About Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective.

It has four principal aims:

  1. To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion.
  2. To publish a diversity of voices to promote dialogue on these important issues.
  3. To foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy.
  4. To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

This blog is co-edited by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss is 56 and lives in New York state. Horowitz is 39 and lives in Atlanta.

We maintain this blog because of 9/11, Iraq, Gaza, the Nakba, the struggling people of Israel and Palestine, and our Jewish background.

This site aims to build a diverse community, with posts from many authors. The views of these authors do not necessarily represent the views of Horowitz and Weiss.

Contact

For general information and site issues contact the editors: [email protected] and [email protected]
For submissions contact: [email protected]

Allison Deger, Assistant Editor
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @allissoncd

Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mondowitz

Alex Kane, Assistant Editor
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @alexbkane

Annie Robbins, Editor-at-Large
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @anniefofani

Scott Roth, Publisher
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @scottroth76

Philip Weiss, Founder and Co-Editor
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PhilWeiss

Mondoweiss c/o CERSC
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Chicago, IL 60618

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Mondoweiss is only able to continue with the support of its readers. The website is part of The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, a 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions to which are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. 

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{ 67 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. mikomikeyz says:

    This is my second post here. I left my first just a few minutes ago. I didn’t actually see the “about” page until a minute ago. So. I’m down. It’s noble. I don’t know any of you. Maybe some vague recollections which my ADD neatly dispatched. I have a few guesses the more I think about this. I hope I’m not conversing with people who scold for a profession. Professions have a way erecting walls of invulnerability for the professional. I will not waste (too much) time with proud people.

    I read your 4 aims. I get it all but #4.

    I don’t get it. I understand imagining all sorts of different hypothetical futures. (I am terrible with hypotheticals with an undefinable number of variables. As an intuitive but empathic mathematician by nature, permutations and combinations and chaos theory tend to overwhelm me and render me unable to make a “best” or even “locus of best” determination.)

    So, how do you un-do Israel? I don’t see realism, I see academia and impossible immeasurables all over this discussion. (I have the feeling I’ve stepped into a hornets nest of pre-discussed assumptions and righteousness. Am I wrong? This is not something I talk about regularly.) Why WOULD you want to un-do Israel? Is America the Jews’ best long-term hope, and how do you know? (My family came here, both sides, between 1870 and 1890, pre-Ellis Island.) How can we quantitate or qualify answers that are anything but trendy or bowing to the zeitgeist of the moment?

    And lastly, all politics being personal I tend not to see “aims” and “morals”, I see: Freud, Erikson, Freud, Freud, Freud, Erikson.

    • ltrail says:

      I too have much problems with their “About”; especially no. 3 AND no. 4. I am a Zionist through and through. If you don’t know what a Zionist is, or see Zionism as a negative, it is bases on Torah Chapter 15: 18 – 21.

      • kyril says:

        Did you just quote the torah to justify zionism? here let me do it for you:

        15:18 In that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates;
        15:18 ביום ההוא כרת יהוה אתאברם ברית לאמר לזרעך נתתי אתהארץ הזאת מנהר מצרים עדהנהר הגדל נהרפרת

        It’s 2013, reality check.

      • Wz1948 says:

        The actual Zionist that is mentioned in the Torah is far from what is being practiced on the ground. In reality Zionism is whats dragging the Jewish religion and honorable Jews through the mud. The political Zionism that exists today is the manufacturer of the Irgun and Haganah 2 terror organizations.

        One more fact about today’s Zionism, USS liberty…check it out my fellow Americans, Israeli Army killing US Navy men and Women with weapons and planes donated by the people of the US to their “Allie” The state of Israel.

        link to whatreallyhappened.com

    • I believe you are Israeli and Zionist in your origin and are possibly being paid to spread misinformation throughout the blogosphere. I cannot prove this of course but I have encountered such things in many places when I’ve attempted to challenge Zionist ideals in a thoughtful manner. I am immediately attacked as anti-Semitic for even suggesting alternatives to Israel and painted as a racist fool. This being paid to “shill” is not uncommon among Israeli college students to provide a small source of income as well as reenforce their own Zion ideologies. Dangerous stuff.

  2. RoHa says:

    “Why WOULD you want to un-do Israel?”

    I would want to un-do it because it is evil.

    Israel was evil in conception.

