zaterdag 16 februari 2019

An Eternity of Anti-Semitism



Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism

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Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair
There has been much throwing about of brains on the subject of anti-Semitism lately. But in the ceaseless and almost entirely cynical media-political imbroglio that has followed the “Benjamins” tweet of Rep. Ilhan Omar, I’ve seen nothing said about perhaps the most intense and thoroughgoing form of anti-Semitism in America today: an anti-Semitism that is not only prevalent but dominant in the halls of power at the moment.
This virulent anti-Semitism — which in at least one respect surpasses that of the Nazis themselves — is passionately embraced by millions of Americans. Its most prominent adherent right now — in terms of actual power — is the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. (See note 1 below.) So we will examine Mike Pence’s beliefs as an exemplar of this growing brand of anti-Semitism.
Mike Pence believes, with all his heart, that every single Jewish person on the planet will — and should — burn in the ovens of Hell for all eternity … unless they stop being Jews and accept his own version of the Christian faith. There is no equivocating here. Pence is a passionate evangelical Christian. He believes that the Bible is the literal word of God, and that his sect’s interpretation of that word is true, correct and everlasting. I know his type of Christianity very well, for I was raised in it. There can be no question what Mike Pence, and millions of Americans, believe about Jews and their ultimate fate.
So let’s continue. Mike Pence not only believes that every Jew alive today will be tortured and tormented for eternity, but that every single Jew since the time of Jesus Christ is right now burning and writhing in undying flames — unless, again, they had cast off their cursed Jewishness at some point and become Christians.
Thus Mike Pence believes that every Jewish person killed in the Holocaust — with a few exceptions (see note 2 below) — is even now, right this minute, screaming madly with unbearable pain as they feel the fire searing into their flesh: fire that never stops lashing, flesh that never burns away. Mike Pence believes that almost all of the Jews killed in the Holocaust went directly from the torment of the gas chamber or the shooting pit into the fires of Hell, where they are even now undergoing tortures and abominations far worse than the Nazis could ever inflict.
It’s worse because there is no relief, not even for a moment. There is no chance even to lie down on a wooden plank for three hours in a bone-cold winter night after a back-breaking day of slave labor. There is not even the hope that your mind will break and you’ll lose conscious awareness of your situation, or that the torture will finally end at some point in the relief and oblivion of death.
There is none of that. No relief. No hope. No end. Only the unbearable pain of your entire body burning in flames, while you remain fully conscious, fully aware of every microsecond of agony. Forever. For millions of years, billions of years, trillions of years. This is what Mike Pence believes should happen to every single Jewish person who doesn’t renounce their literally God-damned Jewishness. He believes they deserve to suffer unending torment and pain … because they didn’t believe what he believes about God and Jesus and salvation.
The beliefs of Mike Pence about the eternal torment of Jews are the very embodiment of an extreme anti-Semitism. In its feverish vision of the ultimate fate of the Jewish people — an eternal Final Solution — it is even more brutal and cruel than Nazism itself.
2.
Now, Mike Pence might argue that he and his fellow sectarians are not anti-Semites, because they don’t hate Jews just for being Jewish, as the Nazis did. In fact, Mike Pence and his religious compatriots will tell you they actually love Jews, deeply and fiercely, which is why they support the Israeli government far more blindly and fervently than, say, most Jewish Americans do. They love Jews so much they want to spend eternity with them — millions and billions and trillions of years! They love Jews so much that many of them pray nightly that every Jew in the world will be saved from the Jewishness they were unfortunately inflicted with at birth. They don’t want a single Jew to writhe and scream forever in the fires of Hell. Let us grant them that.
Nevertheless, Mike Pence and his fellow sectarians are cheerfully resigned to the fact that this writhing and screaming will be the fate of any stiff-necked Jew who fails to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. They believe it is part of God’s perfect plan that such Jews burn in unrelenting agony for billions and trillions of years. They believe the eternal torture of the Jews is not only justified; it is righteous, holy, even glorious. Because it is in accordance with the divinely ordained structure of the universe.
Here, Mike Pence might object again. The fate of eternal hellfire awaits all those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, he might say. We’re not just singling out the Jews for “special measures.” And that’s true. But it was also true of the Nazis. They didn’t just persecute and torture and murder Jews. There were many different kinds of people whom the Nazis felt violated their idea of the divinely ordered structure of the universe and deserved punishment, torment and elimination. But the fact that condemnation is spread around various groups doesn’t mitigate the suffering of any specific group being targeted.
