Archive | November 5th, 2013

American defense contractor Lockheed Martin to open subsidiary in I$raHell



Lockheed Martin reportedly plans to open a subsidiary in Israel that will employ hundreds of workers.

The American aerospace and defense contractor also is looking to purchase Israeli companies and integrate itself into the Israeli economy and its  domestic security market, the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv reported Sunday.

Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Patrick Dewar made the announcement over the weekend during a visit to Israel, according to the newspaper.

Work on the project is set to begin immediately, Dewar said. The plans to open a subsidiary reportedly will supplant previously announced plans to open a facility in Israel specializing in information technology.

Israel’s Air Force in 2010 ordered 20 F-35 stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. In April, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries was hired to build the wings for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. IAI already produces wings for the Lockheed-produced F-16 and the U.S. Air Force’s T-38 trainer aircraft.

The company is a major supplier of technology to the Israel Air Force.

Posted in USAComments Off on American defense contractor Lockheed Martin to open subsidiary in I$raHell



Why was the early Christian Church so in love with the Old Testament as to adopt it as sacred scripture? There was one man who warned them against it.

By Richard Edmondson

He was a native of Sinope, a predominantly Greek city and important commercial center on the south shore of the Black Sea. He lived roughly 85-160 AD, and during his lifetime he founded a church that grew astronomically in prominence, that had a powerful influence on the development of early Christianity, and which for several centuries would end up rivaling the Catholic Church. His name was Marcion. And it is worthwhile to ponder just how the world would be different today had the Marcionite Church, rather than the Catholic Church, prevailed and become the dominant strain of Christianity. For one thing, we can conjecture almost assuredly the state of Israel would never have been founded in 1948.

Marcion, you see, was deeply opposed to what he referred to as the “Judaizers” in the early Christian Church, and he advocated a Christian Bible wholly devoid of any part of the Old Testament, consisting solely of the Gospel of Luke and the letters of Paul. With amazing prescience, he seems to have instinctively realized the pitfalls that awaited the new faith should it try to reconcile and balance the vengeful God of the Old Testament with the God of love and compassion taught by Christ—pitfalls which indeed managed to trip the church at various times through the centuries, but which became so manifestly egregious in the latter half of the twentieth century that today we find Christianity swamped in a sea of irrelevance, unsure of what it even stands for, with people leaving the faith in droves.

And when you really, truly stop to think about it, the contradictions are so obvious they would seem all but insurmountable: the Christian God versus the Jewish God; a God of love versus one of wrath and vengeance; a God whose embrace of humanity is universal versus a partial and highly selective God who favors one people above all others. These are aberrations we hardly question today, but we have to remember that back in the second century things were very different. There was no such thing as an established “orthodox” wing of Christianity. What was “orthodox” and what was “heterodox” were still very much up in the air. Many people could not, and would not, adopt such incongruities in their views of God, and these were the people who flocked to Marcion’s churches—by the thousands, possibly even the millions.

Modern scholarship of the early Christian era is tainted to a certain extent by what has been referred to as “post holocaust biblical scholarship.” This is reflected in the fact that scholars today have a tendency to view Marcion as an “anti-Semite.” However, the prevailing view of him by scholars of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was quite different. In this essay I will rely in the main on two sources: Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God, by Adolf Harnack, and Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, by Bart D. Ehrman.

Born in 1851, Harnack was a German scholar, who taught at several universities, including the University of Berlin. His book on Marcion, published in 1920, remains a classic today, and is even cited by Ehrman (who does not quote from it directly, but who does reference it in a footnote). The latter is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina who himself has authored a number of books on Christianity and is considered one of the leading New Testament scholars today. Ehrman does not specifically use the word “anti-Semite”, but he does describe the Marcionite Church as “anti-Jewish,” and he asserts that Marcion himself “seems to have hated Jews and everything Jewish.” Harnack, for his own part, indeed acknowledges that Marcion waged a lifelong struggle against “pseudoapostoli et Judaici evangelizatores” [“false apostles and Jewish evangelists”], but this was because the doctrine they propounded, in Marcion’s view, “considered (Jewish) law and gospel as a unity and thus denied the essence of the gospel. Where separation was essential it had bound things together!”

Moreover, says Harnack, Marcion took up “the work and the struggle of Paul,” who had “abolished the validity of the Old Testament law”—Marcion, as a result, saw in Christ alone “the face of the gracious God,” knowing himself “inseparably bound to this God of goodness and mercy in faith and love.” But this God of goodness, it needs to be repeatedly emphasized, assuredly was not the Old Testament God; that God Marcion rejected outright.

In this essay, I will focus not only on Marcion, his beliefs, and the church he founded, but will also try and provide a comparative study of Marcion’s treatment by the two scholars in question, the one of the past, the other of the present.
Marcion’s Basic Beliefs: Two Gods
To the modern Western mind, the idea that there might be two Gods, as opposed to just one, and that large numbers of people could actually entertain and embrace such a view, probably sounds a bit bizarre. But again, this was the second century—a time when Greeks and Romans were worshipping multiple Gods, and the notion of two Gods was no more difficult to accept then than the idea of no God at all would be today. At any rate, this is the most fundamental aspect of Marcion’s belief system you have to understand: that there were two Gods moving and shaping events to one degree or another. One was a punitive, petty, and cruel God, who presided over a corrupt world. This was the God of the Old Testament, referred to by Marcionites as the “Creator God” (but his “creation” was a world far from perfect in their view). The other God Marcion saw as a redeemer, a God of love, mercy, truth, and compassion. This was the God of Christ. Marcion referred to him as the “Alien God”—“alien” in the sense that prior to Christ’s appearance on earth he had been unknown to humanity.

One of Jesus’ sayings Marcion seems especially to have zeroed in on was his teaching about the two trees and their respective fruits. Harnack puts it this way:
When he (Jesus) spoke of the two trees, the corrupt and the good, which are able to produce only such fruits as are given by their very nature, he can mean thereby only the two great divine authors, the Old Testament God, who creates nothing but bad and worthless things, and the Father of Jesus Christ, who produces exclusively what is good. When he forbids the placing of a new patch on an old garment and the pouring of new wine into old wineskins, he thereby strictly forbids his people in any way to connect his preaching with that of the Old Testament. (1)
Marcion viewed the Old Testament God not only as cruel, petty, and unmerciful, but also as the ‘conditor malorum,’ the author of evil, the one who incites wars, is deceitful in his promises, and is wicked in his deeds.” (2) Something about this obviously—given the Marcionite Church’s phenomenal success—resonated with large numbers of people at the time. You have to wonder why.

At any rate, the Old Testament, while parts of it may be worth reading, had to be wholly abandoned as sacred scripture. But since most of what was then “Christendom” equated the God of the Old Testament with the God of Jesus, the Christian faith suffered from a rather serious problem: it had become “Judaistic” almost to its core in the years since Christ. Marcion set about to change things. He founded a church—and he produced two great literary works. One of these was called Antitheses. No copy of it still exists today. But it was quoted by a number of early writers, such as Tertullian, whose works we do still have today. Here is how Antitheses is viewed by Ehrman:
Some of the book may well have consisted of direct and pointed antithetical statements contrasting the two Gods. For example, the God of the Old Testament tells the people of Israel to enter into the city of Jericho and murder every man, woman, child, and animal in the city (Joshua 6); but the God of Jesus tells his followers to love their enemies, to pray for those who persecute them, to turn the other cheek (Luke 6:27-29). Is this the same God? When Elisha, the prophet of the Old Testament God, was being mocked by a group of young boys, God allowed him to call out two she-bears to attack and maul them (2 Kings 2:23-24). The God of Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me” (Luke 18:15-17). Is this the same God? (3)
In other words, the God of the Old Testament and the God of Jesus were not merely separate deities, they were deities who were, at least to a substantial degree, antithetical to one another.

Marcion’s other great literary endeavor was not a work of his own composition, but rather a canon of other works—those he regarded as sacred and divinely inspired. And here it needs to be mentioned that Marcion is given credit for being the first Christian to put forth a New Testament canon. To be sure, it was not the same canon that would later be officially adopted by the Catholic Church; it consisted solely of the Gospel of Luke and the letters of Paul. But it is testimony to his influence upon early Christianity that his enemies took his ideas and built upon them—and yes, Marcion did have enemies. He was branded very much a “heretic” by those who made up what later came to be the “orthodox” wing of the church.

Another thing about the Marcion canon that very much needs to be kept in mind: Marcion totally rejected the assertion that Christ had in any way come to fulfill the law and the prophets. These and other similar claims found in the gospels were corruptions, he believed, added later by the Judaizers within the church. Likewise, he felt that certain passages within the letters of Paul had probably undergone similar treatment. Thus, he not only viewed himself as a critic, but also as a “restorer,” as Harnack describes it. In other words, his canon became what could almost be thought of as a whole new Bible, consisting of Pauline letters and a Gospel of Luke which had undergone revisions, emendations in which Marcion rendered them into what he believed were, or must have been, their original states—something seized upon by his critics, who denounced his refinements as nothing more than “adulterations.” For the church-going public it didn’t seem to matter. They flocked to Marcion’s banner by multitudes, which drove the critics into further fits of apoplexy. Early Christian apologist Justin Martyr, a contemporary of Marcion’s, complained that the heretic’s teachings were spreading to “many people of every nation.” (First Apology 26)

A couple of other things need to be said about Marcion’s basic beliefs: first that he was a Docetist, which has led some scholars to lump him in with the Gnostics, some of whom did indeed subscribe to Docetism. So what is Docetism? It is the view that Christ did not have a real, material body, and that he only appeared to be human. Human flesh, created as it was by the Creator God, was inherently unclean, something even the Creator God himself had come to recognize, or as Harnack puts it, “Even in the mind of his originator man is a spoiled creation, a monster.” For Marcion, this could not, in any way, describe Jesus.

