כּנור דוד

Kinnor David - "a most attractive blog".

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jesus the Jew

Airforcewife said this:

One of my biggest life revelations was understanding that Jesus was JEW- and he lived as one, spoke as one, and acted as one.

This very much remids me of Andrew Sullivan's comment that Jesus' wearing of a loincloth on the Cross (at least in Christian art) had a lot to do with two millenia of Christian hatred of the Jews.

UPDATE: One of the points that I was going to make before my computer crashed, was that this Altar piece by German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich was criticised for its apparrent glorification of the natural world over Jesus sacrifice. That said, I can't help but be inspired by it; just as I like Wagner's Operas, while despising the man as an anti-semite.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger

Rightly or wrongly, I think that "Joe the Rat" is one of the good guys.

He teaches the Faith as Jesus did.

And I think he's a Chaver Tzion, who wears a kippah!

Rome and Jerusalem are friends again, too!

That said, this is a bit much!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Jews Poisoning the Land

For a new twist on an old libel check out Israellycool - who links to this example of yet another insane Arab-Jew-hating conspiracy theory. The Arab world really needs to grow up.


On a more positive note, Arutz Sheva has this photo essay.

The Stakes After Gaza

The Gaza menorah was carried off in a very remarkable and significant way, perched on a horizontal rod borne on the shoulders of men walking one behind, the other.

Seen in profile, that image has a shocking familiarity. If you go to the eastern entrance of the Roman forum today, you will see the huge triumphal Arch of Titus erected in the year 81 to commemorate the conquest of the Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state — Judea — in the year 70. One of the friezes shows the seven-branched menorah being carried out of the temple in Jerusalem — as booty and symbol of the conquest of Judea — perched on a long horizontal staff borne by Roman soldiers walking one behind the other.

Why is this significant?

What follows is the world saying, almost in unison, that the Gaza evacuation is just the beginning of a total Israeli retreat, one Dunkirk to be followed by many more. What follows is Condoleezza Rice declaring that "it cannot be Gaza only," a thrilling encouragement to the Palestinians jeering the Israeli withdrawal with chants of "Gaza today, Jerusalem tomorrow."

Remember, this is supposed to be one of Israel's friends. You know, the Great Satan that upsets the Islamic world with its "reflexive support for Israel", "irrespective of what Israel does".

This is a prescription for Israel's suicide. Or rather murder, because the Israelis are not prepared to march blindly into further unrequited concessions. The final concession will be getting into boats and sailing back to where?


In his policy-setting Rose Garden speech of June 2002, President Bush explicitly endorsed a Palestinian state and said that to achieve it, the next step was up to the Palestinians. Since then the only thing the Palestinians have done is to bury Yasser Arafat, an act of reverence but not exactly an initiative.

In the interim, the Israelis have withdrawn from Gaza, destroyed four West Bank settlements to create geographic contiguity for Palestinian territory in the northern West Bank, and once again repeated their support of a Palestinian state. The Palestinian response has been Katyusha rockets into Sderot, promises of renewed terrorism and chants for total victory.

Krauthammer's conclusion?

What is at stake is whether the world, led by the United States, will demand Arab acceptance of that single Jewish state, or whether the United States will continue to push Israel from one concession to another until one day another arch is erected, this time in Jerusalem itself, commemorating the destruction of history's third and last Jewish commonwealth.

If the history of the Zionist movement has taught us one thing it is that if Jews don't take care of themselves, nobody else will. Contrary to what "anti-Zionists" will have you believe, Israel cannot rely on the Great Satan to back it up in a fight. Yet again, Israel will have to say "no" to the world. But, as Golda Meir once said, Israel will have its secret weapon. No alternative.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism

Of course, crtiticism of the Israeli government is not necessarrily anti-Semitic. But James Lileks, looking at the US Presbyterians, points how it can be:

But they're not anti-Semites. Heavens, nay. Don't you dare question their philosemitism! No, they looked at the entire world, including countries that lop off your skull if you convert to Presbyterianism, and what did they choose as the object of their ire? A country the size of a potato chip hanging on the edge of a region noted for despotism and barbarity. By some peculiar coincidence, it happens to be full of Jews.

