Biden meets with Chabad group
June 17, 2010
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Chabad emissaries convening in Washington met with Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden met the emissaries, who came from around the world and the United States, during their meetings Thursday with administration officials.
The U.S. leader reviewed Chabad teachings he had acquired over the years, including the necessity of combing “wisdom, knowledge and understanding,” and explained how these could be applied to statecraft.
The two-day emissaries’ conference, organized by American Friends of Lubavitch, also featured meetings with 20 members of both houses of the Congress, including the majority and minority leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, a dinner featuring a speech by Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist Elie Wiesel, and a lunch with ambassadors from countries where Chabad emissaries serve.
Jack Lew, a deputy secretary of state, shared stories about having to build a busy schedule around his Shabbat observance.
Top Turkish diplomats attended the lunch and the dinner with Wiesel, part of a bid to reassure American Jews that Turkey’s Jewish community remains safe despite recent Turkey-Israel tensions.
Archive for June, 2010
Transatlantic Jewish coalition set to break the siege of Gaza
Within days after the attack on the Mavi Marmara, European activists announced a Jewish Boat to sail in July from an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean, attempting to break the siege imposed by Israel in 2006. The boat is sponsored by a coalition of international Jewish organizations dedicated to peace with justice in Israel/Palestine, including the ”Jüdische Stimme” (‘Jewish Voice’ for a Just Peace in the Near East), along with European Jews for a Just Peace in the Near East (EJJP) and Jews for Justice For Palestinians (UK). American Jews for a Just Peace (AJJP) will serve as the U.S. Coordinator, creating a transatlantic partnership. The small boat’s cargo will include school books, medicines and medical equipment.
Why a Jewish boat? Lots of reasons. The universal values contained in the ethical tradition of Judaism don’t include ‘Do unto others as was done unto us.’ For Jews to publicly confront the Israeli government’s policies of occupation, apartheid, and siege on a world stage highlights the political nature of the conflict and discredits those who insist on framing it strictly in ethnic and/or religious terms. I like best the answer from Glyn Secker, the Jewish Boat’s captain, a British Jew, and longtime activist with Jews for Justice for Palestinians in the UK: “As Jews we should stand as a beacon for human rights, not as an internationally known perpetrator of atrocities.”
This press release reveals a profound disconnect on many levels. There are no universal values in the two-tiered ethical traditions of Orthodox Judaism. More recent attempts at reform Judaism (which hardly constitute “the ethical* tradition of Judaism”) are muddled at best in their concept of “Jewish universalism.” Leave the work of reconciling tribalism with universalism to wand-waving alchemists, I say. This is crazy talk.
To the degree that this boat represents human individuals who truly thirst for justice for all people, it is good. To the degree that it represents a P.R. response to the shonda of the Mavi Marmara massacre for the rehabilitation of Orthodox Judaism, which is the basis for Zionist brutality, it’s an ouroboros delusion.
The lie that Catholicism (which is, in fact, universalism: katholikos; katholou — throughout the whole, i.e., universal) “paved the road to Auschwitz” has been sustained for 60 years. It’s long past due for Judaism (tribe of Judah-ism) to undergo equal scrutiny as Christianity and Islam. It’s time that we freely examine how the canonized teaching of Orthodox Judaism “even the best of the Gentiles should be killed” and others of that sentiment have paved the road to “‘Jewish’ State” massacres in Palestine, Lebanon and in international waters. Let there be scrutiny of Judaism equal to that of Christianity and Islam. Apply standards universally, or stand guilty of tribal particularism.
* U.S. founding father, Thomas Jefferson, regarded the ethics of Judaism as degraded as have many other great thinkers who’ve studied the matter in depth.
You can judge a man by the elder brothers that he keeps:
Flotilla attackers to feast in Italy
June 15, 2010 – Press TV
The leader of the Jewish community in Rome has arranged a recreational trip to Italy for two Israeli forces involved [in] a deadly attack on a Gaza aid convoy.
Riccardo Pacifici, chief of Rome’s Jewish community, invited the Israeli navy troops to Italy during his visit to Israel, where he praised and lionized them as “heroes,” IRNA reported on Monday.
Israeli commandos killed at least 20 human rights activists and injured 50 others during a May 31 onslaught on a six-ship fleet carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and 700 international activists from 42 countries to the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel also arrested hundreds of the civilians on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the years-long siege of Gaza.
The campaigners were captured and forcefully taken into Israel from the international waters where they were attacked, but were soon released under international pressure on Tel Aviv not to deepen the crisis.
The attack sparked outrage across the globe and led to a chorus of calls for lifting the siege on the impoverished Gaza Strip.