The other thing that needs to be understood is Marcion’s devotion to the Apostle Paul. While Christ did indeed pick the original twelve disciples, they had failed to understand his true message. Why? In large part because they were followers of the Jewish God—a factor which hampered their ability to grasp Jesus’s true teachings. With the resurrection they finally seemed to have “gotten it,” and for a while indeed appeared set upon a trustworthy path, but in time their “Jewish identity” (as we might refer to it today) reasserted itself and they began to compromise on questions such as adherence to Jewish law. Thus, lest they botch things completely, Paul had to be specially called. His mission? To refute Jewish law and the Judaizers within the church.
Marcion’s Life and Times
Marcion’s hometown, Sinope, was on the shore of the Black Sea in what was then the province of Pontus. We know for a fact there were Jewish communities there at the time. Aquila, the protégé of Paul mentioned in Acts 18:2, was born in Pontus, while another Jew, coincidentally of the same name and known to have translated the Old Testament into Greek, was not only a native of Sinope but was in fact Marcion’s contemporary. This is mentioned by Harnack, who comments, “It is remarkable that from this city there emerged simultaneously the sharpest adversary of Judaism and the most scrupulous translator of the Jewish sacred scriptures.” (4)

In Pontus also was a strong Christian community, and apparently Marcion’s own father was a bishop in the early church. This would certainly explain Marcion’s extensive knowledge of the Old Testament. But Marcion and his father seem to have had a falling out, presumably over Marcion’s views of the Old Testament, and after leaving his father’s home, Marcion journeyed to Asia Minor, where he managed to acquire considerable wealth—apparently as a ship owner.

To understand anyone’s life, of course, requires an historical knowledge of the time in which they lived. The three major Jewish revolts against Rome probably had a great deal to do with shaping Marcion’s view of the world. The second and third revolts took place during his lifetime, while the first transpired to completion in the decade before he was born. Most likely even as a child, and certainly later as a young adult, he would have heard talk of these revolts. He would have listened as people expressed the opinion, for instance, that Jews are violent, that they hate non-Jews, and that they seem to feel entitled to disregard all laws other than their own. These are views that would most especially have been in vogue after the second revolt, which broke out when Marcion was approximately 30 years old.

The second Jewish revolt against Rome, also known as the Kitos War, took place in the years 115-117, and it seems to have been especially bloody. The revolt started in Cyrenaica, particularly its capital Cyrene, and from there spread to Alexandria, then to the island of Cyprus, and finally, in its latter stages, to Palestine. Accounts of it are available at Wikipedia and also atHistorum. Both articles are sympathetic to the Jews (the Wikipedia account perhaps more so), but both make clear that Jews committed widespread atrocities, and both reference the writing of the Roman historian Dio Cassius (150-235 AD), who penned the following grisly and graphic (and perhaps somewhat sensational) account:
Meanwhile the Jews in the region of Cyrene had put one Andreas at their head and were destroying both the Romans and the Greeks. They would cook their flesh, make belts for themselves of their entrails, anoint themselves with their blood, and wear their skins for clothing. Many they sawed in two, from the head downwards. Others they would give to wild beasts and force still others to fight as gladiators. In all, consequently, two hundred and twenty thousand perished. In Egypt, also, they performed many similar deeds, and in Cyprus under the leadership of Artemio. There, likewise, two hundred and forty thousand perished. For this reason no Jew may set foot in that land, but even if one of them is driven upon the island by force of the wind, he is put to death. Various persons took part in subduing these Jews, one being Lusius, who was sent by Trajan. (5)
The Andreas mentioned by Dio Cassius was known also as “Lukuas,” and during the war he seems to have anointed himself with the title “King of the Jews,” probably in a bid to pass himself off as the Jewish Messiah (a tactic later used by bar Kokhba, the leader of the third revolt). “Lukuas definitely appears to have been grinding an axe of a religious nature—he is credited with destroying the temples and cult buildings of every Graeco-Roman god worshipped in Cyrene,” says the Historum article. “For good measure, Lukuas’ followers also destroyed Roman government buildings and burnt down the Roman bath houses of the city, apparently viewing these as symbols of government oppression and gentile influence, respectively.” We are also told that from Cyrene, Lukuas and his followers pressed on to Alexandria where the result was “an orgy of bloodshed and arson similar to that which had taken place in Cyrene.”

Given that the revolt transpired in multiple locations (in addition to Cyrene, Alexandria, and Cyprus, violent rebellions also broke out in the Jewish population of Mesopotamia), this bloody uprising launched by Jews would have been widely talked about almost literally in every province of the empire, virtually everywhere, and most likely it had a profound impact on Marcion’s thinking. Perhaps now we may better understand how he came to view the Creator God as “the ‘conditor malorum,’ the author of evil, the one who incites wars, is deceitful in his promises, and is wicked in his deeds.” But more was to come.

The third Jewish revolt against Rome took place in Palestine in the years 132-136, led by Simeon bar Kokhba (also spelled Koseba, Kosiba, or Kochba), who also claimed to be the messiah. History buffs will of course remember that Jerusalem had been razed and the Jewish temple destroyed back in 70 AD, during the first Jewish revolt. In the intervening years, the city had remained pretty much in ruins, a status quo which continued through the Kitos War and even beyond. However after visiting Judea in 130, the Emperor Hadrian undertook to rebuild Jerusalem. He seems initially to have promised, or at least hinted, that Jews might be given permission to reconstruct their temple, but apparently decided on second thought that it might not be such a wise idea after all. A temple to Jupiter was built instead. Also large numbers of non-Jews began settling in the newly rebuilt city, and it seems a law against circumcision, or at any rate against circumcising babies, may have been passed as well.

Bar Kokhba and his followers launched their revolt in 132, establishing hideouts around the country, including a fortress at Betar (a village in the Judean highlands whose name would later be adopted by Zionists of the Jabotinsky movement in the twentieth century). Dio Cassius’ account of the war can be found here and includes the following:
At first, the Romans took no account of them. Soon, however, all Judaea had been stirred up, and the Jews everywhere were showing signs of disturbance, were gathering together, and giving evidence of great hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly by overt acts. Many outside nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, one might almost say, was being stirred up over the matter.
One group of people who did not join Bar Kokhba were the Christians. This was addressed by a number of early writers, including Justin Martyr, who, though no fan of Marcion, offers an especially interesting comment about the war in his First Apology: “For in the Jewish war which lately raged, Barchochebas, the leader of the revolt of the Jews, gave orders that Christians alone should be led to cruel punishments, unless they would deny Jesus Christ and utter blasphemy.”

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “The war became so serious that in the summer of 134 Hadrian himself came from Rome to visit the battlefield and summoned the governor of Britain, Gaius Julius Severus, to his aid with 35,000 men of the Xth Legion.” The revolt was finally crushed in 136. According to Dio Cassius, 580,000 Jews were killed, as were many Romans. Fifty towns and 985 villages were destroyed. The Bar Kokhba revolt, keep in mind, was the thirdJewish rebellion in 70 years, and by this time the Romans had apparently had enough: Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina, while Jewish law and the Hebrew calendar were annulled. Jews themselves were banned from entering Jerusalem (now renamed Aelia Capitolina) other than one day of the year.

The Emperor Hadrian

For Christians who still, in spite of all this, clung to the Old Testament, contradictions quite naturally abounded. Marcion “saw the main body of Christendom around him in an internal struggle in which all seemed to be lost,” and initially he set out to change the church from within. That is to say, he went to Rome, where he met with church leaders and expressed his view that Christ had abolished the Old Testament and its God (6).

Because of historical records we know exactly what years Marcion was in Rome. He arrived in 139—three years after the Bar Kokhba revolt. Joining the Christian community there, he made a substantial donation of 200,000 sesterces, and remained in the city until the year 144. It was a five-year period in which he most likely produced his great work, the Antitheses.

Toward the end of his sojourn in Rome, Marcion requested a hearing before the church presbyters. It took place in July 144 and became the first Roman church council on record. But the church elders appear to have been totally unreceptive to his views. The council “ended with a sharp rejection of the unprecedented teaching,” the return of the 200,000 sesterces, and Marcion’s expulsion from the church. Harnack mentions that even though he departed Rome with what almost certainly was “a heavy heart,” nothing like rancor can be found in Marcion’s writings. “Even for the period after his break with the great church it is characteristic that not a single abusive or angry word about the church and its members is handed down to us.” (7) Needless to say, this charitable act of diplomacy was not returned in kind.

Leaving Rome in the year 144, Marcion returned to Asia Minor where he founded his new church. This seems to have occurred in a remarkably brief amount of time. In fact, later Marcionites would put the founding of their church as occurring exactly 115 years and six months after the death of Christ. In any event, Marcionism and the Marcionite Church became phenomenally successful, a fact which can be gauged by the number of early writers who wrote polemical treatises opposing the movement. Justin, Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian, Hyppolytus, Origen, and others all denounced Marcion in writing. In fact, there was, as Harnack puts it, “an abundance of counterliterature composed everywhere.” Particularly was this true between the years 150 and 200, yet in this same period the church “spread throughout all the provinces of the empire,” Harnack reports.
Harnack’s Study on Marcion
Harnack’s study on Marcion is not without criticisms of its subject, though it is far more sympathetic than Ehrman’s. So let us take a look now at Marcion through the prism of Harnack’s monumental work. Perhaps the most obvious place to start would be the early Christian leader’s view of the two Gods as expressed through his book, Antitheses, a work which Harnack feels was intended to be a bedrock for the Marcionite community, and indeed its “creedal book.”