The right and the left seem to take turns deciding who's going to be anti-Semitic. But for some time now, the hard left in the West has led the charge against the Jews -- or, as the sleight-of-hand term has it, the Zionists.These adolescent spirits love nothing more than a revolution, a story of a scrappy underdog rising up against a colonizing power, and the Palestinians, with their romantically masked fighters and thrilling weapon-brandishing, fit the bill. Plus, there's something so deliciously naughty and transgressive about calling Jews the new Nazis.

It doesn't matter that one side is a liberal democracy that grants rights to women and non-Jews while the other has thugs and assassins for rulers and sends its kids to summer camps where they learn the joys of good ol' fashioned Jew-killing. According to the hard left's script, Israel was created when some Europeans (hisssss) invaded the sovereign nation of Palestine, even though we all know the Jewish homeland is somewhere outside Passaic, N.J. Then for no reason Israel invaded the West Bank and Gaza -- which for some reason had not been set up as New Palestine by the Egyptians and the Jordanians, but never mind -- and made everyone stand in line and get frisked. Those who joined the line in '67 are just getting through now. Evil Zionists.

Don't tell the Presbyterians about Tibet or Sudan. It would absolutely ruin their day.

The companies the church wishes to pressure include Caterpillar, which makes bulldozers purchased by the Israelis for the sole purpose of knocking down innocent homes of gentle lamb herders, and Motorola, which among other things sells night-vision goggles that give the Israeli Defense Forces an unfair advantage over people who want to smuggle in bombs to encourage the social-justice dialogue.

The church will probably get around to boycotting Cuisinart, if the imams suggest that Jews use Cuisinart products to grind up Gentile bones for Passover pastries. Of course it's not true, literally, but in the culture of the occupation and resistance, we must understand these things as potent metaphors. False, yes, but potent!

Next they can sue the company that sells buses to Israeli cities. All those tempting targets, packed with innocent people. How could an oppressed person resist killing them all? What sort of civilized nation would tempt them so? Especially because they don't have helicopters and night-vision goggles and tanks and missiles. Not that they'd use those devices against Israelis. That would risk a Presbyterian boycott.

Bitter? Clearly. Sarcastic? No doubt. Is it true? Unfortunately, it is.

There Is No Second Law

According to Treasurer Peter Costello:

SYDNEY (AFP) - Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law should get out of Australia, a senior government minister has said, hinting that some radical clerics might be asked to leave.

Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament, Treasurer Peter Costello told national television late Tuesday.

“If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you,” said Costello, who is seen as heir-apparent to Prime Minister John Howard.

“I’d be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false.

“There’s only one law in Australia — it’s the law that’s made by the parliament of Australia and enforced by our courts. There is no second law."

“If you can’t agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practices it, perhaps, then, that’s a better option,” Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he replied: “Where a person has dual citizenship, it might be possible to ask them to exercise that other citizenship. That might be a live possibility.”

Makes sense. Moreover, it shows that Islamists have no reason to rejoice that Costello will take over from Howard. Quite the contrary.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Grief Curdled into Narcissistic Rage

Mark Steyn writes about the “at best a little unhinged by grief and at worst mentally ill”, Cindy Sheehan, and her attendant circus clowns camped out near President Bush’s Texas ranch.

On the infantilization of the military, Steyn says:

they’re not children in Iraq; they’re thinking adults who ‘made a decision to join the Armed Forces and defend our country’. Whenever I’m on a radio show these days, someone calls in and demands to know whether my children are in Iraq. Well, not right now. They range in age from five to nine, and though that’s plenty old enough to sign up for the jihad and toddle into an Israeli pizza parlour wearing a suicide-bomb, in most advanced societies’ armed forces they prefer to use grown-ups.

That seems to be difficult for the Left to grasp. Ever since America’s all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterise them as ‘children’. If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that’s her decision and her parents shouldn’t get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the Oval Office shagpile and chow down on Bill Clinton, she’s a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year old is serving his country overseas, he’s a wee ‘child’ who isn’t really old enough to know what he’s doing.

I get many emails from soldiers in Iraq, and they sound a lot more grown-up than most Ivy League professors and certainly than Maureen Dowd, who writes as if she’s auditioning for a minor supporting role in Sex and the City. The infantilisation of the military promoted by the Left is deeply insulting to America’s warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd’s purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that ‘of course’ they ‘support our troops’, because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.

