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November 11, 2004

Comments

Chris-2-4

Why is that so hard to believe? Afterall, you don't get to be a Nobel Laureate for nothing, do you?

Or DO YOU?

never mind...

FBC

Most Americans would be very surprised to find out that there ARE Palestinian Christians at all, given the solidly pro-Israel propaganda which passes for news in the U.S. It wasn't the PLO that shot up the Church of the Nativity, deliberately killing the Francisican monk as he was ringing the bell.

There are indeed two sides to this story, but only one ever gets told in our media. So it's no surprise that we think of the Israelis as the poor beleaguered "good-guys" and the Palestinians as nasty Islamic terrorists. Reality is quite a bit more complicated than that.

Christopher Rake

Yeah. Poor victimized freedom fighters, occupying a prized church for its use as a military shield. I weep for them.

Patrick Rothwell

HOLY SEE JOINS IN PAIN OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE FOR ARAFAT DEATH

VATICAN CITY, NOV 11, 2004 (VIS) - Upon learning of the death early this morning in a hospital near Paris of Yasser Arafat, 75, president of the Palestinian National Authority, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following statement to journalists:

"The Holy See joins in the pain of the Palestinian people for the death of President Yasser Arafat. He was a leader of great charisma who loved his people and sought to lead them towards national independence. May God welcome in His mercy the soul of the illustrious deceased and give peace to the Holy Land, with two independent and sovereign States, fully reconciled with each other."

Pope John Paul and Yasser Arafat have met 12 times during the Pope's 26-year pontificate. Arafat was received 11 times in the Vatican: the first was on September 15, 1982 and the last time was October 30, 2001. The Palestinian leader and the Holy Father also met in Bethlehem during the pontiff's pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March of 2000.

Yasser Arafat has met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State (1996), with then Archbishop and now Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary for Relations with States (1994 in Tunisia and 1995 in Gaza during a trip to Israel) and with Cardinal Pio Laghi when he visited the Holy Land in 2001.

On October 25, 1994, the Holy See announced that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Holy See will exchange representations to be "open channels for continuing the development of mutual relations, understanding and cooperation. ... It was decided to give to the already long-existing and fruitful working contacts a permanent and official character. The Palestine Liberation Organization will, therefore, open an office of representation at the Holy See, with its own director. The apostolic nuncio in Tunisia will be responsible for contacts with the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization."

On February 15, 2000, John Paul II received Arafat and a delegation for the signing of a Basic Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as the representative of the Palestinian National Authority. At that time the Palestinian leader invited the Pope to Bethlehem. The agreement signed that day dealt with certain juridical questions regarding the presence and activity of the Catholic Church in the territory dependent on the Palestinian Authority.

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=51305

Rich Leonardi

"He surrounded himself with Christians that he trusted very much. Many of his advisors, many of his councilors also were Christians."

Arafat appears to have "surrounded" himself with all sorts of people.

Cornelius AMDG

Arafat's wife is Christian, and I suspect Palestinian Christians fear that a Muslim leader without such ties will be much worse for them (much as Tariq Aziz's presence helped Christians in Iraq under Saddam Hussein). Note that I'm not defending any of these jokers; I'm just saying that Christians in these areas may be worse off without them.

Rich Leonardi

I believe Arafat's wife was Greek Orthodox but converted to Islam.

L.T.

I find the unquestioned acclaim for Arafat among Palestinian Christians described here frankly impossible to belive

...the same way a lot of people around the world find the unquestioned acclaim for Bush among American Catholics impossible to believe. We look at Arafat and we see a political and moral failure. They look at Arafat and see the only globally recognizable figure that represents their aspirations as a people. I think we can give them a break for giving Arafat too much of a break. Besides, isn't a little eulogizing when a major political figure dies to be expected, even if he dies a failure, unless he's Hitler? We gave Nixon that much.

