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Netanyahu’s ‘gift’ to Pope: book on Catholic church’s persecution of Jews

Israel/Palestine
on 128 Comments

This is a video of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu exchanging gifts yesterday with Pope Francis (he’s the guy in the skullcap). Haaretz reports:

Netanyahu, who was accompanied by his wife Sara, gifted the pope a book about the Spanish inquisition written by his father Benzion Netanyahu, a prominent historian. It bore the inscription: “To His Holiness Pope Francis, great guardian of our common heritage.”

The book is The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth-Century Spain. That’s when the Catholic Church cleaned house in Spain and persecuted many Jews and Muslims. “This is one gift horse that should be looked squarely in the mouth! What a nice bread-and-butter gift!” says my tipster, Michael Desch.

Adam Taylor writes at Business Insider:

The leader of the world’s only Jewish state giving the leader of the Catholic Church a book that largely revolves about Spanish Catholics questioning, torturing, and punishing Jewish converts to Catholicism is certainly noteworthy. The Spanish inquisition is widely held up as one of the worst excesses of the Roman Catholic Church, and thousands of people were expelled from Spain or burned at the stake. Worse still, the inquisition of Catholic converts (and the use of torture to discover heretics) was first legally sanctioned by Pope Innocent IV.

So, Netanyahu’s gift may seem passive aggressive (or maybe just aggressive), and perhaps it is. But it is important to think of the context of the book…

I know what the context of the book is: all Netanyahu’s new existential threats to the Jewish people, from Iran to the Palestinians. His wife Sara told the Pope she couldn’t wait till he visits Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and this is her husband’s preemptive strike to keep the Pope from restaging Pope Benedict’s photo-op at the wall.

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About Philip Weiss

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128 Responses

  1. FreddyV
    FreddyV
    December 3, 2013, 8:23 am

    The man is so outrageously crass its not even true.

    Can someone pass the chutzpah? its over there, right next to the hubris….

    • December 4, 2013, 6:33 pm

      this thing’s jewish arrogance is beyond comprehension. frankly, it’s sociopathic. a fellow israeli jew who is a knesset member indeed called him psychotic!
      on a smaller scale it reminds me of jerry seinfeld arrogantly telling the world his comedic success is due to his famous jewish DNA.
      hey pope, don’t you wish you still had the knights templars!

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        December 5, 2013, 10:22 am

        “this thing’s jewish arrogance is beyond comprehension.”

        So there’s a special Jewish arrogance, is there. You know what’s arrogant? Taking the fact that Netanyahu gave the Pope a book about the Spanish Inquisition, and based on no facts at all, claiming that the Pope took offense.

        “frankly, it’s sociopathic”

        Uh-huh.

        “on a smaller scale it reminds me of jerry seinfeld arrogantly telling the world his comedic success is due to his famous jewish DNA.”

        You have a problem with Jews. We get it.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        December 5, 2013, 3:50 pm

        @truth

        Err…Pope Clement knifed the Templars in the back with his Papal Bull of 1307.

        * moron*

      • lysias
        lysias
        December 5, 2013, 4:47 pm

        If he’s a psychotic, he’s a psychotic who has control over hundreds of nuclear weapons. Scary thought.

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        December 5, 2013, 8:41 pm

        this thing’s jewish arrogance is beyond comprehension.

        The Christian church held the charge of deicide over the heads of the Jews in Europe for about 2,000 years.

        Now THAT was truly sociopathic/ psychopathic behaviour.
        It made life for European Jews deeply unpleasant to say the least. By contrast in the Islamic lands Jews faired better – regarded as dhimmis but at least no charge of deicide.

        The Vatican only decided to relinquish it’s punitive grasp on the Jews as the villains of the piece by overturning the deicide charge in the 1960’s about a full generation AFTER the Holocaust.

        The current pope seems like a good chap though. Seems in touch with ordinary folk.

  2. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    December 3, 2013, 8:25 am

    What an awful human being to insult the Pope with a book written by that vile, racist toad like Benzion. Too bad the pope has manners. I would have turned around, tossed it in the nearest trash can and walked out.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      December 3, 2013, 6:57 pm

      But not before inviting your jeans-wearing Iranian aide brandishing a Max Blumenthal Goliath book which he promptly smacks Bibi in the face with.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      December 5, 2013, 10:24 am

      “I would have turned around, tossed it in the nearest trash can and walked out.”

      Spoken like someone who is not the Pope.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 5, 2013, 11:10 am

        “Spoken like someone who is not the Pope.”

        Nope. I don’t have the constitution to smile while trash like Netanyahoo is around, so a career in politics is not for me.

  3. marc b.
    marc b.
    December 3, 2013, 8:36 am

    So, Netanyahu’s gift may seem passive aggressive (or maybe just aggressive), and perhaps it is. But it is important to think of the context of the book…

    what does that mean, exactly? the historical context of the events portrayed in the book? the context of the book as a gift? the context of the author of the book and the author’s son impliedly lecturing the new pope on religious/ethnic intolerance?

    PS, I am a human being, contrary to the opinion of some, but I am batting about .500 on the security passwords to post a comment

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    December 3, 2013, 8:51 am

    The Pope should give Netanyahu (the one without the skullcap) Max Blumenthal’s new book, Goliath.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      December 3, 2013, 4:36 pm

      Haha! Yes! I would have loved that.

      By the way. This part of Phil’s analysis is, in my view, the most correct of all that I’ve read on Bibi’s “gift”.

      and this is her husband’s preemptive strike to keep the Pope from restaging Pope Benedict’s photo-op at the wall.

      He knows the Pope is charismatic in a way his predecessor was not. If Pope Francis would go strongly against Israel, it would be a PR disaster for Israel, something Bibi the PR guy knows. So I think Phil insanely accurate here in guessing Bibi’s mindset here; it’s to preempt any such moment by yelling SPANISH INQUISITION. For Bibi, ending Apartheid is the same as ethnic cleansing. And inversely, to save Jews is to maintain Apartheid.

      Let’s hope Pope Francis can cut through the bigotry. I don’t doubt he can. But the question is; is he willing? And if not, why wouldn’t he?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        December 3, 2013, 7:01 pm

        He knows the Pope is charismatic in a way his predecessor was not. If Pope Francis would go strongly against Israel, it would be a PR disaster for Israel, something Bibi the PR guy knows.

        Very good observation Krauss.

        Apparently the Pope played a significant role behind the scenes in stopping the bombing of Syria.

        I was in Rome in September and went for a walk in the early hours to the Vatican. There was a huge even being set up with thousands of chairs and large screens in St Peter’s Square. Later that day I ran into some Americans who told me they were there to take part in a prayer vigil for peace in opposition to the threat of attack on Syria.

        Let’s hope this Pope does cut through the BS and inflict a fatal wound on apartheid.

  5. mdesch
    mdesch
    December 3, 2013, 9:18 am

    At least he didn’t give the Holy Father a copy of John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope. Maybe he’s saving that for next year!

  6. amigo
    amigo
    December 3, 2013, 9:23 am

    Gee, I wonder what nietandyahoo would have to say if the Pope gave him a book which accuses Jews of killing Jesus.

    How does one expect Lieberman to be diplomatic when his boss is not the least bit subtle.

    Hopefully this gift” will go up in smoke” when the next conclave chooses a new El Pappa.

  7. ritzl
    ritzl
    December 3, 2013, 9:34 am

    Netanyahu is one strange dude.

  8. flyod
    flyod
    December 3, 2013, 9:39 am

    weiss, it’s always starts persecution of jews doesn’t it.?matters not that talmudic jewery aligned itself with the moores in it’s conquest of spain and functioned as power brokers within that government ….not unlike today. the fact is history is always about cause and effect and spain simply proved to be an important stop along the way http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112514/jewish/Hasdai-Ibn-Shaprut.htm

    anyway it was on to poland

  9. American
    American
    December 3, 2013, 9:41 am

    Wonder what Pope Francis said to Bibi.
    Maybe…. “Thanks for the book on ancient history, but what about the Palestines?”