    The idea was an ethnically based state, run for the benefit of a single ethnicity. This was wrong. It is always wrong for a state to privilege one ethnicity over others. The White Australia Policy was wrong when it staarted, and stayed wrong. The same is true of Zionism.

    Israel was evil in creation.

    Israel was created through abominable acts of mass murder, ethnic cleansing, destruction, and lies.

    Israel is evil in conduct.

    Israel has not ceased its ethnic cleansing, its persecution, its destructive wars, and its lies.

    “Is America the Jews’ best long-term hope, and how do you know?”

    Hope for what?

    • mikomikeyz says:

      Okay. Got why you would want to undo it. Still, you went straight for the academic, the visceral. I don’t understand the nuts and bolts.

      As far as “Hope for what”? Well, I trace my ancestry through the book “The Unbroken Chain”. My mother is a genealogist. She has over 10,000 family members on computer. Not just the chain; more importantly, the family stories, the myths, the newspaper clippings, the gravestone rubbings, the surprising connections….the clues to the people that once were. The hopes of these people to one day produce me as the inheritor of the best of all that they are. I owe them something by my existence, and my son can someday choose whether to come to this same conclusion.

      So asking me “Hope for what?”, this coming from someone who is capable of such moral clarity, has such an immoral, snarky twang to it that I don’t think I need to dignify with a answer. You either chill out with the stridency or we have no conversation. I think you know for what I hope.

      • Why did they bulldoze one of the oldest cemeteries in Jerusalem….? It seems like such an intentionally, deeply -wounding backward gesture….

      • How can we owe anything to the dead? Perhaps we benefit from what they bequeathed us, but there is no way we can repay them. That is because they are dead. Even if you believe in an afterlife, what can we do for them? Those who are in heaven do not need our help, and we shall not be allowed to help those who are in hell.

        So choose your goals with a view to the living and the yet-to-be-born, and let the dead bury the dead.

      • RoHa says:

        “So asking me “Hope for what?”, this coming from someone who is capable of such moral clarity,”

        Thank you.

        ” has such an immoral, snarky twang to it that I don’t think I need to dignify with a answer. I think you know for what I hope.”

        I’m sorry you see it as snarky. Perhaps if I phrase it as “What is it that you hope for?” it will sound like the genuine question I intend. For I really do not know what it is you hope for.

    • davidsc says:

      For a country so fraught with ‘evil’ it has had extraordinary economic, artistic, and scientific success on the world stage, despite the huge financial burden on the country to sustain its military force. When the Palestinians decide to turn their hate into something constructive we might start getting somewhere. I remember how the green houses left behind by Israel after the evacuation of Gaza were smashed to pieces by the proponents of Hamas.

      • Sumud says:

        …despite the huge financial burden on the country to sustain its military force.

        You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy.

        Israel’s military is funded by the US to the tune of more than $3 billion dollars annually. The US bears the burden, not Israel.

        When the Palestinians decide to turn their hate into something constructive we might start getting somewhere. I remember how the green houses left behind by Israel after the evacuation of Gaza were smashed to pieces by the proponents of Hamas.

        Oh really? Please cite a reliable source that supports that statement.

        The New York Times reported [article quoted at this blog] that settlers disassembled and even destroyed some of the greenhouses, that a small amount of looting did occur after Israel’s unilateral faux withdrawal in 2005 and then that the greenhouses that were left were quickly repaired and put back into use, by the end of 2005:

        NYT: Gaza greenhouses herald economic harvest

        The Goldstone Report reported on Israel’s widespread destruction of Gaza’s Greenhouses [my emphasis]:

        1021. The Mission also reviewed satellite images showing significant destruction of greenhouses throughout Gaza. In total, it is estimated that over 30 hectares of greenhouses were demolished; 11.2 hectares were destroyed in Gaza City and 9.5 hectares in north Gaza. The Mission found that the large-scale and systematic destruction of greenhouses was not justified by any possible military objective.

        1239. The destruction of land and greenhouses has an impact on the availability of fresh food in the Gaza Strip and, consequently, on the total supply of micronutrients to the population. Satellite imagery commissioned by the Mission shows that for the whole Gaza Strip an estimated 187 greenhouse complexes were either destroyed or severely damaged, representing approximately 30.2 hectares. Of all the destroyed greenhouses 68.6 per cent were in the Gaza and Gaza North Governorates; and 85.4 per cent were destroyed or damaged during the last week of the military operations. Satellite imagery also gives strong indications that tanks and/or heavy vehicles were likely to have been responsible for most of the damage.