A reconstruction of Antitheses is not possible, the author informs us, in part because “not even the arrangement of the work is clear,” but a number of things can nonetheless be determined or gleaned based upon quotes from it found in the works of other early writers. For instance, we can safely deduce Marcion’s purpose in writing it was to “demonstrate the irreconcilability of the Old Testament with the gospel,” along with the latter’s origin from a different God. (8). We also know its opening lines: “O wonder beyond wonders, rapture, power, and amazement is it, that one can say nothing at all about the gospel, nor even conceive of it, nor compare it with anything.” Moreover there seems to have been a special emphasis on one word in particular—“new.” We can find references to “new God,” “new deity,” “the new kingdom,” “new and unheard of kingdom,” “new master and proprietor of the elements,” “novel doctrines of the new Christ,” “new works of Christ,” “new miracle,” and so on.

Harnack also proposes a series of sample antithetical statements that possibly or most likely were included in the work. Here are a few:
* Joshua conquered the land with violence and cruelty, but Christ forbade all violence and preached mercy and peace.

* Upon the exodus from Egypt the Creator-God gave Moses the charge, “Be ready, girded, shod, staff in hand, sacks on shoulders, and carry away with you gold and silver and all that belongs to the Egyptians.” But our Lord, the Good One, upon sending the disciples out into the world, said to them, “Have no shoes on your feet, no sack, no change of garments, no money in your purses!”

* The prophet of the Creator-God, when the people were locked in battle, climbed to the top of the mountain and stretched forth his hands to God, that he might kill as many as possible in the battle; our Lord, the Good, stretched forth his hands (to wit, on the cross) not to kill men but to save them.

* In the law it is said, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” but the Lord, the Good, says in the gospel, “If anyone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Maledictio characterizes the law, and benedictio characterizes faith (the gospel)

* The creator of the world commands us to give to our brothers, but Christ simply says to give to all who ask. (9)
Marcion saw the Creator God as vengeful, wrathful and unmerciful, but perhaps most significantly of all he viewed him as ignorant. For instance, he had not known where to find Adam in the Garden of Eden, and had found it necessary to ask Adam whether he had eaten from the forbidden fruit. But even worse was his ignorance of the Alien God.
The utter ignorance of the World-Creator about the other God is the worst aspect of all his ignorance; it shows him to be inferior in the most extreme degree. But since, because he does not know the other God even the sphere and the nature of that God are incomprehensible to him, true goodness is also completely closed to him. It is true that he too has “goodness”, indeed is himself “good” [Marcion thought Jewish law had some just aspects to it, and gave the Creator God credit for that—ed.]; but this is a kind of goodness that, when measured by genuine goodness, actually does not even deserve this name. (10)
And be assured, this ignorance has its dark implications.
Marcion had darkened the picture of the World-Creator afforded by the Old Testament by defining, according to his own whim, in various passages the character of the creator of the world in terms of the character of the world. The wisdom of the creator of the world coincides with the wisdom of the world! Thus how contemptible is the wisdom of the creator of the world! God is the world, and the world is God—not in the pantheistic sense but in the ethical; each is the mirror of the other. (11)
Marcion saw the Creator God as possessed of a number of other qualities as well. These included his “evil partialities, pettinesses, and limitations; and finally his weakness and self-contradictions, his unprincipled whims, and his precepts and commandments which were so often ethically doubtful.”

By contrast, the Alien God is sublime, above every principality and power, a God of true goodness, who favors no one people over another.
By virtue of this goodness, this God is “blessedness and incorruptibility” which “brings no trouble upon itself or upon anything else” (Tertullian I 25); he ismerciful love. But this God is so utterly and completely goodness alone, that is, love…that no other qualities are to be expressed concerning him, or that his other qualities form a unity with love. He is spirit, but “beneficient Spirit” (Tertulian I 19); he is “tranquil,” “mild,” “placid”; he simply does not become angry, does not judge, does not condemn. He is also “just,” but the justice in him is the justice of love. He is “wise,” and so on, but he is all of this because he is love, which as such incorporates all these qualities. For just this reason, however, there can be no work for this God other than self-revelation, and this in turn can be nothing other than redemption

But because the good God intended to redeem sinners, he brought his redemption to the whole of humanity; for they are all sinners. He knows no partiality for one people but brings a universal redemption. However, he also recognized that along with the world and its creator it is the law from which mankind must be redeemed; but because it is the law, it is also the lawgiver, for the two belong together. The law is the power of sin. The law has intensified the comfortless state of mankind. The law is a fearful burden. The law has made the “righteous” slavish, fearful, and incapable of the truly good. Thus it must be taken away, along with the entire book in which it is contained. The good God came in order to dissolve the law and the prophets, not to fulfill them. He does this by means of the gospel, in order to redeem souls. (12)
So there are two Gods, then, who in many respects are the “antithesis” of each other. But an important distinction to make is that Marcion did not regard the Old Testament God as the devil, or as pure evil. Rather he is simply the God of the law, and Marcion viewed the law, keep in mind, as not without some positive aspects, including a limited measure of justice. To be sure, the God who gave this law is petty, fickle, impatient, jealous, and warlike. However, Harnack also points out that “iustitia, in the sense of formal justice (‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’) and in judicial practice, and miserable pettiness are the basic characteristics of the Creator-God, but wickedness is not.” (13)

But even if not wicked or wholly evil, this God does show malice in the following ways (emphases added):
1) In the creation of men, in that he formed man weak, helpless, and mortal and allowed him to be tempted; and it is also show in the fact that he even tolerates sin, death, and the devil (who indeed is his creature) as well as every kind of evil:

2) In the numerous punitive ills that he inflicts, in the disproportion of punishment to guilt, and in the sending of ills in general;

3) In the numerous examples of harshness, cruelty, warlike rage, bloodthirstiness, and so on;

4) In his practice of punishing the children for the sins of the fathers and allowing the innocent to suffer for the guilty;

5) In the hardening of the heart that he inflicts upon the obstinate;

6) In the jealousy with which he kept the first men from the tree of life;

7) In the partiality with which he favors those who worship him, even if they are wicked, allowing or even encouraging them in injustice, deception, plunder, and acts of violence of all kinds against his adversaries. (14)
Marcion died about 160, and despite all the official orthodox opposition—first against him, then against his church—it seems he did have a lasting impact upon the faith insofar as he managed to push Christianity in a certain direction:
Previously there had been a burning danger that the Old Testament would be explained, in part literally, in part allegorically, as the Christians’ basic document and that it would be recognized and the church would be satisfied with it. Now, to be sure, this danger still was not entirely eliminated and a satisfactory clarity had not yet been achieved, but the conviction that in the Old Testament “the ore still lies in the ground” and that it is the submission to servitude over against the New Testament’s submission to freedom gained a place and recognition for itself…

Marcion wanted to free Christianity from the Old Testament, but the church preserved it. He did not forbid his followers to pick up the book but even recognized that it contained material that was useful for reading. But he saw in it a spirit different from that of the gospel, and he wanted nothing to do with two different spirits in religion. Was he right or was the church, which did not detach itself from the book, right? The question must be posed, for we are confronted not by some theologian without following or influence but by the man who established the New Testament and created a great church that flourished for centuries. He may rightly lay claim to the honor of deserving to be taken seriously even today. There is not yet universal recognition of that philosophy of history that does justice in all circumstances to what has happened. (15)
Finally, Harnack goes on to conclude:
The Old Testament brought Christianity into tragic conflict; it was not to be resolved, in the second century and beyond that time, as Marcion would resolve it but rather as the church resolved it. From the close of the second century onward the church managed to cope with this problem and eliminated at least some of the oppressive difficulties and the sophisms with which people had been blinding themselves. Now it was permissible to distinguish levels and to place the Old Testament on the lower level; of course, this distinction continued to be threatened for—this seemed self-evident—there can be only one inspiration and only one law of truth that is established by that inspiration. (16)
Ehrman’s Presentation of Marcion
As previously stated, Ehrman, the contemporary scholar, sees Marcion as a Jew hater. Moreover, the view of the Old Testament God as a God of wrath Ehrman seems to regard as mere “notion,” rather than actual fact. He writes:
On the other hand, orthodox Christianity shared with (or borrowed from) the Marcionites the sense of the newness of God’s revelation in Christ; they accepted the idea of a closed canon of Scripture, the primacy of the literal interpretation of the text, and an emphasis on Jesus’ divinity. At the same time, they shared with (or inherited from) the Marcionites a disdain for and distrust of all things Jewish, along with the notion, still found among Christians today, that the Old Testament God is a God of wrath, whereas the New Testament God is a God of love and mercy. (17)
Ehrman’s views, then, seem to have been shaped, at least to some degree, by the post-holocaust biblical-scholarly perspective. That being said, however, his depiction of Marcion’s core beliefs, including his view of the two Gods, does not differ greatly from Harnack’s.
There are two Gods, then, and according to Marcion, Jesus himself says so. Moreover, Jesus explains that no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the old wineskins burst and both they and the wine are destroyed (Mark 2:22). The gospel is a new thing that has come into the world. It cannot be put into the old wineskins of the Jewish religion. (18)
And as to the precise nature of the two Gods, here again, we do not find striking differences:
The God of the Old Testament insisted that people keep his Law and penalized them when they failed. He was not evil, but he was rigorously just. He had laws and inflicted penalties on those who did not keep them. But this necessarily made him a wrathful God, since no one kept all of his laws perfectly. Everyone had to pay the price for their transgressions, and the penalty for transgression was death. The God of the Old Testament was therefore completely justified in exacting his punishments and sentencing all people to death.

