Monday, September 23, 2013

Quote of the Day

“Every unborn child, condemned unjustly to be aborted, has the face of the Lord.”
--Pope Francis

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Article Heritage Series #1: "Radical Zionism Unveiled"

(Note: The following is the first installment in my "Article Heritage Series" that I am now beginning to run here on my blog. This series, which I plan to run every few months for the next few years, will feature a handful of articles from my early days as a writer. Some of these articles have never before been published; others have already been published widely. The article below, which I wrote in 2007 and entitled "Radical Zionism Unveiled," falls into the former category of never-before-published pieces. I had submitted it to a political website in 2008 and the editor expressed some interest in publishing it, but after a considerable length of time I ultimately never heard back from him. I'm really not surprised, because this article contains some highly controversial information about the radical Zionist movement and how this movement has been fueling violent conflict in the Middle East from the early twentieth century up until today. After carefully reviewing this piece, I can say that I stand by what I have written. The information in this article will be disturbing to many people, but it desperately needs to be known if people are to begin to have a clear and accurate understanding of what is really driving the persistent conflict in the Middle East, free from political, ideological, and mainstream media bias. Everyone is familiar with "radical Islam," but few have ever heard of radical Zionism. This secret, dangerous, and powerful religious fundamentalist movement is deliberately yet clandestinely manipulating political affairs in the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy wtih respect to the region; spreading its propaganda through the world's mainstream media; and fomenting and perpetrating unconscionable acts of violence to achieve its evil ends--and it has been doing all of this for many years. People need to know about this radical Zionist movement and how it endangers world peace in order to have a clearer understanding of the situation in the Middle East and how our nation should deal with this situation on the basis of unchanging moral principles and respect for human rights and dignity. People need to know the full truth of what is going on in the Middle East. The recent outbreaks of violence in Egypt and Syria make this article quite pertinent. Here is the article in full as originally written, with just a few minor stylistic edits. For a fuller exposition of the radical Zionist movement and its quest for world domination, please read my book America's Back-Door Enemy. --J.S.)

Radical Zionism Unveiled

by Justin Soutar September 20, 2007

Diehard champions of American support for Israel who believe that the Palestinian people have been the primary antagonists in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can back up their claims with a flurry of recent books. Arguably the two most prominent of these are The Case for Israel, which emerged in 2003 from the pen of noted Jewish lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace by former US Middle East ambassador Dennis Ross, published in 2004 and reprinted in 2005. Whereas the first text is thin and focuses on answering specific questions about Israel, the latter is a richly detailed, voluminous history of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on Ross’s memoirs kept during his twelve-year service as an envoy. In 2003 Yaacov Lozovick, director of Israel’s famous Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, published the treatise Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars. Another passionate defense of Israeli policies over the past sixty years is The Return of Anti-Semitism, a rather slim volume authored by Gabriel Schoenfeld and released in 2004. In addition, mention could be made of the larger book The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul by Yoram Hazony. Phyllis Chesler’s The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do about It, printed by Jossey-Bass in 2005, is a sloppy text that has nevertheless drawn significant praise. A better work is Mitchell Geoffrey Bard’s second edition of Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israel Conflict, which came out in 2001 from the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism by Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League. With the exceptions of The Case for Israel and The Return of Anti-Semitism, these books present a wealth of historical data, much of it accurate.

However, all these defenses of Israeli policy leave something to be desired: freedom from bias. The information they contain is deliberately selective, and twisted to prove the authors’ points.

For instance, notice that three of the books in the above representative sample contain the word “anti-Semitism” in their titles and warn of a revival of anti-Jewish hatred. Judging by their titles, these volumes would seem only tangentially related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arab-Israeli conflict, after all, is not about the Arabs hating the Jews. It is a dispute over a small piece of religiously significant land between Arab natives and European Jewish immigrants. The Palestinian enmity toward the European-Israeli Jew is not a result of the latter’s Jewishness, but of the former’s longtime unjust forced displacement. Taking a stand against such an unjust policy should not provoke an accusation of anti-Semitism. But in fact, all seven books mentioned above equate opposition to this and other Israeli crimes against Palestinians with hatred of the Jewish people and claim that most of those atrocities have been fabricated by anti-Semitic individuals to provide grounds for such hatred. The authors assert that since the Jewish people are special, they will always be subjected to irrational prejudice, persecution, and marginalization from all other peoples on earth.