  10. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    December 3, 2013, 9:43 am

    Well, we all have a right to point to wrongdoing in the past, provided that it is remembered that the record of past wrongs is not, is the opposite of, a justification for wrongdoing in the present. We visited Toledo a few years ago, where there are still one or two former synagogues seized by the Spanish state and handed over to the Church, which no longer uses them for services but retains ownership, or at that time still did. The story was that there are not enough Jewish people in the area for Jewish services to resume, still I would think it more than fitting to return the premises to the ownership of those who currently practise the Jewish religion in Spain.
    Furthermore, I suppose that the identifiable heirs of persecuted Jewish people in Spain could rightfully demand restitution and compensation from the current Spanish government and from the Vatican, which authorised what the Spanish government of long ago was doing, just as the identifiable heirs of more recently persecuted Jewish people in Germany have made certain demands. This may be what Netanyahu is planning, or what occurs in some of his dreams. England is in line too, considering what Edward I did in 1290-odd. Then we can see about the Palestinians, among whom the identification of heirs and of seized property is comparatively easy.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      December 4, 2013, 3:41 am

      In the cases of both England and Spain, these were at the time Feudal states and the Kings and Queens were perfectly within their rights to expel people for whatever reason they liked and then dole out their property. That’s what an absolute monarchy can do. And one of the many reasons we eventually got rid of them.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 4, 2013, 4:14 pm

        I don’t think that any exposition of feudal ethics, Divine Comedy or Canterbury Tales, for instance, suggests that expulsion was a right of the rulers. They were supposed to be ‘good lords’. Even if people at the time thought along those lines, their thoughts would have been by objective ethical standards perverted and there is, on this showing, no reason why restitution should not be made. I ask only that it be made to the Palestinians as well.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 4, 2013, 8:47 pm

        I was under the impression that feudal lords could not expel serfs from the land. The serf had the absolute right to stay on the land and farm it, even if he was otherwise maltreated by the lord. All land belonged to the King, so the lord had to act within the King’s laws. However, I do not know what legal or conventional restraints there were on the King’s treatment of townsfolk.
        Hostage probably knows this stuff.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        December 5, 2013, 11:23 pm

        @ RoHa

        Unfortunately we’re not talking about Serfs. Jews throughout Europe were considered the “property” of the King. In 1070 William I (the Conqueror) stated of the Jews in England, in council, that “The King would treat both their persons and property as his own.” Meant as a statement of Jewish protection it also took direct responsibility for ALL Jews under his rule. In 1190 after the massacre of York, King Richard I demanded “his” Jews be protected. He took the attack upon the Jews of York as an affront to the Crown itself and instructed the archa system whereby records were kept of every transaction involving a Jew be instituted.

        And whilst all this was a means to protect the Jews, what it ended up being was a way to “farm” Jews. They received the King’s protection from everyone, but not from the King. To him they had to “render up to Caesar” and if they didn’t they could be tortured until they complied. And like all “farmed” resources control of their local was also part of the equation, with Jews in the 13th Century England being compelled to restrict themselves to towns where they were “accustomed to live” ostensibly to make administration of the archa system easier. But again this is Royal control of Jewish residence and movement. An example of this would be Warwick or Leicester from which Jews were expelled in the 1230’s because they were not deemed places Jews “were accustomed to live.”

        The point is that the Jews were outside the normal structure of Feudal society and lived within Christendom at the largess of Feudal Royalty, for whom they were little more than a resource to be farmed. And being outsiders their overlords most definitely had the right to expel Jews when they wished to under the legal and social structures of the day.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        December 5, 2013, 11:29 pm

        @ MHughes976

        I’m afraid that when you look at even more local expulsions, Leicester for example or the dower towns belonging to Edward I’s mother all of which were cleared of Jews in the 1230’s, then you can definitely say that expulsion of Jews was the right of the rulers.

        Also you’re using what appears to be a very limited definition of “Good Lords” not taking into account the Medieval world-view that incorporated a monotheistic religious dimension that was not merely believed in but known to be true. A “Good Lord” was also a good child and protector of the Church and a good ruler in Christendom.

    • American
      American
      December 5, 2013, 10:47 am

      MHughes976 says:
      Furthermore, I suppose that the identifiable heirs of persecuted Jewish people in Spain could rightfully demand restitution and compensation from the current Spanish government and from the Vatican, which authorised what the Spanish government of long ago was doing, just as the identifiable heirs of more recently persecuted Jewish people in Germany have made certain demands.>>>

      Please tell me you are not seriously suggesting that we go back to the 13th and 14th centuries and dredge up more victims for restitution.
      If you want to do that lets just go whole hog back to the BC era so we can declare all 7 billion humans in the world today descendents of victims entitled to restitution…which is exactly how it would work out.

  11. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    December 3, 2013, 9:48 am

    “To His Holiness Pope Francis, great guardian of our common heritage.”

    Guess the protocol office nixed Netanyahu’s original inscription: “To His Holiness Pope Francis, Just to let you know that YOU STILL OWE US!”

    Netanyahu had to break out a fresh copy of dad’s book. In the interest of saving the Israeli taxpayer a few shekels (a somewhat delicate issue for the PM at the moment), he figures, with a little white-out, it’ll make a fine gift for the King of Spain.

    • Chu
      Chu
      December 4, 2013, 3:18 pm

      ‘you still owe us’

      exactamundo…

      Guilt is one of the Israeli leaders better cards to play.

  12. jon s
    jon s
    December 3, 2013, 9:58 am

    I wonder if they had to wait in those endless lines to get into the Vatican.

  13. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    December 3, 2013, 9:59 am

    And the Pope gave Netanyahu a nice edition of “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.” It bore the inscription: “To Israel’s esteemed Prime Minister, great guardian of interfaith tranquility in the Holy Land.”

  14. American
    American
    December 3, 2013, 10:01 am

    Here’s how it’s being explained.

    ‘Why Netanyahu Gave Pope Francis His Father’s History of the Spanish Inquisition
    It might seem undiplomatic, but it was actually pretty clever’

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/154767/why-netanyahu-gave-pope-francis-his-fathers-history-of-the-spanish-inquisition

    snip…..

    ”In other words, Ben Zion Netanyahu’s argument shifted the root blame for the Inquisition from religion to ingrained racial animus–from the spiritual to the secular. If one was going to give the pope a book about the Inquisition, then, this would be the one. Moreover, not only does the book’s revisionist reckoning partially absolve Christianity for Spanish persecution of the Jews, it offers a contemporary message of pressing relevance. At a time when Christian anti-Semitism has receded–evidenced not least by the friendly relations between the Vatican and the state of Israel–secular and racial forms of anti-Semitism have been on the rise, particularly in Europe, where a nearly a quarter of Jews say they are afraid to publicly identify as Jewish. The anti-Semitism diagnosed by Ben Zion Netanyahu is alive and well.
    The elder Netanyahu’s account of the Inquisition then, whatever its merits as a reconstruction of the past, serves as a powerful warning about the dangers lurking in the present–one that his son doubtless intended to convey.”

    Yes, must reinforce that the world always hated Jews and always will….eternal danger!

    • ThorsteinVeblen2012
      ThorsteinVeblen2012
      December 3, 2013, 2:49 pm

      I get it.

      Since so many people no longer believe in God there seems no point in blaming the church for antiSemitism, so let’s blame the secularists.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      December 3, 2013, 10:10 pm

      All you willing executioners, check out Goldhagen’s latest book about the devil that never dies.

  15. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    December 3, 2013, 10:11 am

    It bore the inscription: “To His Holiness Pope Francis, great guardian of our common heritage.”

    I think Pope Francis does not really have any “beef” with Judaism. He is not conservative either, so he does not really like the Inquisition.

    I think it would have been nicer to give him a book about a positive part of their common heritage, like a writing about the Old Testament. That would certainly be something we hold in common. Both religions share the worship of Judaism, although they do not share many of its rituals. But some rituals are shared- the mass is based on Jewish services.

  16. Taxi
    Taxi
    December 3, 2013, 10:28 am

    Coulda been worse: Bibi coulda given the Pope a book on holocaust porn.

  17. Pamela Olson
    Pamela Olson
    December 3, 2013, 10:31 am

    Just shows where his mind is — everyone is an enemy, everyone should be preemptively attacked, all the time.

    What a freaking loon.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      December 3, 2013, 11:48 am

      That is the ideology and he is the chief wizard.
      It is persecution everywhere, total war any time.
      What a waste of a great religion.

  18. Walid
    Walid
    December 3, 2013, 10:46 am

    Must have been too much of an effort for Netanyahu’s wife to wear a scarf in the presence of the pope. The pope must have wondered how they let those yahoos in.

  19. Walid
    Walid
    December 3, 2013, 11:23 am

    Maybe Netanyahu is pissed off by the pope’s latest declarations that Muslims are actually good guys and Islam and the Quran preach against violence, which goes against the Zionist narrative. The pope said all these good things about the Muslim religion in his 224-page Apostolic Exhortation just released, ” The Joy of the Gospel”.

    Salon article commented on all the voodoo creeps coming out of the dark to comment negatively on the pope’s feelings towards Islam; here’s what’s written about Pam Geller’s reaction:

    “Pam Geller: How dare the Pope actually read the Koran!

    It’s not the communism that Islamophobic blogger/activist Pam Geller is worried about with Pope Francis. It’s how nice he is to Muslims. It’s downright unChristian of him to imply that there might be Muslims who don’t want to kill the rest of us. He obviously condones the killing of Christians.

