George Galloway’s hypocrisy in boycotting an Israeli in debate


by Matt Hill    
1:36 pm - February 21st 2013

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I’m not sure there’s an awful lot to say about George Galloway’s astonishingly stupid decision to storm out of a debate at Oxford University when he discovered his opponent was an Israeli.

Not an Israeli government official, mind you. Not a spokesperson for the regime or a paid functionary of the occupation. Just a young man, called Eylon Aslan-Levy, with an Israeli passport and uncongenial views.

When challenged about his behaviour on Twitter, Galloway replied: ‘No recognition of Israel. No normalisation. Christ Church never informed us the debate would be with an Israeli. Simple.’

Galloway’s words echo the mantra of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Whether or not you agree with the aims or tactics of that campaign (and pro-Palestinian activists like Norman Finkelstein have criticised it heavily) it’s worth noting that BDS calls for boycotting ‘products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions’.

By personally extending the boycott to include anyone of Israeli nationality, Galloway has taken it to an extreme that is as baffling as it is nasty.

The irony is that when Galloway is criticised for travelling to Iraq in 1994 to salute Saddam’s Hussein’s ‘courage’, ‘strength’ and ‘indefatigability’, he claims, falsely, that he was addressing the Iraqi nation – and says his critics should be able to see the difference between the people and the regime.

It’s odd that Galloway is so keen on this distinction when praising a blood-stained dictator, but seems unable to make it in the case of a young student at a university debate.

But it long ago became clear that Galloway is prepared to discredit everything he claims to stand for in order to advance his one true cause: himself.

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About the author
Matt is an occasional contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more regularly at The Muddled East
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Reader comments


Not sure what the problem is. He does not recognise The State of Israel. End of story. Pro Jewish lobby should get over themselves. At least he doesn’t steal passports and assassinate people he doesn’t like. Which is what Israel does.

“Pro Jewish” lobby?

Looks like the mask slipped cjcj.

it’s worth noting that BDS calls for boycotting ‘products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions’.

that’s a pretty meaningless distinction in practice. We have seen disruption – not boycotts- of cultural events, dance groups and string quartets for example and blockades of and physical attacks on businesses with Israeli connections. The BDS movement is a disgrace, anti-semitism masquerading as concern for Palestinians.
As far as Galloway is concerned, it’s not really an act of stupidity, he’s doing his usual thing of pandering to his client base, as long as he can stay onside with them he’s not worried what anyone else thinks.

“Pro jewish lobby”

Yes, that very powerful group who tries to shut down any criticism of Israel, and brand anyone who does antisemitic. Funny that they should then throw a hissy fit when anyone mentions the J word.

But not to worry because we are told there is no such thing as a pro jewish lobby. So thats all right then. I mean who wouldn’t believe a group that has lied many times about Israel.

Sally

“Yes, that very powerful group who tries to shut down any criticism of Israel, and brand anyone who does antisemitic. Funny that they should then throw a hissy fit when anyone mentions the J word.”

You’re being disingenuous as I’m sure you know full well and if you don’t you damn well should, that talk of a ‘Jewish lobby’ is a favorite anti-semitic trope. As for ‘powerful’, in what way ? If this shady cabal are trying to shut down criticism of Israel they aren’t doing much of a job of it.

the same George Galloway who said people must not be allowed to walk out on Ahmadinejad’s holocaust denying speeches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAh_N5KDKOo

Sally: “Pro Jewish lobby”

I’m hardly a supporter of the Israeli government, but you are completely missing the point and discrediting yourself and your viewpoint, much like George Galloway.

Using the phrase “Pro Jewish lobby” makes you sound like you think people should not be “Pro Jewish” – i.e. they should be “Anti Jewish”. It also suggests you believe that being pro-Palestinian means being anti-Jewish, which is precisely the attitude which the Israeli right wing want to encourage.

The sooner Israel disappears off the face of the earth the better for mankind. I wouldn’t share a platform with no Zionist I can tell you.

I look forward to the day when there is a unified (Israel, Gaza, West Bank), democratic, secular Palestine that brings back the refugees to new jobs and homes and in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and those of no faith can live in mutual harmoney and benefit.