In discussing these topics, factual accuracy is vitally important. But it is also crucial to recognize that interpretations of verified facts and conclusions drawn from those facts can be either correct or incorrect, acceptable or unacceptable, logically sound or logically flawed. For example, it is a fact of history that German Jewish bankers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century exerted significant influence over that nation’s economy and, through some methods which were less than honest, contributed to the frequent depressions which plagued Germany during that time. Adolf Hitler concluded from this fact that all Jews everywhere were dangerous to civilization and must be killed. Thus he used one evil, the greed of a few German Jews, to justify a far worse evil, mass murder. Hitler’s reasoning was illogical and must be absolutely condemned by anyone who has a conscience. But to simply reject the factual basis of Hitler’s excuse out of hand as being untrue is to demonstrate puerility.

This brings us to another issue, the issue of bias. Some people do not wish to admit the possibility that certain unpleasant or unflattering facts may be true. So they hide inside their own self-constructed cocoon of pseudo-reality. They refuse to think outside of their own little box. In his classic Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton referred to such persons as maniacs. Bias prevents the open-mindedness needed for sound education and critical thinking.

A particularly irritating bane of the truth-seeker is confusion of fact and opinion. Often opinions are substituted for facts, while in other instances fact and opinion are mixed almost unrecognizably together. Iraq provided a good example of this. It is a historical fact that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction from the 1980s until 1994. The Bush administration’s opinion that Hussein continued to possess such armaments in the early 2000s and was reconstituting his WMD programs was presented to the American public as irrefutable fact. Yet lack of evidence has shown that belief to be a mere opinion. Similarly, we were told that the war in Iraq would greatly benefit the country and trigger a domino effect of democratic revolutions in the region. Most Americans now acknowledge the unpleasant fact that the war has severely damaged Iraq and led to further destabilization of the Middle East. Yet some persisted in their opinion that the war was just and would ultimately be “won”.

Finally, we should realize that politicians, businesspeople, lawyers, and others (even many historians) often distort facts and tell lies in order to promote their self-serving agendas. Corruption and dishonesty frequently go hand in hand. Thus, when reading a book or article, it is a commonsense precaution to ascertain who paid the author to write the work, and which connections that author has, that might pose a conflict of interest.

Getting the truth is a challenging and tricky business indeed. It requires a lot of reading, interpretation, open-mindedness, and critical thinking. We live in a complex and confused world, and perhaps nowhere is complexity and confusion more evident than in the Arab-Israeli conflict. No honest historian can dispute the reality that Jewish persons have indeed been unjustly mistreated many times and in many places throughout the centuries. But by grossly exaggerating contemporary anti-Semitism and labeling criticism of modern Israeli policies anti-Semitic, the above-mentioned writers are helping to advance the sinister agenda of a radical Zionist ideology.

The intellectual and philosophical foundations of this revolutionary Zionist movement were laid by Russian anarchist philosopher Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880 to 1940). He wrote that the Jewish people must take the matter of their survival into their own hands by flooding into Palestine and using mass deportation of Palestinians, violence, and any other means necessary to create a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River.

From the 1920s through 1948, bands of European Jewish immigrant terrorists such as Irgun Z’vai Leumi and the Stern Gang spread bloodshed and destruction across the Palestinian heartland in the name of freedom for the Jewish people. Once the state of Israel was established in 1948, these terrorist networks were dissolved into ostensibly peaceful political parties such as Likud. The power of these factions remained relatively insignificant until 1977, when Likud won the Israeli election. This party managed to hold onto the government for most of the next thirty years. During this period, Israel invaded Lebanon and severely damaged Beirut; illegally constructed thousands of homes for Jewish settlers in, and tightened military control of, the Palestinian Occupied Territories; demolished thousands of Palestinian homes; retaliated in cruel fashion for Palestinian demonstrations known as the Intifada; saw a former terrorist (Yitzhak Shamir of Irgun) attain the posts of foreign minister and prime minister; saw new Jewish terrorist groups such as Kach and Kahane Chai appear; witnessed the assassination of peace-making Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; and carried on a clandestine nuclear weapons program in the Negev Desert. Unfortunately, the victory of a centrist Kadima party in the 2006 Israeli election has not slowed the pace of Zionist extremism. Another destructive Israeli invasion of Lebanon and continued refusal to acknowledge the Palestinian refugees’ right of return have made abundantly clear that the Zionist extremist ideology is gaining the upper hand.