Marv Wood

In regard to his middle east policy, our commander and chief surrounds himself with and enjoys the support of some unsavory characters: Richard Perle, who has used his position in the DOD to line his pockets; Andrew Sullivan, prominent homosexual (it is interesting that Neocons who could normally careless about homosexuality take great joy in pointing out that Arafat was gay); Alexander Kwasniewski, President of Poland, an unrepentent Stalinist who still attends birthday parties for his old boss the butcher General Jaruzelski.

Rich Leonardi

In the minds of some, likening a merely corrupt president with a mass murderer is something to do in passing.

Giving that mass murderer a send-off usually reserved for esteemed foreign dignitaries, which the French did this morning, is a bit more than "a little eulogizing".

Marv Wood

Who did we send to the state funeral of the terrorist and mass murderer Menachim Begin? What flowery words did our State Department spew?

Chris-2-4

"it is interesting that Neocons who could normally careless about homosexuality take great joy in pointing out that Arafat was gay"

Huh?

Who's pointing that out? Oh, Marv is.

sj

Who's pointing that out?

Evidently, you didn't look at the Daniel Pipes article that Rich Leonardi referred to, which in turn refers to David Frum and National Review Online.

John

I wonder who has been responsible for more deaths of innocents: Yasser Arafat over the course of 30 years, or George W. Bush over the course of four?

Rich Leonardi

Who did we send to the state funeral of the terrorist and mass murderer Menachim Begin? What flowery words did our State Department spew?
...............
I wonder who has been responsible for more deaths of innocents: Yasser Arafat over the course of 30 years, or George W. Bush over the course of four?

Has St. Blog's become the new address for Jew-baiters and Chomsky-ites?

Rich Leonardi

And the bit about Arafat's sexuality is relevant. In his little PLO terror-state, homosexuals frequently wound-up in dumpsters, right alongside his political opponents.

John Hetman

How long are we to endure this requim for a butcher who slaughtered thousands, including children, including Christians and Moslems, and who stole billions from his own Palestinian people. His acts of kindness to Christians was not done in a vacuum. He got political mileage out of it. The man was a vile pig. His body deserves to be thrown to feral dogs and the remains buried in a sty. What happens to his soul is God's business. Let me pray for the families of those he killed and maimed and those who he betrayed.

Marv Wood

Ah yes, anyone who says anything who questions Israel or its actions is immediately labeled as an anti-semite. When you can't engage in rational discussions utilize ad hominen attacks.

Marv Wood

Ah yes, anyone who says anything who questions Israel or its actions is immediately labeled as an anti-semite. When you can't engage in rational discussions utilize ad hominen attacks.

jay

You're swastika's showing, Marv.

Terence Y. B. Wong

Killing is totally wrong and unacceptable no matter the amount and course of time. No question asked. But given that killing was done. Should we show our forgiveness and start reconciliation NOW without hesitation? The most important thing is that one has admitted he has done something wrong, abandon the wrong practice, turn to the right truth and let the seed of peace grow in one's heart. Arafat has done so. Bush hasn't. Bush is still arrogantly implementing his evil and selfish `plan' on middle-east...

Patrick Sweeney

I find the acclaim given to Arafat by Christians to be impossible as well, Amy.

Ask any Christian who lived under the Palestinian Authority or Hamas -- and now outside of the territory -- and they will give you the honest answer: They are thugs, murderers, and terrorists.

Formerly majority Christian cities inside the PA terr. like Nazareth and Bethlehem now only have tiny Christian minorities. The smaller Christian villages no longer exist, driven out by Palestinian Muslims.

April 2, 2002 -- who was the problem -- Palestinians? or Israelis?

Jeanne Schmelzer

Some of you people above don't understand the role of terrorism in the world and how it is a threat to the world. Open your eyes and see the dangers. You don't have to be afraid to live but there needs to be a distinction between those who are evil and those who try to defend evil. Bush can't be compared to Arafat. Arafat didn't want peace in Palestine. He worked against it at every opportunity. In English he made talk about his desire to get along. In Arab he told the people he wanted to eliminate Israel. Peace?