The God of Jesus came into this world in order to save people from the vengeful God of the Jews. He was previously unknown to this world and had never had any previous dealings with it. Hence Marcion sometimes referred to him as God the Stranger. (19)
Ehrman also deals with Marcion’s esteem for the Apostle Paul in a manner worth noting:
As we have seen, Paul claimed that a person is made right with God by faith in Christ, not by doing the works of the Law. This distinction became fundamental to Marcion, and he made it absolute. The gospel is the good news of deliverance; it involves love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, and life. The Law, however, is the bad news that makes the gospel necessary in the first place; it involves harsh commandments, guilt, judgment, enmity, punishment, and death. The Law is given to the Jews. The gospel is given by Christ.

How could the same God be responsible for both? Or put in other terms: How could the wrathful, vengeful God of the Jews be the loving, merciful God of Jesus? Marcion maintained that these attributes could not belong to one God, as they stand at odds with one another: hatred and love, vengeance and mercy, judgment and grace. He concluded that there must in fact be two Gods: the God of the Jews, as found in the Old Testament, and the God of Jesus, as found in the writings of Paul. (20)
In Ehrman’s work, we also find the author venturing into areas Harnack does not go. For instance, he offers the view, perhaps correct, that the Marcionite Church probably never would have been accepted, because of its complete “novelty” and “newness,” as the official religion of the Roman Empire, this due to the fact that in ancient Roman culture, high value was placed upon ideas that were old and established. (21) It is worth mentioning here that many Romans were not terribly fond of Jews, and that Jewish expulsions from Rome took place in 19 AD and again in 49 AD, yet Ehrman tells us that credit was nonetheless given to the fact that Jewish scriptures were some number of centuries old. By adopting these scriptures as their own, the orthodox/catholic church “overcame the single biggest objection that pagans had with regard to the appearance of this ‘new’ religion.” Thus in laying claim upon the Old Testament, the Catholic Church had the advantage when Constantine came to power in the fourth century and designated them the favored religion of the empire, says Ehrman.

But what if the Marcionite Church had prevailed? What if it, rather than the Catholic Church, had emerged out of early Christianity as the dominant player? How would the world be different today? Ehrman calls it “rank speculation,” but does nonetheless offer some thoughts on this as well:
Had Marcionite Christianity succeeded, the Old Testament would be seen by Christians today not as the Old Testament but as the Jewish Scriptures, a set of writings for the Jews and of no real relevance to Christianity. So, too, Christians would not see themselves as having Jewish roots. This may well have opened the doors to heightened hostilities, since Marcion seems to have hated Jews and everything Jewish; or possibly even more likely, it may have led simply to benign neglect as Jews and their religion would have been considered to be of no relevance and certainly no competition for Christians. The entire history of anti-Semitism might have been avoided, ironically, by an anti-Jewish religion. (22)
Did Christians who expressed “anti-Semitic” views in the first through fifth centuries do so because they viewed Jews as “competition”?

Jerusalem, April 27, 2013: Ultra-Orthodox Jews dance around a bonfire on Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday that has been re-
interpreted in modern times as commemorating the Bar-Kokhba revolt.

Ehrman continues, over several passages, to speculate on what might have been, offering at one point the somewhat peculiar thought that Christians might perhaps have been more likely to adopt the practice of usury had there not been the constraints against it in the Old Testament:
Economic and political history might have turned out to be quite different, since there would have been nothing in the sacred Scriptures, for example, to oppose lending money at interest or to promote the system of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Who knows what would have happened to the environment, given the circumstance that so much of modern environmental concerns stem ultimately from a conviction, filtered through many layers, but with Judeo-Christian roots, that God is the creator of this world and that we are its caretakers. Different, too, would have been so much of modern socialism, even (odd as it may seem) so much of Marxist theory, as it is ultimately rooted in notions of economic justice, fairness, and opposition to oppression that trace their lineage back to the Hebrew prophets. (23)
The author also ruminates on the history of anti-Semitism, and here, perhaps especially, the “post-holocaust” perspective seems to appear:
If the Marcionite Christians had gained ascendancy, would people still ask, “Do you believe in God?” Or would they ask, “Do you believe in the two Gods?” Would anyone except scholars of antiquity have heard of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John? Would we have an “Old” Testament? How would the social and political relations of Jews and Christians over the centuries have been affected? Would Christians who rejected the Jewish God and all things Jewish feel a need to polemicize against and attack Jews? Or would they simply ignore Jews as not presenting any real competition to their own claims of the knowledge of the other God, who saved them from the creator? Would anti-Semitism be worse, or would it be nonexistent? (24)
Note also, again, the use of the word “competition,” as if the problems between Jews and Christians have sprung mostly from competing with each other in the marketplace of ideas, causing Christians to “polemicize” and to “attack” Jews.

Of course, what would seem to be the most glaringly obvious historical outcome—the history of Zionism and the founding of the state of Israel—is the one Ehrman doesn’t get into. (Perhaps for American university professors it’s too hot to handle.) But without an Old Testament, there would never have been a view of Jews as “God’s chosen people,” and without this, there would have been no significant Christian support for a state of Israel. Early Christian Zionists such as Cyrus Scofield and John Nelson Darby would not have had a leg to stand on; and John Hagee would perhaps be a used car salesman today; Theodor Herzl probably would never have gained much of a following other than among Jews, and the Balfour Declaration well may never have been issued by the British government. In short, it’s possible to conjecture that had the Marcionite Church prevailed, there would be no state of Israel today.
The Marcionite Church and Marcion’s Legacy
That Marcion’s church became as popular as it did, spreading “throughout all the provinces of the empire,” is all the more astounding when you consider that the master’s teachings included renunciation of material comforts and an overall ascetic lifestyle, including sexual abstinence. Here is how Harnack puts it:
Maracion absolutely forbade marriage and all sexual intercourse among his believers, and therefore he baptized only such catechumens and admitted to the Supper only such as took the vow of remaining unmarried or such married people as pledged a complete separation from that time onward. Thus he staked the life and growth of his communities exclusively on the winning of new members, for the believers were not permitted to reproduce. (25)
One reason for this was the usual motivation—liberation from sinful flesh—embraced by Buddhism and other religions. But Marcion had a second purpose in mind as well: that “one should not help to enlarge the realm of the World-Creator but one should rather restrict it, insofar as it lies within human capacity to do so.” Thus Marcion and his followers were in protest against the God of this world, and their renunciations were a “sign of deliberate abandonment of that God and withdrawal from his company.” This abstinence extended also to certain types of food and drink, and Harnack tells us that the Marcionites most likely were vegetarians as well (though he believes they did allow the consumption of fish).

But there was more. It appears Marcion taught his followers—in this era of on-again/off-again persecution of Christianity under various Roman emperors—a willingness to undergo martyrdom for the faith. And many in fact did. But none of this seems to have hampered the momentum. People flocked to Marcion’s churches:
Justin’s statement that Marcion himself had already disseminated his teaching “throughout the whole human race” is confirmed by the testimonies that we possess with reference to the second half of the second century for Asia, Lydia, Bithynia, Corinth, Crete, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, Lyons, and Carthage…Everywhere people were writing against the dreadful devilish sect which already in the second century was proclaiming its teaching even in the Latin language and by the beginning of the third century at the latest in the Syriac language as well. (26)
The community’s worship services were open to anyone and everyone, and reportedly one could see Marcionite churches in cities as well as the countryside. All of these churches, so far as is known, remained united in their rejection of the Old Testament God as well as their affirmation of the Alien God.
The danger that this church presented to Christianity was greatest in the generation between 150 and 190. In this period it and it alone was actually acounterchurch: this observation is evident from the abundance of opposing writings, and it can be read from the nature of the opposition offered by Justin and from the work of Celsus as well. Justin counted Marcion among the demonic new founders of religions with a Christian adornment. Celsus often spoke as though there were only the two churches, the “great church” and the Marcionite, and alongside them only the Gnostic underbrush. (27)
In the latter half of the third century the movement began to recede in the west, but still held on strong in Cyprus, Palestine, and in Syriac-speaking areas, including parts of Syria, all the way to Persia and Armenia. Harnack tells us it was particularly popular in Cyprus, which had undergone such ravages in the Kitos War, and that the city of Salamis “was simply besieged by Marcionites.” Laodicea in Syria, near the present day city of Latakia, seems to have been a large center as well, and there even were such things as “Marcionite villages” scattered here and there. By the fourth century orthodox Christians were still writing polemical tirades against Marcion, though by the middle of the fifth century the faith had receded in the east as well. Why? Certainly the fourth century designation of Christianity (i.e. the Catholic version) as the official religion of the empire had much to do with it—Harnack speaks of certain church bishops who began persecuting, or in some cases converting, Marcionites in the years after this. Changing perceptions of Jews may have been a factor as well. The revolts of the late first/early second centuries had receded into dim historical memory, and doubtless Jews were no longer regarded as the threat they once had been. We also can’t ignore divisions within the church itself. Marcion died about 160 AD, and while the church continued to revere his name and memory, there arose different “schools” within the faith which put forth variations on his principle beliefs. This became especially true from the third century onward. Yet Harnack tells us that even outside the church, the Antitheses continued to be read “by those who had freed themselves from the Old Testament.”