Pal Joey
“I wouldn’t share a platform with no Zionist I can tell you.”

So you wouldn’t share a platform with George galloway then as he is certainly no Zionist, glad to hear it. Or were you having a bit of bother with English grammar there ?

Take no notice of Sally, he’s bonkers.
Galloway does go too far this time. Surely he’d debate with Israelis who were left wing …. or Arab.
He won’t with an Israeli who’s pro government maybe.
Anyway, the whole ”no platform” thing is stupid from start to finish.
As is the BDS movement. A bit of discussion about that on here wouldn’t go amiss. Did I miss threads about trying to close down that Israeli shop in Covent Garden, and going into Tescos and throwing Israeli produce around the shop?

Pal Joey @8. Dream on. What you’d get is a sectarian society divided right down the middle and the two sides in competition with each other. Even more nasty and bitter than Northern Ireland is right now.

Its a bit bizarre that Pal Joey should talk so glibly of a secular Palestinian state, Hamas and Hizbollah might want some persuading there I think.

It is inconceivable that George Galloway does not know that, for example, Archbishop Elias Chacour is an Israeli citizen.

@10 Sally’s comments were wrong and sound anti-semitic, what’s this about Sally being a man?

15. A Serious Man

LOL. She said anti-jewish.

What an idiot.

They always show their true colours eventually

Why is it that ‘anti-zionists’ who are so eager to protest that ‘anti-zionism’ does not equal ‘anti-semitism’ so often veer into using old antisemitic tropes about media, political and financial influence when arguing as ‘anti-zionists’, and indeed using terms like ‘the pro-Jew lobby’? They just don’t seem to be able to keep the mask on.

@15 And then a bunch of bunch of people called her out. “Everyone who criticises Israeli foreign policy is racist” really doesn’t work. (I don’t even know if I’m an anti-Zionist or not the word has been kicked around so often).

Hodge Podge
And then a bunch of bunch of people called her out. “Everyone who criticises Israeli foreign policy is racist” really doesn’t work. (I don’t even know if I’m an anti-Zionist or not the word has been kicked around so often).

Who has said that everyone who criticises Israeli foreign policy is racist ? No one on these threads certainly, so don’t introduce strawman arguments. I’d be perfectly happy to have a sane and quiet discussion about the ins and outs of Israeli policies and the whole I/P conflict, it would help if the foamy ranters would stay out of it though, unfortunately they never do. Not that it would make much difference of course, we aren’t going to bring peace to the ME and personally I’m not even all that interested in the conflict apart from its ability to impact on the rest of the world. I just can’t understand the animus directed at Israel and the almost deranged identification with the Palestinians that a lot of people have, I particularly can’t understand how so many people don’t seem to understand that repeating old anti semitic themes under the guise of support for Palestine is so distasteful, that’s why I argue against them and sit back in bemusement as the bizarre fantasies of the likes of Sally and Dissident and Pal Joey tumble out.

why did he look so ill on question time the other week?

21. Daniel Factor

The Respect Party have predictably condoned him storming out of the meeting and said he should be applaued not condemed…

http://www.respectparty.org/2013/02/boycott-israel.html#more

But they do not say why refusing to debate with Israeli nationals is the right thing to do. One can only assume they believe opposition towards the Israeli government’s crimes against the Palestinians should extend to hatred towards Israeli people.

Do most Israelis want peace? Probably. Do most Palestinians want peace? I would imagine so. So why don’t the majority on both sides get together and negotiate the peace they both want? Maybe it’s because both sides are so principled they refuses to debate with the other.

Just a thought.

# 17

“Everyone who criticises Israeli foreign policy is racist” really doesn’t work.”

Nor does putting words into other people’s mouths. I didn’t say or imply that. Learn to read what is actually there, not what you would like to assume is there.

When challenged about his behaviour on Twitter, Galloway replied: ‘No recognition of Israel. No normalisation. Christ Church never informed us the debate would be with an Israeli. Simple.’

And this, in a nutshell, is why it’s impossible to deal with Galloway, or Ben White, or Sally the Jew-hunter’s ilk: it’s not that they are critical of some or even all of Israel’s actions – it is that they are fundamentally opposed to Israel’s existence.