Since the end of the Cold War and especially since the 9/11 tragedy, radical Zionism has been further developed and craftily popularized by American neoconservatives such as Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, and Dennis Ross. This ideology says that an elite number of Jews may use all means necessary—including laissez-faire globalization, deception, bribery, intimidation, theft, terrorism, forced displacement of the Palestinians and other Arabs, murder, manipulation of the global economy, violation of international law, and aggressive warfare—to resurrect the ancient kingdom of Israel and ultimately to amass unlimited wealth. This “Eretz Yisrael” in Hebrew, or “Greater Israel”, which would stretch from northeastern Egypt to central Iraq, would be touted as the “salvation” of the Jewish people and thus serve as a humanly constructed, political replacement for the true Messiah’s reign. For Zionist fundamentalists, the current state of Israel serves as the springboard from which to launch their world empire.

Neoconservatism is essentially an Americanized version of radical Zionism which flowered in the 1990s. It calls for the establishment of a “New World Order” in which the all-powerful United States dictates to, and controls the affairs of, the world in order to allow continued concentration of wealth in the hands of mega-corporate tycoons.

Greed is the driving force behind both the neoconservative and revolutionary Zionist ideologies. Particularly, in the relentless drive to seize control of all the vast petroleum reserves in the Middle East and Central Asia, we can observe the malevolent neoconservative and radical Zionist plan at work. The two ideologies are mutually dependent: tiny Israel needs the military power and influence of the neoconservative United States government to sustain the radical Zionist program, while the United States needs Zionist fundamentalism to help secure its power over Middle Eastern oil.

By contrast, classic Zionism is the fully acceptable belief—held by a majority of the thirteen million Jews in today’s world—that the Jewish people have the same rights as all other peoples, including the right to their own state. This Zionist movement does not advocate violence or any illegal or unjust methods in the pursuit of Jewish nationalism.

Old books tend to be good books, and this is the case with books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I would like to highly recommend several such old works that are more informative than the prejudiced and selective volumes being churned out on the subject since 9/11. The first is A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel by Walter Laqueur, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1972. The second is O Jerusalem! by Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre, published by Simon & Schuster also in 1972. While Laqueur’s book is a scholarly text, the volume coauthored by Collins and LaPierre reads like a novel with its multitude of personal stories and is greatly accessible to the general public (as attested by its sale of 30 million copies to date). Both these classic hardbacks will give open-minded readers the facts they need to properly assess the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In addition, knowledge of the Palestinian viewpoint is essential to attain a balanced perspective of the struggle. I highly recommend the 1990 biography of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat by Janet and John Wallach entitled Arafat: In the Eyes of the Beholder, printed by Carol Publishing Group. A not so old book that is nevertheless miles away from the recent ideological manifestos—in its accurate, concise yet complete content and dispassionate tone—is Palestine/Israel: The Long Conflict by James Ciment, released in 1997 as part of the Facts on File series.

In the context of this discussion, one notable work deserves more than cursory attention. A pamphlet entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was anonymously written around 1897, printed in Russia a few years later, and then widely translated and published in Europe from 1920 onward. This booklet purports to relate the actual verbal instructions given to a new Elder, a new member of a secret group of Jews and Freemasons, in what is now the Czech Republic. The goal of this secret society is to set up a world government by destroying the traditional social order (marriage and family life, civil rights, generosity of rich to the poor) through twenty-five methods (protocols) including control of the media and finance, destruction of religion, world wars, proliferation of destabilizing ideologies such as Darwinism and Communism, staging catastrophes and then using them as excuses for aggression, and the dissemination of pornographic literature. In 1920, a British journalist detected substantial plagiarism from two earlier books by French and Prussian fiction writers within The Protocols, exposing the work as a fraud.

Today The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is rightly condemned as an anti-Semitic publication because it portrays the Jewish people and their religion as evil. At the same time, it would be foolish to assert that, in the midst of its farfetchedness, this tract does not contain some grains of truth. The Jewish religion is good and noble, and so are the vast majority of Jews upon this earth. However, an elite cadre of Jews is indeed pursuing their radical Zionist agenda—subtly, never overtly—using many of the methods described in the Protocols.