Israel’s inquiry into the flotilla raid, to be called the Independent Public Commission, will be led by a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, Jacob Turkel. It will include two Israeli experts in international law and two foreign observers — Lord David Trimble, a Nobel Peace laureate from Northern Ireland, and Brig. Gen. Ken Watkin, former judge advocate general of the Canadian Forces — whose inclusion is intended to add credibility to the inquiry and to secure foreign support for it. In Washington, the White House press secretary issued a statement hailing the Israeli announcement as an “important step forward.” The statement added that “the structure and terms of reference of Israel’s proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation,” … (“Israel Backs Panel to Examine Raid,” Isabel Kershner, June 13, 2010, The New York Times)
[Jacob] Terkel served as [an Israeli] Supreme Court justice from 1995 until his retirement in 2005 and during those 10 years often took minority positions … including his opposition to the conviction of Rabbi Ido Elba, who penned a halakhic ruling that supported the killing of non-Jews. The ruling appeared in a biography of Baruch Goldstein, who perpetrated the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994. (“Just who will be looking into the Gaza flotilla matter?” Ben Hartman, June 15, 2010, Jerusalem Post
When the historical archive of David Trimble’s political life is assembled, the infamous Drumcree sequence will reemerge in all its irony. It was just a decade ago and there he was sharing the moment of Orange triumphalism with Ian Paisley. Hand in hand, they jigged along before the cheering crowds, having once again forced the march down Garvaghy Road.
Behind them was a Catholic community outraged and bullied into submission by a massive security force presence. Both Trimble and Paisley had instinctively recognised that day how significant for the Orange supremacy ethos Drumcree was, and both were determined to be visibly part of it all. (“Trimble’s Road to Nowhere,” Tom McGurk, Sunday, May 08, 2005, The Post.IE)
In 2008 Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger called for a final solution ethnic/religious cleansing of Gaza saying its inhabitants should be moved to the Sinai Desert where a state would be built for them paid for by Britain, the European Union and the United States. News report and video here:
In 2010 Helen Thomas said that Judaic people should leave land they unjustly forced Palestinians from and return to their homes in Poland, Germany the U.S. and elsewhere.
In 2008 Chief Rabbi Metzger thanked G.W. Bush for his support of “Israel” and in particular for waging an unjust war against Iraq. News report here:
Israeli Chief Rabbi Thanks Bush for War On Iraq
Helen Thomas has consistently opposed the unjust, catastrophic war on Iraq.
If we don’t stand for those who stand for justice when they’re attacked we deserve no better than this: a world enslaved by crushing rabbinic double standards and hypocrisy. I can’t imagine what encourages the rabbis more than for us to flee in cowardice as they stone our most courageous people.
“Actually this site seems to be a perfect affirmation of Esau soneh Yaakov, wouldn’t you say so?”
I’m not Esau. You’re not Jacob. I’m not biologically programmed to hate Jews–real Jews or self-styled Jews. You’re not biologically programmed to be hated by non-Judaic people. You’re a victim of a sick *ideology* which deserves to vanish into obscurity every bit as much as it’s Nazi biological determinist ideological counterpart.
I don’t oppose a people. I don’t believe that the persons who today self-identify as “The Jews” even are a people in any substantial way other than tribal ideology. I oppose corrupt ideology and the corrupt behavior it engenders in individuals regardless of their biological background.
I urge all people to throw off the shackles of the rabbis and their protection racket in both its religious and secular guises.
“No matter what we do, everybody is against us.”
“If we put our weapons down, everyone will kill us.”
International condemnation has deepened the [Israeli] public’s siege mentality, leading many demonstrators to claim that anti-Semitism best explained the world’s motives … Such convictions were understandable in light of the aggressive propaganda campaign the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Foreign Ministry have waged … Mondoweiss: Pro-IDF, Anti-Turkish Rally in Tel Aviv (or a Glimpse Into Collective Israeli Derangement)
Who will acknowledge the fact that paranoia-inducing IDF and Israeli Foreign Ministry propaganda is only a “secular” adaptation of the teaching of Judaism so fundamental that it is equated with the physical laws of nature: ‘Eisav’ soneh l’Yaakov’?
Counterfeit Israel: “No one judges us.”
Noahide U.S.: “No one judges them.”
After a marathon session, 15 members of the U.N. Security Council agreed early Tuesday morning on a presidential statement on the [May 31, 2010 IDF attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian ship in international waters], but the final product was far less than Islamic nations had sought.
Led by Turkey, the tougher measure would have condemned the incident “in the strongest terms” and called for “an independent international investigation.” After about 13 hours, the wording of the U.N. statement doesn’t mention Israel by name and allows Israel to conduct its own probe.
In his remarks to reporters Tuesday morning, the deputy U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Alejandro Wolff, insisted the U.S. was comfortable with Israel conducting its own investigation.
“We are convinced and support an Israeli investigation as I called for in my statement earlier and have every confidence that Israel can conduct a credible and impartial, transparent, prompt investigation internally,” Wolff told reporters, according to the official transcript. (“Obama administration seeks a fine line after Israel’s raid of Gaza flotilla turns deadly,” L.A. Times, June 1, 2010)
Exceptionalism and double-standards are not Zionist exclusives. It’s not accurate to posit distinctions between Zionism and Judaism on these grounds. Judaism is fundamentally a two-tiered system of double-standards. This is the root of the injustice of “the ‘Jewish’ state.” What the world correctly identifies as hypocrisy in Israeli behavior is “justice” to the mind which has been infected by the ideology of Judaism which teaches that, ideally, it is the world’s authority and that it (and no one else) governs itself according to the preferential laws of Judaism and everyone else according to lower-tier “Noahide laws.” Judaism (tribe of Judah-ism) at its most fundamental level is advantage for the tribe, counterfeit Judah, and disadvantage for everyone else. There is no universal application of universal standards in Judaism.