This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← A hostile takeover of Zionism

A hostile takeover of Zionism - Comments

linbetwin's Avatar Comment 1 by linbetwin

I submitted a BBC Newsnight story two weeks ago, but it wasn't picked up.

And the same story on YouTube:
Part 1 -
Part 2 -

This is scary stuff.

Is it me, or are governments trying to revive religion for political purposes?

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 16:37:00 UTC | #401310

Three of Nineteen's Avatar Comment 2 by Three of Nineteen

8.8 children a family?! That is just crazy.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 16:45:00 UTC | #401316

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 3 by Dr. Strangegod

Oh jeez... this is so fucking bad. I just hope the Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists can avoid nuking each other. I think the non-proliferation movement just got a whole new problem to tackle. I never expected the secular, even hardcore Zionist, Israelis to drop a bomb, no matter how much they played the game of big dick diplomacy. But these guys... whew. Put the Haredim in power, they just might!

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 16:50:00 UTC | #401318

linbetwin's Avatar Comment 4 by linbetwin

This just in:
Only religion could do this to people.

It could develop into another cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 16:56:00 UTC | #401322

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 5 by Dr. Strangegod

linbetwin - That first video from your first link, with the three teenagers, is absolutely terrifying. Just the shot of the gun was chilling. Yikes. Those poor boys have been force-fed bullshit about miracles and holiness their whole lives, and now they're about to be shipped off and taught how to use a rifle. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Sort of like those Taliban madrasas?

Religion has always been a good tool for making soldiers. I can only hope that the secular/fundamentalist struggle within Israel outstrips and makes unlikely a for real holy war over the settlements. Imagine secular soldiers having to shoot and kill fellow soldiers. I think Israel might want to take some steps to avoid this possibility.

EDIT: Just for fun, a sample from the comments on the second YouTube piece in post 1: "Only an irreligious person could send thousands of human beings to their deaths." How ya like that?

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 17:09:00 UTC | #401330

linbetwin's Avatar Comment 6 by linbetwin

"Are we racing toward Armageddon?"

Stop the planet, I want to get off!

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 17:54:00 UTC | #401351

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 7 by Crazycharlie

This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. I think 60 minutes did a report on this subject over ten years ago. The ultra-orthodox communities in Israel have been growing in numbers and power for decades and like any fundamentalist religious group they will not be accommodating to people outside of their religious community. With Haredim families having, on average, almost nine children each they will eventually outnumber secular Jews. When that happens Israel WILL be a state for Jews, not a Jewish state. I really can't see the state of Israel lasting another sixty to a hundred years. If it's not torn apart from without, it'll be torn apart from within. And all because the three "Anti-human religions", as Gore Vidal called them, have a claim to the "Holy Land". All the talk of western policy or politics as the major or only cause of conflict in the middle east is nonsense. The Zionist movement is the result hundreds of years of Jewish persecution and that movement eventually chose "The land of Israel" as its place to settle because, and only because, it says in their Bronze Age holy book that's where they should be.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 18:14:00 UTC | #401355

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 8 by Border Collie

This makes me imagine a Monty Python's skit evil twin.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 18:26:00 UTC | #401356

geru's Avatar Comment 9 by geru

Hm. During the last couple of thousand year religions have killed a bunch of people in wars and inquisitions and what not.

Today, believers decry how religions have been hijacked by a handful of extremists who preach hate and use violence.

So when did this "takeover" happen exactly, and what did it change? Now because a couple of western churches have dialed down the hate a bit, we're supposed to think that violence in religions is suddenly a thing of the past?

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 18:48:00 UTC | #401363

ColdFusionLazarus's Avatar Comment 10 by ColdFusionLazarus

1. Comment #419487 by linbetwin on September 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Is it me, or are governments trying to revive religion for political purposes?

That's what President Bush and the Christian Coalition was all about

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 19:21:00 UTC | #401369

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 11 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Re: Comment #6...