So what can we say about Marcion’s legacy and his contributions to the development of Christianity? Certainly one of his most lasting contributions is the high value he placed upon the letters of Paul, which resulted in an elevating of Paul’s status in the early church and probably also was a decisive factor, maybe the decisive factor, in the inclusion of the Pauline letters in the New Testament canon. The following quote from Harnack’s book states the case very well:
For decades, copies of Paul’s epistles were lacking in catholic churches…But furthermore, it is both obvious and highly important that Irenaeus, the founder of the church’s soteriological doctrine, as well as Tertullian and Origen, developed their biblical teachings about goodness and righteousness, about the creator God and the redeemer God, and so on, in the struggle against Marcion and in that process learned from him. Finally, it was through Marcion also that Paul was recovered for the great church, Paul who, for example, had been altogether pushed aside by such a teacher as Justin and whom the Roman Christian Hermas had utterly ignored. (28)
Moreover, it was only after Marcion that those in the “great church” began adopting the idea of the church itself as the “bride of Christ,” and only post-Marcion did they begin the practice of combining congregations into an actual community, a community united on the basis of a fixed doctrine rooted in the New Testament—just as Marcion had done. And herein lies what probably is Marcion’s single greatest, most lasting contribution of all—the concept of a fixed New Testament canon.
Marcion’s Relevancy Today
Marcion saw himself called to liberate Christianity from a crisis of identity. It is a crisis which has continued to plague the church over the years and is today more serious than ever. We find ourselves caught up in the “contradictory drama” of worshipping a dual purpose God, a God of discrimination, whose partisanship and favoritism are reserved either exclusively, or mainly, for one people, but who somehow also poses himself as a God of universal love and a God of all. The thermodynamics of this have led the Christian faith into a state of entropy—a problem compounded by the fact that when we look around today we see Jews in the state of Israel committing horrendous crimes against humanity.

To help clarify some of this, I will use a metaphor which Harnack uses—that of the “halfway house.” Think of someone who has been confined for a great long time in a prison or a mental institution. Upon release, he/she might reside for a while in a “halfway house” prior to making the full leap back into society and a life of freedom. In terms of liberating Christianity from its slavery to the Old Testament, Paul in essence represented the halfway house. It is true he invalidated Jewish law, but at the same time he was “grounded in the soil” of the Old Testament, as Harnack puts it. As a result he could not break from it entirely. Marcion, on the other hand, though fully admiring of Paul, wanted to take things further—out of the halfway house and into complete freedom and independence from the yoke of Judaism and its angry God. (29) In the interest of Christianity’s newness, “it’s unambiguous nature,” and its power, Marcion desired to take the “decisive step” of separating the gospel from the Old Testament. But the church, then as now, was beset with “Judaistic pseudoapostles” who were determined to keep it and retain it as part of their “holy scripture.”

“If one carefully thinks through with Paul and Marcion the contrast between ‘the righteousness that is by faith’ and ‘the righteousness that is by works’ and is persuaded also of the inadequacy of the means by which Paul thought that he could maintain the canonical recognition of the Old Testament, consistent thinking will not be able to tolerate the validity of the Old Testament as canonical documents in the Christian church.” (30) So says Harnack in the final chapter of his book, and he is right. “Consistent thinking” can only reach the conclusion that Marcion did—that the gospel, with its message of love and mercy taught by Christ, is and must be regarded as a thing separate entirely from the Old Testament. Harnack adds: “If Marcion had reappeared in the time of the Huguenots and Cromwell, he would once again have encountered the warlike God of Israel whom he abhorred, right in the very middle of Christendom.”

And so it is today, with Christian Zionists applauding every Israeli aggression in the Middle East, only with one very major difference: with a Nile-to-Euphrates agenda spelled out in the book of Genesis, and in a world with a nuclear-armed Jewish state, and with AIPAC-like lobbies reaching into virtually every Western country, the problem has truly reached crisis proportions—not only for Christians, but for all peoples on the planet.

Earlier I offered a critique of Ehrman’s analysis of “what might have been” had the Marcionite church prevailed, coming to the conclusion that in all likelihood the modern-day state of Israel would never have been born. One can of course carry the conjecture further: without the establishment of the state of Israel, there would have been no Nakba, no Deir Yassin massacre, no 1967 war, no 1973 war, and no pro-Israel lobby in America today. Without the pro-Israel lobby, the wars in Iraq would possibly have been averted. The half a million Iraqi children, whose deaths the Jewish Madelaine Albright felt were “worth it,” could well still be alive. The Palestinians would have a state of their own, would therefore not be subject to having their homes bulldozed or destroyed by bombs, conceivably there would be no blockade of Gaza, no checkpoints in the West Bank or mothers giving birth at them, and no apartheid wall. The Palestinians who were killed in the first Intifada, the second Intifada, those who perished in various Israeli missile attacks on Gaza, including Operation Cast Lead, would either still be alive today or else possibly have died of natural causes.

Who else would have been spared besides Palestinians and Iraqis? Without a state of Israel, would there ever have been a 9/11 attack? And without 9/11 would thousands of Americans, Afghans, British, Pakistanis, Libyans, and people of other nationalities have died in the ongoing wars that have been fought since then? Moreover, without Israel, and without, by extension, a pro-Israel lobby, would we have leaders pushing even now to take us into new wars? These are questions which legitimately should be asked. Also—was Jesus correct in saying that it’s possible to judge a tree by the fruit it produces, and if so, was Marcion right in zeroing in on this statement and making of it what he did? This, too, is a legitimate question.

“Marcion’s heretical tradition is flooding the entire world”—so lamented the ancient writer Tertullian in approximately the early third century. But maybe at last it is time for Christianity to give Marcion his due, to finally come to recognize that Jesus was indeed something “new” entirely, that his teachings were an “antithesis” if you will, a complete, total, outright departure from the Old Testament, and that in separating the two Marcion may well have had the right idea.


When published in the original German, Harnack’s work, Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God, included appendices that apparently covered multiple pages. The modern American edition excludes these appendices and offers the following editor’s note by way of explanation: “Because of the length and complexity of the appendices to Harnack’s Marcion and because scholars will need to consult those appendices in the original form in which Harnack presents them, the editor and translators have decided not to include the appendices in the present edition. References to them, however, have been retained as an aid to further study.” An English edition of the bookwith the appendices included would obviously be helpful for further understanding of Marcion’s theology. Hopefully the current publisher, or some other, will undertake to publish one.


1. Harnack, Adolf, Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God, translated by John E. Steely and Lyle D. Bierma, Wipf & Stock Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 1990, p. 22.

2. Ibid, p. 58.

3. Ehrman, Bart D., Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, Oxford University Press, New York, 2003, p. 106.

4. Harnack, p. 15.

5. The Jewish Encyclopedia acknowledges Dio Cassius as “the most important source” on the Kitos War, though expresses the view that the ancient Roman’s account is “exaggerated,” according to Wikipedia.

6. “Abolishing” the Old Testament outright probably was not Christ’s intention. However, his conflicts with the Jewish establishment are well known. Also it should be kept in mind that the leaders of the Jewish revolts were for the most part of the Zealot sect of Judaism, which was closely aligned with the Pharisees. As I discussed in a previous article, the Zealots took their name from the Old Testament character Phinehas, who in Numbers 25 bursts into a tent and drives a spear through an Israelite man and Moabite woman, ending up being described as “zealous” for his God for so doing. The Zealots of Jesus’ day were known to have preached that Jews should obey no laws other than those given them by God.

7. Harnack, p. 17.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid, p. 60-62.

10. Ibid, p. 71.

11. Ibid, p. 71-72.

12. Ibid, 81-82.

13. Ibid, p. 69.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid, p. 131, 133-134.

16. Ibid, p. 134.

17. Ehrman, p. 252.

18. Ibid, p. 106.

19. Ibid, p. 105.

20. Ibid, p. 104-105.

21. Ibid, p. 111-112

22. Ibid, p. 111.

23. Ibid.

24. Ibid, p. 247.

25. Harnack, p. 96.

26. Ibid, p. 99.

27. Ibid, p. 100.

28. Ibid, p. 131.

29. Harnack believes Paul would have looked upon Marcion and seen him as “his own authentic pupil” in many respects, but absolutely would have “turned away in horror” at his concept of the two Gods and his complete rejection of the Old Testament.

30. Ibid, p. 133.


Posted in EducationComments Off on A MAN WHO MAY HAVE HAD A GOOD IDEA

I$raHell and the dangers of ethnic nationalism

Armed Israeli children

An interview with Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook has covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the past 12 years. Below are extracts from his interview with Joseph Cotto, originally published by the Washington Times Communities website.

[Jospeh Cotto] What sort of general impact would you say Zionism has had on the Middle East?

[Jonathan Cook] Zionism was a reaction to the extreme ethnic nationalisms that dominated – and nearly destroyed – Europe last century. It is therefore hardly surprising that it mirrors their faults. In exporting to the Middle East this kind of nationalism, Zionism was always bound to play a negative role in the region.

Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, developed the concept of a Jewish state in response to the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe in the late 19th century. One notorious incident that appears to have shaped his views was France’s Dreyfus affair, when a very assimilated Jewish army officer was unjustly accused of treason and then his innocence covered up by French elites.

