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I was sent a video that covered two individuals' POV sound-bytes, Ahmed, a human-right activist and Eli Lazer, a Rabbi (video is below). What I found especially intriguing in this NBC video (see below), other than Ahmed's solid performance, were the comments of the Rabbi Eli Lazer, a University Professor.

Rabbi Lazer calls the Gaza massacre part of "Islam's war against those who don't believe in their religion". Because, according to him, the Bible's prophesies are true [I believe he is referring to the Old Testament]. In essence, the Rabbi is calling this attack part of a holy war.

This interview with the Rabbi is important in its implications and also once again reemphasizes the double-standards of the media. My questions to the Rabbi and the media would be the following:

  1. First of all, I don't get it. Israel massacred nearly 400 Palestinians so far, most of them civilians (yes, police-officers under a Hamas government are still civilians according to all international laws), and Hamas's rockets have killed a total of 16 Israelis in 3 years (make sure you read this HuffPo post for the "true story behind this war"), yet this is "Islam's war on Israel??" I mean, does the Rabbi think that Americans are so stupid that we will buy this rubbish cop-out as an excuse for massacre?

  2. Which prophesies is the Rabbi referring to? And since Muslims are not explicitly mentioned in the Testaments, what does Rabbi Eli's reading and other Orthodox Rabbis' readings of the Old Testament consider Muslims as?

  3. While the world harps over so-called radical verses in the Quran, why does the Bible get a free-pass? I have heard this question answered many times this way, "no one takes the Bible literally". Wrong! You have a Rabbi in America, a Professor, who takes it quite literally. What about all those extremist Jewish settlers in Palestine, what are they taught in school? Why haven't we put their books and literature up for public scrutiny, as the jihad-hunters spend day and night going through Islamic literature? Where is UK's Channel 4's hit-job on extremist Jewish literature talking about the "greater Israel"?

  4. What is the difference between this Rabbi and the so-called "Muslim radicals", who sees the world as a war between Islam and the rest of the world. Aren't they the two sides of the same extremist coin?

  5. Imagine if an Imam or a Muslim university Professor IN AMERICA had come on TV and opened a Qur'an to justify carnage in the name of holy war? Just because there is a j-word one side, and a mitzvah waron the other, there is no consequence for the latter?

  6. While Hamas's "Islamist roots" reverberate through every media article (as if having Islamist roots makes you a justified target for murder) why isn't the role of extremist, orthodox Jews (especially among the settler movement in Israel) who as a majority don't want Palestinians to have their own land not an important issue? In fact, politics of the right-religious vote in Israel is what many consider as one of the driving forces for this massacre. Don't get me wrong, there are anti-Zionism Orthodox Jews who are against Israel's injustice, but they form a small minority by all accounts. So, once again, its not the religion, but the ones who are exploiting it for their political and territorial purposes.

On a related note of knowledge of facts, the following website is a must-have on all blogrolls and links for fair-minded bloggers and websites:
If Americans Knew: What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine

I urge everyone to donate to this website, even a few dollars. There are few "opinions" on this site; rather the site is full of statistics and hard-facts, something which Israel can run away but cannot hide from. Let facts REVERBERATE, not the lies and distortions of the Israeli media campaign.

Also, it is important for all fair-minded individuals to understand how the Israeli PR machine works by taking quality time to see the video below (it's lengthy but every minute is worth it). Finally, you will have real, hard data and facts to explain how the media bias works to back up what most already know. I mean, just pick up any AP article, and you will hardly ever see mention of an Israeli attack, except that it is stated (sometimes a dozen times) that it is in retaliation or response to a Palestinian crime. NEVER is Israel a "first-mover" in injustice, it is always portrayed as the innocent victim, RETURNING fire, never starting it. If we really want to play this game, then we'll have to remind everyone that the occupation ALWAYS comes first, by all accounts. So, if there is an ultimate first-mover of injustice and violence, it is indeed the Israelis.

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Please see this video (below Ahmed's NBC interview) and spread the word.

