The Neanderthal Religion?
DR. ISRAEL SHAHAK, AN EMINENT ISRAELI DISSIDENT, made clear
in his monumental study, Jewish History, Jewish Religion,
Israel's deep-rooted racism -- and religious fanaticism --
has played a major part in its policies toward non-Jews inside
Israel and in the occupied lands and its outlook toward the
world as a whole. And because of Israel's willingness to utilize
its nuclear "Sampson Option" -- effectively blowing
up the world in the course of an act of national suicide --
the existence of lsrael's massive nuclear arsenal is good
cause for concern, precisely because of Israel's underlying
institutional racism. This excerpt from Michael Collins Piper's
book, The Golem, explores Shahak's disturbing revelations.
By Michael Collins Piper
who strive to be fair and open-minded toward other faiths,
particularly in the discussion of the Middle East conflict,
are often heard to proclaim "Zionism is Not Judaism,"
referring to the fact that there are some Jewish sects that
do indeed reject Zionism, and which (at least for now) question
the need for the entity we know as Israel.
the fact remains that Israel, as now constituted, is a Jewish
state, one that has notoriously imposed second-class status
on its Arab citizens and carried out hellish policies against
Arabs -- Christian and Muslim alike -- in the occupied territories.
There is a wealth of documentation on this and this point
need not here be elaborated. upon.
many people do not realize -- even many critics of Israel,
if truth be told -- is that the reasons for these policies
against the Arabs have much more to do with religion and racism
than they do with politics. The late Dr. Israel Shahak's Jewish
History, Jewish Religion is an eye-opening study of the
teachings of Jewish Orthodoxy, examining how that little understood
persuasion -- very powerful, in its original form, in Israel
today (and not only among the Orthodox Jews) -- impacts upon
both Israeli domestic and foreign policy and upon the Israeli
view of non-Jewish peoples worldwide.
the American mass media is rife with horror stories of purported
Muslim hostility to Christians and Jews alike, the fact --
as documented by Israel Shahak -- of Jewish religious and
racial hostility to all non-Jews is never discussed. Repeat:
it is never discussed.
most uncomfortable work for Christians -- who would like to
believe that Orthodox Judaism is some sort of friendly grand-uncle
to the Christian faith and for Jews who would have Americans,
in particular, believe that Israel is some exotic modem-day
Biblical manifestation and a model for the civilized world
to pattern itself upon -- Dr. Shahak's Jewish History,
Jewish Religion established the Israeli dissident in
the minds of free-thinkers as a forthright expositor of the
historical circumstances -- and of the religious and philosophical
mindset -- that together guide Israel and its ruling elite
today. In that volume, Shahak wrote:
Jewish state, whether based on its present Jewish ideology
or, if it becomes even more Jewish in character than it
is now, on the principles of Jewish Orthodoxy, cannot ever
contain an open society.
are two choices which face Israeli-Jewish society. It can
become a fully closed and warlike ghetto, a Jewish Sparta,
supported by the labor of Arab helots, kept in existence
by its influence on the U.S. political establishment and
by threats to use its nuclear powers, or it can try to become
an open society.
second choice is dependent on an honest examination of its
Jewish past, on the admission that Jewish chauvinism and
exclusivism exist, and on an honest examination of the attitudes
of Judaism toward the non-Jews.
"The Talmud states that
in hell, Jesus is to be immersed in boiling excrement --
a statement not exactly calculated to endear the Talmud
candidly described the nature of the hostility toward non-Jews
that is found in Jewish religious teachings:
must be admitted at the outset that the Talmud and the Talmudic
literature -- quite apart from the general anti-Gentile
streak that runs through them ... contain very offensive
statements and precepts directed specifically against Christianity.
example, in addition to a series of scurrilous sexual allegations
against Jesus, the Talmud states that his punishment in
hell is to be immersed in boiling excrement -- a statement
not exactly calculated to endear the Talmud to devout Christians.
