unless they have a core understanding of the power imbalance and the role they inadvertently play in perpetuating the violence, nothing would really change. I find it morally inexcusable to tell the Palestinians on how to conduct their resistance when they are the ones who get jailed for simply attending a nonviolent protest and even lose their families for not quitting. I also find it excessively self righteous for people to complain they don’t have good representatives because they don’t know the leaders of these marches and protests as well as the political prisoners and their respective struggles. People like myself sitting outside can easily tell them to not throw stones but in their shoes we would be doing a lot more than that.

    • echinococcus
      September 3, 2016, 2:06 pm

      Amy,

      That “betrayal of Resistance” by the… only appreciable Resistance movement is an old trick, of course. It was used by the Nazi occupation collaborators and had even been interiorized by some intellectuals who were sincerely upset with the war and occupation; they were scared worse, though, of risking anything than they were afraid of the Nazis (the type that would now call themselves “liberal” in the US today.) Possibly they were put off more by the garish vulgarity of the collaborationists than their criminality. Then, too, they were very often in the liberal clergy.

    • rosross
      September 3, 2016, 10:33 pm

      Israelis do not have to go anywhere. They just have to do what every other nation founded through invasion and colonisation have done – create one state with equal rights for all so that indigenous and coloniser are equal as citizens and there is no discrimination based on, in this case, religion, but in other cases, race.

      Israel needs to be and do what the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and every other nation founded through colonisation and immigration are and have done.

      Why should Israel’s religious bigotry be tolerated? American and South African racial bigotry was not? Bigotry is bigotry.

      • Marnie
        September 5, 2016, 12:21 am

        “Israel needs to be and do what the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and every other nation founded through colonisation and immigration are and have done.”

        “Why should Israel’s religious bigotry be tolerated? American and South African racial bigotry was not? Bigotry is bigotry.”

        That’s the truth.

      • Amy1
        September 5, 2016, 1:28 pm

        rosross,

        I agree wholeheartedly. However, its just as much an American occupation as it is an Israeli one. South African racial bigotry was not deemed intolerable by the US government on its own but by considerable pressure from the public did they jump in the bandwagon. Israel won’t do anything without facing flak for its structural apartheid from its key supporters which in this case is primarily the US. The American people are not informed enough about the issue to take a united stand so it could translate into political action. Bigotry is bigotry but a privileged class won’t give up on its privilege on its own unless it’s forced to relinquish it from those empowering them.

      • jackal
        September 5, 2016, 10:39 pm

        “Israel needs to be and do what the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and every other nation founded through colonisation and immigration are and have done.”

        You need to go back a little further than “modern” history as written by the “white” man. All of these countries were colonized by British (and Dutch) states with the use of their military, which is exactly what Israel is presently doing. There so-called constitutions (by the way, where is Israel’s?), never created countries with equal rights. The indigenous people are still fiercely discriminated against to this day as are the Palestinians in Palestine, without a hope of ever reaching equality under the oppression of the Israeli’s.
        I concur with your thoughts, Amy.

  11. Doubtom
    September 3, 2016, 2:44 pm

    Easily one of the most intelligent, compassionate and wise individuals in or out of the clergy. So, naturally he must suffer the condemnation of the virtuous.

  12. rosross
    September 3, 2016, 8:18 pm

    Surely the error, to be corrected by Jews, is that Zionist Israel represents Jews and Judaism. Why should the Zionist State be any more reflective of the Jewish religion than a Christian State which commits atrocities, reflect the Christian religion.

    I realise Israel claims to represent Jews and Judaism but the only way that State can be a tomb for the Jewish soul is if the religion and its followers agree and allow Israel to represent them. Yes, that has been the case for too many for too long, but this site and many others makes it clear that many Jews reject the claim that Israel speaks and acts in their name.

    If Judaism is to save its soul, if indeed any religion with all its mortal flaws and failings, has anything approximating a soul, then it must reject the State of Israel, or it will indeed, decline and possibly die alongside it.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2016, 12:38 pm

      “a Christian State which commits atrocities, reflect the Christian religion.”