Not sure what the problem is. He does not recognise The State of Israel. End of story. Pro Jewish lobby should get over themselves.

See what I mean? And it boils down to the fact some people just hate Jews.

Looks like the mask slipped cjcj.

It’s not a mask – it’s a white hood.

The only exceptional thing about Sally is her Tourettes prevents her from censoring her language; other’s are more subtle.

Do you think Sally might be a wind up?
A red flag for you righties to puff out your chest with out right indignation and spawn predictable anti lefty slogans.
I agree the with the author about Galloway, he muddies the water about an important issues.
Questions such as .
1. Who set up and supported Hamas in the 80′s to remove the more secular Fatah
2. Is the Israeli government ethnically cleansing in the west bank.
These are not questions about race but to governments.
P.S.Galloway is good at debating, look at his senate hearings, it is shame he is such a self publicising dick

The sooner Israel disappears off the face of the earth the better for mankind.

As I said, there’s no dealing with the anti-Israel side – they don’t want a solution short of extermination. There’s no room for compromise.

I think we owe a debt of gratitude to Sally and Pal Joey for laying bare the hate-filled ideology behind the anti-Israel movement.

Do you think Sally might be a wind up?
A red flag for you righties to puff out your chest with out right indignation and spawn predictable anti lefty slogans.

I’m not a ‘rigthy’ – I actualky think there’s a valid leftwing argument for not wiping Israel ‘off the face of the Earth’ for the benefit of ‘mankind’.

(Presumably you can’t be Israeli and part of ‘mankind’.)

P.S.Galloway is good at debating, look at his senate hearings, it is shame he is such a self publicising dick

He didn’t ‘debate’ – he shouted them down.

“He didn’t ‘debate’ – he shouted them down.”

Which is what most Zionists do to anyone who criticis Israel.

I find it hilarious that Galloway is shouted down when he says something, and when he says nothing. Talk about irrational hatred. Even when he says nothing , gets up and leaves room the pro Zionists denounce him.

If we have to have the state of Israel then move it to the USA. Texas or Arizona has loads of land. And the Christian right wing love Israel now because they want the Rapture to come and take them all up to heaven. And that won’t happen till Israel is secure and Jesus can come again. I’m afraid people like me and indeed the Jews themselves are all going to hell when that day comes. According to these charming people. Still if they love Israel so much they won’t mind giving up their own land for it.

Quite funny that. If the Christan born agains are right Sally and the Jews are headed for hell for eternity. How can anyone call me antisemitic then?

32. Chaise Guevara

God forbid Galloway be criticised for storming out of a debate on Israel on the basis that he doesn’t debate with pro-Israelis. Or refusing to speak to someone based on their nationality.

P. Diidy @27

I don’t regard myself as a righty either, these days I think of myself as a Libertarian, which probably amounts to a righty in your book but really isn’t. As Shatterface says there are actually still leftists who support Israel although they seem to be an endangered species, in fact most of the social democratic left used to be pro Israel and Israel itself was strongly influenced by socialism. Since the rise of the new left and the collapse of communism plus a general disillusion with socialist solutions a significant part of the left has been allying itself with some dodgy and sometimes very nasty people and not just islamists. I would include the Greens in this as the origins of the Green movement are decidedly right wing and Green solutions for the world’s problems are anti poor people. It’s also significant that the Greens share the virulent dislike of Israel of the hard left and Islamists, if I were a leftist I’d feel very uncomfortable about all this and wonder if maybe something had gone badly wrong with left wing thinking.

Shatterface,

‘He didn’t ‘debate’ – he shouted them down.’

It was one of the best shouting downs I’ve seen, and right in the home of the pharoahs.

Sally,

The scariest thing about the US Christian Zionist movement is their belief that Jews will convert before being raised, there is no clear view expressed about those who refuse.

“ actualky think there’s a valid leftwing argument for not wiping Israel ‘off the face of the Earth’ for the benefit of ‘mankind’.

(Presumably you can’t be Israeli and part of ‘mankind’.)”
Who said about wiping Israel off the face of the Earth.
I expressed concerns about the actions of a government not a race.
Also shatter old boy, I have not read many left of centre posts from yourself.