Or one can quote the precept according to which Jews are
instructed to bum, publicly if possible, any copy of the
New Testament that comes into their hands.
is not only still in force but actually practiced today;
thus on 23 March 1980 hundreds of copies of the New Testament
were publicly and ceremonially burnt in Jerusalem under
the auspices of Yad Le' akhim, a Jewish religious organization
subsidized by the Israeli Ministry of Religions.)
upon the fact that many Christian people in the West had discovered
the virulent anti-Christian teachings in the Talmud, Shahak
described how Jewish leaders sought to "revise"
the Talmud in order that future Christians who sought to study
the Talmud would effectively be fooled by such revisions:
passages directed against Christianity or against non-Jews
had to go or to be modified -- the pressure was too strong.
is what was done: a few of the most offensive passages were
bodily removed from all editions printed in Europe after
the mid-16th century.
all other passages, the expressions "gentile,"
"non-Jew," "stranger" (goy, eino
yehudi, nokhri) -- which appear in all early
manuscripts and printings as well as in all editions published
in Islamic countries -- were replaced by terms such as "idolator,"
"heathen" or even "Canaanite" or "Samaritan,"
terms which could be explained away but which a Jewish reader
could recognize as euphemisms for the old expressions.
in Czarist Russia, Shahak noted, the newly-inserted euphemisms
for non-Jews were recognized immediately for precisely what
such, Talmudic scholars made further clever revisions to appease
the rabbinical authorities substituted the terms "Arab"
or "Muslim" (in Hebrew, Yishma'eli --
which means both) or occasionally "Egyptian,"
correctly calculating that the Tsarist authorities would
not object to this kind of abuse.
for the consumption of the Jews themselves, Shahak pointed
out, the Talmudic scholars provided guidelines so that students
of the Talmud (and Jews in general) could understand the new
the same time, lists of Talmudic Omissions were circulated
in manuscript form, which explained all the new terms and
pointed out all the omissions. At times, a general disclaimer
was printed before the title page of each volume of talmudic
literature, solemnly declaring, sometimes on oath, that
all hostile expressions in that volume are intended only
against the idolators of antiquity, or even against the
long-vanished Canaanites, rather than against "the
peoples in whose land we live."
the British conquest of India, some rabbis hit on the subterfuge
of claiming that any particularly outrageous derogatory
expression used by them is only intended against the Indian.
Occasionally the aborigines of Australia were also added
as whipping boys.
to say, all this was a calculated lie from beginning to
end; and following the establishment of the State of Israel,
once the rabbis felt secure, all the offensive passages
and expressions were restored without hesitation in all
wrote of the great Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides whose Guide
to the Perplexed is, as Shahak noted, "justly considered
to be the greatest work of Jewish religious philosophy and
is widely read and used even today." In fact, as Shahak
revealed, Maimonides was intensely racist, in the classic
modem-day sense of the word: that is, the iconic Jewish figure,
a major authority on the Talmud, was, as Shahak put it: "an
anti-Black racist." Shahak wrote:
the end of the Guide, in a crucial chapter (book III, chapter
51) he discusses how various sections of humanity can attain
the supreme religious value, the true worship of God. Among
those who are incapable of even approaching this are: "Some
of the Turks [i.e. the Mongol race] and the nomads in the
north, and the Blacks and the nomads in the south, and those
who resemble them in our climates. And their nature is like
the nature of mute animals, and according to my opinion,
they are not on the level of human beings, and their level
among existing things is below that of a man and above that
of a monkey, because they have the image and the resemblance
of a man more than a monkey does."
Pathetic images such as these
-- of innocent children butchered by the Israeli military
(which calls itself the "most moral" military force
on the entire planet) -- are seldom displayed to the American
people by the pro-Israel media in the United States. These
children were killed in northern Gaza, Palestine.
this, Shahak asks: "Now, what does one do with such a
passage in a most important and necessary work of Judaism?
Face the truth and its consequences? God forbid! Admit (as
so many Christian scholars, for example, have done in similar
circumstances) that a very important Jewish authority held
also rabid anti-Black views, and by this admission make an
attempt at self-education in real humanity? Perish the thought."
