Father Dave Smith On Israel-Palestine, Christian Zionism: “Politics And Religion Mixed Up A Lot.”

By Jerry Alatalo

Australian Father Dave Smith at a recent “Warrior Weekend” – part of the “Boxing For Life” program, using boxing to bring people of different faiths and cultures together through sport.

ather Dave Smith of Australia was one of  the men and woman from around the Earth who received invitations to speak at the recent New Horizons Conference in Iran – the 6th Annual convening of the event in May 2018.

Among the group of others who participated were (from the U.S.): Alison Weir (author, founder of If Americans Knew), retired Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence expert Philip Giraldi, former State Department official Michael Maloof, military psychological operations expert and author of “Shell Game” (Swiss banks terrorist financing) Scott Bennett, and attorney/author Michael Springmann (Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry).

Father Dave Smith’s talk  focused on the erroneous theological foundations of Christian Zionism, the distinctive branch of the faith finding 50-70 million adherents in the United States alone. The Christian block is very influential (negatively, if what Father Dave Smith suggests is correct) when it comes to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere around the Earth, particularly with regard to Israel-Palestine.

If one accepts the central thrust of Father Dave Smith’s thesis, the most worrisome aspect of Christian Zionists’ erroneous beliefs set is holding the idea that being a Christian requires giving full support to Israel – and accepting the “prophecy” that the return of Jesus Christ is dependent on Israel’s militarily conquering its neighbors or enemies. In other words, Christian Zionists are to believe (and do believe) that wars fought by Israel, including those fought by the United States for or joined with Israel, are absolute/solid “signs” – ignorant of the potential huge losses of human lives, the injuries, dislocation and destruction associated with military violence – of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

This theologically incorrect stance is actually the one held firmly by millions of U.S. Christian Zionists (readers might have family members or friends in the religious category) – in fact to the point where many are joyously anticipating the “Armageddon” of Revelations in the Bible or major war in the Middle East, which supposedly then triggers the prophecy-fulfilling supernatural spiritual event of Christ’s return, the 2nd Coming, and/or “The Rapture”.

Americans might find it important to know that former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and now Secretary of State under Donald Trump – Mike Pompeo – believes in “The Rapture”. Moreover, Father Dave Smith wonders out loud in his talk whether Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton is a Christian Zionist. The selection of Bolton by Trump did not require the approval/vote or confirmation of the U.S. Congress.

The Rapture has come into the consciousness of America’s estimated 50-70 million Christian Zionists through the reading of the controversial (many Christian leaders criticize and consider it sheer blasphemy) Scofield Bible, published in 1909 and including extensive end notes or interpretive commentary by editor Scofield, which portray biblical scriptures/verses in an extremely Israel-centric light.

Perhaps some men or women journalists can ask Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Bolton if their bibles are the Scofield version. It might be very important to know the answer, and especially so, given the current highly tense global situation.

A few hours of research into the Scofield Bible, its historical facts and the theological controversy surrounding it are enough for one to lean strongly in the direction that millions of Americans who’ve used/read solely the Scofield publication have been sadly fooled about Israel vis-à-vis Christianity. In many instances people professing themselves as Christians have used the Scofield Bible alone … solely that book without exception, for decades and/or generations.

Among America’s more well-known Christian Zionists are Pat Robertson (who ran for president as a Republican, and once publicly called for the political, literal assassination of  Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez), John Hagee and Robert Jeffress (who both spoke in Israel at the U.S. Embassy dedication ceremony, after Donald Trump moved it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem), Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, Hal Lindsey, and many others.

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Father Dave Smith spoke toward the end of his talk:

“Hence, biblical prophecies … they’re never designed to help shape foreign policy; any more than they’re designed to just satisfy our curiosity about the future. They’re designed to call us back to the commandments. Once we recognize this, I think we can see the fundamental flaw in the logic of Christian Zionism. They claim the biblical prophecies point to the triumph of the modern-state Israel over its neighbors.

“Even if they could be right, that some prophet had predicted this, it wouldn’t mean that either the prophet or the scriptures as a whole endorsed the event, nor would it mean that people should support it, any more than Jeremiah’s dire warnings were intended to garner support for the destruction of Jerusalem. In the Hebrew bible, when the prophet gives dire predictions about the future, his hope is that his warnings will cause his hearers to come back into a relationship of obedience to God – resulting in the prophecy proving false.

