Yesha Rabbinical Council is the recognized authority on Jewish religious questions in Gaza and the West Bank. This week it decreed that at least 56 Lebanese citizens of Kfar Qanna, including at least 34 children, targeted by an Israeli air strike, were not “innocent.”
“The Yesha Rabbinical Counsel announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that ‘according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such thing as ‘innocence’ among the enemy.’” 1
The council’s edict reflects existing Israeli military/religious law. The chaplain for the IDF forces says, “In war, when our forces storm the enemies, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians that are ostensibly good.” 2
Such official standards come from binding Jewish law, or Halakah, contained in the Babylonian Talmud. The Talmud is the highest religious and ethical authority for the state of Israel and religious Jews. The Talmudic ‘proof text’ for Yesha’s decision came from treatise Abodah-Zarah 26b, where Rabbi Simeon Ben Yohai says: “The best among the gentiles deserves to be killed. The best of snakes ought to have its head crushed.”
Is the author of such bloodthirsty racism denounced in our time? Hardly. Rabbi Ben Yohai is one of the earliest and therefore most respected of Talmudic rabbis. He is so beloved by Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel that every year at his birth place, in Meron, tens of thousands gather for days in the festival of Lag Ba Omar to sing and dance in honor of his memory. The prestigious Encyclopedia Judaica, in its article on him, describes Ben Yohai as one of the giants of Judaism for all time.
Ben Yohai’s bloodlust against Gentiles is enshrined in the State of Israel itself, a nation whose apartheid laws caused the United Nations to term Zionism “a form of racism and racial discrimination” in 1976. They were putting it mildly. But Zionism isn’t the root cause; it’s one black fruit of the poisoned root of the religion founded and guided by the ancient Pharisees, those whom Christ so bitterly rebuked. "Rabbinic" Judaism is not the Hebrew monotheism established by God through Moses. Rather, it is what that pure religion became after its leaders rejected and crucified Christ.
Much of the world, not sharing Israel’s disregard for the lives of innocent civilians caught in a war zone, were shaken by IDF’s intentional strike on a huddled enclave of refugees at Qanna this week. Christianity, the heritage of Western nations, teaches compassion toward innocent non-combatants in war time, as well as to a vanquished enemy. Despite some Allied atrocities during World War II (including the bombing of Dresden), such core values epitomized US altruism to Japan and Germany following the war.
But Orthodox Talmudic Judaism, the official religion of the state of Israel, has no sympathy for such high-mindedness. Jewish leadership is bold in asserting that Judaism is not a ‘turn the other cheek’ religion, or one to forget past offences. Judaism is a ‘hit back’ religion. The Talmud teaches that if you know your enemy is out to kill you, don’t do good to him. Kill him first.
Islam, birthed in conquest and plagued by blood feuds and vendettas for more than a millennium, is also a ‘hit back’ religion. But of the two, Rabbinic Judaism is by far the most evil. Having rejected the Messiah who commanded, “Love your enemies,” Israel has become one of the most ruthless oppressors on the planet.
A high percent of Christians live in Lebanon. To Jews who believe the Talmud literally, Christians are idolaters - worshipping the false prophet Jesus. And what should be done with idolaters? The Talmud commands “… those who deny the Torah and prophets of Israel-the law is that all those should be killed: and those that have the power of life and death should have them killed; and if this cannot by done, they should be led to their death by deceptive methods.” 3
The renowned medieval Jewish sage and Talmudist Maimonides, writes: “Do not eat with idolaters, nor permit them to worship their idols; for it is written: make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them. (Deuteronomy 7:2) Either turn them away from their idols or kill them.” 4
Incidentally, the Talmud says that the children of Gentiles, such as those bombed into rubble at Kfar Qanna, are to be regarded as animals. The Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Gentiles," p. 621, says that the Torah [Talmud] "outlawed the issue [child] of a Gentile as that of a beast."
Israel’s “hit back” policy has repeatedly endorsed reprisals against the Arabs, not only in Israel and the occupied territories, but Lebanon, especially in 1982.
What happened then is remarkably similar to what is happening now. Listen to World Vision International’s Stan Mooneyham, who was on the scene.
Some say there was two hours notice. Others insist there was none. In a camp of 60,000, it’s not easy to get the word around, even when warning leaflets are dropped … the first planes came at five o’clock in the evening; from just after midnight until eight the next evening the bombing was continuous. For three days the pounding went on. Everybody here has friends who died in the attack. A woman makes a chopping motion across the knee of a baby another woman is holding, saying she saw a baby at Ein-el-Hilweh who had both legs blown off.Mooneyham then describes the Israeli attack on Sidon in the darkness of the early morning:
There is no Ein-el-Hilweh anymore. Never before have I seen such total destruction, not even in Managua, the earthquake-stricken capital of Nicaragua. If the world’s war makers and peace makers want to see what the saturation bombing looks like, they should look here. Israel, the country skilled in making the desert blossom like a rose, knows also how to turn rose into desert.