Commenting on the inflammatory nature of these writings from
the pen of an esteemed Talmudic scholar, Shahak added:
can almost imagine Jewish scholars in the USA consulting
among themselves, 'What is to be done?' -- for the book
had to be translated, due to the decline in the knowledge
of Hebrew among American Jews. Whether by consultation or
by individual inspiration, a happy "solution"
was found: in the popular American translation of the Guide
by one Friedlander, first published as far back as 1925
and since then reprinted in many editions, including several
in paperback, the Hebrew word kushim, which means
blacks, was simply transliterated and appears as "Kushites,"
a word which means nothing to those who have no knowledge
of Hebrew, or to whom an obliging rabbi will not give an
also noted the irony, as he put it, that "There is yet
another misconception about Judaism which is particularly
common among Christians or people heavily influenced by Christian
tradition and culture. This is the misleading idea that Judaism
is a 'biblical religion'; that the Old Testament has in Judaism
the same central place and legal authority which the Bible
has for Protestant or even Catholic Christianity."
he said, could be further from the truth, and this, he understood,
would come as a great surprise to many Christians who have
lent their support to Israel, believing Judaism (and Israel)
to have risen from the same principles of the Christian faith
predominant in America today.
underscored the nature of Talmudic teachings vis-a-vis non-Jews,
pointing out that the Talmud declares: "A Jew who murders
a Gentile is guilty only of a sin against the laws of Heaven,
not punishable by a court. To cause indirectly the death of
a Gentile is no sin at all."
anyone doubt this is the philosophy of Israel, as a state,
Shahak pointed out that the chief chaplain of the Central
Region Command of the Israeli Army wrote in a religious booklet
for distribution to Israeli soldiers that:
our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot
pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that
those civilians are incapable of harming our
forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even
should be killed ... Under no circumstances should an Arab
be trusted, even if he makes an impression of being civilized.
war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and
even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good
civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good. [Emphasis
Halakha-referenced above -- is the legal system of classical
Judaism, based primarily on the Babylonian Talmud, and is
maintained to this day in the form of Orthodox Judaism which
is a powerful force in Israel. The earliest code of Talmudic
law is the Mishneh Torah, written by the aforementioned Moses
Maimonides in the late 12th century.)
noted that classical Jewish teaching links Satan with non-Jews
and that Jewish women were warned to beware meeting any of
these Satanic creatures: "Gentile, pig, dog or monkey."
If meeting such a creature after taking her monthly ritual
bath of purification, a Jewish woman is told she must bathe
again. This warning appeared in Shevat Musar -- a book on
Jewish moral conduct -- that, Shahak noted is "still
widely read in some Orthodox circles." In contrast, Jewish
teachings regarding non-Jewish women is quite different:
gentile woman is regarded as N.Sh.G.Z. -- acronym for the
Hebrew words niddah, shifhah, goyah,
zonah (unpurified from menses, slave, gentile,
prostitute). Upon conversion to Judaism, she ceases indeed
to be niddah, shifhah, goyah
but is still considered zonah (prostitute) for
the rest of her life, simply by virtue of having been born
of a gentile mother.
light of all of this -- and much more -- Shahak recognized
that organized Jewish groups and Jewish leaders, particularly
in the United States and the West, understand -- as they should
-- that non-Jews might find offense in such teachings and
that "Under present circumstances they cannot openly
express these attitudes toward non-Jews in the USA where non-Jews
constitute more than 97 percent of the population." Shahak
said Jews (and Israelis) must recognize the underlying racism
of their ethnic and Israeli national psyche: "Although
the struggle against antisemitism (and of all other forms
of racism) should never cease, the struggle against Jewish
chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a critique
of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance
... Without fear or favor, we must speak out against what
belongs to our own past .... "
have been many informative critiques of Israel's foreign policy
gyrations and manipulations written from a variety of perspectives,
but Shahak's work will stand as a decisive analysis of what
Israel's real aims and motivations are really all about.