    Talk about a leap of faith.

    “At a time when Christianity worldwide is under siege by Islamic jihadists, the leader of the Catholic Church claims that the Quran teaches non-violence. As Christians across the Muslim world live in abject terror and fear kidnapping, rape and slaughter to the bloodcurdling cries of ‘Allahu akbar,’ the pope gives papal sanction to the savage,” Geller wrote on her blog.

    What the pope actually did in his apostolic exhortation, which has sent shockwaves throughout the right-wing wackosphere, was to contrast “violent fundamentalism” with “authentic Islam.” The latter, he wrote, was “opposed to every form of violence.”

    “How does he know that? When did he become an imam?” Geller writes.

    Because you have to be an imam to read the Quran. Geller has read a few passages as well, especially the ones about slaughtering Christians in the name of jihad. Wait, so does that make her an imam?”

    For rest of loony comments in Salon:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/12/02/10_worst_right_wing_statements_of_the_week_pope_edition_partner/

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 3, 2013, 11:54 am

      “‘How does he know that? When did he become an imam?’ Geller writes.”

      And when did Pamela Geller become entitled to comment on the Pope’s religious message?

      • piotr
        piotr
        December 3, 2013, 1:48 pm

        Geller is entitled to comment on everything and anything. The true question is why this moron is published by ostensibly reputable newspapers etc. Highly educated theologians tend to know quite a bit about other religions.

        Concerning Inquisition, I think that Benzion Netanyahu is outright wrong. I do not think that inquisitor singled out Jews because of anti-Semitic animus, instead they pursued heretics and apostates of all kinds, and it so happened that Jewish conversos were often heretical by continuing their Jewish non-Christian beliefs and secret celebrations. Some most famous inquisitors knew it well as they were from converso families. Clearly, Inquisition pursued other heretics as well.

        Inquisition exists even today, but of course nowadays heretics can be subjected only to organizational penalties. Heretics can be excommunicated, forbidden to teach theology in Catholic colleges etc.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 3, 2013, 1:58 pm

        “Geller is entitled to comment on everything and anything.”

        Yes, and my statement about her was an inappropriate as her statement about the pope. Which was kind of the point.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 3, 2013, 2:03 pm

        Piotr,

        I see what you are saying and actually the substance of what you say is not incorrect either.

        However there is more to the story than only heretics being rooted out. It was a strange situation. The conversos had alot of cash. Therefore it is not really clear whether the persecution was only about heresy or whether there was an economic motive, but I would not be surprised if there were both.

        Second, in the case of Spain- but not in the case of some other countries that had an Inquisition- some Jews chose heresy because they were given a choice to leave or convert in 1492, weren’t they, Piotr? So while Spain did not make them convert and was interested in stopping heresy, which was probably not unusual, some of those who committed it were also strongly pushed in that direction by Spain, which also had a likely financial motive. Thus there are two sides to the Inquisition, and while they may be both be bright in their own ways, they are hardly both good.

        For whatever reason, Poland and most other European countries did not really have an experience of large numbers of conversos, did they? So they were a strange situation and events in Spain for many reasons.

        I think to tell the real story about it you would have to go far beyond standard histories- liberal or not, to go into a very unusual system of society, social events, and probably all kinds of intrigues and abuses.

  20. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    December 3, 2013, 11:34 am

    I think a framed picture like this would be more appropriate..http://news.yahoo.com/catholic-church-slams-israel-razing-property-203347726.html

  21. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    December 3, 2013, 11:57 am

    From the Haaretz article: “The pontiff gave the Israeli premier a carved panel of Saint Paul.” [Paul who started out as Saul, official Jewish persecutor of the Christians, before being famously converted on the road to Damascus.]

    I’d say the two gifts were in a similar spirit, each symbolizing an unwelcome message, embodying a criticism of the other’s history, reminding of ancient wounds inflicted on each other’s people. Is the Pope telling Netanyahu? “you, too, can be redeemed, if you just let the scales fall from your eyes.” While Netanyahu says, “My daddy blew the whistle on your Church’s sins in Spain 500 years ago. Read it, maybe you’ll learn something.”

    What a time we live in when we must look to John Kerry as the paragon of diplomacy.

    • American
      American
      December 3, 2013, 1:34 pm

      ‘From the Haaretz article: “The pontiff gave the Israeli premier a carved panel of Saint Paul.” [Paul who started out as Saul, official Jewish persecutor of the Christians, before being famously converted on the road to Damascus.]”>>>

      That is funny!…wonder if the Pope had advance notice of what Netanyahu’s gift to him was going to be.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 8:45 am

        wonder if the Pope had advance notice of what Netanyahu’s gift to him was going to be.

        Or vice versa. Good thing neither Jews nor Catholics put any stock in symbols ;-)

      • piotr
        piotr
        December 4, 2013, 2:57 pm

        Perhaps the Pope prepared more than one gift, so he could respond to a developing situation.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 3:13 pm

        Perhaps the Pope prepared more than one gift, so he could respond to a developing situation.

        I thought of that and, inspired by Hophmi, envisaged the following exchange:

        Netanyahu: Your Holiness, my dad wrote this book and it’s all about Catholics and Jews and stuff, and seeing as you’re a Catholic and I’m a Jew, I thought it might interest you.

        Francis to aide [whispering]: Sandrone, il regalo dispettoso, per favore. [Aide goes to side cabinet and takes out a carved painting.]

        Francis to Netanyahu: Mr. Prime Minister, I have here a painting of a man from Tarsus who was a Jew and then a Christian, and since you are a Jew and I am a Christian, I thought you might like it.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 4, 2013, 3:20 pm

        He probably has a whole stash of presents for visiting dignataries.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        December 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

        That would have been fine. Has anyone actually read Benzion’s book? According to Tablet, the book’s controversy stems from its thesis that most Jews in Spain had willingly converted to Catholicism before the Inquisition, and that the animus displayed toward the Jews could be traced to ancient Egypt, not to the Catholic Church. Thus, the book partially absolved the Church.

        http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/154767/why-netanyahu-gave-pope-francis-his-fathers-history-of-the-spanish-inquisition

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        December 4, 2013, 4:04 pm

        So according to Tablet YOU, hoppy, did not read the book.

        ROFL

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 4:21 pm

        The Tablet article is too clever by half.

        “If one was going to give the pope a book about the Inquisition, then, this would be the one.”

        If.

        There is no controversy about the economic and political factors that contributed to the persecution of New Christians in the late 15th-century, just as there is no controversy about the dominant religious role in the forced conversions that began in 1391. The sincerity of the New Christians lays greater, not lesser blame with the Church, and Netanyahu’s “eternal racial anti-Semitism” theory doesn’t “absolve” anyone, least of all the Catholic Church.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        December 4, 2013, 4:45 pm

        “So according to Tablet YOU, hoppy, did not read the book.

        ROFL”

        I didn’t claim to have read. You’re the people commenting on its meaning, and saying that it’s all about blaming the Church, and my strong bet is that most of you have not read it either, as evidenced by the fact that no one seems to have acknowledged that the book apparently absolves the Church of some of its doctrinal hatred.

        G-d, you are dense.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 4, 2013, 4:50 pm

        “Has anyone actually read Benzion’s book?”

        I’ve read portions of it.

        “According to Tablet, the book’s controversy stems from its thesis that most Jews in Spain had willingly converted to Catholicism before the Inquisition, and that the animus displayed toward the Jews could be traced to ancient Egypt, not to the Catholic Church.”

        That’s party right. He claims that the Inquisition was an example of racial animus and tries to present a picture — similar to Daniel Goldhagen’s ridiculous work (although without the sense, as inGoldhagen’s work, that the author is attempting to work through some serious psychological problems by writing the book) — of non-Jews throughout history sitting around plotting to kill Jews because of racial hatred (usually blaming it on them being jealous of the Jews or other such silliness). It also, if memory serves, suggests that this supposed animus means that assimilation is bad and excuses all of israel’s crimes (interesting how history just so happened to justify Netanyahoo’s bigotries and prejudices…)

        “Thus, the book partially absolved the Church.”

        LMAO. Well, the Church certainly didn’t need absolution from a racist little troll like Benzion Netenyahoo. But, more to the point, it exchanged the usual cry of “the Church is a bunch of antisemites” to “all non-Jews are a bunch of antisemites.” Not much of an improvement.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        December 5, 2013, 9:19 am

        The first few pages of this massive book are accessible from the above video by pressing on the front cover of the book. It will expose the blind spot of B .Nethanhyu ,the father. Most of his life he faced an unofficial academic boycott for abuse of the historical material and intellectual manipulation of the history . The son drank the same milk from out of the father’s breast – to paraphrase his political mentor- Y. Shamir.I am sure the book will sell for a while and be showcased in Fox and other outlet of Murdoch .