And with both Mike Pence and the Nazis, it is the Jewishness of the Jews that condemn them. For the Nazis, a Jew could be an exemplary person with a record of long and faithful service to the German nation; it didn’t matter. They were Jewish and thus were condemned. For Mike Pence, a Jew could be an extraordinarily loving and giving individual, someone who has sacrificed for others, helped the poor and sick — indeed, lived a blameless, Christ-like life in every respect; it doesn’t matter. If that person does not renounce their Jewishness, then it is their very Jewishness — their adherence to their own faith rather than the faith of Mike Pence — that will condemn them to eternal damnation.
I suppose one might say that non-religious Jews will be lumped in with all the other non-believers on the transport trains to Mike Pence’s eternal Auschwitz, and therefore it’s not their Jewishness per se that condemns them. Whether that will be any comfort to them as they screech in agony alongside religious Jews is unlikely. But let us concede that on this point, Mike Pence and his fellow sectarians are not as anti-Semitic as the Nazis: they only condemn religious Jews for being Jewish; non-religious Jews will go to Hell for other reasons.
And in fact, I’m not here to equate evangelical Christianity with Nazism. Do Mike Pence and his fellow sectarians advocate the persecution of living Jews in any way, much less along Nazi lines? No, of course not. (Although it has to be said that Mike Pence — and Donald Trump — and millions of their followers seem happy to persecute Muslims in ways very similar to the Nazis’ early treatment of Jews. Whether their anti-Islamism will lead them into emulating the Nazis even further in their persecution of a demonized minority remains to be seen. But they are not there yet.)
My point is simply this: any belief-system that says Jews deserve to be tortured and tormented, forever, simply for being Jews, is anti-Semitic. Any belief-system that says this eternal punishment of Jews is an absolute requirement of a just and moral universe is anti-Semitic. Anyone who holds this belief is, ultimately and essentially, an anti-Semite, whatever else they might feel about Jewish individuals they know, or Jewish people in general, or the state of Israel.
Therefore, Mike Pence — and so many others who have been loudly and showily condemning Omar — are in fact anti-Semites of the highest order. They are the eternal anti-Semites, envisioning an unspeakable punishment for all Jews who remain Jews, for all time … yea, even beyond the end of all time. And that, to me, is utterly despicable.
NOTES.
1. Donald Trump is, of course, more powerful than Pence; but he can’t be used as a representative in this case, because it’s obvious Trump has no religious belief at all. He is certainly not an evangelical Christian in even the remotest sense, although the political hucksters of Pence’s sect like to claim him as an adherent. His only object of worship — his only “ultimate concern,” to use the Tillichian terminology — is his own bloated, blustering self.
2. As noted, Mike Pence doesn’t believe that every Jew who was murdered in the Holocaust is now in Hell. There are exceptions. First, of course, are the many Jewish converts to Christianity killed by the Nazis, who were less concerned with belief than biology. (Or rather, with their bogus view of biology and “race science,” which they took largely from American “thinkers” and lawmakers of the early 20th century.)
The second exception would be children who had not yet reached the “age of accountability.” This is the point (in the evangelical conception) at which a child comes to the conscious knowledge that he or she must accept Jesus as their Saviour and be baptized — or else burn eternally in Hell. This means that that little children who have not yet formed such an awareness are in a state of innocence, and would be taken up to heaven in the event of an untimely death. So while Mike Pence believes that Anne Frank, for example, went straight to the fiery pits of Hell as soon as she was murdered by the Nazis, many younger Jewish children would have been spared eternal damnation after their deaths.
(The “age of accountability” is a very murky milestone, however. I remember hearing a sermon on the subject when I was seven years old, and becoming aware that I was aware, that I understood the deal: I’m a sinner who will burn in hell if I don’t get baptized. At the same time, I was mortified by the idea of going down in front of the whole church at the altar call and confessing my “conviction,” which was the standard practice. But even though the preacher had offhandedly mentioned a vague age range — “10, 11 years old” — I figured God would know that I knew, and that I couldn’t risk dying at some point in the next few years then trying to weasel out of things when I stood before the Great White Throne of Judgment: “Hey, I’m not even 11 years old yet, so I haven’t technically reached the age of accountability, right?” Thus I spent a few anxious weeks running the risk of eternal damnation before I worked up the courage to overcome the embarrassment of making a public confession.)
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Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