The lesson drawn by Herzl was that assimilation was futile. To survive, Jews needed to hold firmly on to their ethnic identity and create an exclusivist state based on ethnic principles.

Once in the Middle East, Zionism shifted the locus of its struggle, from finding a solution to European anti-Semitism to building an exclusive Jewish homeland on someone else’s land, that of the Palestinians.

There is a huge historical irony to this, because Europe’s ethnic nationalisms would soon end up tearing apart much of the world, culminating in the expansionary German war machine, World War II and the Nazi death camps. International institutions such as the United Nations and international humanitarian law were developed precisely to stop the repeat of such a cataclysmic event.

Once in the Middle East, Zionism shifted the locus of its struggle, from finding a solution to European anti-Semitism to building an exclusive Jewish homeland on someone else’s land, that of the Palestinians. If one wants to understand the impact of Zionism in the Middle East, then one needs to see how destabilising such a European ideological implant was.

The idea of ethnic-religious supremacism, which history suggests is latent in many ethnic nationalisms, quickly came to the fore in Zionism. Today, Israel believes in:

segregation at all levels – made concrete in the separation wall across the West Bank;

in ethnic exclusivism – Palestinian citizens inside Israel are even denied an Israeli nationality;

a kind of national paranoia – walls are built to protect every border;

but at the same time, and paradoxically, a refusal to define those borders – and with it a craving for expansion and greater “living room”.

All of this was predictable if one looked at the trajectory of ethnic nationalisms in Europe. Instead, we in the West see all this as a reaction to Islamism. The reality is we have everything back to front: Zionism, an aggressive ethnic nationalism, fed reactionary forces in the region like political Islam.

[Question] If Israel adopted its pre-1967 borders, would this, in your opinion, contribute to the peace process?

[Answer] Of course, it would. If nothing else, it would show for the first time two things: one, that Israel is prepared to exhibit good faith towards the Palestinians and respect international law; and two, that it has finally decided to define and fix its borders. Those are also two good reasons why I don’t think we will see Israel adopt such a position.

There is a further, implicit question underlying this one. Can a Palestinian state on 22 per cent of historic Palestine, separated into two prison-cantons with limited access to the sea, be a viable state?

…ultimately a solution to the conflict will only be found when the international community helps the two sides to find common ground and shared interests and to create joint institutions. That might be vaguely termed the one-state solution, but in practice it could take many forms.

No, I don’t think it can – at least not without remaining economically dependent on Israel and militarily vulnerable to it too. That, we should remember, also appears to have been the view of the international community when it tried to solve this problem more than 60 years ago. The United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 gave the Jewish minority 55 per cent of historic Palestine to create a Jewish state, while the Palestinians, the majority of the population, received 45 per cent for an Arab state.

One doesn’t have to believe the partition plan was fair – as most Palestinians do not – to understand that even the Western-centric UN of that time did not imagine that a viable state could be created on 22 per cent of Palestine, or half of the “Arab state” it envisioned.

That is why I have long maintained that ultimately a solution to the conflict will only be found when the international community helps the two sides to find common ground and shared interests and to create joint institutions. That might be vaguely termed the one-state solution, but in practice it could take many forms.

[Q] It is often noted that Palestinians live in far more impoverished socio-economic conditions than Israelis do. From your standpoint, can this be attributed to Israeli aggression?

[A] In essence, it is difficult to imagine it could be attributed to much else, unless one makes the racist assumption that Palestinians or Arabs are naturally lazy or incompetent.

In terms of Israel’s greater economic success, there are several factors to take into account. It receives massive subsidies from the US taxpayer – billions of dollars in military aid and other benefits. It has developed very lucrative hi-tech and homeland security industries, often using the occupied territories as laboratories for it to test and showcase its weapons and surveillance systems. It also benefits from the financial connections it enjoys with worldwide Jewry. Just think of the property market in Israel, which is artificially boosted by wealthy US and European Jews who inject money into the economy by buying an Israeli condo.

The World Bank argues that Israel’s de facto annexation of 62 per cent of the West Bank, known as Area C in the Oslo Accords, has stripped any nascent Palestinian state of almost all its resources: land for development, water for agriculture, quarries for stone, the Dead Sea for minerals and tourism, etc.

But equally importantly – as a just-published report from the World Bank concludes – it has prospered by plundering and exploiting Palestinian resources. The World Bank argues that Israel’s de facto annexation of 62 per cent of the West Bank, known as Area C in the Oslo Accords, has stripped any nascent Palestinian state of almost all its resources: land for development, water for agriculture, quarries for stone, the Dead Sea for minerals and tourism, etc. Instead these resources are being stolen by more than 200 settlements Israel has been sowing over the West Bank.

Israel also exploits a captive, and therefore cheap, Palestinian labour force. That both benefits the Israeli economy and crushes the Palestinian economy.

[Q] Some say that Israel’s settlement policies directly encourage violence from Palestinian militants. Do you believe this to be the case?

[A] Yes, of course. If you came armed with a gun to my house and took it from me, and then forced me and my family to live in the shed at the end of the garden, you could hardly be surprised if I started making trouble for you. If I called the police and they said they couldn’t help, you could hardly be surprised if I eventually decided to get a gun myself to threaten you back. If, when you saw I had a gun too, you then built a wall around the shed to imprison me, you could hardly be surprised if I used the tools I had to make primitive grenades and started lobbing them towards the house. None of this would prove how unreasonable I was, or how inherently violent.

[Q] Many claim that, if Israel were to shed its Jewish ethnocentrism, Muslims and others nearby would adopt a more favourable opinion of it. Do you agree with this idea?

[A] Ethnocentrism for Israel means that the protection of its Jewishness is synonymous with the protection of its national security. That entails all sorts of things that would be considered very problematic if they were better understood.

Israel needed to ethnically cleanse Palestinians in 1948 to create a Jewish state. It needs separate citizenship and nationality laws, which distinguish between Jews and non-Jews, to sustain a Jewish state. It needs its own version of the “endless war on terror” – an aggressive policy of oppression and divide and rule faced by Palestinians under its rule – to prevent any future internal challenge to the legitimacy of its Jewishness. It needs to keep Palestinian refugees festering in camps in neighbouring Arab states to stop a reversal of its Jewishness. And it has had to become an armed and fortified garrison state, largely paid for by the US, to intimidate and bully its neighbours in case they dare to threaten its Jewishness.

Ending that ethnocentrism would therefore alter relations with its neighbours dramatically.

It was possible to end similar historic enmities in Northern Ireland and in South Africa. There is no reason to believe the same cannot happen in the Middle East.

[Q] If Israel were to cease being an ethnocentrically Jewish state, do you think it would be able to survive?

[A] Yes. Israel’s actions have produced an ocean of anger towards it in the region – and a great deal of resentment towards the US too. And that would not evaporate overnight. At a minimum there would be lingering distrust, and for good reason. But for Israel to stop being an ethnocratic state, it would require a serious international solution to the conflict. The international community would have to put into place mechanisms and institutions to resolve historic grievances and build trust, as it did in South Africa. Over time, the wounds would heal.

[Q] In the event that Israel were to end its ethnocentrically Jewish policies, do you believe that Islamist militants would hold less of a grudge against the Western world?

[A] The question looks at the problem in the wrong way in at least two respects. First, Israel’s ethnocentrism – its exclusivity and its aggressiveness, for example – is one of the reasons it is useful to Western, meaning US, imperialism. Reforming Israel would indicate a change in Western priorities in the region, but that does not necessarily mean the West would stop interfering negatively in the region. Reforming Israel is a necessary but not a sufficient cause for a change in attitudes that dominate in the region.

…what we should be doing is draining the ideological swamp in which Islamic extremism flourishes. If the Islamists have no real support, if they do not address real issues faced by Arab societies, then they will wither away.

Second, many Islamists, certainly of the fanatical variety, are not suddenly going to have a Damascene conversion about the West because Israel is reformed. But that should not be the goal. Good intentions towards the region will be repaid in a change in attitude among the wider society – and that is what is really important. When George Bush and his ilk talk about “draining the swamps”, they are speaking only in military terms. But actually what we should be doing is draining the ideological swamp in which Islamic extremism flourishes. If the Islamists have no real support, if they do not address real issues faced by Arab societies, then they will wither away.

[Q] What do you think the future of Israel holds insofar as Middle Eastern geopolitics are concerned?

[A] That is crystal ball stuff. There are too many variables. What can be said with some certainty is that we are in a time of transition: at the moment, chiefly economic for the West and chiefly political for the Middle East. That means the global power systems we have known for decades are starting to break down. Where that will ultimately lead is very difficult to decipher.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on I$raHell and the dangers of ethnic nationalism


By: Michael Collins Piper


• “Cyber shills” working to misdirect, embarrass legitimate conspiracy researchers

By Michael Collins Piper

Evidence suggests patriots and truth seekers are being subjected to insidious means of mind control—and crowd control—through a covert campaign now being orchestrated across the Internet.

Consider this: Right after 9-11, AMERICAN FREE PRESS correspondent Victor Thorn demonstrated that the United States government version of what happened to United Flight 93 on 9-11 was an absolute lie, and that the plane was deliberately shot down by the government.

Yet, today, there is an ongoing push to flood the Internet and independent media with a never-before-seen genre of thought that holds, essentially, that nothing reported in the establishment press is “for real”—that every traumatic event is, to one degree or another, a big hoax.

Here’s the problem: Had this mindset held sway after 9-11, it would have been alleged there never even was a United Flight 93, that it neither crashed nor was shot down and that those who died on the plane never existed and that their survivors (and some of the witnesses interviewed by Thorn) were paid actors—referred to as “crisis actors” in this new genre—deployed to misdirect honest investigators.