Rabbi calls it biblical prophecy:

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict, produced by <span id="prod-company">Media Foundation</span> -

Originally posted to amad on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:10 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips for the great documentary and the great site (18+ / 0-)
    facts, not talk.

    •  As usuall great point ...but (0+ / 0-)

      I think the most important issue IS WHY HE WAS ON NBC?????
      you should add contact info to nbc and ask DKOSers  Especially Jewish members to contact nbc and explain how offensive this is to them...  

      Real News Daily -!

      by egyinny on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 02:39:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  if americansnew, huh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Guess what,

      Americans know, in fact americans know more than what you want them to know, they know who withdrew from Gaza 3.5 years ago, they know about responded with 10,000 rockets, about the election of Hamas, about Hamas's charter regarding Israel, about Hamas's fundamentalist social agenda, about the fact that it was Hamas who rejected the truce and it was Hamas who escalated the violence and resorted to rocket attacks. Americans know that these rockets attacks were acts of war and if an american city was attacked like that americans would demand a significantly harsher response than the Israelis will ever deliver.

      And Americans know that people like you and your famously anti-Israel and antisemitic websites will never be able to explain and justify these actions, they know that no matter how many diaries you start you will be terrified to discuss the role of Hamas in this mess.

  •  Once upon a time there was a man named Each. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    good aint it vern

    Each was a parent.  He owned his children.  He taught them well and did not blame others.

    Apparently Each is not of this world.

    Something is happening here.  What it is ain't exactly clear.  There is a man with a gun over there....


    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:22:38 AM PST

  •  Yes, right on! (6+ / 0-)

    Agree. The whole thing is so twisted! We have settlement with people coming from Brooklyn to take the land God gave them in Palestine; and this is not fundamentalism?  

    "...on the path of a more perfect union. ... ..." Obama

    by Ella H on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:26:01 AM PST

  •  This rabbi is an idiot (13+ / 0-)

    We could spend days or weeks quoting every dumbass rabbi or imam who says something that makes sane folk cringe.

    What's your damn point, besides stirring up a flamefest?

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:47:44 AM PST

  •  Who cares? (9+ / 0-)

    Some obscure Florida rabbi that nobody's ever heard of? That's it?

    Meanwhile, here's the chief of Hamas:

    Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on Saturday for Palestinians to wage a new intifada against Israel, including a return to suicide missions.

    In an interview on Al-Jazeera television, Meshaal said: "We called for a military intifada against the enemy. Resistance will continue through suicide missions."

    Suicide bombings are crimes against humanity. Just a little more consequential than some rabbi, no?

    Warning: this comment may contain sarcasm or satire.

    by MBNYC on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:57:24 AM PST

    •  Agree (6+ / 0-)

      Some of the arguments people come up with to make their points are, shall we say, disabled.

      I have generally enjoyed the raging debates here. I find them interesting and I've learned from both sides. But I see no value in trying to point out the bigger idiots in this conflict. All I see are idiots.

    •  Using biblical sources is inappropriate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, anaxiamander

      But I've never heard of this rabbi. But I have heard of Meshaal. And Hamas' charter does say that it will not stop until it reestablished a fundamentalist Caliphate in the entire region -- with no place in it for Jews, Christians, Gays, Progressives, or anyone else who disagrees with them.

    •  the point? (0+ / 0-)

      Meshaal is NOT in America (which I specified in my post).

      Everyone knows about Meshaal's take and it has been roundly condemned in the States.

      But most don't know the role of Jewish religious fundamentalism that has been one of Israel's doves biggest problem in convincing people of a "real" 2-state solution.

      •  You want to confine this to America when (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        it's convenient, don't you? If you want to discuss I/P and some ignorant crazy ass rabbi, but want to ignore Hamas that is pretty disingenuous.

        I understand you are extremely partisan on this issue. From previous comments and what I've read of your blog it appears that you could never speak out against the actions of a fellow Muslim. If that's the way you operate, fine. Might be nice that you occasionaly note that.    

        "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

        by Boisepoet on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:35:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the post is about (0+ / 0-)

          media distortions in the UNITED STATES. About hearing both sides of the story in the UNITED STATES. Everyone knows about Hamas. We all condemn their terrorist actions whenever they occur (you can see thousands of Muslims condemnations if you just google it). But how many know about the extremist settlers? I bet you, many people think that there are no Jewish extremist in israel. That is because they are not exposed yet.