Block after block of crumpled wreckage is all that’s left. Plus the unknown number of bodies. There must be hundreds down there underneath the rubble - the permeating odor of decaying flesh tells you that much. Refugees who escaped say that as many as 8,000 died. The Red Cross puts the number at 1,500. Either way, it’s one of the major massacres of modern times. (Ed. note: The final Lebanese death toll was 17,500).
… at 2:30 Monday morning, June 14, an aerial bomb slices into Kineye School. It rips bodies apart, strews arms and legs and pieces of what a second before had been living, breathing human beings. The concussion takes the rest.
No more running. No more crying. Now they sleep.
Now here I am three weeks later, where no observer is supposed to be, seeing what no observer is supposed to see. The bodies and pieces of bodies … Kineye School is a charnel house: body fluids, creeping across the basement floor from the stack of bodies, are ankle deep in places. It is possible to count 50 or so bodies. The rest are piled atop each other, hurled there by the blast that took their lives. We are told there are 255 in the helter-skelter pile.”
The Israelis, of course, played down the casualties and damage in Sidon, as well as Beirut. Yet Mooneyham, who managed to penetrate the area much sooner than other Western observers has this to report:
If the Israeli figure of 165 killed in Sidon is accurate, I saw all but ten of those bodies in one school basement, still unburied three weeks after the invasion. That says nothing about the township of Ein-el-Hilweh just outside of Sidon which had a normal population of 60,000 and was obliterated by saturation bombing.As the head of an international relief organization bringing $400,000 worth of medical and relief supplies to the victims of the holocaust, Mooneyham was astonished at the refusal of the Israeli conquerors to allow distribution of such necessities, even after the fighting had ended and the area was secure.
Early delivery attempts were thwarted on several occasions by Israeli blockades … Causing costly delays … Israel refused all relief agencies access to occupied areas for more than ten days of the worst need when quick action could have saved many lives. The Red Cross ship SS Anton (carrying World Vision relief supplies) was refused permission on security grounds to land critically needed supplies to Sidon two weeks after the invasion, although our people in the city reported total security, with people fishing on the docks.” (August, 1982)
Today, America and the West naively impute Christian instincts and values to Israel, our supposed ally in the “war against terror.” But Israel’s ethics are worlds apart from ours. Their Talmudic values do not come from Christ, but from those who killed Him, the Pharisees.
Further, Israel resents American attempts to impose Christian ethics. This week the Yesha Rabbinical Council sent this terse statement to the Christian West, “All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians.” 6
In other words, Israel’s Judaic Taliban says, “Butt out of any attempt to Christianize the Israeli war machine!”
In the early 1980’s, my father and our family promoted the newly revived National Day of Prayer at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Washington D.C. In a booth near ours, a Christian friend, Stan Rittenhouse, was selling his book critical of Zionism, For Fear of the Jews. Rabbi Ben Ami, liaison between Israel and the religious right, stopped to peruse Stan’s book. He flew into a fury shouting, “He should be killed!”
Would a Christian minister or priest respond that way toward an opposing view? Of course not.
But Rabbi Ben Ami comes from a very different mindset. His deep hit-back-hit-first reflex lashed out from a racial/religious tradition going back thousands of years.
After Israel’s saturation bombing of Lebanon in 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin arrogantly defended Israel’s actions saying, “We do not have to answer to the world, only to ourselves.”
In other words, Israel may take America’s military and monetary contributions to her war-making in the Mid-East, but she rejects any attempts by the Christian world to impose its Christian morality upon her- a morality which, if implemented, could end Mid-East strife. America’s business is to mutely supply the money and military hardware that enables Zionism’s bloody expansion.
Isn’t it time to ask a few commonsense questions?
George Washington warned America to “avoid foreign entanglements.” Just what are we doing spending nearly a trillion dollars and sacrificing thousands of American lives on the other side of the world to benefit nations, whether in Tel Aviv or Baghdad, who reject our values?
America was intended by its founding fathers, not to be an international meddler in the strife of foreign lands, but a beacon of truth and liberty which benighted foreign nations could turn toward for inspiration. It’s time to disentangle ourselves from the troubled Middle East and make use of the same man-power and the next trillion dollars to build a stronger America.
It’s time to come home.
(Adapted from Ted Pike's book Israel: Our Duty, Our Dilemma)
1 ynetnews.com 7/30/06
2 Booklet published by the Chaplain of the Israeli army Central Region Command quoted by Dr. Israel Shahak in his Jewish History, Jewish Religion, page 76
3 Choschen Hammishpat 113, Hagah
4 Hilkoth Akum X,1
5 World Vision Magazine, September 1982
6 ynetnews.com, 7/30/06
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