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And it has become pretty general. Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone's Birth. Easter they will have the same difficulty in finding Easter cards that contain any suggestion that Easter commemorates a certain event. There will be rabbits and eggs and spring flowers, but a hint of the Resurrection will be hard to find. Now, all this begins with the designers of the cards.

Henry Ford
The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem
via NewsHounds

Even Jewish people like Christmas.

Bill O'Reilly
The O'Reilly Factor
Dec 1st, 2004

Well, what I'm tellin' you, [caller], is I think you're takin' it too seriously. You have a predominantly Christian nation. You have a federal holiday based on the philosopher Jesus. And you don't wanna hear about it? Come on, [caller] -- if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel then.

Bill O'Reilly, speaking to Jewish caller
The Radio Factor
Dec 7th, 2004

You know it's an amazing thing -- this is a Christian country, it's founded by Christians, Christmas is one of our great celebrations. It's been a time of joy for our people for many years, and not only us, but now they're picking up Christmas in Japan, picking it up in China. It's something that has blessed the world. And if people don't like America and the traditions that made America great, let them go to Saudi Arabia, let them go to Pakistan. Yeah, they can go to the Sudan and find a wonderful Muslim holiday.

Pat Robertson
700 Club
Dec 23, 2004

When we began the Christmas season this year, we were all very much aware that a war was being waged by the Christmas grinches -- the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU], Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and other secularists, to steal Christmas from America. To not only take Christ out of Christmas, but to remove Christmas totally from the American scene. I am happy to announce today that we are winning the Christmas war. [...]

We have declared war on the left, and we're going to sue the hide off of everybody, everybody, who tries to inhibit the liberties of our children and our families from worshipping and honoring the Lord, as we in America are constitutionally allowed to do.

Jerry Falwell
televised sermon
Dec 19th, 2004

This case, really, talks about the essence of Christmas. Christmas is still constitutional. What happened in this case, it appears, is that the mayor had absolute hostility toward the religious, specifically the Christian, viewpoint of the nativity scene. In this case, the mayor was persistent over several months. The city council cancelled meetings, walked out when this issue came up, in fact, the mayor-- [(BRIGITTE QUINN): Mat, why was he hostile?]  Well, the mayor is apparently Jewish. Unfortunately, this looks like the mayor's particular vendetta against the nativity scene.

Mathey Staver, Liberty Counsel
Fox News Live
Dec 16th, 2004

Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? [...] Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes.

William Donahue, The Catholic League
Scarborough Country, MSNBC
Dec 8th, 2004

I recently picked up a newspaper and saw George Bush lighting a Jewish Menorah erected in the White House. I stopped for a moment and said to myself, "Somethings wrong with this picture. Isn't this the same White house forbidden to erect a cross or even the traditional manger scene at Christmastime.


Jewish writers define the Hanukkah celebration as one to encourage resistance to assimilation among Gentiles, a battle as vital today as the one that went on 2000 years ago. The word Hellenization is just a substitute word for Americanization. You see, everyone else in the world that comes to America is supposed to be quote, "Americanized," everyone of course except the Jews. For them we are supposed to say isn't it great that they want to maintain their separateness and not merge into the great melting of races and creeds in America! Of course melting pots aren't always what they are cracked up to be. Problem with melting pots is that the bottom often gets burned and the scum usually rises to the top.


How are these double standards maintained without any outcry? In truth the double standards that we witness every day in our nation reveal the extent of Jewish power and influence over our media, government and culture. [...] Unless that Jewish-supremacist power over America is broken our heritage and freedom will not survive.

David Duke
Christmas and Hannukkah: Double Standards for America!
Nov. 30, 2004

There is an active campaign to destroy Christianity altogether, along with all its paraphernalia, the most obvious of which is...Christmas, of course. And the campaign is organized, financed and run by...Jews, of course. We all know about the lawsuit to remove 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance. Filed by a Jew. Remember the lawsuit to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse foyer, then to remove the judge who put it there? Filed by Jews. Remember the lawsuit last year to force New York public schools to take down colored lights? Filed by Jews. Remember the huge Jewish uproar about Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ"? That backfired badly for Abe Foxman and company, but was a piece of the overall strategy to deChristianize America. It's a Jewish strategy, of course. That's why the lawsuits are all brought by Jews.

Edgar Steele
Dec 16th, 2004
Vangard News Network

An explanation of our search results:

If you recently used Google to search for the word "Jew," you may have seen results that were very disturbing. We assure you that the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google. We'd like to explain why you're seeing these results when you conduct this search.

A site's ranking in Google's search results is automatically determined by computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page's relevance to a given query. Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted. A search for "Jew" brings up one such unexpected result.

If you use Google to search for "Judaism," "Jewish" or "Jewish people," the results are informative and relevant. So why is a search for "Jew" different? One reason is that the word "Jew" is often used in an anti-Semitic context. Jewish organizations are more likely to use the word "Jewish" when talking about members of their faith. The word has become somewhat charged linguistically, as noted on websites devoted to Jewish topics such as these:

Someone searching for information on Jewish people would be more likely to enter terms like "Judaism," "Jewish people," or "Jews" than the single word "Jew." In fact, prior to this incident, the word "Jew" only appeared about once in every 10 million search queries. Now it's likely that the great majority of searches on Google for "Jew" are by people who have heard about this issue and want to see the results for themselves.

Our search results are generated completely objectively and are independent of the beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google. Some people concerned about this issue have created online petitions to encourage us to remove particular links or otherwise adjust search results. Because of our objective and automated ranking system, Google cannot be influenced by these petitions. The only sites we omit are those we are legally compelled to remove or those maliciously attempting to manipulate our results.

We apologize for the upsetting nature of the experience you had using Google and appreciate your taking the time to inform us about it.

 The Google Team

p.s. You may be interested in some additional information the Anti-Defamation League has posted about this issue at In addition, we call your attention to both the Jewish Internet Association, an organization that addresses online anti-semitism, at and Google's search results on this topic.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:31 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  happy holidays (4.00)

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:26:16 PM PST

  •  Outstanding. (none)
    There is very little new under the sun.

    Except, of course, the Bush administration.

  •  THIS is antisemitism (4.00)
    Too many of my fellow Jews (and many gentiles) waste important political and cultural capital wrongfully accusing those of us who are critical of Israel of being antisemitic on the basis of that criticism.

    The most obvious cost of this nonsense is our country's appalling policy toward Israel/Palestine, which is backed by a bipartisan consensus (there truly wasn't any difference between what Bush and Kerry had to say on this topic).

    But there are other costs as well, among them the fact that charging someone with antisemitism has so totally become coded language for defending Israel no matter what, that our media and our culture at large have stopped recognizing the actual beast when it shows up.  This supposed secularized Jewish conspiracy against Christmas is classic antisemitism.

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

    by GreenSooner on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:34:04 PM PST

    •  What is anti-semitism? (none)
      There are semitic languages, of which hebrew and arabic are but two. If 'Semitism' refers only to a language group, how can anti-semitism be a force for racism? Could as well be anti-indo-europeanism. As Yassir Araffat himself once said 'How can I be anti-semitic, when I am myself a Semite'

      There is such a thing as hating Jews, I have no doubt, but these people are just aresholes, just like nazis were aresholes, and just like people who now hate palestinians are aresholes. People are people, and all people deserve respect and understanding, irrespective of their faith, ethnicity or political oppinions.

      The real truth is for freedom for Jews and Palestinians, in a secular, undevided, non-religious state. All states based on religion are bad, from Israel to Iran. to the Vatican. as they are all based on exclusion.

      Why can't we have some inclusion instead? A secular state, based on democratic principals, with total religious freedom?

      •  A little more than that (none)
        Nazis were aresholes that had the power and the technology to wipe out the Jewish race in Europe, and would have done so if they hadn't been stopped.  As it is, they got about half, including part of our family.  Only the accident of time and distance kept my wife (a Jewish twin) from being one of Mengele's "experiments."  They are not all dead, and some have held influential positions for many years.

        "No, man. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

        by moltar on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:13:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Israel is Not a Country Based on Religion (4.00)
        Despite the existence of many religious parties in Israel, most Israeli Jews are not particularly religious. To call Israel a country "based on religion" is incorrect. The Israeli definition of who is a Jew is first and foremost ethnic, though those converted by an Orthodox conversion process (and only an Orthodox conversion process...Israeli religious life is very dominated by the Orthrodox) are also considered Jewish for legal purposes. And the state itself is basically secular, although it has ceded way too much authority over education to the religious parties (which tend to round out Israeli governments in coalition with the larger, secular right or left wing parties).

        A more precise criticism of Israel is that it is a country that in many ways defines the status of one's citizenship by one's membership in a particular ethnic group.  Although I wouldn't want to push this analogy too far (South Africa was much worse), it is more like an apartheid state than it is like Iran.

        I would add that the term "antisemitism" was coined in late 19th-century Germany to refer specifically to refers to hatred of Jews, not hatred of semites, despite its linguistic origins (Arab is indeed a semitic language, and Arabs are thus as much Semites as Jews).  Words reflect their linguistic origins, but can't be reduced to them.  "Idiot" comes from the Greek word for "private person," which is a very interesting linguistic fact, but one cannot argue that anybody who's private is therefore an idiot.

        Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

        by GreenSooner on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:16:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm... (none)
          "Idiot" comes from the Greek word for "private person," which is a very interesting linguistic fact, but one cannot argue that anybody who's private is therefore an idiot.

          However, so-called "privatization" of Social Security sure seems idiotic to me.  (Sorry for the OT, but I felt the need.)

      •  All states - (none)
        were "religious states" at some point in their history.  Granted, with very varied religions - and over a very wide period of time.
        The codification of values in a religious context only becomes a problem if one of those values is used as a pretext to murder those with opposing values.  Ironic huh?

        "Why can't we have some inclusion instead? A secular state, based on democratic principals, with total religious freedom?"

        Well, that was the idea!  It's been 228 years - think it'll happen?
        Think it already has?  

    •  VERY ASTUTE COMMENT. (none)
      I would also add that these same right wing idiot "preachers" (such as Pat Robertson) appear to defend Israel tooth and nail, yet often espouse very troubling views on Jews.

      Joseph Massad (an admittedly controversial character) has some very interesting thoughts on these Zionist anti-Semites here:

      Feel free to disagree with it--I'm not posting it because I agree with everything he has to say, only that it's relevant and there's definitely some value in it.

      p.s. TO HUNTER--you have composed a wonderful piece. Your quote about Hannukah being some sort of a conspiracy against Christmas is DEAD ON. The anti-Semitism in that comment alone is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Great work. If this were a diary, I'd recommend, but you're already on the front page, so all I can say is "thumbs up" ;).

      •  Robertson, Falwell, etc (none)
        don't particularly care for Jews in this country. What they want is for all Jews to move to Israel. Only when all Jews return to their homeland will the biblical prophecy of the "end times" and the second coming occur. That's why they support Israel so strongly.

        George W. Bush - Often wrong, but never in doubt!

        by auapplemac on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:46:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One other thing (none)
          According to the Christian "true believers" when all Jews return to Israel, they will either have accept Jesus or be destroyed. So much for Falwell, etc loving Israel. Their support of  Israel only goes so far. For their purpose it is only to hasten the biblical prophecy calling for the destruction of Israel (as a Jewish state) and the destruction of all Jews and the Jewish religion.

          I can't figure out where Muslims and other non-Jewish religions fit into this picture. Since none were around or know of when the New Testament was written, how do they fit into the Apocalypse story?

          George W. Bush - Often wrong, but never in doubt!

          by auapplemac on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:58:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (2.66)
      Most of the time when Jews criticize anti-Israel sentiment as anti-Semitic, it is legitimate. Of course, it is not anti-Semtitic to oppose particular Israeli policies, but many of Israel's critics go way beyond that. This Falwell/O'Reilly/etc. "Save Chistmas" stuff is scary and definitely anti-Semitic, but not to the exclusion of the very real anti-Semitism that is often aimed at Israel, where the stakes are much higher. In Israel, the ultimate result of anti-Semitism is innocent civilians getting blown up in pizza parlors or toddlers being shot at point-blank range, which is quite a bit worse than being forced to say "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy Holidays." Yes, the non-Israeli critics of Israel are not necessarily responsible for such terrorism, but in many cases they are encouraging or condoning it, or at least hurting Israel's ability to recuperate from and respond to such acts of terror. In contrast, while the kind of anti-Semitism evidenced in this post is frightening, it does not currently have as great a negative effect as that aimed at Israel does. I think we need to be aware and able to respond effectively to both kinds of anti-Semitism.

      "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."-- Martin Luther King Jr. (not a Jew, but the quote fits!)

      Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

      by sparklegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:16:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you mean to say... (3.50)'s not fair to talk about Palestinian dispossession.  Sorry, this is standard anti-Arab trope.
        •  No... (2.33)
          I'm not saying it's not fair to acknowledge the bad conditions the Palestinians are in--most of which their leaders, rather than the people themselves, are to blame for. Personally, I support a two-state solution, and I want to see the Palestinians develop a viable economy and infrastructure. But they've got to stop the terrorist attacks. Hopefully Arafat's death can be something of a turning point.

          Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

          by sparklegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:50:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You missed the keyword (none)
            And that is DISPOSSESSION.  I wasn't talking about present conditions.  Present conditions are a result of prior conditions.  The reason why the Palestinians are in the state that they are in is not primarily due to trivial diversions such as Arafat, but the fact of dispossession.  Until Israel and Israeli society acknowledges that its very existence is predicated on that dispossession and on the suffering that extended therefrom, I don't see how any solution can function.  

            I too believe that ultimately a two-state solution will be the answer, but the form of that solution depends on Israel's attitude: if Israeli society acknowledges that a solution primarily involves the restoration of Palestinian rights in the context of dispossession, then a viable two-state solution can exist.  If Israeli society continues to cling to the idea that it is its security that is paramount of Palestinian rights, then no solution can succeed in any form.  Because Israel's lack of security is also predicated on Palestinian dispossession as much as its existence is.

            The solutions proposed so far, including the unacceptable Clinton solution, have never acknowledged that the primary issue is dispossession.  A solution that acknowledges dispossession would also acknowledge that Palestinians sovereignty over the lands that they are finally given must be unqualified: over water resources, airspace, and so on.  And that even major established illegal settlements are subject to uprooting.

        •  Oh, one more thing (2.25)
          Were you aware that the Arabs (Palestinians didn't consider themselves a unique nationality at the time) could've had a state in 1948 when they were offered one side by side with a Jewish state, but turned it down because they wanted the whole thing, and attacked Israel instead? The condition that the Palestinians live in is unfortunate, but for the most part it is not Israel's fault. It is the fault of their corrupt leaders who turned down every peace offer Israel made without even making counteroffers and started intifadas rather than trying to improve the conditions of the own people.

          Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

          by sparklegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:53:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not Israel's fault? (3.50)
            If I steal someone's land (they weren't a "nation", but they lived there for countless generations -- no different than the Native Americans) then say, "well, okay, let's make a deal, I'll give you 10% of it back and everything will be cool", I shouldn't be suprised when the owners of that land reject my offer and instead fight tooth and nail to get it back.

            I guess it all comes down to the question of who's land it was.  All I can say is that the physical reality of thousands and thousands of families being established on their property for generations trumps the fact that people living in other countries (Europe and America) thinking they have a right to live there too because distant relatives of theirs, thousands of years ago, used to live there for a while.

            See, the thing about Israel being attacked from the Left is that Leftists are extremely anti-racist, and Israel is indulging in racism BIG TIME.  The day they stop asking immigrants what their ethnic background or religion are is the day they will start having a chance of gaining support from the Left.  Liberals want to promote democracy more than any political group in the world; after all, they founded America.  Israel, aside from being an insult to the Jews, is an insult to equality and democracy and liberalism in general.  And you wonder why such a tiny proportion of the world's Jews choose to live there?  They're smarter than that -- and more liberal!

            Unfortunately, many Jews are just as racist as the next ethnicity; they want Israel because it's puportedly pro-Jewish (besides being bad for the Jews), and since they're Jewish, they support it.  Kind of like white people and the KKK; it may not be fair what those white-robed assholes are doing (goes many southerners' thoughts), but they're sticking up for me, so it must be good . . .

            Nice to see the human race has not evolved much in the last few hundred thousand years.

            Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

            by Tlacolotl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:06:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In 1948 (none)
              What "theft" had gone on?  The UN offered a solution wherein those people living in a certain portion (which already had a heavy Jewish immigrant quotient - legal Jewish immigrants who had mainly  bought their land from absentee Arab landlords) would be part of Israel, and the other portion would be part of Palestine (portions more heavily inhabited by Arab citizens).  There was no mention of population transfer; if you didn't like living in the state you were in, you could move, but you weren't forced to.

              You can't use the 1948 partition as an example of "stealing land" - the 1948 partition they were offered was prior to any organized warfare in the region.  The only land transfers that had gone on were legitimate immigration - move to the country and buy some property.  After 1948, you can argue about stealing land, but if the Arab countries around Israel had accepted the 1948 agreement, there would have been no dispossession to deal with.

              I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

              by sub version on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 12:19:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  1948... (none)
                ...was in the context of an empire that clearly saw Arabs as nonentities.  With alterations of the population balance that we would see as illegitimate now under present-day standards, however, regularly violated.  No, 1948 was a theft from the Arabs as well, and creating a majority-Jewish state would necessarily still have required the dispossession of Arabs.  

                Not to mention the whole historical/national issue of Arab sovereignty as a whole.

                •  Sorry to drag y'all even more off topic... (none)
                  1948 was in the context of an empire that clearly saw Arabs as nonentities.

                  If they saw Arabs as nonentities, why give them half the land, split the future Jewish state into several disconnected entitites, and deny the Jews Jerusalem, their cultural and religious center? Even the much derired "Bantustans in the West Bank" in some Israeli peace plans are connected together. Also, the 1948 plan came after the League of Nations partition plan of 1922, essentially a British dictate, had already split Palestine into two sectors allocated for future Jewish and Arab states bordering along the Jordan river.

                  1948 was a theft from the Arabs as well, and creating a majority-Jewish state would necessarily still have required the dispossession of Arabs.

                  One could just as easily say that creating an Arab state is a theft from the Jewish people. The difference is that the Jewish state is a democracy which allows Arabs equal rights and permits Arab residence and involvement in government, this being the alternative to a foreign-run parliamentary monarchy with no Arab representation, and the existing and proposed Arab states forbid Jewish immigration and have laws making it punishable by death to sell land to a Jew. Besides, according to Wikipedia, The population for the proposed Jewish State in 1947/8 would be 498,000 Jews and 325,000 non-Jews.

                  Not to mention the whole historical/national issue of Arab sovereignty as a whole.

                  The historical/national issue of Arab sovereignty was inflamed by the same people who split Palestine away from the province of Syria and produced the 1922 and 1948 partition plans, the Brits. Before Britain went to war with the Ottoman Empire in the 1910s, there were only a few bandits and malcontents on the Arabian peninsula. The Palestinian flag is actually the flag of the short-lived Hejaz kingdom, designed by Sir Mark Sykes.

                  •  w.t..f.?!?!?! (4.00)
                    One could just as easily say that creating an Arab state is a theft from the Jewish people.

                    except for the niggling detail that IT WAS THE ARABS' LAND TO BEGIN WITH.  hello!?!!?!


                    and while we're niggling, the "jewish people" live all over the world.  it is disingenuous to use that term when referring to jews who live in israel, unless you are somehow positing that what hurts israel hurts all jews worldwide.

                    •  Except (none)
                      For that portion which Arabs who owned the land decided to sell to Jews who wanted to move to Israel.

                      And no, it isn't a Native American type issue - they weren't forced to sell, and they received fair value.  This does not apply to those forced out in '48, or those who chose to flee, but a significant amount of land in the current state of Israel was purchased quite legally by Jewish immigrants from Arab landholders.

                      I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                      by sub version on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 03:03:12 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  did you read (none)
                        the quotes above?  have you studied the writings of early zionist leaders?
                        •  Yes, I have. (none)
                          Quotes out of context are, much like statistics, pretty much a step away from damn lies.

                          I've read Herzl and Jabotinsky. I've also read Ha'am, who was an early voice pointing out the likelihood of conflict between the Arabs in the vicinity and Zionism, and the labor zionist theorists Borochov and Gordon, who advocated establishment of a state and security through economic power, not through violence.  I've studied Zionism quite thoroughly, between growing up in a Labor Zionist youth movement and especially considering I on-again off-again flirt with moving to Israel, and probably a lot more thoroughly than most posters to this little sub-thread have.

                          Jabotinsky is a poor voice to choose; his ideas are not exactly mainstream, and really never were.  Amongst other things, he advocated Israel occupying the entirety of the British Transjordan Mandate, both the east and west banks of the Jordan, and was an admirer and supplicant to Mussolini.  I don't use David Duke's writings to criticize American political thought, other than the thought of Duke, and using Jabotinsky's writings to criticize modern Israeli political thought is pretty much equivalent.

                          Have you read early Zionist theory?  Have you read current Israeli political theory to see the changes that have occurred?  Do you grasp the concept that people, and even countries, can change?  DO YOU HAVE THUMBS?  SHOW ME YOUR THUMBS!

                          I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                          by sub version on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 09:07:09 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Israel is no democracy! (2.66)
                    The difference is that the Jewish state is a democracy which allows Arabs equal rights and permits Arab residence and involvement in government, this being the alternative to a foreign-run parliamentary monarchy with no Arab representation, and the existing and proposed Arab states forbid Jewish immigration and have laws making it punishable by death to sell land to a Jew.

                    As soon as the Star of David is removed from the Israeli flag and the notion of it being a "Jewish State" is eradicated, I'll accept them as a democracy.  Irael is about as democractic as the Soviet Union was: everyone can vote, as long as they vote for the Communists, right?  

                    Pointing out what kind of democracy Palestinians have in mind is wholly irrelevant; we're talking about Israel, not a bunch of war-torn, scared, paranoid refugees who I'm not suprised feel pretty negative about their oppressors; it's kind of like post-holocaust Jews saying they want a state in which no Aryans could hold land.  A silly notion, but kind of understandable, considering how they've been treated.

                    In fact, the analogy is pretty apt.  Concentration camps and The Ovens aside, Israel is not that different than Nazi-era Germany.  Imagine the Nazis extending an olive branch to the German Jews (prior to Auschwitz, natch) by saying, "Well, okay, we made some mistakes, and we're sorry.  Let's make a deal.  You can live here and own land and join the political process, but you must obey our law saying that we are a Christian Aryan nation.  And for those areas of Germany which are extremely densly-populated with Jews, well, lucky you, they get their own "state" (just don't call it a ghetto anymore, 'kay?).  Yeah yeah, I've heard it all before, 'this is my country, I can be as Jewish as I want' -- listen, we're giving you a good deal here, so shut up, alright?"

                    I mean, Israli law actually states that anyone holding political office must promote Israel as a Jewish State.  This is democracy?  Oy!

                    So, yeah, in the light of the Holocaust, I can see some support for the Jews wanting their own State, but only through that lense does Israel gain any sympathy from me.  The fact that they're turning around and doing to the Arabs what the Germans did to them would be funny if it weren't so unjust.

                    To those who might say that Israel and Nazi Germany are incomparable because the Nazis were genocidiares and obviously the Israelis are not, I have to ask: do you really think the death camps were what was the sourse of the problem in Germany?  That was just one possible outcome of events spurred by the same racial and ethnic nationalism that the two nations share.  Germany was a pretty foul place for Jews prior to the war and Auschwitz; remember the ghettos?  Well, Isral is just still in the ghetto phase with their dirty, ratlike Arab population.  Wait until there's a full-scale war on in that region, then lets see how desperate the Israelis are to get rid of the Palestinians, and I'll bet dollars to donuts were going to see some new Ovens going up.  (Though in this day and age nukes are much more efficient!)

                    Sure, most Israelis have nothing but good in their heart for the world and have no intention of ridding the world of the Palestinians, but the same could be said of 30s-era Germany regarding the Jews.  It's the government, not the people, that I'm talking about here.  I love Israelis themselves and their way of life, their culture, religion, etc.; I'm specifically talking about the actions their government is doing in their name.  Sure, they voted Likud, but I'm aware that they are just as manipulated as our Republicans are here in the States.  And there are a lot of anti-Israel Jews out there; count me in with the guys in the pictures in that link.  They know what's up.

                    Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

                    by Tlacolotl on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 09:41:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Arab voting rights (none)
                      In Israel there are two Arab parties which elect members to the Knesset. The Arab parties have expressed solidarity with the Palestinians in their advertisements. A difference between Nazis and Israeli Jews is that Nazis believed that Jews automatically corrupted everything, therefore they would never have given them a separate land of their own. Most Israelis believe that there can be peace between Israelis and Palestinians, so Palestinians are not a disease, a parasite, or other Nazi metaphors. Israelis find moral justification for Palestinians killed in saying, "We are trying to get the people that attacked us." It would take something spectacular for Israelis to turn against Palestinians who are minding their own business.
                      Tlacolotl also certainly knows that Jewish parties have a wide range of differences about the role of religion in Israel. Shinui or Yahad might be willing to go for a binational state.
                      This reminds me of Marxist logic saying that we are not a democracy because anyone we can logically elect supports capitalism.

                      "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                      by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:07:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Marxist logic (none)
                        I would agree with that Marxist logic to a certain extent, but on a broader note: we are not a democracy because capitalism and democracy are incompatable.

                        This certainly goes against common wisdom, but common wisdom is usually wrong, so I have no problem with that.  However, I would add that the Soviet Union was not, in fact, Marxist, as the workers didn't own anything: the State did.  And the state and the workers are two different things (thus the different names!).  A properly Communist nation would require that free elections (and other democratic notions) are held; the U.S. could easily become a Communist nation with no change to the Constitution or our basic political process.  Communism only works when it's voted in by a supportive populace, after all; it's merely a matter of the population wanting Communism, as Communism placed upon a population by an authoritarian regime is, of course, not Communism (the regime is dictator, not the proletariat).

                        Not that this is anything new that hasn't been discussed to death already!  But I felt like typing it up here anyway . . .

                        The thing about Israeli democracy is that all democracies, whether capitalist or communist in nature, require freedom of religion, i.e. no "state" religion, no endorsement of one religion over the other by the government.  In Israeli, it is clear that Jewish people are first-class citizens and non-Jews are second-class; if it were otherwise, there would be no Star of David on the flag and no immigration policy favoring Jews over, say, Chinese folk, Aborigines, breakdancers from Brooklyn, or men from the moon.

                        On the other hand, I cannot help but look at it from my rootless American "melting pot" point of view.  In the U.S., plurality comes easy because, well, there are essentially no original inhabitants (Native Americans being largely disenfranchised and invisible, not out of Honkey Malice, but out of sheer numbers).  I suppose living in a place where people like you have lived for centuries is sort of different.  Seeing as the vast, overwhelming majority of Jews in Isreal are recently-arrived Americans and Europeans, however, I don't see much justification in such sentiments by Jews -- but, then, they were there a thousand years ago, so there is that "homeland" sense.  Not that the Palestinians don't have that same sense about their land either, of course.  But consider how many Black Swedes there are in the world today; they are just as Swedish as the Dolph Lundgren types up thar, and rightly so -- imagine if Sweden said Africans could immigrate and join the political proces, but only if they uphold the "Nordic Character" of Sweden.  Israel is doing just that kind of thing.

                        Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

                        by Tlacolotl on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 04:57:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  You're wrong. (none)
                      "Israeli law actually states that anyone holding political office must promote Israel as a Jewish State".

                      No.  Israeli law says that political parties may not have the destruction of the state of Israel as a Jewish state as part of their official political platform.  It says nothing about what a politician can attempt to achieve, what they can believe whether elected or not, or even about what they can say while running.  It's an empty formalism, applying solely to political party platforms.

                      I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                      by sub version on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 03:01:12 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Okay (none)
                        The key phrase in "destruction of the state of Israel as a Jewish state" is "as a Jewish state".  From what I understand, the Israeli Constitution holds that Israel is a Jewish state; therefore, it is impossible for anyone to legislate that all references to Judaism be removed from the country's laws.  No Palestinians have a desire to destoy Israel; after all, they want to live there, they want it for themselves, so destroying it is certainly self-defeating.  What they want is for it to not be Jewish in nature; of course, many want it to be Muslim in nature, which is equally anti-democratic.  But I'm sure the vast majority would settle for a secular democracy a la the United States, in which everyone has equal protection under the law.

                        Yes I understand that the Israelis are good-natured in their ideology; that doesn't mean that they're doing the right thing.  Like many people, they need to obtain a little objectivity if they want peace, because if they only look at it from the point of view of the Jews, they will never find the Truth.  Objectivity is key to success in any of life's endeavors, and it is a characteristic sorely lacking from most modern-day nations.

                        Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

                        by Tlacolotl on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 05:52:30 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The phrase is important. (none)
                          There is no Israeli Constitution, for one thing; there are some Basic Laws that serve some of the same purposes, but no one single document that is the supreme guiding principle.

                          The phrase is important because honestly, the Arab citizens who have accepted that Israel is a majority-Jewish state do acceptably well; they do have equal protection under the law, and while there are issues (the military service link being one of them, though there are numerous Arabs who choose to volunteer for military service - e.g. Bedouin and Druze, so I can't really feel too much sympathy there).  The Arab citizens who have not accepted that it is a majority-Jewish state don't do very well at all.  I've read modern Palestinian politicians, who feel that serving the state of Israel even politically is essentially incompatible with being Arab; if that is true, there is no hope and never will be.  If you can't feel enough loyalty to your country to serve it, I can't feel any sympathy for you complaining that the country doesn't seem to want you.

                          The Israelis aren't good natured at all.  Saying that shows a core misunderstanding.  I's a country  that has been effectively at war for the past 60 years.   Security isn't a joke to them, like it is here in the US.  They want peace, but if it comes down to a choice between a secure intifada and an insecure peace, don't expect them to choose peace.

                          The reason for that language, and the entire definition as a "Jewish state" is quite simple for many Israelis: they watched 6 million of their family die, and said never again, then they built a country where they could make certain that never again would be true, or that if it would they would at least resist.  If the people who live next to you have repeatedly said their goal is the destruction of your state, wouldn't you put in a couple safe-guards against it?  They want peace, but not at the cost of security.

                          Anyway.  The problem is that most Israelis have a genuine (and reasonable) fear that a non-Jewish state will become a de facto Muslim state, which would probably lead quite quickly to the destruction of the Jewish citizens of that state.  That fear is backed by historical events in Europe, by demographics in Israel and the territories, and by most all of the surveys I've seen on the attitude of the Palestinian people.

                          I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                          by sub version on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 09:20:23 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Say what?! (none)
                      "Concentration camps and The Ovens aside, Israel is not that different than Nazi-era Germany."

                      Talking about the Nazis without the death camps is like saying:

                      "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

                      •  The Ovens (none)
                        It should go without saying that the Holocaust was not what made Nazi Germany evil.  It was the fascism; once they've achieved that state (i.e. belligerent nationalism mixed with a coporate dominance of the government . . . hmm, starting to sound familiar, anyone?), the Holocaust was an afterthought.

                        Not that comparing numbers is a cool thing to do when human death is concerned, but consider how many non-Jewish French, British, Polish, American, Russians, et al, were killed by the Nazis.  They could have let the Jews all flee the country and still they would have been the most bad-ass, murderous, evil motherfuckers on the planet, this side of the Imperial Japanese.  Remember, Italy and Spain were equally vile fascists, and nary an Oven dotted their landscapes.  

                        Fascism is evil, regardless of whether were talking about genocide-hungry Aryans or money-crazed Republicans; it's only a matter of scale and how bloodthirsty the fascists happen to be.

                        I don't mean to belittle the Nazis or make the Israelis look vile; I'm merely trying to show that the various sorts of fascism out there all rely on the same base instincts held by the populace.  Whether it results in Ovens or in tax cuts for the rich is a secondary (albeit more important) matter.

                        Though I understand Lincoln was enjoying the play, up until a certain point . . .

                        Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

                        by Tlacolotl on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 05:46:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Casinos & Whitey (3.00)
                Well, hey, all I know is that 100% of North America rightfully belongs to the Native Americans, but we gave them a good deal, right?  They have casinos now!  If they had a problem with the land we gave them for reservations, they should have said something back in the 1800s.