          IF we really want a fair 2-state solution, we have to get the media to be fair. Then it will cause the average Joe to understand and demand fairness. Then the politicians will be less beholden to lobbies and demand fairness. Then ultimately there will be fairness. If want to the cycle of violence to continue, then we can sit on our butts and pretend that everything's fair.

          And your claim of how I operate is just another mud-slinging, which is very common among your types. When you don't have an argument, throw mud and rely on unproven generalizations and stereotypes. As you saw in this poll, your attempts to malign legitimate support of Palestine is not working. More people on Kos are smarter and more informed than the average Joe... you can't throw the blanket over them.

          So instead of working day and night to obfuscate Israel's crimes, help work towards peace, and be fair in your criticism of both.  IF indeed you had looked through my posts, you would find posts from me that discuss Israel's existential concerns... not quite fitting with your stereotyping of me.


          •  Yeah I know all about the fundie Jews. (0+ / 0-)

            If we really want a 2 state solution, Hamas needs to drop the exterminate Israel crap and truly honor cease-fires (I know, toy rockets don't count in your mind).

            How I operate? Personally I don't care much about Israel. If I could wave a wand and turn back the clock, and stop Israel from being founded in the first place I would. The method by which they came into being was a recipe for future conflict, but they are here and they are not going away. And IF you think the persistent conflict is only about land and has nothing to do with religion than I believe you to be naive.

            As for mud-slinging, I simply stated an observation that apparently hits close to home. That observation is you cannot separate your loyalty to your religion from any issues that touch on it. Thus when it comes to Hamas or Saudi Arabia (one of the worst human rights offender in the world) or any other Islamic based organization you will never fully criticize or recognize valid criticism of them, while happily pointing out the failings of non-Islamic organizations. To note such is not being an 'islamophobe' or anything else. I'm just calling you out on your prejudices as I think it has relevance since you are calling out others for theirs.

            And here is mine. I'm an atheist and think that anyone who believes in mystical sky-jockeys operate on a slightly less rational plane that those who don't require such beliefs to navigate this life. However, in regards to Israel, I would take an industrious democracy (whose constitution doesn't call for the extermination of another nation) over the terrorist actions of a government who would rather expend their energies extermination theiro opposition (Fatwa) and firing 'toy' rockets than seeking peace and prosperity for their own people.    

            "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

            by Boisepoet on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 11:11:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you dont know how much shit I take (0+ / 0-)

              from extremists among the muslims for being too "progressive" and not being "fundie" enough.

              •  On that, I do feel for you. (0+ / 0-)

                Dogma is the enemy of love for your fellow human, which in my opinion, is the central tenet of nearly every religion. It appears to me that more and more of Islam and the American Christian community is falling into this trap.

                Good luck with your battles.

                "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

                by Boisepoet on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 12:41:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  This one rabbit does not speak for all Jews (4+ / 0-)

    period.  What's the controversy?  That one individual is an extremist?  Are there no extremists in the Palestinian camp?  Should we be making examples out of them?

    Btw, still waiting for your answer from the other on if you think Israel should be allowed to exist?

  •  Some thoughts (16+ / 0-)

    Number 1 - Jews don't believe in the Old Testament.  Our Bible is a complete work on its own, and looks quite a bit different from the OT, though the content is mostly the same;  the arrangement of books makes a great difference.

    Number 2 - Fundamentalists in all religions cause problems for others.  Remember that Rabin was killed by a fundamentalist Jew.  There is no one so dangerous as someone who believes he has the answers about what God wants.

    Number 3 - I abhor what Israel is doing, but it is also true that Hamas has no interest in peace either;  its existence is based on suffering.  There are no good guys in that neighborhood.

    If not me, who? If not now, when?

    by ramara on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 01:07:07 AM PST

    •  The Hamas/Kadina/Likud relationship (7+ / 0-)

      is like one of the very worst of abusive relationships where neither party will simply leave or go to the law or go to court and also will not stop hurting each other.

