ADL’s “Interfaith” Enmeshment
by Karin Friedemann with Joachim Martillo
Report on: “New Direction” Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League –Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 9:30 a.m. in Lower Level McKim A. In keeping with the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II documentof 1965 that set Catholic-Jewish relations in a new direction, this interfaith, interactive workshop will focus on helping Christian religious educators to prevent the “fires of hate” both inside and outside the classroom. This workshop will be presented by the NewDirections project, a Catholic-Jewish educational initiative co-sponsored by the New England Region of the Anti-Defamation League and the Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Boston.
My husband and I took part in the above Catholic Jewish discussionat the Boston Public Library of Nostra Aetate and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Exhibition “Fighting the Fires ofHate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings” that was hosted at theCopley Square Public Library in Boston. Nostra Aetate is Pope Paul VI’s major declaration that summarizes the relationship of the Catholic Church to non-Christian religions. He issued it Oct. 28, 1965. (*) This document refers to the Jewish people. The term Jewish people comes from Zionist ideology and is unknown in Catholic theology. In the past, Catholic documents employed terms like communitas iudaica (Jewish community) or occasionally natio judaica (Jewish brotherhood — I know it looks like Jewish nation, but the Latin texts refer to shoemakers as anatio, and I consider the closest modern English usage to be phrases like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). The use of Zionist terminology in the Nostra Aetate leads one to suspect that key parts of the proclamation itself were written bythe ADL or other American Zionists and simply translated into Latin.
By employing such terminology, the Catholic Church accepts the Zionist conceptualization of an unchanging Jewish ethno-nationalgroup (Volk) that has existed from time immemorial and that maintains blood-and-soil historic rights to Palestine. This primordialist essentialism is the exact Zionist counterpart of theGerman Nazi idea of an unchanging German people that has existed from time immemorial and that maintains blood-and-soil historic rights to places where German peoples (including ancient Teutonicand Germanic tribes) live or have lived in the past even if no or very few modern Germans have lived there in recent times.
Jewish groups tend to construe Pope John Paul II’s 1998 affirmation of “We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah” as an apology for inadequacies of Catholic response to the Holocaust. In reality thedocument is ambiguous on the issue of the Church’s responsibility.(**) One really must ask for what should the Church be expressing contritition. At the time when German Catholics were resisting Hitler, the Zionists entered into an extensive collaboration with the German Nazis. While leading Polish Catholics politicians were considering a preemptive strike against Germany after Hindenberg appointed Hitler Chancellor, Zionist ethnic Ashkenazim worked toundermine the worldwide boycott of Germany under the Haaverah Agreement, which supplied the Zionists with necessary capital in their program to murder Arab Palestine. Hitler facilitated the Zionist acquisition of the necessary capital to expand racist Zionist settlements in Palestine, then ruled by the British. The Haaverah Agreement also transfered the extensive property holdings of the German Colony in Palestine to the Zionist Jewish NationalFund. Until 1938 the German Nazi party maintained Jewish adjunct organizations in which German Jews were active.
American Jews generally skip over such shameful elements of the history of the1930s. Zionists want the rest of the world to treat the mass murder of Jews during WW2 as a unique unspeakable event in order to drownout the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians against them. Now that Soviet archives have become available, we now can state withstrong grounds that 1920s and 1930s Soviet crimes, in which Soviet ethnic Ashkenazim played a leading role, were far worse than the crimes of Nazi Germany.
The ADL loves the Nostra Aetate because it deplores hatred of Jewswithout qualification. Of course, ethnic Ashkenazim have been widely hated throughout the century and will become even more hated in the21st century, but they reap what they have sown. From a Christian standpoint one could argue that hatred against anyone is wrong anytime, but the papal declaration effectively gives Jews a license to commit any atrocity because the Church would according to the plain meaning of the text condemn any animosity toward Jews as amanifestation of unforgivable “anti-Semitism” even if widespread Jewish or ethnic Ashkenazi misdeeds were provoking the reactions of hate and anger. It is a mistakefor the Catholic Church to pander them in documents like Nostra Aetate. The past few years, the Zionist lobby groups have been pouring huge amounts of money into cash-poor Christian organizations in order toenmesh them as accomplices to the genocide of Palestinians. Many if not most of the Catholics attending this discussion had been flown in from other cities for a nice tourist vacation in Boston.
TheADL’s general purpose for inviting Christians to participate inthese interfaith discussions is to promote Zionism among Christians and to make Christians hesitant about divesting from Israel for fear of offending “Jewish sensitivities.” This was evident as I spoke to the woman who represented the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. While she was willing to blame the Germans as a whole for the Holocaust, she was unwilling to blame the ADL as an organization for its workto ban books and undermine the Constitution in America, for fear of “stereotyping Jews,” even though the ADL was instrumental in lobbying for the Patriot Act.