“See, the tragedy of Christian Zionism … Is it gets the whole process back to front, urging us to follow the prophecy even if it means breaking the laws of God, breaking the commandments. Prophecy has never been normative. The commandments are normative. The commandments tell us how we have to behave towards God and towards our neighbors. It’s the commandments with which we can base our foreign policy on, – a biblically based foreign policy, which would require of course a focusing on justice.

“As a Sydney Anglican priest I’m privileged to be part of a church tradition that has never been greatly influenced by Zionism. Indeed, I believe that at the Sydney Anglican Synod of 1948, some people did indeed stand up suggesting the creation of Israel was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

“It was the principal of our theological seminary who corrected them, saying: ‘No, no … It’s the fulfillment of the 8th commandment – Thou shalt not steal’. And this is the great tragedy of Christian Zionism … That under the guide of faithfulness to biblical prophecy it indeed justified stealing, and murder, and any number of other crimes that are clearly contrary to the commandments of God.

“A genuinely biblical approach to the situation in Israel-Palestine must begin, I believe, not with prophecy, but with the unambiguous command to do justice. A justice that respects the rights of Palestinian people to their land, to life and to liberty.”

Father Dave Smith after declared the ‘winner’ of an exhibition boxing match.

 ***

(Thank you to Dave Smith – YouTube)

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Razan al-Najjar Murdered By Apartheid Israel. Again.

By Jerry Alatalo

“Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be outraged by silence.”

– HENRI FREDERIC AMIEL (1821-1881) Swiss philosopher

Razan al-Najjar

alestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar was 21-years old on June 1 when she was struck and killed by Israeli sniper fire in Gaza. She was giving emergency medical assistance/treatment to fellow Palestinian victims of Israeli gunfire at the moment of her death. Close to 120 Palestinians have lost their lives while 10,000 have suffered injuries, nearly all as the result of Israeli military snipers’ bullets.

Her murder sparked worldwide outrage and condemnation, adding to intensifying criticism of the Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the Donald Trump administration in the United States for its disappointing failure to respond in an appropriate moral manner.

The Israeli defense authorities added insult to the fatal injury inflicted on Razan al-Najjar by quickly producing and publishing a video which took an interview given by Ms. al-Najjar and edited it, taking and displaying her words out of proper context, for the objectionable purpose of manipulating public opinion in apartheid Israel’s favor.

From a philosophical or spiritual perspective, one might rightly assert that Israeli defense authorities murdered Razan al-Najjar twice – once while living on Earth in Gaza and again after she passed away and left this physical world.

It is very difficult to imagine what drives the minds of those who would intentionally lower their moral standards to such an extreme, grotesque extent, and equally difficult to discern what allows others – namely those men and women serving under U.S. President Donald Trump – to stand by, turn away and remain silent in the face of Israel’s profoundly disturbing, immoral, propagandistic actions.

Whether one is atheistic, agnostic or believer in a variantly conceptualized higher spiritual power, the circumstances surrounding the brutal murder of benevolent Palestinian soul Razan al-Najjar – and Israel’s despicable, intentional attempt to achieve a covertly engineered propaganda “victory” afterward – meet any generally recognized human definitions of sin.

In loving memory of Razan al-Najjar (1997-2018)

***

(Thank you to RT America – YouTube)

 

Lecture in Girona on the Universal Right of Self-Determination of Peoples

Alfred de Zayas' Human Rights Corner

NOTES FOR THE ASSESSMENT

 OF ACTIVITIES AND ALLEGATIONS

 RELATED TO THE PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC EXERCISE

OF THE UNIVERSAL RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION OF PEOPLES

Introduction: The “right of self-determination of peoples”, hereinafter the “right of self-determination”, is a fundamental right protected at the highest level by the international legal order. It is enshrined in the first article of the Charter of the United Nations, the founding treaty of the Organization, and in other international legal instruments, including the UN Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is considered “jus cogens”, that is, fundamental norm of superior hierarchical rank, standing above any contradictory legal provision which would become automatically null, in accordance with the Charter and with Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

 

It is therefore a direct and legally binding right applicable to all United Nations Member States…

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Trump’s Twitter Trashtalk.