      •  DING!DING!DING! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rimstalker, entlord1, mayim, ramara

        Nobody is going to come out of this conflict smelling like a rose. Hamas and the Israeli right are trapped in a cycle of violence that neither can find a way out of, and the rest of the Arab world gives only lip service to the Palestinians while using them as a political football. Remember that Jordan promised to absorb the Palestinians in 1948, which never happened because they're too politically useful in the situation they're in. It's a disgrace on all fronts.

        Are you ready to unleash the fury of CAPS LOCK!?

        by giyoret on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 05:10:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, ramara

      Jews don't believe in the Old Testament.  Our Bible is a complete work on its own, and looks quite a bit different from the OT, though the content is mostly the same;  the arrangement of books makes a great difference.

      Correct. And we interpret our Bible through our sages, who often stray far from the apparent literal meaning of the text. For example, while the Bible says "eye for an eye", our sages say that nobody will ever have their eye put out and the verse refers to the amount of a fine that must be paid.

    •  This is the key point. (0+ / 0-)

      "Rabin was killed by a fundamentalist Jew."

      Rabin was for peace. A fundamentalist/extremist Jew killed him. What more do you need to know about who influences/controls Israel? It wasn't an Arab or a Moslem who killed him.

      •  By that same logic, fundie Muslims who kill (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moderates show who controls the Islamic world. Right?

        "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

        by Boisepoet on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 10:38:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are no moderate heads of state who (0+ / 0-)

          fit that description, save Egypt's Sadat. So no. Egypt is not controlled by fundamentalists, although it is influenced and terrorized by them.

          By the way, it's not clear to me who controls Pakistan and repeatedly assassinates its leaders.

          Was there someone I missed?

          •  I think (0+ / 0-)

            I think what you missed is that your above comment (This is the key point) sounds like it's saying that fundamentalist/extremist Jews control Israel.  Boisepoet is saying that by that logic, fundamentalist Muslims who kill moderate leaders control the Middle East (including, presumably, Egypt).  Otherwise, why does the assassin matter?

            •  I was not sufficiently clear. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              There are two issues here.

              1. What happens to the leadership of Israel, and how it is influenced by assassination or terrorism, is most important to the future of the region, because Israel has been, and for the foreseeable future is expected to remain, the most powerful nation in the Middle East, in the fields of military power and security capability (Saudi Arabia remains the most powerful economically and socially with its influence on the other Moslem nations in that region). Following the Camp David agreements in 1978 Israel has been contesting primarily with non-state actors, and only indirectly with Arab and/or Moslem states. A sustaining force for moderation in Israeli foreign policy and peace efforts died with Rabin.
              1. The fundamentalist Muslims who killed Sadat attempted to control Egypt, directly, and to influence policy in the other Moslem nations in the Middle East, indirectly. In the first objective they mostly failed; in the second they were mostly successful. I think you will accept the modern form of Moslem fundamentalism had its origins in Egypt.
          •  Just because assassinations take place (0+ / 0-)

            does not mean they represent who controls anything. Assassination is terrorism plain and simple. Those who carry it out do not represent who is in control or the feelings of a group or nation.

            "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

            by Boisepoet on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 11:16:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then why would the assassins kill no one, or (0+ / 0-)

              everyone? They clearly have a specific target - the leader of the faction or interest or section they wish to terrorize, and thereby frighten, influence, or control in some way.

      •  And Sadat was killed (0+ / 0-)

        by an Egyptian radical.  Peace is not a universal agenda.

        If not me, who? If not now, when?

        by ramara on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 11:05:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can't locate the rabbi online for a bio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, Matrix Dweller

    He sounds like some of the JFJ hybrid televangelists or maybe some variant of a Kahanist. I don't know but my guess is he is on the outside fringe of most American Jewish opinion.
    OTOH the parties in Israel to the Right of Likud do espouse a Greater Israel and expulsion of the Palestinians.  Lieberman may be the best known of them in the US and it seems that many of them are members of the Russian immigration.