While Pope John Paul publicly apologized for historical Catholic anti-Jewish sentiment, no Jewish leader has ever expressed regret for the slander of the Virgin Mary that exists in the Talmud. It is actually very confusing to try to understand the Jewish outrage atbeing blamed for killing Christ because the Talmud takes theposition that the Sanhedrin was right to kill him. Jews react in the same way to open discussions of such scriptural polemic as they do to any debate of the Zionist theft of Palestine. They become offended and fling accusations of “hate speech” when anyone tries to refer to the meticulous Zionist planning of the genocide of the native Palestinian population as is documented even in Zionist archives, by Zionist writers and in Zionist newspapers.
There is no evidence that the Catholic Church’s new friendship with the Zionists is sincerely returned. Ethnic Ashkenazim have generally treated Nostra Aetate with contempt, and Goldhagen, a prominent racist ethnic Ashkenazi pseudo-scholar, effectively stated in AMoral Reckoning : The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair that the Catholic Church couldonly show true contrition by completely subordinating itself toZionism.
It was painful to watch sincere Christians being humiliated for their beliefs by Ashkenazi Americans, who are using the Catholic tendency towards repentance even for things they had nothing to do with, to promote their own opportunistic political agenda which includes wiping out the oldest Christian community in the world in Palestine. While Catholic teachings encourage penitence and sensitivity to the feelings of others, ethnic Ashkenazim never apologize for anything, but feign moral superiority while talking down to the Catholics.
INTERFAITH DISCUSSION OR ZIONIST INDOCTRINATION?
The discussion program was carefully crafted and aimed at encouraging the Catholic school system to incorporate the ADL’s fictional Holocaust propaganda in their curriculum. The program began as the ADL discussion leader, Naomi Tovim, introduced theTalmud as the book of Jewish law and mentioned that Catholics had ahistory of burning this book. She of course did not mention what was in that book that may have offended Catholics, nor did she mention that Catholics at various points of history burned a lot of books, not limiting themselves to the Talmud. Bringing up the Catholic Church’s alleged “anti-Semitism” as an introduction to the historically unrelated Nazi book burnings was in accord with the traditional ethnic Ashkenazi anti-Catholic polemic, which assigns collective guilt to all Christians for letting the Holocaust happen. This anti-Christian bigotry is sometimes given a scholarly veneer inthe works of racist ethnic Ashkenazi pseudo-scholars like Hyam Maccoby. In this polemic, Auschwitz is inherent in Christianity from the first composition of the Gospels. As a result of indoctrinationwith such nonsense American Jews reacted with outrage to MelGibson’s film “The Passion.”
The anti-Christian polemic never addresses the question why the Catholic Church for 1000 years after Constantine permitted the existence of successful Jewish communitiesin Catholic regions, without forcing them to convert, even thoughthe Catholic Church executed Protestants and other “heretics.” Yes, the Catholic church has railed at the Talmud and burned it now and then. Yet the burning of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah by local Rabbis, who considered Maimonides’ writings to be heretical, preceded the first Talmud burning by Catholics in Provence. This was followed by occasional burning of the Talmud in Italy for about 100 years because some Catholic scholars claimed that the modern Jewswere not practicing the same form of Judaism practiced by the ancient Judeans (as Jewish Karaite scholars then and now would also claim). The Catholic church at that time period did not have much more tolerance of Jewish heresy than it had of Christian heresy. The last Talmud burning took place in Poland in the context of political clashes between Jewish Frankists and anti-Frankists.
After the shaming of the Catholics for Talmud burning, the Catholic discussion leader, Celena Sirois, sent the group to tour the “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibition, which was completely empty of historical content, for in terms of killing authors and banning books by ethnic Ashkenazim in the Soviet Union of the same time period was orders of magnitude worse than Nazi Germany. Obscuring the facts about the Soviet Union serves the purposes of ethnic Ashkenazi Americans, who want to create a collective victim-status stereotype of Jews to cover up the racist criminal behavior of some Jews.
In the Soviet Union during the 20s and 30s ethnic Ashkenazim dominated the policies of book banning, collectivization,and alienization. These policies resulted in massive internal deportations and murders that totaled at least 8 million non-Jews. While ethnic Ashkenazim try to seize a moral high ground by collectively blaming all Germans for the acts of a tiny minority and by accusing all non-Jews of inadequate reactions to German Nazi anti-Semitism, the vast majority of ethnic Ashkenazim do not apply similar standards to themselves. They do not blame themselves collectively for Soviet crimes made possible by their ethnic group. While large numbers of Germans condemned German Nazis for anti-Jewish actions during the 30s, ethnic Ashkenazi Americans identify at 90% levels with Zionist Israel, a modern nation state that commits very similar or worse crimes against the native Palestinian population. It is hard to identify any human population on theplanet more hypocritical or racist than ethnic Ashkenazi Americans.