        But there is another lesson to learn here ,to understand why the Spanish were less ruthless to Muslim than they were to the Jewish and also why so much barbarity the Spanish unleashed on the New World and Africa.
        Their is a significant difference between the colonies ruled by Turkish and the lands ruled by Moors in subsequent responses to the minorities living among them respectively after the occupation were over. The world suffered way more under Spanish colonization and reconquestida program . This was unprecedented

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      December 3, 2013, 1:49 pm

      Hi David.

      Paul can be interpreted in different ways. He insisted he was a Jew and a pharisee in his epistles, but your post indirectly brings to mind that he was also someone who went through a process of repentance regarding C-J relations.

      If all that happened was the Pope gave Netanyahu a carved painting of St. Paul, it would not really be enough to give it a strong meaning therefore. The Pope has kissed the Kuran and had interfaith services, so for a liberal Pope, he need not consider that a Christian gift be considered negatively.

      Now from the Pope’s side is there more to the story?

      If I opened up the newspaper and the headline read like this:
      Christian religious leader gives painting of Paul to Israeli President
      I would probably think “That’s a nice gift”, and move on.

      The headline even for this article could be considered exchanging gifts, but with Netanyahu’s gift about persecution 500 years ago sending a small message to the Pope to be more sensitive.

      • RudyM
        RudyM
        December 3, 2013, 7:04 pm

        Paul is quite explicit about the need for Jews (like everyone else) to find salvation through faith in Christ. So there’s that.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

        Rudy,

        You are not wrong. However, that’s probably true about all kinds of early Christian saints, probably a big majority of them.

        But with Paul I think he did not really go off on some kooky idea about Jews going to hell no matter what either. CZs are more explicit about that kind of thing, which is ironic because many like Hagee I think intentionally avoid practicing conversions in the Holy Land.

        With Paul it’s more like: “This is the Messiah. He brings Redemption. This is it, guys.” You can find the “counterpart” in Paul’s writings too, but he is just not really on such a judgmental attitude compared to some other folks if you know what I mean.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      December 3, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Well at least the Pope wasn’t preaching to Netanyahu like the latter was to the former with an insulting book. Netanyahu is actually like Paul before his conversion; persecuting others, in this case, Palestinians. So the Pope’s gift is very appropriate, especially since this Pope is more concerned with the poor and the oppressed than any previous Pope. In other words, he’s a real Christian.

      • David Doppler
        David Doppler
        December 4, 2013, 1:11 pm

        If you read Paul’s letter to the Galatians, you will see that one of Paul’s crucial roles in the founding of Christianity was to extend it to the Gentiles, not just to Jewish followers of Jesus. Paul, the second Pope after Peter, claims he brought the Gospel to the Gentiles, as Peter had brought it to the Jews. This, of course, was controversial, for even Jesus only grudgingly ministered to Gentiles, considering himself to be a rabbi and the Messiah of Jewish scripture. Paul, and Jesus before him, were working to establish a “new covenant” between God and [the Jews? or all nations? Paul won out, which dropped the Jews from their favored status as the Chosen], and to replace adherence to the Law as the pathway to righteousness, with faith as the new pathway. Jesus preached that all the Law and Prophets could be reduced to two: Love God, and Love your neighbor as yourself.

        For the Pope to give a carving of Paul to Time’s “King of the Jews,” was definitely “in your face.” As I think about it, I see a link here to John Kerry’s recent audience with Netanyahu, in which he opened with extended remarks in praise of Yitzhak Rabin – Nobel Laureate for Peace and Netanyahu’s sworn enemy, whose wife blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. And also to Mike Mullen’s comment to the Israelis several years ago in the course of denying fly-over-Iraq rights to Israeli Jets to attack Iran, during which he was quoted as telling the top Israeli brass, “we don’t want another USS Liberty incident.” http://mondoweiss.net/2008/08/dog-to-tail-please-dont-wag-me.html

        The link is that Netanyahu and his aggressive, war-mongering Likud policies border on the intolerable, yet, due to various taboos, cannot be explicitly and openly attacked (except at places like Mondoweiss and a couple of others). For those who nonetheless have to deal with him, the solution is intelligent passive-aggressiveness, with words and symbols presented as gifts or words of praise or concern or deference, but fraught with deep meaning that would stop a scholar in his tracks.

        Netanyahu is so ham-handed and reviled, he is proving vulnerable to this very clever technique. I predict more leaders will find ways to practice this subtle art, as growing groups of intelligentsia become “in” on the joke, and Bibi’s destiny of political defeat approaches like a stepped-on rake to the forehead.

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 5, 2013, 10:17 am

        David , the first 4 popes during the first century in sequence were: Peter, Linus, Anacletus and Clemens. No argument though about Netanyahu being reviled but we have to accept that he’s the reflection of the people that voted him into office, so there are actually some people who like him. The guy’s an ass.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 4, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Paul is held in very low esteem by many people of Jewish faith. There are ways of arguing that this low esteem is undeserved but I must say that I think that both gifts were rather provocative and contrary to the spirit of hospitality.

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        December 4, 2013, 6:50 pm

        [email protected];

        Paul is held in very low esteem by many people of Jewish faith.

        Where exactly is the proof to support your claim here?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 4, 2013, 9:04 pm

        The Ebionites allegedly regarded Paul as a traitor and a liar who distorted the Jewish message of Jesus. Their story was, it seems, that Paul was a Gentile who fell for the High Priest’s daughter, and was circumcised and trained in Judaism so that he could marry her. She, however, rejected him, so he turned against all things Jewish.

        But, as with all things connected with the origins of Christianity, we have no clear information. It is all just a mess of myth, legend, and fantasy fiction.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 5, 2013, 3:45 pm

        Barrie Wilson ‘How Jesus became Christian’ (2008) is useful, not necessarily correct, here.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 6, 2013, 1:10 am

        RoHa,

        Interesting theory, however it doesn’t work for a couple reasons. Paul said he was from the tribe of Benjamin, but I guess he could have made that up. Next, he had a thorough knowledge of Judaism and the TaNakh. he cited it all over the place and his thinking and explanations were well thought out based on Judaism, even if one does not agree with him. It seems much more than just getting circumcised for a girl, which I guess sounds strange in itself.

        I would say throughout his writings you do not really get a sense that he turned aainst all things Jewish. He actually affirmed Jewish ideas and ideology, but he did talk about how gentiles did not need all the rituals. Actually that position was not necessarily out of line with the Jerusalem center, since their council approved the idea gentiles didn’t need circumcision anyway.

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 6, 2013, 2:43 am

        “He actually affirmed Jewish ideas and ideology, but he did talk about how gentiles did not need all the rituals. ”

        W. Jones, you are saying he went both ways. From my reading of him, he was drifting away from the Jewish because it stood in the way of his expanding the church in the way he had planned for it. He even got into an argument with Peter about it when Peter was refusing to sit and eat with non-Jews or when he was insisting that new Christians had to first convert to Judaism before being accepted as Christians. Paul did away with all of these and other Jewish roadbumps. He wrote the book on marketing and his successes are attributed to a certain degree on his having adopted non-Jewish customs. Had he stuck with his Jewish ideals, the Christian church would have remained static at 3000 members and fizzed out in no time.

        Paul blended some elements of Judaism with a touch of slight innovation brought on by (I will not change one iota of the Jewish religion) Jesus into a completely new and different religion that Jesus would not recognize.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 6, 2013, 12:22 pm

        W. Jones, you are saying he went both ways.
        He did. You can find strong Jewish ideas in Paul just as you can see how he saw transformation.

        I’m sure Hostage can write to you more about compatibility of Jewish and Christian ideas. However I would point out that Rabbinical Judaism has a place for gentiles they consider “Noahides”. Some scholars think that this place is not so different from what was seen in the early Church, but yes, there are differences too.

        he was drifting away from the Jewish because it stood in the way of his expanding the church in the way he had planned for it.
        Sure, he drifted away from some norms that were common- you gave a good example of one he drifted away from.

        He even got into an argument with Peter about it when Peter was refusing to sit and eat with non-Jews
        I would like a better understanding of that event. I think that the people in that case might have been nonChristians or were eating food that violated food rules. Anyway, you are right that Paul had a difference on that case. And Paul’s ability to overcome such differences and issues made him successful.

        or when he was insisting that new Christians had to first convert to Judaism before being accepted as Christians.
        This position he insisted on was agreed on by the Council of Jerusalem- Paul did not differ from Peter or the Church leadership about this.

        He wrote the book on marketing and his successes are attributed to a certain degree on his having adopted non-Jewish customs.
        Paul adopted some, but it went two ways. Why did he perform circumcision on Timothy, a gentile then?

