Monday, July 31, 2006


Sarah Harris was my mother’s mother’s mother. She was Jewish. My sister used to pass for Jewish when she worked in the rag trade. Sophie Harrod was my wife’s grandmother. We believe that she was Jewish too. Although I am tallish, fair and blue-eyed, I could be admitted to settle in Israel, as Jewishness is carried down the female line.

Both our families are Christian. It was common for British Jews to convert – Benjamin D’Israeli is the best known example.

Many of the best haematologists in the world are Jewish. Most of them are my friends.

Leith Samuel was a famous Christian preacher. He became a friend when I had the great privilege of looking after a member of his family. His name tells you he was Jewish.

Jesus Christ was Jewish. So were St Paul, St Peter, St John, St Matthew, St Mark, St James, the virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and the rest.

Mel Gibson made a film about Jesus called The Passion. At the time it was derided as anti-Semitic. I must say it didn’t seem so to me. Almost all the characters were Jews apart from Pilate and a few Roman soldiers. True, the Jewish high priests are shown in a bad light, but it would hardly be true to life if they had been shown as misunderstood heroes. I thought that most of the film was Biblical, though there were some interpolations from Roman Catholic mythology that didn’t fit with my understanding of the gospels. The St Veronica story, for example, is extra-Biblical. The scourging of Jesus was particularly vivid and I think was overdone. As I understand it Roman law limited the strokes to 39. I guess the point was to exaggerate the physical suffering because although Christians believe that the greatest suffering came from the dereliction as son was separated from father, it is hard to portray that in a film. Gibson had Satan (was it Tilda Swinton who played the Archangel Gabriel in Constantine?) flitting around among the crowd and merging with them. I didn’t object to that. It might have been dramatic license but I took home the message that all of us are responsible; there is no-one who would not have been baying for his blood. I certainly did not see it as getting at the Jews.

Now Gibson has been arrested for drunk driving and responded by insulting Jews in a foul-mouthed and aggressive manner. It has been a signal for more accusations of anti-Semitism. In vino veritas. Perhaps. There has been a long history of the Roman Catholic Church blaming the Jews. God-slayers, they were called. It is one of the things I have against them. As if Italians would not have been in the crowd egging on the soldiers, or the Boston Irish, or Spaniards, or South Americans, or Australians. Or Church of England old ladies for that matter.

The teaching of Christianity is, “All have sinned and fallen short.”

On a more serious matter the bombing of Qana produced a brief hiatus in the bombing. I was wrong last week to think there might be an early end to this war. Israeli public opinion is right behind their government. Hezbollah are not going to stop fighting, and they are winning the propaganda battles. Eventually, the Israelis will win militarily unless the US starves them of supplies, but even that might take some time, and at present there is little evidence that they will try. Israel might well think that they might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. They are pretty immune to world opinion, care nothing for the Arab street, will soon be secure behind their wall, so why should they worry?

On BBC2 tonight there was a discussion between three London Jews. One concentrated on the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and of the Shiite children in Qana. One concentrated on the danger to Israelis in Haifa. The other felt that the activity of the IDF in Gaza and the West Bank was indefensible, but could understand the reason behind the Lebanese incursion. It may be tactically wrong but it is understandable. You can always rely on the BBC for ‘balance’.

Would the RAF have been stopped from bombing Germany had pictures of children dying in Hamburg been broadcast around the world?

Would the Nazis have sent V2s on London had pictures of mutilated schoolboys been published in Berlin?

Leaving aside the geopolitical ambitions of Islamofascists, it seems that there is a serious point of dispute at the bottom of this. There are some farms of about 40 square kilometres occupied by Israel, which were part of Syria before the 1967 war. Hezbollah wants them to become part of Lebanon.

Can you imagine the negotiations?

I know we said that we wanted to wipe every Jew from the face of the planet, but if you let us have our farms back we will cease hostilities.

No? How about half the farms?

OK! Final offer. A third of the farms and green stamps.


Jim McVey said...

The world seems to forget the horrors of WW ll perhaps.
Although if one views American television there are many
repeats of those horrors.

