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The problem with Passover

Middle East
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March 30 will be the first night of Passover, a holiday widely recognized as a celebration of freedom, justice, and renewal. It is therefore seen as a fitting moment for social justice champions to gather for a seder, the ritual meal in which the past is remembered and commitment to liberation struggles is reaffirmed.

The traditional Passover Haggadah recounts the Jews’ escape from Egypt under the leadership of Moses and journey in the wilderness en route to the Promised Land, as told in the Old Testament book of Exodus. (They don’t get there till Joshua, four books, many years, and many complaints later). Contemporary progressive humanists have enlarged the moral scope: the vision of freedom for Palestinians, refugees, and others who are oppressed is now included; there are gender-neutral, feminist, and LGBT-friendly Haggadahs, and niche Haggadahs focused on issues such as mass incarceration, Black Lives Matter, nuclear disarmament, and slavery in the cocoa industry. As Jewish Voice for Peace’s “Liberatory Passover Haggadah” puts it, “This year we dedicate our seders to all of us, to our insistence on intersectionality, from gentrification to colonization; we are organizing to disrupt the root causes of displacement and violence at home and abroad.”

Members of IfNotNow protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories with a “liberation seder” in Washington DC, 2016. (Photo: Gili Getz/Jewschool)

Over many years I taught a few bible excerpts from anthologies for literature survey courses, but it wasn’t until recently, in researching the history and symbology of Zionism, that I sat down and attentively studied the longer text. The context I found for the liberation of the ancient Hebrew people was, to say the least, disturbing. Aside from the traffic in women, the abuse of animals, the imperative to obedience, the copious administration of capital punishment, and the self-aggrandizement of an authoritarian in absolute command, there was the inescapable ultimate hook on which all the liberation depended: ethnic cleansing and genocide. Neither Yahweh nor his followers were troubled about the Chosen, upon release from bondage in Egypt, being gifted with “a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites” (Exodus 3:7-9).

I began to search for commentary on the dark side of the saga. Edward Said, in a 1986 essay, may have been the first to note that Exodus could certainly be regarded as a “tragic” and dystopic rather than uplifting tale. He described “the injunction laid on the Jews by God to exterminate their opponents” as “an injunction that somewhat takes away the aura of progressive national liberation…. [I]t isn’t clear how the dehumanization of anyone standing in Moses’ way is any less appalling than the attitudes of the murderous Puritans or of the founders of apartheid.

The Native American scholar Robert Warrior (Osage) was once a student of Said’s and has written movingly about the elder’s influence on his own thinking. In an influential 1989 essay called “Canaanites, Cowboys, and Indians,” Warrior expanded on Said’s perception that the Exodus narrative left little to rejoice in if read “with Canaanite eyes.” He acknowledged that the Exodus story, “with its picture of a god who takes the side of the oppressed and powerless,” has been inspirational to many, including enslaved African Americans and Latin American liberation theologists. Nevertheless, he wrote, “I believe that the story of the Exodus is an inappropriate way for Native Americans to think about liberation.” The covenant,” he emphasized, “has two parts: deliverance and conquest.” Even progressive, anti-imperialist theologians have “ignored…those parts of the story that describe Yahweh’s command to mercilessly annihilate the indigenous population.”

Putting the Canaanites at the center of the story completely upends Exodus as a paradigmatic liberation narrative. Warrior and others –such as Steven Salaita, Hilton Obenzinger, Lawrence Davidson, and Lester Vogel, – have shown that American visitors to the Holy Land in the nineteenth century were instrumental in adapting Orientalist fantasies based on biblical narratives to justify conquering native peoples at home. Ideals of sacred landscapes, chosen people, covenants, Manifest Destiny, and the divine mandate for the civilized to uproot and slaughter the savages in the way were imported. Some tropes crossed back in the other direction: the kibbutz- and moshav-founding members of the early Aliyot are still, in modern-day Zionist lore, hailed as the “pioneers.” Salaita writes of “Israeli historian Benny Morris’s justification of the expulsion of Palestinians: ‘Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians.’”

Vincentian priest, liberation theologian, and biblical scholar Michael Prior took this theme further, arguing in 1997 and 1998 that the bible has been used as a “legitimating document” that has “served as a model of…persecution, subjugation, and extermination for millenia….” It has been used “to sanction the British conquest of North America, Ireland and Australia, the Dutch conquest of South Africa, the Prussian conquest of Poland, and the Zionist conquest of Palestine…. Nevertheless, liberation theologists from virtually every region (Latin America, South Africa, South Korea, the Philippines, etc.) have appropriated the Exodus story in their long and tortuous struggle against colonialism, imperialism, and dictatorship.” It does take some very selective reading to ignore passages that follow, such as, “You must destroy completely all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:1-2) or this blunt reckoning, which Prior highlighted:

And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities, which you did not build, and houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant…. You shall fear the Lord Your God; …lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 6.10-12).

In an article extracted from his book “The Bible and Zionism” (2007), Palestinian historian Nur Masalha built explicitly on the arguments of Said, Warrior, and Prior. Masalha emphasized the use of biblical traditions as “a reservoir of collective memory.” In Israel they are central to school curricula, nationalist identity, and the persuasive discourse of its leaders. David Ben-Gurion, for example, used the biblical land traditions as a “mobilizing myth” of the Jews’ “title to the land,” and, said Masalha, ”wrote in his first published work that the Jewish ‘return’ to Palestine is actually a ‘repeat’ of Joshua’s conquest of ancient Palestine….On more than one occasion Ben-Gurion pointed to an ‘unbroken line of continuity from the days of [Joshua] to the IDF…’ in and after 1948.” This perspective from the Zionist “left” can be hard to distinguish from Vladimir Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall” doctrine on the Zionist right; Masalha wrote that the latter’s “revival of militarist biblical traditions from Joshua to Samson, and its celebration of modern militarism, has formed a central plank in Zionist attitudes towards the indigenous occupants of Palestine….”