Uh, Baigent is one of the guys who got fleeced into thinking they had uncovered a real conspiracy in "The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail" (he cowrote that piece of garbage that years later essentially spawned "The Da Vinci Code"). I wouldn't take anything he has to say seriously.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 19:36:00 UTC | #401372

Eric Blair's Avatar Comment 12 by Eric Blair

This is scary, no doubt, but there are also many powerful people in Israel and the US who do not want this to happen. Keep your fingers crossed ... er, around a dreidel.


Sun, 27 Sep 2009 20:19:00 UTC | #401383

digibud's Avatar Comment 13 by digibud

this could happen in the US. A few right wing presidents making edicts and appointing Supreme Court Justices would clear the way. neither the jews nor the muslims have any lock on radical fundamental beliefs so it behooves all rational people to try to fight this stupidity.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 21:23:00 UTC | #401399

saur's Avatar Comment 14 by saur

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 21:44:00 UTC | #401407

kraut's Avatar Comment 15 by kraut

Just as expected - one fundie deserves another.
As fundamentalism grows in islamic countries - see turkey - so will it grow in the only non islamic entity in the area.

Everybody talks about islamic fundies with nukes - what about the isreali fundies with same?
Anybody scared yet?

And human rights? Seems to be abandoned as well as in islamic countries to the greater glory of a sky fairy.
Fuck them all, and then to listen to xtian and jewish libs spouting: But that is not what I mean when I talk about religion.
No you arsehole, thats exactly it, and you supply a figleaf of sanity and reason to a steaming cauldron of religious shit.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 21:57:00 UTC | #401410

saur's Avatar Comment 16 by saur

Cold war returns?

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 21:59:00 UTC | #401411

Duff's Avatar Comment 17 by Duff

If the 12th century Jewish zealots want to do battle with the 12th century Muslim zealots, who are we to stop them? Just keep it withing their own borders and who cares.

They can keep taking revenge for the revenge for the revenge for the revenge that was visited on them by the other side for another nine or so centuries. But they better not complain to the rest of us, because we're over it.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 22:17:00 UTC | #401417

RationalFreeThinker's Avatar Comment 18 by RationalFreeThinker

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Zionism started out as a SECULAR - even anti-religious movement.

Yep, I know that will be hard for those who don't know its history to understand the statement above. So, go do some research on your own and validate my claim.

Hitchens is right: Religion poisons everything.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:07:00 UTC | #401427

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 19 by Crazycharlie

Duff Comment#419595--- I've often thought over the years, to hell with those religious wackos, let them kill each other. I have no problem supporting Israel as long as it stays secular but, it's not going to stay that way. How could it with religion so mixed up in its politics? The problem is Jews and Christians in this country, who have enormous political power, supporting Israel no matter what. They're dragging the rest of us into their crazy religious nonsense. Personally I don't think the United States and president Truman should have recognized the Israeli state in 1948 to begin with. Truman, even though many of his advisers on foreign policy and, more importantly his Secretary of State George Marshall, whom Truman greatly admired, were strongly against a Jewish state, was under tremendous pressure to recognize the state of Israel. The only other course is partition and that probably wouldn't work either. Religion poisons everything. What will happen if Israel eventually becomes a theocracy? Will rational people in the U.S. still support Israel? I wouldn't. You can bet fundamentalist Christians will because they can't wait for the "Armageddon".

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:14:00 UTC | #401429

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 20 by Crazycharlie

And all of this shit is happening, why? Because some silly Bronze Age fables, that Humans should have outgrown a long time ago, are still taken seriously.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:46:00 UTC | #401435

Arjen's Avatar Comment 21 by Arjen

If the 12th century Jewish zealots want to do battle with the 12th century Muslim zealots, who are we to stop them? Just keep it withing their own borders and who cares.

Because they will fight with 21st century weapons that will have major effects outside their borders. And that is where I live.

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:56:00 UTC | #401438

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 22 by Michael Gray

All those who promote faith as a virtue, even the extremely moderate Christians, are guilty of aiding and abetting this vicious meme.

