Prayer to Our Lady of Palestine

During these times of great cruetly that has been unleashed upon the people of Palestine, let us pray to our Lady that peace may at last break out in the Holy Land.

O Mary Immaculate, gracious Queen of Heaven and of Earth, behold us prostrate before thy exalted throne. Full of confidence in thy goodness and in thy boundless power, we beseech thee to turn a pitying glance upon Palestine, which, more than any other country, belongs to thee, since thou hast graced it with thy birth, thy virtues and thy sorrows, and from there hast given the Redeemer to the world.

Remember that there especially thou wast constituted our tender Mother, the dispenser of graces. Watch, therefore, with special protection over thy native country, dispel from it the shades of error, for it was there that the Son of Eternal Justice shone. Bring about the speedy fulfillment of the promise, which issued from the lips of thy Divine Son, that there should be one fold and one Shepherd.

Obtain for us all that we may serve the Lord in sanctity and justice during all the days of our life, so that, by the merits of Jesus and with thy motherly aid, we may pass at last from this earthly Jerusalem to the splendors of the heavenly one. Amen.

Letter from the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
May the Lord give you peace!

We are going through one of the most difficult and painful periods in our recent times and history. For over two weeks now, we have been inundated with images of horrors, which have reawakened ancient traumas, opened new wounds, and made pain, frustration and anger explode within all of us. Much seems to speak of death and endless hatred. So many ‘whys’ overlap in our minds, adding to our sense of bewilderment.

The whole world views this Holy Land of ours as a place that is a constant cause of wars and divisions. That is precisely why it was good that a few days ago, the whole world joined us with a day of prayer and fasting for peace. It was a beautiful view of the Holy Land and an important moment of unity with our Church. And that view is still there. Next October 27th, the Pope has called for a second day of prayer and fasting, so that our intercession may continue. It will be a day that we will celebrate with conviction. It is perhaps the main thing we Christians can do at this time: pray, do penance, intercede. For this, we thank the Holy Father from the bottom of our hearts.

In all this uproar where the deafening noise of the bombs is mixed with the many voices of sorrow and the many conflicting feelings, I feel the need to share with you a word that has its origin in the Gospel of Jesus. That is the starting point which we set out from, and return to, time and time again: a word from the Gospel to help us live this tragic moment by uniting our feelings with those of Jesus.

Looking to Jesus, of course, does not mean feeling exempt from the duty to speak, to denounce, to call out, as well as to console and encourage. As we heard in last Sunday’s Gospel, it is necessary to render “to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matt. 22:21). Looking to God, we therefore want, first of all, to render to Caesar what is his.

  My conscience and moral duty require me to state clearly that what happened on October 7th in southern Israel is in no way permissible and we cannot but condemn it. There is no reason for such an atrocity. Yes, we have a duty to state this and to denounce it. The use of violence is not compatible with the Gospel, and it does not lead to peace. The life of every human person has equal dignity before God, who created us all in His image.

The same conscience, however, with a great burden on my heart, leads me to state with equal clarity today that this new cycle of violence has brought to Gaza over five thousand deaths, including many women and children, tens of thousands of wounded, neighborhoods razed to the ground, lack of medicine, lack of water and of basic necessities for over two million people. These are tragedies that cannot be understood and which we have a duty to denounce and condemn unreservedly. The continuous heavy bombardment that has been pounding Gaza for days will only cause more death and destruction and will only increase hatred and resentment. It will not solve any problem, but rather create new ones. It is time to stop this war, this senseless violence.

It is only by ending decades of occupation and its tragic consequences, as well as giving a clear and secure national perspective to the Palestinian people that a serious peace process can begin. Unless this problem is solved at its root, there will never be the stability we all hope for. The tragedy of these days must lead us all, religious, political, civil society, international community, to a more serious commitment in this regard than what has been done so far. This is the only way to avoid other tragedies like the one we are experiencing now. We owe it to the many victims of these days and to those of years past. We do not have the right to leave this task to others.

Yet, I cannot live this extremely painful time without looking upward, without looking to Christ, without the faith that enlightens my view and yours on what we are experiencing, without turning our thoughts to God. We need a Word to accompany us, to comfort and encourage us. We need it like the air we breathe.

“I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have tribulations, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (Jn. 16:33).

We find ourselves on the eve of Jesus’ Passion. He addresses these words to His disciples, who will shortly be tossed about, as if in a storm, before His death. They will panic, scatter and flee, like sheep without a shepherd.

Yet, this last word of Jesus is an encouragement. He does not say that He shall win, but that He has already won. Even in the turmoil to come, the disciples will be able to have peace. This is not a matter of theoretical irenic peace, nor of resignation to the fact that the world is evil, and we can do nothing to change it. Instead it is about having the assurance that precisely within all this evil, Jesus has already won. Despite the evil ravaging the world, Jesus has achieved a victory, and established a new reality, a new order, which after the resurrection will be assumed by the disciples who were reborn in the Spirit.

It was on the cross that Jesus won: not with weapons, not with political power, not by great means, nor by imposing himself. The peace He speaks of has nothing to do with victory over others. He won the world by loving it. It is true that a new reality and a new order begin on the cross. The order and the reality of the one who gives his life out of love. With the Resurrection and the gift of the Spirit, that reality and that order belong to His disciples. To us. God’s answer to the question of why the righteous suffer, is not an explanation, but a Presence. It is Christ on the cross.

It is on this that we stake our faith today. Jesus in that verse rightly speaks of courage. Such peace, such love, require great courage.

To have the courage of love and peace here, today, means not allowing hatred, revenge, anger and pain to occupy all the space of our hearts, of our speech, of our thinking. It means making a personal commitment to justice, being able to affirm and denounce the painful truth of injustice and evil that surrounds us, without letting it pollute our relationships. It means being committed, being convinced that it is still worthwhile to do all we can for peace, justice, equality and reconciliation. Our speech must not be about death and closed doors. On the contrary, our words must be creative, lifegiving, they must give perspective and open horizons.

It takes courage to be able to demand justice without spreading hatred. It takes courage to ask for mercy, to reject oppression, to promote equality without demanding uniformity, while remaining free. It takes courage today, even in our diocese and our communities, to maintain unity, to feel united to one another, even in the diversity of our opinions, sensitivities and visions.

I want, and we want, to be part of this new order inaugurated by Christ. We want to ask God for that courage. We want to be victorious over the world, taking upon ourselves that same Cross, which is also ours, made of pain and love, of truth and fear, of injustice and gift, of cries and forgiveness.

I pray for us all, and in particular for the small community of Gaza, which is suffering most of all. In particular, our thoughts go out to the 18 brothers and sisters who perished recently, and to their families whom we know personally. Their pain is great, and yet with every passing day, I realize that they are at peace. They are scared, shaken, upset, but with peace in their hearts. We are all with them, in prayer and concrete solidarity, thanking them for their beautiful witness.

Finally, let us pray for all innocent victims. The suffering of the innocent before God has a precious and redemptive value because it is united with the redemptive suffering of Christ. May their suffering bring peace ever closer!

We are approaching the solemnity of the Queen of Palestine, the patroness of our diocese. The shrine was erected during another time of war, and was chosen as a special place to pray for peace. In these days we will once again reconsecrate our Church and our land to the Queen of Palestine! I ask all churches around the world to join the Holy Father and to join us in prayer, and in the search for justice and peace.

We will not be able to gather all together this year, because the situation does not allow it. But I am sure that the whole diocese will be united on that day in prayer and in solidarity for peace, not worldly peace, but the peace which Christ gives us.

With sincere prayers for all, 

+Pierbattista Card. Pizzaballa 
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem


The Stones Cry Out—Voices of the Palestinian Christians

This film, by Yasmine Perni, was made in 2013 and is a strong testimony to the brutality undertaken by Zionists to create Israel. The film is unique because it focuses on the suffering of Palestinian Christians, from 1948 to today, whose plight is largely unknown, and by extention it is a chronicle of the suffering of all Palesitinians who have been rendered faceless so that their agony may be the more easily ignored.