        The Gaza Greenhouses hasbara is very old and very unoriginal. Please try harder davidsc.

        Oh yes, let’s amend that sentence of yours:

        When the Israelis decide to turn their hate into something constructive we might start getting somewhere.

        • mikomikeyz says:

          As a point in fact, not debate, Israel is probably economically self-sufficient enough that it doesn’t require any US government aid. (As a point open for debate, it might be wise to sever any US governmental aid.)

          But for the sake of understanding, how large is Israel’s annual military budget?

    • You work with what you have…. Progress – means that the possibility exists to move forward, and when you proceed, you have HOPE. Changing the policies of HATE that have been (are!) the foundation of so many nations IS VITAL… We need to consider EVERYONE….we are all related… American Indians say, ‘all my relations’….. I say…. All my beloved relations.

    • Antidote says:

      “I would want to un-do it because it is evil.

      Israel was evil in conception.

      The idea was an ethnically based state, run for the benefit of a single ethnicity.”

      That would also apply to Poland. Starting in 1918, Poland, with the active support or passive toleration of the Great/Imperial powers and the League of Nations, engaged in aggressive wars, ethnic cleansing and persecution of minorities for the purpose to enlarge its territory (in a one-sided definition of self-determination and at the expense of all bordering states) and to built a homogenous nation state in which “Polish” and “Catholic” was more or less synonymous. Such a Polish state had never before existed in history, and certainly not on the territory occupied by Poland since 45 and to this day. Do you have issues with Poland, or only Israel? As a matter of fact, Israel, it could be argued, is more “Polish” than “Jewish”, in many ways the spitting image of its European counter-part. Including the lies (posing as innocent and blameless victim of foreign aggression – from the 18th c partitions to the German invasion and the massive and brutal cleansing of Germans from their homelands in Danzig, East-Prussia etc at the end of WW II)

      • Ellen says:

        Antidote, It was the Russians who occupied Poland and cleansed both Germans and Poles from some regions, and brutalized and transported surviving Germans out East Prussia.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Antidote,

        Do you have issues with Poland, or only Israel?

        Let’s compare the activities of the Israel and Poland lobbies in American politics. What has the Poland lobby been up to lately? What demands has it made on Americans in recent decades? What wars has it tried to instigate? How many influential Americans have pro-Poland activists verbally attacked and abused?

        The truth is, Poland and the Poland lobby are non-controversial players and factors in American politics. If Poland doesn’t bug us, we won’t bug Poland.

        You really fail to grasp the deep political hole into which Israel has dug itself. Israel is expressing increasing malice and malevolence towards the very parties on which it is most dependent — signs of a crazy state, not a rational actor. Think of the scorpion and the frog meme.

      • RoHa says:

        “Do you have issues with Poland, or only Israel?”

        I have never been a fan of Poland (although I am a great admirer of Polish logicians, in spite of their unpronounceable names) and see no particular reason why it should exist. However, as far as I can tell, Poland gave up the ethnic cleansing, oppression of minorities, and aggressive wars some time ago.

        Israel is, of course, still carrying out such activities.

    • piotr says:

      “Israel was evil in creation”.

      I think that if you are an anarchist you can see a creation of a state as inherently evil, and this can be documented with lives of saints like Saint Olga (she had a big role in the creation of the Russian state, and apparently, she was a pathological anti-Drevlyanate).

    • I take exception to you characterizing the Glorious Zionist Project as “evil.” Everything has to be judged in comparison. So Israel is evil? Compared to what? The innate goodness of the Syrian, Iraqi, or Egyptian regimes? The kindness and loveliness that is Iran and Saudi Arabia?
      The fact is, Israel and Zionists jumped through all the hoops to get to statehood, from being granted the Balfour Declaration, to getting UN approval in the 1947 partition plan, which, needs to be repeated again and again, granted an Arab Palestinian State as well. Don’t blame Israel for the fault that the Arabs rejected partition, went to war, got their butts kicked, and have been crying to the UN ever since.
      The Israelis I know are warm and kindhearted. In fact, they would like nothing more than to help the Arabs. Just witness the way Israel provides free medical care to Syrian refugees fleeing the carnage there. Or that they give free medical care to Abbas’ wife. Israel would like nothing more than the Arabs in Gaza to be happy and free, but it is hard to help people who want to murder you (please take a look at the Hamas Charter).
      The Arabs in Israel never had it so good!!! They have more rights in Israel than they do in any Arab State. So don’t give me any of this “evil” bs. Thanks!!