                The thing that bugs me here is that we're talking about land-ownership issues being decided by people other than the land owners.  In North America, of course, Westerners felt that the land wasn't, you know, "owned", because people just wandered around from place to place, hunting and gathering, not dividing it up into portions for agriculture and industry, so we felt they didn't really hold rights to it -- despite the fact that they had lived there literally for tens of thousands of years.  Flash forward to Israel, where Semites have populated the region for thousands of years, predating (of course) both Judaism and Islam.  Look at it through this racial lense, not the (late-appearing) religious and cultural one, and you'll see the kind of bigoted militaristic scheme that has always been perpetrated upon dark people by white people.  No, Israel is not a result of the Jews wanting their land back; it's a result of the Anglo-Americans wanting a big Western establishment in the region -- and despite the differences in religion but similarities of race between Israelis and Palestinians, we know one big difference that is really the underlying force at work here: it's a conflict between Westerners and The Other.

                Israel is ardently against the right of return because giving the land within Israel back to the families who were forcefully evicted in the forties onward the notion of a "Jewish Nation" would be history.  I'm not talking about "Palestinians" taking back their land from Israel; I'm talking about thousands of specific families (who happen to be Arabs, but that is irrelivant to the property rights issue at hand) who had lived in those areas for centuries (and, no, not as "absentees", whatever you mean by that).

                The idea of property rights is basic: if you own land, you own it.  It doesn't matter who comes and draws new borders around you; they lived there, then Whitey showed up and put a border round them calling it Israel, then decided that it would be best if these dark people were moved to a more convenient location.

                The mistake Palestinians made was the same one the Native Americans made: they didn't have a Western-style "nation-state" in place by the time Whitey showed up, so Whitey got to put one in place for them.  Happens all the time, actually.  Fuckin' Whitey!  (Props to Dan Clowes)

                Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

                by Tlacolotl on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 09:19:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Difficult for Palestinians to have nation-state (none)
                  The area that is now Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire until the end of WWI; then the British Mandate took over. Palestinian nationalism then became active, as it did in Iraq, for instance.
                  Unfortunately for the Palestinians there were already Jews living there and the British could not keep the peace between the two peoples. Palestinian nationalism has been successful in denying Israel legitimacy among a lot of people.  
                  Also, all the Jews in Israel are not white or European, and Israelis do not consider Europe to be their friend to say the least. So perhaps Americans consider Israel to be an extension of America, but not "the West" proper.
                  This is a marginally better comment than the other two because the "right of return" bothers me somewhat. But if there is a Palestinian state, the Palestinian refugees are citizens of that state and have a right of return there. (Thanks to latest Tikkun)

                  "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                  by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:30:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Very interesting (none)
                    This is an interesting way of reframing the history of that area.  It is difficult for the native population to have a nation-state...because foreigners decided they shouldn't?

                    I realize that not all Jews are white.  But Israel is still very much a white European Jewish phenomenon as it was originally constituted.

                    •  Palestinians vs. Native Americans (none)
                      Native Americans had more opportunity to form a nation-state of their own because they were self-governing. Palestinians have less because they were always ruled by other people. That was what I was trying to get at. If all of Palestine was an Arab state, it would be difficult for Jews to have their own state because "foreigners decided they shouldn't". This is just a longer state of affairs than for the Palestinians.

                      "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                      by 4jkb4ia on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 07:43:05 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Unlike Native Americans (none)
                  There was no threat of force to compel Arab landlords to sell.  And by absentees, I mean that quite a bit of Mandate Palestine was operating in a quasi-feudal system - landholders, living abroad in places like Damascus and Baghdad, had peasant farmers working the land locally.  Those peasant farmers didn't own the land they worked; they were, effectively, sharecroppers.  Many Arab landlords took money (often quite generous amounts, financed by American and European Jews) for land they never set foot on in their lives.

                  No threat of force to compel sale, and fair value received for the land sold.  The Peel Commission report noted that the price per acre of land in Palestine was reaching $1000, while an acre of fertile soil in Iowa went for around $100.

                  I'm sorry, but if you refuse to acknowledge the legal right to those specific pieces of land, representing a non-trivial portion of the current state of Israel (roughly 7% of total land, and roughly 15% of cultivable land - and remembering the essentially uninhabited 45% of the mandate known as the Negev Desert, those numbers make more sense), by its current owners I can't acknowledge you as someone who wishes to seriously discuss the issue.

                  I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                  by sub version on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 03:23:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  4325 (none)
                which already had a heavy Jewish immigrant quotient - legal Jewish immigrants

                bullshit.  between the signing of the balfourth declaration and the official establisment of the state of israel, tens of thousands of jews migrated illegally to the region - many with the help of irgun, the predecessor of mossad.  whose side hobby, btw, was bombing various establishments in and around palestine, as well as british interests locally and abroad.

                •  And illegal Jewish immigrants are a problem why? (none)
                  Considering there was nowhere else for them to go?
                  The people who smuggled them into Palestine saved lives. My great-grandmother's niece wanted desperately to go to Palestine because her family knew what was coming, but the borders were closed and she died with everyone else.

                  "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                  by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:34:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I do not fault... (3.50)
                    ...people for going where they needed to go to survive.  But I fault those who arranged things such that it is the Arabs who must pay the price for the crimes of Europe and the seed of genocide that lay dormant in European culture.

                    Many Western countries closed their doors to the Jews during those terrible times.  I'm a Canadian.  Canada had a shameful history in this regard too (leaving out its ongoing shameful treatment of other groups, such as native peoples).  

                    At the same time, many Zionist ideologues took advantage of this population transfer to Arab lands to further an ideology that preceded the slaughter in Germany.  These people are also blameworthy. That people arrived as refugees does not mean that they had the right to claim national rights.

                    •  Zionism in the 1930s (none)
                      Any general response I could make to this is probably within a Zionist framework. Thank you, Mandos, for the fair responses and not shrieking like some posters around here.
                      Zionism is a response to deeply rooted anti-Semitism in Europe that led to genocide. Since we hear this argument ad nauseam now, it would be reasonable to say that some Zionists in the 1930s (they made this argument in 1948?) thought that what Hitler was doing was proof of Zionism, that the Jews needed a state because however integrated they thought they were into society, the people could still turn on them. The whole topic of this board seems to say that people feel comfortable turning on Jews even here in America. They acted out of Zionism instead of exploiting it.
                      I need to learn more about early Zionism. Zionism/Palestinian nationalism can form a good argument that, unlike what Grover Norquist thinks, a state is not a mafia. A state is a chance at recognition.  

                      "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                      by 4jkb4ia on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:01:08 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  huh? (none)
                        i couldn't quite tell if you were being serious or not in stating that zionism is a response to genocide caused by anti-semitism.

                        this is not true.  theodor herzl is widely regarded as the idealogue behind zionism and it is commonly accepted that his impetus in the matter was the dreyfus affair.  of course, the recent pogroms in russia factored into his thinking, but most of those victims fled, i.e., it would not qualify as a genocide. the serious genocidal acitvity didn't happen until a good 30 years after the first zionist congress convened in basel, switzerland (1897), a good 15 or so years after the zionists had wrangled the balfourth agreement out of the brits, etc. etc.

                        it was NOT a response to genocide against the jews.

                        •  Obviously not (none)
                          There was no genocide when Herzl was alive. I said that Zionism responds to European anti-Semitism. Genocide is a consequence of European anti-Semitism. The Dreyfus Affair is a good cause of Zionism because it showed that some people were out to get the Jews, even if they were theoretically full citizens of European countries.

                          "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                          by 4jkb4ia on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 03:25:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  I do not fault... (none)
                    ...people for going where they needed to go to survive.  But I fault those who arranged things such that it is the Arabs who must pay the price for the crimes of Europe and the seed of genocide that lay dormant in European culture.

                    Many Western countries closed their doors to the Jews during those terrible times.  I'm a Canadian.  Canada had a shameful history in this regard too (leaving out its ongoing shameful treatment of other groups, such as native peoples).  

                    At the same time, many Zionist ideologues took advantage of this population transfer to Arab lands to further an ideology that preceded the slaughter in Germany.  These people are also blameworthy. That people arrived as refugees does not mean that they had the right to claim national rights.

                •  Best estimates I've seen (none)
                  Place illegal immigration numbers at roughly 20% of total Jewish immigration.

                  And Irgun was by no means the predecessor of Mossad, as Mossad is a state intelligence agency, and Irgun was a militia.  Further, Irgun was later merged directly into the IDF, a totally seperate administrative unit from Mossad.

                  I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                  by sub version on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 03:32:01 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I am very aware (none)
            of this fascinating series of lies and presupposition.  

            The Palestinians lived in the WHOLE AREA.  What right did some foreigners have to come in 1948 and generously offer them a chunk of what was already due to them?  If I were an Arab leader at the time, I'd have rejected this patently unfair denial of sovereignty.

            •  Actually, (none)
              Palestinians didn't live in the whole area. Most of what is now Israel was uninhabitable swampland until Zionists from Europe came along in the 1800s and started to cultivate it. Many of them died from malaria and other diseases but they just kept planting trees until the land was liveable. Also, the Jews arriving in the area purchased most of the land they began to live on legitimately. There were a few Arabs who were unfairly kicked off their land, but not nearly to the extent that pro-Palestinian advocates would have you believe.

              Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

              by sparklegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:49:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "A Land Without A People" (none)
                This is a plain lie, uttered to make Zionists feel better and give them that pioneer spirit that also allowed the ethnic cleansing of North America.  Parts of Tel Aviv sit on abandoned Palestinian villages.  Jews would still be a minority or very close too it in the land "given" them in the 1948 solution.

                Transferring populations into areas to change their balance in order to force a state is also considered...illegitimate in the strongest terms, for obvious reason.  You're using force to create a state one way or another.  Or getting help from an empire to do so.

                The Arabs were never given a choice to arrange the lands of Arabia, have not been since, and Israel is presently the lynchpin of this whole situation.

              •  still apoplectic (none)
                "We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back."

                Theodor Herzl, 1895

                "...The Arabs loved their country as much as the Jews did. Instinctively, they understood Zionist aspirations very well, and their decision to resist them was only natural ..... There was no misunderstanding between Jew and Arab, but a natural conflict. .... No Agreement was possible with the Palestinian Arab; they would accept Zionism only when they found themselves up against an 'iron wall,' when they realize they had no alternative but to accept Jewish settlement."

                "... Arabs...look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie. To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile."

                ".... Settlement can thus develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population, behind an IRON WALL which they will be powerless to break down. ....a voluntary agreement is just not possible. As long as the Arabs preserve a gleam of hope that they will succeed in getting rid of us, nothing in the world can cause them to relinquish this hope, precisely because they are not a rubble but a living people. And a living people will be ready to yield on such fateful issues only when they give up all hope of getting rid of the Alien Settlers. Only then will extremist groups with their slogan 'No, never' lose their influence, and only then their influence be transferred to more moderate groups. And only then will the moderates offer suggestions for compromise. Then only will they begin bargaining with us on practical matters, such as guarantees against PUSHING THEM OUT, and equality of civil, and national rights."

                Ze'ev Jobotinsky, circa 1923

                •  Ben-Gurion had a better quote (none)
                  Something along the lines of "They have a right to resent us, we have taken their country." To use a vehement nationalist like Jabotinsky to make your point is close to using a settler rabbi today.  

                  "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                  by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:39:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  This is backed up (none)
                "Palestinians" by Kimmerling and ? stated that many Palestinians moved into what is now Israel because of increased economic activity by Jews. This is not a book unsympathetic to the Palestinians, either.

                "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:41:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This does not in itself (none)
                  ...make the case that the 1948 solution actually had an area that was well-defined majority Jewish.
                  •  Maps (none)
                    Cartogram showing population distribution.  The larger the circle, the larger the population it represents; note that the largest circle represents a population 71% Jewish.  The source you would like for the proof of Jewish majority in partition would be Howard Sachar's "A History of Israel", page 292.  Wikipedia claims it to be 500,000 Jews, 325,000 non-Jews, while Sachar claims it to be 540k and 400k respectively, so their numbers appear to differ.  However, both are clear in that the partition of 1948 split the state into a majority Jewish partition and a majority Arab partition (10k Jews and 804k in that portion).

                    Proposed partition map, so you can see how the partition was designed to encompass the Jewish population while minimizing the Arab population inside of it.

                    I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

                    by sub version on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 03:43:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  She is not a troll (none)
            I'm giving her a 3 because while I vehemently disagree with her, at this point I don't believe she is attempting to be disruptive or arguing in bad faith, so I don't see why the 1 is justified.  Better not to rate at all.
      •  Into the sea with you! (3.00)
        The thing is, the Palestinian terrorists are blowing up Israelis, not Jews.  They have no problem with Jews living elsewhere; it's the fact that they stole the land from the Palestinians.  

        Consider Native American resistance to invading Westerners: in today's terms, they were terrorists, killing enemy soldiers as well as settlers.  From their point of view (just as from the Palestinians'), these invaders were all one and the same; the settlers were basically human shields for political land-grabbing (as with the Israeli government, which is probably one of the worst things to ever happen to the Jews).  Yet while many Westerners may have thought their "defense" against the Indians was, in essense, a defense of Christianity, nothing could have been further from the truth; the Native Americans didn't give two shits about Christianity, they really kind of just didn't want their land stolen.

        And so it goes in Isreal and Palestine.  Palestinians don't hate Jews because they're Jewish, but because they're Israeli -- because they're stealing their land (well, because they've stolen thier land, that is).  Certainly many Muslims think they hate Jews because they're Jewish, but they would be wrong in saying so (and no, we don't always hate people for the reasons we think we do).  If the Jews weren't there, the Muslims wouldn't really care about Jewishness or white people in general; they would simply live peacefully in the land God granted them in Palestine.

        For the record, I find Israel itself to be the epitome of anti-Semitism: it's the Ghetto writ large.  "Well, y'all don't seem to fit in in Europe or America, why don't we just send you all the the Middle East so you can live in a cozy little scrap of land surrounded by people who want to kill you.  Don't worry, we'll give you lots of guns".  Sheesh.  Worse than our "Indian Reservations", almost as bad as Hitler's ovens but with a nice sheen of repatriation to make people feel like it's something good for them.  It's the equivalent of telling our African-Americans to go back to Africa.  Not that we're telling Jews to live in Israel, but the general idea is that Israel is "more Jewish" than anywhere else, which is a crock, considering that land has no ethnicity.

        Money changes everything -- Cyndi Lauper

        by Tlacolotl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 10:55:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  People have ethnicity, even if land doesn't (none)
          Because Israel is a "Jewish state", Israel is positive for Jews because Judaism is a normal state of affairs there and Jews can do all the things that anti-Semitism made Jews afraid of in the Diaspora, such as running a government or working the land. Israelis also have Hebrew as a first language, which makes the Jewish tradition more accessible to them. If one reads the actual entry, God forbid, one sees that here Jews are not immune from being bullied because we are 2% of the population. The dispossession of Palestinians perhaps makes all this founded on a lie. But we have aspired for 2000 years to have a land where Jewish values are exalted. Israel is our aspiration, not something that Gentiles foisted on us.  

          "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

          by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:49:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  apoplectic (none)
        you seem pretty cool, sparklegirl.  your previous posts lead me to believe you are my kind of glitterbug.  but on this issue, we could not agree less.  please don't take what i'm about to type too personally.

        Most of the time when Jews criticize anti-Israel sentiment as anti-Semitic, it is legitimate.

        poppycock.  pure and utter poppycock.  criticizing isreali policy is in no way tantamount to anti-semitism.  sure, some criticism of israel is thinly-veiled anti-semitism, but to say that most of it is - "wtf?!?!" is really all i can say.

        In Israel, the ultimate result of anti-Semitism is innocent civilians getting blown up in pizza parlors or toddlers being shot at point-blank range

        no.  those actions are the result of anti-israeli (i.e. anti-occupation) sentiment.  it has nothing to do with some vast arab hatred of jews.  as someone else pointed out, there is no worldwide arab conspiracy to exterminate jews.  they just want their land back.  so they attack the occupiers.  

        incidentally, do you have a link for the "toddlers being shot at point-blank range" bit?  because there are numerous accounts of an israeli soldier emptying his magazine into a 13-year old palestinian schoolgirl.

        as to the rest of your post:

        call out anti-semitism wherever it is real, by all means.  but please disabuse yourself of this notion that criticizing israel somehow encourages anti-semitism.  the logical extension of such a thought is that no one should be criticizing israel, which is patently absurd.  

        israel = political construct
        jewish = ethnic and cultural identity.

        criticism of israel != anti-semitism

        learn it, love it, live it.