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 01:15:00 UTC | #401448

Eric Blair's Avatar Comment 23 by Eric Blair

Michael Gray
All those who promote faith as a virtue, even the extremely moderate Christians, are guilty of aiding and abetting this vicious meme.

Is this meant as a guide for analysis or action (inaction), or just ensuring blame gets spread around properly?

I fail to see the relevance of blaming moderate Christians for the growth of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel.

You can blame moderate Jews if you like, but the way out of this situation - if there is one - will require working with moderate (and secular) Jews to keep alive the idea of a secular Israel.

You may believe that even the most diluted version of religion poisons everything, but it's the potent concentration of Haredim and other ultra-conservative Jews that is the concrete issue here.

Let's keep our focus...


Mon, 28 Sep 2009 04:25:00 UTC | #401469

Delogic's Avatar Comment 24 by Delogic

Well.. It really is a horrible prospect, a nuclear war between those two. Thousands and thousands of lives would be lost, and a great deal of land and resources would be tainted from productivity, lowering the quality of life drastically for millions more.

But how can I not see the slight glimmer of light in the end of that tunnel? It would be one hell of a wake-up call for the world, and would really speed up the worldwide disarmament of nukes after witnessing the horror of such an act.

I was being the "devil's advocate" there for a moment. :/ But those may be words of truth. Or it may embolden the world in stead. Who knows. I would of course not wish for something like that to happen. The end does not justify the means. Watchmen was a moral dilemma, but since one cannot see the dead, cannot imagine the suffering, one is tempted to believe it could, perhaps, just perhaps, be.

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 04:36:00 UTC | #401470

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 25 by alaskansee

"Secular Jew" sounds like an oxymoron, they should be living somewhere else, maybe New York with Jerry and Elaine.

I know it's sunnier than Scotland but who in their right mind would want to live there? (or Saudi Arabia)

@ Eric Blair
I think Michael Gray's point, and that of Hitchens, is that yes ALL moderates allow the less moderate who facilitate the even less moderate who enable the strident who............ the extremists. BANG

It's hard to accept but only if moderates exist can extremists exist. As Hitchens also says he doesn't think we will ever get rid of theists, and he enjoys arguing with them, but we should keep trying.

Creating a state based on religious texts was always going to end badly. Unless of course it was on another planet and all you had to do was cut your balls off and kill yourself. That went okay. Didn't it?

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 04:56:00 UTC | #401474

jamiso's Avatar Comment 26 by jamiso

"and they average 8.8 children a family"

and that's how they do it. Religious zealots dont have children, they raise armies.

I do so fear idiocracy

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 06:54:00 UTC | #401492

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 27 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Comment #419487 by linbetwin

"Is it me, or are governments trying to revive religion for political purposes?"

Comment #419547 by ColdFusionLazarus

"That's what President Bush and the Christian Coalition was all about."

And also Putin's Russia.

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 08:28:00 UTC | #401503

linbetwin's Avatar Comment 28 by linbetwin

Ivan the Not-So-Bad is right, it's not just Bush, it seems that more and more governments are starting to see the political benefits of religion. It was so easy when the populace believed the king is anointed by God. And we want our soldiers to be more religious (i.e. fanatical) than their soldiers.

Also, Christians cheer when Muslims demand their "rights" in Europe, because they know they're going to get their share of "rights," too.

I am now almost convinced we will never get rid of religion. If anything, there are going to be more religious periods followed by more secular periods. This virus can adapt to anything, including science and modernity.

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 09:08:00 UTC | #401507

NormanDoering's Avatar Comment 29 by NormanDoering

"Are we racing toward Armageddon?"

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 13:06:00 UTC | #401545

Kmita's Avatar Comment 30 by Kmita

If these people do end up gaining control in Israel I wonder how long it will be before they end up in the middle of an armed conflict with their neighbors, begging the rest of the world to help them stamp out the lives of people to satisfy their various bigotries. If these morons start world war 3...

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 19:32:00 UTC | #401610