'Humanitarian Intervention'?

"Humanitarian Intervention" And The New World Order, Part 2

It is a very fact that modern Public International Law strictly prohibits either any threat of armed force by any sovereign political entity (state) or use of armed force by any state acting without the authorization of the UNSC on the foundation of the VII Chapter of the UN Charter. In other words, the use of force, including an armed (military) intervention, is possible only under the umbrella of the UN Charter but after the authorization by the UNSC in accordance to the idea of collective security. Here, two questions arise: What is Public International Law and What is collective security?
International law is also known as Public International Law to distinguish it from Private International Law, which does not deal with relationships between states. Public International Law is understood as a system of rules that are binding on states, and thus define the relationships between states and/or other political entities and subjects in international relations and world politics. Law is a set of public and enforceable rules. In the case that there is no world legislature, international law draws on a number of sources like treaties, custom, generally accepted principles, and the practice based on the decisions by the international courts. Public International Law is usually seen as the best means of establishing order through respect for moral principles and, therefore, Public International Law makes possible the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. In general, Public International Law is a system of law regulating the interrelationship of sovereign states and their rights and duties with regard to one another.
Who has the right of power to determine disputes relating to Public International Law? International Court of Justice or The World Court. This court at the Hague is consisting of 15 judges elected for 9-year terms of office and was set up by the UN in succession to the Permanent Court of International Justice, and all members of the UN are automatically parties to the Statute of International Court of Justice. This court as well as can give advisory opinions (advisory jurisdiction), which do not bind the parties but are of great persuasive authority.
United Nations Security Council meeting at its headquarters in New York
The idea of collective security is an integral segment of Public International Law based on the notion that aggression can best be resisted by united action taken by a number of states but covered by the international law at least to a certain extent. The idea was also the foundational principle of the League of Nations between two world wars and as such became incorporated into the UN Charter. The theory of collective security is based on the assumption that war and international conflict are rooted in the insecurity and uncertainty of power politics. The idea, in other words, suggests that states have the capacity either to deter aggression in the first place or to punish the transgressor if international law and order are not respected, i.e. violated.
However, successful collective security is mainly on direct dependence on three conditions:
  1. The states must be roughly equal, or at least there must be no preponderant power.
  2. All states must be willing to share the cost and responsibility of defending one another.
  3. There must be an international body that has the moral authority and military capacity to take effective action.
Nevertheless, both ideas of “humanitarian intervention” and collective security became brutally misused by the US’ administration at the time of the New World Order. In general, World Order after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has been interpreted in various ways but the very fact is that a bipolar world order after 1945 became replaced by a unipolar world order, named by the 41st US’ President George Bush (Senior) as New World Order, based on the USA as a hyperpower state. This new position of old imperial power in New World Order was tried to be largely defined by alleged War on Terror proclaimed by the 43rd US’ President George W. Bush (Junior) after 9/11 (2001) declaratively sought to combat forces perceived to underpin the threat of global terrorism but in essence in order to make as stronger as a position of the US as a world policeman. However, and fortunately, the rise of new powers (primarily Russia and China), the growing influence of non-state actors in global politics followed by the changing nature of power is leading toward a new form of multipolar structure.
It is clear that modern Public International Law prohibits any form of armed intervention, except when it is authorized by the UNSC for the purpose to apply forced measures in order to establish international peace and security. In addition, every form of armed intervention or threat, including and humanitarian reasons, due to the systematic violation of internationally protected human rights, represents one of the most flagrant forms of the use of force and, therefore, it is treated by the law as a war, and prohibited as such. Legally, the undertaking of such military action represents, according to Public International Law, the aggression of one or more states against another state or states. The UN Charter is quite clear that an obligation is imposed on all states not to use threat of force or the force itself against the territorial integrity and political independence of any state and, therefore, no state has the right to intervene directly or indirectly in the internal and external affairs of another states or group of states. It has to be clearly emphasized that this prohibition refers particularly to armed measures but also to other forms of intervention that is forced measures in both political and economic area (for example, to impose economic sanctions). The international law as well as condemns subversive activities prepared or performed in the territory of one state against the Government of another state or for the purpose of participating in civil war in that state as it was the case, for instance, of preparing subversive activities against Serbia on the territory of neighboring Albania during the 1998−1999 Kosovo War including and recruitment, training and sending paramilitary troops of the KLA across the border to combat against regular and legitimate security forces of one independent and sovereign state.
However, the policymakers of the post-Cold War US’ global hegemony claim that Public International Law, at least from the point of morality, leaves room for possible use of force against a sovereign state for the purpose of protection of human rights or the implementation of every legal right which belongs to states. According to their interpretation, “humanitarian interventions” are morally justified and even legal by the international law as the purpose of these military interventions is not to harm territorial integrity or political independence of states but rather to protect human rights which are internationally guaranteed. In spite of this, the American warmongers will not recognize the truth that any violation of international peace, including and for the “humanitarian” purposes, is automatically against Public International Law and being in opposition to the UN goals. These positions are also confirmed by the UN General Assembly in 1970 when it was proclaimed that every state has the duty not to use threat or/and violence as a way to resolve the disputes. We have not to forget that according to the UN Charter it is prohibited for the UN to interfere in issues which are strictly the area of activity of the internal jurisdiction of every state. The exception from this prohibition can be only the cases of internal conflicts which threaten global peace but even in these cases, the military intervention can be applied in order to obtain its legal basis only after the authorization by the UNSC.