The attitude of American Protestants is also worth noting in this context, who are happy to excuse all atrocity because of their heretical notion of God’s “chosen people.”

The Bible and Archaeology

Why does Israel need to exist? This question may seem startling and unfair, but it is one that is frequently asked and hotly debated. The various answers and arguments given fall under two categories. First is the political and somewhat historical answer, which argues that the Levant is the Ur-Heimat of the Jews and thus for Jews to settle there is not only natural, but an unquestionable (God-given) right, as it is simply reclamation of legitimately owned property, and it is the Palestinians who are recent interlopers. Here it is important to note that the vast majority of the land itself inn Israel is owned by the state, and thus reserved for Jews, which means an exclusion of Palestinians. The second answer expands on this approach and seeks to bolster it by veering into the mystical and the messianic: Israel must exist because it is the necessary condition for housing the Third Temple, which in turn will bring the messiah and his “golden age.” This second answer brings together the aspirations of Protestant and Jewish Zionists. Both answers, sadly, also inform much of the anti-Arab sentiment that pervades the powers that be in Israeli society: the land does not really belong to Palestinians; the Jews, as God’s chosen people, must do what God needs them to do: build the Third Temple so that the age of the messiah can begin.

The Misuse of History

Turning briefly to the first answer—can we really locate the ancient Hebrews in Palestine? With the Bible within easy reach, this question may come off as impertinent. But it is a very important question—one which scholars have long fought over, from the 17th century down to our own time, and one which has not yet provided a real answer. A related question is just as important—is the Bible a book of history or a book of faith? Or to put it more clearly, is the Bible the ancient history of modern-day Jews?

It is also often said that the Bible is our best guide to the ancient Judaic past, but when we come to write such a history how do we distinguish between literary commentary on, and literary convention in, the various books of the Bible and the historical process itself, that is, a historical reconstruction of what precisely took place thousands of years ago? The Protestant sola scriptura habit of mind is at play here, in that everything found in the Old Testament can be located in the Levant; it is only a matter of finding it; there is never any need for subtlety or nuance (the quadriga), for theology is a mirror of politics and the Bible can only mean what an immediate reading yields. It was American Protestants who began archaeology in the Holy Land in earnest, in the 19th century, to counter the rising arguments of skeptics, and the role of American Protestants has not diminished.

More importantly, all this is not to say that the Bible is therefore fiction—but rather to point out that we are dealing with faith-based commentary of various historical events. Understanding those events—and events that have been left out—entails historical fact, to which we have limited access, and to which faith commentary is of limited use. The Bible is not a history textbook, although it contains actual history. By this we mean that history recounts the deeds of the men and women of the past and their ensuing consequences, while the Bible selects events to show cosmic significance. In other words, history sees a text as artifact, while the Bible seeks to show the ways of God to man. Thus, archaeology in the Holy Land continues to show a divergence rather than a coalescence, which means that the Bible is a product of ancient Judaean life rather than a guidebook to it.

Because archaeology and the study of ancient history are highly contentious disciplines in Israel, the field has long adopted two categories to immediately label scholars: there are the “maximalists” and the “minimalists.” The former seek to find an exact replica of the Bible in the dust of centuries and in extra-Biblical written sources. The latter fail to see such a replica in what is found in the ground and what is written in ancient texts. Needless to say that these are effective policing strategies fo scholarship, whereby the maximalists have the the megaphone (funding, media coverage, the American Protestant audience), while the minimalists are simply ignored because they raise questions that are not so easily answered. In the popular American Protestant mind (the true power base of Israel), the “Word of God” is a grand code-book that needs constant reconfiguring in order to learn what will happen in the future (the End Times), and thus faith simply means participating in this deciphering process. History is just another tool for this prodigious decoding, in which minimalists are “atheists” or secularists.

The Curse Tablet

As can be imagined a lot of deceit, or trickery, is involved in the maximalist camp. A recent example comes from Marcg 2022, when a dramatic announcement was made that a small curse tablet had been found in the Palestine territory (on Mount Ebal). The archaeology was done by Associates for Biblical Research, a Protestant ministry, which seeks to bring the Bible alive and which therefore publishes a magazine called, Bible & Spade.

The tablet measures just one square inch, and it was found under very suspicious circumstances—in the left-over rubble from a previous excavation, done in the 1980s, and during a supposed archaeological expedition that did not have any of the proper authorization from the Department of Antiquities of the Palestinian Authority, and the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration, which controls this area, referred to it simply as “private activity”—hardly a scientific expedition. This means that first there is no way to date the tablet (since it has no context in which it was found), and second it is an illegal find since it was taken away without authorization. Two huge red flags.

Then, came the huger claims by the two discoverers.

Scott Stripling declared: “One can no longer argue with a straight face that the biblical text was not written until the Persian period or the Hellenistic period, as many higher critics have done, when we clearly do have the ability to write the entire text [of the Bible] at a much, much earlier date.”

Then, the needed affirmation by Gershon Galil of the University of Haifa: “The scribe that wrote this ancient text, believe me, he could write every chapter in the Bible.” Galil is known for finding dubious artifacts.

Why is it that the Bible needs the work of very amateurish (at best) “scholars” to “prove” its truth?

And the claims continued to grow in their wild-eyed exuberance. The tablet “proved” the “truth” of a ritual curse ceremony on Mount Ebal described in Deuteronomy 27:9-26 and Joshua 8:30-35. Plus, given the “fact” that the writing on the tablets is Hebrew script, therefore, the books of the Bible were written much earlier (the date of the tablet, which is claimed to be 1300 BC).

But then reality hit. When the team finally published the supposed Hebrew writing, it was from inside the tablet (it is a piece of lead, folded in half); they say that there is also writing on the outside which is easier to read. The photos shown just show a few indentations, which the duo have “read” as the entirety of the Hebrew alphabet. Professor Christopher Rollston, an expert in Northwest Semitic languages, at George Washington University, gave the funeral oration: “The published images reveal some striations in the lead and some indentations (lead is, of course, quite soft and so such things are understandable), but there are no actual discernible letters.”

In other words, more pareidolia.

The most amusing example of such efforts is the discovery earlier (March 2023), which again was announced in the media with great excitement. It seemed that Eylon Levy, international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog, while out for a hike, had found something unique: direct evidence of the Persian King Darius inside Israel. The text scratched on to a potsherd was rather cleanly written in Aramaic, and read, “Year 24 of Darius.” More proof of what the Bible says, etc.

Then, it came out that it was simply a piece of broken pottery on which a professor had written this brief text, to show to her students how and why ancient ostracon were created. After the demonstration, she just tossed aside the piece of pottery, not thinking that it would be found and “read” a certain way. The scholarly world did some quick damage control.

Because reports of such “discoveries” have only grown in number, serious Israeli scholars were finally forced to issue a public statement, a request to tone down the claims and let real scholariship do its job.

The Bible and Nationality

Thus, is it really historically feasible to use the Bible to justify national interests in the here-and-now; to say that the Jews of today are the direct descendants of the Hebrews mentioned in the Bible? People like Stripling and Galil and their Zionist Protestant supporters would say, absolutely!—which can only be matter of personal belief rather than an affirmation based on data (and when such data does come up, it is sketchy at best). This sort of encounter with history too stems from the sola scriptura habit of mind which is accustomed to approach the Bible out of context—an amateur’s eisegesis, as if the Bible were a book being read by students in a high school English class.

However, putting aside the Bible, we only have sporadic archaeological attestation for Judaism, as such, in ancient Palestine: the harder we look for the acient Hebrews of the Old Testament, the more quickly they vanish in the actual historical record—which renders the historical claims of ownership of the Holy Land very problematic, more so when we throw into the mix notions of race—that modern-day Jews are direct descendants of the people inhabiting the Old and New Testaments. Thus, writing the history of the ancient Hebrews as Israel and Judaea (for there were two kingdoms) comes out more often than not as the history of ancient Palestine, in which Canaanite and Hebraic elements are impossible to distinguish.

This is not to say that Canaanite and Hebraic people did not live in the region; rather, how does the life of these ancient people become that of the people in the Bible?