The Internet would have been rife with accusations that Thorn’s revelations were actually part of the cover-up and, as a consequence, many good folks might have doubted AFP’s credibility.

Fortunately, most people see through such nonsense. However, this new “meme” (that nothing is real) is catching hold among many who don’t realize that ongoing efforts to impose this worldview—almost a cult-like ideology—on truth seekers is a very real conspiracy designed to undermine diligent reporting of the type seen in AFP.

Unfortunately, many are falling into this carefully-crafted trap. A bevy of disinformation specialists known as “cyber shills”—along with amateur keyboard detectives caught up in the frenzy—are bombarding patriots with all manner of outlandish “analysis” of photographs and videos, purporting to “prove” some point that is invariably a total distraction from the real facts that should be unveiled.

This does harm to the serious efforts of those who are trying to expose the very real conspiracies and cover-ups surrounding 9-11, the Oklahoma City bombing, the JFK assassination, the Boston bombing and so many matters hidden behind the media monopoly’s iron curtain of censorship.

Note: AFP is here to tell readers that there’s more to the story of shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and at the Washington Navy Yard and to the Boston Marathon bombing than many of the Internet sensationalists are telling you.

In truth, many still do not understand the big secret about Sandy Hook: In the face of the predictable media push for gun control following that tragedy, there was an obvious conspiracy by Internet provocateurs to misdirect patriots into thinking they were fighting gun control by repeating stories that “no children died” when, in fact, such claims made Second Amendment advocates look ridiculous.

Serious-minded Second Amendment advocates were arguing, of course, that guns in the hands of teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary could have saved the lives of those who were massacred.

On April 28—at website—respected patriot Devvy Kidd put it in perspective:

Over the past nearly two decades, every time some horrific “event” happens, wanna-be “journalists” come out of the woodwork with their conspiracy theories based on absolutely nothing; bloggers who specialize in no facts, just rank speculation. [These are] irresponsible people out to make a name for themselves or to get people to their websites. They have zero credibility and hurt the rest of us by being lumped together [with us]. I have debunked conspiracy theories in the past based on documentation. I get attacked as if I’m the bad guy for pursuing the truth. There are conspiracies and cover-ups, but we want the truth, not speculation.

For years, AFP has been smeared for publishing what critics call “conspiracy theories,” which are, in fact, truthful reporting of high-level misdeeds. Those trying to discredit revelations about the real conspiracies do all they can to make AFP and others who expose those conspiracies and the truth about mind control appear to be “nut jobs.”

That’s why, in 2008, University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein—a Barack Obama crony —issued a formal crisis management paper on “conspiracy theories,” outlining a proposed program of what he called “cognitive infiltration” to discredit such theories, particularly those implicating Israel in 9-11.

And while such “Judas goat” operations have been going on for years, involving, for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) infamous Anti-Defamation League-assisted COINTELPRO—targeting the Ku Klux Klan, the National States Rights Party, the Minutemen and other dissidents—we know of one current Internet-focused scheme exposed by Thorn in AFP. Reporting that the Israeli government pays young Israelis $2,000 a month to troll the Internet and spread disinformation, Thorn noted that this connivance is well coordinated:

Participants are provided with specific scripts to use on enemies, complete with details involving sensationalized accusations against enemies, divide-and-conquer strategies where one individual is pitted against another, plus a variety of distraction techniques and the marginalization of opinions that differ from the official Jewish party line. Other tactics include denying inconvenient facts, refusing dialogue by sending conversations off into absurd directions, or dishonestly manipulating sources to entrap a foe.

Programmed to capture the imagination of sincere truth seekers, these manipulations—aimed at a receptive “captive audience”—are intrigues designed, as Thorn noted, to not only redirect debate by countering conspiracy theories but also by inserting ridiculous disinformation into the debate.

This further discredits any and all conspiracy theories—which happens to be the ultimate purpose of this multi-faceted effort.

Implementing Sunstein’s treacherous mind-control agenda, crisis management experts recognized that Internet-active truth seekers constitute a “crowd” as defined by Gustave LeBon’s sinister study—The Crowd—a legendary work described as having “exerted a powerful influence upon the thought of men aiming to understand the workings of collective behavior and of social psychology.”

Remembering what LeBon said—“To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them”—Sunstein set in motion an Orwellian framework for both mind control and crowd control all too visible on the Internet today.

AFP pledges to ignore their disinformation and focus on the big picture and continue to confront the real issues with facts, not speculation.


Iranian supreme leader calls I$raHell ‘bastard regime’


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (photo credit: AP/Office of the Supreme Leader)

Times of Israel

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israel “a bastard regime” Sunday, while expressing skepticism over the current round of international talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

His words came two days before Iran and six world powers are set to resume talks on curbing uranium enrichment, with hopes for a rare breakthrough after years of no progress.

“The Zionist regime is an illegitimate and bastard regime,” Khamenei said via his website, according to an AFP report. He added that the Americans “have to” have the “highest indulgence towards the Zionists,” but Iran does not “share such indulgence.”

Iran and world powers are to start a two-day meeting on Thursday in Geneva about Tehran’s nuclear program. The West suspects Iran is developing weapons technology. Iran denies it, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

The negotiators “are on a difficult mission and nobody should weaken those who are on assignment,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying, in a show of support for President Hassan Rouhani’s policy of outreach to the West.

Khamenei has final say on all matters of state, but has seemingly given Rouhani and his cabinet a free hand to pursue talks with the West.

He made the comment during an address to students marking the anniversary of the Iranian takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

“I am not optimistic about the outcome of the talks but… we will not be hurt by carrying out negotiations,” the supreme leader said, adding that the US should not be trusted because even though the Americans “express interest” in discussions, they “keep smiling on one hand, and then immediately say they have all options on the table” — in a reference to a potential military strike on Iran.

Khamenei also praised Iranian militant students who stormed the US embassy in 1979, sparking a crisis that contributed significantly to the bitterness between the two countries.

“Thirty years ago, our young people called the US Embassy a ‘den of spies’… It means our young people were 30 years ahead of their time,” he said, a reference to a series of reports of US eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Hard-line factions have pledged to stage a major anti-US rally November 4, the anniversary of the takeover. The date is marked each year by gatherings outside the former embassy’s brick walls, which are covered with anti-American murals. But the fervor has waned in recent years, with authorities bringing school children by bus to help fill out the crowds. It is seen as an opportunity for hard-liners to put further pressure on Rouhani’s diplomacy.

Posted in IranComments Off on Iranian supreme leader calls I$raHell ‘bastard regime’

The Piper Report

The Piper Report Nov 4, 2013

by crescentandcross



Download Here


Posted in InterviewComments Off on The Piper Report

MKO, Bibi scuttling Iran deal in the same manner

The fact is that the terrorist MKO group is not only fruitful to the US, but it is detrimental to this country. They are just the Zionist regime and the American neocons benefiting enormously from alliance with a group like MKO. An alliance which will lead to their possible further cooperation, just as they did in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

The Mujahedin-e Khalq or MKO, the weird terrorist cult with bottomless pools of money which was founded in 1963 as a guerrilla group to oppose the US-backed Shah of Iran, targeted Americans in its early years. Between 1972 and 1975, it waged a bombing campaign against American companies and diplomatic officers as a step to “free Iran of US imperialism”.

When President Nixon visited Iran in 1972, the MEK detonated time bombs at over a dozen sites throughout Tehran, hitting the Iran-American Society, the U.S. information office, and the offices of Pepsi Cola and General Motors. American military and civilian personnel also became targets of MEK terror. In May 1975, MEK guerillas stopped the car of U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Schaeffer and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Turner, as they drove to work on a military base near Tehran. The officers, both unarmed, were gunned down in cold blood. At least four other Americans were assassinated by the MEK between 1973 and 1976.

Describing US President Richard Nixon as “the supporter of the most reactionary and the most criminal dictatorship in the world, Mohammadreza Shah’s regime,” MKO issued a statement in its publication, Mujahid, and proudly took responsibility for the bombs they set off on May 31, 1972, in opposition to the Nixon’s visit to Iran which ran partly as follows:

1. A firm response to “the regime’s brutal crimes” against the Iranian people;

2. “Annihilation of U.S conspirators and trespassers along with over 6000 military advisors”;

3. “Declaring support for the liberation movements around the world to spread the front of anti-imperialist struggles”

4. “Expressing outrage and revulsion at the criminal Nixon who has blood of oppressed people around the world on his hands.”

The US Department State also confirmed that MKO “staged terrorist attacks inside Iran and killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran”.

After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, MKO lost the opportunity to attract the public opinion. Hence, It took arms against the Iranians and killed thousands of religious figures, government officials, and innocent civilians.

Although it took the lives of hundreds of Iranian people, MKO lost the armed struggle and a majority of its members as well as the leadership of the group fled to Paris in 1981. The group left Paris for Iraq in 1986 where it enjoyed the full support of former Iraqi dictator. There, they helped Saddam in his war against Iran by providing the Ba’ath army with information on Iranian sites.

With the perception that after 8 years of an unequal war Iranian army is worn out, the MKO gathered all its from around the world in Iraq and conducted a military offensive on the western Iranian borders. In short, the group suffered a blow and lost the battle with the Iranian counteroffensive.

The US invaded Iraq in 2003 and the time was over for the Iraqi dictator. He lost his grip on power. Saddam’s downfall was a turning point for the MKO. It soon changed its anti-imperialist face and became a true friend of the US.