Just And Unjust War

The question of which kind of war can be accepted as just or unjust war is in direct connection to the problem of the R2P and the wars of “humanitarian interventions”. Shortly, if we are dealing with just war it means that we are dealing with the legitimate use of force. All other types of wars are automatically unjust wars. A just war, legally speaking, is considered to be one that is fought in self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. It is generally agreed that there is a set of mutually accepted rules of combat between belligerents of equal status. By the same logic, an unjust war is considered one that is characterized by illegal intervention – aggression.
It is true that the concept of just war has a long history. It was part of Roman law, Christian encyclicals, and scholastic tradition. However, in modern times, what constitutes a just or unjust war is much more subject to various interpretations and vigorous debate. Nevertheless, theoretically, just war is guided by seven principles summed up by Hugo Grotius (1583−1645) who drew on the work of several medieval Roman Catholic theologians:
  1. It must have a just cause.
  2. It must be declared by proper authority.
  3. It must be instituted with the right intention.
  4. It must be undertaken only as a last resort.
  5. It must be undertaken with peace as a goal.
  6. It must have a reasonable chance of success.
  7. Its ends must be proportional to the means.
The first principle (jus ad bellum) practically means that a war is considered just only if it is initiated in self-defense. Self-defense can, however, entail the use of aggressive force. We also have to keep in mind that aggressive action is not necessarily an unjust war if it is undertaken in response to a violation of territory, an insult to national honor, a trade embargo, or even a threat to an ally. Aggressive war is considered permissible only if its purpose to retaliate against a wrong already perpetrated by another party or to prevent such a wrong from recurring. If a Government effectively represents the people within its jurisdiction, it has more right to respond to a hostile action than if it is a Government that rules its citizens under pressure. A just war has to have a reasonable chance of meeting with success. Otherwise, what began as a war for a just cause would have become an unjust war because of the result as it was the case, for instance, with NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” in Kosovo in 1999 which resulted in humanitarian catastrophe.
To be continued...

Demonstreer Tegen Israelische Terreur Gesteund door Het CIDI

Israelische verkiezingsavond

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Op dinsdagavond 9 april organiseert CIDI een Israelische verkiezingsavond

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