  3. MRW says:

    Mikomikeyz,

    You have a lot to catch up on here. ;-)

    #4 is not about un-doing Israel. Try this on for size, which represents the thought prevalent at the time your ancestors came here:
    link to home2.btconnect.com

    • mikomikeyz says:

      My family came here, both sides, pre- Ellis Island. 1870-1890. I try my hardest to discuss, learn, measure. I am known to debate, but fight that desire with every fiber of my morning breakfast. I usually lose that fight. Polemics? Only when I have one foot out the door and never intend on continuing the discussion.

      I have seen this before (not in some time). I’ve heard alternatives discussed as to what Israel could have been instead, like a secular state.

      Still, most of my post is unaddressed. How old are most of the posters here? I already know most of the positions I’ve read here so far. I’m 49. I only wish I could transport some of the zeitgeist of the 1970′s regarding Israel to this board and watch the two eras duke it out.

      • Citizen says:

        The Zeitgeist of the 1970′s you refer to was inflated up there by propagandists; currently, we benefit from access to much more information not generally available back then. Get up to speed. That should please your ancestors.

        • mikomikeyz says:

          You realize you just dismissed me in saying “get up to speed”, when what you were addressing was a fantasy, an impossibility? I understand and empathize with your flip, dismissive, reductive response. Only someone who feels they haven’t been heard would respond so. Fair enough. I am not interested in combativeness, solely conversation. Your logic suggests that we know more now about what transpired in pre- and post-1948 then did the actual participants in the events of pre- and post-1948. Possibly, through forensics and legal paperwork. Although, having seen property battles with neighbors, I know how legality and morality often don’t correlate. And such forensics have a tough time re-creating the emotionally fleshy stories which aren’t contained in “information”. My guess is that 99.9% of the millions upon millions of individual stories surrounding that period of time have never been put on paper, and have either died with the participant or been told with the embellishment and polish of time to future generations. So, considering that far more of the participants in the pre- and post-1948 period were still alive in the 1970′s than today to recall events, I still think my imagined boxing match would be fascinating. PS I don’t think my ancestors would appreciate their stories and emotional lives reduced and dismissed as “propaganda”.

    • mikomikeyz says:

      MRW,

      I’ll add one more thing: I have family living in what is now Israel for 150 years. History: Napoleon almost created a Jewish State. Never happened. That would have been-what?-1800? Not a political statement, just history.

      • Citizen says:

        Mmmm, know any people who still take pride in the Stars & Bars? Everybody has a family tree. Get up to speed. This will honor your ancestors.

        • mikomikeyz says:

          Yes. everybody has a family tree. I posted a bit of information for MRW about my family’s history, and about general history.

          As far as getting “up to speed’, I like my speed just fine, and I’m sure my ancestors, as best I’ve been able to know them, would approve.

          Is to seemingly viscerally dismiss, reduce and command those you imagine disagree with you on a message board your general quick default response? I don’t know you, so I don’t know in what context to take your response. This may be something you already know, but I’ll take a shot anyway: you might consider that there are less abusive emotional strategies should you have children. (Or do you have children?)

    • mikomikeyz says:

      PS Your “snapshot of thought” in 1919 shows how zeitgeist changes. I know that Henry Morgenthau became a financial adviser to Israel. There is content in this fact which makes sense to consider on numerous levels.

  4. AaronAarons says:

    Excuse the change of subject, but could you folks post somewhere on the site instructions on how to change one’s login password for this site? I can’t remember the arbitrary string of characters that was emailed to me as my password when I signed up, and I assume others might have the same problem.

    If I’m just being dense and missing the obvious, the moderators should feel free to delete this and send me a private email instead.

  5. patm says:

    Another change of subject.

    I think the article highlighted below is well worth putting up on mondo, but I can’t think of a thread where it would fit. It does speak to our concerns about Christian Zionists — but there is more to it than that.

    “The Rapture didn’t come, but don’t worry, the world is still boiling”

    By Joshua Kahn Russell | May 23, 2011

    link to rabble.ca

    Joshua Kahn Russell is an organizer working to bridge movements for environmental sanity and racial justice. He is a strategy and non-violent direct action trainer with the Ruckus Society.