        So Yes, he went both ways. At least enough that I do not think it was real that he got circumcised for a girl (odd) and then rejected Judaism and went back to being a gentile.

        Had he stuck with his Jewish ideals, the Christian church would have remained static at 3000 members and fizzed out in no time.
        First, he did stick with many Jewish ideals, because he cited the OT all over the place. Jesus sent his followers all over the world to evangelize, so there is a commonality about that too.

        (I will not change one iota of the Jewish religion) Jesus
        I think that this quote is sometimes cherry picked. First of all, He did not say the Jewish religion, but the Law, referring to the law of Moses. J.C. had tons of problems with the pharisees.
        Now riddle this: The Law says don’t work on the Sabbath, and this was so strict Moses killed someone for carrying wood. But Jesus healed someone and then the person carried their pallet, and J.C. was cool with this. So in other words the Law is still around, but J.C. and love and mercy transcend the law. Paul talks about this too- the counterposing of law and grace and how the Law is not destroyed by mercy and grace, but made archaic, even while it still remains and has value.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 6, 2013, 12:37 pm

        Walid,

        Let me give you an example that you may find more practical yourself. Christian Zionists assert, as you know, that God promised the land to Abraham, and they see the nationalists inheriting this promise years later. But maybe J.C. did look at things in a new way besides the way many others did?

        How would you interpret this passage, then:

        Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say among yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say unto you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      December 4, 2013, 12:12 pm

      @ David Doppler

      Is the Pope telling Netanyahu? “you, too, can be redeemed, if you just let the scales fall from your eyes.”

      To be fair, as Pope and head of “The One True Church” (shades of Highlander perhaps? My, think what epic sword fights would do for falling attendances) and one that is quite open about its intent to convert non-believers – that is kind of his job. Or at least part of it.

  22. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    December 3, 2013, 12:49 pm

    OK, I get it!

    The Pope is guilty, guilty, guilty for the persecution of Jews (never mind the Muslims) in Spain in 1492 and THEREFORE (never forget the THEREFORE) the Pope should watch his mouth and not decry Israel’s persecution of Christians and Muslims in 1948-3000 (if things go according to Israeli plans and intentions).

  23. tree
    tree
    December 3, 2013, 12:52 pm

    … Pope Francis (he’s the guy in the skullcap.)

    Thanks, Phil. I got a giggle out of that.

  24. hophmi
    hophmi
    December 3, 2013, 1:20 pm

    It’s another of those posts where Mondoweiss tries to out-CAMERA CAMERA for silly nitpickiness.

    Occam’s Razor. Netanyahu is giving the Pope his dad’s book about the Inquisition because his dad wrote it and because the Pope is Catholic and might be interested.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      December 4, 2013, 3:45 am

      Come on Hoppy it’s more than a tad tactless. Imagine if the Pope had given Nutteryahoo a book about the Massacre at Najran – you think the reaction would have been benign?

      • amigo
        amigo
        December 4, 2013, 8:28 am

        Ecru, imagine Michael D on his proposed State visit to the UK , giving the Queen a book on Britain,s activities in Ireland for several centuries and then sitting down to share a meal with her .

        Only in the Zionist mind can such behaviour be considered “Kosher”.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 4, 2013, 4:46 pm

        I don’t know if there is any critical history of Christian claims to a massacre of Christians by a Jewish dynast in what was later to be Saudi? If the story was reasonably authentic we might still say that what this particular ruler did proves nothing about the authentic spirit of Judaism. And perhaps the same might be said about the authentic spirit of us Christians, for all our many sins.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        December 5, 2013, 11:46 pm

        @ MHughes976

        The massacre at Najran is generally considered to be a historical event.

        Do I think it a true reflection of the “spirit of Judaism” well yes actually I do. Just as I consider the Inquisition a true reflection of the “spirit of Christianity.” But they’re reflections of religions with temporal power. When religions don’t have such power they have to learn to play nicely with others. Which I consider a good thing.

        And I definitely view it as a true reflection of Zionism considering the Zionists named a street in Jerusalem after the perpetrator!

    • amigo
      amigo
      December 4, 2013, 8:09 am

      “Occam’s Razor. Netanyahu is giving the Pope his dad’s book about the Inquisition because his dad wrote it and because the Pope is Catholic and might be interested.”hoppy

      So, if Max,s Father gives you a copy of Goliath because his son wrote it and you are an Israeli and might be interested , you will receive it with the same enthusiasm.

      Yeah , right hoppy.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 4, 2013, 8:55 am

      “It’s another of those posts where Mondoweiss tries to out-CAMERA CAMERA for silly nitpickiness.”

      Netanyahoo insults the Pope to his face by presenting this book filled with virulently anti-Catholic bigotry to the Vicar of Christ, and thus insulting every Catholic in the world, and you call it “nitpickiness”?? Oh, that’s right, your job is to defend israel and israelis no matter what.

      “Occam’s Razor.”

      Netanyahoo is an anti-Catholic bigot who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to insult the Pope and all the world’s Catholics.

      “Netanyahu is giving the Pope his dad’s book about the Inquisition because his dad wrote it and because the Pope is Catholic and might be interested.”

      Why would he think the Pope would be interested in an anti-Catholic screed written by a racist?

  25. amigo
    amigo
    December 3, 2013, 1:37 pm

    It would be nice if the Pope were to gift a one way ticket to the Hague to nietanyahoo.

    The Pope should never have allowed this war criminal to enter the Vatican.

  26. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    December 3, 2013, 3:06 pm

    For those interested in seeing Israel isolated from the rest of the world this has to be good news. Netanyahu has just gratuitously insulted the Vatican. What is most perplexing about this is that Israel does not seem to have a professional diplomatic core with any influence on the current government. This is just the latest in a number of stunts that have antagonized without any good reason numerous governments.

    I think it was Uri Avnery that has a partial explanation for this odd behavior of Bibi. He pointed out that unlike any other Israeli PM Bibi has no close confidants. He seems to come up with this stuff without consulting anyone. The only thing that guides his actions it appears is local Israeli politics. Always manipulating political factions for short term advantage without any consideration of long Israeli interests. That has to be a formula for national decline. What is not to like about that?

  27. Erasmus
    Erasmus
    December 3, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Exchange of Gifts between Pope Francis and Netanyahoo – a little tit for tat???

    His Father#s book about the Spanish Inquisition to Pope Francis i would hold in the first place as : very undiplomatic and RUDE!
    Moreover,it can be taken as a strong indicator for NTY’s annihilation obsession, and his father complex.

    The Vatican (or Pope Francis?) has been slightly more creative and subtle wrt the choice of a fitting present for NTY: a bar-relief of St. PAUL !

    Considering that the spread of Christianity and its development into the largest Universal religion is fundamentally due to ST. PAUL’s work, like Jesus a Jewish Rabbi, drawing its early Christian followers largely from the Mediterranean /Oriental Jewish community – that seems to me to deserve a chuckle……

    I do not think that there is lots of love lost between the two protagonists…..???

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      December 3, 2013, 6:22 pm

      I thought Jesus was a Rabbi and Paul was a Jewish tax collector. But yes it is ironic that two Jews ensured that Christianity became the religion followed by over 2 billion people.

      • American
        American
        December 3, 2013, 7:12 pm

        Even more ironic that they were Arabs also.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        December 3, 2013, 8:37 pm

        Kalithea,

        Jesus was the rabbi, Matthew and Zaccheus were the tax collectors, Paul was the pharisee.

        Was there a special ceremony to make someone a rabbi? Rabbi means teacher, and Paul did act as a teacher in his letters.

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 3, 2013, 9:32 pm

        “I thought … Paul was a Jewish tax collector.”

        The tax collector, or publican, was Levi the son of Alphaeus. Jesus first saw him as he passed by the customs house, recruited him and named him Matthew. Matthew, the 7th of the magnificent 12 chosen, then had a dinner in his house in honor of Jesus to which he invited his tax-collecting friends and other “sinners”. This gave Jesus a bad rap with the Pharisees because good Jews were not supposed to fraternize with such riffraff that worked for the occupying Romans, which the Jews despised. This was 2000 years before they learned to enjoy the pleasures of occupying and taxing others themselves, of course. Matthew was said to have preached to the Hebrews for 15 years when he was violently martyred.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 3, 2013, 11:44 pm

        OT, but “Matthew was said to have preached to the Hebrews for 15 years when he was violently martyred”

        They say that about all the disciples, but there is hardly any solid evidence that they existed, let alone were martyred. It is all a mass of myth and legend.

        In his famous list, Hippolytus of Rome (180-230 C.E) said Matthew “fell asleep”, rather than being martyred.

        “We have nothing but legend about Matthew’s death.”
        Christianity.com. http://www.christianity.com/ChurchHistory/11629568

        Hippolytus gives the same quiet death to John, Jude, Simon the Zealot, and Matthias.