These writers stress that the problem does not pertain solely to those who view the Old Testament as a historical document. In fact, it appears likely that whatever events substantively occurred were far less violent and “ethnically” pronounced than those conveyed from generation to generation in the famous written account. Whatever really happened, though, says Warrior, “History is no longer with us. The narrative remains.” And it does so as “part of the heritage and thus the consciousness of people in the United States.” Scholarly exegesis, archaeological and other forensic correctives, or radical tweaking by freedom-loving Haggadah-writers and seder-goers will not change the fact that, in Prior’s words, “It is the narrative itself that has fueled colonial adventures.” We cannot escape the truth that the “divine right” to violate lives of the indigenous “becomes the climax of the liberation to be celebrated.” And we act in bad faith if, in Said’s words, we “mute or minimize” certain parts in order to keep the positive message intact.

Many of us are bemused by the PEPS (Progressives Except for Palestine) whose propensity for doublethink unites a professed universal love of justice with a refusal to acknowledge the injustices borne by the Palestinians. It is equally disingenuous to “include” all oppressed peoples in the embrace of a “liberation” story that is only made possible by racism and genocide, which we deplore. What would happen if those around the seder table deviated from the script and continued the story – from the POV of the Canaanites? Dayenu?

harriet
About Harriet Malinowitz

Harriet Malinowitz is a retired professor of English at Long Island University, and now teaches part-time at Ithaca College where she is the faculty advisor to Students for Justice in Palestine. She is also affiliated faculty with Women’s and Gender Studies, and each fall teaches a seminar called “Palestine in Literature and Film.” She is on the Academic Advisory Board of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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70 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    March 27, 2018, 10:53 am

    Taking a longer view of history, the Jewish temple was destroyed twice. Violence only lasts for a while.
    I think Zionism messes up the premise of every Jewish holiday because it sides with power and injustice.

    Passover typically has 4 questions asked by a child.

    In what way is torture Jewish ?
    Why has Israel dispensed with justice?
    What will Israel do when faced with a stronger thug ?
    Wasn’t Hillel right?

  2. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 27, 2018, 11:47 am

    Meanwhile here in the UK the Zionists and their hacks in the Bliarite (misspelling intentional)have gone into serious diarrhoeatic overdrive in their attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and in their desperation to establish the Biblical mantra of criticism of Israel = Anti – Semitism. In todays Times there is an almost full spread front page feature with a photo of an attractive young lady with an Arab looking scarf / shawl ( hint presumably to make her look like a Palestinian type native ) holding a sign saying “Dayenu” and below in English the translation “Enough is Enough” at an “end Ani-Semitism” demonstration outside Labour Party HQ in London

    Have to 100% agree on that one. Enough is really Enough. Russian Nerve agent attacks,Brexit,not to mention the crisis in our NHS the only really issue which should concern Britain and the entirety of humanity is the overwhelming “Anti – Semitism” in the UK Labour Party alleged by a portion of the 0 .5% of the UK population which proclaims itself to be Jewish.

    Those in the British population who are Labour supporters are not already totally pissed off with this relentless whining about this IMHO are becoming increasingly pissed off about it.
    The scale of Islamophobia and the scale of racism against coloured minorities in the UK is by comparison huge but their communities are by and large working quietly and diplomatically to address the problems as opposed to the eternal victim crocodile tear whinging and whining from a large section of the Israel First Jewish population. These people are so arrogant that they simply cannot see that they are insulting the party of working class people and Brits in general with their Hasbaratic rants.

    Good to see that there were non Israeli Firster Jews and Jewish Groups counter demonstrating and I do hope that someone with photoshop / cartoon skills (Latuff ?) can use the featured photograph to superimpose a picture of Ahed Tamimi behind bars with the “Dayenu” motif behind.

    • annie
      annie
      March 27, 2018, 12:15 pm

      ossinev, everyday i google corbyn just to keep up w/the anti semitism accusations. just when you think it can’t get worse it gets worse. you’d think the UK had no bigger problem, like — brexit — but no. it’s really unbelievable. and the labour party. unreal.

      • John Salisbury
        John Salisbury
        March 28, 2018, 10:44 pm

        Yes Annie. They will go to extraordinary lengths to destroy Corbyn. He is only the Leader of The Opposition but they are terrified of him and his popularity.

        They are terrified of him for 1 solitary reason….his long history of support for Palestine. He cannot be allowed to become Prime Minister hence the campaign to malign him with the anti-Semitic tag. Reprehensible.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 27, 2018, 12:12 pm

    I guess some who frequent this web cite may think it’s enough once the native non-Jews are cleansed from a Greater Israel. Still too much Canaaite genes infecting Jewish purity of life? Others might agree, me included, that it would suffice, daynenu, if justice was fully served by the Jews to the Palestinians who’s ancestors managed to survive Joshua and his god? Maybe the real issue is there’s something morally wrong with any human attributes be assigned to any god?
    In the end, it seems any god worshiped in history seems no better than Superman, a purely fictional comic book character one once could buy off the street for ten cents. He was approved by the US censorship board, right?

    Some current religious folks say “God made (Wo)Man in his/her own image.” Maybe
    (Wo)Man made God in (Wo)Man’s image. I think any intersectionality with any God is not the way to go.

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 27, 2018, 12:29 pm

    Harriet Malinowitz’s great article here needs more discussion; I also think Hannah Arendt would be a good place to start at the next liberal media/literary dinner party Phil Weiss attends. Not at his next seder attendance, I guess.

  5. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 27, 2018, 1:37 pm

    @Annie
    “just when you think it can’t get worse it gets worse”
    I think it has become “worse” because the Bliarites and the non Corbynites in the British Labour Party have simply sold their souls and allied with the Tories in increasingly desperate attempts to avoid a Corbyn Labour Party government.I am nowhere near a 100% Corbyn supporter and consider myself to be a “traditional ” Labour supporter. I am disgusted by those so called “centrists” in the Labour Party who have jumped on this “Anti – Semitic” bandwagon simply as a way of attacking Corbyn. I am not talking about the likes of the thuggish John Mann or the Joan Ryan brigade but people like Yvette Cooper who IMHO know damn well that all of this is a Zionist conflation ruse and who have de facto insulted the Labour Party voting base and the British public as a whole in their attitudes to the issue.

    Yes there are a minute number of individuals in the Labour Party and as in the Tory Party and in UKIP and possibly at a stretch in the Green Party ( unlikely I would have thought in our very own “Monster Raving Loony Party) who may be descibed as genuinely Anti – Semitic. But to suggest that British Jews are under assault at all and that this assault emanates solely from the Corbyn Labour Party is total b…ocks.