    Here’s his second para, re American Christian Zionists.

    “I was among many progressives making fun of the rapture all day Saturday, but ultimately the joke might be on us. When it comes to global warming and climate chaos, the script is a bit too familiar.

    According to a recent poll, 44% of Americans believe increased severity of “natural” disasters is “evidence of biblical end times.” That’s nearly half the people in the most powerful country on Earth. 38% believe God uses Nature to dispense justice. It’s an important poll that climate change activists and sensible people everywhere should take seriously.”

  6. Elliot says:

    Thank you, Phil and Adam.
    The four principal aims are just right. I’m particularly pleased to see #4.

  7. Philip and Adam, thank you guys for organizing and voicing the truth about Middle East. I was extremely sick and tired hearing Zionist Propaganda from Major networks like CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, NPR etc all doing Zionist propaganda. NPR was not like that years ago, they changed since 7 years. Zionists took over NPR as well.

  8. MHughes976 says:

    I’m trying to make a donation – it worked last time but this time the system won’t have me unless I enter a US state and postcode. Any way through the barrier? – Martin

    • Ellen says:

      I had that same problem. I finaly got around it when someone did it for me. It seems to be the service used to process credit cards? As Mondo has an international participation, it would be great if that could be fixed?

  9. patm says:

    How do I repair my subscription service? I can no longer get email notifications of follow up comments, nor can I subscribe without commenting.

    Help!! Thanks, Pat Montague alias patm

  10. Talkback says:

    I’m to stupid to find out by myself how use the HTML tags. Can anybody help me? How can I close a blockquote cite tag?

  11. By mistake I typed in mondoweiss.com instead of mondoweiss.net and found myself at a site with URL ww2.mondoweiss.com. This pseudo-Mondoweiss is a pro-Israel site. Mondoweiss is besieged!

    • piotr says:

      This is interesting. Today mondoweiss.com links to monster.com, a job searching website. Apparently, someone owns the domain name and RENTS it for spam-like purposes, and some hasbara effort was paying for that for some time. I think it works like google ads.

      Very often misspelled versions of commercial domains display ads of the competitors, which may give revenue but also be a form of the pressure for the domain owner to buy the misspelled name.

    • Light says:

      The same happened to me today. However, the rogue site tried to install a virus on my machine. Make sure your anti virus is up to date and type your url’s carefully.

  12. piotr says:

    A question about donations:

    I is correct to conclude that 33,257 was raised in smaller donations, and 10,000 by the “matching”?

  13. Mayhem says:

    How does one get full video displayed in a post instead of just a link?
    Would be great if one of the machers around here put together a general guide.

  14. Woody Tanaka says:

    I think it would be good to let comments stay open for more than 2 days. There are often still good conversations going on that just get cut off.

  15. Eva Smagacz says:

    Mondoweiss for iPhone has no DONATE button.

  16. Hi there! I stumbled across one of your articles via google while looking up information on political Zionism and was surprised to find not only a well written and illuminating article, but also a vibrant comments section with an informed intellectual debate by people with genuine spiritual wisdom! I quickly realized that most of the people in the conversation were either Jewish or Zionist, which was interesting to me as I’ve never been exposed to either cultures. Of course it goes without saying to pretty much anyone except maybe a Zionist that the intellectual debate was coming from the Jews not the Zionists! What was illuminating however was the tolerance and compassion from the Jewish towards the hostile, non logical and oft offensive Zionists.
    I am probably unique here as an English Buddhist but after reading your objectives I feel that my point of view of the topics could offer some unique perspectives that could be of benefit such as

    2. To publish a diversity of voices to promote dialogue on these important issues
    4. To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity

    I only recently started learning about the Israel/Palistine conflict in depth when I found out that Israel was created in the 40′s which was a surprise to me. To be honest I don’t really watch a lot of news as I think its toxic. Although I heard about the conflict I had no idea the full extent of how the Israelis are systematically eradicating the Palistinians and booting them out if their land… The media makes it out to be a war but its not, its a massacre. A pretty grim thing to discover that there is a modern day holocaust going on right now and my government is pretty much condoning it and covering it up as much as they can, not to mention also being allies with the perpetrators… its sickening.

