Monday, 20 April 2009

Geneva Convention

"Britain is now at war with Germany. Consequently, so is Australia."

So declared the Australian Prime Minister in 1939. How could he not have done?

By contrast, there is no excuse whatever for "Israel is not attending some conference at which there might be the slightest criticism of Israel, consequently neither is the United States, neither is Australia (among others), and neither should Britain".

Iran is so anti-Semitic (Persians are not Semites, by the way) that she has a reserved parliamentary seat for a Jew. If ambassadors are to be recalled from places having the slightest contact with anywhere, then they ought to be recalled from places having the slightest contact with the state that has Avigdor Lieberman in government.

Lebanon's European official language, and requirement that the President be a Christian, make Lebanon a more Western country than Israel. Syria's Christian-majority provinces, and Christian festivals as public holidays, make Syria a more Western country than Israel. Iran's three reserved parliamentary seats for Christians (and one for a Jew) make Iran a more Western country than Israel.

While Israel has a right of self-defence, that is not in principle any of our concern, and it is by no means impossible that our interest may be on the other side, where it would have to be pursued accordingly.

Yet, despite the promise that there would be a Commons vote on any future war, we are not only arming Israel, but sending our sailors and marines to fight, not against the pirates menacing our shipping, but for this entirely foreign, permanently ungrateful, and at root very hostile country.

For a sort of default Arabism - which accepts the fact that the ultimate globalist institution forced us to surrender to exceptionally vicious Marxist terrorism, but which nevertheless refuses to like that fact - is integral to this country's character, as Tony Blair might have understood if he had ever spent any time here. As surely as people who want Sharia law, people who do not like this are free to leave.


  1. You can flip all of these. For (just one) example, Israel's independent judiciary makes it a more Western country than Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

    I don't see what it would prove if these countries were "more Western" than Israel, though.

  2. An independent judiciary is a good thing, but it is not the core of Western civilisation, without which that civilisation is not. That is Christianity.

    Of which, moreover, things like independent judiciaries are a product. That is why they only ever started in Christendom.

    Here in Christendom (and whether we like it or not, that is what we are), we have a stronger affinity with Iran, an even stronger one with Syria, and an even stronger one again with Lebanon, than with Israel.

    This need never matter too much. I hope it never does. But, one day, it might. Perhaps one day soon.

    And then, of course, there is the specific question of Britain and Israel...

  3. "Israel is not attending some conference at which there might be the slightest criticism of Israel,..."The slightest criticism? This disingenuity discredits you.

    I do agree with you though that Christianity is the core of Western civilisation. Unlike you, I am mindful of the fact that Christianity is rooted in Judaism. (They took out the harder bits of the faith and added a reward at the end to make it more popular. Oh and they encouraged proselytizing, the lack of which makes the Jews essentially harmless as well as being the a cause of Christianity's unfortunate moral lapses through history.)

    Discarding a prior religion like some cannibalistic insect seems rather un-Christian.

  4. Well, if you're going to define "Western" as "Christian", then a state which was deliberately set up to provide a homeland for Jews is never going to qualify. Doesn't tell us anything useful, though.

  5. Ah, the old relationship between Christianity and Judaism question.

    The seminal text here is very much Rabbi Michael Hilton’s 'The Christian Effect on Jewish Life' (London: SCM Press, 1994). As Rabbi Hilton puts it, “it is hardly surprising that Jewish communities living for centuries in Christian society should be influenced by the surrounding culture”.

    For example, as is well known, the modern celebration of Chanukah is modelled on Christmas. In fact, one might add, it is only thanks to the Church that Chanukah happens at all, the earliest reference to it being II Maccabees (10:1-8), cut out of the Canon by the rabbis because, like a number of other works, it was rightly deemed likely to lead people into Christianity. (The early Protestants then erroneously followed suit, on the mistaken ground that the polemically anti-Christian Canon of Judaism was somehow “the Bible of Jesus”.)

    There are many, many, many other examples that could be cited. These range from the Mediaeval adoption for Jewish funeral use of the Psalm numbered 23 in Jewish and Protestant editions, to the new centrality within Judaism that the rise of Christianity gave to Messianic expectations (the Sadducees, for example, had not believed in the Messiah at all) or to the purification of women after childbirth, to the identification in later parts of the 'Zohar' of four senses of Scripture technically different from but effectively very similar to those of Catholicism, to Mediaeval rabbis’ explicit and unembarrassed use of Christian stories in their sermons.

    Many a midrash – such as “to you the Sabbath is handed over, but you are not handed over to the Sabbath” – is easily late enough to be an example of the direct influence of Christianity, yet Jewish and Christian scholars alike tend to announce an unidentified common, usually Pharisaic, root, although they rarely go off on any wild goose chase to find that root. I think we all know why not.

    But the real point is something far deeper, arising from the definition of the Jewish Canon in explicitly anti-Christian terms, and from the anti-Christian polemic in the Talmud. Judaism hardly uses the Hebrew Bible directly rather than its own, defining and anti-Christian, commentaries on it and on each other. Jews doubting this should ask themselves when they last heard of an animal sacrifice, or which of their relatives is a polygamist.

    Judaism is not some sort of mother-religion. Rather, it is a reaction against Christianity, specifically (like Islam) a Semitic reaction against the recapitulation in Christ and His Church of all three of the Old Israel, Hellenism and the Roman Empire; there are also, of course, culturally European reactions against that recapitulation by reference to Classical sources, as there always have been, although Boris Johnson’s recent television series indicates that they are increasingly allied to Islam, not least because that programme was presented by Boris Johnson.

    Thus constructed, Judaism became, and remains, an organising principle (again like Classically-based reactions) for all sorts of people discontented for whatever reason by the rise of Christianity in general and the Christianisation of the Roman Empire in particular (including all the historical consequences of that up to the present day), without any realistic suggestion of a common ethnic background. Have Sephardim just been out in the sun longer than Ethiopian Jews, but not as long as Ashkenazim?

    Above all, Judaism’s unresolved Messianic hope and expectation has issued in all sorts of earthly utopianisms: Freudian, Marxist (and then Trotskyist, and then Shachtmanite), monetarist, Zionist, Straussian, neoconservative by reference to all of these, and so forth. They are all expressions of Judaism’s repudiation of Original Sin, Christianity’s great bulwark against the rationally and empirically falsifiable notions of inevitable historical progress and of the perfectibility of human nature in this life alone and by human efforts alone.

    It is Christianity that refers constantly to the Biblical text. It is Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, that has a Temple (Jesus Christ, Who prophesied both the destruction of the Temple and its replacement in His own Person), a Priesthood, and a Sacrifice (the Mass). It is Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, that is the religion of the Hebrew Scriptures.

  6. Be that as it may, it does not explain your hostility to Judaism nor does it justify your use of gross distortions in your arguments.

    You represent a loathsome side of Christianity.

  7. I am not hostile to Judaism. Whatever gave you that idea? I just think that it is wrong. Like all sorts of things.