    BTW But on topic I hope any news of the fate of the Al Jazeera expose on the American Zionist Lobby

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      March 27, 2018, 2:09 pm

      The behaviour of arch Zionists such as Freedland when Labour is working on sorting out the UK economy is treacherous . Life expectancy in the UK is falling. This is far more important than fucking Israel.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        March 27, 2018, 3:33 pm

        Life expectancy stats released last month:

        females lowest economic decile – down by 3 months
        females highest economic decile – UP by 2 months

        males lowest economic decile – UP but by less than one month
        males highest economic decile – UP by 4 months

        Rather suggestive of the power of wealth – or lack of it – on ones health.
        Even in the UK with what remains of our NHS.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 27, 2018, 4:34 pm

        Yes it is. At least to non Zionists.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 27, 2018, 4:45 pm

        Health costs are increasing by around 4% per annum. NHS spending increases are limited to 1%. The richest 1% own 50% of everything. This is literally life and death.

        In the US 31 000 people died of opioid overdoses last year. It is a national catastrophe while in Congress the politicians do whatever Israel asks meaning Jews in a foreign country take precedence. This is extremely dangerous.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        March 27, 2018, 5:36 pm

        More UK – first 7 weeks of this year, over 10,000 ‘excess deaths’. The weather for those weeks was milder than normal, and it can’t be attributed to flu.

        And why do things like this not even touch the msm? ‘Austerity’ has been an excuse to cull the ‘lower’ elements of the British population. The elites are keeping their mouths zipped.

    • amigo
      amigo
      March 27, 2018, 2:26 pm

      0ssinev, it is worse than it ever was.This witch hunt is given way too much exposure on BBC and ITV. CNN is in on the act .Theresa May had to include it during PM,S question,s a few days ago even though it was not the topic under discussion.

      Victoria Derbyshire got in on it.

      Will no one rid us of this scourge.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 27, 2018, 4:36 pm

        MSNBC joined the fray today, devoting a whole segment to the rise of Jew Hate in US & UK. Chicken Little was all over the place,trotted out as expert pundits, everyone of them cloned undisclosed Jewish Zionists

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 27, 2018, 5:35 pm

        They cannot stop themselves.

        Eg
        Jonathan Freedland

        @Freedland

        ·

        13h

        “Indeed he would need to say that such a claim is itself antisemitic because it suggests Jews do not act sincerely, but always with an ulterior motive or hidden agenda.”

        This was repeated in a letter by the heads of the UK Jewish community. If you stand against Zionism you will be slurred.

        This is really dangerous. It feels as if lots of plates are shifting and when the dust settles we will be back in 1939.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 28, 2018, 2:25 am

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/27/jews-furious-corbyn-evasions-labour-antisemitism

        “Let’s run through the greatest hits: there was the time Corbyn took tea with the hate preacher Raed Salah, and called him “a very honoured citizen”, even though he’d been charged in Israel with inciting anti-Jewish racism and violence; the time he hosted representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah”

        A few prescient American diplomats foresaw this in 1944. Ordinary Arabs becoming the enemy of Jews everywhere. How many Lebanese has Israel murdered ?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 29, 2018, 2:14 pm

        Maghlawatan

        I was so happy to read Hadley Freeman’s ‘j’accuse’ piece in The Guardian, weren’t you?

        I knew my knowledge of l’affaire Corbyn would be incomplete unless I had the views of the woman whose recent contributions to hard-hitting journalism include the Pulitzer prize winning expose, ”Tits are Massive on the Red Carpet.”

    • March 29, 2018, 9:45 pm

      Why can’t the labour party stand firm and ignore the Zionists? What would the real damage be?

  6. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    March 27, 2018, 3:30 pm

    Professor Malinowitz,
    Is it true that all your students must do to receive an “A” on their papers and essays is to write “I hate Israel”?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 27, 2018, 4:40 pm

      Hey, take it easy, let’s just all agree American values, Humanist values, are the same as Israeli Jewish values. OK? Nobody has a problem with that, unless they are moronic, right?

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      March 28, 2018, 5:41 am

      I would think that Professor Malinowitz does not like expressions of hostility or hatred and that if she encourages her students to come to controversial conclusions she expects those conclusions to be reasoned.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 28, 2018, 10:43 am

      @Steve Grover

      Steve, my boy, you don’t get it. The fascistic entity known as “Israel” hates itself.

    • March 29, 2018, 9:49 pm

      I hate Israel because it is an apartheid state (according to many international jurists and a UN report) that claims to represent me – that deserves an A.

  7. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 27, 2018, 8:09 pm

    So we have to wonder why the US/K/EU/REST OF THE WORLD, does not do the same thing as they did to Russia, and expel Israeli diplomats, which should have happened years ago, by protesting the occupation, and the killing of thousands of Palestinians. When it comes to the zionists they are entitled to get away with anything, even assassinations in other nations, and collective punishment.

    Here once again, an example of zionist viciousness.

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-evacuate-destroy-entire-palestinian-village-umm-al-hiran

  8. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    March 27, 2018, 9:01 pm

    RE: [I]n Prior’s words, “It is the narrative itself that has fueled colonial adventures.” We cannot escape the truth that the “divine right” to violate lives of the indigenous “becomes the climax of the liberation to be celebrated.” ~ Malinowitz

    EXCERPT: The Doctrine of Discovery was promulgated by European monarchies in order to legitimize the colonization of lands outside of Europe. Between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, this idea allowed European entities to seize lands inhabited by indigenous peoples under the guise of discovery. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas declared [oh-so-conveniently! ~ J.L.D.] that only non-Christian lands could be colonized under the Discovery Doctrine.

    Discovery doctrine

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_doctrine

    [EXCERPT] The Discovery doctrine is a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Chief Justice John Marshall justified the way in which colonial powers laid claim to lands belonging to foreign sovereign nations during the Age of Discovery. Under it, title to lands lay with the government whose subjects travelled to and occupied a territory whose inhabitants were not subjects of a European Christian monarch. The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of colonial or post-colonial governments.

    The 1823 case was the result of collusive lawsuits where land speculators worked together to make claims to achieve a desired result.[1][2] John Marshall explained the Court’s reasoning. The decision has been the subject of a number of law review articles and has come under increased scrutiny by modern legal theorists.