    But reading those Zionists posts and seeing firsthand the mentality of the people who think this it is their god given right to massacre innocent people and steal their land was quite an eye opener. I don’t know much about Judaism but I respect it as a religion and any respectful religion promotes compassion, tolerance and other good virtues, the kind of virtues that I saw promoted by the Jews in the posts I read. Zionism isn’t Jewish at all its a cult and its a shame that its dragging the name of Judaism down just as the holy crusaders did for Christianity. Actually a lot of people I’ve talked to think Zionism is Jewish and blame the Zionist activities on the Jews, its a shame.

    One major fallacy I see in Zionism is they think Jerusalem is theirs because it was given to them by God. But what God giveth he can also taketh away and the Jews killed Jesus so he didn’t protect them when they were evicted from their homeland. Surely the Jews cannot lay claim to that gift after killing his son?! Or maybe the Zionists do not believe in Jesus? I don’t know.

    I have great compassion for the plight of the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews who are also trapped in such an awful system and pray for them to find peace and joy.

    Thanks for making this forum open to everyone as I have benefited and I’m sure so will many more!

    • piotr says:

      “One major fallacy I see in Zionism is they think Jerusalem is theirs because it was given to them by God. But …”

      Sorry, I do not follow your argument. You have mentioned that you are an English Buddhist. “Buddhism is generally non-theistic and rejects the notion of a Creator God which provides divine values for the world.” I think that to a Buddhist, the values of right and wrong are not given by any spiritual entity, but they exists objectively and can be reached through enlightment, learning etc. and that makes it simply impossible for any entity to bestow moral right to a country on some group of people outside that country. So there would be no giving and taking.

      • MHughes976 says:

        Who are we dealing with here? The reference to ‘taking away’ because of the killing of Jesus, God’s son – even the mere mention of the idea – seems very strange from a Buddhist, even an English one. It is not, I think, a common idea among Christians, even (my fellow) English ones, these days.
        Contemporary disagreement with Zionism is not an expression of belief in blood guilt but of belief in human right.

      • RoHa says:

        4libertynjustice is not arguing that God gives moral rights.

        He is arguing that Zionists seem to believe that, and yet do not believe that God could have withdrawn the right to the country. He offers a reason why Zionists could conclude that God withdrew the right, but that is absurdly based on Christian doctrine.

        None of this, however, implies that 4lj has any belief in God.

      • Thanks for the replies. Actually in Buddhism we do believe in God in the same way as Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews. The ultimate aim of all of these religions including Buddhism is to become one with God through moral purity, spiritual cultivation and meditation. Now while I do not consider the bible as being a real estate charter or an accurate historical narrative, I do consider it a holy text which conveys the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now there is no reason for me not to believe that God did not give Israel to the Jews, but if I do believe this I must also accept the fact he may have taken it away. And as it turns out HE DID, according to the orthodox Jewish tradition. You ask an orthodox Jew he will tell you this (so long as he is not afraid of being beaten and tortured by Israel). The Jews were forbidden by God to have a state of their own and were told to live amongst the other nations and to be devoted to those nations so long as their laws did not force them to break the laws of God.

        • RoHa says:

          “Actually in Buddhism we do believe in God in the same way as Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews. ”

          Christians alone have a variety of different concepts of God. The same is true of Muslims, Hindus and Jews. And standard forms of Buddhism* do not include the concept of an omnipotent super-ghost who created the universe.

          link to buddhanet.net
          link to budsas.org
          link to vajra.us

          It has been argued that the “Three bodies” doctrine of Mahayana schools can be regarded as implying a version of a divine “ground of being”, but this is a long way from the more common views of God in the monotheist religions.

          “The ultimate aim of all of these religions including Buddhism is to become one with God through moral purity, spiritual cultivation and meditation.”

          This simply not true. The claim can only be made by ignoring the actual proclaimed teachings of the monotheist religions. Mystics in those religions sometimes referred to becoming one with God, but they frequently got into trouble with the religious authorities for saying it.

          (*For legal reasons, Indonesian Buddhists pretend to believe in God, and the Indonesian Government pretends to believe them.)

          • Roha I can assure you that regardless of what some website might say I’ve studied and practiced Buddhism for almost 15 years and I am 100% certain that there is an omnipotent God the creator whom we worship. As you mentioned the three bodies of the Buddha it is his spiritual body which is God that created the universe.

            As for other religions, Christianity and Hinduism are rich with teachings of becoming one with God as is Sufism in Islam and mysticism in Judaism. A quick google search can confirm this.