Shahak's candid discussion of Jewish religious teachings are
enlightening indeed, especially when one considers the power
of Israel over United States policy making today. Then, when
pondering how that religious ideology impacts upon Israel's
geopolitical strategy -- particularly as it is based upon
that nation's pivotal arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction
-- the entire picture is one that points toward a possible
future for the world too horrible to imagine.
An Ancient Conflict
Between Peoples . . .
early 1928, The Century Magazine published a remarkable
essay by Marcus Eli Ravage, an eminent Romanian-born Jewish
writer in America, entitled "A Real Case Against the
Jews." With sarcasm and bitter irony Ravage -- who
previously wrote an admiring study of the Rothschild banking
family -- addressed the ancient conflicts between the Jewish
people and all others. What follows is an abbreviated rendition
of what Ravage put forth:
so many years ago I used to hear that we were money-grubbers
and commercial materialists; now the complaint is being
whispered around that no art and no profession is safe against
are, if you are to be believed, at once clannish and exclusive
and unassimilable because we won't intermarry with you,
and we are also climbers and pushers and a menace to your
standard of living is so low that we create your slums and
sweated industries, and so high that we crowd you out of
your best residential sections.
shirk our patriotic duty in wartime because we are pacifists
by nature and tradition, and we are the arch-plotters of
universal wars and the chief beneficiaries of those wars.
are at once the founders and leading adherents of capitalism
and the chief perpetrators of the rebellion against capitalism.
history has nothing like us for versatility!
oh! I almost forgot the reason of reasons. We are the stiff-necked
people who never accepted Christianity, and we are the criminal
people who crucified its founder.
I can tell you, you are self-deceivers. You lack either
the self-knowledge or the mettle to face the facts squarely
and own up to the truth. You resent the Jew not because,
as some ofygu seem to think, he crucified Jesus but because
he gave him birth. Your real quarrel with us is not that
we have rejected Christianity but that we have imposed it
loose, contradictory charges against us are not a patch
on the blackness of our proved historic offense. You accuse
us of stirring up revolution in Moscow. Suppose we admit
the charge, What of it? Compared with what Paul the Jew
of Tarsus accomplished in Rome, the Russian upheaval is
nothing more than a mere street brawl.
"You have not begun to appreciate
the real depth of our guilt. We are intruders. We
are disturbers. We are subverters. We have taken ...
your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc with them."
make much noise and fury about the undue Jewish influence
in your theaters and movie palaces. Very good; granted your
complaint is well-founded. But what is that compared to
our staggering influence in your churches, your schools,
your laws and your governments, and the very thoughts you
think every day?
have not begun to appreciate the real depth of our guilt.
We are intruders.
We are disturbers. We are subverters. We have taken your
natural world, your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc
with them. We have been at the bottom not merely of the
latest great war but of nearly all your wars, not only of
the Russian but of every other major revolution in your
have brought discord and confusion and frustration into
your personal and public life. We are still doing it. No
one can tell how long we shall go on doing it.
knows what great and glorious destiny might have been yours
if we had left you alone.
we did not leave you alone. We took you in hand and pulled
down the beautiful and generous structure you had reared,
and changed the whole course of your history. We conquered
you as no empire of yours ever subjugated Africa or Asia.
And we did it all without armies, without bullets, without
blood or turmoil, without force of any kind. We did it solely
by the irresistible might of our spirit, with ideas, with
made you the willing and unconscious bearers of our mission
to the whole world, to the barbarous races of the earth,
to the countless unborn generations. Without fully understanding
what we were doing to you, you became the agents at large
of our racial tradition, carrying our gospel to the unexplored
ends of the earth.
the end is still a long way off. We still dominate you.
have put a clog upon your progress. We have imposed upon
you an alien book and an alien faith which you cannot swallow
or digest, which is at cross-purposes with your native spirit,
which keeps you everlastingly ill-at-ease, and which you
lack the spirit either to reject or to accept in full.
why should you not resent us? If we were in your place we
should probably dislike you more cordially than you do us.
MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER is a frequent contributor
to THE BARNES REVIEW
and the author of Final Judgment: The Missing
Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy ($25),
called the definitive work on the JFK execution. He is also
the author of The New Jerusalem: Zionist Power
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