      A “Christian State”? Like which one, for instance? A country which calls itself a “Christian State” today and commits atrocities under that rubric. Which one would that be? Or did you have several in mind?

      Israel was willing as hell to be “The Jewish State” when they think it’ll bring advantage, or immunity. There will be a price to pay for that, and there will be no getting out of it.

  13. Raphael
    September 4, 2016, 9:38 am

    I’ve always been a Zionist Israelite in heart and mind. No doubt God understood, that the world I was born in as a half Jew would lead me to be more of a Israelite, then that of a gentile.

    A gentile world in the US even though it calls itself is Christian… is not really Christian if it erased the Jesus that was Jewish… turning him, and the icons of him into a gentile speaking and looking Jesus.

    Now, I see the gifts that I was elected into by God, with me also possibly being born of of royal blue blood ancestor.

    Some of my Jewish relatives that I’m aware of were Zionists; but they possibly might have been social Zionists; because there seemed to be nothing political about their Zionism like say in that great picture I watch over and over again Exodus with Paul Newman ( a half Jew), in it.

    Though my political philosophy is different then that of my possible ancestor, David (a half Jew, born of a Moabite mother) Modern Jewish historical research says he was half Jewish see, Come Out My People!”: God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond.

    The author is also is a radical Christian like Berrigan, but, in my opinion more knowledgeable then Berrigan about current politics in Israel.

    I do think that David’s psalms are wonderful. I pray for him. And, when in Israel I went to King David’s tomb.

    I think it is of utmost importance for Israelis to rebuild the temple, how they want.

    And, if I was king of Israel; rather then the manufactured Icon in Israel, Herzl; I would begin by dismantling all the mosques in Israel, and shipping them to places like Iraq. Israel is the home of the Hebrews or Israelites, and the treasures of some of their history is buried under the mosques.

    I think I read that militant Arabs […] purposely built the mosques over key Hebrew/Israelite sites. See the Dome of the Rock it was built over Solomon’s Temple. As a Catholic Jew; I see no reason to build a new temple, but I believe that the Dome of the Rock should be dismantled so as too access the Hebrew archeological treasures under it.

    • talknic
      September 4, 2016, 10:37 am

      @ Raphael September 4, 2016, 9:38 am

      “I’ve always been a Zionist Israelite in heart and mind. No doubt God understood”

      Is that the same God who didn’t seem to understand our Jewish fellows were being slaughtered by the Nazis? Where TF was this God when that was happening? Playing golf? What TF kind of God is that?

      “As a Catholic Jew; I see no reason to build a new temple, but I believe that the Dome of the Rock should be dismantled so as too access the Hebrew archeological treasures under it”

      What if there’s actually nothing there?

      • RoHa
        September 4, 2016, 11:37 am

        If there is nothing under it, we just put it back together again, and no harm done. After all, it’s made of Lego, isn’t it?

    • RoHa
      September 4, 2016, 11:54 am

      “I think I read that militant Arabs, barbaric Arabs in nature purposely built the mosques over key Hebrew/Israelite sites. ”

      And you only have to look at the Dome of the Rock to see that it is a product of primitive barbarians

      “See the Dome of the Rock it was built over Solomon’s Temple. ”

      Well, Solomon didn’t need it any more, did he? But the story I know is that the Dome of the Rock is built over the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus in Aelia Capitolina.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2016, 12:41 pm

      “I’ve always been a Zionist Israelite in heart and mind. No doubt God understood, that the world I was born in as a half Jew would lead me to be more of a Israelite, then that of a gentile.”

      Oh, go to a Hallmark store and buy yourself a fucking diary already! Yes, we know, you are related to the Virgin Mary on your mother’s side, and King David and pelf on your father’s.