        According to the New Advent Encyclopedia
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13796b.htm
        Simon was martyred by crucifixion, or sawn in half. He died in Persia, Edessa, Samaria, Spain, Colchis, and Britain.

        He just wouldn’t stay dead, would he? Such is the power of Zealotry.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        December 3, 2013, 10:33 pm

        It’s ironic since Saul was part of the original jewish inquisition before he switched sides: http://www.harvardhouse.com/paul.htm

  28. xanadou
    xanadou
    December 3, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Netanyahoo Sr’s book cannot be doing well if Benny needed such an occasion to plug his old man’s “oeuvre”. Does that mean that Benny should expect at some point a book on the persecution of Christians, Muslims and other minorities by the Jews of 20th century Israel? Or a film-quality compilation video of Israeli justice visited on the Palestinians over the last 65 years?

    Does the Israeli government not have a single person acquainted with diplomatic protocol niceties? Does the First Yahoo not grasp the bad odour that emanates from such a faux pas? Fe!

    And, no, the Jews were not the sole object of 15th century Spain’s Inquisition. Let’s not forget that Spain had just rid itself of the Arab conquerors. As post any war throughout history, as the “prominent” historian should have known, the victors are not exactly remembered to have shown mercy to anyone who could be viewed as a collaborator of the vanquished. Jews, and other minorities, were respected by, and largely thrived under, the Muslim rulers. Their continued loyalty was to be expected. The new, Christian, rulers were obviously uncertain in their victory and acted not unlike the terror exercised in the days post 1918 Russian Revolution, or post 1948 Israel which still, 65 years later, feels it has to terrorize, torture and ostracize the vanquished Arabs: Muslim AND Christian. Terror is the last act in every war. Something the “prominent” historian conveniently forgot. It is also how the new broom asserts itself upon the population at large.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on the painful and very final fate to which Protestants were subjected by that same Inquisition, and about the same time. The fate of a great many of the unfortunates rescued from shipwrecks was quite painfully final. It also helps to remember that such were the mores of the Middle Ages. Then we hanged, quartered and fried our victims. Today we drop white phosphorus, use DU, fragmenting bullets, bulldoze, strafe, bomb..
    Today the Inquisition has been replaced by a variety of kangaroo courts, such as Israel’s military “justice” that rules the Palestinians: adults and children.

    To be fair, Pope B’s portrait of Saul/St.Paul was a dubious gift, too. Next time the pope(s) should ask for a charitable donation to the poor and homeless in a country of the giftor’s choice.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      December 3, 2013, 9:09 pm

      “the victors are not exactly remembered to have shown mercy to anyone who could be viewed as a collaborator of the vanquished.”

      As far as I can tell, the Spanish Jews were Arabs. They were descendants of North African Jews, they lived in an Arabic country, dressed in Arabic clothes, and spoke and wrote Arabic as their first language.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 7:20 am

        As far as I can tell, the Spanish Jews were Arabs. They were descendants of North African Jews, they lived in an Arabic country, dressed in Arabic clothes, and spoke and wrote Arabic as their first language.

        Not exactly. Following the destruction of the Jewish communities in Muslim Spain in the mid-12th century, Spanish Jews who remained in Spain fled northward, to the Christian kingdoms (where they flourished), returning to Al-Andalus only with the Reconquista.

        Although they had an important Arab heritage, by 1492, most Jews spoke one of the Hispanic languages — linguistic cultures they took with them to their new lands and preserved for centuries (e.g. preaching at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London, at the beginning of the 18th century, was in Spanish).

        In other words, 15th-century Spanish Jews were Spanish. They lived in a Spanish country, dressed in Spanish clothes and spoke and wrote Castilian (Aragonese, Catalan, etc.) as their first language – although many (scholars in particular) were also fluent in Arabic.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        December 4, 2013, 7:48 am

        Shmuel,

        So Spanish Jews had a blood transfusion too and changed that old Arab blood in them to Hispanic?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 7:58 am

        So Spanish Jews had a blood transfusion too and changed that old Arab blood in them to Hispanic?

        They were culturally Hispanic (Judeo-Hispanic), with a strong Arab component, like many non-Jewish Iberians at the time. As for “blood”, their origins were predominantly Arab (Berber? Carthaginian/Phoenician? Roman? Palestinian? Babylonian?), with a certain Visigoth component.

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 4, 2013, 9:19 am

        “So Spanish Jews had a blood transfusion too and changed that old Arab blood in them to Hispanic?

        Taxi, I don’t know how much Iberian Jews had some Arab blood in them, probably none at all. After a couple of centuries, those that had eventually made their way north, thought of themselves as the aristocrats of the Jews and that any of their historic ties were to upper class Europeans . This became apparent at the time of the emancipation of the Jews in France at least, but this snobism was also evident in other European countries where the Sephardi Jews had become very successful merchants and shipping negotiators. By then, they had shed their marrano habits and had become full Jews again, refusing to associate with other Jews, epecially the ones of the German Ashkenazi that they held in total contempt. They wouldn’t even attend the same synagogues. They dressed as the best-dressed Europeans and were clean shaven. They considered themselves as the truly authentic Jews, so it’s doubtful they had any Arab blood in them.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 9:41 am

        By then, they had shed their marrano habits and had become full Jews again, refusing to associate with other Jews, epecially the ones of the German Ashkenazi that they held in total contempt.

        And a few centuries earlier, the proud Jewish refugees from Al-Andalus had lorded it over their Ashkenazi brethren, because the poor dears were not only unable to read the language of science, philosophy and literature (Arabic, naturally), but had not enjoyed the benefits of the adab tradition in any language. Besides, even their Hebrew was crap – with confused grammar and no concept of real poetry.

        Compassion for their “savage” co-religionists was in fact the impetus behind the great translation movement of Arabic texts (founded and dominated by the Ibn Tibbon and Kimhi families, originally from Granada), first into Hebrew and then into Latin and other European languages.

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 4, 2013, 11:31 am

        Thanks for that part of the story, Shmuel. Since some of the Sepharadi made their way to the east (from where they had originated), I’m wondering how much they mixed, if at all, with the Mizrahi and if so, could that been the payback by the Ashkenazi when the Mizrahi arrived in Israel and were looked down on with contempt. Maybe I’m overstretching on that one.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 4, 2013, 4:55 pm

        Since some of the Sepharadi made their way to the east (from where they had originated), I’m wondering how much they mixed, if at all, with the Mizrahi

        In North Africa (not exactly east, but close enough in Israeli terms) they eventually merged with the local Jewish populations, although there was a community in Palestine that prided itself on being “pure Sepharadim”.

        and if so, could that been the payback by the Ashkenazi when the Mizrahi arrived in Israel and were looked down on with contempt. Maybe I’m overstretching on that one.

        Yes, I think you are.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 4, 2013, 7:59 pm

        Thanks, Shmuel. If I understand you correctly, the Spanish Jews started off as Arabs, but then became Spaniards.

        “As for “blood”, their origins were predominantly Arab (Berber? Carthaginian/Phoenician? Roman? Palestinian? Babylonian?), with a certain Visigoth component.”
        Toss in ancient Iberian, and that goes for pretty well everyone in Spain, doesn’t it?

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 5, 2013, 11:02 am

        “If I understand you correctly, the Spanish Jews started off as Arabs, but then became Spaniards.”

        RoHa, why are you and others intent on making the Sephardim either part Arab, part something else or a mixture of a whole lot of things; what’s wrong with being simply Jewish? When they started arriving on the Iberian peninsula, they were welcomed by the Christans and then by the Arabs. There was something about their dictated conversion to Christianity in Portugal and the forced one or else in Spain, but I havent read anything about their voluntary or forced conversion to Islam or into becoming “Arabised”. Nowhere is it mentioned about any really bad treatment of Jews by Arabs, until Israel came along and spoiled things for everybody.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        December 5, 2013, 11:12 am

        Walid:

        …what’s wrong with being simply Jewish?

        The word “Jewish” is multivalent.

        One question: Were they mostly descendants of Arabs or Berbers converted to Judaism?

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        December 5, 2013, 11:27 am

        Walid,

        The original Hebrews were Arabs (Arabs = Semitic tribes, collectively). There was never a separation between jew and Arab back then (and there really shouldn’t be one right now either). In the early days of the Hebrews, there was Arab jews and Arab pagans. Then there were Arab jews, Arab pagans and Arab christians. Then there was Arab jews, arab christians and arab moslems. The ‘jews’ didn’t just crash-land on earth from another planet. I know revisionist zios reject this fact, but jewish ancestry is Arab – whether they headed north to europe or whether they stayed put in the mideast.