And on Ms Sheehan herself? This just about sums it up:

The politics of this isn’t difficult: the more Cindy Sheehan is heard, the more obvious it is she’s a kook to whom most Americans would give a wide berth.

Don’t take my word for it, ask her family. Casey Sheehan’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins put out the following statement: ‘The Sheehan family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq war and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.’

As Steyn argues, the glorification of Cindy Sheehan is symptomatic of the advanced state of delusion of the US Democratic Party.

Nazis & "Progressives" Love Muhummad Dawood

Tim Blair has an interesting post on the support Adelaide Jihadi David Hicks (or Muhammad Dawood, as he prefers to be called) is receiving from the extreme right and the progressive left alike. The "Adelaide Institute" is an obnoxious Neo-Nazi, holocaust-denying "think-tank" (I hesitate to use the word "think" in connection with the Adelaide Institute) that has got into trouble for Judenhass before.

BYF links to this Gerard Henderson piece in the SMH giving a little of Mr Hicks' background and marvelling at the support that Hicks has received from some of the fashionable members of the professional classes. Henderson points out:

In testimony before a Senate committee on May 28, 2002, the former ASIO director-general, Dennis Richardson, said that "certainly Mr Hicks has received extensive al-Qaeda training". It is understood his training included such areas as weapons firing, landmines, marksmanship, ambush, intelligence, kidnapping techniques, assassination methods and surveillance. If the allegations are correct, this would mean that Hicks is one of the few Muslim converts of Anglo-Celtic background to train to such a high level with al-Qaeda.

Of course he deserves a fair and speedy trial. But all the same, with friends like these...

It's the Jews' Fault!

Of course it is. Everyone knows that. Silly me.

Stephen Pollard recently (well, almost a month ago actually) reported on a Birmingham Reparatory Theatre Company / Edinburgh International Festival production that's right up there with the National Socialist cinema classic Jud Suss.

From the flyer (and this really deserves to be quoted at length):

A witty and provocative new play about multicultural life, commissioned by the Festival from the Scottish playwright Shan Khan.

There was a place, where The Christians and The Muslims existed in relative peace. Everyone was more or less happy, except for The Jews - who were few and had to be thankful to their Christian Overlords, for the little space they were accorded.

Then one day more Jews came, and it soon became apparent to them that they'd need their own space. So they got their own space - but at The Muslims' expense. The Muslims of course are fuming. The Jews feel they're perfectly within their rights. And The Christians are trying to take a back-seat and let the other two share the blame. This place is a multi-faith Prayer Room in a British college.

So the Christians and Muslims were more or less happy until those darned Red Sea Pedestrians came along, and ruined everything. No doubt they poisoned some wells, too. It is indicative of how bad the anti-Jewish climate has become (particularly, I venture, in Europe), that Jew-baiting can glibly be dismissed "witty and provocative" in the mainstream arts community. I am assuming that the playwright is Muslim, particularly because he or she has adopted a narrative of grievance against the Jews that is very common in Muslim communities today. I may be wrong. Assuming that I am right (as I almost invariably am), the silence of the British equivalent of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in the face of this Jew-baiting is yet another example of the moral infantalisation of the Muslim community by multicultural activists.

The play (and no, I didn't pop over to Edinburgh to see it) appears to itself infantilize Muslims. In the playwright's world view, they are spectators of their own destiny; the Jews spread discord and the Christians help the Jews at the Muslims' expense. What do the Muslims do? Nothing - they are simply victims, acted upon rather than acting. At the risk of sounding sickningly pompous, Muslims cannot continue to view history through that prism.

Thanks to Liz for pointing this flyer out to me!

The Pope Visits Cologne Synagogue

In Germany for the 2005 World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI has visited the Cologne Synagogue.

The text of the Pope's address is here. His Holiness said:

Today too I wish to reaffirm that I intend to continue on the path towards improved relations and friendship with the Jewish People, following the decisive lead given by Pope John Paul II.