      “Raphael” I used to think you considered us stupid. I’ve changed my mind. You are as dull as a hoe.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 4, 2016, 1:09 pm

        is he writing about himself again? i’ve never run into such a self centered commenter. he’s tells us he’s a half jewish in every other comment. jeez louise.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 1:30 pm

        “he’s tells us he’s a half jewish”

        I think it is supposed to mark “Raphael” out as sui generis, disinterested, and incapable of any partiality towards Zionism. And then he can suggest dismantling the Dome of the Rock as an ecumenical idea, instead of a far-right Zionist idea!

        I used to think he was pulling this because he thought we are all stupid, but I’ve changed my mind. “Raphael” has caused me to come to a different conclusion.

        Oh, here, he says it best: “As a Catholic Jew; I see no reason…” Got it in one, “Raphael”.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 4, 2016, 5:26 pm

        supposed to mark “Raphael” out as sui generis, disinterested, and incapable of any partiality towards Zionism.

        oh please. a distinguishing feature of so many pro israel trolls on this site (thankfully most banned at one time or another but they keep re morphing) is the elaborate bio they keep imposing on us. remember that guy who wrote the endlessly long pro zionists posts, claimed he was a lebanese muslim over and over. taxi went to the little village in southern lebanon and no one had ever heard of this family. and i’ve been to southern lebanon, everyone in these villages knows everyone else.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 6:18 pm

        “is the elaborate bio they keep imposing on us.”

        After which they spew the same old Zionist stuff.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2016, 5:03 pm

      “I think I read that militant Arabs, barbaric Arabs in nature purposely built the mosques over key Hebrew/Israelite sites.”

      Thank God the Zionists never destroyed any mosques in Palestine.
      Are you for real “Raphael”?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 4, 2016, 5:15 pm

        like ‘barbaric Jews in nature’ built the musuem of tolerance over a cherished muslim graveyard? in fact, one could argue ‘barbaric Jews in nature’ purposely built the entirety of israel over the key holy site of palestine (holy land).

        i’m trying to figure out how a phrase like “militant Arabs, barbaric Arabs in nature” even made it through moderation. hmm.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 6:19 pm

        “i’m trying to figure out how a phrase like “militant Arabs, barbaric Arabs in nature” even made it through moderation. hmm.”

        Probably because a half-Catholic said it.

      • MHughes976
        September 5, 2016, 6:45 am

        I think that Raphael is either a person with certain agonies that deserve a degree of sympathy or else, more likely, a persona rather than a person, as others here have been. Nakba justification is their most common activity. Sometimes they manage to break several of our rules in about 100 words, which takes some talent.

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2016, 3:59 pm

        “MHugthes976”, his comments follow a consistent pattern: He fakes left , and runs right.

        And I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling “Raphael” thinks he is talking through the Mondo comment section to somebody else, some other readership. Appealing over our heads, to a more sensitive and empathetic cohort, as it were.
        Not himself, and not really interested in talking to anybody, at least not anybody here. He really does need that diary.

    • jackal
      September 5, 2016, 10:46 pm

      Re Raphael —
      You can not argue with a rock, except with a sledge hammer!

      • Mooser
        September 6, 2016, 2:12 pm

        “You can not argue with a rock, except with a sledge hammer!”

        “jackal”. I will give him this; “Raphael” is so modest! Why he seems quite unaware of just how attractive and sympathetic his persona as he displays it here, really is!

        Oh, I see I forgot a few “un’s”

  14. NorthCascadian
    September 4, 2016, 12:18 pm

    The Jewish soul. Here in Portland I asked a prominent activist with Jewish Voices for Peace if there was a single Synagogue in Portland that JVP could meet in. (currently they meet in the basement of a Protestant church). The answer was no. I asked if there was a single Rabbi in Portland that stands up for Palestinian rights. The answer was again no. The activist refused to answer the question of “Who are the most militant Zionist Jews here in Portland.?” Bottom line, until “Jews” begin to organize Synagogues that reject Israel and Zionism, it appears that Israel does in fact, represent “the tomb of the Jewish soul”.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 4, 2016, 1:20 pm

      The activist refused to answer the question of “Who are the most militant Zionist Jews here in Portland.?”

      maybe they didn’t know. i’m not sure how identifying the most militant Zionist Jews in Portland furthers whatever conversation you were having.

      until “Jews” begin to organize Synagogues that reject Israel and Zionism, it appears that Israel does in fact, represent “the tomb of the Jewish soul”.

      what are you placing scare quotes around jews? and why are you cornering a jvp activist over this? could you give us a little more context to what sounds like animosity towards the activist. did they say something in particular that set you off.

      that said, i think organizing synagogues that reject Zionism and israel’s crimes and call for justice for palestinians is a great idea.