“I don’t regard myself as a righty either, these days I think of myself as a Libertarian, which probably amounts to a righty in your book but really isn’t.”
Well only you know.
Reading your posts I would say you are a neo conservative, economic libertarian. A little like Margaret Thatcher. Yes I know she was really not on the right as well

” As Shatterface says there are actually still leftists who support Israel although they seem to be an endangered species, in fact most of the social democratic left used to be pro Israel and Israel itself was strongly influenced by socialism.”

Why should anyone support or attack Israel blindly. Every issue involving Israel has this problem. My own personal feelings are that Israel has the right to defend itself but there are questions brought up by Israelis about certain issues such as the Mossads support of Hamas and the ethnic cleansing in the left bank. The trouble with the “we are lefties but” brigade is that you are the mirror image of your adversaries. Also as a libertarian why don’t you support the views of the only true one Ron Paul, when it comes to the US money given to Israel.

“Since the rise of the new left and the collapse of communism plus a general disillusion with socialist solutions a significant part of the left has been allying itself with some dodgy and sometimes very nasty people and not just islamists. I would include the Greens in this as the origins of the Green movement are decidedly right wing and Green solutions for the world’s problems are anti poor people. It’s also significant that the Greens share the virulent dislike of Israel of the hard left and Islamists, if I were a leftist I’d feel very uncomfortable about all this and wonder if maybe something had gone badly wrong with left wing thinking”

What are you talking about?
The islamist cause was fuelled by Reaganites in the 80′s. Who did Osama work for in the 80′s. Who set up Hamas. the Mossad
Personally I couldn’t give a shit. Most lefties have no time for Islamists but unfortunately are stupid to believe in the philosophy “My enemies enemy is my friend”. A little like your lot with Tory visits to Oil rich states.
As for the greens , most of them are hippy types more concerned about their herbal teas

As for the left, they seem as contemptible as you on the right. I just love winding you both up.

Oh I think they’re pretty clear. Those Jews and non believers who don’t convert are going to hell. (Not sure if they will allow in Catholics)

So Jews and atheists will be together for ever. Shatterface will be so happy , he’s going to be me with me for eternity.

Sally, for many of these Christians, Catholics are not “real” Christians. Hence damned :(

As for Christian fundamentalist belief that the rapture will take place in Israel. That is true. Hence their support of Israel. They also do believe that all non christians will go to hell, including Jews and Muslims.
That is scary if it was a minority cult.
What is really scary is that many, many, many americans, including George Bush actually believe this and this informs their foreign policy.
It won’t be Jews and Muslims that lead us to destruction but these loonies.

Blimey P. Diddy there’s a lot of strawmen and putting words into my mouth there, I will try and deal with some of it at least.

“Reading your posts I would say you are a neo conservative, economic libertarian. A little like Margaret Thatcher. Yes I know she was really not on the right as well”

Neo-conservative, how come ? You might not be aware that Libertarians generally don’t have too much time for neo-cons. Economic libertarian is pretty much tautology, libertarians are hardly likely to support statist solutions to economic questions but what of it ? Does a belief in free markets make someone right wing, I can’t see a necessary connection.

“Also as a libertarian why don’t you support the views of the only true one Ron Paul, when it comes to the US money given to Israel.’

You don’t know that I don’t, you’re just making assumptions about me based on your own prejudices and is Ron Paul the only true libertarian, well thanks for the info I’m sure Gary Johnson to name but one will be surprised at that. Is it compulsory to support someone’s views on everything just because you are in broad agreement with them ? In any case I’m not a US citizen so what I think on any matter pertaining to US policy is pretty irrelevant.

“The islamist cause was fuelled by Reaganites in the 80?s. Who did Osama work for in the 80?s. Who set up Hamas. the Mossad”

I didn’t say the left had ben the instigators of Islamism, neither was Reagan for that matter and just because the right were stupid in the eighties it doesn’t absolve the left for their present stupidity in being so supportive of Islamists. As for Mossad starting Hamas do you have any actual evidence of that ? They are an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which has been around since the 1940s I believe, perhaps longer. If Mossad played them off against Fatah, which wouldn’t surprise me, that obviously wasn’t very sensible but that’s spooks for you and it can’t possibly be the most significant factor in their rise to power, once again opponents of Israel are blaming Israel for every disaster that befalls the Palestinians, the poor sods never seem to have any agency of their own.