Dome of the Rock

The second answer brings into focus the Al-Aqsa compound, which now is also called “the Temple Mount” by the Israelis. The entire complex, known as Haram Al-Sharif (the Sacred Enclosure) covers some 35 acres (a sixth of Old Jerusalem) and includes other mosques, prayer halls, and various Islamic religious structures. The compound also contains one of the holiest cemeteries in Islam, the Bab al-Rahmah (Mercy Gate), where many Muslim notables lie buried. The term “Temple Mount” is a revival of a term used in the Middle Ages by the crusaders who called this area, “templum Domini” (Temple of the Lord), but they were likely seeing a church built by Saint Helena.

The Dome of the Rock itself, as a building with its distinctive golden dome, is somewhat mysterious in its origins, as it only became associated with Muhammad’s Night Journey to Jerusalem sometime in the 11th century, and only became a mosque proper in the 13th century. The original distinct structure, which now has a golden dome, was likely built late in the 7th century (694 AD, according to the inscription inside), although what we see today is largely 20th century renovation.

We also know that Saint Helena built a domed church in the area (dedicated to Saint Stephen), which is visible in the Madaba Map (6th century). Thus, the Dome of the Rock likely began life as a Christiano-Arabic church, in the Syro-Byzantine style, for it is extremely similar to other churches of that era, both nearby and further afield, namely, the Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem, the Mary Theotokos Church at Mount Gerizim near Nablus, the Church of the Seat of Saint Mary (which also encloses a rock). And the Dome of the Rock is also akin to the Little Hagia Sophia (church of Saints Sergios and Bacchus) in Istanbul, the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, the Palatine Chapel of Aachen, built by Charlemagne, and the church of Las Vegas de San Antonio, in Pueblanueva, Spain.

The key feature of all these Byzantine churches (which includes the Dome of the Rock) is their octagonal shape. The number eight in Christian eschatology signifies the first day after Christ’s Resurrection, that is, after the Sabbath (the seventh). Thus, in Christian tradition, the number eight signifies completion, wherein the faithful were made complete by being resurrected into Glory with Christ.

All this also takes us back to the early history of Islam itself, which has been thoroughly explored and clarified by the scholars at Inarah. In brief, Islam is best understood as a distinct anti-Trinitarian Christology. There were several such Christianities current in the East before the 11th century, all of which eventually came to be codified into what we now call “Islam.”

Thus, in effect, the Dome of the Rock has a precise and distinct Christian and Islamic history. What it does not have, however, is a clear and precise Jewish history. There were likely buildings here from the time of Herod the Great, such as the Esplanade, which is thought to be the encircling wall of Herod’s renovation of the Second Temple, but no clear written history exists that pins down this association with Herod’s renovation of Solomon’s original temple; nor are there any remains at the Al-Aqsa complex (thus far) that might offer evidence of an ancient Hebrew ritual presence . Attempts to align the Temple Mount with what Josephus describes are unconvincing and precarious at best and often a matter of personal opinion of the historian. The archaeological work done in the area has yielded Christian and later Islamic artifacts and buildings (what is known as the “Umayyad palace”). The only thing that is said to be from the time of Herod are the many cut stones, but are they from the Second temple? There are also other artifacts which have been found elsewhere in Jerusalem, such as the two Temple Warning inscriptions. Again, to link these exactly to the Temple Mount is difficult to sustain. As well, there is big problem with forgeries.

As is often the case, when doing archaeology with Bible in hand, the yield is always disappointing. The ancient Hebrews of the Old Testament simply vanish in the dust of Palestine and are impossible to trace. History is very precarious work in Israel, because it is so highly political, for its goal is often nationalist: to prove that Palestine was always Jewish, so the further back in time we go, the more evidence there must be of a persistent and obvious Hebrew presence. That has not happened.

The Wailing Wall and the Second Temple

As for the Western (or Wailing) Wall, it is difficult to say that it is definitely a remnant of Herod’s Second Temple. More than likely it is a wall from the Antonia Fortress of the Romans. It is only assumption that links the Western Wall to the Second Temple. The many points of evidence presented are “readings” of artifacts, readings preconditioned by politics: there can be no neutral, impartial history in Israel when it comes to the issue of the location of the Second Temple. Only the bottom stones, it is said are Herodian and therefore from the Temple; the top part is later Islamic.

The tradition of praying at the Wall is also very late (16th century). For example, the very detailed account of the Temple site, written in 1267, by Nahmanides (in a letter to his son, Nahman), makes no mention of the Wall at all. In the 14th century, Ishtori Haparchi also seems unaware of it, and we further find no mention made in the various accounts from the 15th century, such as, by Obadiah of Bertinoro. It is only with the coming of the Zionists in the 19th century that the Wall became closely associated with the Second Temple and became a holy site. In fact, Baron Rothschild offered to buy the entire Al-Aqsa area; his plan was to demolish all the buildings on it and build the Third Temple. For various reasons, the plan never came to fruition.

There is also the problem of water, since the only source for it in ancient times was the Spring of Gihon, which is nowhere near the Al-Aqsa compound, and the Temple would have needed a lot of it for various ritual purposes. The compound instead has remains of Roman water cisterns (37 in all) and pools, which are “read” as mikvehs to substantiate the existence of the Temple.

There is also the textual consideration. We are told about the Roman destruction by Josephus who was an eyewitness to it and who tells us that nothing was left standing. All of Jerusalem was completed razed to the ground. Why would the Romans leave the wall of the Second Temple standing when they knew that said Temple was the very heart of Judaism, because of which the Judaeans had fought two bitter wars with them? To leave standing any remains of such an important culti center would only be inviting more trouble. But the Romans would also not destroy their own fortress.

In short, wherever the Second Temple might have been in Jerusalem (likely on Mount Ophel), it could not have been on what is now called “Temple Mount.” Only 19th and 20th century custom has established such a connection, which archaeology and history now seek to confirm. Some even say that the city of David could not have been located on the Mount, which again calls into question the Temple’s location.

If one questions the veracity of the Wall today, one will called a “Temple denier,” which is akin to “Holocaust denial,” and to question the narrative of Al-Aqsa as the location of the Second Temple is to be a Palestinian apologist. In this way scholarly conformity is assured, since the official task of the historian in Israel is to confirm the eternal possession of the Levant by the present-day Jews, and the erasure of any other memory (Christian and Muslim).

Some scholars even doubt that ancient Jerusalem truly has a Hebraic identity further back from the Roman period. But he who “controls the present controls the past.” Antiquity is a source of great power in Israel.

Featured: Samson carrying the gates of Gaza; Huqoq synagogue, 5th-century.

Israel, the Red Heifer, and the Messiah

Zionists and Zionism

One of the core projects of present-day Zionists is to build the Third Temple on the area that is also very sacred for Muslims, and where their third holiest mosque stands (Dome of the Rock).

But first, we must properly understand what we mean by “Zionism.” As Peter J. Miano has rightly pointed out, the drive to return Jews to the Levant as their proper homeland is a very old Protestant project (going back to the 17th century), for Protestants largely believe that the Jews are the chosen people of God and must be treated with deference; and that as Christians are simply “add-ons” to this Godly race. This also means that God needs the Jews to do what He wants on earth; without them God is handicapped. Thus, it is the job of “Christians” to help Jews fulfill the will of God by assisting them in every way possible.

In other words, Zionism is not a Jewish “invention”—rather, it is a Protestant undertaking which the founders of Israel successfully harnessed to achieve their end of establishing a Jewish state. The vast majority of these Protestant Zionists live in the United States, and thus the power-base of Zionism is America—it is not Israel. Protestantism has always been about “Judaizing” Christianity; that is its logic. This is why Martin Luther, for instance, severely edited the Bible to make it more like the Torah, which he believed preceded the Christian Bible, so that the current Jews are therefore regarded as the very same ones as ones in the Old Testament. This notion of priority is what gives Protestant Zionism its justification: God made a promise with the Jews and God does not break His promise. This radically alters traditional Christianity (Catholic and Orthodox) and the New Testament in which Christians are now God’s Chosen People.