Bill Walsh

It's actually quite unsurprising that Palestinian Christians are heavily represented in the PLO. The PLO has always presented itself as a nationalist movement, and the most fervent nationalists in the Arab Middle East have always been Arab Christians.

This stems from, among other things, the fact that in traditional Muslim society, they were second-class citizens. Christian Arab intellectuals' embrace of nationalism as a solvent of religious particularism has some (limited) parallels with many Russian Jewish intellectuals' embrace of Communism as a way towards becoming "un-Jewish" and therefore equal with their Christian neighbors.

It is, of course, an irony that most Arab nationalist movements end up drawing upon Islamic symbols and solidarity for legitimacy, marginalizing the Christians much as before. (Again, there are some limited parallels to the Soviet experience: the Great Patriotic War's resurrection of Great Russian nationalism prefigured the potential second Holocaust of the Doctor's Plot, which was only aborted by Stalin's timely death.)

Marv Wood

Hey folks, call me all the names you want, again you want to engage in ad hominen attacks rather than discuss the facts. I am not defending Arafat, a murdererous thug, but merely pointing out that Menachim Begin and his Irgun organization engaged in terrorist acts and killed non-combatants in their efforts to establish the State of Israel. Neither side has clean hands here.

Rich Leonardi

Menachim Begin and his Irgun organization engaged in terrorist acts and killed non-combatants in their efforts to establish the State of Israel

Prove it.

Tom Herron

Marv:

Good post but what should we expect from the leadership of the Likud Party? They are fascist in their origins so they are just working as programmed. What the true believers in Israel as is evidenced in this string don't want to face is that Likud's founder was a fascist; Vladimir Jabotinsky lived for many years in Italy and was a great admirer of Mussolini. All his successors down to Ariel Sharon have been bloody mass murderers, the later when Israeli 'defense' minister ordered roof top bombings of schools and hospitals in Beirut in 1982. But to bring these inconvenient facts up is to allow yourself to be called names by the screaming devout. All the Likud leadership are guilty of more deaths of innocents than Arafat ever was. But America, saying it wants to bring stability to the Middle East, invades Iraq and, next, Iran.

By the way, my fellow Christians, our brother in Christ, Mordechai Vanunu, has just been rearrested by the Israeli police after spending seventeen years in one of the their prisons for telling the world that your beloved country has 200-300 weapons of mass destruction. These are the phantom WMDs that George the Godly lied to us about, these are real nukes. We may wonder why Mr. Vanunu got his original long prison term from an Israeli court, for being a whistle blower (he was never a ‘spy’ as he is commonly referred to on ‘conservative’ web sites) or for getting baptized? Why aren't you interested in this particular persecuted Christian of the Middle East?

Donald R. McClarey

"By the way, my fellow Christians, our brother in Christ, Mordechai Vanunu, has just been rearrested by the Israeli police after spending seventeen years in one of the their prisons for telling the world that your beloved country has 200-300 weapons of mass destruction."

Somehow, I suspect that the U.S. never has to worry about Israelis smuggling nukes into an American city and blowing it up. I worry about Israel having nukes as much as I worry about Great Britain having nukes, which is never.

"All his successors down to Ariel Sharon have been bloody mass murderers, the later when Israeli 'defense' minister ordered roof top bombings of schools and hospitals in Beirut in 1982."

This rant is on a par with World War II revisionists who scream about Allied bombing of Germany while not mentioning why Germany was being bombed in the first place. Throughout its history Israel has been surrounded by states that wish to annihilate it. Considering this fact and recent Jewish history, I believe the Israelis have been remarkably restrained.

As for the Irgun, for every Arab who died in a terrorist incident by the Irgun in the 48 war, I dare say at least a hundred jews died from Arab terrorism in that war alone.

Rich Leonardi

All the Likud leadership are guilty of more deaths of innocents than Arafat ever was.

Again, prove it.