    History

    The Doctrine of Discovery was promulgated by European monarchies in order to legitimize the colonization of lands outside of Europe. Between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, this idea allowed European entities to seize lands inhabited by indigenous peoples under the guise of discovery. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas declared that only non-Christian lands could be colonized under the Discovery Doctrine.

    In 1792, U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson declared that the Doctrine of the Discovery would extend from Europe to the infant U.S. government. The Doctrine and its legacy continue to influence American imperialism and treatment of indigenous peoples.[3]

    Johnson v. M’Intosh

    The plaintiff Johnson had inherited land, originally purchased from the Piankeshaw tribes. Defendant McIntosh claimed the same land, having purchased it under a grant from the United States. It appears that in 1775 members of the Piankeshaw tribe sold certain land in the Indiana Territory to Lord Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia and others. In 1805 the Piankeshaw conveyed much of the same land to William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, thus giving rise to conflicting claims of title.[4] In reviewing whether the courts of the United States should recognize land titles obtained from Native Americans prior to American independence, the court decided that they should not. Chief Justice John Marshall had large real estate holdings that would have been affected if the case were decided in favor of Johnson. Rather than remove himself from the case, however, the chief justice wrote the decision for a unanimous US Supreme Court.[5]

    Marshall found that ownership of land comes into existence by virtue of discovery of that land, a rule that had been observed by all European countries with settlements in the New World. Legally, the United States was the true owner of the land because it inherited that ownership from Britain, the original discoverer.

    Marshall noted:

    On the discovery of this immense continent, the great nations of Europe … as they were all in pursuit of nearly the same object, it was necessary, in order to avoid conflicting settlements, and consequent war with each other, to establish a principle which all should acknowledge as the law by which the right of acquisition, which they all asserted, should be regulated as between themselves. This principle was that discovery gave title to the government by whose subjects, or by whose authority, it was made, against all other European governments, which title might be consummated by possession. … The history of America, from its discovery to the present day, proves, we think, the universal recognition of these principles.[6]

    Chief Justice Marshall noted the 1455 papal bull Romanus Pontifex approved Portugal’s claims to lands discovered along the coast of West Africa, and the 1493 Inter Caetera had ratified Spain’s right to conquer newly found lands, after Christopher Columbus had already begun doing so,[7] but stated: “Spain did not rest her title solely on the grant of the Pope. Her discussions respecting boundary, with France, with Great Britain, and with the United States, all show that she placed it on the rights given by discovery. Portugal sustained her claim to the Brazils by the same title.”[6] . . .

    Legal critique
    As the Piankeshaw were not party to the litigation, “no Indian voices were heard in a case which had, and continues to have, profound effects on Indian property rights.”[9]

    Professor Blake A. Watson of the University of Dayton School of Law finds Marshall’s claim of “universal recognition” of the “doctrine of discovery” historically inaccurate.

    In reviewing the history of European exploration Marshall did not take note of Spanish Dominican philosopher Francisco de Vitoria’s 1532 De Indis nor De Jure belli Hispanorum in barbaros. Vitoria adopted from Thomas Aquinas the Roman law concept of ius gentium, and concluded that the Indians were rightful owners of their property and that their chiefs validly exercised jurisdiction over their tribes, a position held previously by Palacios Rubios. His defense of American Indians was based on a scholastic understanding of the intrinsic dignity of man, a dignity he found being violated by Spain’s policies in the New World.[10]

    Marshall also overlooked more recent American experience, specifically Roger Williams’s purchase of the Providence Plantation. In order to forestall Massachusetts and Plymouth designs on the land, Williams subsequently traveled to England to obtain a patent which referenced the purchase from the natives. The Royal Charter of Rhode Island issued by Charles II acknowledged the rights of the Indians to the land.[4]

    Nor does Justice Marshall seem to have taken note of the policy of the Dutch West India Company which only conferred ownership rights in New Netherland after the grantee had acquired title by purchase from the Indian owners, a practice also followed by the Quakers in Pennsylvania.[4]

    Watson and others, such as Robert Williams Jr. suggest that Marshall misinterpreted the “discovery doctrine” as giving exclusive right to lands discovered, rather than the exclusive right to treaty with the inhabitants thereof.[4] . . .

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      March 27, 2018, 9:26 pm

      P.S. THE ‘DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY’ READ WITH “CANAANITE EYES”!
      ■ Five Hundred Years of Injustice:
      The Legacy of Fifteenth Century Religious Prejudice

      by Steve Newcomb

      [EXCERPT] When Christopher Columbus first set foot on the white sands of Guanahani island, he performed a ceremony to “take possession” of the land for the king and queen of Spain, acting under the international laws of Western Christendom. Although the story of Columbus’ “discovery” has taken on mythological proportions in most of the Western world, few people are aware that his act of “possession” was based on a religious doctrine now known in history as the Doctrine of Discovery. Even fewer people realize that today – five centuries later – the United States government still uses this archaic Judeo-Christian doctrine to deny the rights of Native American Indians.

      • Origins of the Doctrine of Discovery

      To understand the connection between Christendom’s principle of discovery and the laws of the United States, we need to begin by examining a papal document issued forty years before Columbus’ historic voyage In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued to King Alfonso V of Portugal the bull Romanus Pontifex, declaring war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioning and promoting the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories.

      Under various theological and legal doctrines formulated during and after the Crusades, non-Christians were considered enemies of the Catholic faith and, as such, less than human. Accordingly, in the bull of 1452, Pope Nicholas directed King Alfonso to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ,” to “put them into perpetual slavery,” and “to take all their possessions and property.” [Davenport: 20-26] Acting on this papal privilege, Portugal continued to traffic in African slaves, and expanded its royal dominions by making “discoveries” along the western coast of Africa, claiming those lands as Portuguese territory.

      Thus, when Columbus sailed west across the Sea of Darkness in 1492 – with the express understanding that he was authorized to “take possession” of any lands he “discovered” that were “not under the dominion of any Christian rulers” – he and the Spanish sovereigns of Aragon and Castile were following an already well-established tradition of “discovery” and conquest. [Thacher:96] Indeed, after Columbus returned to Europe, Pope Alexander VI issued a papal document, the bull Inter Cetera of May 3, 1493, “granting” to Spain – at the request of Ferdinand and Isabella – the right to conquer the lands which Columbus had already found, as well as any lands which Spain might “discover” in the future.