            To me it seems you are the one “ignoring the actual proclaimed teachings of the monotheist religions”.

  17. RoHa says:

    Drifting off topic here.

    What you believe and have been taught is your business, but it does not sound like standard forms of Buddhism unless you are extending the term “God” beyond its normal meaning.

    Fifteen years ago I was teaching university courses on Buddhist philosophy and philosophy of religion, so I know a bit more than just what a website says.

    Theravada Buddhism does not include the concept of a creator God. Attempts have been made to equate the concepts of Sunyata or Dharmakaya In Mahayana Buddhism with God, but these founder on the insistence of the theists that God is personal. (I might add that I don’t see the point of such attempts.). Nor are all theists happy with the idea that we, too, have the same nature as God in the way that we are all supposed to have Buddha-nature.

    The MB concepts are closer to the concept of ultimate reality that Spinoza misleadingly labelled “God”. He, too, was extending the term beyond its normal meaning, and was excommunicated for it.

    As I said before, there are mystical traditions in the Abrahamic theist religions, but they are minority teachings. Sufism was probably the most widely accepted.

    • Well I did not really want to get into a debate about Buddhism but as you have pressed the subject I will answer your question. An overwhelming majority of the western texts on Buddhism are not very reliable. Most of those that are come from the Theravada tradition. When the temples in Burma and Thailand which held the Theravadan Pali Canon were destroyed shortly after Buddhism arrived there the monks were only able to retrieve the text from the first part of the Buddha’s teachings on moral and ethical purity. However the Chinese text which were written by empirical decree and have been kept safe contain the Buddha’s teachings on metaphysics. That is why the Mahayana canon is significantly larger than the Theravadan. I have a brother who has been a Theravadan monk sincehe was 7 years old and we have had many talks. We definitely do not have any difference of opinion in philosophy or ideology as taught by the Buddha. So while in theory you think we do not believe in God in Buddhism, in practice we do! Buddhism gave me a great gift, the ability to see the universality of all the worlds major religions.

      • RoHa says:

        I don’t want a lengthy debate either, but I’ll repeat my main points.

        The word “God” usually refers to the Christian/Muslim/Jewish super-person who created the universe from nothing. To use the word to refer to some other ultimate reality/ground of being (as Spinoza did) is misleading, since the word still carries the connotations of its basic meaning and so creates the false impression that it is the original that is being referred to. (Though not intentionally misleading, unlike when the Zionists use the word “peace”.)

        I know about the Chinese canon*. As far as I can tell, the Christian/Muslim/Jewish super-person does not feature in that.

        The fond idea of the universality of religions can only be maintained by cherry picking, amphiboly of the type described above, and ignoring many of the actual beliefs of the believers.

        (*There is a copy in the University of Queensland library. Rather a long read, even for a wet weekend.)

        • “I know about the Chinese canon*. As far as I can tell, the Christian/Muslim/Jewish super-person does not feature in that.”

          From this statement it is obvious to me you have little understanding of the higher teachings of the Buddha in the Mahayana canon otherwise you would understand the connection to the “super-person” you talk of and Buddhism. I can also tell that you probably reject this concept altogether given the derogatory reference to God the creator as a “super-person”.

          Merely reading the Sanskrit or Chinese scripture translations is not enough to understand them. Even if you knew how to read ancient Chinese or Sanskrit, limitations in your cultural and historical understanding of the written language would be an insurmountable barrier, besides the fact that the texts themselves require an incredible amount of background knowledge and experience in Buddhism and spiritual cultivation to understand.

          Buddha gave in a spiritual sermon to spirits, gods and his 5 disciples, not ordinary people, his teachings on the metaphysical, so they are not easy to understand for ordinary or even scholarly people. Concerning the Lalitavistara Sutra the Dharmachakra Translation Committee states:
          “Although this topic clearly deserves further study, it is interesting to note that hardly any new research on this sūtra has been published during the last sixty years. As such the only thing we can currently say concerning the sources and origin of The Play in Full is that it was based on several early and, for the most part, unidentified sources that belong to the very early days of the Buddhist tradition.”
          So you see unless you come from a tradition that has been initiated into the teachings by a master who had it passed to him by his master all the way back to the Buddha, you are likely a false prophet if you claim to understand the scriptures but declare yourself an authority on the matter. The Tibetan or Vajrayana tradition is a more extreme example of this as it is purposefully encrypted so only the initiated can understand. This is a result of the combination of Buddhism with the native Tibetan Bon religion.