The traveling US Holocaust Memorial Museum “Fighting the Fires ofHate” Library exhibit was an expensive photo gallery complete with video clips demonizing Germans for their censorship and public burning of literature that Hitler found offensive. No mention was made that Hitler did not burn books written by Jews who promoted theZionist idea of “the Jewish people.” There was no mention of the excellent relations between Zionists and German Nazis from 1933-1938, a time period that Hannah Arendt has called the Zionist phase of German Nazism. There was no suggestion that not all Germans were Nazis. In short, the message was simple. “Jews are innocent victims. Germans are evil incarnate. America to the rescue!” A little anti-Islamic bigotry was thrown in for spice with an out-of-contextreference to Salman Rushdie.
The exhibit glorified American Jewish protests against the German Nazis even as it neglected the extensive principled calls by German Americans like Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) for American opposition to Nazi Germany. The exhibit was not a statement against book burning in general, or they could have given examples of literature which had been banned or burned in America, and how aboutthe recent US bombing of the oldest library of the world in Baghdad?Since most people have little historical knowledge, this exhibit serves to create the idea that the Jews are the defenders of American free speech. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Holocaust propaganda serves to shield the most privileged group inAmerica from just criticism of many of its members and of itscollective conduct, especially as relates to the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people and the destruction of America’s Constitutional liberties. The “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibit was a very stylish finger-pointing exercise to distract public attention from the fact that in our times, the ADL was one of the biggest lobbies pushing for the Patriot Act, which monitors the reading history of library patrons. Zionist organizations are heavily involved with Homeland Security and the State of Israel. They use book banning and far worse methods to squelch criticism of Israel. While there is no limit to the amount of hate speech against Muslims or Christians that is tolerated now in the western world, the mere suggestion that Muslims and Christians should have equal rights with Jews in the Holy Land, or that the Hollywood version of the Holocaust is not entirely accurate, have in recent times resulted in the deportation, imprisonment, and even assassination of the speakers, writers, or publishers, and in the banning of their books or films because ofZionist pressure on western governments to abandon the principle of freedom of expression. Therefore it was extremely ironic that theADL was using this library exhibit to present itself as America’sally in the fight against intellectual censorship.
After viewing the “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibit we returnedto the Conference room but we were not given a chance to brainstorm as a group about our personal impressions. We did not get a chance to reflect how the issue of book burnings might apply to our times. I found it very interesting the subtle way the Catholic schoolteachers were encouraged to absorb the historical propaganda and then guided away from rational thought on the matter. Without any logical transition, the topic shifted to the concept of faith education. The ADL leader read a portion of the Jewish Sabbath Amidah prayer that refers to “our God and the God of our fathers.”Then we read a commentary by the Baal Shem Tov (the Besht), the founder of Hassidism that explains the phrase as classifying two separate approaches to religion. The “our God” approach requires searching analysis while “the God of our fathers” is based intradition and in following the practices and beliefs of our parentsand grandparents. The Besht argues that neither approach is sufficient for strong faith and that the two beliefs must be combined.
The ADL’s pre-approved discussion question was, “How doesthe Ba’al Shem Tov’s observation about faith formation apply to religious education?” However, they lost control of the discussion after my husband mentioned that the Besht was addressing the basic question of knowledge and faith and they had left out of his discussion two of the tools identified by medieval Jewish scholars to determine truth. Saadya Gaon lists four basis tools: the senses, logical reasoning, reliable tradition and “intrinsic insight or empathy.” Saadyah Gaon considers that knowledge that it is better to do good than to do ill as an example of intrinsic insight. My husband suggested that the group consider the question, “How would you feel if you were a Palestinian and someone stole your country, murdered your family and bulldozed your home?” The ADL leader then became flustered and told us that we were not to discuss that topic.
The ADL and Zionists in general want Christians to accept thetraditional but incorrect belief that modern Eastern European Ashkenazim are physical descendants of ancient Judeans and Galileans of Palestine. Christians who believe such primordialist nonsense often consider the theft of Palestine from the native population by racist ethnic Ashkenazim to have been a legitimate action even though it contradicts Christian ethics and international law. Yet, the ADL and Zionists in general worry that connecting modernRabbinical Jews with ancient Galileans and Judeans is lnked with the traditional conceptualization of Jews as Christ-killers. Because of fear of this linkage the ADL tried to ban screen representations ofthe suffering and crucifixion of Christ even though they form the core of Christian theology. Thus, Zionists want Catholics to maintain flawed primordialist beliefs about modern ethnic Ashkenazimbut only if such traditional beliefs (“the God of our fathers”approach) are combined with the dispensation that Nostra Aetate (supposed to be a result of searching analysis by Catholic theologians) gives to modern ethnic Ashkenazim to commit atrocitieswith impunity. Zionists want Christians to accept essentialist primordialist Zionist ideology as long as Christianity drops all doctrine that assigns permanent pariah status for Jews.