By Jerry Alatalo

re exclamation points (!) “presidential”? Do those exclamation points in shallow-minded, adolescent and immature Tweets substitute for serious, lengthy talks or debate necessary to adequately address the important issues facing humanity? The answer to both questions is “no”.

The unprecedented use of Twitter as a primary means for conveyance of messages to humanity by the president of the United States – generally perceived as the American elected because best suited to carry out the duties of the high office while adhering to the gold standards of statesmanship and diplomacy – is arguably, well … frankly pathetic.

Such a form of primitive communication practice, particularly when chosen by the elected leader of perhaps the most powerful nation on Earth, is regressive and debilitating from every conceivable perspective.

While giant global social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others have taken steps designed to censor and/or silence voices critical of U.S. foreign policies, the “Tweeter-in-Chief” Donald Trump rolls on, unmolested and seemingly unstoppable as a loose cannon, with what those familiar with loud-mouthed rudeness, impoliteness and unsportsmanlike behavior on fields of athletics know as “trashtalk”.

We are unaware whether Donald Trump participated in organized team sports in his life or not, but if in his younger days he was a member of the baseball, football or basketball team(s) he forgot how “trash-talkers” are perceived by all other athletes as bad actors, those “hot dogs” whose actions contradict the reason people become involved in team sports to begin with. Players who talk trash are “buzzkills” who fail to understand, and rob others from achieving, the game’s best aspect – the simple enjoyment of friendly physical competition.

***

Unfortunately, Donald Trump isn’t the trash-talking basketball player ruining the fun for everyone at the weekly local YMCA pick-up games, but the man holding the most powerful executive political position on Earth. In the former situation talking trash isn’t that big a deal besides the unenlightened, offensive rudeness and spoiling of others’ sporting enjoyment, and involves just a handful of 10 or more guys looking for some fun style of exercise.

However … trashtalk on a world level where millions of people’s lives hang in the balance is a far different, much more important and serious story.

One becomes both puzzled and disappointed that Trump’s circle hasn’t convinced him to suspend his utterly negative “trashtalk diplomacy” via Twitter, while others have expressed their serious opinion that Twitter’s user policy requires some initiatory disciplinary action occur, or even the closing of Donald Trump’s account, over “failure to meet our standards of conduct” or similarly categorized violations.

Mr. Trump unilaterally announced four weeks ago that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel (notable for the missing “West” before Jerusalem), in a move that is near impossible to interpret as other than an intentional provocation to violence. In the weeks subsequent to the announcement, Trump has declined to publish any Twitter postings sympathetic to Palestinians “…fighting for freedom!” or such, but jumped immediately on Twitter when Iranians held protests recently, writing “Time for a change!”

Now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is reportedly ready to call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council over the protests in Iran, while choosing to ignore the legitimate protests of Palestinians. Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley’s feigned concern for the people of Iran suggests covert destabilization efforts (not conspiracy theory, but historically proven fact – see Iran 1953, etc.) may have become triggered to deflect attention away from the devastating-to-Trump United Nations General Assembly vote of 128-9 rejecting his Jerusalem decision, with the added envisaged “benefit” of manufacturing  a reason or pretext for scrapping the Iran-P5+1 nuclear agreement.

In the six days since protests began in Iran the number of those who’ve unfortunately perished is reportedly twenty-one. One wonders what Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley’s response would be if China, France, Russia or the United Kingdom (the other four permanent Security Council member states) were to call for an emergency meeting of the Council over the recent controversial events in Las Vegas, Nevada – where allegedly a mass-murdering lone gunman shot and killed more than fifty people and wounded over five hundred more.

The alleged gunman Stephen Paddock committed suicide, questions over the mass shooting about the possibility it was a false flag staged event remain unanswered, while mainstream media has abruptly stopped reporting altogether on the Las Vegas event. … But that’s another story for another day.

***

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter trashtalk becomes especially dangerous when it comes to nuclear-armed North Korea (DPRK), highlighted by his playground bully, back-and-forth messaging with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un. The juvenile nature of the exchange between the leaders of the two nations has devolved and descended to the point of focusing on who has the bigger nuclear button, or over “bragging rights” to possession of the more destructive nuclear arsenal.