Historically as well, modern-day Judaism is best understood as a hostile “younger sister” of Christianity, in that it was fashioned as a reaction and counter to Christian teaching. Just as there are all kinds of Jews today, so we really have no idea what the ancient Hebrew faith was all about. We only have a hint of the various sects that might have existed from Josephus, and even that is very unclear. But the common mistake in the popular Protestant mind is to imagine that Judaism is a unified and cohesive block, which is the “root” of Christianity. History does not allow such a conclusion. In fact, in antiquity, it is helpful to speak of Judaisms rather than Judaism.

Since Protestant Zionism imagines itself to be the helpmate of the Jews so they can accomplish God’s will in the here-and-now, the nation of Israel is thus a deeply Christian project, whereby geography has been given an eschatological destiny—the sole purpose of Israel existing is to bring the messiah so he can start his reign over all the earth. (He come for the Jews the first time, for these Protestants a second time). And it is the job of Zionism to clear the way for the messiah—and this is why God needs the Jews: He needs them to build the Third Temple, the precondition for the messiah. On a more mundane level, the two sides of the Zionist coin are using each other: the Zionists among Jews want a return to the “glory days” of a Greater Israel while the Zionists among Protestants are hoping that when the messiah returns, the Jews will convert and be saved. Within this sorry mix of ambitions are the Palestinians who are like grit in the eye of Zionism.

Before this Third Temple can be built, the area must first come under Jewish control, and the Dome of the Rock demolished. The familiar mosque with the golden dome is the third holiest place in Islam; destroying it will mean war with all of Islam. Can Israel handle such a war?

Next, the priests that will carry out the sacrifices and rituals will have to be made pure with “sin water”—which consists of the ashes of an immolated red heifer (a cow that has never calved), mixed with water. Without sin water no priest will be able to enter the temple. This ritual cleansing is taken from the book of Numbers:

And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: This is the observance of the victim, which the Lord hath ordained. Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee a red cow of full age, in which there is no blemish, and which hath not carried the yoke: And you shall deliver her to Eleazar the priest, who shall bring her forth without the camp, and shall immolate her in the sight of all: And dipping his finger in her blood, shall sprinkle it over against the door of the tabernacle seven times, And shall burn her in the sight of all, delivering up to the fire her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, and her dung. The priest shall also take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet twice dyed, and cast it into the flame, with which the cow is consumed. And then after washing his garments, and body, he shall enter into the camp, and shall be unclean until the evening. He also that hath burned her, shall wash his garments, and his body, and shall be unclean until the evening. And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the cow, and shall pour them forth without the camp in a most clean place, that they may be reserved for the multitude of the children of Israel, and for a water of aspersion: because the cow was burnt for sin. And when he that carried the ashes of the cow, hath washed his garments, he shall be unclean until the evening. The children of Israel, and the strangers that dwell among them, shall observe this for a holy thing by a perpetual ordinance (Numbers 19: 1-10).

The move to build the Third Temple gathered steam, with the establishment of the Temple Institute in 1984, which is a vast umbrella organization that has schools, college prep courses, a publishing house, a museum and manufacturing facilities for the vessels needed in the Temple. Since the Institute’s schools are recognized by the Israeli Department of Education, a large number of students come for further education, as well as thousands of soldiers in the IDF who come for seminars. The work of the Institute is supported by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate (the supreme spiritual leaders of the Jewish people in Israel). The Institute is also a regular haunt for American Protestant Zionists.

There are other affiliated groups working to build the Third Temple, namely, the Temple Mount Administration, the Temple Mount Faithful, the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, and the Chai Vekayam movement, led by Yehuda Etzion who has been deeply influenced by the teachings of Shabtai Ben-Dov, who advocated that the purpose of the Jewish state is to carry out conquest, no matter how merciless, of the Arabs, and that Israel can only be a theocracy rather than a democracy. Ben-Dov also advocated the building of the Third Temple, which would bring the messiah, and the entire world will then be ruled according to Jewish law and values, overseen by a Sanhedrin.

The commonly held belief is that the Third Temple is to built exactly where the Second Temple once stood, which in turn was built where the First Temple was located. the potential for great violence is obvious.

But there are two preparatory steps that must be secured: the Jewish possession of the Al-Aqsa compound (the Temple Mount), and the breeding of the red heifer, without either the Third Temple cannot be built. And so it is on these two possibilities that most of the effort of the Institute is focused—and it is this agenda that archaeologists and historians also willingly promote when they declare once and for all that the Dome of the Rock is the location of the Second Temple.

To that end, the Chief Rabbinate now permits Jews to go and pray at the Temple Mount which has meant several violent incursions into Muslim holy ground by Third Temple activists; the most recent by Israeli police.

The Red Heifer

The job of breeding the perfect red heifer has been the responsibility of Boneh Israel, run by both Jews and Protestants. Its mission, in its own words: “Boneh Israel (literally: ‘Building Israel’) is a nonprofit organization focused on building up and reviving important Biblical sites, bringing the Bible to life, educating the nations about the past, present and future of Israel, and actively bringing the redemption closer.” In fact, this effort began in the 1990s.

Archaeology has long been used in Israel to set up “markers” which say that “we Jews were always here,” and which also has entirely erased the Palestinians from any such history, for it is ultimately a Kulturkampf.

The point of “actively bringing the redemption closer” is the key project, however, which has meant that Boneh Israel has been active in breeding the perfect, unblemished red heifer. And last year, they delivered five such heifers to Israel, which were bred in Texas by a rancher named Byron Stinson who is the founder of Boneh Israel: “The Bible says to bring a red cow to purify Israel, and I may not understand it, but I am just doing what the Bible said.” If the heifers are thoroughly red and without blemish by the time they mature, then they will be burned to make sin water.

In the meantime, other things necessary for the Third Temple are underway: the ritual vessels, the musical instruments, the cloths and vestments, and the priests, five hundred of whom have been selected as being “direct descendants” of Levites from the time of the Second Temple.

The point of all this preparation is the strange belief that by doing everything right, the messiah will be forced to show up: it is the ancient notion of a god being contractually bound to do what you want him to do, because once humans do what they are supposed to do, then the god must also do what he is supposed to do. It is a type of deceit, trickery. We are very far from any notion of holiness and the dignity of sanctity. There is only a grim cosmic legalism.

A Future?

Israel is caught in a curious dilemma. It justifies itself by promoting the narrative of rightful possession of land given to the Jews by God. But it also seeks to show itself as a democracy. The two cancel each other out: if Israel truly believes that the Jews of today must pick up where the Jews two thousand years ago left off (when the Romans banished all Jews from the Holy Land and built a Roman city where Jerusalem of old once stood), then the likes of the Temple Institute alone can provide meaning for why Israel must exist, for then the nation must be a theocracy and fully participate in doing all that it can to bring the messiah so that he can reign over all the earth, with the Third Temple as the navel of such a world. Or, if Israel a democracy, then it cannot erase the Palestinians and continue treating them as unwanted menials, for democracy demands equality for all.

For example, Old Jerusalem is being transformed into a “historical park,” where all sorts of reminders of a Jewish presence in the past are being created; and all these “reminders” point to the necessity of building the Third Temple.

Thus far, Israel has not been able to solve this dilemma—it does not still know what it really is—a process for the coming of the messiah, or simply a country, like all the rest in this world. But it will be hard for Israel to give up its special status the Land of God’ Chosen, for this status has given it a lot of benefits from the USA. If it cannot resolve this dilemma, it will descend further into violence and disintegration—for it is a nation deeply divided by a messianic urge and the lure of democracy. Both cannot sustain each other.

Remember the Amalekites!

For a guy who doesn’t believe in anything much (never keeps kosher, says no prayers, is hardly ever seen inside a synagogue, whose father was a devout atheist, etc.), the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, certainly has been busy thumbing through a friend’s Bible. Can an atheist be a Jew? Asking for a friend. But let’s not digress.