Marv Wood

Donald:

The Irgun's terrorist activities occured both prior to WWII, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, as well as the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. By the way how many innocent civilians have to be killed before one becomes a murderous thugs?

Rich:

For your proof just reference the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irgun , which cross references with other sources such as encyclopedia. Of course all of these sources are obviously anti-semitic.

Rich Leonardi

You make a specific charge and then prove it by citing a general entry in something called "the Wikipedia"?

As to whether or not you or your sources are anti-Semitic, sure, you can criticize Israel without being so. But when you criticize Israel for things you ignore in others, it raises doubts.

Tom Herron

So you want proof?

"The Kahane Commission, an Israeli body convened to investigate the Sabra and Shatila mass murders, found Sharon to be complicit in the crimes, and he was fired by Prime Minister Begin as Defense Minister shortly after the report's release."

For the full story with links: http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/site_packages/2002/sharon/020430sharon_crime_hist.html

"As for the Irgun, for every Arab who died in a terrorist incident by the Irgun in the 48 war, I dare say at least a hundred jews died from Arab terrorism in that war alone."

Now you prove that statement.

Rich Leonardi

Would that be Lyndon LaRouche you're citing as a source?

"Waiter, check please."

Marv Wood

Rich:

The Wikipedia is a "free" on-line encyclopedia which I have generally found to be an accurate and good source of information. Again, it links to the on-line Encyclopedia Britanica, which costs to use.

If this source doesn't suit you the facts about the Irgun and Menachim Begin's role in it are no secret anyone with a knowledge of middle eastern history are aware of them. As I remember when Arafat and Begin were working with Carter toward the Camp David Peace Accords and they received the Nobel there were many articles in the press (Newsweek, Time, etc.) regarding Begin and the Irgun.

I pointed toward a free source of information don't expect me to go to the library and run off copies from the microfilch for you. Just Google Irgun and/or Begin and you will get a multitude of sources.

tom Herron

Yes it is from LaRouche's web site, but there are plenty more links if you'd care to do a google on "Ariel Sharon war criminal". But, of course, you don't dare.

One thing about LaRouche, his web site isn't a Mossad front like MEMRI which is run by the Wurmsers, one of whom is in the Pentagon cabal with Feith, Perle and Wolfowitz. That's where you get your information on the Middle East at right, Rich?

Susan Peterson

Was the "schism" bit meant to be included in the Arafat issue? The only relationship I can think of is that a lot of these "Biblical prophesy" folks concentrate a lot on the middle east. One of them was telling me that "Asher will dip his heel in oil" referred to some country invading another country to get petroleum. My demurral, that first of all the oil referred to was some sort of vegetable oil, and was connected to annointing ceremonies, also with healing....was waved off with an assertion that God knew when "he wrote it" about the petroleum that was there....

What are the different eschatologies held by the competing writers published by Tyndale? What do all those terms like millenarian and post millenarian (and lapsarian and prelapsarian)mean that fundamentalist types argue about? Does anybody know?

Susan F. Peterson

James Kabala

Rich:
I am pro-Israel, but Begin's role in blowing up the King David Hotel is common knowledge (and, I believe, never denied by him). A brief description of the event from a pro-Israel site, which tries to but the event is as good a light as possible but still admits that it happened, can be found here.

James Kabala

I meant to type "put," of course, not "but."

Rich Leonardi

The King David Hotel was occupied by British troops, yet even so Irgun told them to evacuate in advance of the bombing. The CO sniffed "we give orders to Jews, we don't take them" and promptly ignored the warning.

That was in keeping with Britain's overall attitude to Jews at the time; when they weren't sinking boats full of Jewish refugees, the Brits were corralling them into Cyprus detention camps.

Marv Wood

Rich:

Some Brit must have buttered your kipper on the wrong side. Maybe you should go to the LaRouche website the last I heard he believed that QEII was leading the worldwide vast conspiracy.