More importantly, from the point of view of Catholic teaching:

This year also marks the fortieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate, which opened up new prospects for Jewish-Christian relations in terms of dialogue and solidarity. This Declaration, in the fourth chapter, recalls the common roots and the immensely rich spiritual heritage that Jews and Christians share. Both Jews and Christians recognize in Abraham their father in faith (cf. Gal 3:7, Rom 4:11ff.) and they look to the teachings of Moses and the prophets. Jewish spirituality, like its Christian counterpart, draws nourishment from the psalms. With Saint Paul, Christians are convinced that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29, cf. 9:6,11; 11:1ff.). In considering the Jewish roots of Christianity (cf. Rom 11:16-24), my venerable Predecessor, quoting a statement by the German Bishops, affirmed that: “whoever meets Jesus Christ meets Judaism” (Insegnamenti, vol. III/2, 1980, p. 1272).


We must come to know one another much more and much better. Consequently I would encourage sincere and trustful dialogue between Jews and Christians, for only in this way will it be possible to arrive at a shared interpretation of disputed historical questions, and, above all, to make progress towards a theological evaluation of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. This dialogue, if it is to be sincere, must not gloss over or underestimate the existing differences: in those areas in which, due to our profound convictions in faith, we diverge, and indeed precisely in those areas, we need to show respect for one another.

Finally, our gaze should not only be directed to the past, but should also look forward to the tasks that await us today and tomorrow. Our rich common heritage and our fraternal and more trusting relations call upon us to join in giving an ever more harmonious witness and to work together on the practical level for the defence and promotion of human rights and the sacredness of human life, for family values, for social justice and for peace in the world. The Decalogue (cf. Ex 20; Dt 5) is for us a shared legacy and commitment. The Ten Commandments are not a burden, but a sign-post showing the path leading to a successful life. This is particularly the case for the young people whom I am meeting in these days and who are so dear to me. My wish is that they may be able to recognize in the Decalogue a lamp for their steps, a light for their path (cf. Ps 119:105). Adults have the responsibility of handing down to young people the torch of hope that God has given to Jews and to Christians, so that “never again” will the forces of evil come to power, and that future generations, with God’s help, may be able to build a more just and peaceful world, in which all people have equal rights and are equally at home.

This is significant. Particularly when some American mainstream protestant communities are falling under the spell of a false and pernicious "Palestinian Liberation Theology".

That's quite a good start your Holiness. Now, how about a visit to Israel?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Patriachate of Jerusalem, Judaism and Catholic Doctrine

Christian Attitudes has a series of posts on the terror-supporting, Arafat-praising Latin Patriach of Jerusalem.

I have often noticed, in online discussions between Catholics and Jews, that there is a great deal of uncertainty as to the modern Church's theological positions on anti-semitism and relations with the Jewish people. In saying this, I interpose that Liz from Christian Attitudes is much better informed on this subject than I am, and that in juxtaposing this observation with her compilation of articles on the Patriach of Jerusalem, I am in no way implying any uncertainty on her part!

In any event, a helpful place to start is this Statement, by Walter Cardinal Kasper, the President of the Church's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Antisemitism, a Wound to be Healed looks at Christian (and in particular, Catholic) antisemitism in the context of contempory Catholic theological approaches to relations between Catholics and Jews. The article is two years old, and couched in an idiom that may be unfamiliar to non-students of Vatican documents, but is worthwhile reading for those who seek to understand exactly what Church teachings on "replacement theology" and antisemitism actually are. Replacement theology has been explicity rejected by the Catholic Church:

Consequently, as a "messianic people", the Church does not replace Israel, but is grafted onto it, according to the Pauline doctrine, through adherence to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, who died and rose; and this link forms a spiritual bond that is radical, unique and insuppressible for Christians. Although the contrasting concept - of an Israel once (olim) pre-chosen but later rejected by God for ever and now replaced by the Church - may have had widespread dissemination for almost 20 centuries, it does not in reality represent a truth of the faith, as can be seen both in the ancient Creeds of the early Church and in the teaching of the most important Councils, especially of the Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium, n. 16; Dei Verbum, nn. 14-16; Nostra Aetate, n. 4).

Nostra Aetate is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on relations between the Church and other religions. Citing Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Kasper continues:

Dialogue and collaboration between Christians and Jews also implies that "acknowledgment be given to any part which the children of the Church have had in the growth and spread of anti-Semitism in history; forgiveness must be sought for this from God, and every effort must be made to favour encounters of reconciliation and of friendship with the sons of Israel"

Secondly, one needs to consider the Joint Declaration of the 18th International Catholic-Jewish Liason Committee (Buenos Aires, July 2005):

we take note of the many positive changes within the Catholic Church with respect to her relationship with the Jewish People. These past forty years of our fraternal dialogue stand in stark contrast to almost two millennia of a "teaching of contempt" and all its painful consequences. We draw encouragement from the fruits of our collective strivings which include the recognition of the unique and unbroken covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish People and the total rejection of anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism as a more recent manifestation of anti-Semitism.[Emphasis added]

So where does that leave us?