On October 25, 2023, in a speech, he waxed scriptural: “We are the people of the light, they are the people of darkness, and light shall triumph over darkness… We shall realize the prophecy of Isaiah. There will no longer be stealing at your borders and your gates will be of glory. Together we will fight, together we will win.”

Who knew that Isaiah was actually a speech-writer for Bibi and way back whenever had sat down to write his prophecies as instructions for Bibi on how to go about annihilating the Palestinians in 2023.

In case you’re confused, the “we” refers to the CUFI faithful and their ilk, who are eternally joined at the hip with the great Zionist cause of killing the Arab, like there’s no tomorrow, though that tomorrow may not be all that pretty.

In the words of the oracular Nikki Haley: “I say this to Prime Minister Netanyahu: Finish them. Finish them. Hamas did this. You know Iran is behind it. Finish them.”

What Nikki means by “Finish them” is that so far 3.324 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel so far, 7000 children have been injured, and 1000 are missing beneath all the rubble. These numbers change daily and will skyrocket when the bombs finally stop falling and the sane people move in to help. But it’s a good thing that Nikki identifies as a chrisschun. This is what it means to be a “friend of Israel.”

No doubt, in the various cultish prayer and meeting halls of America, many a Scofield Bible was gleefully riffled, as the CUFI faithful sped-read the book of Isaiah, trying to piece it to all together in that great jigsaw puzzle they call “Bible Prophecy,” and which they work at every Sunday and during “Bible study” so they can guess what God really means, since He just wasn’t clear enough with Jesus. They know that God wrote the Bible just for America and being “chrisschun” means being an End-Tme dissectologist, where each verse in the Good Book is an entirely separate piece of the divine puzzle, and your job as a “chrisschun” is to take it all apart and spend a lifetime trying to piece it together again so you can come up with a god that suits your lifestyle.

For those who have no patience for dissectology, one of Bibi’s religious backers likely gave him this verse to quote, knowing that it would go over really well with CUFI: “Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18).

Bibi is more than happy to lend a hand and throw out another piece of the End-Time puzzle. In this verse, the Hebrew word for “violence” just happens to be “hamas,” which will send the CUFI multitude into an apoplexy of glee—imagine, God wrote down the name “Hamas” right in the Good Book! What a find for the puzzle! Never mind that Israel created, funded and promoted Hamas, until things went south, and now they have no clue how to deal with the monster they created. Actually, Bibi might also want to double-check his own status in “the people of light.” You never know…

The “world’s first AI-generated news and views” on Twitter (X), Terror Alarm, just did a survey, in which they asked which side people wanted to be on… the “forces of light,” represented by the flag of Israel, or the “forces of darkness,” showing a devil emoji. It was supposed to rally the masses to the cause of Israel (as had been done, successfully, in the recent Ukraine project). But things went somewhere else. It was no-contest: 90.4 percent would rather be with the “forces of darkness;” only 10.4 percent agreed to march under the Israeli flag. No doubt, Nikki Haley and Mike Pence (both deep friends of CUFI) worked like the dickens to get the vote out from all the people that said would vote for them to be president of the USofA.

But Bibi was not done yet.

On October 28, 2023, he gave another speech. This time he picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Haley and recruited the prophet Samuel into the IDF. If you were vaguely wondering what exactly the “people of light” like to do to the “people of darkness”… Well, here you go…

“You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible… ‘Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey’” (1 Samuel 15:3).

Bibi is channeling Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik who said that anyone against Israel is “Amalek” and so fair game for mass slaughter. But let’s not get too technical.

Joe Biden immediately got busy looking up “Amalek” in the International Ice Cream Register (the latest 1960 edition, mind you), even though Doctor Jill told him that “Amalek” is the same as “Neapolitan,” a flavor that he has never fully understood since he knows no one who actually eats the strawberry part; it just sits there in the container, in the freezer, with the chocolate and vanilla long gone (though chocolate always goes first). He has long been planning on signing an Executive Order banning strawberry ice cream to solve this problem, to cut down on wasteful spending.

Kamala Harris could not be reached, as she was binge-watching the 10-part series by David Attenborough on laughing hyenas of the Serengeti.

And lest he be left out of the limelight, especially with Bibi hogging it all, Donald Trump vowed to ban Muslims and bar all and sundry Gazans from entering the USA, because all Gazans are Hamas. Ever the pragmatist, Trump knows that he won’t have to actually do any barring, as he’s hoping that Bibi will do a good job following Samuel’s orders. Since the same CUFI types are also behind Trump, as he tries to make the come back of the century, the real criminals can only be the Palestinians, because that’s how things roll in Bibi’s holy scheme of things, which Trump fully supports because Ivanka said so. Wonder what would happen if Trump said that he was going to ban Jews and everyone from Israel from entering America? His son-in-law would have to double-down on getting his messiah to resurrect his Abraham Accordion, so he can play that lovely hymn: “No never, Palestine, just Israel alone.”

Finally, the West has found someone who can define those terms that we have all scratched our heads over for so long, and which we have heard repeated again and again by our valiant rulers. You know: “our values,” “freedom” and “democracy.” This is why Bibi has unconditional support and no one will utter a peep, no matter how many Amalekite babies and children he bombs into oblivion. These are “our values.” That’s why “democracy is messy.” “Freedom” is never free. Hey, hey, ho, ho, Amalek has got to go. You see, when Hamas paraglides in and shoots civilians, it’s “Terrorism.” When Bibi drops thousands of bombs a day on civilians trapped in their homes, it’s the work of Yahweh (the cash-bound demiurge worshipped by CUFI), and which is also the Eleventh Commandment given to Mises: “the right to self-defense.” This is why the same people will do their darndest to take away the guns of every nation on the planet, except America, and everyone’s personal guns inside America. It’s Yahweh’s plan to make America the great policeman of the world again. Should you disagree, you’re an Amalekite.

And this is why there is such huge support for Bibi among the well-heeled Western monocrats, because he is such a thought-leader—even the brainiac Annalena Baerbock had to break down into tears and admit, “These days, we are all Israelis.” On other days, not so much—especially since a year has 560 days, and when she changes her mind it’s always 360 degrees for her.

Now, next time you hear our wise and humanitarian leaders speak of “our values”—remember the poor Amalekites!

Aristarch lives in splendid isolation and writes whenever something catches his eye and the Muse grabs him by the throat.

Israel: Between Fear and Loathing

The razzia inside Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023 uncovered the extent of the hatred that circulates in that part of the world.

First, the obvious hatred of the Palestinians for Israel, being the outcome of a displaced people who face on a daily basis needless cruelty and a deep-seated racism at the hands of Israelis. Instead of using the past seventy-odd years of its existence to nurture goodwill and support, Israel instead has chosen to sell itself to the West as the final bastion of “civilization” before the vast sea of Eastern barbarity. It wins this “civilization” through naked force. The razzia did not come out of the blue; it was yet another bitter fruit of this Israeli “sales pitch.”

Second, the razzia revealed how deeply divided Israeli society is—those who support Prime Minister Netanyahu versus those who do not. If the razzia had not happened, Mr. Netanyahu would have been in serious trouble, with millions out on the street protesting his rule. That rift cannot be mended and the differences suddenly forgotten because of this new Gazan war. Thus, Israel now is caught between the “right-wing” Jews who hold power and those who oppose them. These right-wing Jews control the Israeli administration of PM Netanyahu. In fact, Reform, or liberal Judaism is dying out in Israel; it is the Orthodox (often right-wing) versions of the faith that are flourishing and who teach Jewish racial supremacism. The current Knesset is dominated by the right-wing whose supporters regularly gather to shout “Kill Arabs” and spit on Christian pilgrims and at churches, and who attack Christians. And then there are the laws which openly discriminate between Jew and Arab, so that there is an effective apartheid.

Third, and despite the fact the razzia was merciless and cruel, internationally it had the opposite effect than the one expected, of worldwide outrage against Hamas—instead, it has created two camps. The one led by Washington, along with all its vassalage, which supports Israel “for as long as it takes” (to lift a quotation from another recent US-led failed war), and a second camp which has galvanized around the Palestinians and has brought into focus Israel’s deeply anti-Arab culture.