Such a bizarre international relations phenomenon resembling a poorly produced TV reality show would be side-splitting laughable were it not in reality associated with an existential risk for millions living on the Korean peninsula and beyond.

Mr. Trump’s most recent Twitter “tirade” included trashtalk directed toward Pakistan, his threatening the cut-off of aid money, and alienating a country, like North Korea, armed with nuclear weapons. Pakistan government leaders and citizens of the nation have responded with strong criticism of Trump accusations that Pakistan is aiding terrorists.

The more Trump tweets the clearer it becomes his “Twitter strategy” as a marketing tool for “making America great again” is a bust, and makes obvious that continuance of offensive Twitter activity will only further dig a deepening hole of diminishing reputation for the Trump administration and, by extension, America’s 330 million people collectively.

Mr. Trump: You might want to stop digging, close your Twitter account and try returning to old-fashioned statesmanship, honest diplomacy and wise discretion. Surely, we realize Donald Trump will never heed this advice, and will continue offending others across the Earth on Twitter. Nobody can accuse us of not trying.

***

In Chapter 16 of The Bhagavad Gita Sri Krishna tells Arjuna about “Divine and Demonic Tendencies”:

“A man who is born with tendencies toward the Divine is fearless and pure in heart. He perseveres in that path to union with Brahman which the scriptures and his teacher have taught him. He is charitable. He can control his passions. He studies the scriptures regularly, and obeys their directions. He practices spiritual disciplines. He is straightforward, truthful and of an even temper. He harms no one. He renounces the things of this world. He has a tranquil mind and an unmalicious tongue. He is compassionate toward all. He is not greedy. He is gentle and modest. He abstains from useless activity. He has faith in the strength of his higher nature. He can forgive and endure. He is clean is thought and act. He is free from hatred and pride. Such qualities are his birthright.”

“… In this world there are two kinds of beings: those whose nature tends toward the Divine, and those who have demonic tendencies. I have already described the divine nature to you in some detail. Now you shall learn more about the demonic nature.”

“Men of demonic nature know neither what they ought to do, nor what they should refrain from doing. There is no truth in them, or purity, or right conduct. They maintain that the scriptures are a lie, and that the universe is not based upon a moral law, but godless, conceived in lust and created by copulation, without any other cause. Because they believe this in the darkness of their little minds, these degraded creatures do horrible deeds, attempting to destroy the world. They are enemies of mankind.”

“Their lust can never be appeased. They are arrogant, and vain, and drunk with pride. They run blindly after what is evil. The ends they work for are unclean. They are sure that life has only one purpose: gratification of the senses. And so they are plagued by innumerable cares, from which death alone can release them. Anxiety binds them with a hundred chains, delivering them over to lust and wrath. They are ceaselessly busy, piling up dishonest gains to satisfy their cravings.”

“… They are addicts of sensual pleasure, made restless by their many desires, and caught in the net of delusion. They fall into the filthy hell of their own evil minds. Conceited, haughty, foolishly proud, and intoxicated by their wealth, they offer sacrifice to God in name only, for outward show, without following the sacred rituals. These malignant creatures are full of egoism, vanity, lust, wrath, and consciousness of power. They loathe me, and deny my presence both in themselves and in others. They are enemies of all men and of myself; cruel, despicable and vile. I cast them back, again and again, into the wombs of degraded parents, subjecting them to the wheel of birth and death. And so they are constantly reborn, in degradation and delusion. They do not reach me, but sink down to the lowest possible condition of the soul.”

“Hell has three doors; lust, rage and greed. These lead to man’s ruin. Therefore he must avoid them all. He who passes by these three dark doors has achieved his own salvation. He will reach the highest goal at last.”

“But he who flouts the commandments of the scriptures, and acts on the impulse of his desires, cannot reach perfection, or happiness, or the highest goal.”

“Let the scriptures be your guide, therefore, in deciding what you must do, and what you must abstain from. First learn the path of action, as the scriptures teach it. Then act accordingly.”

***

Persons interested in reading a full text, modern prose version of “The Bhagavad Gita” can do so free of charge, by clicking the following link:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/gita/agsgita.htm