A few days ago, in Alawi Republic of Latakia Saves Syria, I commented on the international conference that took place in Geneva regarding the ongoing violence in Syria. The event ended in nothing, with no formal decisions taken and a proposal on general elections that could not be accepted by the actual Syrian regime. The answer to the failure was fast; international media reports of Turkish army movements towards the Syrian border. A war may erupt at any moment. Israel is a silent side of this conflict; it is not expected to participate on an international attack on Syria, but certainly might profit from it by the possible cementing of its illegal Golan Heights’ annexation. What Israel cannot publicly say, was uttered by Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who openly encouraged an international attack on Syria. His public statement laid down the Jewish religious base for an attack on Syria.
This rabbi was apparently carefully chosen by the establishment to deliver this very unusual message; rabbis seldom incite wars. As a Hasidic rabbi affiliated to the Bratzlev Hasidic movement (often spelled Breslov by Yiddish speakers) Rabbi Eliezer Berland is in a unique position to perform exactly that. The Jewish ultra-Orthodox world is divided into hundreds of courts; the main division is between the Haredim and the much smaller Hasidim. The main difference is that Hasidim are led by charismatic leaders, while Haredim stick to the Talmud. Another important difference is that Hasidim engage in proselytizing to secular Jews, while Haredim refrain from that. The best known Hasidic court engaged in this activity is Chabad, which is present in more than a thousand cities worldwide, with notoriously large branches wherever released IDF soldiers favor to spend their army-release cash gift (Thailand, Nepal, Bolivia). Another place where they can be found is in IDF bases, where they are the only civilians to be allowed free entrance; they visit them on Fridays and do their best to bring the soldiers back into the Jewish religious world. This process is referred in Hebrew as “hazara bitshuva” (literally “Return-in-Answer;” religion offers answers, as opposed to the manipulative uncertainty of the humanist world). Bratzlev is much smaller and thus less prominent than Chabad. Yet, they run the Shuvu Banim (also spelled “Shuvu Bonim” by Yiddish speakers) Yeshiva. The name means “Sons Return!” It refers to the fact that most of its students are former secular Jews seeking for a way back into the religious world. Rabbi Eliezer Berland runs this yeshiva and is also a member of the World Committee of Bratzlev Hasidim.
This proselytizing is limited in nature. The process is open only to people recognized by them as Jews. Even after their students graduate, they are not considered equal to their peers. They can’t marry Haredi or Hasidic people since they would always be suspected of being impure (there might be gentiles among their ancestors), thus they marry among each other, creating yet another racist division within the Jewish society. Yet, the relevant point is that Rabbi Eliezer Berland speaks to former soldiers. In this occasion, he seemed to bring a message from the IDF’s high echelons.
His activities are not limited to proselytizing; the location of his yeshiva is also significant. Shuvu Banim is located in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The only worst provocation towards the legitimate population of the area would have been placing the yeshiva atop the adjacent Dome of the Rock, al-Aqsa Mosque. Can’t Jews live without provoking their neighbors? This is not the attitude preached by the Bible. Rabbi Berland’s closest religious movement is the abovementioned Chabad. Chabad is a Hebrew acronym for “Chochmah, Binah, Da’at,” or in English “Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge.” Yet they demonstrate none of this while ignoring “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” in Lev 19:18. Provokers invariably have bad and violent intentions. Rabbi or not, Berland is a bad man with evil intentions.
Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter in the Old City
On Saturday, June 30, 2012, shortly after the end of the Sabbath, a crowd of almost 10,000 gathered at the Ramat Gan Stadium to hear the rabbi in a revival gathering. The attendants were mixed, ultra-orthodox and secular Jews, who had paid up to $125 to attend the event; considering the economic strata of the attendants, the entry fee was hefty. They should have been surprised to find that the rabbi didn’t engage on the promised faith-revival speech but on a diatribe against Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin. Yet, he was standing in front of a non-judgmental crowd. They would applaud anything uttered by this weapon of Syrian-destruction. Eventually, they applauded to a very long list of atrocities. Let’s take a look.
He begun softly, urging the Israeli government to intervene in Syria, or demand other countries to intervene. This was justified “to prevent the slaughter of children, even if some of them will grow up to be terrorists.” Luckily, the relevant kids were spared this message. In the following part of his discourse it became clear why a Hasidic rabbi had been chosen to deliver this message.
All people are created in the image of God, and all have a Godly spark; therefore solidarity between people was essential whether they are Jew, non-Jew or even Ishmaelites.
This text wouldn’t have been delivered by a Haredi rabbi, since they stick to the racist Talmud. Hasidic rabbi have a bit more latitude, but slightly so. This small difference allowed him to incite a war.
The nations of the world are silent, and we, the Jewish people, the people of justice, the people of conscience and integrity, are the conscience of the entire world.