          This is why Theravadan Buddhism is most appealing to westerners as it is easier for them to accept moral precepts and ethics into their materialistic way of looking at the world than it is anything metaphysical or spiritual, which both the Vajrayana and Mahayana traditions elaborate on extensively. So as I said originally although in theory you think there is no concept of God in Buddhism, in practice there is!

          P.S notice the distinction between God (singular and capitol G) to gods (plural and lower case g), in Buddhism and other religions there are many gods but only one God (God the creator). Possibly gods in Buddhism are the equivalent of angels in Christianity? Regardless, there is a clear distinction between god/s and God in Buddhism.

          • RoHa says:

            Clearly you have been favoured with an esoteric teaching that is not mentioned in the standard literature and which was not mentioned to me by the Mahayana teachers I knew in Japan.

          • “Clearly you have been favoured with an esoteric teaching that is not mentioned in the standard literature and which was not mentioned to me by the Mahayana teachers I knew in Japan.”

            Indeed I have been blessed with a rare and authentic Mahayana tradition passed down directly from the Buddha, and the teachings are certainly not widely available in the English or other western texts. However in the Avatamsake Sutra it says:
            In the Heaven of Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it. In the same way each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact IS everything else. “In every particle of dust, there are present Buddhas without number.”
            Here the Buddha is clearly talking of heaven, omnipresence, metaphysics and the true nature of reality. This is just a small excerpt so I’m not sure what texts you were studying to be honest as there is much like this in Mahayana Buddhism. It is also not necessary for a Buddhist, even a Japanese one like your friends to talk to you about God from the western religious point of view. Intellectual philosophy and theory in Buddhism are very much second place to practice and experience, if they were Zen monks they may very well have only discussed practical matters with you. Zen masters have even been known to go so far as to make their students burn their books as a lesson in not over intellectualizing. This does not mean that the metaphysical teaching was not there just that they prefer the practicalities which are indeed far more important and the foundation for true understanding of greater wisdom.

  18. “Christians alone have a variety of different concepts of God. The same is true of Muslims, Hindus and Jews. ”

    Although throughout the ages different peoples from different cultures and races have described or attempted to describe the indescribable God the creator in many different ways, I believe they are all talking about the same thing. So I see the worlds great religions as different paths up the same mountain, or as the Buddha described it as the teachings being like a raft needed to pass a stream, once you cross to the other side you don’t have to carry the raft with you. Individual religious practices and beliefs aside the path to unity with God is always the same, moral purity combined with meditation.

    There is much misinterpretation, misrepresentation and manipulation of religions throughout history. In particularly faith based religions are most prone to manipulation as blind faith in God is generally a requirement. This trend can be traced back to Jesus Christ in the bible who denounced the Pharisees, the false prophet elders of Judaism. Unfortunately it is the twisted ideology and philosophy in the Babylonian Talmud which they helped create that is still being taught and practiced in the name of Judaism today. Zionism is one of its most recent expression, but it is in fact just an ideological extension of the teachings of the Pharisees from what I can tell. An attempt to destroy all the worlds religions and mans connection to God. But Jesus talks of this in the bible and its pretty clear that they will be wiped off the face of the earth in flames, only then will the true Israelites return to their homeland. Until then the Jews were forbidden to setup a state of their own even on uninhabited land, so the Zionists who are doing this now in an inhabited land and murdering its inhabitants in the name of Judaism are in for a bad time of biblical proportions.

    • An excerpt from an interesting thread:

      Re: Israel shouldn’t exist according to the Torah

      “Zionists are false jews. Impostors.
      /a jew”

      “I’m Jewish and when I first figured out what was going on I was shocked and devastated.
      Israel is a Zionist lie.”

      “I, too, am Jewish and I used to be a flag waving zionist who stood by Israel without question.
      Then I actually paid attention.
      I have had to complete disassociate myself from most all the people (jews) that I have ever known.
      My best friend and I are compassionate humans–when we realized (what) all the “hatred” was really about –it was the biggest shock of our lives. I wouldn’t have made it through without her.
      I just can’t believe the rest don’t want to hear it–won’t hear it.
      Kudos for your honesty.”

      link to godlikeproductions.com

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