      In the Inter Cetera document, Pope Alexander stated his desire that the “discovered” people be “subjugated and brought to the faith itself.” [Davenport:61] By this means, said the pope, the “Christian Empire” would be propagated. [Thacher:127] When Portugal protested this concession to Spain, Pope Alexander stipulated in a subsequent bull – issued May 4, 1493 – that Spain must not attempt to establish its dominion over lands which had already “come into the possession of any Christian lords.” [Davenport:68] Then, to placate the two rival monarchs, the pope drew a line of demarcation between the two poles, giving Spain rights of conquest and dominion over one side of the globe, and Portugal over the other.

      During this quincentennial of Columbus’ journey to the Americas, it is important to recognize that the grim acts of genocide and conquest committed by Columbus and his men against the peaceful Native people of the Caribbean were sanctioned by the abovementioned documents of the Catholic Church. Indeed, these papal documents were frequently used by Christian European conquerors in the Americas to justify an incredibly brutal system of colonization – which dehumanized the indigenous people by regarding their territories as being “inhabited only by brute animals.” [Story:135-6]

      The lesson to be learned is that the papal bulls of 1452 and 1493 are but two clear examples of how the “Christian Powers,” or “different States of Christendom,” viewed indigenous peoples as “the lawful spoil and prey of their civilized conquerors.” [Wheaton:270-1] In fact, the Christian “Law of Nations” asserted that Christian nations had a divine right, based on the Bible, to claim absolute title to and ultimate authority over any newly “discovered” Non-Christian inhabitants and their lands. Over the next several centuries, these beliefs gave rise to the Doctrine of Discovery used by Spain, Portugal, England, France, and Holland – all Christian nations. . .

      ENTIRETY ~ http://ili.nativeweb.org/sdrm_art.html

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 28, 2018, 7:14 am

        The American legal doctrine of discovery seems to be couched in purely utilitarian terms and no longer to rest on the idea of the temporal supremacy of the Pope, which in turn had little to do with Passover. We see how ideas can mutate. Traditions are always having to be interpreted and reinterpreted. We just have to hope that the good interpretations – we can’t guarantee that they are the most authentic – will prevail over the bad in our time.
        An extreme minority view of the aftermath of Passover is found in the idea of Ernst Sellin, known through Freud’s (?mis)appropriation of it, that the original form of the terrifying story of Numbers 25 was the murder of Moses himself. This makes Moses into a martyr for the cause of multiculturalism and interracial marriage.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 28, 2018, 2:28 pm

        The “Citizens United” of its day??

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        March 31, 2018, 8:17 pm

        RE: “We just have to hope that the good interpretations – we can’t guarantee that they are the most authentic – will prevail over the bad in our time.” ~ MHughes976

        FROM THE WIKIPEDIA EXCERPT: “. . . Chief Justice John Marshall had large real estate holdings that would have been affected if the case were decided in favor of Johnson. Rather than remove himself from the case, however, the chief justice wrote the decision for a unanimous US Supreme Court.[5]”

  9. RoHa
    RoHa
    March 28, 2018, 3:23 am

    One teeny problem I find with Passover is the slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn children.

    • catalan
      catalan
      March 28, 2018, 9:08 am

      “One teeny problem I find with Passover is the slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn children.”
      Without the Jewish people, the story of Homo sapiens would have been a festival of roses and spirituality. There are minor hiccups like the recent annihilation of 2/3 of other species; the Assyrians flaying alive the defeated; or Isis burning alive the Jordanian pilot and putting it on video. And the Rwandan genocide. But back to Passover – an odious holiday in times when humanity as a whole celebrates its gentleness towards each other and other species (that island of plastic bags three times the size of France notwithstanding). Think of it – the 4th of July or the fourteenth of July, they both celebrate man’s kindness to each other. What else are wars and revolutions?

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 28, 2018, 9:34 am

        Great try Catalan but there is a problem with Whataboutery.
        The shoah. As bad as the Assyrians flaying alive the defeated; or Isis burning alive the Jordanian pilot and putting it on video.? The Rwandan genocide.? Or the Mongols?

      • catalan
        catalan
        March 28, 2018, 10:46 am

        “Or the Mongols?” Mag
        It turns out that that a lot of the bad reputation of the Mongols is the result of recent racism, exaggeration, and just bad history. You can check out the 2014 bestseller by Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and you will see that their history is much more complicated; including major, incredible contributions to humanity. The stories of cruelty are mostly unconfirmed myths.
        As to whataboutery – I know that context is not allowed. Jews are the worst. Passover is the worst. I wish I were an Englishman. Born in London. To moderate, gentle Anglican parents. If I behave well, maybe next life I will return as an Englishman. Or, second best, an Italian. What a language!

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 29, 2018, 11:01 pm

      If I were still teaching logic, I would use this as an example of the Straw Man fallacy. I did not say that Passover is the worst, or that Jews were the worst, or deny that other horrors have been committed.

      And although other celebrations (and perhaps even other religious holidays) may also be odious, that does not make the slaughter aspect of Passover any less odious.

  10. Danaa
    Danaa
    March 28, 2018, 4:19 am

    I am delighted to see this article about the Haggadah being “grafted” onto an – oh so “human” -“liberation” theology a la one size fits all. For the longest time, I felt the haggadah, as it is written and read in Hebrew, is an absolute travesty – in essence a poetic rant against human rights and human dignity. There is – and never was a single word in the hebrew version – that would apply even a smidgen of said “liberation” to non-Jews. Those who read this into the haggaddah – its original, the one israelis read every passover, for example – were guilty of either ignorance of language, or delusion or the need to fabricate a PR campaign that would ‘soften” the harshness of the original for purposes we can only guess at.

    For harsh it is. If anything, I felt the basic, unabridged haggadah (and how many even could read it?) scroll was a shrill documentation of parochial self-love, extreme xenophobia, and self-aggrandisment that come together into a toxic racist screed against just about everyone who failed to be jewish (or “properly Jewish”). There is nothing in the Haggadah (the traditional hebrew version) that would bestow any dignity, virtue or value upon non-Jewish people. Anyone who read such attributions into the haggadah, either did not read hebrew and/or saw what they wanted to see. Or had an agenda, as mentioned above.