This is a truly odd statement; I have commented extensively on formal IDF testimonies delivered in military environments and published by the Hebrew media, in which IDF officers boast on assassinations of women, children and elders by Jewish snipers. Is this the justice the rabbi is referring to? Do you really claim to be a man of God, Rabbi Berland?
We must stand before the entire world and demand immediate intervention in Syria, to stop the terrible massacre, to stop the terrible oppression by the ruling cult and the army and stand up for these miserable, desperate people. It doesn’t matter that they are Ishmaelites and it doesn’t matter even if some of them grow up to be terrorists; the first thing is to save the unfortunate children, babies, women – that’s the first mission.
Afterwards, he called Russian President Vladimir Putin “the chief terrorist.”
His speech was highly unusual, and very clear. He justified a war against Syria. He justified attacks by the IDF and the Western Hydra on Syria. Instead of behaving as a rabbi, this prominent member of the Israeli religious establishment spoke like an IDF Head of Staff on the eve of a war. He delivered this belligerent speech shortly after the failure of the Geneva international conference on the Syrian issue. Syria, brace yourself for an Israeli cowardly attack.
Rome, July 3, 2012.—Attacks by the Vatican Swiss Guards invading homes in the vicinity of Castel Sant ‘Angelo after midnight yesterday have left scores of Italians dead and many others unaccounted for. While a stunned Italian citizenry awaits the press conference announced by Palazo Quirinale for this evening, reporters from all international press agencies are interviewing eyewitnesses being treated at Ospedale Maggiore for shock and injuries.
“I thought it was a nightmare,” said Mario Viminale, a 40-year-old shoe salesman who lives on the ground floor in a building just across from The Castel Sant’Angelo bridge. “There is this tall, blond guy dressed up like a Swiss Guard pulling me out of bed and shouting at me in Latin. I thought it was one of those dreams in which you are taking an exam and can’t even understand the question. My Latin is pretty much limited to Pace vobiscum so I couldn’t understand what he was shouting except that he kept repeating Imperium Domini Fides (The Empire of God’s Faith). I said:
Va bene, va bene, IDF, I got that, but what do you want with us?
Ilaria, my wife, who sleeps in the living room because I snore, came up from behind him and started hitting him with a frying pan shouting : “ Ladrone! Ti mando in galera! Cornuto!” which distracted him, so I opened the window and jumped out.
I ran all the way as I was, barfeoot and in my pajamas, to the Carabinieri station near the Mella Stregata coffee shop but I couldn’t talk to anybody. It was a madhouse. Like war but less orderly.
Maria Piacenza, a 25-year-old barista being treated for a broken foot, cries quietly. “No, I wasn’t at home last night. I stayed at my sister’s in Trastevere because she is expecting, but this morning when I tried to return home I couldn’t find my house.” In-between sobs she adds: “It had been demolished. I broke my foot trying to walk in the rubble. There was only one wall left standing and they had spray painted graffiti on it: “The Pope was here” and “Sono porci questi Romani.”
[Editor’s note, “The Romans Are Pigs,” an ironic translation of the acronym, SPQR, Senatus Populusque Romanum, used by the Roman municipality as its seal.)
La Stampa and Coriere dela Sera both have editorials along the same lines:
Why did we allow it to happen? We should have seen it coming. It is true that it was in the offing.
The oficial Vatican organ, L’Osservatore Romano, has been publishing incendiary editorials that raised eyebrows for quite some time now, claiming the Vatican needs more land to ensure its security, citing the menacing aggressiveness not only of marauding foreign tourists but also of Italians, whom they accuse of trying to delegitimize the Vatican with stories of pedophilia and trying to spread their contraceptive and divorce paganism all over the world.
Citing the disfigurement of Michelangelo’s Pietá statue by an atheist vandal and the rubbing of Saint Paul’s foot by the pretend faithful into a pitiful stump, the Vatican insists on its increased security needs. Complaining about centuries of persection and oppression ever since the Reformation, and citing their God-given right to the land where Christians were killed for sport and St Peter is buried, the vaticanists have advanced the agenda of Greater Vatican.
The most recent editorial, published on the eve of the attack, asked the oft-repeated vaticanist question: “Why can we not have a defensible state of our own? The “Italians,” came here after we had made the pagan and ugly land beautiful, they are an invented nation concocted by extremists like Garibaldi. They have the whole “boot,” Sicily, Calabria and also a part of Switzerland. Let them go there. Why don’t their divorce-loving brothers give them shelter? This is the state of vaticanists world-wide and we intend to defend it, for which we need more space and the strategic position of the Coli Albani.” The Albani Hills that surround Rome have become a battle cry for vaticanists: “Grab all the hilltops you can!”