The neoconservative contribution to this agenda is the concept of a “New World Order” in which, under the guise of defending freedom and democracy, the United States tramples on every moral and international law as it swells its military arsenal and rules the world by mega-corporate fiat.

All of Protocols 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, and 23 as well as parts of 1, 11, and 12 outlined in the Protocols, together with the charter document of the flagship neoconservative organization Project for a New American Century, constitute the fanatical Zionist manifesto.

Even this small group is not responsible for every little problem everywhere on earth; however, it bears varying degrees of responsibility for most of the major international problems. Zionist extremist influence on the world today may not be clear to those who believe Western media propaganda, but it is palpable to the candid independent observer who takes the time to look dispassionately around our troubled globe.

In the beautiful, clean pages of their shiny books, Dershowitz, Ross and the other smooth political writers assert or imply that the great majority of Zionist settlers in Palestine were noble, peaceful people who were unjustly attacked by aggressive Arabs. But the actual situation was more complex. According to Laqueur, while most founders and leaders of the Zionist movement were upright and peaceable men who advocated treating the Palestinians with respect (Laqueur, A History of Zionism, pp. 48, 64, 70-71, 80-81, 111, 117, 138, 149, 166-69, 194, 218-19, 241-42, 252, 337, 419, 471, 538, 574-576), a large number of the early Zionist immigrants behaved in a thoroughly selfish and despicable manner. Laqueur relates how in the late 1800s, a few hundred European Jews seized active Arab farms—not just empty land—and either forced Arab families to abandon them or, if they refused, killed them on the spot. Those instances of theft, robbery and murder, which Laqueur says were common occurrences throughout the history of European Jewish settlement in Palestine (Laqueur, p. 211), led to the suspicion and animosity of native Palestinians, provoking them to retaliate with violence. Moreover, a large number of Zionist colonizers made no efforts to understand the Arabs or respect their culture (Laqueur, pp. 209, 222). Some of the younger men strode belligerently around Arab neighborhoods armed with big sticks, knives, and rifles, displaying an arrogant, contemptuous attitude toward the local people (p. 218).

Neoconservatives and radical Zionists have categorically dismissed all mentions of “apartheid” in reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an anti-Semitic smear. However, a quick look at the facts dispels this argument. Most of the Zionists failed to befriend the Arabs (p. 232-33) or to interact peaceably with them. They rejected the Palestinians’ insistent demand for a representative government that would include them (p. 246). And in their 1948 war of independence, which was fought principally outside Israeli borders (Ciment, Palestine/Israel, p. 68), the Zionist military used force, psychological warfare (Collins and LaPierre, O Jerusalem, p. 551), and even mass murder (Laqueur, A History of Zionism, p. 584) to evict more than 800,000 Palestinians from their home territory both inside and outside the legal boundaries of the state of Israel.

In a particular example of sophistry, Bard states in Myths and Facts that because an Arab census showed only 809,000 Palestinians living within Israeli borders in 1948 and an Israeli census after the war counted 160,000, then no more than 650,000 Palestinian inhabitants could have been displaced. Yet Bard completely ignores the additional hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living outside Israel who were also forcibly dispossessed. According to Collins and LaPierre, the war left Israel holding 500 square miles of Arab territory which contained 114 Arab villages (Collins and LaPierre, O Jerusalem, p. 561). It is common knowledge—except among those duped by the neoconservatives—that the Israel Defense Force purged these areas of Arabs as well.

Moreover, Palestinian Jews themselves endured consistent racism from their fellow European compatriot immigrants (Ciment, Palestine/Israel, p. 49, 120-24). Finally, Israel maintained a decades-long alliance with the infamous apartheid regime of South Africa (Ciment, p. 141).

