Judaism, atheism, Islam, liberalism ‘dangerous’, Texas preacher says


This 30 October 2016 video from Arizona in the USA says about itself:

Trump supporter yells anti-Semitic chant

Video shows a Trump supporter shouting “Jew-S-A” at the press, calling reporters “the enemy” during a rally in Phoenix.

From Jewish daily The Forward in the USA:

Texas Church Will Hold Lecture On ‘Dangerous’ Judaism

June 4, 2018

By Haley Cohen

A Texas church’s summer lecture series includes Judaism as one of many “dangerous isms” — putting it in the same category as Islamism, alcoholism and pessimism, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas will hold its “Dangerous Isms” summer series beginning on June 13, church minister, Shelton Gibbs III explained. Gibbs acknowledged that using the term “dangerous” while promoting the program might not have been the best idea. The church has already received backlash, with some on social media calling the church a hate group.

Other topics being covered in the series include denominationalism, materialism, atheism,

Spelled by the Reverend Shelton Gibbs III as ‘atheisim’.

liberalism, and emotionalism.

As far as I can see, the Reverend Shelton Gibbs III does not consider conservatism, Trumpism, nazism or fascism ‘dangerous’. Racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia; or religious adulation of firearms, like in the ‘Moonie’ church, and not only there; also seem to be not ‘dangerous’, according to the gospel according to the Reverend Shelton Gibbs III.

Gibbs said topics such as racism or sexism won’t be discussed because “there are only so many Wednesdays in a summer.”

And now, also from the Forward, about something really dangerous:

UC San Diego Hillel Sign Vandalized With Threatening Graffiti

June 5, 2018 By JTA

(JTA) — Threatening graffiti was written on a sign announcing the future home of the University of California San Diego Hillel Jewish Center.

The graffiti discovered early Monday morning read “F—- You All” in letters resembling Nazi swastikas, according to local media.

Hillel staff members washed the graffiti off, according to the NBC San Diego affiliate.

“I was disappointed, I was sad. I grew up here in La Jolla I don’t want to see that graffiti on any institution”, Hillel Center Executive Director Rabbi David Singer told NBC 7.

Singer reported the graffiti to the local police and to the local office of the Anti-Defamation League. Police told NBC 7 that the graffiti incident is under investigation, but that so far they do not consider it a hate crime.

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American rabbis against Trump’s Islamophobia


This video from Washington, the capital of the USA, says about itself:

Rabbi Sharon BrousWomen’s March on Washington 1/21/2017 (C-SPAN footage)

Rabbi Brous takes the stage at the Women’s March on Washington before a crowd of hundreds of thousands as part of a lineup of activists, faith & community leaders and entertainers. Grateful to Henry J. Bernstein for his video editing savvy.

By BFSkinner in the USA:

Rabbis speak out against tRump

Monday Dec 04, 2017 · 8:26 AM

At an interfaith event several Rabbis did not hold back.

The comments were in response to tRump using fake/unverified videos to spread hate against Muslims.

“I speak to you today as a rabbi and as a Jew,” said IKAR Rabbi Sharon Brous. “My people know all too well the dangers of fascist regimes that rise to power through stigmatization and the scapegoating of vulnerable minority populations. We will not shrug this off as yet another reckless act from a reckless administration.”

The hatred that was spewed out by the president earlier this week can only be combated with this kind of love,” Comess-Daniels said.

“As a Jewish person there is no question where we need to be right now. We need to be standing with our Muslim sisters and brothers and comforting you and letting you know that though there is so much care and love and protection for you,” she said.

The whole story can be found here.

We all must unite together, Jew and gentile, Muslim and Atheist, against tRump.

From Newsweek in the USA:

By Cristina Maza

11/29/17 at 5:00 AM

Progressive Americans must unite against President Donald Trump to fight anti-Semitism regardless of their views on Israel, a prominent and controversial Muslim activist said at a conference on anti-Semitism at the New School on Tuesday.

Anti-Semitism is real, it’s pervasive, and it’s institutionalized in this administration,” Linda Sarsour told Newsweek during a private conversation at the event, dubbed “Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice.” “The progressive movement has to take combating anti-Semitism seriously and put it as part of the agenda we are all working towards.

“There are actual anti-Semites who have some of the most powerful positions in this country,” she added. “So that’s real, and it’s scary. We need to all be clear that we have to stand together to fight this administration, and whatever our political differences are on some Middle Eastern conflict cannot be the reason why we organize or don’t organize together. There is a bigger fight to have.

Sarsour is a Palestinian-American political activist from New York who has won numerous awards for her advocacy on behalf of American Muslims and as a co-chair of the Women’s March that became the face of the Trump “resistance”.

‘HATE 24-7’ We expose Amy Jane Mekelburg, Trump’s loudest anti-Muslim Twitter troll, who tweets “hate 24-7” from Fishkill, New York. [HuffPost]

Jewish women sing, pray for peace in Jerusalem


This 25 July 2017 video from Women of the Wall in Israel is called Maker of Peace, Osse Shalom. It is about Jewish women singing and praying the Rosh Chodesh Av prayer at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem.