After synthesizing Christian Zionism from Nostra Aetate with traditional Catholic beliefs, the program then focused on the presentation of modern Jews as marginal people in the “Fires ofHate” exhibition. We read the parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke10:25-37), which had no clear connection to the exhibition topic. A man is mugged by robbers and brigands, but the Priest and the Levitedo not help him. Yet the Samaritan, who comes from a marginal despised group, helps the victim without a second thought. The intended result was a zero-intellectual content lesson thatconnected Catholics and Jews in a bond of mutual agreement not to discuss the elephant in the room.
While it is normal in Jewish theological tradition to discuss religion in the absence of any ethical considerations, this is not true for Christianity. Usually Christians strive to apply the lessons to themselves and current issues. “What would Jesus do?” So here, not only were the Christians being fed self-hatred by the ADL, and encouraged to do penance and apologize to Jews for something that was not their fault, and made to accept the Jewish lack ofapology for their historical anti-Gentile polemic, and encouraged to remain silent and not come to the defense of Palestinian Christians and Muslims being ethnically cleansed from the Holy Land out of respect for their Jewish friends’ feelings, but they were being taught a whole new way of looking at scripture: discussion ofreligious texts in a way that completely avoids the topic. In short, Christians were not only made to feel guilty for believing in their own religion, but encouraged to give up their religion.
The “NewDirection” Catholic Jewish discussion provided yet another example of the pervasiveness and thoroughness of the nation-wide program to indoctrinate Americans with Zionist ideology. The next ADL pre-approved discussion question related to the Good Samaritan was, “What might this text say about what you saw inthe “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibit?” However, because of my husband’s previous comment about the Palestinians, the ADL leaderwas afraid to go around the room with this question as she had with the first question. So she only allowed one brief comment.
Then it ended with the last discussion question, “What do you imagine the victim will think, say and do when he wakes up and finds out he’s been helped by a Samaritan?” In a subtle way, American Catholics were going to be asked to come to the rescue of the Jews by supporting and financing the continued existence of the marginal despised country of Israel. Since the ADL leader had failed to lead the group where she was trying to lead them, because it was obvious that every one of the Catholics sympathized with the plight of thePalestinians, the last question was answered in many different ways, and the group discussion ended without the group having come to any clear conclusions.
Because of the success of a single pro-Palestine comment in undermining an expensive Zionist indoctrination interfaith effort, I strongly encourage all supporters of human rights to attend these interfaith discussions to add their two cents to the discussion.
(*) Zionists tend to focus most on the following two paragraphs (not contiguous in the text) of Nostra Aetate or We Remember. The Church keeps ever in mind the words of the Apostle about his kinsmen: “theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants andthe law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:4-5), theSon of the Virgin Mary. She also recalls that the Apostles, the Church’s main-stay and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ’s Gospel to the world, sprang from the Jewish people. Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.
AUTHORITATIVE LATIN TEXT
Semper quoque prae oculis habet Ecclesia verba Apostoli Pauli decognatis eius, „quorum adoptio est filiorum et gloria et testamentumet legislatio et obsequium et promissa, quorum patres et ex quibusest Christus secundum carnem” (Rom. 9, 4-5), filius Mariae Virginis.Recordatur etiam ex populo iudaico natos esse Apostolos, Ecclesiaefundamenta et columnas, atque plurimos illos discipulos, quiEvangelium Christi mundo annuntiaverunt.Praeterea, Ecclesia, quae omnes persecutiones in quosvis hominesreprobat, memor communis cum Iudaeis patrimonii, nec rationibuspoliticis sed religiosa caritate evangelica impulsa, odia,persecutiones, antisemitismi manifestationes, quovis tempore et aquibusvis in Iudaeos habita, deplorat.
(**) Pope John Paul II stated in March 1998, It is my fervent hope that the document: We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, which the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews has prepared under [Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy’s] direction, will indeed help to heal the wounds of past misunderstandings and injustices. May it enable memory to play its necessary part in the process of shaping a future in which the unspeakable iniquity of the Shoah will never again be possible. May the Lord of history guide the efforts of Catholics and Jews and all men and women of good willas they work together for a world of true respect for the life and dignity of every human being, for all have been created in the imageand likeness of God.