Another fact meticulously concealed by the modern radical Zionist and neoconservative authors is that the values held by the majority of early Jewish settlers in Palestine were anything but traditional, family-oriented, and Judeo-Christian. Well over half of Zionist immigrants between 1880 and 1930 were card-carrying Communists. According to Laqueur and Ciment, the early settlers were heavily influenced by Bolshevik philosophy (Laqueur, A History of Zionism, p. 246; Ciment, Palestine/Israel, p. 121). Numerous Zionist leaders such as Ber Borokhov were Communist philosophers (Laqueur, p. 275) whose Marxist-Zionist labor organizations (Laqueur, pp. 295-97, 323, 334) established the well-known kibbutzim or collective farms. Some say the kibbutzim were a requirement because the number of colonists was so small that they had to help each other out to survive. While this was partially true, the headstrong early Zionists either refused all Arab assistance or hired Arab laborers to work their fields while they relaxed. Furthermore, children in the kibbutzim were raised apart from their parents in line with the kibbutzim inventors’ goal “to liquidate the family as a social unit, seeing it only as an expression of erotic life” (Laqueur, p. 299). If a Zionist colonizer did not identify as a Communist, he tended to be a Zionist extremist who was constantly engaged in plotting and committing violent acts of terrorism to achieve his ends (Laqueur, pp. 375-76, 528-30, 538, 556, 566, 571-72, 586; Collins and LaPierre, O Jerusalem, pp. 56, 112, 129-33, 141, 215, 267-68, 273-76, 336-37, 546). The Revisionists murdered Arabs (Laqueur, p. 375), Palestinian Jews (Laqueur, p. 409), British authorities (Laqueur, pp. 528, 541), and peaceful Zionists who were their fellow European Jews (p. 317-18, 410). The goal of most Jewish settlers was not simply to better themselves, which is an honorable pursuit, but to accumulate vast wealth (p. 335-36). A Zionist youth organization in Poland named Betar had laid down a system of manly values, but these were “sadly missing in Jewish life” in Palestine (p. 360). In contrast to those who claim that the founders of Israel were champions of freedom, democracy, and peace, radical Zionist leader Aba Achimeir desired to crush freedom and democracy (p. 361) and condoned violence, writing that “any new order establishes itself on the bones of its opponents” (p. 362). Hashomer Hatzair, the most powerful Zionist faction around 1930, was influenced by the atheist philosopher Frederick Nietzsche (p. 486-87). Also, many of the colonizers adhered to fascist principles, on which the Herut party (ancestor of the modern Likud party) was built (Ciment, p. 145).

Radical Zionists and their neoconservative kin allege in another recycled claim that the state of Israel was established on essentially empty, unclaimed land. But in the early 1900s, around 800 Arab villages dotted Palestine (Laqueur, p. 447), with an average population of 1,000 each. The total native Palestinian population in 1880 was 750,000; in 1910, it had grown to 1.2 million, and in the 1940s it reached 1.4 million as admitted by Bard himself.

A corollary to the above assertion is that the Zionist colonization of Palestine was legal. However, throughout the period of settlement the overwhelming bulk of settlers were illegal immigrants. Both the Ottoman Empire (until 1918) and the British administration (1918-1948) set restrictions on immigration into Palestine for the good of the Arab population (Laqueur, pp. 76, 139), which most of the Zionists flaunted contemptuously (Laqueur, pp. 528-30, 566). During the illegal immigration wave of 1904-05, the Jewish National Fund illegally purchased land from absentee Arab landlords, often forcing native peasants off it, and handed it over to the settlers. During and after the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, the numbers of European Jews arriving at the shore of Palestine exceeded 100,000 per year, and nearly all of those who managed to get in did so illegally (Laqueur, p. 529-31, 567). The United States was something of an accomplice in this illegal Jewish immigration wave as, for no good reason, it refused to legally admit more than 6,300 Jews into its own much more spacious land (Laqueur, p. 505-06). Coupled with their aggression against everyone who was perceived to be standing in their way, it is no wonder that the European Jewish colonists’ blatant disrespect for civil authority earned them the mistrust and scorn of Palestinians, Turks and British alike.

Furthermore, all the Zionist organizations and institutions in Palestine—many of which were incorporated into the state of Israel in 1948--were illegal, having been founded by illegal aliens, and thus had to operate underground. The Zionist army called the Hagana, the Jewish National Fund, terrorist networks such as the Irgun and Stern Gang, the Jewish Agency, the Freeland League, Hashomer Hatzair, the International Zionist League, the Palestine Flying Club (which became the Israeli Air Force), and the Zionist post offices were all prohibited by the British. By means of a large-scale campaign of violence, the Irgun, Stern Gang and other terrorist societies succeeded in preventing the British from enforcing their laws and shutting these groups down. The Zionists’ importation of foreign weapons violated British regulations (Collins and LaPierre, pp. 57-67) as well as the UN cease-fire to which the Hagana subscribed in May 1948 (Collins and LaPierre, p. 543).

