The Stumbling Block

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 By Israel Shamir

In the Return of the King, the Oscar-studded film based on the Tolkien’s fantasy, there is a touching and inspiring moment: at the lowest ebb of struggle, when the Sauron hordes pour in through the breached gates of Gondor, horns announce the arrival of the relieving force. Rohan is coming, and the looting Orks retreat from the City in disarray.

Such a rescue force came to the embattled people of the Middle East in the unexpected form of a film. This inspired creation of Mel Gibson broke the dangerous and immoral alliance between devout American Christians and their Jewish shepherds. Mel Gibson and his Passion of Christ may well have advanced the cause of justice and peace in Palestine more than we could possibly dream of. Incidentally, he succeeded in undermining the most dangerous heresy in the long history of Christianity: the right-wing Evangelicals’ infatuation with Jews and Zionism. Now it is the time to recognise this victory and enjoy its fruits.

The Jewish establishment and its willing subjects carried out a perilous policy of encouraging the Clash of Civilisations, embodied in ideological and US military warfare against the Third World. For this reason, they promoted the concept of a ‘Judaeo-Christian’ Civilisation at war with the Muslims, with the ‘Red-Brown’ Russians, with the French and with traditional societies and forces. Mel Gibson and his powerful film opened the Second Front of this great struggle within the powerbase of the enemy -- in the US -- by exposing the lie at the very foundation of the Judaeo-Christian myth.

As St Paul prophesied, Christ turned out to be the “stumbling block” for the Jewish advance. The Jewish leaders thought they secured the US, and that they could safely proceed with this war elsewhere. Their second target was Islam, the Middle East – their battleground, and the trophy was to be the holiest shrine of Islam in Jerusalem: the Dome of the Rock, with the blazing golden letters inscribed by the Umayyad Caliphs that proclaim “Blessed is Jesus Christ, Blessed is the Day of His Nativity, and Blessed is the Day of His Resurrection.”

Zionists formed an alliance with the misled Christian Conservatives, and the US troops took over Iraq and Afghanistan, while supporting the Israeli offensive against the native Palestinians in the Holy Land. Then came Mel Gibson, and their alliance fell apart. Thus, Christ indeed was our secret weapon against the Zionist takeover. I felt it for long time; ever since on Easter 2001 I referred to His Passion in context of Palestinian suffering, just to be immediately frozen out by mainstream Jewish pro-peace groups. Let us raise the banner of Christ, for it causes split amongst our adversaries.

Professor Patrick McNally wrote that the Judeo-Nazis repeated the error of German Nazis; they became over-extended by opening the Second Front. They could not help: they attacked Gibson and the American Christians, though their support was necessary for the Middle East takeover.

Sidney Blumenthal, an American Zionist Jew and a former senior adviser to President Clinton, wrote in the Guardian: ‘The neocons and the theocons (conservative Christians) were bound together for different reasons: the neocons by foreign policy (read: support of Israel), the theocons by their continuing fundamentalist revolt against modernity (for modernity read: neo-liberalism). Enter Mel Gibson, sprinkling holy gasoline on the fires and blowing up the cultural contradictions of American conservatism.’[1] It frightened Jews, concludes Blumenthal, and therefore Bush must go.

In Israel, this understanding came first. Gershom Gorenberg wrote in the Jerusalem Report[2]:

“Post-9/11, the "conflict of civilizations" is often taken for granted; it supposedly pits the "Judeo-Christian" world against Muslims. That mood, along with the Intifada, has fertilized an alliance twinning Israeli right-wingers and some U.S. Jewish leaders with conservative Christians. The Passion should sober people up.

“By attacking The Passion, Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League helped to publicize it. I don’t think they had a better option. To ignore a film in which Pilate is a softy and the Jews cry for Jesus’ blood would be equivalent to pleading "no contest" to the West’s oldest calumny. But the Passion affair underlines the absurdity of the romance between Jewish groups (including the ADL) and the Christian Right.”

Gershom Gorenberg is right. This alliance of Christ-loving American Conservatives and Christ-hating Jewish leadership was absurd from the beginning. The Christians in the US, as elsewhere, belong to the traditional all-embracing faith of love to the poor and downtrodden. The Jewish establishment subscribes to the faith which is good for the rich and powerful Chosen People, whether Jews or godless Mammon worshippers. Their alliance was a peculiar quirk of history that brought mankind to the edge of the abyss.

As a last, bizarre stroke of this alliance, on March 5th, 2004, the Arab-bashing Pat Robertson appealed on his blasphemously-named ‘Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)’ to the American Christians to join with Jews this year to celebrate the Festival of Purim. Those who answer his call will celebrate together with hundreds of followers and admirers of a fundamentalist American Jew, Baruch Goldstein, who slaughtered dozens of worshippers in the city of Abraham, Hebron on Purim in 1994. His burial place in Kiriyat Arba is the location for Purim celebrations for many Israeli Jews, reported a Jerusalem weekly Kol HaIr on March 5, 2004. It is probably the least-likely festival for a Christian to celebrate together with Jews. By his call, Robertson plainly presented his anti-Christian credentials. His enmity is not reserved for the Muslims only: Robertson also attacked Russia and accused this Christian nation of plotting the "gassing of Jews and Jewish children" – which is a horrible blood libel against a country that has a Jewish Prime Minister. But his support for Zionist atrocities in Palestine would suffice for the viewers of Gibson’s film to reject Robertson and his preaching of hate.