    When god is asked to visit his wrath upon those who know not his name, it is not meant just some old “pagans” or some such. It is meant, quite specifically, any and all who are not jewish (however they came by such predicament).

    Worse yet, this haggaddah, this “liberation treatise” is actually a celebration of nasty vengeance of the most brutal, unfeeling and merciless kind, upon “others”. Who are to be treated much as the Egyptians were (and mind you, no exceptions were made for any particular Egyptian of any gender, age or preference. All the same. All bad. All deserving of the harshest of treatment – being mere appendages of a bad bad Pharoh that just won’t “let my people go”. I can assure everyone that, at least in israel, they know exactly who those “others” are – it’s pretty much everyone who is not them, including even some jews who may see things differently than the rightmost israelis.

    Frankly, the Hebrew Haggadah should have no place in a modern, humanistic society, and certainly not in an American one. I would outlaw the traditional haggadah from the tables of the jewish people of America, unless it undergoes sizeable revisions, decided upon by the people of the land. The people who founded a country based on the principles of liberty and justice for all. Indeed, why should this cesspool of invectives and exhortations for evil deeds to be perpetrated upon them who “knew not your name” (meaning the canaanite, but also the Christian, the Muslim an certainly some “funky” Indian god be an acceptable reading material for a passover ritual? has anyone ever wondered about that? why is it permitted to read from this text (cf., the unabridged, unadulterated, if translated, version) in American households? why is it not considered to be something akin to Mein Kampf which celebrated Arian “purity” and rained derision upon others not so Arian, not so pure?

    Yes, I know most people here and in the US (99.9% of Jewish Americans included) cannot read Hebrew other than a few words here and there. I know the Englisdh version is already a much “softer” version of the original. And yes, there were many more “softening” touches added over the years by the Reform and Conservative and certainly Unitarian congregations. But none of that is an excuse for indulging in a work founded on ethnocentric travesty, a work of spite for others, a work of naked ugly vengeance, a work celebrating paroxyms of ethnic supremacy, masquerading as something “good”, something “liberation”.

    Personally, I feel the Haggadda, in all its versions, including the very word “exodus” should be re-examined and at least entirely re-edited to fit with the values of a modern, diverse and pluralistic society, which cares about justice for all (whether achieved or not; it’s still the ideal).

    There, i said it. Been meaning to say just this for the longest time. Well, at least I can’t be accused of being short on opinions….

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      March 28, 2018, 10:22 am

      “Pour out thy wrath” can be read to only apply to those who have not called god’s name. Christians, Muslims and others have called out god’s name. It is not often read this way, but it can be read this way.
      Since that passage occurs after the meal, I consider it outside the core text of the haggada, which is before the meal.

      The concept of freedom versus slavery predominates the haggada. To apply these concepts beyond the tribe is not in the haggada, but once these concepts exist, they are perforce given a life of their own. Some limit these concepts to that which is specified: the tribe. Others take the concept global.

      Since you have cited a prayer that comes after the meal, let me cite THE prayer for after every meal, and not the tribal later paragraphs, but the universal first paragraph, blessed are you God who feeds the world with mercy, who gives food to all flesh, because he is kind and feeds all of his creations. Blessed is God who feeds all. (Paraphrase).

    • Keith
      Keith
      March 28, 2018, 12:09 pm

      DANAA- “There is – and never was a single word in the hebrew version – that would apply even a smidgen of said “liberation” to non-Jews.”

      You have touched upon an important point which may be difficult to discuss on Mondoweiss. Israel Shahak discusses the anti-Gentile nature of the Talmud during the period of Classical Judaism. One of the consequences was the censorship of the Talmud in which the most offensive passages were removed, others euphemized. So that “…the expressions ‘Gentile’, ‘non-Jew’, ‘stranger’ (goy, eino yehudi, nokbri) – which appear in all early manuscripts and printings as well as as in all editions published in Islamic countries – were replaced by such terms as ‘idolator’, ‘heathen’ or even ‘Canaanite’ or ‘Samaritan’, terms which could be explained away but which the Jewish reader could recognize as euphemisms for the old expressions.” In other words, Jews were now cursing Canaanites, not the surrounding Gentiles.

      Shahak notes that “At the same time, lists of Talmudic Omissions were circulated in manuscript form, which explained all of the new terms and pointed out the omissions.” So what has happened in modern Israel? “Needless to say, all of this was a calculated lie from beginning to end; and following the establishment of the State of Israel, once the rabbis felt secure, all of the offensive passages and expressions were restored without hesitation in all new editions.” (p21-23, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak) He also notes that in official English translations of the Hebrew press, offensive language is frequently softened or omitted. This is one reason why your perspective is so valuable.

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        March 28, 2018, 2:23 pm

        “…the expressions ‘Gentile’, ‘non-Jew’, ‘stranger’ (goy, eino yehudi, nokbri) – which appear in all early manuscripts and printings as well as as in all editions published in Islamic countries – were replaced by such terms as ‘idolator’, ‘heathen’ or even ‘Canaanite’ or ‘Samaritan’, terms which could be explained away but which the Jewish reader could recognize as euphemisms for the old expressions.”

        I can think of an example just off the top of my head where the term in the old manuscripts is Akum–idol worshiper. It is clear from the context often that would be the logical term. I would say use Shahak, if you must use him it all, to identify subjects for further research, but don’t trust anything he says without further verification. The various terms for idolator and non-Jew in Rabbinic literature did go through many changes due to self-imposed and externally imposed censorship. It makes sense nowadays, just for scholarly reasons, to try to have the most accurate texts. Nobody is getting burned at the stake anymore. I would look into it more, but I’m in the middle of Pesach cleaning.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 28, 2018, 6:10 pm

        ” Nobody is getting burned at the stake anymore.”

        No, just bombed from planes and shot while wounded.

      • Keith
        Keith
        March 29, 2018, 12:37 am

        YITZCHAK GOODMAN- ” I would say use Shahak, if you must use him it all, to identify subjects for further research, but don’t trust anything he says without further verification.”

        Well, you would say that wouldn’t you? I had more to say on this topic, however, the moderators think otherwise. Mondoweiss is what it is, but not necessarily what it claims to be. Why must I walk on egg shells? 3/6

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        March 29, 2018, 10:56 am

        I had more to say on this topic…

        More on Shahak or more on words like Akum and Cuti and censorship?