        Of course, convert jews are not Arabs, to the relief of ashkanazim, I’ll venture to add.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 5, 2013, 11:50 am

        Nowhere is it mentioned about any really bad treatment of Jews by Arabs, until Israel came along and spoiled things for everybody.

        Since it didn’t happen. Very, very long ago, I had a really odd discussion on Daniel Pipes list with one of the many people that felt highly aloof in their better grasp of Islam’s European history. My mistake was I refered to the Golden Age of Islam. It had a strong influence on the scholastics in Europe. If you look into important religious centers you find they are very influenced by the thought emanating from the Islamic Spanish South. Consider, at a time when religion dominated any type of thought. Personally I find studies of people like Bernard Lewis, which argues against the basic tolerance, also Christians lived there by the way, a historical. Does the term Dhimmitude ring a bell? What about the rights of Jews and heretics at the same time in Europe? Many of these heretics can be considered Christian dissenters.

        In any case what triggered the vicious verbal abuse, was my use of the term the Golden Age of Islam, this article must have been created only after that point in time. I seem to remember that there was no trace of it on the English Wiki articles at the time compared to the German versions. Which interesting partly have a slightly different bent by now. But that was knowledge from history lessons at school, strictly over here.

      • Walid
        Walid
        December 5, 2013, 11:57 am

        Sibiriak, not according to anything I read. The Sephardim claim to be the real descendants of the 12 tribes with all others being wannabees. There are Arabs that adopted the Jewish religion that are called Arab Jews. Contrary to what I said before, there was a relatively short period under the Almohid Muslims in Spain when the Jews and Christians had it rough.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 5, 2013, 11:59 am

        what’s wrong with being simply Jewish?

        Reminds me of an old joke. Man walking in Belfast was stopped and asked “Catholic or Protestant?”, to which he replied “Jew”. “Yes,” came the answer, “but are you a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?”

        Jews fared pretty well under the Christian Visigoths, until they didn’t. They then did extremely well under the Arabs – until they didn’t (the Almohad persecution, which also involved forced conversion to Islam, virtually wiped out the Jewish presence in Al-Andalus). They then did splendidly under the Hispanic Christians, until they didn’t.

        The Jews in each period not only shared a common language and culture with their non-Jewish neighbours, but developed their own unique form of Jewish culture. The “New Christians” were so immediately successful in Spanish society, because they were already thoroughly Spanish.

        The Jews of Al-Andalus (Sand cites the theory of Berber convert origins) were both Jewish and thoroughly Arab, part of the broader Arab world, active participants in Arab culture, with an intimate knowledge of the Quran and Islam (a prerequisite for the kind of mastery of the Arabic language that many achieved).

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 5, 2013, 12:27 pm

        The Sephardim claim to be the real descendants of the 12 tribes with all others being wannabees.

        More like 2 tribes and a bit, but other communities (e.g. Yemenites) have also made similar claims. The Sephardi tradition is that their ancestors arrived in the Iberian peninsula directly from Jerusalem, immediately after the destruction of the Second Temple. Of course they would say that :-) On the other hand, they were also heirs to some of the Babylonian titles (“exilarch” and such), through their intellectual roots in the famous academies of Sura and Pumbedita (primarily after their relocation to Baghdad).

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 5, 2013, 2:24 pm

        thanks Shmuel, I am aware of the Almohad’s, but strictly the “the until they didn’t” specific contexts would deserve closer attention. Has anyone ever tried to do a study along these lines?

      • jon s
        jon s
        December 5, 2013, 2:48 pm

        I’d like to add another angle to Shmuel’s information: A hundred years before the expulsion, in 1391, the Jews in Christian Spain were victims of a wave of pogroms and persecutions. Many Jews, under threats and pressure, ostensibly converted, but secretly maintained Jewish traditions, becoming “marranos” . These crypto-Jews were the target of the Inqusition, since they were supposedly Catholics and if their conversion was insincere and they continued to maintain Jewish traditions, they were guilty of heresy. So at this point some people were being persecuted for observing, in secret, some Jewish mitzvot, while at the same time an openly Jewish community, observing all the mitzvot, continued to exist legally. This was the situation, and it was starting to seem absurd to the Church: a marrano could be burned alive for lighting a candle on Friday evening, while the marrano’s brother could live openly as a Jew.
        The “solution” to the absurdity was the expulsion, making it illegal to live as a Jew in Spain, secretly or overtly. The expulsion was designed to deprive the marranos of any kind of support from their overtly Jewish relatives, and , together with the expulsion of the Moors, create a purely Catholic society.
        I haven’t read Prof. Netanyahu’s (Senior) book , but I understand that his thesis was that what happened to the Jews in Spain was not classic , medieval anti-semitism, based on religion, but, rather a precursor of modern, racist, anti-semitism.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 5, 2013, 3:15 pm

        Has anyone ever tried to do a study along these lines?

        The Almohad period has been studied extensively. Specifically in the Jewish context, you might want to consult the works of Yom Tov Assis, Sarah Stroumsa or Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi.

      • gamal
        gamal
        December 5, 2013, 8:33 pm

        Stroumsa has caused a little stir, didnt Ibni Maymun flee to Egypt?

        “All this is true. But does it follow that (p. 83) “Maimonides closely followed the Almohad paradigm” so that his ability to cast the Almohad revolution in Jewish terms allowed him to incorporate this paradigm seamlessly into his work”? According to the dates Stroumsa gives, Maimonides lived under Almohad rule from the ages 10 to 27”

        http://www.case.edu/artsci/jdst/reviews/Maimonides.htm

        and Carlos Fraenkel, who is particularly interesting,

        http://www.academia.edu/3228894/Legislating_Truth_Maimonides_the_Almohads_and_the_13th_Century_Jewish_Enlightenment

        anyway the Almohads (al-Muwahidun, bloody rough Riffians) were opponents of the Dhimma, as are many commentators here, all authoritarians ultimately end up in the same bed, oddly its abolition is what inconvenienced Jews and Christians, the Arabs fought them for some time Mardanis uniting with other Iberians, of all confessions, to resist the Maghrebi interlopers. Their inovation was to impose their Zahirite views on all and everybody, iberian Muslims fled in large numbers too, the Almuwahidun were ascetic intolerant and full of contempt for the etiolated aesthete Iberian milquetoasts they found causing disorder and getting slapped around by various Christian kingdoms and the raiding of sea routes and interruptions to trade, were intolerable, never trust a Battinite.

        the Awlad Ziri are also interesting there is a book “The Zirids of Grenada”, I have a copy, very far away, and now it costs $100, but is well worth it for those who are in to that kind of thing, Habus and Badis being colourful embodiments of their times..

    • Chu
      Chu
      December 4, 2013, 3:27 pm

      It was very tasteless to plug his old man’s book. Never miss an opportunity…

  29. xanadou
    xanadou
    December 3, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Netanyahoo Sr’s book cannot be doing well if Benny needed such an occasion to plug his old man’s “oeuvre”. Does that mean that Benny should expect at some point a book on the persecution of Christians, Muslims and other minorities by the Jews of 20th century Israel? Or a film-quality compilation video of Israeli justice visited on the Palestinians over the last 65 years?

    Does the Israeli government not have a single person acquainted with diplomatic protocol niceties? Does the First Yahoo not grasp the bad odour that emanates from such a faux pas? Fe!

    And, no, the Jews were not the sole object of 15th century Spain’s Inquisition. Let’s not forget that Spain had just rid itself of the Arab conquerors. As post any war throughout history, as the “prominent” historian should have known, the victors are not exactly remembered to have shown mercy to anyone who could be viewed as a collaborator of the vanquished. Jews, and other minorities, were respected by, and largely thrived under the Muslim rulers. Their continued loyalty was to be expected. The new, Christian, rulers were obviously uncertain in their victory and acted not unlike the terror exercised in the days post 1918 Russian Revolution, or post 1948 Israel which still, 65 years later, feels it has to terrorize, torture and ostracize the vanquished Arabs: Muslim AND Christian. Terror is the last act in every war. Something the “prominent” historian conveniently forgot. It is also how the new broom asserts itself upon the population at large.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on the painful and very final fate to which Protestants were subjected by that same Inquisition. The fate of a great many of the unfortunates rescued from shipwrecks was quite painful. It also helps to remember that such were the mores of the Middle Ages. Then we hanged and quartered our victims. Today we drop white phosphorus, use DU, fragmenting bullets, bulldoze, strafe, bomb..

    To be fair, Pope B’s portrait of Saul/St.Paul was a dubious gift, too. Next time the pope(s) should ask for a charitable donation to the poor and homeless in a country of the giftor’s choice.

  30. Shingo
    Shingo
    December 3, 2013, 5:10 pm

    The Vatican is a putrid institution as far as I’m concerned so any reminder of their crimes is OK in my book.

