Religion

How Israel Trashes Judaism

A graphic released by the Israeli Defense Forces to justify Operation Protective Edge's destruction of so many civilian structures in Gaza. (Israeli government graphic)

While Official Washington excuses Israel’s latest slaughter of Gazans as justifiable self-defense, many thoughtful Jews are lamenting how the traditional humanism of Judaism is being despoiled by the brutal practices of the Israeli government, writes Danny Schechter.

Gaza’s Desperate ‘Prison Riot’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2014.

The noble traditions of Judaism – stressing justice for the downtrodden – are being soiled by the endless cruelties that Israel and its current leaders heap on the Palestinians, including the latest slaughter of more than 1,700 Gazans, many of them children, a moral catastrophe addressed by theologian Daniel C. Maguire.

The Periodic Slaughter of Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with President Obama on Sept. 1, 2010. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

To the Israeli government, the periodic slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza is called “mowing the grass,” a chore that frequently needs repeating. But this violence is wearing on the world’s conscience, including moral objections from more and more Jews, observes Lawrence Davidson.

An All-Seeing, All-Knowing Being

The logo for the Information Awareness Office, which oversaw the Total Information Awareness project.

A decade ago, exposure of President George W. Bush’s Total Information Awareness scheme brought assurances that it had been shelved, but its Orwellian intent was only shifted to the NSA and it now gives the U.S. government nearly god-like powers, says Norman Solomon.

The Brutal Failure of Zionism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu

Israel’s renewed slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza – after failed peace talks and ethnic slayings by both sides – is further proof that the Zionist experiment has failed and that the only reasonable way forward is to recognize the equal rights of all people living in the region, writes John V. Whitbeck.

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

Sayyid Qutb, a philosopher of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Islamic Fundamentalism frightens the West and that fear has motivated a fierce retaliation deploying more weapons and inflicting more slaughter. But in not understanding what drives the jihadists the military strategies may be making matters worse, observes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Pope Francis Prays at Two Israeli Walls

Pope Francis praying a separation wall in Palestine on May 25, 2014. (Photo credit: Pope Francis's Facebook page.).

Pope Francis tried to bring a moral perspective to Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians, including scenes of him praying at a separation wall in Palestine as well as at the famous West Wall in Jerusalem, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Jesus Mandate: Peace and Stewardship

Jesus as portrayed in stained glass as the Good Shepherd.

Modern biblical scholarship has enabled critically thinking Christians to understand what the historical Jesus actually said and what was tacked on later to serve the interests of Rome and early church leaders, but those original messages remain politically inconvenient today, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

The Inconvenient Truth about Jesus

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

There is much religiosity in the U.S., with the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority even approving Christian prayers at the start of government business. But there is little appreciation of the radical political and economic message at the center of Jesus’s teachings, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

Kerry Grovels over Israeli ‘Apartheid’

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to the AIPAC conference on March 3, 2014.

Exclusive: Secretary of State Kerry gets to say whatever half-truth or fiction comes into his head about Syria, Russia or other “designated villains,” but when he cites the inconvenient truth of Israeli “apartheid,” he must scramble as fast as he can to retract and apologize, Robert Parry reports.