It is a very curious thing—many Jews pride themselves on their charitable works and organizations, and yet they fail to practice the most basic charity when it comes to the Palestinians. It is also the mantra of such pro-Israel Jews therefore that to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Semitic, which would make Jews like Rabbi Yisroel Feldman and his followers, the Neturei Karta or those of the American Council for Judaism very anti-Semitic. Thus, this charge, in this context, is meaningless and pointless. Israel has no answer to the many anti-Zionist Jews, who call for the dismantling of Israel and who just want to live peacefully with their God-fearing Arab neighbors. For Jews such as these, Zionism is the cooption of their faith for political ends and thus for whom the state of Israel is an affront to God.

In other words, Jewish identity is a very foggy and very contentious notion. Is a Jew a member of a race, or a follower of a faith? As is obvious, the answer will depend on what kind of a Jew is asked the question. There is no blanket defintion of a “Jew.”

Then, there are the Jews in the West who are well-attuned to this anti-Arab racism in Israel. As soon as the razzia took place, there was a rush on social media to channel the expected outrage into the “proper” narrative: Hamas are Nazis killing Jews. The first one out of the starting gate, it would appear, was one Ezra Levant of Rebel Media who brutally dumbed things down, via a meme, to make sure that you would have no choice but to “see” this event through the “correct” lens:

“The Nazis are back.” Mr. Levant, no doubt guided by the addage about a picture and the thousand words, failed to elaborate how the two images depict “the same thing,” let alone what that “thing” might be. When it comes to Palestine, there can be no complexity, no subtlety; there can only be Jews against Nazis. The other side of this logic is equally grim—that Israelis killing Palestinians is simply Jews killing Nazis, which can only be an aggregate “good.” And, of course, “Hamas” equals all Palestinians, equals all Arabs.

As for the young Israeli woman shown…

More importantly, for people like Mr. Levant, they fail to first explain how Palestinians were responsible for what Hitler did and why they must now assume the mantle of “Nazis?” And more crucially still, why must Palestinians suffer displacement and give up their own ancestral land to compensate European Jewry for what happened during World War Two? Answering these two questions is crucial before comparisions can be made. But racial stereotyping and then scurrility are far easier than facing the reality of the brutality of recent Israeli history.

The loudest spokesman of such a mindset is the American Ben Shapiro, a social media celebrity-commentator, who recently put things bluntly: “The idea is Israel kills enough of these sons of bitches that this is not a problem again.” In other words, ethnic cleansing is the only way forward for Israel to live in peace. What such a “peace” could possibly be is left undefined, or unconsidered. Back in 2002, the same Mr. Shapiro wrote an article in which he channeled Madeleine Albright (also Jewish, who considered 500,000 murdered Arab children a good price for peace): “…when I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don’t really care. In fact, I would rather that the good guys use the Air Force to kill the bad guys, even if that means some civilians get killed along the way.” In this article, Mr. Shapiro summarized the “ethic” bolstering his bloodlust: “There is a Jewish proverb from Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of the Fathers): He who is kind to the cruel is cruel to the kind.” Needless to say, it is up to people like Mr. Shapiro to tell us who is “cruel” and who is “kind,” and how many Arabs need to be killed to make it all worthwhile.

Adding to the problem is the easy recourse to ontological reductionism, where the reality of what has been happening to the Palestinians for the past seventy-plus years can be rendered as a simplistic Hitlerian trope of Jews vs. Nazis, with the Israelis as always the “good guys.” Thus, having concluded that Hamas, and by extention Palestinians, and by extension Arabs, and by extention Muslims are all the same, Mr. Levant has since been busy on X exposing these new “Nazis.” For example,

And one more example:

What people like Mr. Levant fail to realize is that their strategy is easily used against them. Thus, for example, why is much of big finance in the hands of Jews (Blackrock, the Rothschilds, George Soros, Paul Singer, Moshe Kantro, etc.)? Why are so many people in President Biden’s adminstration also Jews, not to mention that Biden’s own family is Jewish as well as Mr. Trump’s? Therefore, of course, the Jews in power are always going to favor Israel, no matter what, and of course they are going to be anti-Arab. There are also the various influence-peddlars who promote hasbara, explaining Israel to the world (especially in Washington). And then there are agencies that police the non-Jewish West, lest it veer away from a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel stance, such as the ADL and AIPAC. But to ask such questions and say such things means being called “anti-Semitic.” However, when Jews, such as Mr. Levant and Mr. Shapiro, use the same strategy to target Arabs, it is not anti-Semitic and not racism (even though Arabs indeed are also Semitic), because the target group has been labeled as “Nazis.”

Needless to say, Mr. Levant and those like him have nothing to say about the on-going violence routinely carried out by ordinary Israelis against Palestinians. Why do such Israelis feel that they must wrest their way of living from the Other by bullying and through violence?

The good thing in all this—the ever-tiresome Jordan Peterson has finally abandoned his vocation of snide-sayer on X and gone back to his first love—offering bootless advice to the anserous.

Dr. Peterson was initially lusting for revenge, before being publically admonished…

After catching much flak, the good doctor got back to his stock-in-trade—stating banal obviousisms…

But let us leave these fantasists to their hobbyhorses and look at the reality of the situation.

As of March 2023, the total population of Israel is 9.7 million. Of these, 7.1 million are Jews, 2.1 million are Arabs (including Christians), and the remainder are other communities.

The total Palestinian population is 5.3 million; and if we add the 2.1 million Arabs living inside Israel, the total Arab population in the area equals 7.4 million. How exactly does a population of 7.1 million Israeli Jews hope to battle the Palestinians, plus the entire Muslim world which numbers well over two billion? Right now it is doing so because of Washington’s largesse for fealty rendered. But America is a very fickle friend to its vassals (just ask Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc.). What does Israel hope to achieve in the long-run—revenge or survival? As it is perhaps beginning to find out, it cannot do both. Defiance is hardly a good long-term foreign policy. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave you both eyeless and toothless.

Another factor to consider. The Jews in Israel have come from all corners of the world (yet another reason that makes the term “anti-Semitic” meaningless). What is it that truly unites them all? Many of these Jews are dual citizens from the West who can easily go back should the going get tough. Of course, this luxury of dual-citizenship can never be available to the Palestinians.

Then there is the deep-rooted problem of racism in Israel. Something hardly mentioned. There exists a strict racial hierarchy among Israeli Jews—those that are the Falasha and other visible-minority Jews form the underclass and are treated horribly as menials. This Jew-on-Jew racism is deeply embedded in Israeli society, which means that the notion of a unified Jewish identity is a myth. What is Israel, therefore, for the Falasha?

This racism is also evident in the way Israel has treated the Black Hebrew Israelites, it has expelled them for not being “ethinically” Jewish. In the words of Benjamin Netanyahu, they are “infiltrators,” who can either “leave the country and take their money or to spend the rest of their life in an Israeli prison.” Does this mean that converts to Judaism are not welcome in Israel? If so, then why are atheist Jews welcome? If Jews are a distinct race, then Israel is meant only for ethnic Jews? Where does that leave “democracy?”

It is this culture of normalized racism which allows utterances made, for example, by the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, possible: “We have abolished all the rules of war. Our soldiers will not be held responsible for anything. There will be no military courts.” Killing Palestinians is no crime, because (again the words of Mr. Gallant, and the irony of his surname is best left unexplored): “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”

The “human animals” he is referring to is the 2.1 million (some say 2.3 million) Gazans, 50 percent of whom are children (under the age of 18). It is these children who are the vermin that need to be cleaned out so Israel can live in peace?

Interesting is it not, how deeply Israelis have imbibed the rhetoric once used against Jews during the time of Hitler and now they use it against the Arabs? Thus far, Mr. Gallant’s campaign has killed well over 7,000, of whom nearly half are children, as the Israelis try to imitate the fire-bombing of Dresden, which they regard as the gold standard in achievement in Gaza. Notice too that the term “Hamas” has been expanded to include all Gazans. Such slaughter is worth it, to use Ms. Albright’s rationale.