  •  Prophecy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rimstalker, bluegrass50, giyoret

    It's a game two can play:

    9 Thus says the LORD, "Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 ‘This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts..."

    Jeremiah, 13, and I'll spare you the part about dashing the children's heads against the doorposts, Rebbe.

    Founder and CFO, The Giddiyap Society.

    by Trotsky the Horse on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 03:08:15 AM PST

  •  religious insanity (6+ / 0-)

    Perfect example of why all humanity needs to move away from this religious insanity that threatens everyone. You want to believe in God? Fine. But watch out for these scoundrels and remember. . . no one on earth knows one damned thing more about God than anyone else: God (if there is one) is a mystery, has always been and will always be.

    •  Which is why it's called (0+ / 0-)

      "faith."  If someone had a direct line to God, that would be proof of God and therefore require no faith at all.  The mystery is the whole point.  Never, ever, trust anyone who says s/he know what God wants.  It's a guaranteed lie.

      -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

      by luckylizard on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 04:18:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But, God is on their side. (0+ / 0-)

      God is on both sides.  They can't loose.

      Help, my country has been hijacked by an idiot cowboy.

      by bookkillrr on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:19:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Amad for this thought (0+ / 0-)

    provoking and insightful diary.

    We must use time creatively... and forever realize that time is always ripe to do right. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Jezreel on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 04:09:04 AM PST

  •  A crisis like this brings out the crazies... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall, Borat Sagdiyev

    It's incredible. This conflict splits the Left like no other issue I've seen.  The anti-Israel zealots are foaming at the mouth.  Their venom is uncontrollable during this crisis. From making u fake diaries to finding a few self-hating Jews to condemn their own people.

    •  Gush Emunim, Kach, Livni, lunatic rabbis, etc. (0+ / 0-)

      Religious types who seek to do their god's work (poor bugger is too weak to do it himself) often kill outsiders with a clear conscience. I have never accepted this psychotic behavior. Sadly, there are probably even more xians in USA who support exterminating the Arabs.

  •  ifamericaknew (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Me Again

    This is a very interesting site which points out correctly that Americans in general have a false view of Israel. One problem with the site, however, is that it fails to delve into the fundamental problem of Israel, which is Zionism. Most people take Zionism for granted, yet it is far from clear how many Jews really believe in its tenets. For starters, Zionism came about as a reaction to anti-Semitism, which considered Jews to be "foreigners" of some sort. So the answer was to form a country for Jews. But the problem now is that it needs this anti-Semitic tenet to survive, and there is the rub. Is it really normal for a country to offer a passport to all members of a religious group? How are you going to tell if they really are members? This is no small problem. If Jews could separate their religion from their nationality there would be no need for a "homeland", to be safe. For a second look at Zionism, I recommend Yakov M. Rabkin, A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism [ISBN 1-55266-171-7]. This book gives the entire history of the Jewish people and has an excellent bibilography. Too bad it is not better known. The publisher is Zed books, Fernwood Pubishing The Israeli declaration of independence speaks "on behalf of the Jewish People and the Zionist Movement ..." but does Israel have that right? Over to you.

  •  Heck of a job god. (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't it time we divorce religion as a people?
    We all know its a big lie.  We all know it is causing more harm than good.  Just think, both sides of this fight think "God" is on their side.

    Its time religion was flushed down the toilet.
    It's also time to treat all religion as a business and have them pay taxes just like all other businesses.

    What? Religion isn't a business?  You are an idiot.

    It's time to re think this major scam.

    Help, my country has been hijacked by an idiot cowboy.

    by bookkillrr on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 06:19:06 AM PST

  •  both sides are wrong because (0+ / 0-)

    they are both appealing to ancient texts that promise them land and that promise that they are God's chosen people, that others are heathens and infidels.

    Well, they can't both be right and there is no way of telling which side is right based on anything religious.

    When people believe that kind of thing they cannot possibly get along. Religion - on both sides- is the problem here.  

  •  Thanks for the diary, amad! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Trolling is a sad reality of internet life...Directly replying to the content of a trollish message is usually a waste of time"

    by Rusty Pipes on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 01:24:22 PM PST

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