        •  "No Arab conspiracy to eliminate Jews" (none)
          Really! What do you make of the Islamic insurgents in Iraq who conflate Americans and Jews? Did you also hear about the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" on Egyptian television? Political Islamic hatemongers (including Osama bin Laden) use the Israeli/Palestinian situation to arouse hatred of Jews in general, using Nazi anti-Semitic metaphors. Palestinian television used to do this, too. A story about the toning down of incitement in Palestinian media in the NYT led with a sermon which was broadcast there that was anti-Semitic by any definition.

          "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

          by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:19:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What is the purpose (none)
            So I think we need to make some distinctions.  Most anti-Semitism in the Arab world has the Israel/Palestine situation as its alpha and its omega.  Most of the anti-Semitic imagery has been borrowed from Europe as the only fast and available language to express the outrage over this situation.  Most of the Arab and Muslim world is continually perplexed by the West's (particularly America's) support of something that is to them so obviously wrong that they turn to "Protocolsian" conspiracy theories.  

            The origin and motives behind this is quite different from a campaign to exterminate Jews or something, and to conflate the two is extremely dishonest.   Indeed, it has motives that are transparent.

            •  I can't believe you're so naive (none)
              that you think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the source of the anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim world. It's hard to even know where to begin having a logical discussion with someone who believes that. Militant fundamentalist Islam is a huge force characterized by hatred of the "other," whether American or Jew, which existed before the creation of Israel and will contintue to exist regardless of what Israel does. Yes, some of the terrorists use Israel as a convenient source for their hatred, but I can guarantee you that if the Israelis and Palestinians were to solve their conflicts and begin living peacefully side-by-side tomorrow, it would not go away. It is too deeply entrenched and too far widespread.

              Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

              by sparklegirl on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 02:56:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism (none)
        The "Jewish establishment"(Foxman, Dershowitz etc) has delineated two examples of anti-Zionism that amount to anti-Semitism which I think are fair.
        1. Every other people in the world deserves a state of their own except for the Jews.
        2. Israel's human rights violations are the most awful and heinous in the world, and we will not complain about any others such as what the Sudanese are doing in Darfur, the Russians in Chechnya, the Chinese etc.
        Other criticisms of Israel can come from a simple human sense of decency.

        "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

        by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:12:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are strawmen (none)
          Few serious critics of Israel's foundation actually claim 1.  In fact, very few people claim that Every Other People necessarily and unconditionally deserves a state.  I know, actually, of none who claim this.  Rather, the objection is that the conditions under which Israel was created made it specifically in the form in which it was created...less than legitimate.  Also that it is possible that there were no conditions under which the creation of Israel might not have been an unnacceptable breach of Arab rights.

          Few serious critics of Israel's policy actually claim 2.  However, I for one claim that Israel's behaviour is the lynchpin of a whole lot of other pathologies in the area. Not all, but many.  And that if one wants to make the greatest progress towards world peace, then the most useful criticism is that focused towards Israel.

          •  I'd also like to add... (none)
            ...that defenders of Israel create these criteria in order to claim that critics of Israel (who criticize Israel more than cosmetically) actually suffer from these positions 1 and 2.  So this is part of their campaign to discredit Israel's critics and should not be taken seriously.
            •  I haven't seen anyone who claims 1 or 2 either (none)
              But those positions are logically anti-Semitic.

              "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

              by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 11:56:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is (4.00)
      that in the Arab world there is little distinction made between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-semitism.  "Jew" is synonomous with "Israeli" and the worst anti-semitic stereotypes are being viciously resurrected (e.g., the Protocols of the elders of Zion), in the name of the Palestinian cause.

      As usual, Jews today get it from the left (via the Palestinian issue) and from the right (via the anti-xmas crap). Mel Gibson's film, with its great popularity in the Middle East, was a poisonous fusing of these sources.

      •  In the Arab world (none)
        ...the primary image and relationship of Jews that people have to draw on are either:

        1. Odious Israelis
        2. Rich Western Jews.

        Unfortunately, they have not seen normal, day-to-day Jews.  Consequently, it's really easy for them to believe in Jewish conspiracies, since to them America's blind support of Israel is too hard to understand without a conspiracy.

        Also note that WWII is a footnote in the Muslim world as a whole.  WWI is way more important, and that didn't really involve Jews.  The most important fallout of WWII for that part of the world was...the creation of Israel.

        I am beginning to believe that many "ordinary" Jews living in the West are coming to realize the long-term problem that Israel has created.  I think that one day the Muslim world will eventually come to see the Jews as normal people.  But the image of the ordinary Jewish person will have to supplant that of the Israeli as the archetype of the Jew.

        •  Odious Israelis? (none)
          Give me a break. You're probably referring to the settlers--some of whom are pretty darn wacko--but they are a small minority of Israelis. Most Israelis (about 3/4) support disengagement from the settlements. Not to mention that a vast majority of Israelis live within the borders of the non-disputed part of Israel and lead everyday lives just like Americans do. They're certainly not religious zealots--the majority of Israelis are secular, and the fringe fundies who make up some of the settler population should not be used to smear the rest of them.

          Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

          by sparklegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:52:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  First of all... (none)
            ...the disengagement presently proposed by Sharon is in many ways quite fraudulent.  Secondly, the sense of odium originally arises from being, well, Israeli, as in occupying Arab lands.  But naturally no one seriously believes that there won't be an Israel after a solution, no matter what rhetoric they may spout.

            In any case, Israel claims to be a democracy.  I could thus superficially conclude that if a majority of Israelis really wished to TRULY disengage from the settlements, they would vote to dismantle the settlements in Gaza and the West Bank forthwith and not, rather, contribute to the conscript army that occupies these areas.  I realize that this is a superficial reading, but the settlers are necessarily the public face of Israel and Israel is judged by how the settler issue is handled, and at the moment, it is not well.

            •  Israel is a democracy. (none)
              Israel is the one democracy in the Middle East, surrounded by hostile dictatorships and theocracies. In Israel, Muslims and Christians can be full citizens, whereas in many Muslim countries, a Jew can't even go there without fear of being beheaded. Israel has freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and equal rights for women--try finding that in any other Middle Easter country.

              Saying Israel "claims" to be a democracy is pretty ridiculous. Would you say America only "claims" to be a democracy because Bush and the radical right have currently hijacked our government and are doing things in our name that we would never support? If it helps, look at Sharon and Likud like Bush and Republicans. Unfortunately, the Israeli equivalent of the religious right has a disproportionate amount of political power because the other parties need it to fill out coalitions in the parliamentary system. It's just the way their government works. Sharon's disegagement plan certainly has its problems, but you have to consider that he is going against his own party and alienating nearly his entire political base to go ahead with it. Sharon built his entire political career on settlement expansion, and for him to change now shows that he really wants what is in Israel's best interests. Also, don't forget that the Israelis only elected a rightwinger like Sharon in response to the latest Palestinian wave of terrorism--kind of like how 9/11 helped Bush win reelection. There have been plenty of Israeli leaders who tried to make compromises with the Palestinians but were turned down.

              Democrats do it better on the Senate floor.

              by sparklegirl on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 12:14:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's the deal (none)
                You missed my point.  Israel may or may not be a democracy.  I'd say that many Western countries, US included, that claim to be a democracy tend to be places where an oligarchy is simply to clever to be openly tyrannical but rather let more automatic systems quell dissent.  

                But seeing as Israel claims to be a democracy, just like the US, means that some Israelis, a majority of them, in fact, should also claim to bear some measure of responsibility for its actions over such a long time.  You cannot hide behind coalitions and powerful religious right-wings; if the population were truly and primarily interested in writing the very basic wrongs, you would see action on that front.

                The other point about Sharon's disengagement plan is that the excuse is actually a very interesting game---a game based on the sheer hysteria of Zionism.  So even the most cosmetic thing is seen as such an odious political burden for Sharon to carry.  On the other hand, the Arabs are demanded to give up everything but a pittance...

                The disengagement plan is also pretty clever.  It turns a prison camp into...a less supervised and less funded prison camp.  Huh.  True disengagement cannot be unilateral but must also account for the costs of the creation of Israel.

              •  * still * apoplectic (none)
                and all i can say this time is go study history.  please.
              •  You forgot Turkey... (none)
                It is factually inaccurate to state that Israel is the only Democracy in the Middle East.  Turkey is as much a democracy as Israel is... right down to second class citizens (Kurds and Palestinians respectively).

                Working hard everyday to make our nation's capitol just a bit more country and a lot more Democratic.

                by TX Dem in DC on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:42:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  This is "participatory democracy" (none)
              No such thing has ever come to a vote because the Orthodox parties would block it.

              "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

              by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 11:59:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And, uh... (none)
                ...your point?  

                I do believe that Israel is a Parliamentary democracy of some kind.  I do think that it would be possible for all sorts of proposals to come to a vote if there were parties representing more than 50% of the Israeli people willing to pass them.  If Orthodox parties can block these things, then obviously this 50% does not exist, or is never expressed politically.

          •  Not exactly (none)
            Israeli soldiers are the people doing the killing. They can be considered odious, too. Nice try, sparklegirl.

            "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

            by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:51:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  546 (none)
          "I am beginning to believe that many "ordinary" Jews living in the West are coming to realize the long-term problem that Israel has created."

          you bet they are

          an interesting detail is the fact that the main proponents of the early zionists movement were mostly secular jews, i.e politically motivated.

      •  hmmmm (none)
        in the Arab world there is little distinction made between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-semitism.  "Jew" is synonomous with "Israeli"

        i doubt the over 1 million non-jewish residents (roughly 20%) of israel would agree with you there.

        •  But (none)
          wouldn't many of them consider themselves Palestinians and not Israelis?

          And I don't think you can deny that anti-Semitism has been actively encouraged in many ways by Arab governments.  Why else does my NY synagogue have concrete barriers in front of it?

          •  okay, (none)
            so, which is it - is palestine a state or is it not?  i can't keep track of the various uses depending on which point the zionists are trying to make.

            it is specious to say that arab governments encourage anti-semitism, as most arab governments are directly affected by israel's presence and policies.  or did i miss the memo about the great arab exodus from the middle east?

            but if you want to talk about governments encouraging anti-semitism, let's start here:

            "If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel." David Ben-Gurion

            the zionists actively courted and encouraged anti-semitism, as it furthered their goals for a jewish homeland.

            but, back to the original point:

            "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.
            •  More misplaced quotations (none)
              The first Ben-Gurion quote said that it was more important to build Israel than to save Jewish lives. This does not imply that Ben-Gurion is encouraging the Nazis to kill the Jews or the British not to accept them.
              This is news, that Israel "directly affects" Arab countries. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt are clearly affected by Israel. But Arab countries that do not border Israel seem to go about their business  independently.

              "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

              by 4jkb4ia on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 12:06:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  2454325 (none)
                are you using "arab" as synonymous with "muslim"?  or are you suggesting that saudi arabia, et al are not affected by israel?

                as to your commentary on the ben gurion quote, i never said he "encouraged the nazis to kill the jews or the british to not accept them."  please do not put words in my mouth or refute arguments i never made - anti-semitism exists without those scenarios.  ben gurion's quote unequivocally demonstrates that the zionists had no qualms putting the political goal of a jewish national state in palestine above the welfare of the world's jewry, whom eretz israel was supposed to help and support.  it's some really twisted logic.

                in the beginning, there was not much common support for the idea of a jewish state among the general jewish populace.  the zionists understood this and worked in many ways to change people's minds about palestine and encouraged emigration.  if establishing eretz israel is the most important goal and they're willing to sacrifice jews to do it, it is not a large leap to say they encouraged anti-semitism to convince jews that emigration was their saviour.

                anyhoo, herzl wrote in his diaries about anti-semitism and how it could be used to further zionists aims.  i forgot where i read it though and i'm still trying to find the references.  


                •  I meant Saudi Arabia etc. (none)

                  "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                  by 4jkb4ia on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 09:18:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  More drawn-out response (none)
                  I distinguished between Arab countries and Muslim countries. I was thinking of Saudi Arabia as well as Morocco, which is friendly to Israel.
                  I will accept that Herzl may have wanted to encourage anti-Semitism. I thought that the most important manifestation of anti-Semitism at the time
                  was that Jews were about to be slaughtered. Clearly there are milder forms of anti-Semitism which Israelis can point to to get Americans, for example, to immigrate. ("Americans think they are a Christian country" and so on.)

                  "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

                  by 4jkb4ia on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 09:29:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  In the Arab world, that is (none)
          I don't know if Arabs have any problem with the residents of Israel that are neither Jewish nor Muslim. But I have no evidence that Arabs distinguish between Diaspora Jews and Israelis. Anti-Semitic incidents in France suggest that they do not. So I think the poster was saying that Arabs conflate Jews and Israelis.

          "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

          by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:54:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  wow! thank you Hunter (4.00)
    I suppose I always knew it was there, lurking just under the surface; seems like the triumphalist display prompted by their "man-date" is gathering momentum.

    It was rather well coordinated though, wasn't it? with a clear strategy: First, Christmas, where's our Christmas? Second, Why do they hate Xmas? Then, who's behind it? Who hates Xmas?  Oh yeah, them Jews. Ta-dah!

    Let's see: libruls, gays, jews..  moving right along... to.. who? who's next?  

    •  Transmitters. (4.00)
      It's certainly another reminder of the general organizational structure of the far-right.

      Even the most vile of deep-conservative concepts can bubble to the surface and become mainstream primarily through the gentle introduction and softening of the "issue" by mainstream transmitters.

      Whether it be the natalist "whites must outbreed lesser races" movement, seemingly endorsed by David Brooks, or the "Christmas under attack" talking point, fronted by O'Reilly, Dobson, Robertson, et al (but in actuality an ongoing rallying cry that goes, as the NewsHounds link reminds us, a long way back), it's not hard to find links between "mainstream" conservatives and the hardline, unapologetic origins of each "issue".

      •  Good find (none)
        The rhetoric of O'Reilly is the direct descendent of the antisemitic rhetoric of the 20's and 30's.

        Fight the American Taliban

        by pontificator on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:15:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's a populist (4.00)
          Now that O'Reilly's friends have hijacked the government, they feel secure enough to start attacking jews.

          It was just a question of time before these conservatives would show their true colours. We knew they were racist.

          So, now republicans want to get rid of liberals, gays, feminists, civil rights activists and jews. Sound familiar?

          Welcome to Germany 1939.

          Merry Christmas.

          Welcome To America. The Land of the Divided.

          by Jonesyboy on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:15:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are Jewish Republicans (none)
            Who would just say, "Of course they hate us" or "Of course O'Reilly is an idiot". These Republicans acknowledge that Nixon was an anti-Semite but are grateful to him for saving Israel in the Yom Kippur War to this day.

            "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

            by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:57:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Credit for finding the Henry Ford quote (none)
          belongs to NewsHounds, they've got a great article at the link worth reading.  The other quotes are a mix of Media Matters and things I'd bookmarked recently.

          As the last blockquote hints at, doing a google search on "Christmas" and "Jew", and other similar variations, turns up some astonishingly vile stuff from Stormfront and other hate sites.  I spent a number of hours looking at anti-Semitic websites to see what they were saying about Christmas and the Jews; suffice it to say that, this being Christmas Eve, I wouldn't repeat any of it here.

          The origins of the talking point are now eminently clear, however.

      •  Barely Relevant Factoid (none)
        In 1914 Henry Ford installed an assmebly line to build Model T automobiles at his Highland Park plant.  In January, 1914 he announced that he would begin paying his workers a $5.00 day (more than doubling their wages).  In 1915 he started construction on the Rouge plant, which was the largest factory complex in the world, where raw materials came in and in the steel mill and the forge and the glass shop and the tire factory and the other buildings they made the parts that in the main factory became Model A's built cars from scratch.  (BTW, the Rouge link is worth following, especially for fans of Charles Scheeler, Diego Rivera and even Frida Kahlo).  A month after instituting the $5.00 day, and a year before starting the Rouge,  Henry Ford began construction on his final home, Fair Lane, on an estate on the Rouge River in Dearborn, just 3 or 4 miles upstream from the eventual site of the Rouge complex.  It's a strange mix of nature and turn-of-the-century tinker-ingeniuity, with it's own dam and powerhouse to supply electricity to the comparatively modest home, a miniture reproduction of his childhood home, grounds designed by a world-famous landscape architect, a house partly designed by (fellow anti-Semite) Frank Lloyd Wright, and, for his wife, approximately 1 million roses.  It was a bucolic little island of perfectly sanitized and idealized pre-industrialized America, and quite befitting for the man who famously declared that "history is more or less bunk."