Zionist representatives even promised the Turkish emperor, Sultan Abdul Hamid, in 1908 that if he would allow Jews to immigrate legally into Palestine, they would become his most loyal subjects. Ten years later, the Zionists shamelessly broke all these promises by mobilizing support against the Ottoman Empire in World War I and welcoming its dissolution after the war.

So Zionist revolutionaries gained influence over Palestine through illegal immigration, land robbery, forced displacement of Arabs, subversive organizations, terrorism, and deception—a far cry from the gleaming picture painted by today’s neoconservative apologists for Israel.

Although the stated purpose of the Hagana was to defend Jewish immigrants in Palestine, this small armed force was implicated in scores of terrorist crimes. Most Hagana criminals escaped justice for their evil deeds; one of them, Menachem Begin, later attained the highest office in the Israeli government.

It has become a sacrosanct tenet of radical Zionism that the Holy City of Jerusalem should be united under exclusive Jewish rule. However, this is not what the Zionist founders intended. Herzl said the Holy Places in Jerusalem should be given extra-territorial status, not be owned by the Jews alone (Laqueur, p. 95). In addition, the Zionists pledged to accept international control of Jerusalem, succeeded in getting the UN to vote in favor of a Partition Plan for Palestine which specified this, and have unashamedly violated their pledge and international law ever since (Collins and LaPierre, pp. 118-19, 301).

Pointing out that only extremists on both sides of the conflict want all of Palestine controlled either by the Israelis or the Palestinians, Dershowitz implies that extremists are not determining the direction of the struggle. But though Israeli fanatics comprise only about five percent of the Israeli population, they wield great clout in Israel, especially with the moral and material support of the United States since 9/11. Their apartheid treatment of the Palestinian people and war against Iraq have been justified to counteract Palestinian terrorism; their own terrorist crimes against innocent Palestinians have been generally tolerated by the Israeli government (Ross, The Missing Peace, pp. 366, 416). Their propensity to violence has paralyzed the Israeli government for decades, making it very difficult for peace-minded officials to cede territory and political rights to the Palestinians. The neoconservative and radical Zionist authors fail to recognize that Palestinian extremism is directly proportional to Israeli acts of injustice.

It is impossible to answer every charge and pinpoint every detail of fundamentalist Zionism in this article. I would encourage everyone to read at least one book praising Israeli policies and one book relating the early history of the modern state of Israel or of the Zionist movement. After reading each book slowly and carefully, decide for yourself which one makes more sense, which one is more accurate, which one provides a more coherent and realistic picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The influential neoconservative and radical Zionist writers and speakers of our time are totalitarian ideologues who are absolutely intolerant of dissenting viewpoints because their evil agenda cannot unfold in the presence of informed opposition. Thus they hope to make people forget about the good old books filled with embarrassing facts about the distant and recent past. While they claim to present the “truth” and expose “myths”, these propagandists are hard at work removing all historical, psychological, ethical, and moral barriers to the radical Zionist agenda.

The state of Israel has a right to exist, but not at the expense of a Palestinian state. Israel has the right to national defense, but not to keep Palestinians permanently displaced. The Jewish people have a right to freedom from discrimination, but not a right to discriminate against the Arab people. Palestinian terrorist crimes against innocent Israelis are unquestionably evil, but Israel cannot be divested of responsibility for provoking them. Forcible and total redistribution of all the world’s resources would create a hell on earth, but so will continued accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. The essence of totalitarian extremist Zionism is the failure to accept such important, commonsensical distinctions.

An assault on truth, morality, freedom, and human rights of enormous magnitude, the radical Zionist ideology crumbles under the onslaught of historical and factual accuracy, critical thinking, common sense, and above all, traditional Judeo-Christian moral values. Yet it will not rest until all of its wicked purposes are achieved.

Copyright © 2007 by Justin Soutar.

Quote of the Day

"[Catholics] have an obligation to get involved in politics. We can't play the role of Pontius Pilate and wash our hands of it. It's easy to blame others. But people need to ask themselves: 'Me? What am I doing about it?'"