First, the Church specifically rejects "replacement theology" and the "teaching of contempt" towards Jews, to a greater degree than many Orthodox Churches and protestant denominations.

Second, the Church unsurprisingly rejects anti-semitism.

Third, the Church rejects "anti-Zionism", as a form of anti-semitism.

But then we have the Latin Patriach of Jerusalem. I say, burn, heretic, burn! One of the great challenges faced by the Church today is to combat the vestigal attitudes of those within the Church who have not fully accepted the Magesterium's teaching on Jewish-Catholic relations. Against this, Arab Christians no doubt face persecution by their Mohammedan "bretheren", and are tempted to respond by "being more Arab than the Arab Nationalists". It is a shame and a disgrace that judenhass has become such an important component of Arab self-image.

Therein lies the moral challenge for the Church. It is a moral challenge for Catholics everywhere.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nationalize Our Losses, Privatize Our Profits

For a complete change of pace, have a look at this article by Alan Anderson in The Australian. For those non-Australians reading this blog, the National Party are often described as political conservatives by lazy media commentators. Whilst they are in coalition with the Liberal Party (whose own traditions are a mixture of classical liberalism and conservatism), the Nationals are really better described as socially conservative agrarian socialists. In other words, the Nationals hate welfare, and state intervention in the economy, except when the beneficiaries are farmers.

Anyway, the newest National Party Senator has made himself the poster-boy of the urban left, by espousing, of all things, Compulsory Student Unionism, a contemptible rort that basically involves the Federal & State Governments forcing students to fund extreme-left activism and unwanted student services by forcing them to join Student Unions.

A less charitable observer might be tempted to remark that the irony of the situation is that most National Party Senators, and indeed, many National Party voters, would have trouble spelling "university", let alone have any real experience of the sort of far left dreck that students are forced to pay for by this excreable legislation. But that would be beneath me.

Suffice it to say, the National Party has never been afraid of electing boobs, and to that extent, I suppose, Senator Joyce is part of a long and ignoble Australian tradition. It is distressing, beyond measure to see this man feted by urban leftists as some sort of folk hero, for his espousal of such an indefensible cause.

Monday, August 15, 2005

תשעה באב

For the residents of Gaza. Yasher koach!
UPDATE: Thank you to CBA for pointing out the typo!

I'm Back!

I've been away for over a week now, through illness, and I accordingly apologise to regular readers; anyway there are two interesting pieces in the Opinion section of today's The Australian:

My criticism of the latter piece as gauche ought not be interpreted as a criticim of its substance, so much as it's style and expression. Indeed, the marvel of Australian and American Immigration policy, at least prior to the 1970's and 1980's fad of multiculturalism was their ability to incorporate all, respecting all differences, so long as they did not pose a threat to the national polity.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Bibi: Expulsion A Danger to the West

Benjamin Netanyahu argues that the Gaza pullout will endanger the West

Thursday, August 04, 2005

In A Ruined Country - Arafatism's Legacy

This Article in the Atlantic Monthly examines the disastrous legacy of Arafat's rule in the Territories (via LGF).

I can think of some Christian leaders who ought to read it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Melanie Phillips on Christian Anti-Semitism

Melanie Phillips again takes up this dark topic, condemning a recent slimy Anglican attempt to paper over its functionally anti-semitic "disinvestment" resolution, and praising a recent statement by Clifford Longley, who attended the annual conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews in Chicago.

I describe the Anglicans' statement as "slimy" because it wraps Anglican contempt for Israel (and dare I say it, Jews) in what Melanie aptly describes as "stomach turning piety" on Christian / Jewish relations. The money quote:

So the ACC’s message to Jews is clear: we value you enormously, just as long as you don’t support Israel. If you do support it, we’ll treat you as a pariah. In other words, Jews are in one box, Israel is in another. This is to deny Jewish peoplehood. It is also to deny the anti-Jewish nature of its singling out of the Jewish state for pariah status.