“A little like your lot with Tory visits to Oil rich states”

My lot, who are they ? I really haven’t a clue what you’re talking about there and neither I think do you, which is rather confirmed by this : “As for the left, they seem as contemptible as you on the right. I just love winding you both up.” So really you’re just trolling, I don’t think I’ll bother with you again.

It is scarier than you think, expect forcible conversions – it will be far worse than the Inquisition joining forces with the Third Reich.

They will be out of the starting blocks at the first asteroid exploding above the eastern Mediterranean?

Christian Zionists, apocalypse, forceful conversions, what a load of panic mongering conspiracist codswallop. A stark illustration though of the bizarre mindset of the ‘Israel as the cause of everything bad’ mindset.

I don’t think anyone believes the Christian Zionists support for biblical Israel is rational but it gives Netanyahu et al the political leverage he needs in Washington.

Thieves should never be recognised,except for their crimes. Well done George

Thornavis
So Christian fundamentalists don’t believe in the rapture and that has no effect on their foreign policy. Dawkins must be wrong.

“Neo-conservative, how come ? You might not be aware that Libertarians generally don’t have too much time for neo-cons.”
So Michael Gove and many others are not free market libertarians then. Because they are neo cons. You really have a naive and biased view of politics

Economic libertarian is pretty much tautology, libertarians are hardly likely to support statist solutions to economic questions but what of it ? Does a belief in free markets make someone right wing, I can’t see a necessary connection.”
Well it usually does?

“Also as a libertarian why don’t you support the views of the only true one Ron Paul, when it comes to the US money given to Israel?’

You don’t know that I don’t, you’re just making assumptions about me based on your own prejudices and is Ron Paul the only true libertarian, well thanks for the info I’m sure Gary Johnson to name but one will be surprised at that. Is it compulsory to support someone’s views on everything just because you are in broad agreement with them ? In any case I’m not a US citizen so what I think on any matter pertaining to US policy is pretty irrelevant.”
Ron Paul is the only one who picks up the hypocrisy of state subsidies to Israel might not be a free market approach

“The islamist cause was fuelled by Reaganites in the 80?s. Who did Osama work for in the 80?s. Who set up Hamas. the Mossad”

I didn’t say the left had been the instigators of Islamism, neither was Reagan for that matter and just because the right were stupid in the eighties it doesn’t absolve the left for their present stupidity in being so supportive of Islamists.”
Enemy’s enemy. Plus they may feel attacking Islamists is hypocritical. Many fundamentalist Christians and Jews hold the same views but you seem to think that is all right with their gay bashing and weird views. I don’t know or care as not been a lefty.
“As for Mossad starting Hamas do you have any actual evidence of that ? They are an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which has been around since the 1940s I believe, perhaps longer. If Mossad played them off against Fatah, which wouldn’t surprise me, that obviously wasn’t very sensible but that’s spooks for you and it can’t possibly be the most significant factor in their rise to power, once again opponents of Israel are blaming Israel for every disaster that befalls the Palestinians, the poor sods never seem to have any agency of their own.
I have no doubt that the Palestinians have much to blame for many of their problems but blindly supporting Israel on any issue is the sign of a closed mind. Although most of the disasters were directly from the formation of Israel.

“A little like your lot with Tory visits to Oil rich states”

My lot, who are they ? I really haven’t a clue what you’re talking about there and neither I think do you, which is rather confirmed by this
I think you protest too much. Just a little joke that seems to have upset you. To near the bone eh.

: “As for the left, they seem as contemptible as you on the right. I just love winding you both up.” So really you’re just trolling, I don’t think I’ll bother with you again.
Get you dear ?
Sussed, sorry
I just hate liars and hypocrites. No offence

Also Thornavis
I said it was not Israel to blame but Christian fundamentalism with the rapture nonsense.
Keep with the program dear

46. Chaise Guevara

@ 43

You know this guy Gslloway refused to talk to, do you? What did he steal?