God knows, there are other Christian forces, and the enthusiastic welcome received by Gibson’s film proves that they are the real majority. The Reverend Charles Carlson of www.whtt.org runs Project Straight Gate, which speaks against the war in Iraq and Palestine. On a recent pro-life demonstration they called upon their fellow-Americans to care about lives of Iraqi and Palestinian children as much as for the unborn children of America. Their signs read “Innocent Blood on Our Hands, Iraq - Gaza”, and “Choose Peace, not War”. They called upon “fellow Christ-followers to oppose successive slaughter in the Middle East. Americans are now among the victims of the war almost every day. But even when none of 'ours' are killed, they are being fashioned into assassins and brutal occupiers, which is not what most Christ-followers should desire for their children.”[3]

II

Gibson's film expresses forebodings of the Second Coming. It brings greater awakening into Christian hearts in the Lent; it restores the almost-forgotten tradition of Passion Plays; it separates the lambs from the goats. Not only have Abe Foxman of ADL and Mervin Hier of Wiesenthal Centre exposed their hostility to Christ, but crypto-Zionist Michael Lerner of Tikkun sent his disciples to give away anti-Christian leaflets at the movie theatres. Lerner began as a peace-seeker, but soon turned out to be a Zionist Trojan horse in the peace camp.

On the other side, Mark Bruzonsky of MER, a longtime friend of Palestine, condemned the Jewish establishment’s attempt “to relentlessly crucify Gibson for trying to tell the story as he knows it, or rather as he believes it, [as] in itself a kind of intellectual and political blasphemy. Rather Gibson should be thanked for standing his ground, making his movie, telling his story, and making us all ponder and think and feel... whether Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist... or just plain human.” Our friend Gilad Atzmon published a strong essay supporting Gibson, while brave Jeff Blankfort of California wrote that it confirms the reality of Jewish control over Hollywood.

Indeed, this film unveiled the anti-Christian intentions of American Jewry. The New York Times reported that ‘the chairmen of major studios said they would avoid working with Mr. Gibson because of The Passion of the Christ. One of them explained: "It doesn't matter what I say. It'll matter what I do. I will do something. I won't hire him. I won't support anything he's part of.” [4]

Because they run Hollywood it is not strange that America produces anti-Christian films seeping with hatred for the poor, downtrodden, un-Chosen people, be it American rednecks or Arabs, Russians or Latin Americans. The US newspapers, too, gave vast coverage to the hostile positions of Jews on the subject of Passion, showing an incredible bias well known to us friends of Palestine.

Their fear and loathing shows that this film can change America; and therefore it can change the world. American Christians can recognise the urgent need to free their media from the deadly grip of Christ’s enemies. They can attune their policies towards Christ, share their worldly goods with the needy, return their sons from overseas wars, turn their mighty arms industry into ploughshare makers to feed the hungry; reject Mammon; promote spirituality and be a good neighbour to all nations of the Earth.

Let them remember: the Passion of Christ is not a millennia-old event: even today, as I write, it is the funds and weapons sent by the US are helping the Jews to crucify Palestine. They besiege the Nativity town of Bethlehem and plot to destroy the Dome of the Rock with its benedictions of Christ. The horrors of the Passion presented by Mel Gibson are inflicted daily on the captive Palestinians. They are killed by the hundreds, tortured by the thousands and starved by the millions. People who support or ignore this persecution will never be able to wash their hands of their blood.

The nearest few months will show whether the American Conservative Christians care for Christ; whether they are an independent political power at all, or just an alibi-providing Gentile front for the Jewish policies; whether the only political swing possible in the US is that between pro-Likud Bush and pro-Labour Kerry. It is the time for Americans to regain their lost independence. But for that, they will need a miracle.

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[1] Guardian, March 4, 2004

[2] FUNDAMENTALISM ON FILM Jerusalem Report (Israel) March 8, 2004 Issue

[3] http://www.whtt.org/whtt.shtml?articles/RighLifeSponshtmFnl.htm

[4] New Film May Harm Gibson's Career, By SHARON WAXMAN. New York Times - 26 Feb 2004.

© Israel Adam Shamir 2004.

Israel Shamir, in response to the second Palestinian Intifada, abandoned his literary occupation to resume his work as a journalist, championing the "One Man, One Vote, One State" solution for Palestine & Israel. Shamir's work and that of his contributors speaks to the aspirations of both the Israelis and the Palestinians seeking an end to the bloodshed, true democracy and lasting peace. His articles can be found at www.israelshamir.net