        Why do I bring this up?  Well, in addition to being a weird kind of proselytizer, who instituted the "Ford Sociology Department" to visit workers' homes to check on their personal and moral hygene, who extolled the virtues of soybeans and vegetarianism and abstinence, who sent the "Peace Ship" to Archangel during the Russian Revolution to try to calm the social turmoil and who later built a massive tractor factory in the USSR to help the Soviets increase their agricultural production, he was, of course, a rabid anti-Semite.  He was one of the few non-Germans--possibly the only one besides Mussolini, I can't remember--to be awarded the Grand Cross of the Iron Eagle, Nazi Germany's highest civilian honor.  He also published the Dearborn Independent, which was full of racist, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant vitriol, in addition to the anti-Semitic pieces later collected in The International Jew.

        Ford retracted his anti-Semitic writings in 1942, and he was pretty much out of commission by the end of WWII.  (He died in 1947 at 83.)  But interestingly, in the basement of the Fair Lane mansion, in the Field Room (which was inspired by the nearby Botsford Inn, where I believe he met his wife Clara), there's a rug beneath the table.   It's fairly detailed, but in person, if one looks closely, you can see, in the middle, in each quadrant near the guessed it, swastikas.  

        I appreciate that the curators of the estate haven't so sanitized the place that they took away the rug--although it's not mentioned on many of the doscent-led tours.  But I also always found it revealing that Ford--whose factories and production techniques helped earn Detroit, which produced so many of the trucks, tanks and bombers used to defeat Nazi Germany, the nickname "Arsenal of Democracy"--never bothered to rid his home of a peice of decoration adorned with the symbol of the regime that his country, his city and his own corporation had been mobilized to destroy.

        Henry Ford was a fascinating character.  I certainly don't think he's sympathetic, but definitely fascinating.  It's one of those jarring contrasts that a man who contributed in so many productive ways was also such an anti-semitic, racist, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant bigot, and in general such an unlikable prick.  

      •  David Brooks (none)
        I didn't notice that he said that "natalists" were of any particular race.

        "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

        by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:58:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Holiday Rant (4.00)
    Falwell can fucking bite me. What kind of hypocritical nerve does it take to be a Christian who's constantly glorifying war in public speeches? To talk about how you're going to relentlessly sue people for a persecution you are pulling out of your own ass after you just got finishing screaming and howling about the trial lawyers ruining America? To tout your Constitutional rights at the same time as you promote amending the Constitution so gay people don't have the same rights as you? I'm not a Christian, but sometimes I think what we're really missing in this world is a good old-fashioned, Old Testament God, lightning bolt laden smite-fest.

    Bah! I think it's time for cookies and beer.

    •  AGREED (none)
      What is astounding to me is that fuckwits like Jerry Falwell even have the gall to proudly state how they are looking forward to waging war on their fellow Americans, their fellow fucking Countrymen!

      Whatta guy!  I'm sure JEEEESUS is looking down proudly on you right now, fucking Falwell!

      YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

      by molls on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:16:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drives me nuts (4.00)
      They've taken the non-issue of saying "Merry Christmas" and turned it into a nudge-wink code word for "I'm on Falwell's side in the culture war." The irony is that I certainly wasn't attacking Christmas before they started this whole bullshit "controversy", but I'm finding myself this year watching myself, because I don't want to give the impression that I even give a shit about this.

      They've made me circumspect about about saying "Merry Christmas", so now I guess I am attacking Christmas, because it feels like they've stolen it and made it their banner.

      Festivus just sounds better and better every year. Let 'em try to attack that, the legions of Seinfeld fans are vast, and will... um... okay not really do anything except ignore them. But we are vast. Or at least half-vast.

    •  I think that's the trick though (none)
      Of course they know that almost no Jewish people or secularists really hate Christmas.  It's a fun holiday, and people like giving presents and feeling all that peace on earth, goodwill to men stuff.  Myself included, as a secular Jewish person.

      And now, they're picking a fight that's trying to get us to say something stupid.  Sticking up for religious diversity means hating Christmas.  Agreeing that it can make people very uncomfortable to be surrounded by religion in public school puts you on the Grinch's team, on Scrooge's team.  That's a hell of a framejob, and O'Reilly's been working it hard.

      P.S.  And they wonder why more Jews don't vote Republican. - member of the Democratic Signal Machine

      by Mikey on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:32:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Christmas is over! (none)
        We survived another year! Hooray! Hooray! No more Christmas music! No more trees!
        (Well, it's no skin off my nose if people celebrate Christmas. But the reification of it is so aggravating.)

        "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

        by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 11:02:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Abetted as Scrooge (none)
        My husband is worse. A number of years ago he went to a smooth jazz concert with a friend and the first half was "80% Christmas music". He walked out. I enjoyed my trip to the St. Louis Symphony/IN UNISON chorus "Gospel Christmas". You could not drag him to something like that, however wonderful.
        Yesterday he raked leaves outside because he has a tradition to do a little work on Xmas, even go in to work. We figured it was Shabbosdik because he was moving the pile of leaves from one place on his property to another.

        "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

        by 4jkb4ia on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:09:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need a final solution (none)
    To this whole Christmas problem.

    ... HEY, what's with all the troll ratings?

    Google bomb tom delay and coward. Ask me how to help.

    by danthrax on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:40:24 PM PST

    •  We need a final solution... (4.00)
      ...but it has nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with eliminating Fascists.

      I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

      by BuckMulligan on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:43:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Henry Ford (4.00)
    That first quote is perfect for spreading around the Freeper world.

    Imagine this: Someone posts it on a freeper board, but without the title of the essay.
    They then eat it up and use it as an historical example for "what's wrong with Christmas" argument.
    Later, they (or better, a reporter) discover the title of the essay: The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem.

    Embarassment. Their true selves are exposed.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by BuckMulligan on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:42:42 PM PST

    •  Did Anyone Else (none)
      See the top Google hit for the word "jew"?

      Jews are not the enemy of Christmas

      Jews are not the enemy of Christmas World Net Daily ^ | 12 ... League said on national television that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate ... -

      55k - Cached - Similar pages

      Looks like even the Freepers have had enough, but when you click on it...

      "This thread has been pulled.

      Pulled on 12/21/2004 9:42:38 PM PST by Jim Robinson, reason:

      No thanks!


      Go figuer

      "These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war"
      -John Kerry, 1971

      by Goldfish on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:22:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's ridiculous (4.00)
    There's a preacher in North Carolina calling for a boycott of all stores that don't mention Christmas in their ads or displays. For the life of me, I will never understand these people who need to shove their own religious beliefs down everyone's throats.

    An article in today's Washington Post made a valid point:

    Those on the other side of these battles say the Christian groups are wildly exaggerating the threats from a phantom enemy for the purpose of mobilizing evangelicals to contribute funds (some groups are explicitly using the Christmas issue to raise money) or to become politically active.
  •  who's got a copy of the Lindbergh speech? (none)
    Now that's anti-semitism at its finest. These guys are pikers compared to that one. And of course there's dear old Fr. Coughlin.
  •  Oh I quite like the latest (4.00)
    entry at David Ehrenstein's Fablog... as we are in the season of Worship the Baby! Or Else!, or whatever this is again this year as for so many years.....  A snippet from his entry:

    4) Hotel Teriminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

    Nothing says "Christmas" like Nazism. And Marcel Ophuls' 1988 prize-winner consistently reminds us of that fact, with Christmas Carols ringing on the soundtrack in scene after scene. He didn't plan it that way -- it's just that so many of interviews he was able to set up with those tracking -- and those aiding and abetting -- the noted mass-murderer were at Christmas time. Timely in quite a different way are the scenes featuring Judy Miller whose journalistic exploits would make an excellent subject for the Ophuls treatment.

    HA!  "Nothing says Christmas like Nazism" gets there in one line.  Gets Judy Miller in there too, working hard suddenly for Joan of Arc status and Patriot of The Year Award, having paved the way for war she can be a victim, too!...well taht girl learned from the very pols she slept with, get it good.  And use it well, naughty or nice...!

    Yes David E gets a lot said (thanks to norn for sending the link along to me, as seasonal greetings)

  •  Christmas? (none)
    Lets face it Christmas is about as christian as George W. Bush. If that guy (who, let's face it, is a mass murderer, just as governor of Texas, let alone as the murderer of many US soldiers and Iraqui citisens), is a christian then christianity sucks. I don't mean to disparage true christianity, true Christians are better people than me, they believe in tolerance, loving your enemies, forgiveness, and a host of other fantastic stuff. It's what proves Bush is no Christian, as he seems to believe in none of the true Christian edicts. Now don't get me wrong, I'm an atheist, though I do believe in forgiveness and tolerance, and also turning the other cheek. That makes me a liberal, which is what Jesus was. But not apparently Bush, so my point is, I suppose that as an atheist I have more of the core values that Christ was espousing than GW Bush does. So is he a christian? My reply is that, if he's a christian then I don't want to be one.

    I think my original point was that what we're all really cellebrating is the mid winter festival, or solstice. So the ancient timing is wrong, but my son will be raised being thankful that the new year has been born, irresepective of any particular faith. And I suppose that's the truth, that the midwinter solstice has been here (especially in northern europe) for a far longer time than Christianity, with all of it's violence.

  •  Best Wishes My US Friends... (4.00)
    A Merry Winter Solstice Season to you all, my US friends. The time of the year when the sun begins its return journey north, with the promise to renew our cold climes, is at hand. May the spirit of renewal and rejuvination be with you all.

    And Peace!

    The eating, drinking, family gathering and carousing of this time of the year, as a mid-winter festival occassion, in fact, predates Christianity by many thousands of years. And its pagan roots is much more tolerant of cultural and religious/ideological diversity, in any case. And in fact, it is much more common in practice, even in our time, than Christianity, which gets mostly lip service. (No one really knows when Christ was actually born, for sure, though it was certainly not this time of year. There is general agreement amongst theological scholars on that. Some scholars say likely following the harvest in the fall, the probable time of tax collection in ancient times. Though some Christian scholars say it might also have been spring, for reasons I forget.)

    Though for you Christians here, it being important also to you, and your choice of a time to celebrate regardless, Merry Christmas.

    And A Happy New Year!

  •  Cars at the Mall (none)
    (in California, LA no less)..have written on their windows...PUT THE CHRIST BACK INTO CHRISTMAS Saw at least 10 of em yesterday. What is going on.

    educate 'em when they're young

    by Chamonix on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:53:57 PM PST

    •  Also.. (none)
      Strange shit is happening here. See my only diary dated 12/23......titled "Becoming Tippi Hedrin" don't know how to link. i think like 4 people saw it.

      educate 'em when they're young

      by Chamonix on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:57:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They deserve flyers that say (none)
      Go ahead! Who's stopping you?
    •  Christ (4.00)
      Somewhere I read lately, "Put the Christ back in Christianity."
    •  Ha ha ha ha heh heh heh... (4.00)
      What HYPOCRITES!!  You saw all these cars at the MALL??

      Oh, I forgot.  JESUS lives at the mall!  He died so we would all be free to shop our entire livelihoods away and give corporate America its nice fat pocketbooks!!

      I just MIGHT be able to take them a bit more seriously if I saw all their cars parked in front of homeless shelters while they donated their time and money to those who Jesus probably had more in mind...

      But what do I know...JESUS only loves REPUGNICANS after all!!


      YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

      by molls on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:22:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  my thoughts (none)
        exactly...I couldn't believe it. was truly shocking...yup...mall parking lot. I think they all belong to a movement or cult of some kind. This certain part of LA is becoming very repug scarey. 9 months leading up to election every weekend there were 50-100 people on the street corner with flags/signs tamboreens/drums and huge bush banners reading "Republicians support the troops." The were all dressed up in  red,white and blue clothes. one week i drove by I saw an Uncle Sam Person on stilts. They are rabid....CrAzY sHiTs HappEniNg.

        educate 'em when they're young

        by Chamonix on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:33:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This IS frightening... (none)
          When stalwart Democratic areas like California start sprouting these freaks, it is truly time to start getting worried...

          I live in Seattle, and I was floored by the number of W, Bush/Cheney, etc, stickers plastered all over cars before the election out here.  King County has always been soundly Democratic, but as more and more wealth accumulates out here, that could be changing (after all, most of the cars I saw were Lexuses and SUVs - when I drove through the less economically fortunate Rainier valley, there were Kerry/Edwards signs all over the place).

          I just don't get it.  This country, frankly, is beginning to scare me...

          YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

          by molls on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:39:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's in Georgia too (none)
          "This certain part of LA is becoming very repug scarey."

          My former hometown of Griffin, GA, is pretty scary too.  There is a growing cult of what I call the "REMEMBER" people.  These people have a decal with the word "REMEMBER" on their car, usually on the rear window.  The idea is to get some bystander to ask, "Remember what?"  Then the REMEMBER person launches into a bit about how God and Jesus founded America and so on.  They have a line of clothing out now, I kid you not.  

          And, of course, they think Bush is God's President.

          Stay out of Griffin if you can.


      •  My feelings on the immaculate conception (none)
        Are that Mary was a two-timing slut.

        I don't care how_much_power the guy has, when you get married you just don't do that!

        Imagine how Joseph felt when Jesus as a sassy teenager said "Your not my Daddy!"

        Of course, I was completely psychologically abused for several years by conservative methodists so I can make fun of Christmas.

        Yes, I am going to hell.

      •  "You saw all these cars at the MALL??" (none)
        "What would Jesus buy?"

        "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

        by baked potato on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 06:56:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sell everything you have and give to the poor (none)
          Jesus in Luke 18

          The Rich Ruler
          18A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

             19"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-except God alone. 20You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'[b]"

             21"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

             22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

             23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

             26Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"

             27Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

             28Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

             29"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."  

    •  I Wonder (none)
      How many of these folks would be willing to put the tree-topping angel back in the box and replace it with a big, suffering, bloody, Mel-Gibson Jesus right smack on the top of the Christmas tree? Or perhaps at every register in every store in the mall?

      That'd be somethin'. Then I'd get the sense they were serious. But the Nordstrom bags and the plasma TV's.... ahhhhh nothin'. also: bah, and humbug.

    •  Canaries (none)
      They're falling like...canaries.

      "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

      by galiel on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:29:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've only seen one... (none)
      in Dallas, yet.  However, a lot of people have Jesus-fish.  Every once in a while I'll pass someone with a Darwin fish and think, "What are you thinking?  Natural selection would CLEARLY select against putting one of those on your car down here!"

      (Insert Democrat Here) for President in 2008!

      by teenagedallasdeaniac on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:10:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  at one time christians used to complain (4.00)
    about the commercialization of christmas. that complaint has disappeared, drowned out, probably, by the talibangelists who decided it made more sense not to attack their corporate allies. so to pump up the faithful, another target must be found. nothing like retreading the one that has worked before: hollywood, liberals, pinkos and their leaders - jews. yes, let's save christmas, let's put the hate back in.

    as far as the commercial front, well, to be a grinch, i have to say that i am amused by the fact that  wal-mart, the ultimate low-end retailer, is not getting the holiday sales profits (so far) it was projecting. what sweeter irony than that the emblem of cheap labor and offshoring is finding that its main customers, who are the very ones likely to suffer job losses from those policies, don't have the money to throw around at wal-mart. that's probably another result of the great jewish conspiracy. though some might call it simple justice.

    We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

    by yankeedoodler on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:55:21 PM PST

  •  Dominionists vs. Evangelicals vs. Neo-Cons. (none)
    So, we need the ancient Jewish law and the teachings of the Old Testament as a basis for our End-Times beliefs. But the Jews are behind the destruction of Christmas and they are trying to destroy Christianity? I'm so confused. Are the Jews good or bad?

    O'Rielly, Falwell, Robertson, et al are really disgusting in their public pronouncements. But they can always count on the David Dukes to say the things they wish they could.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war."

    by RonV on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:58:19 PM PST

  •  Jeers to them... (none)

    But Cheers and Happy Holidays to the brave souls blogging on the Internets tonight.

    If you missed yesterday's dispatch from the kids' table:

  •  Bring it on..... (none)
    .... I was waiting for the religious right to show signs that they were going to overreach and expose themselves to the country. I'm glad I won't have to wait too long.
    •  Your optimism (none)
      is encouraging... but not contagious.

      Huh? What does that mean?

      I dunno. Give me more ham.