In the mean time here is a good story:

Arafat has a dream that he is going to die so he goes to see a medium who might be able to explain the circumstances of his death. The medium gazes into her crystal ball and declares, "You are going to die on a Jewish holiday." Arafat replies, "Which one?" The medium responds, "It doesn't matter. Whatever day you die will become a Jewish holiday." [Reason Blog]


Marty

I am not sure if this is true or not but apparently Palestinian Christians say one thing in public (we love Arafat) and another in private. Because anyone who opposed him and his corrupt thug racket ended up dead. Much like many Arab leaders in the Middle East. Assad of Syria and Mubarak of Egypt have described him privately in vivid and unflattering terms. The thing that is so sad about all the Palestinian adulation of Arafat is he stole millions of dollars given by various governments, including ours, to the PLO for the benefit of the people and deposited them in his Swiss bank accounts while his people live in squalor. A generation has been raised on hate and all kinds of crazed anti-Semitism. The blood libel idea lives among Palestianians. And he walked away from Ehud Barak's offer of a state back in 1999--even Bill Clinton, who met with him more than any other world leader, finally had enough. Back when he was making nice with Yitzak Rabin I hoped he was doing the Menacham Begin thing, started as a terrorist, made peace with Egypt, but I wonder if he ever really wanted any peace which included Israel's existence. Well, he's appearing before the Judgment of God now and I think history will judge him harshly. I hope better things may come now that he's gone and Sharon is showing signs of facing reality about the settlement issue with his call to unilaterally pull out of Gaza, but I'm afraid that would be the triumph of hope over experience.

Richard

Hello Johm

I wonder who has been responsible for more deaths of innocents: Yasser Arafat over the course of 30 years, or George W. Bush over the course of four?

My guess would be Arafat, to be honest, unless you credit the greatly inflated numbers of civilian casualties from U.S. military operations in Iraq.

As for Arafat, this timeline might provide the barest glimpse of what sort of body count he has racked up over the years.

However: if you are looking for a U.S. president with a clearer claim to the title, you need look no further than Franklin D. Roosevelt or Harry Truman, who both authorized the mass (and nuclear) bombings of Axis cities.

In fact they both easily beat Charles Manson as well. Yet not many people have concluded form that that Manson is morally superior or even equivalent to Roosevelt or Truman.

Hello Terence,

The most important thing is that one has admitted he has done something wrong, abandon the wrong practice, turn to the right truth and let the seed of peace grow in one's heart. Arafat has done so.

If so, I am left to wonder why Fatah's al Aqsa Brigades continue to blow up Israeli cafes and schools and mortar Israeli farms and homes from Gaza.

Christopher Rake

The Wikipedia is a "free" on-line encyclopedia which I have generally found to be an accurate and good source of information.

Wikipedia entries can be, and are, modified by successive readers. The hotter the issue, the more likely they are to be altered by partisans of whatever issue. This became a hot topic on blogs recently when it was learned that entries on Bush and Kerry were revised by zealots--e.g., the Bush entry showed him with swastikas and the accompanying copy was somewhat...harsh. In short, Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable.

Arafat is one of history's most accomplished murderers. From the massacre of the Israeli athletes in Munich--what was that, 1972?--to the current fondness for butchering mothers and children, Arafat's ship navigated a sea that he swelled with blood.

If the Vatican document posted earlier in this discussion is accurate, it is one of the most disgusting communiques I have had the misfortune to contemplate.

sj

One needn't resort to the Wikipedia to read about Begin and the Irgun's activities. In his history, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, Israeli historian Benny Morris writes "On February 1, 1944, several days after Menachim Begin took over command of the IZL[Irgun], it announced the resumption of the struggle against Britain. The Irgun felt that the war against the Nazis had been decided; London was now the problem. It immediately began blowing up or attacking government immigration and income tax offices and police buildings. The LH1 [a competing group] also launched a number of spectacular attacks; on August 8 they even tried to assasinate the high commissioner, MacMichael." p.174.

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