--Pope Francis

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

Man lives on truth and on being loved: on being loved by the truth. He needs God, the God who draws close to him, interprets for him the meaning of life, and thus points him toward the path of life. Of course, man needs bread, he needs food for the body, but ultimately what he needs most is the Word, love, God himself.

--Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth--Part One: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 279

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Reflection for Today

"When man thinks only of himself, of his own interests and places himself in the centre, when he permits himself to be captivated by the idols of dominion and power, when he puts himself in God’s place, then all relationships are broken and everything is ruined; then the door opens to violence, indifference, and conflict....

"And even today we continue this history of conflict between brothers, even today we raise our hands against our brother. Even today, we let ourselves be guided by idols, by selfishness, by our own interests, and this attitude persists. We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves. As if it were normal, we continue to sow destruction, pain, death! Violence and war lead only to death, they speak of death! Violence and war are the language of death!....

"Is it possible to walk the path of peace? Can we get out of this spiral of sorrow and death? Can we learn once again to walk and live in the ways of peace? Invoking the help of God, under the maternal gaze of the Salus Populi Romani, Queen of Peace, I say: Yes, it is possible for everyone!...

"Let everyone be moved to look into the depths of his or her conscience and listen to that word which says: Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation...

"May the noise of weapons cease! War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity. Let the words of Pope Paul VI resound again: "No more one against the other, no more, never! ... war never again, never again war!" (Address to the United Nations, 1965). "Peace expresses itself only in peace, a peace which is not separate from the demands of justice but which is fostered by personal sacrifice, clemency, mercy and love" (World Day of Peace Message, 1975)...

Let us pray this evening for reconciliation and peace, let us work for reconciliation and peace, and let us all become, in every place, men and women of reconciliation and peace!"

--Pope Francis, Address at Prayer Vigil for World Peace, September 7, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Message to Congress About Syria

Below is the text of an email message I just sent to my elected representatives (drafted by the USCCB) urging them to vote against President Obama's proposed war with Syria. The opening and closing paragraphs are the bishops'; the middle paragraph is mine. To send a similar message yourself, click here.

September 5, 2013

Dear Representative Goodlatte:

Dear Senator Kaine:

Dear Senator Warner:

As Congress debates a resolution authorizing military force in Syria, I urge you instead to support U.S. leadership for peace. Both the Holy See and Conference of Bishops have condemned the chemical attack, but remain convinced that only dialogue can save lives and bring about peace in Syria. In a recent letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Bishop Richard E. Pates, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote: "'[T]he path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict..' We ask the United States to work with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance, and encourage building an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities."

Please don't drag our country into an unnecessary, unjustified, and dangerous war with Syria. The consequences of such a military intervention would be horrific. An armed conflict between the U.S. and Syria would not serve the best interests of either nation. I strongly urge you to reject President Obama's phony arguments for engaging our military in Syria and to vote AGAINST any authorization for the use of military force. Please say NO to war and YES to peace, for the good of everyone involved. I will be closely monitoring your action on this issue and will keep it in mind as we head toward the Congressional elections next year.

Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request for U.S. leadership for peace in Syria. Instead of authorizing the use of military force, Syrians need assistance from the United States and the international community to achieve an immediate ceasefire, to initiate serious and inclusive negotiations, and to provide impartial humanitarian assistance to all Syrians in need.


Justin Soutar

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Threat of War and Pope Francis' Plea for Peace

During his Sunday Angelus address on September 1, Pope Francis announced that the universal Church will observe a day of prayer and fasting for world peace this coming Saturday, September 7. This is a timely and important move by our Holy Father at this critical juncture in world history. With tensions rising in the Middle East and violent conflicts occurring all over the globe, our modern world is desperately in need of the true peace that only Christ can give. Jesus says in the Gospel that certain demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. Greed, hatred and violence are three such demons. Driven by certain unscrupulous Wall Street executives and radical political lobby groups here in the United States--some of whom are agents of a foreign power from a nation that is supposedly our ally--our president is now aggressively pushing for a war with Syria despite the vociferous and unanimous objection of religious leaders across the Middle East that such a war would be tremendously devastating for the region and would inflict terrible human suffering on its people. Indeed, a war is the last thing the Middle East needs today. It needs peace based on respect for the rights and dignity of all its peoples. Unfortunately, a secret network of extremist lobby groups and spies for a foreign country are deliberately manipulating events and fomenting violence in the Middle East to suit their own purposes--as they have been doing for many years now. There will be little possibility of true peace emerging in the region until this covert band of fanatical outlaws is exposed, stopped, and brought to justice. For information about the identity and agenda of this godless organized crime outfit, please read my book America's Back-Door Enemy: Unmasking the Unknown Terrorists.