    Still, I wonder how Bibbi might have felt had Francis handed him a book on the theory that the Jews killed Christ? Imagine Bibbi’s face.

  31. lysias
    lysias
    December 3, 2013, 5:23 pm

    I’ve read that the point of Bibi’s father’s book is that, because the Inquisition went after Jews who had converted to Christianity, it does Jews no good to assimilate. Therefore, they need the refuge of Israel.

  32. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    December 3, 2013, 5:48 pm

    RE: “Netanyahu’s ‘gift’ to Pope: book on Catholic church’s persecution of Jews”

    SEE: CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, 12/02/13, (12:55 to 13:20) – Netanyahu visits the Pope and gives him a copy of Benzion Netanyahu’s book on the Spanish inquisition where Jews (but apparently not Muslims) were made to convert to Christianity.
    LINK TO VIDEO (18:28) – http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/12-02-ny-commuter-train-was-speeding-before-crash-nfl-prospect-eyes-phd-in-mathematics/

    ALSO NOTE: “‘Masterful’ book on JFK assassination was reprinted by Ben-Gurion relative’s publisher”, by Maidhc Ó Cathail, The Passionate Attachment, 12/03/13

    Does anyone else think it’s a little too much of a coincidence that James Douglass’s “masterful”book on the JFK assassination — promoted by at least one “progressive” Zionist media outlet [specifically the CBS Evening News, a week or so ago – J.L.D.] — which omits any reference to President Kennedy’s behind-the-scenes war with Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion over Tel Aviv’s undeclared nuclear weapons program was reprinted by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS Corporation, whose president and chief executive is Leslie Moonves, who just happens to be a great-nephew of David Ben-Gurion?

    SOURCE – http://thepassionateattachment.com/2013/12/03/masterful-book-on-jfk-assassination-was-reprinted-by-ben-gurion-relatives-publisher/
    Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.

    P.S. ABC World News With Dianne Sawyer also had a segment on the Pope, but it was completely unrelated to Netanyahu’s visit. I have often in the past had the distinct impression that ABC World News With Dianne Sawyer was trying to target the Christian Evangelicals/fundamentalists. I might add that both the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the ABC World News With Dianne Sawyer had segments (out of their approximately 18 minute “world news” broadcasts) toward the end that showed identical video footage dealing with Jeff Bezo’s and Amazon’s (absurd) plans to deliver orders of less than 5 lbs by drone! Obviously they both took their segments from a video press release distributed by Amazon or it’s PR agent (which was based on a recent 60 Minutes segment*). I should also mention that more than a third of ABC World News With Dianne Sawyer was about the N.Y. train derailment.

    I hope to hell that Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill (funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar) can expose the the great, over-washed, American masses to some real news for a change! ! !

    • American
      American
      December 3, 2013, 7:06 pm

      I cant quote a specific source but I think when I read about the Inquisition long ago it was more than just Jews and Muslims—Catholics themselves were ‘questioned’ about any hersey or statements they may have made that didnt conform to the Church.
      People could ‘inform’ on others and the accused would not be told who informed on them—they might only be asked if they ‘had any enemies’ who would like to get them in trouble.
      In that kind of madness if there was someone you wanted to hurt or get back at or didnt like you could get them picked up by the inquisitors.
      So no doubt a lot of that went on also.

    • David Doppler
      David Doppler
      December 4, 2013, 2:05 pm

      I do think Douglass’s book was masterful, in that it very carefully painted the CIA as the likely coordinator of the JFK assassination and its immediate cover-up with their sacrificed-asset Oswald. Replacement of Kennedy with LBJ was something much to be desired by many: the CIA and their Anti-Castro Cuban amigos; much of the military-industrial complex (the part hell-bent for early war with the Soviets or at least their proxies in Southeast Asia); various anti-Communists (among them LBJ’s corruption-buddy, J. Edgar Hoover) who had reason to be deeply concerned with Kennedy’s secret back-channel, peace-exploring communications with both Khrushchev and Castro; LBJ himself, who was a master at the corrupt accumulation and manipulation of power; the Chicago mob (which, with interesting links to Ruby, was also left out of Douglass’s book); and others. I, too, was disappointed that Kennedy’s aggressive but quiet or suppressed efforts to halt Israel’s march to a nuclear weapon were left out, but respect Douglass’s integrity as a writer: linking Israel’s nuclear program to the CIA and the Kennedy assassination or Jack Ruby [aka Jacob Rubinstein], or to LBJ, would have either required his devolving into conspiratorial speculation that would have earned him revile as an Anti-Semite, speculation which he is generally “masterful” at avoiding, or “a whole nother book,” as they say, which remains to be written. Perhaps a new government will one day take power in Tel Aviv, and decide to open up some of those old Mossad files.

      Interesting that you mention Douglass, who wrote of the JFK assassination from the perspective of a Catholic theologian, and introduced the then Pope’s role in brokering direct talks between JFK and Khrushchev, in this report about Netanyahu’s audience with the Pope. I don’t see Douglass’s book as a cover up, so don’t buy the CBS-link to its republishing as part hasbara, except that, perhaps, its popularity would not threaten the hasbara machine, since it leaves out JFK’s unpopularity with the Israeli power structure. Douglass’s book convinced me that no way did the assassination occur without a small core team within the CIA playing the lead role. It doesn’t rule out an Israeli role, just doesn’t touch it.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 5, 2013, 8:21 pm

        As far as I know, only Michael Collins Piper has had the nerve to write a book accusing the Israelis of a role in the JFK assassination. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know how good a case he makes.

  33. kalithea
    kalithea
    December 3, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Netanyahu seems to want to undermine the Pope’s office. He should be warned: this Pope gives a hoot about power. This Pope is very much a people’s Pope, very approachable and especially concerned with the fate of the poor, the oppressed and the mentally and physically challenged. He’s in a class Netanyahu can’t even fathom. Netanyahu is an ignorant boor giving the Pope that book.

  34. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    December 4, 2013, 1:16 pm

    Natanyahu should read first few pages of the first chapter – a fe pages from 5 to 11 will do. It is here the Egyptians are being branded as 1st Anti Semitic both from nationalistic and religious angles by his famed father – Senior B Nathabhyu.
    But is he right?
    Egyptians were deceived,betrayed,and suppressed by the Jewish diaspora living in the middle of Egyptians for centuries .They changed sides always with the foreigners ,the invading,conquering foreign forces . They collaborated. They rose to the powerful positions in return -thanks to the betrayal, allowed and promoted by these foreign entities- Persian, Greek,and later by Roman invaders.
    Did the Egyptians have a reason a powerful argument ,a position defending the subsequent attitude and belief to the Jewish diaspora within its borders living and prospering for centuries?

  35. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    December 4, 2013, 1:18 pm

    Pope should have given him a copy of the book by Justin Raimondo- – 911 and Israeli connection or the book by Sneigoski- Transparent Cabal

  36. Chu
    Chu
    December 4, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Yahoo better watch it. This pope will turn out to have a much greater impact worldwide than Yahoo’s will ever have. Kiss the ring and exit…

  37. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    December 4, 2013, 11:25 pm

    Inquisition was carried out against Dutch Protestants, French Hugonyot,and Indians both in Layin Ametica and in the Portugese colonies by the Spanish authorities.
    It was no different than that of indiscriminate killings by Hitler. The hatred against Spanish Muslim was carried all the way to Phillipnes . Inquisition and forceful conversion both resulted from this initial impression about the locals that they were related to Iberian Moorish population.

  38. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    December 5, 2013, 5:31 am

    It was the brutal power of the institution,the military,the police and the majority combined with the silence or the acceptance by the surrounding countries that allowed the Inwuisition.
    . Inquisitors had its own rhetorics ,excuses,explanations,and it created an elaborated,expanded,manufactured perception among the masses against the Jewish and the Moslem of Spain. Hitler would repeat the same.

    Benzoin Netanyahu had used similar resources and techniques to propagate his views
    on Arabs,on Palestinians,and on Israeli enemies.
    His views included the denial of human rights to Palestine,denial of historical roots of Palestinians,branding the Arabs as primitive immoral lawless violent population . His solution was preemptive violence and enlargement of Israeli borders . Like the Inquisitors, he sought Bibilical resources to justify and force his ideas of Israel Palestine solution. He projected the violent,illogic,impulsive intransigent trait on Arabs .He then used those trait to disallow any negotiation or compromise or mutual discussion. He offered the solutions that would consist of preemptive wars ,creating of enormous suffering and conquering of territory and prevention of establishment of any imaginary nation. He said” they only call themselves a people in order to fight the Jews”

    — Richard Silverstein in — Tikun Olam 040409

    He is no different than those ideologues who shaped the justification of the Inqusition. or from any intellectual who shaped the Nazi doctrine.neither is the apparatus and the resources Israel uses.

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