    • Raphael
      September 4, 2016, 2:16 pm

      That sounds about right. I’m not Jewish but in order to become a citizen of Israel, I was required to obtain a letter from a rabbi stating that my father was Jewish. And according to the Jewish Agency; the rabbi had to belong to a synagogue of any domination from Reform, Reconstructionist, to Orthodox; they were generally literally hostile to the idea.

      Most of the rabbis that were wiling to write the letter were retired rabbis; so that did not complete the requirement. But, one thing I noticed now that I have my Israeli citizenship, is that in many ways American Jewish synagogues are more conservative then even Orthodox synagogues, in Israel.

      it seemed to me that the Jewish community in Israel was more open(liberal) because they would assume that anyone that would talk to them in Israel is Jewish, perhaps.

      That is why I don’t understand why the PLO Arabs seek out American Jews to be their advocates. American Jews have no experience in pacifism, as well. They watch Seinfeld shows that is about it.

      Most American Jews don’t even know Hebrew; and a majority of Israelis speak Hebrew, and do not even understand English. So by trying to influence Israelis via American Jews… they might as well be talking to a wall.

      The Arabs, and the PLO would have much more success if they advocated for themselves and negotiated with the Israeli Jews directly. The rich Arabs are throwing away all there unearned oil money to the American Jews that say they are for PLO rights.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2016, 4:11 pm

        “That sounds about right. I’m not Jewish…”

        So you won’t have any trouble buying that diary at any Hallmark or other fine stationers.

      • Marnie
        September 5, 2016, 12:35 am

        Raphael – Maybe you should’ve forgone conversion and just gone for the optional ECT followed by the ritual drunk tank immersion (aka ‘mikveh’) instead.

    • jd65
      September 6, 2016, 11:23 am

      Hey NorthCascadian…

      Annie wrote this, which since it is almost exactly what was going to write, I’ll just paste:

      what are you placing scare quotes around jews? and why are you cornering a jvp activist over this? could you give us a little more context to what sounds like animosity towards the activist. did they say something in particular that set you off.

      While I don’t necessarily think your quotes around “Jews” are “scare quotes,” I understand Annie wondering about it. Me personally, I don’t have an issue w/ it. More important, and obscure to me, is what the context was of your conversation w/ this “prominent JVP activist.” Did you simply run in to them at an event? Do you have a history w/ this person? And like Annie asked, did this person say/do something specifically to make you feel it necessary to get their answers to these questions? And since the first two questions were answered w/ a simple “No,” by the person you were speaking with (if you could tell us who it was, that’d be cool), what makes you say your third question was “refused”? Somehow you know that this person knew the answer but was withholding info? Curious…

  15. xanadou
    September 5, 2016, 12:58 am

    Have just stumbled onto this:

    “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
    Jiddu Krishnamurti

    • Amy1
      September 5, 2016, 1:39 pm

      Not only is it impractical in my opinion but unnatural as well. People have always identified themselves based on political, religious, ethnic and national denominations and it’s simply naive to think everyone is alienating themselves based on their political ideologies or religious or national affiliations. It only breeds violence when all such forms of personal identifications and dearly held beliefs override our common humanity and for most they don’t.