But despite superiority in weaponry, it is Hamas that is winning this war—because it has shown the world a very ugly side of Netanyahu’s Israel which has been well-hidden; or rather, ignored: the original inhabitants of Palestine are dehumanized to the point of slaughter, and current Israeli officialdom thinks racially and regards Palestinians as non-humans, as animals, which means that all brutality is therefore permissible. Such is the bastion of “civiliazation” in that region?

This dehumanization also makes a more sinister point—what’s the use of giving Palestinians their own country? They will only blow it up and then come after the Jews. Therefore, a two-state solution is a bust from the get-go. Or as the ever-boisterous Ben Shapiro once put it: “Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue.” His words are backed up by some top rabbis of Israel who have stated: “racism originated in the Torah.”

What the Gazans managed to build, despite Israeli hindrances and cruelty, deserves also to be remembered, and which must be compared to the hell that Israel has wrought there.

Perhaps it is time for the more sensible Jews to show a way to escape from the quickening cycle of hatred. Can Israel find another way to live in the region, other than through belligerence and defiance? Can it become more integrated as a Middle Eastern nation, rather than some imagined “crusader state?” Perhaps it is time at long last to begin cultivating goodwill that might lead to real peace, and to learn to share the land. But that would mean changing the entire Israeli power structure. What will eventually survive of Israel should hatred be allowed to achieve maximum destruction? Violence is a deadend.

C.B. Forde writes from rual Canada.

The Middle East: An Eschatological Scenario

Let us try to describe one of the possible scenarios of further escalation in the Middle East.


The Palestinian uprising begins in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Fatah cannot contain the situation. Seeing Israel carrying out a full-blown genocide in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians launch an all-out revolt. The IDF continues to annihilate civilians in the Gaza Strip. There are growing protests around the world against Western, pro-American liberal elites standing unanimously in favor of Israel. Hezbollah gets involved and crowds of Arabs from Jordan break through cordons at the border. The U.S. launches preemptive strikes against Iran, which is increasingly involved in the conflict, and they launch strikes against Israel. Syria enters the war, attacking the Golan Heights. There is a rapid mobilization of the entire Islamic world.

Pro-American states—Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc.—are forced to join the confrontation on the side of the Palestinians. They are joined by Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia. The story of sending the Taliban to the Middle East from fake news becomes reality. The black banners of Khorassan are hoisted over the world. Problems between Salafists and traditionalists, including Shiites, fade into the background. The great jihad of the Islamic world against the West and Israel begins.

Russia takes a neutral stance, but is slow to support Israel as it is at war in Ukraine with the West, which in turn is completely on Israel’s side.

At some point in the uprising in East Jerusalem, Palestinians proclaim the need to cordon off the Al-Aqsa Mosque for protection from the IDF. This is what started the uprising in the Gaza Strip, the Al-Aqsa Storm. Israel, in the course of fighting armed Palestinian militias and in self-defense, launches a rocket attack on the mosque. It collapses. The path to building the Third Temple is cleared. But… a billion Muslims, of whom 50 million (officially) are in Europe, start an uprising now in the West itself. Civil war erupts in Europe. Some Europeans are on the side of LGBT, Soros and Atlanticist elites, and some make an alliance with Muslims (on the model of Alain Soral) and join the anti-liberal Revolution.

The US uses tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. Russia launches a tactical nuclear strike against Ukraine, which seeks to cling to the West at any cost and provokes Moscow in every possible way to do so.

World War III erupts with the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Russia finally makes up its mind and sides with the Muslims.

China quietly attacks Taiwan, distracting the U.S. and NATO to a new target. India refrains from the direct support the US is counting on. The evening of history ceases to be languid.

Feminists, gay activists and environmentalists demand an end to it all, but no one listens to them.

The West is forced to fight against all in the name of some goal it can no longer articulate—all the old theses about human rights, civil society and other incantations have disappeared in the harsh reality of the coming total death. Elon Musk admits that he has completely stopped understanding what is happening.

Israel begins the construction of the Third Temple under attack from all sides. Only the Moshiach can save the day…


This is where the text of the predictive analysis (prophecy) ends.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: The Triumph of Death, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder; painted ca. 1562.

The War Crimes in Gaza from a Catholic Worldview

“Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice” (John 18:37).

What follows is noteworthy. Pilate asks a question: “What is truth?” Rather than waiting for the answer from the One who is uniquely qualified to give it, in typical bureaucratic fashion he attends to other matters: “And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him.” At that point, the representative of Caesar begins an imprudent political negotiation with a mob under the sway of the faithless and cruel Caiphas. Pilate loses the negotiation and, committing an act of horrific moral cowardice, washes his hands of the abominable crime he sanctions.

Because Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, we Christians ought to have a supreme love of truth. Because our Adversary the Devil is the “father of lies,” we should hate and execrate all lies. If we are not “of the truth” we will not hear the loving Voice or Our Lord. It is no surprise, then, that Saint Paul commands us, “Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds (Col. 3:9).

Sadly, we are presently drowning in an ocean of lies — as is often the way in this vale of tears. Currently, a war is taking place in the Holy Land and we Americans are expected, as good patriots, to cheer for atrocities being committed against the 2.3 million inhabitants of Gaza, which has been described as “a concentration camp” by Israeli journalist, Amira Hass, and as “the world’s largest open-air prison” by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Roald Høvring. In 2009, the great Pat Buchanan called Gaza “a vast penal colony with no access to the outer world by land, sea or air, except by permission of the Israeli military.” (Here is Buchanan several years ago, in one-minute video, delivering an uncommon amount of common sense on the subject.)

A Bloody Background

In order to understand the background, we need to go to the era of colonial immigration of European Jews to the Holy Land that led to the founding of the Zionist state in 1948. There was a great deal of brutality against the natives who already inhabited the area — including Muslims and Christians (Catholic and Orthodox), as has been documented not only by Arab-Muslim sources, but also Jewish sources (see herehere, and here). Among the persecuted Palestinians was the family of the Catholic Melkite Archbishop Elias Chacour, who bears the august title, Archbishop of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth, and All Galilee. His first book on the subject, Blood Brothers, was written from a very loving and forgiving, but also fact-based, perspective. Brother Francis highly recommended it as a good summary of the subject for Catholics.

In the United States and much of the world that our American Evangelicals have exported their ideas to, so-called “Christian Zionism” has turned many Protestants (and tragically, now many Catholics) into indefatigable, uncritical advocates of the Zionist cause. Five years ago, I discussed the history of this in two back-to-back episodes of Reconquest which can be heard for free on our site.

The Oxymoron that Is “Christian Zionism”: Politics of False Religion

The events going on in the Holy Land are being shoehorned into America’s oversimplified binary political parlance — the same parlance, be it noted, that excludes the social Reign of Christ the King. If you are a good conservative, you are supposed to cheer for a genocide of Palestinians in the Holy Land because it’s just the right thing to do. Don’t believe me? See what our new, “conservative” Speaker of the House says is his first priority. See also the Zionist political credo of three other conservatives.” This is all a result of the heretical Scofield Reference Bible and the absurd dispensationalism that led many (though not all) Protestants to adopt a creed that opposes not only Catholic orthodoxy but even the historical beliefs of most Protestant denominations. If this comes as a shock to you, please give a listen to those episodes of Reconquest; I cover it all there.

Here is a quick summary: Basing themselves upon the novelties of the Scofield Reference Bible, Christian Zionists completely misread Genesis 12:3. They ignore the fulfillment of these words in passages such as Gal. 3:16-29Luke 1:54-55Matt. 3:9, and Gal. 5:6. Moreover, they neglect the very important Catholic concept of the Continuity of Religion, and the proper way to read the Bible according to the four senses of Scripture. Concerning the four senses, in Matins for the Feast of Christ the King, we see the following applied to Jesus Christ in the first antiphon: “I have been set up as King by Him on Sion, His holy mountain, proclaiming His decree” (Ps. 2:6). Sion is now the Catholic Church, as are Jerusalem and Israel itself. This elemental Catholic approach to the Old Testament in light of the New is essential to our Liturgy, but it is foreign to the Christian Zionist. Add to this fetid soup the heretical eschatology called dispensationalism, and we have the essential content of Christian Zionism.