    •  53% of 2004 voters were born-again (none)
      and evangelicals, who consist of 7% of the population, made up 11% of the electorate.

      Don't be so sure "overreaching" and "exposing" is going to be viewed as a bad thing by a majority of Americans.

      44% support restrictions on the civil rights of Muslim Americans, just because they are Muslims.

      A majority would not let their sons marry my daughters, since I am an atheist.

      Just watch the canaries, keeling over.

      First they came for.....

      "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

      by galiel on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:32:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I fucking hate Christmas. (3.40)
    I want Saturnalia back.

    People get the government they deserve.

    by chase on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:00:19 PM PST

    •  Saturnalia (4.00)
      I always thought "Saturnalia" was a funny word.  Sounds like it should mean "planetary private parts".  Like, "When Saturn is directly overhead at night, if you look closely you can see its saturnalia."  
      •  I prefer.... (none)
        ... Uranus is purple at this time of year.  

        This won me a game of intraoffice "Battleship" in which you make the guy 5 cubes over involuntarily laugh at his e-mail.

        "No, man. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

        by moltar on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:22:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  any Erich Fromm readers here? (none)
  •  Damn it (none)
    This is another one of those infuriating issues where we get painted as the bad guys if we oppose the zealots. Nobody wants to discuss the complicated underlying issues and all they see is grinches with some shady agenda to neuter Christmas. Even when the media gives it what you'd think is fairly objective coverage, we still end up looking bad. Somebody needs to blackmail Frank Luntz and get him to quit arming the right with these grenades, or else bribe him over to our side.

    And how do the William Donahues and David Dukes get away with this crap? You'd think they'd just get hammered in the press. The First Amendment gives them the right to say it, but it also gives us the right to retaliate, and with vigor. But it barely registers a blip.

    Principiis obsta. Finem respice.

    by Your Brother on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:13:00 PM PST

  •  Ah, the anti-Semites (none)
    I almost feel sorry for them.  It's Christmas and their jealous of us, again.

    The sad thing is that, if you read them carefully, they don't just hate the Jews.  They really want to be the Jews.  That's what they struggle with, the poor bastards.  

    I just wish these evangelical sects of Protestantism and Catholicism would get over their little-brother inferiority issues and be proud of 2000 years of global domination. I mean, I'm comfortable with it--why can't they be?

    (FYI:  we've moved on from Christ and are now puttin' the booze back into Christmas at my house. I encourage everyone to join in...)

    •  had never heard of the "jealousy" thing (none)
      until my early twenties.

      although you might think it strange, I, little nerdy Catholic girl (not ugly, but smart, shy and a big social loser) came to believe that I was taught that the Holocaust was the outstanding example of moral transgression of recent history.


      but, in the spirit of not taking sides, there is no holiday for me, not this year, but for a long time.

  •  Mr. Robertson....Xmas in Japan?? (none)
    If Christmas has been exported to Japan and China, then for the most part, the worst parts of it have been. Example: Christmas in Japan consists, primarily, of buying a strawberry cake from KFC or another major chain, going on a date if you're young (like Valentine's Day), and hearing all the cheesy Christmas songs that nobody knows the words to. The point is that this argument about whether or not people say Merry Christmas to each other is ridiculous. It has become a consumerism-driven holiday and, whether you're Christian or not, there are traditions in both countries geared toward parting you with your money, whether it be holiday cards, cakes, decorations, gifts or whatever.

    My questions is, since when has Christmas in the U.S. had anything to do with Christ? The expression hasn't had that meaning in all my 37 years that I can remember. If the evangelicals are so hell-bent about celebrating Christ's birth, why don't they just walk around exclaiming to all they meet, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" it might be advantageous to do it this way (for those who don't believe in all this Christmas under attack madness), as then they wouldn't be able to play martyr for the whole season...

    Best to all, Happy Holidays and a terrific New Year!

  •  Reason on the war against Christmas (4.00)
    From here
    The True Spirit of Xmas
    How 4/5 of the country became an oppressed minority
    Julian Sanchez

    It's a Christmas tradition as venerable as mistletoe and caroling: As the days grow shorter, conservative activists claiming to speak for American Christendom raise their voices, not for a rousing round of "Good King Wenceslaus," but to complain that the roughly 75 to 80 percent of Americans who profess allegiance to some denomination or another of Christianity constitute a cruelly oppressed minority.

    The kvetching is especially loud this year, with a spate of stories chronicling the outrage over a particularly insidious form of anti-Christian bigotry: the Satanic phrase "happy holidays."

    National Review's John Derbyshire reports bristling at these two seemingly innocuous words with the sort of fascinated intensity he normally reserves for buggery. There's even a Committee to Save Merry Christmas, urging a boycott of stores that spit on Christians by deploying such bigoted phrases as "happy holidays" or "season's greetings." And in case you thought those phrases were, in our increasingly pluralistic society, just nice ways of creating a festive atmosphere without seeming to exclude the folks celebrating, you know, those other holidays happening around this time, CNN's Lou Dobbs shakes his jowls to remind you that those phrases have "excluded everyone who is celebrating Christmas" (which is apparently neither happy nor a holiday). The Christian Law Association has released a vague list of horror stories under the rhetorical headline: "Has Christmas Become Illegal in America?" ...

    The article is great and concludes with:

    The stratagem is so perverse as to be almost admirable: Take a holiday associated with sentiments like peace and goodwill, mix in some well-intentioned attempts to acknowledge it in an inclusive way suited to a pluralistic society, and then use the combination to generate fear, divisiveness, and high ratings. But whether we're impressed or appalled by that cynical ploy, whether we're gearing up for Christmas dinner or just a post-Ramadan pig-out, we can all breathe a little easier knowing that the anti-Christmas "jihad" is no more real (sorry kids) than Santa Claus. Happy holidays.

    Read the whole thing. The article includes links to all the rants. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

    I'm not left or right. I'm ahead. Progressives for the future!

    by weirdscenes on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:20:18 PM PST

  •  Anti=semitism (none)
    The Nazis weren't very good Christians, but they were still good at blaming Jews for all their problems.  I guess they didn't have Clinton to kick around.  Why do I think Kristalnacht has been scheduled for the first warm day this Spring.

    A democracy that is fixed, is broken.

  •  More and more, (none)
    I feel as if we've fallen down the rabbit hole into Alice's Wonderland, but instead of landing in Victorian England with amusing playing cards and magically-disappearing cats, we somehow find ourselves in Munich in 1932.

    I am very afraid.

    "The Bushie fever with Saddam left Osama free to scram." -- Maureen Dowd, in The New York Times

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:22:57 PM PST

    •  Deja-vu (none)
      In 1968, I had a German professor who confided to me over a beer, "I left Munich in 1938, and right now, America frightens me more."

      To be sure, it was post Kent State. I would add that I stayed in America in 1968, and America now, frightens me more.

      Just because it is Christmas, I hope I am wrong.

      •  1968? (none)
        Wasn't the Kent State tragedy in '70?
        •  Boring correction (none)
          Thanks for catching me.  I may blush, but I stand corrected. I was at said University from 1968 to 1971.  

          Have a great day and celebrate.

          •  Not boring (none)
            I'm just connected to the date because I was born in June 1970, the month after it happened. Ever since I got old enough to appreciate Neil Young, I've seen the Kent State thing as a metaphor for how my country was when I got here. I don't know what it feels like to not be afraid of my government. Sad but true.
            •  Ouch! (none)
              As a fairly ancient mariner, I must make another confession.  I really haven't appreciated the fact that so many people have grown up without ever experiencing freedom from fear.  You have grown up in a time I have experienced as a long slide down  into the dark.  I thank you for reminding me it has gone on for so long. Oops!

              It is the shortest day of the year that just passed. That should mean it will get better from now on.

              Have a great day and celebrate.

              •  Freedom from Fear (none)
                I was born in '69, can't even really remember Watergate except as something folks talked about the way we talk about Florida 2000 now, and even then I didn't get it. But I've never in my life trusted my government, and they've rarely made efforts at the kind of transparency and oversight that would give me reason to.

                I know from talkin' with the folks that the 50's were full of fear in the duck-and-cover sense, and I'm fully aware of the threat that guys like Joe McCarthy posed to America, but that sense of faith in the government that folks seem to have had when they talk about the Eisenhower years... sure, little boring, mostly prosperous, lots of gray flannel, but a good time for hair oil and dungarees. I'd like to visit just to know what it was like.

                •  for instance, (none)
                  when I was young I could feel real bad that a guy like Adlai Stevenson would not become president, but I sure did not feel that Ike was going to destroy the world. In fact, he was the guy who first hipped us to the fact that the president really doesn't do much:  He is just a spokesman and handshaker for the ruling oligarchs, i.e., ". . .the military-industrial complex. . .", today's neocons.

                  I personally started to worry when Goldwater was nominated.  It was a great day for democracy when he got trounced.

                  The right was probably pissed to discover that Kennedy stole the election from Nixon.  I did not mind; Nixon was no great shakes, but someday I'll post my revised views of him--more quixotic fool than grinning evil. Well, almost.

                  It was Reagan, when things became somewhat murky.  Scary politics with a face that wouldn't quite look evil.  It became more important to look at the guys in the back row pulling all the strings.  They seem to have had a seemless control ever since. Even when they lost to Clinton they totally  obstucted him.  We now have one party government.

                  But, at its most dire moments, some guy shows up to save the day. I'll leave you with the most comforting thought I can think of (because it is that cheery time of year!):  Trent Lott may yet save the republic.

                  Have a great night and celebrate.

  •  Christmas isn't Christian Enough (none)
    We ought to have people pronounce it CHRIST-mas, like you say Jesus Christ. Anyone who still calls it  Christmas the old way should get dirty looks. And all Christians should pronounce the long vowel sound in "Christian" as well.

    BTW, Anne Coulter has a Giant Hyena Clitoris.

  •  Those durn (none)
    Religious Right Repubs just ain't happy unless they are picking on someone - be they Jews, gays, pagans, Muslims, evolutionists, pro-choicers, etc.  Now that they have their macho male cowboy in the White House, they think they can bully anyone they want.  

    It is just amazing how much hate has spewed forth from the mouths of these people in the past year.  And these are the people who claim to have Christian values!!!  They sure are a sorry bunch of people.  

    For hate is never conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love. This is an eternal law. - Buddha

    by LynChi on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:28:04 PM PST

    •  LynChi: you're so right. (none)
      Buddhism is where it's at. The problem with Christians, Muslims, and religious Jews is that they worship the god of Abraham - a god of war and ulimate, eternal vengeance. These poor souls have enshrine hatred as holy.

      Buddha's teachings define the standard of ultimate sanity, as far as I'm concerned. That being said, I don't consider any superstitious forms of Buddhism to be reflective of Buddha's true teachings.

      •  I don't believe (none)
        in the superstitious forms of Buddhism either.  I am not a Buddhist, per se, but his teachings make the most sense to me.  Especially the part about suffering and the causes of suffering.  It has helped me to be more accepting of myself and what I have rather than being envious of others who have more.  

        Also, it brings a kind of peace of mind when you realize the impermanence of everything.  (This peace of mind was and is hard to do though with Bush still  President.)

        For hate is never conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love. This is an eternal law. - Buddha

        by LynChi on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:29:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Falwell is in heaven, and Ghandi is in hell... (none)

    I know where I want to spend eternity.
  •  while we're bringing up the fine fords, (none)
    while in law school, gerald r. was a key player in lindberg's "america first" jewhating organization.

    vile republican filth. one modern irony, the likud are head-over-heels in love with GWB because he is killing arabs. wait till that is done and he turns his muzzle somewhere else ...

  •  Heaven help us (none)
    The onus for spreading Jesus's name to the world does not fall to the government.  It is my responsibility as a Christian to put up a Nativity scene and the like where people can see it, not the government's.  Lord knows I don't want the Bush Administration's running Christianity ;-).  


    Don't get mad. It won't solve a thing.

    by waterboy on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:45:55 PM PST

  •  I, for one, welcome a war on Christmas (none)
    See, not being Christian, I don't really have anything to do on Christmas.  None of the stores are open, and there's nothing good on TV.  (Except maybe this year when Shaq smacks down Kobe...)

    So a war on Christmas would go a long way toward alleviating the boredom.

    Bring it on!

    If this is how God blesses America, I'd sure hate to see him pissed at us...

    by Roddy McCorley on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:47:03 PM PST

    •  Movies (none)
      are open on Christmas day.  I just checked out my local theater and have decided to see "Hotel Rwanda."  This movie got excellent reviews.

      I would have gone to see "Phantom of the Opera" but it is not playing yet in my area.

      For hate is never conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love. This is an eternal law. - Buddha

      by LynChi on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:35:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As Jews, we always went to the movies on Christmas (none)
        I remember going with my family to see the hot movies that nobody could get into any other day during the holidays. It was such a fun tradition.
        So fun that a few years ago I decided to do the same.  I walked down to the Kabuki theater in San Francisco one sunny Christmas afternoon to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which had been sold out for all shows days before.
        But guess what! Lots of Asians in San Francisco go to the movies on Christmas day, and they beat me to it, so I was shut out.  
        Fooled me once...
  •  "Christmas" is mostly pagan (4.00)
    Besides the creche and some carols that mention "Baby Jesus" and "holy virgin" etc., here's really not much in it that relates to Christianity.  So it astounds me that there's suddenly such an uproar in some quarters about "taking it back".  These people are ignorant fools.  They don't even know the history of their own religion!  Throughout the centuries, many Protestants were anti-Christmas because of its pagan roots. It wasn't widely celebrated in New England until relatively recently - my father, born in Connecticut in 1920, said in his childhood there were still die-hard Yankees who refused to put up Christmas trees because they considered the custom to be Papist/pagan/European.

    Memo to Christians: can you Catholics and Protestants bug each other about this, and leave us pagans alone to enjoy OUR holiday?  Thank you.

    We can't stop here! This is bat country!

    by hrh on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:48:30 PM PST

    •  YES, YES, YES (none)
      Totally agree!!

      For hate is never conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love. This is an eternal law. - Buddha

      by LynChi on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:37:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention... (none)
      That statues of baby Jesus and Mary were held by many Protestant sects to be idolatrous. They saw such religious statuary as a symbol of the decadence of Catholicism.

      After all, the same crowd that is so fired up about posting the Ten Commandments in public places might try reading them.

      After all, there's only 10 of 'em.

      Here's the second commandment, in it's full form:

      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6

      Not only does this commandment seem to cast a wary eye on your Christmas creche, but it suggest that it's divine justice to mete out punishment in a manner that flies in the face of American - or any - modern civil jurisprudence: punishing children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren for their ancestor's crimes?

      David Brock has it right... in fact, inside every bully is a coward.

      by Malacandra on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:58:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pagan origins (none)
      One reason that Christianity was as successful as it was is that it was very willing to accommodate pagan traditions, from Halloween to the Christmas tree to hot cross buns (they added the cross on top), to the fertility feast of the goddess Ester (now Easter), which is why it comes with eggs and rabbits.  That is why all this crap from the religious right strikes this leftist Christian as total hypocrisy.  They are fighting to a Christian reworking of a bunch of protect holidays.
  •  You can have any color heart you want (none)
    as long as it's black.

    All the praying in the world won't bring Schubert back to life.

    by peeder on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:58:48 PM PST

  •  America is by and large a Christian country (4.00)
    This is a simple matter of common sense. America is part of the Western tradition, and the Western tradition is Christian.

    That America is Christian is not the problem. I can live with that, even though I am an atheist. The problem is that just about everyone in this country who makes a big deal out of being a Christian isn't really Christian: most conservative/fundamentalists "Christians" believe in a theology (premillenial dispensationalism, the doctrine that "real" Christians will be raptured to heaven at the end of time - which will occur quite soon, given the way things are going in the Middle East - while the rest of us will have to go through a period of total war know as the Tribulation, only to go to hell at the end) that is completely at odds with the teaching of the three main branches of Christianity - Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Dispensationalism - what fundies believe in - isn't Christianity, but a cult. And it is taking over the federal government. That is the trouble with America.

    To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
    modern times

    by Alexander on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:04:00 PM PST

    •  I like your post. (none)
      Fortunately I think the Bushie brand of christianity is not as popular as some would think.

      I think that if Dems reached out to normal christians Bush would lose a LOT of support.

      Its pretty clear from the bible that Jesus would be more at home with the DEM types than the GOPpies.

