Genocide justified by Jewish scripture
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-29
The continuing violence by Israel against others is hardly consistent with principles of proportionality, but what can we expect from those with a god that not only condones, but orders genocide? (See Joshua quotes over the fold).
At least violence against non-combatants by islamists can be proven hypocritical and contrary to the Koran (See my 2007-07-07 discussion of work by 19th century moslem Moulavi Gerágh Ali).
While the "sword verses" of the Koran take a fair bit of stretching and taking-out-of-context to condone violence against non-believers, the "genocide verses" in the Tanakh (specifically the Nevi’im) are unequivocally in favor of genocide and the forced acquisition of land held by those who don’t descend from Israel. Have a look at the actions of Joshua, praised in the Tanakh and by modern Zionists:
And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.
The only difference between the positions on genocide of Joshua and Hitler is that Joshua would claim he was "only following orders", which is no defence in international law. Zionists (including de facto Zionists in the Israeli cabinet) are also following the orders of their god as written in their sacred texts.
Retired Episcopalian Bishop, John Shelby Spong (particularly in "The Sins of Scripture") points to these, and other hate verses that "inspire" many Christians, but from memory it didn’t discuss the influence on Judaists.
Indeed, almost all modern believing (and even half-believing) Jews celebrate events they claim historic that include biowarfare and the deaths of thousands of children.
There is no recognition of the New Testament by Judaism, so the "Prince of Peace" stuff cannot soften the genocide verses. I’m not aware (yet stand to be corrected) of any Rabbinical rebuttal of the genocide-inciting verses in Joshua (and others including Judges).
As I’ve noted in numerous posts, Mohammed prohibited the killing of non-combatants, instructed followers to avoid warfare wherever possible (especially on holy days), making suicide bombers of civilians (especially on holy days) hypocritical.
As quoted in this post, from an extensive exegesis of the Koran and other less-authoritative books many Moslems mistakenly revere:
Almost all the common Mohammadan and European writers think that a religious war of aggression is one of the tenets of Islam, and prescribed by the Koran for the purpose of proselytizing or exacting tribute. But I do not find any such doctrine enjoined in the Koran, or taught, or preached by Mohammad. His mission was not to wage wars, or to make converts at the point of the sword, or to exact tribute or exterminate those who did not believe his religion. His sole mission was to enlighten the Arabs to the true worship of the one God, to recommend virtue and denounce vice, which he truly fulfilled.
It’s hard not to accuse the state of Israel of a goose/gander problem with their non-proportional actions in Gaza, among other things. What really shocks me is that many otherwise liberal believing Jews I know are happy for this non-proportionality to keep happening.
While I’m hoping that Jews and Christians reject racist parts of their sacred texts, I wish Moslems would study the Koran more closely.
But the core problem is that many of the hateful verses outlined by Spong in "The Sins of Scripture" are contrary to the laws of most civilized states (including Australia), and should therefore be expunged from those texts if they are to be distributed.
- Links relevant to the current Gaza violence from "Pointlessness has a new name" by Antony Lowenstein (2008-12-29).
- "A Massacre in Palestine – Responses and Developments" (2008-12-29) by Cypress IndyMedia Collective, which also has a lot of good links.