“Catholic Zionism” is, therefore, an oxymoron, which would explain Saint Pius X’s seemingly harsh response to the pioneering Zionist, Theodore Herzl.

At this point, I well may be accused by certain partisans of being a Muslim-simp and a shill for Hamas. I am neither. We have enough material on this site critical of the religion of “the Prophet” to disprove that (see herehere, and here, for example). Further, any targeting of non-combatants by Hamas is just as wrong as the same acts perpetrated by the IDF. Both sides appear to be guilty of war crimes at this point, though the disparity of proportion is vast. Let us recall that we have Catholic brothers and sisters in Gaza, and, just as Israel’s bombs are not discriminating between combatants and non-combatants, neither are they discriminating between Christians and Muslims.

Not All Jewish People Are Pro-Israel

It needs to be understood that, among Jews, the thinking about the Palestinian question is not at all monolithic. Yes, many are Zionists who will support Israel against the Palestinians no matter what. But some of the most eloquent anti-Zionists have been and still are Jews, and these folks are not at all agreed among themselves as to why they oppose the policy of apartheid against Palestinians. Secular, liberal Jews like Ilan PappeNorman Finkelstein, and Dr. Gabor Maté have their own outlook on the question, based largely upon their liberal antipathy to “colonialism” as well as a sense of natural justice. Their motivations are informed by a secular political outlook. For a radically different perspective, we can look to Rabbi Yisroel Dovid WeissRabbi Yisroel Feldman, and their Israeli Haredim brethren. (For reference, the Haredim are commonly called “Ultra-Orthodox,” a term I have come to learn that they do not like.) The Haredi perspective is based upon a fundamental theological disagreement with Zionism. The Haredim contend that Jewish political hegemony in the Holy Land can only come about when the promised Messiah comes to lead the Jews. This, by the way, is why Orthodox Jews historically tended to oppose Zionism very strongly: It was tantamount to — and often explicitly was — a denial of the person of the Messiah, transferring the messianic identity away from the personal Messiah of Old-Testament prophesy and to the Jewish nation itself. This, among other reasons, is why the Heredim call Zionists “heretics.”

Catholic opposition to Zionism is also based both on theology, as outlined five paragraphs up, and on the just claims to their homelands of the Palestinian people, no matter what their religion. (Yes, Muslims are entitled to natural justice, and branding them “human animals,” as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently did, is the kind of dehumanization that easily leads to war crimes by many nations, including our own.)

Love of Jews and Muslims: Our Christian Duty

When I posted a prayer to Our Lady of Palestine and a brief review of a book sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians on social media, I was criticized for essentially taking the side of Muslims. But this is a classic false dialectic that has been programmed into the modern mind by our very biased media. We have to be on the side of truth and justice no matter what — and we have to do so with Christian charity. When I calmly explained my point of view to one of my critical interlocutors — who was beautifully responsive to what I had to say — I did it in the following terms, responding, in my opening words, to her explanation that Islam is a false religion because it is a “political system” that spreads itself by sanguinary means. The most important content is in the last two paragraphs, which I have put in bold:

Islam is first and foremost a false religion because it denies the Trinity and the Incarnation. The same may be said of Judaism.

I’m well aware of Islamic brutality and celebrate the victories of Lepanto, Belgrade, and Vienna with as much gusto as the next red-blooded traditionalist. I am also aware that not all Muslims are murderous Jihadis, just as not all Jews are IDF soldiers who deliberately target innocent civilians.

Atrocities abound all around.

I have spoken to both Muslims and Jews about Jesus Christ and am still alive to tell about it.

I agree that Europe’s profligate policy of immigration from Islamic countries is imprudent, evil, and, ultimately, self-destructive.

As Catholics, our duty to Muslims and to Jews is identical: to love them enough to bring both to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church so that they can be saved. Otherwise, they are all lost. This will require evangelism, not ecumenism, and yes, martyrdom will be necessary, as it always has been. This coincides with the Church’s duty to God, namely, to make Him known and loved by all men in all nations. We must love God so much as to will this.

Meanwhile, we cannot justify the violations against the natural law that persist in the systematic injustices against the Palestinian people, some of whom are our Catholic brothers and sisters. And this is the subject of the above video.

The answer to all of humanity’s problems is in the keeping of Holy Mother Church. It is the life of grace; of faith, hope, and charity; of the gifts of the Holy Ghost; and of the Beatitudes. The deathly cycle of violence in the Holy Land will never end until the Prince of Peace, who was rejected and killed there, is accepted with open hearts by Jews and Arabs alike. As Christians, we are to love them all, even if they are our enemies, for such is the divine commandment given by that same Prince of Peace.

While peace talks, treaties, prudent political negotiations, and the like may bring some temporary reprieve to the violence, the real solution is in the Sermon on the Mount, where we are told,

You have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: that you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. (Matt. 5:43-45)

Jesus Himself gave us the example. The answer to hate is love — real love, Christian love for which faith is a necessary foundation. This is the love that Saint Maximilian Kolbe (who was no ecumenist, and who is unjustly called “anti-Semitic) had for the Jews whom he protected from the Nazis. This is the love that Saint Charles de Foucauld had for the Muslims among whom he lived, some of whom ultimately murdered him.

It is the saints, men and women perfected in the love of God and the gift of wisdom, who are the peacemakers. Be a saint and be part of the Catholic response to the problem. But remember, supernatural charity is not possible without a firm commitment that thing to which poor Pilate was so indifferent — the truth. For the King of Love is the way, the truth, and the life, and all those who are of the truth hear His blessed Voice.

Brother André Marie is Prior of St. Benedict Center, an apostolate of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Richmond New Hampshire. He does a weekly Internet Radio show, Reconquest, which airs on the Veritas Radio Network’s Crusade Channel. This article appears courtesy of

Featured: Holy Family Church in Gaza City.

Judeo-Christian Civilization Does Not Exist in the West

The escalation of Israel’s war with Palestine is certainly consolidating the Islamic world. Conservatives in the West are once again talking about defending “Judeo-Christian civilization in the face of the Muslims”—the radical ideology of Hamas gives them a convenient excuse for this. However, a society of profound atheism, materialism, legalization of all kinds of perversions, which long ago discarded theology and traditional values (and orientations) can be considered neither Christian nor Jewish.

If the West, as it is now, supports Israel, it has done something seriously wrong. After all, if the devil’s civilization is on your side, you have done something wrong. There is no such thing as a Judeo-Christian world. It does not make any sense. The Islamic world, on the other hand, does exist, and it still has strong traditions. It is not Judeo-Christians against Muslims, but Muslims against Satanic culture, against Dajjal. Biden’s idea to combine the topic of support for Ukraine with support for Israel only emphasizes this: The West is always on the side of those who submit to its hegemony, who serve it. Muslims were not enemies of Ukraine and allies of Russia (with the exception of eschatologically awakened Iran and Syria), and now they will be.

Russia is a pole of the multipolar world.

Islam is the pole of the multipolar world.

Both poles oppose the West’s desperate attempts to save unipolarity and its global dominance at any cost—even at the cost of a World War. The Palestinian conflict with Israel was not the front line of the conflict of civilizations. Now it is. Just as the friction between Russia and Ukraine was regional until the West supported the Kiev Nazis. And then the war in Ukraine became the frontline of the global confrontation between multipolarity and unipolarity.

The scale of this confrontation is growing. The situation is becoming more and more sinister. Already billions of people on the planet are convinced that the collective West and its allies are the ultimate evil and the civilization of the Antichrist.

Perhaps only Trump’s arrival in the United States or the beginning of a full-fledged civil war there can save the world from the Apocalypse or at least postpone it. Democrats, globalists and neocons are leading humanity straight into the abyss. Which, strictly speaking, and is done demons.

Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.

Featured: Blessed Guillaume de Toulouse Tormented by Demons, by Ambroise Fredeau; painted in 1657.