In the background, ultra orthodox fanatical men try to disrupt the women.

There was an Israel government compromise plan for women to have praying rights at the Kotel. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu flip-flopped on that.

A spiritual visit by the US vice-president, Mike Pence, to Jerusalem’s Western Wall has been overshadowed after female journalists were forced to stand behind their male counterparts in a fenced-off area: here.

Equal prayers for Jewish women in Israel?


This 20 July 2017 video is a satiric animated cartoon from the Women of the Wall movement in Israel.

It says about itself:

Bibi froze The Wall

Give us a couple of minutes, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Kotel Agreement, and make you laugh in the process.

It is about Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu reneging on an earlier plan to give women more praying rights at the Kotel (Western wall) in Jerusalem.

Jewish Dutch poet Jacob Israël de Haan, theatre play


This February 2017 video is the trailer of the Dutch theatre play Salaam Jeruzalem, by theatre organisation De Nieuw Amsterdam, about Jewish Dutch author Jacob Israël de Haan.

On 25 March 2017 I went to see this play in Leiden.

Jacob Israël de Haan (1881-1924) was from an Orthodox Jewish family. He broke with that religion and became a socialist journalist. In 1903, he collected money for the children of railway workers who had been sacked because they had gone on strike. He was also a gay rights pioneer, writing novels like Pijpelijntjes. He is seen as a predecessor of Amnesty International. Because of his activity, inspired by a meeting with exiled Russian anarchist Kropotkin, against human rights abuses in pre-World War I czarist Russian prisons; jointly with socialist poetess Henriette Roland Holst.

De Haan himself wrote poetry as well.

This video shows some of his 1919-1924 poems.

He had contacts in the Dutch literary avant-garde around De Nieuwe Gids magazine. And he wrote works about laws; he was a Legum Doctor.

De Haan’s experiences in czarist Russia made him aware of the evils of anti-Semitism. That contributed to De Haan’s re-conversion to Judaism. He also became a Zionist. In 1919 he emigrated to Palestine, then a British colony.

In the video at the top of this blog post, one of De Haan’s poems, written in Palestine, is recited. It is (my translation):

Unrest

Who in Amsterdam often said, “Jerusalem”
And was driven to Jerusalem,
He now says with a dreamy voice:
“Amsterdam. Amsterdam.”

As the poem shows, De Haan had become ambivalent about emigrating from Amsterdam. Zionism as practiced in Palestine turned out to be different from De Haan’s lofty ideals when he had been in Amsterdam. De Haan became an advocate of negotiating with Palestinian Arabs so that Jews and Arabs might live together peacefully.

That made him an enemy of the Zionist paramilitary organisation Haganah. On 13 June 1924, Haganah fighter Avraham Tehomi murdered De Haan, as ordered by Haganah commander Itzhak Ben-Zvi (later the second president of the state of Israel). A crowd of 5,000 people attended De Haan’s funeral in Jerusalem.

Left Zionist Moshe Beilinson reacted to the murder:

The flag of our movement must not be tarnished. Neither by the blood of the innocent, nor by the blood of the guilty. Otherwise – our movement will be bad, because blood draws other bloods. Blood always takes revenge and if you walk down this path once, you do not know where it would lead you.

A line from a De Haan poem is inscribed in the monument in Amsterdam for LGBTQ people murdered by the 1940-1945 German nazi occupiers of the Netherlands. The line is ‘Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen’; ‘Such a boundless desire for friendship’.

A review of the play is here. Another review is here. And here.

There are five actors in the play. Two of them play Arab music. Egyptian Dutch actor Sabri Saad El Hamus plays both De Haan and, at the end, an Arab singer. Ludo van der Winkel plays the cynical antagonists of De Haan; like Arnold Aletrino (named in the play only by his pseudonym Sam from De Haan’s gay novel Pijpelijntjes), the older fellow author who betrayed Jacob Israel when Pijpelijntjes caused a scandal in homophobic public opinion. And P.L. Tak (named in the play), newspaper chief who sacked De Haan because of Pijpelijntjes.

Randy Fokke plays both De Haan’s wife and Carry van Bruggen, De Haan’s sister and also a famous Dutch author. Carry van Bruggen never got over the murder of her one year younger brother.

This English language video is about De Haan.

In the play, by Dutch playwright and director Gerardjan Rijnders, there are several allusions to happenings after the death of De Haan; including recent ones. When talking about De Haan joining the marxist Dutch Social Democratic Workers’ Party, actors say: ‘the predecessor of the Dutch PvdA labour party … or what is left of it’. In the recent 15 March 2017 Dutch elections, the PvdA went from 38 to 9 MPs because they had been junior partners in a right-wing coalition government. The play also mentions French playwright Jean Genet’s solidarity with Palestinians in the 1980s. This is followed by a xenophobic, Geert Wilders-like rant by Ludo van der Winkel.

The play includes a theory about right and left halves of the human brain, supposedly linked to the origins of religions. It is unclear what this has to do with De Haan. I think it is one of the weak sides of this interesting play about an interesting person.