      •  Yes... (none)
        despite Kerry's many failings (such as not challenging the vote count in Ohio), he did seem to make a sincere effort to bring in authentic Christian themes on the side of the Democrats. It would be nice if Dems continued what he started. Answering the Rethugs with secularism won't get us anywhere. One needs to point out the sick nature of their religion, and to do that in a way that reaches religious people (the majority of Americans), one needs to touch religious themes oneself.

        To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
        modern times

        by Alexander on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 06:30:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even though I'm an atheist (none)
          I essentially agree.

          One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from an episode of the Twilight Zone where an astronaut is stranded on some idyllic planet.  He thinks at first that he's alone.  Eventually he finds a woman astronaut, also stranded, apparently from some other civilization.  She speaks a completely different language.  The male astronaut says:

          "I suppose the more intelligent one of us is going to have to learn to speak the other one's language."

          ...or words to that effect.

          •  I remember that episode (none)
            Yes, that's exactly what needs to be done here. Progressives need to come to understand where ordinary Bush supporters are coming from, and speak to their concerns.

            Two recent attempts to do this are by Thomas Frank (What's the Matter with Kansas? and George Lakoff. I think Frank is very helpful, whereas Lakoff's idea of there being two competing models, the "nurturing parent" and "strong father", is pulled out of thin air, and makes the opposition seem much more rational worthy of respect than it actually is. Lakoff is too liberal (i.e., respectful of others) to understand the true nature of regressives. He also completely overlooks that a main source of regressivism is fundamentalist religion.

            To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel
            modern times

            by Alexander on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:16:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know (none)
      America's a country that has a lot of Christians in it, but I think it's very deliberate exclusionary political speech to say that "America is a Christian Country" (I'm not fighting with you, just dissecting the term.)

      Yes, America has a large Christian majority.  And America's founders were Christians - they may have thought about it when writing the constitution even, although that's iffy.  Therefore America is a Christian country?  Hmm...let's change the terms.

      Yes, America has a large white majority.  And America's founders were whites - they may have thought about it when writing the constitution even - it's not even iffy, of course ("such persons").  Therefore America is a white country.  Is it, Mr. O'Reilly? - member of the Democratic Signal Machine

      by Mikey on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:48:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dispensationalism = Cult (none)

      It's sad but true.  Regretfully I have to agree with you.  I honestly don't know what to do about it anymore.  

      I left the deep south years ago to take a job working abroad.  Living and working in a secular country was such an eye-opener.  Back home, practically all my friends, relatives and neighbors were evangellicals.  I just thought it was some sociological symptom among lower middle class southerners... that they clung so tightly to this weird cosmology that defies reason, logic, scientific evidence and historical reality.  

      Now about ten years later, I look at the US and realize that this doomsday cult has become more pervasive than ever.  The sad reality is that it seems more than half the US population has no critical thinking skills whatsoever.  My only course of action, such that it is, is to no longer tolerate people who tell me anything about "Jesus" or "getting saved" or any of that no matter how well meaning they may be.  

      It's very difficult for them to be confronted by someone who tells them that their entire belief system is nothing more than a fairy tale.  I rarely argue. I don't try to present logical points.  I just tell them that they need to be deprogrammed.

      Of course, maybe that just feeds in to the Christian persecution complex.

      I sometimes hope that whole "rapture" thing is true... oh, how wonderful it would be if they'd all just fly away to their boring glory-land.  

      Some reference sites for skeptics and people who want to be annoying:

      Skeptics Bible:

      Things to ponder:

      Seems inflamatory at first, but the articles are thoroughly referenced:

      fantastic essay here:

      Jesus in Legos:

      The conspiracy:

      The Jack Chick archive (the ultimate treasure trove of evangelical dogma):

  •  Bah (none)

    My Christmas prayer
    "Lord, protect me from your followers

    "It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." --Thomas Paine

    by BOHICA on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:07:26 PM PST

  •  No subject.. (none)
    just want to see what my new signature looks like.

    Dobson, Falwell, Bauer, Robertson, Donahue = False Prophets

    by Dmitri in San Diego on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:24:38 PM PST

  •  I hope (none)
    we can use our minds & souls to eradicate hate.
  •  Religion = Control (none)
    The Republican party has gotten very adept at using levers to control people, while not serving them whatsoever.  Between religion and patriotism they have managed to wrest control of this government and proceed to act against the interests of the vast majority of the population.  It would be intriguing if it weren't so tragic.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:49:16 PM PST

  •  Anti-Semitism now same as Anti-Israel (none)
    Go mid-way down to starting: I write alot

    Interesting Alterman article discussing the mixing of anti-Israel with ant-Semitism, not always the same thing. Why is the Palestinian cause so much more worthy and mobilizing than other global crises and inequities?

    When I look at the fascist tendacies of scapegoats, divide and conquer, hateful mongering, and finding others to blame, I find it odd the GOP are after the Jewish vote by supporting all things Sharon. They then stoke the anti-Semitic press views of blaming an unchecked Sharon, with his settlements and defense as world scapegoat, having it both ways.

    I have never been a friend of Sharon and his settlements, although he is making realistic moves lately, and I had to defend the humantist Kerry against what was being pushed by GOP that Bush is better for Israel.

    The issue won't end, and the GOP will keep trying to have it both ways with the voters, the Jewish people, and worsening a world mess. They made points by doing nothing, but now they have to do diplomacy, so we'll see what results.

    •  You need to read up on Dominionists (none)
      They don't support Israel because they are after the Jewish vote. It's actually a postmillenialist thing. Much scarier.

      "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

      by galiel on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 07:35:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Happy Holidays, a subversive thought. (none)
         OK, it's 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. I'm coming out of my last chore, the liquor store, with the champagne. The liquor store is right next to the grocery store at the shopping center, so it's where the Salvation Army has its bellringer.
         It's Christmas Eve and I feel pretty good, so I slip a fiver into the kettle. And the bellringer, who's over 70 and clearly has learning issues, says "Happy Holidays."
         The Salvation Army! If I'd had a $50, I'd have told the guy to say "Fuck Bill O'Reilly" instead.
  •  And the media keeps right on chugging along (none)
    I just copied and pasted this from another diary I posted in before I saw this one. Yes, before I saw the first one on the front page. I guess I just browse in a strange order.

    This is also a result of some good ol' fashioned "media focus distortion." When something becomes the hot topic of the day, in this case the entire moral values battle pile of shit, the media will report on anything that seems to fall under the umbrella. It's not like protests of religious ceremonies in schools and whatnot just started this year. They happen all the time. It's just now they're being focused on so it looks like there's this anti-Jesus Army rising forth to squash Christmas.

    Remember just recently when it seemed that if you dared to go swimming you would certainly be violently killed by a shark? It was Shark Attack Mayhem out there! AAAAAAAAAAH!@#

    Of course, shark attacks were actually down for that year (I think 2002...correct me if I'm wrong) but you sure wouldn't know it from the frenzied reports of our fine journalists.

    Remember that period in the '80's when every single pit bull in the country suddenly snapped and started eating innocent children? It's Pit Bull Mayhem out there! Run for your lives!@#

    Well, we haven't heard much about them since, so I guess the pit bulls realized the errors of their ways. Good for them.

    "If you're dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you're smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you."

    by McBokonon on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 06:02:43 PM PST

  •  Scary (none)
    The right is emboldened by the media metanarrative-they saved bush's ass. they are the true winners in the race. this metanarrative needs to be halted. rep jackson lee believes that the outrages in ohio-supression etc should make for a challenge on jan 6 with some senators. the metanarrative must be disrupted, changed quickly. Oh-and one of the most infamous quotes by Pat Buchannan hasnt been mentioned here yet--
    "Fuck the Jews, they never vote for us anyway"-'92 GOP convention.
  •  I think they think... (none)
    Christ is coming to earth this year. And with Bush treating things like it's the end of the world. Do you think they will him him to run in "08. Last night on Nightline Ted kinda convinced me that we have entered the years of the lord...all christian all the time...books, movies, name it. What happens if they run and elect JESUS in '08?

    educate 'em when they're young

    by Chamonix on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 06:50:08 PM PST

  •  Can anyone confirm the quote (none)
    attributed to Ford?  I scanned an on-line version of the publication cited and didn't see it and couldn't find it via google.  Granted, what I was able to read was bad enough, but I wanted to use this particular quote.  
  •  Favorite line (none)
    This discussion brings to mind a favorite line from comedian Marc Maron..."does anyone here tonight believe in God?"...(a few hoots and hollers of affirmation from the crowd)..."grow up!"
  •  Bumper sticker (none)
    Keep Paganism in Christmas.

    I figure, put a picture of a decorated tree and a present in the bumper sticker, and find out who complains.  If Bill O'Reilly is upset about this, ask him if he is going to get rid of his Christmas tree and gifts.


  •  Threatened by tolerance (none)
    this whole silly mess about the christian right nuts being upset about people saying 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas' seems SO much like the idea that marriage would be threatened if gay people were allowed to marry

    so weird...treating people with respect who are different from them is somehow a horrible threat

  •  Ford a source for Hitler (3.80)
    the book Hunter cites is actually a compilation of the forntpage editorials that ran for 91 consecutive days in Ford's newspaper The Dearborn Independent.  Hitler quoted verbatim from it in Mein Kampf.   This is but one of several examples of how some of the worst of what was seen in Nazi Germany had its roots in the United States.  It is worht noting that Ford also pormotoed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious defamatory forgery by the Czarist Secret Police, and provided both financial and moral support to Father Charles Coughlin (with whom he used to lunch) and Gerald L. K. Smith in their anti-semitic ravings on radio.  The New York Times, I believe in 1922, pointed out that Ford had provided financial support to Htiler's early political efforts in Germany.  Ford Motor also profited from the use of slave labor under the Nazis.

    Another would be the idea of transmission of certain characteristics through blood.  This first appears in a 1902 book by the then president of Stanford, one David S. Jordan, entitled Blood of a Nation.   Ideas such as those in this book underlie the passage of laws providing for forced sterilization of undesirables.  California passed the 3rd such law among the states in 1909, laws which led to something over 60,000 forced sterilizations during the next few decades.

    The ideas of eugenics were actually pretty mild compared to what some advocated.  There actually was advocacy of "eugenicide" which would have meant the elimination of undesirables because of their potential for polluting the blood.  BTW, the preferred method for such elimination was gas chambers.

    Among those besides Ford who provided support for the "scientific" studies of eugenics were the Rockefellar Fund (?foundation?), the fortune of the Harriman family (don't forget, btw, that Prescott Bush was head of Brown Bros. Harriman during its involvements with a bank dealing with Nazi finances), and even apparently the Carnegie Foundation.

    It seems to me that given the impact words such as those as Ford's had in the past, it is perfectly valid to examine the similarity of words and ideas today.  We unfortunately do not include such aspects of Henry Ford's past in our studies of American history.  For example, in the 9th grade American History courses in Prince George's County Maryland where I teach, the two textbooks used are provided by Glencoe.  Neither mentions The Dearborn Independent nor the book by Ford.  The one for the upper ability students mentions Coughlin only as a political opponent of FDR.  The one for the lower ability students has a sentence on p. 743 that reads "Coughlin used his radio show to attack bankers, Jews, Communists, and labor leaders, as well as the New Deal Deal."  There is no mention of Ford's connection with or support of Coughlin, and no mention of Gerald L. K. Smith.

    I think it worth noting that radio was actually far more influential during that part of the 20th century than it is today, even with the widespread audiences for some on the right who also use vitriolic lnaguage to attack their political opponents.   I do not think it unfair to point out the similarity to the types of radio hosts in the two two periods, to the type of rheotric, and then to point out that rhetoric such as that supported by Ford, at least as it appeared in his own wirtings, had quite unfortunate consequences when repeated by Hitler.  In this country, attacks such as those we are seeing on the issue of Christmas, especially when we see attacks on Jews in Hollywood (which we also saw with Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ), are far too reminiscent of the anti-Semitism that was at best just underneath the surface and far too often overt during the build up to the 2nd World War.  I note that neither of the history books we use mentions the German-American Bund, with it's huge rallies in support of Nazi Germany prior to Pearl Harbor.

    I find the current rhetoric of those on the political and religious right (overlapping, but not identical) to be frightenly reminiscent of the worst of American history.  Knowing, as I have demonstrated by our textbooks, that our students do not in general learn about this in school, I can understand why people are sometimes shocked when anyone further to the left points out the similarities with the rise of Naziism, and with the extreme antisemitism exhibited by some in this nation.  Thus I think it important that those of us who know the history speak out as clearly as we can, so that more may be informed of the dangerous path down which this country now trends.

    Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:26:48 PM PST

    •  Considering how many Americans... (none)
      ...supported Fascism back then (The bloodlines look familiar to today, don't they?) do the history books today talk about the attempted coup, "Assassination plan" of FDR, by the industrial leaders who wanted to kill FDR and install Marine General Smedley Butler as the President of America with a military government?

      That was something I learned through self-education, as I don't recall ever being taught that in school. Of course, these American Fascist Bloodlines have learned alot since then, and they have indeed been able to bring American Fascism back into popular play by hiding it in the flag.

      Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

      by Alumbrados on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 10:02:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nope -- Butler not mentioned (none)
        of course, while I am required to issue the textbook, I am not required to use it as my sole source of information.   My students learn about all the relevant stuff in due time.

        We have just completed studying the Depression and the New Deal.  That means that to date my students have learned about Butler, about Coughlin,  in passing about Lindbergh  [I don't bother with Gerald L K Smith).  When we talked about Ford back as an industrialist, we talked somewhat more about his entire career.  That includes his use of what were effectively mobsters to oppose the Auto Workers.  

        I try to make sure my kids know both the posities and the negatives.  I show them what is considered the 'received" history.  We have done an exercise where I ask them to tell me (a) what is an American (b) what makes something American history (c) who gets to decie what is American history.

        I ahve students born in this country, citizens, who do not consider themselves American.  One insists he is an Arab, because that's all others see when they meet him [his name is Abdullah, and while he dresses as an American and speaks fluent American English, he is quite clear also on his self-identification].  Another insists he is Nigerian, because he does not want to lose his cultural background.  And so on.

        We explore the issue of developing loyalty as a function of studying history, and some can already point out that being hoenst doesnb't make one less loyal.  

        It helps that I teach in a community that is probably somewhat more politically and culturally liberal.  I have a fai number of students whose parents are faculty at Maryland-College Park, others whose parents are civil servants with the Federal government.  Our county is predominantly Africa-American, and heavily Democratic, so that the vast majority of my students opposed Bush even if they were not excited by Kerry.  Perhaps the only issue on which my students are almost evenly split is that of abortion  -  thre are fair number of toherwise quite liberal students who are quite stroubled by abortion.

        That said  -  I encourage my students to form thier own opinions, but require them to find evidence to back up any position they take, whether or not i agree with it.  And in the process we learn something ab out the nature of history , that "winners" often destroy the records and documentation fo the "losers" --  note how the Serbs destroyed the National Library of Sarajevo deliberately.  

        I fully realize that textbook publishers try to avoid controversy that might cost them sales.  That said, beyond the omissions I can note, there are far too many flat out errors in our textbooks.   Those professors who allow their names to appear on such works should be ashamed.

        This is not a new problem.  In recent past you can remember that huge battle over the national standards for history, with Lynne Cheney rejecting the recommendations of the very panel (led by gary Nash) she had created.  We have seen a real assault on the entire idea of social studies, that is, that there are things beyond traditional "history' of which our students whould be aware.

        So I guess I am a subversive  -- I read widely, remember quite a bit, read what those I disagree with have gto say  -- actually, I deliberately read such things:  I could be wrong, and I like to know the thought processes of my opponents.  

        Enough  --- Happy Holidays [since not everyone who celebrates Christmas does so today  -- for those Orthodox and Oriental Christians who still keep the Julain Calendar, today is only December 12th).

        Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

        by teacherken on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 06:43:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Religious Harrassment (none)
    That's what the Falwell, Robertson and O'Reilly are perpetrating.
  •  which do the Christians want? (4.00)
    do they want Christmas to be truly a holy celebration of the birth of their savior?


    do they want everyone in America to treat Christmas as a holiday?

    The first is private RELIGIOUS event to be celebrated in Christian churches.. and in that case it has no place in the public arena... and they should direct their ire at those who have so commercialized and trivialized it

    The second is a SECULAR event, in which case it will stay in the "happy holiday" middle ground in which everyone except a few holdout grinches and hardcore infidels can feel comfortable.