      • Keith
        Keith
        March 29, 2018, 3:25 pm

        YITZCHAK GOODMAN- “More on Shahak or more on words like Akum and Cuti and censorship?”

        Several quotes from “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” providing more detail to my original comment. Are you claiming that passages of the Talmud weren’t modified under Gentile pressure during the period of Classical Judaism? Are you saying that the original texts have not been restored in Israel? Are you saying that Danaa’s interpretation of the Hebrew texts she read in Israel is false? Since I have no desire to expend time and effort on comments which will not see the light of day, perhaps you should comment on Danaa’s comment which is quite consistent with what Shahak said. Perhaps she will respond. Hopefully, this comment is innocuous enough to pass muster.

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        March 29, 2018, 6:26 pm

        Are you claiming that passages of the Talmud weren’t modified under Gentile pressure during the period of Classical Judaism?

        I believe I said that myself. That doesn’t mean all the things that were changed must have been hateful. Shahak makes it sound as if idol worship was always a non-issue used as a cover-up.

        Are you saying that the original texts have not been restored in Israel?

        The Vilna Shas came out in 1870, long before there was an Israel in the modern sense. It included tractate Avodah Zarah, which was sometimes entirely omitted in earlier editions. Freedom from censorship has been manifesting itself for quite some time. All things being equal, one wants the most accurate edition of a text for study. Israel has mostly made a big difference because there are so many Hebrew printers and people who can do editorial work in Hebrew. 20 years ago, sets of Shulchan Aruch still had blurry print. The flow of new editions of the classics speeds up the demand for corrected texts. Shahak is doing his usual hit-and-run on this topic. Delve into it using sources that have more expertise and impartiality than he does. I’m just asking for some intellectual curiosity. That’s all I have time for–back to Passover preparations. By the way, has anyone mentioned that “Pour out Your wrath” etc. in the Haggadah is from the Book of Psalms?

      • Keith
        Keith
        March 30, 2018, 12:23 am

        YITZCHAK GOODMAN- ” Shahak is doing his usual hit-and-run on this topic.”

        Yet another ad hominem attack on Israel Shahak- your intellectual and moral superior- without any supporting argument. Nothing you have said refutes anything I have said. I was responding to Danaa’s comment, yet you ignore her comment to zero in on Shahak. Does that mean that you agree with her? You agree that “For harsh it is. If anything, I felt the basic, unabridged haggadah (and how many even could read it?) scroll was a shrill documentation of parochial self-love, extreme xenophobia, and self-aggrandisment that come together into a toxic racist screed against just about everyone who failed to be jewish (or “properly Jewish”). There is nothing in the Haggadah (the traditional hebrew version) that would bestow any dignity, virtue or value upon non-Jewish people. Anyone who read such attributions into the haggadah, either did not read hebrew and/or saw what they wanted to see. Or had an agenda, as mentioned above.” (Danaa)

        Cut the crap, Yitzchak, you are an apologist for Israel/Zionism. Someone who proudly proclaims that “I support Israel against its enemies.” People who advocate for justice for the Palestinians are Israel’s “enemies?” Well, that about says it all. By the way, are you an Israeli? Do you speak fluent Hebrew? You consider yourself a universalist? Be honest.

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        March 30, 2018, 2:03 pm

        Me: “Shahak is doing his usual hit-and-run on this topic. ”

        Keith: “Yet another ad hominem attack on Israel Shahak- your intellectual and moral superior- without any supporting argument. ”

        The statement followed my discussion of correcting and republishing the classic texts, which was an answer to Shahak’s assertion that the texts were corrected “following the establishment of the State of Israel, once the rabbis felt secure,” as if that’s all it was. Anyway, great melt-down. Loved the part where you call Shahak my “intellectual and moral superior.” I usually don’t continue a conversation if I have to waste a lot of time rehashing what has already been said. Kosher and Happy Passover to those who will be making a Seder tonight.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2018, 4:14 pm

        “Keith”, just be aware, in “Yitzchak Goodman” you are dealing with a self-described World-Arrogance blogger and Shmaltz-Herring theoretician.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 2, 2018, 11:57 am

        And ‘wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles’ here is Yitzchak Goodman’s blog, “Judeopundit”

    • tidings
      tidings
      March 28, 2018, 1:30 pm

      Danaa Yes. you said it and I am glad you said it and, even though I don’t know you, I’ve been waiting for you to say it and now it’s been said and done.

      I’ve not been able to stomach the haggadah for years now and consequently my family no longer celebrates Pesach. I miss the soup and the harotzet and the matzo and every year at this time I still need to shake off all the accumulated mixture of feelings and conflicts and loss and shame but they’ve been banished and no longer intrude the rest of the year. I don’t accept any revisionist Peach celebrations because they still mark the event. Mark and mask which is not good enough.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 28, 2018, 3:00 pm

      So is this Torah/Talmud-inspired liturgy the kind of stuff Chuck Schumer used to blame “non-believing” Palestinians for lack of peace?

      Right.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 28, 2018, 6:11 pm

        Well some people think the Passover story was plaguerised.

  11. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 28, 2018, 9:42 am

    Haven`t read as yet any of the UK`s dailys but the “Rampant Anti – Semitism in Corbyn`s Labour Party” has certainly not be mentioned on the BBC news today (as yet). Today`s BBC is all about tangible relevant and very real news as opposed to the Zionist crap which has been spewed out by the likes of Arkush,Pollard and the lackey Mann in the last few days. I sense that the UK Zios may have blown a fuse on this one. There was a pathetic turn out for their “mass demonstrations” in London yesterday with very significant counter demonstrations by Jewish Labour Party supporters of Corbyn.
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/jewish-labour-activists-defend-corbyn-israel-lobby-attacks
    As is suggested in the article there may be lots of Anti – Semitic skeletons in the pro Israel Tory party and once you start digging and using guilt by association tactics (current or past ) who knows where it will lead.

    Such a relief though to get even a short break from the relentless eternal victim whinging and whining and the now well past being a joke faux conflation.

    Hopefully when it comes to the upcoming local elections ordinary British voters will show their contempt for those who have hummed along to this particular Ziotune.