It is expected that The Quirinale press conference tonight will contain an official request for help from the European Community, the UN, and even NATO. In the chaos of panick the city is full of rumors: has the Vatican developed bacteriological WMDs in the long-suspected labs down in the the mysterious dungeaons, underneath the Musei Vaticani and perhaps stretching further into the ancient catacombs? Why don’t they ever allow inspections of the underground tunnels? How many Romans have been abducted by the IDF Swiss Guards and where are they being kept?
Reactions from abroad have been mixed. The State Departmant refused to condemn the vaticanist attacks outright saying it is too early to tell, more time is needed, and reiterating that the US supports peaceful dialog without preconditions.
In a press release Cameron repeated for the most part the State Department’s position but, staking a rather independent stance for the UK, diverged from the American statement by changing all the “or” word endings to “our“ and “ize” to “ise.”
At the press conference in Moscow, Lavrov responded to the reporters’ question about Russia’s position by a citing a Russian folk tale about a wolf, a bear and a rabbit.
South America has been silent on the issue so far, primarily because the national selections for the Latin America Football Cup are vividly disputed, and Lionel Messi is being seen more and more as an “assist guy” than a scorer. The exception is Cristina Kirchner of Argentina who gave a press conference commenting cryptically that the Malvinas belong to Argentina.
Chavez’ silence so far is interpreted by some as ambivalence towards the Vatican due to his perceived conflict of interest, i.e., being a supplicant who has made pleas for intercession by Vatican-related higher authorities for a cure for his serious illness.
In the meantime the victims of Vatican’s aggression have erected tents on both sides of the Tiber still unoccupied by the IDF, and are trying to manage everyday life as best they can in what may be a very long wait for justice.
The International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor has said that the destruction of tombs in Mali is a war crime. Checking out the many media articles about what is happening in Northern Mali I found that every article written about the destruction of tombs shows a picture of one of the very distinct mosques of that region, but which do not show the location of any tomb, like this one in the Telegraph. Islam makes a distinction between tombs or shrines and religious places of worship but the media does not.
The hardline Islamists who seized control of Timbuktu along with the rest of northern Mali three months ago, consider the shrines to be idolatrous and have wrecked seven tombs in two days.
No doubt the International community is outraged by such reports of “war crimes” against shrines of people long dead yet to put it in perspective what happened about the war crimes committed in Gaza during “Cast Lead” ? A report from April 2012 in Al Jazeera tells us
International Criminal Court says it cannot investigate alleged Israeli crimes in Gaza because Palestine is not a state.
It appears you may have to be dead for a few hundred years to expect some kind of justice from the I.C.C.
Another news item involving tombs is the annual pilgrimage of Jews to the tomb of a “Holy man” in the Nile Delta in Egypt.
Born as Yaccov Aharon in Morocco in 1807, the legend has it that on a trip from his homeland to the Holy Land, Abuhatzeira crossed the Mediterranean riding on a hassira (mat) until he reached Alexandria.
The Egyptian government said that they cannot guarantee the safety of Jewish people this year.
“Normalization (of relations) with Israel is forced on the people, and the visits too come against the will of people and despite popular rejection,” said Heshmat, who recently won a seat in parliament in the country’s first elections following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian people clearly do not want any normalisation with Israelis, the pilgrimage was no doubt forced on them in the past and went ahead with Mubarak’s police making sure that security was not breached. Here is the reaction from an Israeli newspaper and a blog which posted this picture
Of course Israel has been preventing and hindering the entry of Palestinians and activists for Palestine for years on the grounds of security.
There is both a political reason and a religious one for not wanting the pilgrimage. In Islam going to the graves in the belief that prayers are more likely to be answered because of the piety of the person buried there is forbidden, so the more Islamic Muslim Brotherhood is unlikely to be sympathetic towards such a pilgrimage.
The building of structures over graves was forbidden by the Prophet Mohammed s.a.w. and there are many recorded narrations which have been authenticated by scholars saying
Jundub reported: I heard from the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) five days before his death and he said: I stand acquitted before Allah that I took any one of you as friend, for Allah has taken me as His friend, as he took Ibrahim as His friend. Had I taken any one of my Ummah as a friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a friend. Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that.
Similar narrations by Aisha r.a. the wife of the Prophet s.a.w. and by his companions such as
‘A’isha and Abdullah reported: As the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was about to breathe his last, he drew his sheet upon his face and when he felt uneasy, he uncovered his face and said in that very state: Let there be curse upon the Jews and the Christians that they have taken the graves of their apostles as places of worship. He in fact warned (his men) against what they (the Jews and the Christians) did.
Some sects of Islam do not accept these narrations.
Whilst I do understand the value of historic buildings, I very much feel that human lives are worth so much more than buildings, yet there is evidently much more consternation about the destruction of tombs than of humans. We still have to live in the hope of seeing Bush, Blair, Cheney, Obama and others being convicted for their war crimes against innocent human beings – during our life time.
14 – If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication; and if they heard, they would not respond to you. And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association. And none can inform you like [one] Acquainted [with all matters].