    What they CANT have is a univeral- holiday gift- giving event in which everyone has to greet each other with  "Merry Christmas" acknowledging the birth of a savior they may not recognize.

  •  Christmas in Ecuador (none)
    'Twas the night before Christmas,
    And with barely a ripple,
    Beyond Florida's isthsmus
    A flotilla was crippled.
    The poor and the hungry
    The hopeful, the game:
    Refugees, sunk at sea.
    One more war. Freedom's shame.
  •  Who gives a rat's ass?? (none)
    Beyond the fact that, in an empire dedicated to bureaucratic minutiae, there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that any person named "Jesus: let alone "Christ" ever lived, the truth is that there is even less proof than none that, if this individual ever existed, he was born on December 25.  

    "Christmas" as a Christian holiday only began in the 4th Century, when the otherwise-unemployables known as "the Church Fathers" decided they needed to cash in on Saturnalia, the Roman celebration of the Winter Solstice.

    Just as "Easter" is a ripoff of the Spring Equinox - aka the Spring Planting Celebration.

    Just like every Christian "Saint" manages to have exactly the properties of some pagan god in some territory some drooling moron went into and got himself (properly) eviscerated by people who couldn't stand his b.s.

    Thank the universe the Christers haven't managed to find a way to rip off the Harvest Festival. Yet.

    Those who worry about this religous bullshit by the only religion dedicated to moronic stupidity are politely asked to go roll in the sawdust with the other sub-lemur morons.

    William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

    by HollywierdLiberal on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 12:17:17 AM PST

    •  There are indeed records of Jesus... (none)
      ..existing. The Romans kept meticulous records back then and I think you'll find that even the most skeptical ancient scholar acknowledges that.  As for the other part of your post charging that Christmas and Easter and so on supplants other customs... perhaps... but as a Christian myself.. I could argue this was done not to "Cash in" on pagan holidays.. but to show the rest of the non-believing/pagan world at the time what Christians celebrate, and to make them think about converting.. (I could also argue that this was not just earth-inspired to do this, but part of the Divine's plan).

      For the record.. though I am appalled at how the Religious Right uses Christianity as a political weapon.. I am equally uncomfortable with how some on here are using this to attack Christianity in general.

      There are some of us who are Christians that dont believe in what these people are doing.. and it would be wrong to paint us all with the same brush.

      Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die. - Pierre Trudeau

      by tribe34 on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 04:38:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  FYI (none)
        as a Christian myself.. I could argue this was done not to "Cash in" on pagan holidays.. but to show the rest of the non-believing/pagan world at the time what Christians celebrate, and to make them think about converting.. (I could also argue that this was not just earth-inspired to do this, but part of the Divine's plan).

        What is this garbage about "just" earth-inspired??  You need to learn more about paganism.  Pagans worship the Divine too.

        One of the things that annoys me about Christians (and yes, this is even true of the "good" ones) is that they seldom know anything about other religions and spiritual beliefs.  It's as if they think they're the only game in town.  Probably in their view, they are!  Anyone who's not Christian is going to Hell, so why bother learning about their spirituality?  


        We can't stop here! This is bat country!

        by hrh on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 07:36:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As a new christian myself (none)
          I investigated many different religions and found much within them of value.  When I decided on Christianity I did it partly because its symbology was familiar to me.  Channels to the divine had already been dug in me by my childhood exposure to it.  

          However, when I talked to the pastor of the church I have chosen (United Church of Christ Congregationalist), I made certain that I was not expected to accept the idea that good people of any faith or no faith at all would go to Hell and I was assured that there is nothing within the core teachings of Jesus that demanded such an acceptance.

          Christians do not have to believe that and I will work to make sure that more and more of them do not.  I will not leave Christianity to those who call themselves Chrisitan and yet reject or ignore the teachings of Christ, and who revel in a graphic decipiction of his torture and death yet refuse to follow the "golden rule" that he set down for the treatment of their fellows.

          Falwell, Robinson, O'Reilly, Bush and others of their ilk are no more Christian than worshipers of Moloch.

        •  Christian ignorance (none)
          I agree wholeheartedly with that. Christians certainly ought to be learning about Islam, for example.

          "She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her supporters are praiseworthy."--King Shlomo "We make it a point of honor to be affirmers."--Nietzsche

          by 4jkb4ia on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 11:36:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As a "Cashew" (none)
    i.e. half-Catholic and half-Jewish, please allow me to comment quickly. We always have to be careful about making it more difficult for people to celebrate religious holidays, provided they aren't really trying to impose on other people. Christians want Christmas and Easter to celebrate, so they shouldn't raise an eye-brow when Jewish people ask for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur off of work (including Jewish people living in predominantly Christian areas). As far as the right-wing zealots making the statements above, their motivation is just to scare moderate Christians into thinking that something sacred is under attack. It helps them portray the left as extremist. I just keep picturing them saying, "Why do you hate Christmas?" to our next nominee (regardless of whether he/she is Christian). Despicable bastards. Oh, and Merry Christmas.

    "You're Bush's brain, Karl? I was expecting a much smaller man." - Triumph the Insult Dog

    by michigandemocrat19 on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 04:46:07 AM PST

  •  jesus with a bullet (none)
    repugs take anything sacred and lovely, then invert, pervert and reverse-engineer it into a cheap gimcrack parody, on permanent fire-sale at wal-mart.

    so a natural desire to make a doll nativity scene and enjoy it through the kids' eyes becomes a political tool.

    on the other hand doesn't the aclu have better things to do than serve up such easy pickings for the right to feast on?

    i understand the fear of 'christi-thuggery', symbols having inordinate power over emotions, and monopolistic one-brand franchises over tender-yeared kids and all, but this is like pouring gasoline over fire, expecting it to help people chill.

    i think the real reason atheists don't want religious symbols in public places is so their children are not peer-pressured into acting in conformity with whatever the flava.

    fair enough, but enforced secularism looks way too much like totalitarian governments like russia and china's old approach to religion....stamp it out so we all start from a clean slate, so to speak.

    more difficult but ultimately better to teach tolerance and respect for all religions, with none prevailing through institution.
    worship freely and allow others the same courtesy...why is that so hard?

    the mindset of all that is worst in america right now is a direct descendant of the cold war one, one that was raised on 'fighting the godless commies' and dying nobly for that cause if necessary. (criterion n.1 for all fanaticism, whether fascist or fundy).

    i can sympathize with the alluringly simplistic solution banning all evidence of religion in public places, but from looking at history i would guess that it would take entering the singularity before people all could get how liberating that would be.

    meanwhile back at the ranch, the one thing more soulless and diabolical than outright banning religion and substituting worship of money instead, er.....

    as i was saying, the one thing worse would be to convince folks that a folk-religion started by a scapegoated, sometimes irascible peacenik magus 2000 years ago (who would, if time-travelling to now, have apperently morphed into a gun-totin', racist, suv-driving, o'reilly fan) could be used to pull the wool over the eyes of over half the population of the most informed, technologically savvy country on the planet today.

    course, if this challenge were presented to machiavelli as a social engineering project, he would have to insist on a 50 year run-up during which liberal (such a lovely word, use it whenever i can) and crescendo-ing use of junk food, dumbed-down curricula, walmart to shining walmart advertising, ritalin, ghetto crack supplies and 'happy talk from hell' fauxnooze lying their lying asses off 24/7, in between breaks where other 2-bit actors hawk junk to consume, followed by ads from the cc companies urging you to get in deeper, as a necessary softening up process.

    you deserve're AMERICAN!!!!

    you don't take shit from no uppity sand-niggas!

    someone gave me a short, sharp reality check the other day, when discussing the results of the november farce-election.

    i asked out loud how people could be so blind as to think that bush and cheyney were 'good' people, looking at their actions.

    his reply:

       'on the contrary, most american voters know full well how morally scabrous their government's foreign policy is, and consciously chose a person whose ignorant nastiness would prove him to be the most efficient and ruthless achiever of that policy. in other words, the biggest, baddest a-hole around.'

    when you look at it that way, it sorta helps to understand why it takes abundant coats of whitewash to help that lil' ol' picket fence look clean.

    who better to hijack than jesus?

    who's whiter than that?

    er,    well you know what i mean....

    and if you're wondering how much good cheer i'm imbibing this happy holiday, take a look at this:.

    (warning, for alcoa sombrero wearers only)

  •  Don't forget this one... (none)
    "Kyle's mom is a stupid bitch." - Eric Cartman, in the episode of South Park where Kyle's mom, a practicing Jew, objected to the various Christmas displays the mayor had erected in the town square.  

    It's hard to draw conclusions about South Park, since its creators are pretty much devoid of any real convictions other than making more money from cheap animation and even cheaper stunts, but one might suggest that this particular episode had a similar intent to the ravings of Messrs. O'Reilly, Robertson, Falwell, et. al.

    What did we do to deserve George W. Bush?

    by republicans are idiots on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 06:40:08 AM PST

  •  Christianity Abroad (none)
    Given that a portion of the rhetoric behind the rise of Naziism was focused on the supposed anti-Christian orientation of the Jews in Western Europe, can anyone speak to the role of Christianity, and of religion in general, in modern-day Germany? It seems if we're really considering the rise of fascism in America, we should be studying the primary and well-documented example of it in the 20th century's Second World War, not to mention examples of it, such as Mr. Ford, in pre-war America.
  •  War on Christmas? (none)
    I think that was started by Christians.  In Massachusetts, the following law was passed in 1659 and was enforced on the people for 22 years before it was finally repealed.

        "Whosoever shall be found observing Christmas, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, every such person shall pay as a fine five shillings to the county."

    And that stemmed directly from Christianity.  Many, many Christian sects believe the tree, and holiday, to be idolotry.  Many pilgrims were all for forbidding the celebration of Christmas because they believed the Bible spoke out against such practice, both directly (in Jeremiah) and in idoltory and practicing pagan rituals.  Jeremiah 10: 2,3 -

        "Hear you the word which the Lord speaks unto you, 0 house of Israel. Thus says the Lord. Learn not the way of the heathen [non-Israelite nations], and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven; for the nations are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain."

    And the practices that were being spoken against.  Tree worship praticed by many Jews that'd been corrupted by heathen practice.  Now, here it is again, but in fuller text (still KJV):  Jeremiah 10:1-5, and 8, 9

    "Hear you the word which the Lord speaks unto you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord. Learn not the way of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven; for the nations are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain. For one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it [the tree] with silver and with gold. They fasten it [the tree] with nails and with hammers that it move not. They [such trees] are upright as the palm tree, but speak not. the tree [KJV: stock] is a doctrine of vanities. Silver is spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder. Blue and purple is their clothing. They [the trees] are all the work of cunning men."

    Sure, there is an argument to whether it speaks DIRECTLY to trees, or to idolotry in general.  In either case, it's a pagan tree dressed in a pagan style.  Hardly Christian.

    But then, neither is bombing innocent countries.  Killing prisoners because you can.  That sort of barbarous thing....

  •  Why Send Christmas Cards? (none)
    I refuse to subsidize corporations.
  •  Ummm please consider.... (none)
    This Christmas rubbish is little more than a dodge to get people thinking about something other than Iraq and the lousy economy.

    It is a cheap and deceitful dodge.  Jews are being used as a "foil" to promulgate this sham.

    Christmas?  Many people like it, including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Hindus, let alone Christians.  However, many people also say "Happy Holidays" in order to cover more than just Christmas, using a minimum of words.

    But in the end, this Save Christmas claptrap is a ploy.  If you are think about Christmas, you arn't thinking about how lousy things are, about lies that cause wars, incompetance, outsourcing and all of the problems in Bush's dyfunctiuonal America.

    Merry Christmas to all....though this year I feel like saying "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," for those that know the movie.  

  •  Easter is totally pagan. (none)
    Easter is a variant on Eostre, the pagan goddess of Spring.  In the Germanic sagas, a little girl finds a bird in the snow covered forest with a broken wing and prays to the Godess Yoster to come heal the bird.

    Eostre comes to her by way of a rainbow bridge, and in doing so melts all the snow, bringing Spring.  Eostre tells her she cannot mend the wing of the bird, but can change the bird to a snow (or white colored) hare.  She tells the little girl that when she next sees the snow hare (sent by Eostre), Spring will arrive shortly thereafter.

    Easter is a harnbinger of Spring.  It occurs on the first Sunday on or after the first full moon after the vernal Equinox.  The early popes didn't like being beholden to the Rabbi of Jerusalem for an indication of when Passover commenced (a calculation based on the Jewish lunar calendar), so they invented this formula for the movable feast called Easter.  Unfortunately, the Julian calendar had accumulated an error of fifteen days, so Pope Gregory removed ten days from the calendar, correcting the Julian error back to the Council of Nicea (325 AD).  This made Easter arrive on a warmer, more spring-like day, but put Christmas off from the Winter Solstice (Sol Invictus) by about 4 days.

    Let me be the first to promote the secular humanist Jihad against Easter!  

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:28:57 AM PST

  •  Truth (none)
    All things must begin with truth.   This is a poor thread because before beginning with accusations some knowledge or the truth about xmas should have been presented.   The first being that Dec. 25th is not the birthday of Jesus.  The date of Dec. 25th conincides with a Roman pagan holiday and it was the Roman Emperor Constantine who put the birth of Jesus or Christ on the 25th for political reasons.   Constantine worshipped the Sun God however he like Bush became a specialist in Christianity when it was needed to fit or suit his purposes.   Even the date of Easter is incorrect and aligns with a pagan holiday.   Aligning Christian holidays with Pagan holidays simply confused people and suited Constantine purposes to exploit the men in the military who were christian pacifist and would not fight.
    Another point about Jesus that people cover up or just blatantly lie about is that Jesus was a Black Jew.   There is also an African tribe of black jews who contain the gene for Jewish priest 70% percent of them have it.
    Jesus just like Muhammad were pacifist and did not believe in war.  Emperor Constantine reinvented christianity to suit his purposes and so did the so called christian churches and now Bush is doing the same with the religious right which teaches intolerance.
    It should also be noted that Santa was first a bishop.   Then he was changed to an Elf.  Later on it was Coke who changed Santa to a Jolly on fat man during the second world war and used the cartoon figure to sell coke.  By the way we all know what the active ingredient in coke was in the beginning (cocaine).   Therefore the history of the Birth of Christ has been used to promote war and the sell of Cocaine until it was outlawed in Coke.   So now what!
    I celebrate xmas and consider a lie worth while if it promotes any semblance of peace and good will towards are fellow man.   Sometimes you take what you can get!
  •  Re: The War On Christmas (none)
    A few random comments.

    First, it is a good thing to analyze and debate issues of religion in America, the fear (and loathing) and paranoid perception from the religious right of some sort of attack on  Christianity, and US / Israel / Palestine nationalistic and foreign policies.  If only we could reach our dialogue beyond the blogosphere.

    The quotes of racists such as David Duke and the comments of a news personality, O'Reilly, are scary.  They are scary not because they reveal the fact that racism is alive and well in America (we already know that it is) but because it is becoming so much a part of the maintstream (thanks mass media!) and there is diminishing channels to dissent.

    When Jews are blamed for these fanatics' lunatic belief in a war against Christianity, when Jewish people (whether holding any religious beliefs or even having converted to Christianity) are "blamed" for societal ills ("eroding 'moral values' by 'owning Hollywood'--what's next, "Jews own all the banks, etc.")it seems like we are returning to one of the darkest ages in history.

    How do we wake up America?  If in the name of security America comes to the door of Muslims to remove Muslims and no one speaks out because "I'm not Muslim" and if next they come for the Christians who dissent against national and international policies that are wrong and no one speaks out because "I'm not Christian", they will soon come for the Jews and there will be no one to speak out when they take me away.

  •  Frohe Weihnachten! (none)
    ...from this German-American, who is quite pagan at heart...and quite enjoys singing "O Tannenbaum" and "Stille Nacht" at one of the few German church services still held in the U.S.

    Thank goodness for all those pagan roots of the Christian holidays!  Easter = eostara, which derives from "Eos", the Greek goddess of the dawn, who was mother of the winds and the stars.  She's my namesake:  "Daemmern" means "to dawn" in German.

    BTW, I like klezmer music.

    May there be peace on Earth, so that we can all enjoy each other's traditions.  It would be awfully boring, if there were only one culture in this world!

    Give the Democratic Party a spinal transplant: Vote Dean for DNC Chair!

    by Daemmern on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 02:07:43 PM PST

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