Now, MKO with this long black anti-US history found its way in the US Congress and the European Parliaments. It holds rallies on the streets of Washington, DC and New York warning the US administration of peace negotiations with Iran and spreading a fear of Iran much like what the Zionist regime is doing.

MKO has left no stone unturned in persuading the United States and European countries that they shouldn’t pursue a peace deal with Iran and there are myriad examples in which the leadership of the group states that the negotiations with Iran do not bring about results.

Earlier in March 2010, Maryam Rajavi, speaking to the UPI, urged the west to “step up the pressure on Tehran” and highlighted that the US and Europe should “no longer call for negotiations with” Iran.

In another occasion, the ringleader of the group said Iran “will never abandon it drive to acquire nuclear weapons,” adding “this explains the futility of negotiation with” Iran.

Addressing a number of German parliamentarians, Rajavi said the policy of west and EU towards Iran through negotiations “has proven to be mistaken and counterproductive”.

All these assertions remind me of another person who is steadfastly opposed to any kind of deal with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister, who a few weeks ago called on the US to step up pressure on Iran.

“I think that in this situation as long as we do not see actions instead of words, the international pressure must continue to be applied and even increased,” Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday. “The greater the pressure, the greater the chance that there will be a genuine dismantling of the Iranian military nuclear program.”

The fact is that the terrorist MKO group is not only fruitful to the US, but it is detrimental to this country. They are just the Zionist regime and the American neocons benefiting enormously from alliance with a group like MKO. An alliance which will lead to their possible further cooperation, just as they did in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Posted in IranComments Off on MKO, Bibi scuttling Iran deal in the same manner

I$raHell to face deepening isolation if peace talks fail, says national security adviser


Ya’akov Amidror, who delivered a final security briefing before stepping down, also saidthat a credible Israeli military threat was key to deterring Iran from obtaining nuclearweapons.


The resumption of the peace process with the Palestinians is contributing significantly to Israel’s international standing, but its failure would bolster the anti-Israel boycott movement and deepen the country’s international isolation, National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror said on Sunday at a cabinet meeting.

Amidror was presenting his final assessment before ending his term. He discussed the peace process with the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear program, the civil war in Syria, the instability in Egypt and the United States’ global standing, among other subjects.

He described the decision by the European Union to restrict funding to entities operating in or linked to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights as a “conscious decision” to attack Israel politically and economically. The EU’s move, which he described as “a type of an economic boycott,” has to be taken seriously by Israel, which must make it clear to the Europeans that they have an interest in continuing economic and scientific cooperation.

Amidror, who has served as the national security adviser for the past two and a half years, has become the most powerful figure in Israel’s political-security establishment and one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest aides. He presented the ministers with an evaluation that some of those present said was “sincere and realistic.” He spoke of threats, as well as opportunities; possibilities as well as risks.

According to sources who were briefed on Amidror’s presentation, the adviser said that maintaining an Israeli military threat and tough sanctions are crucial to stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

He asserted that there has been a change in Iran’s willingness to negotiate with the West, but this change was due primarily to the pressure imposed by the international sanctions. Still, the Iranians has not changed their policy on enriching uranium, he said.

“This is exactly why it’s important to maintain sanctions,” said Amidror. “Only maintaining the sanctions along with a credible threat of a strike will persuade Iran to make progress in negotiations with the West.”

Israel must set a high bar with regard to any arrangement between Iran and the West and ignore international criticism, he said. He stressed that if it is “clear to the world that we have a real ability to carry out a military operation in Iran,” the international community will not be able to ignore Israel’s demands.

Regarding Syria, Amidror said the Assad regime has developed an extreme dependence on Hezbollah in the war against the country’s rebels.

This dependence leads Syria to transfer more advanced and lethal weapons to Hezbollah, he added.

On Egypt he voiced an optimistic note, saying the Egyptian military had succeeded in curbing the “might of the Islamic wave,” thus sending a message to other countries in the region. He added that the developments in Egypt have significantly weakened Hamas in Gaza.

Amidror said the world looks at Israel as an extension of the United States, so if America’s standing in the world weakens, it would have an immediate negative impact on Israel’s international position.

He also touched on the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that Israel possesses according to foreign reports. While Syria’s dismantling of its chemical weapons is a positive development, it poses a worrisome challenge for Israel, which could find itself on the defensive against a host of international organizations that will demand it come clean about unconventional weapons it allegedly has.

Amidror: If peace talks fail, Israel’s global standing will worsen

Outgoing national security advisor says if Israel’s peace talks with Palestinians collapse, international pressure on Israel may worsen, existing boycotts exacerbated


Outgoing National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror said Sunday that if Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians collapse, international pressure on Israel may worsen, which may lead to harsher boycotts.

“It is clear to everyone that handling international pressure depends on the progress of the negotiations, and if the talks fail, it will give everyone interested in boycotting us every reason to do so,” Amidror said, noting specifically European bans which he believe may be exacerbated.

Furthermore, he added, if the US loses its influence in the Middle East, so will Israel, stressing that “Everyone who wishes that Obama loses power must take that under consideration. Israel will also lose its power and the two are related.”

Yaakov Amidror and Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO)

As for the issue of nuclear Iran, the outgoing national security advisor stressed that the State must remain prepared, since there has been no significant change on the Iranian front. Sanctions coupled with threats to strike are working, he asserted.

At a farewell reception in the Prime Minister’s Office, Amidror later added that “Israel is facing one clear existential threat and we must do everything in our power to remove it. If we can, via talks, if we can’t – some other way.

“Nowadays, the Middle East is undergoing many changes and upheavals, and many more upheavals are to be expected. This tricky situation, perhaps the trickiest in the 40 years I’ve been dealing with these issues, calls for great caution and a lot of thought.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Amidror’s remarks, noting: “The main question is how do we make sure that the most contested, most threatened country in the world not only continues to survive but also continues to protect itself, fortify its capabilities, thrive and ensure a future for itself.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on I$raHell to face deepening isolation if peace talks fail, says national security adviser

Morsi says situation in Egypt ‘serves I$raHell’



Times of Israel

Former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi reportedly told political officials who visited him in prison that political turmoil in his country serves Israeli interests.

“[Israel] does not have our best interests at heart at all,” Morsi said, according to transcripts of conversations published by the daily al-Watan Sunday, a day before his trial was set to begin. ”It’s possible that in time it may prove that they are behind the predicament we are in now. It’s possible, and I have no certain information to accuse anyone, that the situation serves Israel.”

In a separate excerpt, Morsi stated that “your children will pay the price” and later clarified that this statement was directed at “your children in the conflict between us and Israel,” in light of the strained relations between the two countries.

The transcripts in al-Watan were accompanied by photographs of Morsi in prison, but the authenticity of neither the interviews nor the images has been verified.

Morsi has been held at an undisclosed location and has received only rare visits and telephone calls since his July 3 ouster in a popularly backed military coup. The trial will be his first public appearance since then, possibly inflaming the already tense political atmosphere in the country.

Egyptian authorities switched the venue for the trial of the former Islamist president on Sunday, a last-minute change made after the Muslim Brotherhood called for mass demonstrations at the original location.

Morsi’s trial, now to be held east of the capital on Monday, could lead to another round of bloodshed as his supporters look likely to face an emboldened security apparatus that has boosted its forces for the hearing.

Morsi stands charged of inciting violence and murder during clashes last year at the presidential palace.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Morsi says situation in Egypt ‘serves I$raHell’

US promises to consult with I$raHell on any Iran deal




Times of Israel

The US will inform and consult with Israel about any nuclear deal world powers arrive at with Iran before it is carried out, because the Jewish state’s security is paramount, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said in an interview with Channel 10 on Sunday.

“Whatever agreement we reach Israel will know about, understand and consulted with us on, because Israel’s security is bedrock and there is no closer security relationship than what we have with each other,” she said.

Throughout the interview, however, the US’s chief nuclear negotiator refused to disclose details of the talks between the P5+1 and Tehran, which are set to reconvene later this week. Sherman noted that, unlike previous talks, the latest round of negotiations with Iran showed “for the first time a serious and substantive negotiation,” and Tehran’s silence about the particulars of the talks “speaks to the seriousness of the negotiations.”

She dismissed any comparison of the current talks to the Munich Conference in 1938, in which appeasement of Nazi Germany by Britain’s Chamberlain administration compromised Czechoslovakian security, helping trigger the Second World War.

“We haven’t agreed to anything yet,” Sherman said, reiterating the mantra of her boss, US Secretary of State John Kerry, that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” She emphasized that the United States had yet to agree to lift painful sanctions crippling Iran’s economy. Nor, she said, would an initial time-buying agreement remove “the fundamental architecture of the oil and banking sanctions.”

“We must… assure ourselves that Iran will not be able to have a nuclear weapon,” Sherman said.

Answering a query as to whether the US trusts the sincerity of Iran and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Sherman said there was a great deal of mutual distrust, and that world powers “approach these negotiations to try to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and President [Barack] Obama’s commitment that Iran not obtain nuclear weapons.”

Addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments at the UN that Israel would stand alone against Iran if need be, Sherman remarked that the best resolution to the issue of Iran’s nuclear program was “a peaceful negotiated solution” — and that Netanyahu was well aware of the fact.

“Israel knows as well as any country, if not better than any country, the cost of war, the cost of military action,” she said.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on US promises to consult with I$raHell on any Iran deal

Shoah’s pages


November 2013
« Oct   Dec »