Mr Longley's thoughtful statement is worthy of careful consideration by Christians tempted to get excited about that "shitty little country" in the Middle East:

‘Thirty years ago when I first started going to conferences like this there would have been many Jewish people there who had themselves survived the concentration camps, many Christians who had fought Hitler personally. It was a shared bond, not just psychologically but spiritually. That generation, united in seeing Israel as a Jewish refuge from persecution, has more or less passed. Christian responsibility for the pre-war rise in antisemitism no longer brings an automatic sense of shame, or colours how Christians see their duty towards the Jews. Good relations with Muslims, they would insist, are just as important as Christian relations with Jews.

‘Yes and No to that, I would say. It is too soon to forget what centuries of what is called the "teaching of contempt" towards Jews did to the Christian soul of Europe. It is a religious obligation - or to put it another way, it is what God wants - that Christians should try to undo the consequences of that dark tradition. That means denouncing anything that seems to call in question Israel's right to exist.’

Amen to that.

Melanie also worries that Benedict XVI is taking the Catholic Church backwards, in terms of its relations with the Jewish people, and cites the recent diplomatic spat between Israel and the Holy See as evidence for this.

Speaking for myself, I hope not, and shall remain vigilant.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Andrew Bolt catches the Australian public broadcasters acting as apologists for Islamism, and asks which, the ABC or SBS, is the more enthusiastic supporter of jihad? Read it all - it's all good.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More Vatican / Israel Unpleasantness

More on the recent unpleasantness between the Vatican and Israel:
  • Liz has several updates and links to opinion pieces dealing with the Vatican / Israel dispute;
  • Arutz Sheva reports that at least one MK is interpreting the Holy See's recent comments as a return to pre-Vatican II attitudes to Judaism. For what it's worth, I think that this is an extreme, and probably incorrect view, but it is clear to me that there is at present a struggle within the Vatican between those curial prelates who are hostile to Israel and those who are not.
  • Ynetnews argues that the dispute is fuelled by "traditional Christian Antisemitism"; Yaakov Lappin omits to mention however, that the Catholic Church explicitly rejected the theology of Jewish deicide by Vatican II's decree on Other Religions. Lappin's basis for asserting that the Holy See's attitude to Israel has its foundation in theology rather than politics is thin, to say the least.

I do not believe that His Holiness is himself an antisemite. I suspect that the Holy See's approach is the result of a combination of residual Vatican anti-semitism (on the part of some curial prelates) and "diplomatic fudging" vis-a-vis anti-Israel terror. By "diplomatic fudging" I mean the sort of fudging that says the US can blow the living shit out of Islamists anywhere and everywhere, but when Israel puts a missile through Yassin's wheelchair, President Bush or the Secretary of State will "urge restraint" and voice their disapproval of "targeted assassinations". The Vatican's approach is somewhat analagous to that - the sort of nonsense that most governments regularly direct at Israel - "of course suicide bombings are bad, but we have to consider the 'legitimate aspirations' of the 'Palestinian people' to create a Terrorist Wonderstate and Genocidal Pyrotechnician's Paradise in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza".

It's amoral nonsense of course. But it is of a different order to "disinvestment". One can only hope that Israel's reaction will lead to the Vatican adopting greater moral clarity on Israel-related issues.

The irony is that diplomatic fudging by the Holy See in the perceived interests of Arab Christians ultimately strengthens the hand of the Islamist fundamentalists of HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the "secular Arab Nationalists" of al-fateh, none of whom have the interests of the Christian community at heart; indeed, many Arab Christians legitimately fear Islamists much more than the much maligned Zionists.

But anti-Israeli activism's siren song remains fascinating for idiots the world over, and the Vatican beaurocracy is no exception.

Jews Are Poisoning The Bananas and King Fahd is Dead

I have been quite busy over the past few days, and not been able to post as regularly as I would like. The paranoid superstition, primitivism and hatred described in this story in The Age, however is hard to top.

In other Wahhabism-related news, The Weekly Standard eulogises King Fahd:

Westerners should not be gulled by claims that Fahd was a saint, that the kingdom requires stability above all other things, and that Western critics, pluralist Muslims outside the kingdom, and reformers within it should quiet down. Indeed, the opposite is appropriate. With Fahd gone, the way may finally open for a transition to freedom in one of the world's biggest and most influential tyrannies.