      • xanadou
        September 5, 2016, 5:50 pm

        Amy1,
        Impractical? I am not the only person who does not wish to be defined a priori by irrelevant external attributes.
        Unnatural, why? We wish to be recognised by who we are and what we do, not by irrelevant/unnatural tribal affiliations, whatever their designation.
        Freedom from living somebody else’s desires/expectations makes fitting into any society a quick, easy, pleasant and peaceful experience. No, not always, but often enough to make for a life that too many are afraid to try.

        Life is so short that wasting it on becoming somebody’s useful idiot, by design or default, causes so many regrets for so many at the end of their life. Volounteer some time at a local hospice, or listen to a dying person, if you dare.

        What is unnatural and impractical is that in the history of the last 3000 years, fewer than 300 years have known peace not violated by pointless religious, national and/or nationality considerations, all of which are corrupted by cupidity, as DB so rightly points out in the above article. Those who had perished in the course of this insanity will forever fill me with profound sorrow at what humanity has lost and the time and talents wasted on the need to destroy while mumbling meaningless platitudes from a corrupted tradition from a time out of sync with the present.

      • Marnie
        September 6, 2016, 12:19 am

        xanadou “Freedom from living somebody else’s desires/expectations makes fitting into any society a quick, easy, pleasant and peaceful experience. No, not always, but often enough to make for a life that too many are afraid to try. ” + infinity……

        Thanks so much for the quote by Jiddu Krishnamurti; I should have looked for that 30 years ago.

      • RoHa
        September 6, 2016, 3:48 am

        Xanadou,

        “Impractical….”

        I wholeheartedly applaud every idea in this comment. I have made a copy, and will, eventually, quote it at length and pretend it is mine.

      • Amy1
        September 7, 2016, 2:57 pm

        I agree with what you mostly said however, making assumptions on your part is simply naive. I never said there aren’t people who don’t wish not to be defined by so called irrelevant external attributes but most people don’t and that’s how it is and if it were practical you won’t be seeing people being defined by nationalities, religions or any ideology for longer than you wish to acknowledge. Before advising me to volunteer you must remember that you have no clue whether I have or I haven’t so that is sanctimonious drivel at best. Yes, freedom from living somebody else’s desires and expectations is indeed desirable and how it should be but not to be free from self identifications . Freedom to associate oneself with an ideology or religion by choice should be just as desirable as the freedom to be free from it otherwise its just as restrictive.

  16. Ossinev
    September 5, 2016, 7:35 am

    @Raphael
    “That sounds about right. I’m not Jewish but in order to become a citizen of Israel, I was required to obtain a letter from a rabbi stating that my father was Jewish.”

    Sounds as if you are really on the ball on this one so perhaps you can advise.

    I am half atheist,half humanist but am really interested in becoming part Jewish – let me do the maths yes that would be one third Jewish. I wan`t to have access to all those Chosen People Perks (CPPs) you know like when you get to join the Freemasons.

    Please help.

    • Mooser
      September 5, 2016, 4:15 pm

      ” I’m not Jewish but in order to become a citizen of Israel, I was required to obtain a letter from a rabbi stating that my father was Jewish.”

      Instead, he sang some of “Summertime” in the first person.

  17. Kathleen
    September 5, 2016, 2:53 pm

    The Berrigan brothers, Cantonsville 9 inspired millions of us to walk our human rights and social justice talk. As a young Catholic girl in 1967 their words and actions moved me to get deeply involved in anti-Vietnam actions and civil rights in the U.S.

    Their actions were rooted in deep spiritual beliefs. Thomas Merton inspired many of us during this same period. Many Notre Dame nuns too.

    Cantonsville 9

    • Kathleen
      September 5, 2016, 3:03 pm

      Not sure who the man is to the left of Daniel Berrigan….nailed it ” Not only are we killing people through violent physical war, but we are also killing them through the extension of our economic, political empire.”

      The Holy Outlaw

  18. JLewisDickerson
    September 12, 2016, 5:00 pm

    A ‘KEEPER’:

    “You see, I am a heretic in a consuming and killing culture, as well as in a complicity church.” ~ Daniel Berrigan, Responses to Settler Regimes, 19 Oct. 1973

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