A U.S.-led military invasion of Syria would not be morally justified, for a number of reasons: 1) Peaceful efforts to resolve the conflicts in Egypt and Syria through dialogue, negotiation, and redress of grievances have not even begun, much less proven ineffective; 2) The use of military force would result in evils far worse than the evil to be eliminated through such use of force (i.e., the removal from power of an unjust dictator in Syria); 3) The real motives for the proposed invasion are for the financial benefit of a few private business leaders and for the political benefit of a small group of extremist lobbyists, rather than for the common good of the American and Syrian peoples.

Ten years ago, Blessed John Paul II and our Catholic bishops warned that a war in Iraq would have devastating consequences for the entire Middle East, but we didn't listen. We went to war. We felt compelled to remove Saddam Hussein from power because he was supposedly a threat to our country. Our government lied to us about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to get us to support a war that generated immense profits for a few American oil executives. We are still seeing the bitter fruits of that war--continued violence and instability, social and economic problems, and a mass exodus of Christians from Iraq (many of whom are now refugees in Syria). Similarly, our government has been lying to us for years about Iran, telling us that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is developing a nuclear weapons program, to prepare public opinion for an eventual unjustified war against that nation. (Iran is not developing nukes in 2013 any more than Iraq had WMDs in 2003. It's just an argument fabricated to justify a war. Nations that really have WMDs such as Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea we leave alone. If we were really interested in ridding the world of WMDs, we would set the example by getting rid of our own stockpile first. We have more than any other country in the world.) Now our government is once again lying to us to try to win our support for an unjustified war against Syria. And once again, our Holy Father and our bishops are strongly warning against an unjustified and unnecessary war. WIll we listen this time to their voices of reason and allow our moral consciences to be properly formed, or will be allow ourselves to be swayed in favor of hell by our corrupt and dishonest politicians in Washington? We should ask ourselves, "Why is our government pushing for war? Why now? What's the real reason? Who stands to benefit, financially or otherwise, from this proposed military intervention?" War profiteering is alive and well in the United States of America in 2013. Citizens beware!

This proposed war can be averted through prayer, fasting, and political action. We should pray and fast for the conversion of those who are pushing for this unnecessary war. War is never inevitable. It is carried out by human beings endowed with intelligence and free will. In order for world affairs to change, human hearts must first change. As Blessed John Paul II reminded us, war is always a defeat for humanity. We should write to our representatives in Washington and demand that they reject this foolish idea of a war with Syria. And we should entrust our efforts to Mary, Queen of Peace, and leave the results to Divine Providence with complete trust in the Sovereign Ruler of the nations who will one day return to judge the world with justice.

Now, here is the text of Pope Francis' Angelus address of Sunday, September 1, 2013:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Hello!

Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares with force: we want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.

There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming.

I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children who will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.

With all my strength, I ask each party in this conflict to listen to the voice of their own conscience, not to close themselves in solely on their own interests, but rather to look at each other as brothers and decisively and courageously to follow the path of encounter and negotiation, and so overcome blind conflict. With similar vigour I exhort the international community to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace in that country without further delay, a peace based on dialogue and negotiation, for the good of the entire Syrian people.

May no effort be spared in guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to those wounded by this terrible conflict, in particular those forced to flee and the many refugees in nearby countries. May humanitarian workers, charged with the task of alleviating the sufferings of these people, be granted access so as to provide the necessary aid.

What can we do to make peace in the world? As Pope John said, it pertains to each individual to establish new relationships in human society under the mastery and guidance of justice and love (cf. John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, [11 April 1963]: AAS 55, [1963], 301-302). All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace. I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity! I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace. May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and let themselves be led by the desire for peace.

To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative. On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!