Iran deal debate devolves into clash over Jewish stereotypes and survival

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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on a nuclear deal with Iran at American University in Washington on August 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-IRAN-JEWS, originally transmitted on August 13, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on a nuclear deal with Iran at American University in Washington on August 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-IRAN-JEWS, originally transmitted on August 13, 2015.

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(RNS) The deal on the table is about Iran and nuclear weapons. But it is also about the Jews.

  • Bernardo

    And one more time, the easy solution as recommended by a blogger many years ago: Jewish residents of Israel should voluntarily move to the USA. Muslims in the USA should voluntarily move to Palestine. Problem solved. BTW, neither side has any historic claim to Palestine so that should not be an issue. Of course, the Muslims still have to address the idiocy of the Shiite-Sunni blood feud but better they do that in the Middle East and not the USA.

  • Jack

    Of course a disproportionate part of the analysis of the deal focuses on Israel, because Israel has the most to lose if Iran goes nuclear without changing its fundamental nature or attitudes.

    Thus, protesting the volume of words written or spoken about Israel in relation to the deal is to protest objective reality. It’s beyond surreal.

  • Jack

    I’m almost afraid to ask, because I fear I’m not addressing a remotely rational mind on the subject, but here goes:

    Why, Bernardo, should the Jews of Israel move out of their own country? Do they not have a right to be there?

  • Jack

    Amen, Joseph.

    But as usual, the ideological crazies see life as a zero-sum game, and thus can’t conceive of both Israel and her neighbors existing. In their demented calculus, the only way to peace is for Israel to commit national suicide.

  • xerxes

    Joshua 6:17;
    “The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.”

    Sounds more like an order to genocide for me^^

  • xerxesII

    Deuteronomy 7:1-2:
    “… the seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them.”

    Joshua 6:21:
    “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.”

    Joshua 10:40-41:
    “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. And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.”

    Well that’s a lot of bad Karma there…

  • Bernardo

    Obviously Jews have a right to be in Israel. But who in their right mind would want to stay in such a violent land brought about by the absurdities of three religions all stemming from a mythical fellow named Abraham??

  • Bernardo

    Comment added in the wrong place. Now corrected.

    Obviously Jews have a right to be in Israel. But who in their right mind would want to stay in such a violent land brought about by the absurdities of three religions all stemming from a mythical fellow named Abraham??

  • Bernardo

    But the greater question is was there ever a Joshua? The Jewish scribes invented Abraham and Moses and made David a king when he was only “a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. ”

    Is there any evidence historically other than the OT that Joshua existed? More than one attestation are required to pass rigorous historic testing of existence.

  • Jim

    When will Israel let IAEA inspectors in to monitor its nuclear arsenal?

  • Larry

    OK so not one person actually bothered to read the article. Let’s put things in perspective:

    1. Iran was much further away from a nuclear weapon than the American and Israeli pundits claimed. (Iran’s boasting about their uranium enrichment levels were greatly exaggerated)

    2. Under no circumstances was a military solution in the cards here. Israel ruled that out about a year ago. The US has neither the will not the boots on the ground to make an invasion anything but a fiasco.

    3. Iran has been ambitious in its actions in the Middle East, but hardly irrational. Despite fiery rhetoric, they have relied entirely on using proxies to expand their influence.

    4.Their dictatorship is closer to a Soviet model than a one person Fascist model. One nutjob can’t do much, since even the president must get approval from the mullahs.

    5. Iran is not even the most immediate threat to Israel. ISIS is far more of an uncontrolled genocidal aggressive danger in the region.

  • Larry

    Israeli nuclear development points to an interesting fact here. Israel, Pakistan, India, China and France were capable of hiding their uranium enrichment programs from the world until well after the completion of actual weapons. If they could do so, how come Iran could not? Burying such programs is not that difficult. Even Libya was able to hide this from modern eyes.

    My idea is that Iran intentionally leaked the efforts to deliberately create a conflict.

  • Susan

    There is no archeological evidence that these events ever happened. Of course, it would have been horrible if it did, but you can’t blame contemporary Jews for that. Judaism is not an “Old Testament” religion. It is a rabbinic religion. Even the most Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not take the Hebrew Bible literally. There are centuries of Midrash, commentaries and Talmud that explain and moderate the Hebrew Bible.

  • Bernardo

    And one of the most recent:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. ”

    Judaism, Christianity of Islam without Abraham or Moses? Time to throw all three religions onto the myth pile!!!

  • Jack

    Bernardo, it’s their land.

  • Jack

    Susan, it would be news to any observant Jew that Judaism is not based on the Old Testament or Tanakh. Of course it is. If you compare the basic lifestyles of practicing Jews to the laws of the Torah, you will find a recognizable enough correspondence to see the connection. The idea that one has little to do with the other is untenable.

    The issues you’re responding to — issues revolving around the conquest of Canaan — are quite different. Yes, some of the accounts are disturbing, but they were commanded at a specific time and in a specific place 35 centuries ago. And if more people knew what sort of societies were being obliterated — the kind whose religious services consisted of temple prostitutes torturing terrified child captives, for example, while worshippers cheered — it might lessen people’s shock.

    Also, it would be an issue for today only if there was a counterpart to jihad — perpetual holy war — in the Old Testament. Thankfully, there isn’t.

  • Jack

    Bernardo, if documents from the past — ie books in the Bible, mention names of people, competent historians presume those people existed until proven otherwise. And “proven otherwise” means material contradictions either within the text or beyond the text, contradictions that call their existence into question. Absent those material contradictions, the assumption is that they existed.

    Put another way, it is the presence of contradiction, not the absence of corroboration, which is needed to call a text or its assertions into question. This is a fundamental rule of historical evidence. While corroboration is always helpful, it is not necessary to establishing the historicity of particular people.