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 28, 2018, 9:56 am

    Further to my previous post ref skeletons in the Tory Party please do take a gander at this lot:
    https://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/(JN7434)%20A4%20Tory%20Racism%20Brochure%20SIN11-26629.pdf

    • amigo
      amigo
      March 28, 2018, 2:35 pm

      0ssinev , thanks for the link.

      Some list.Certainly puts the whole sordid affair in perspective.

  13. hophmi
    hophmi
    March 28, 2018, 10:56 am

    What a surprise. Another Judeophobic piece on Mondoweiss.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 28, 2018, 6:16 pm

      “Another Judeophobic piece on Mondoweiss.”

      Now, now, “Hophmi”, don’t you think that rather than saying the piece is “Judeophobic”, we could simply say it is ‘not Judeophilic’?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 29, 2018, 8:50 am

      Hi neighbor! I mean that in the true Hebrew Talmudic sense, hophmi, of course!
      Let’s hear some more from you in this strict-constructionists vs living law discussion!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 29, 2018, 5:13 pm

      “Hopmi”: Not a single Jew was harmed in the production of this article.

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 30, 2018, 12:05 am

      After attacking Purim and brit mila, now comes Passover. All in the context of “we’re not anti-Jewish, just anti-Zionist”…

      Anyway, a happy and kosher Passover to all who celebrate it!

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 30, 2018, 1:40 pm

        All in the context of “we’re not anti-Jewish, just anti-Zionist”…

        What nonsense again, Johnny!

        Of course I am “anti-Jewish”, being also anti-religion in general. Religion is a matter of choice.

        I strongly condemn any discrimination based on circumstances of birth. If your parents were Jewish or called themselves Jewish even though they had no religion, that cannot be used to discriminate against you. If you discriminate against anyone because he or she is botn Palestinian, you deserve the absolute worst.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 30, 2018, 3:43 pm

        “After attacking Purim and brit mila, now comes Passover. All in the context of “we’re not anti-Jewish, just anti-Zionist”…”

        “Jonny”, could it be that these people here don’t love us Jews as much as they should?

        (And, of course, infant male genital mutilation is the very same thing as putting six kinds of symbolic food on a plate, or spinning cheaply-made groggers.)

      • Brewer
        Brewer
        April 2, 2018, 7:44 pm

        Jon s
        There is a vast difference between the simple observance of harmless rituals arising out of a mythologized past and the practice of ethnic cleansing – based on those myths. That is the essential difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Zionism. Precisely the same as anti-Islam and anti-Islamic fundamentalism. That posters here are anti-Zionist is manifestly obvious.
        Put a note in your play-book. That stuff doesn’t work anymore.

  14. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    March 28, 2018, 11:28 am

    Thank you Prof Malinowitz. Read once, going to read again later. Inspiring, expansive…out of the box.

    Said sure turned my lights on about the I/P issue decades ago.

  15. genesto
    genesto
    March 28, 2018, 12:16 pm

    Great article! It articulated the many problems I, as a non Jew (married to a Jew), have with Judaism, in general, and Passover, in particular. I have found the traditional Passover ceremony to be offensive on a number of levels, starting with the notion of an angry, vindictive God bent on violent revenge against the infidels, to the demonization of the Egyptians, something that, I believe, also carries forward to this day. And all of this about the Exodus, which has no historical basis in fact!

    The only Passover Seder I wish to attend any more is the one put on by IJAN every year. It’s inspirational and uplifting, but really bears practically no resemblance at all to the traditional ceremony.

  16. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 28, 2018, 1:49 pm

    @Hophmi
    “What a surprise. Another Judeophobic piece on Mondoweiss”

    Hooray Hoppy I salute you. You have finally nailed it for us all as in stating that being critical of Jews or hateful towards Jews is not in fact being Anti -Semitic because even back in the days of Bibliland the Judeans(AKA followers of the cult of Judaism) were only a very small proportion of the native Semitic peoples of the Middle East. And these Semitic peoples were a mixture of races/tribes as opposed to being solely followers of a particular weird animal sacrificing cult. As for today`s ” Judeans ” well they are lets see Russian European,Indo Chinese,Caucasians,Inuits you name it but not Semites.

    Suggest you urgently contact your fellow travellers in the non – Semite BODOBJ including the WASP looking ones who claim that their lineage goes back to Babylon and let them know that legally they may be up shit creek on this and they really should be focusing on rooting out “pockets of Judeophobia” in the Labour Party.

    BTW While you are at it can you ask them to clarify WTF is a “Board of Deputies”. Has it got anything to do with cowboys/the Wild West/John Wayne ?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 30, 2018, 4:02 pm

      “Another Judeophobic piece on Mondoweiss”

      Hey, “Ossinev”, have you noticed the slightest reticence on the part of our Zionist commentators when it comes to expressing their opinions (often as invidious as they are tendentious), on, oh, Muslims, or Christians? Or any nationality or ethnic designation? Or political party, or anything? Or, for that matter, Jews who don’t agree with them?

  17. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 28, 2018, 2:50 pm

    @amigo
    “Will no one rid us of this scourge”
    Despair ye not Amigo.Zionists have blind spots when it comes to unsealing cans full of little wriggly creatures.And they are so full of arrogance they tend to have difficulties engaging brains before speaking.
    The “Dayenu” “Enough is Enough” saying is a good example. It is a “Passover” chant which amongst other things appears to rejoice in God slaying the first born infants of the Egyptians.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2017/04/passover-god-kills-bunch-babies-except-jewish-ones/
    So everytime they sing this particular ditty they are in theory glorifying infanticide.
    And as for the actual “Passover” well as made up fables go it is a whopper:
    https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/were-jews-ever-really-slaves-in-egypt-1.5208519

  18. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    April 2, 2018, 10:54 pm

    No reference to the key phrase which rings so true today with the swelling tide of unabated anti-semitism in the world and fostered by MW, ““In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.” as was mentioned in a previous MW article knocking the Passover.
    The Passover metaphor rings so true for Jews today facing forces denying their historical and religious roots.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 3, 2018, 1:37 pm

      ““In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.”

      Right on, “Mayhem”! Our Jewish God is the God of History! And that is one fight He will see we don’t lose! Just look what He does to our enemies!
      I just don’t understand why Mondo commenters will not accept that God is on our side!

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