The difference is that any atrocity that is considered news
worthy today, is covered by the media telescopic microscope.
We see horrors as they are committed, no matter who commits
them. We are bombarded with analysis, asked for our view
of world affairs, to create entertainment out of tragedies.
I am particularly incensed after seeing horrific war torn
pictures, to hear the announcer say after the station break, we
will show you more. Stay with us. Then suddenly there is
some advertisement accompanied by a jingle to cure hemorrhoids.
Such programming shows the mood of the country.

My view is that the oil rich countries are awash with funds
which are used to fuel fanatic’s ill considered beliefs, that is the
root cause of most of the world ills. The sooner we create another
energy source replacing oil, the sooner we will quiet the terrorists.
We will also reduce Global Warming, I am sure wars greatly
contribute to that.

The above views were initiated in my youth by the wail
of air raid sirens and the long nights spent under the dining room
table, waiting for the either the ear shattering bomb blast or the
All Clear. First one has got to live and then have religion, in my
life it has been the cause of much carnage in this world. Scratch
a war and discover a religious belief.

Thank you Terry for your blog, it allows me to think and comment
now I feel better.

Anonymous said...

The coward Arabs have put their guns and rocket in buildings where there are women and children. These 'civilians' end up getting killed for their trouble. The Arabs are hiding behind their women and children. Brave indeed!

I don't think the Allies would have won WWII if television were available. I can just see the feed from Berlin with all of the civilian deaths. It's one thing to know about it in the abstract, a different thing to see the bodies being hauled out of buildings.

War is all hell, as Sherman famously said in America's Civil War.

One has to hand it to the enemy; he is a cunning as he is cowardly. The hezbollah dress in civilian clothes, hid behind the skirts of there women, and put rockets in pick-up trucks. They exploit the visuals mercilessly. They attempt to prey on the weak-willed, which, sadly, exist in abundance in the West.

The weak-kneed liberals will be crying about the poor Arabs up to the point the Arab is slitting their throats.

America, and the West, are no longer Warrior Nations. They are weepy liberals who wouldn't pick up a gun if it meant saving their own life.

Anonymous said...

Replying to the anonymous posted time 10.49. God he is pro Zionizm.The middle East has never seen peace since the creation of Israel.Israel has over 10k palestinian prisoners and some Libanese as well.Israel is supplied free of charge by the most up to date weapons to be used against the Arabs.Israel is saved by the USA in the UN and. The USA always cast veto votes in the UN to kill the passing of resolutions if those resolutions are against Israel.Israel is occupying arab lands and it does not want peace.It wants to keep the land and have peace. No sir that is not on.Israel will not defeat the arab freedom fighters.Israel will lose at the end.I advice Israel to quit arab land and resort to peace.Saudi Arabi,Egypt,Jordan and some more arab dictator regimes are on the side of Israel and America in this terrible war.Justice will triumph at the end.It always does because God is on the side of justice.


Terry Hamblin said...

The two posts that I deleted above were not arguments that I disapproved of. They were just spam trying to sell double glazing or something.

Steven Carr said...

'It might have been dramatic license but I took home the message that all of us are responsible...'

I'm not. I wasn't there.

People of one generation should not be blamed for a killing which took place 2,000 years before they were born.

But you raise an interesting theological question.

How can mankind make atonement for the Atonement?

Steven Carr said...

'The teaching of Christianity is, “All have sinned and fallen short.”'

Luke 1
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.

They were upright in the eyes of God, but sinners in the eyes of Christians.

They obeyed all the Lord's commandments that they had heard 'blamelessly' (Note to self - look up 'blameless' in a dictionary.)

Perhaps God blamed them for disobeying commandments he had not told them about ?!?

Terry Hamblin said...

Luke 1:47 - the virgin Mary singing: My spirit rejoices in God my saviour.

Why would she need a saviour?

Romans 3:21-23

Paul speaking:
Now a righteousness from God aprt from the law has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference (ie between Jew and Gentile) for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Earlier in the same chapter verse 9 and folowing: What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written (quoting from Psalm 140) "There is no one righteous, not even one."

I John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

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Manu Manickvel said...

i just want to add my 2 bits doc...whatever the rest say, Jews seem to have been seminal influences in this world - every sphere of human endeavour has their accomplishments...