Just how can P Diddy think that the Rapture nonsense in any way excuses Galloway’s behaviour?
Also, if he had any concept of logic he would know Dawkins must be wrong.

John
“Just how can P Diddy think that the Rapture nonsense in any way excuses Galloway’s behaviour?
Also, if he had any concept of logic he would know Dawkins must be wrong”
If you read my earlier posts I heavily critized Galloway. Please keep up.
The rapture is nonsense, that is the point but many US Christian fundamentalists believe it, and they have huge influence on one of the major political parties in the US.
Most of what Islamists believe is nonsense but that informs their behaviour.
As for the Richard Dawkins reference, he wrote about that same problem.
Also why is Dawkins wrong anyway. He seems the logical one not basing his views on superstition

Without the rapture movement in the US which has completely taken over the Republican party. (Currently one of Obama’s nominations for head of CIA is a Republican politician is being blocked by republicans because he has criticised Israel in the past) Israel would not be able to act in the aggressive way they have done in the last 15 years in land stealing and turning Palestinians status into prison camp inmates.

As a result of the republicans blind support for Israel, for their own selfish religious agenda (however bat shit insane it may be) America can never be an honest broker who can threaten to cut off military hardware and billions of $ if Israel go too far. In these rapture peoples mind Israel can’t go far enough. Many of them WANT either removal of all Palestinians or if not total destruction of all Palestinians.

So for people to dismiss the rapture movement just shows how little they understand the more important political realities of the Israel/Palestinian issue.

Of course the Israelis, particular right wing ones have taken full advantage of these nuts, and used them for their own aims. As a result Israel enjoys special status and total freedom to do as she pleases. The only thing that can now stop this is from within Israel itself.

Thank you Sally for the news from La La Land. Meanwhile, on this planet, things are slightly less…how to put it…fantasmagorical

@ #48 P Diddy
You obviously move in “exalted” circles – I have never met an American who said that he/she believed in that variant of the Rapture doctrine nor even one who said they knew someone who did. Although American fundamentalists have a habit of taking metaphorical passages in the Bible literally there just isn’t a passage that says all Christians will be in Palestine on the last day. So your claim that many US fundamentalists believe it depends on what you mean by “many”. A thousand is many but a fraction of 1% of 1% of the members of the Republican Party.
Dawkins claims to know that there is no God, but to know that requires omniscience, so that claim implies that Dawkins himself is God. Secondly Christianity is opposed to superstition (as you can discover simply by reading the Bible), so it is a “straw man” to allege that Dawkins opponents base their views on superstition.

52. Chaise Guevara

@ 51 John 77

“Dawkins claims to know that there is no God, but to know that requires omniscience, so that claim implies that Dawkins himself is God.”

Um, no. In the God Delusion he specifically says that God is not disprovable.

“Secondly Christianity is opposed to superstition (as you can discover simply by reading the Bible), so it is a “straw man” to allege that Dawkins opponents base their views on superstition.”

The things that you’re liable to read in the Bible, it ain’t necessarily so.

Christianity is a form of superstition. The fact that it is opposed to other forms of superstition doesn’t change that. If I believe that black cats are unlucky, yet rail against those who say the same thing about breaking mirrors, that doesn’t mean I’m not superstitious.

@ Chaise
“God is not disprovable” is exactly true.
BUT I have read a statement by Dawkins that categorically states that God does not exist, and pointed out this fallacy in a letter that the Financial Times chose to publish *before 2006*. It would be flattering but utterly implausible to think that Dawkins listened to me: his error was so obvious that some colleague less bigoted than he must surely have pointed it out.
The quoted definition of Superstition “Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, etc., that contradicts natural science.” does not cover Christianity which not only does not contradict natural science but actually provided the conditions for the development of natural science (as did Islam in the Middle East).

54. Chaise Guevara

@ 53 john77

“BUT I have read a statement by Dawkins that categorically states that God does not exist, and pointed out this fallacy in a letter that the Financial Times chose to publish *before 2006*.”

In which case the reasonable thing to do is take his later statement as his current belief. God Delusion specifically says that God is not disprovable. There are some rationality errors in that book, but that’s not one of them.

“The quoted definition of Superstition “Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, etc., that contradicts natural science.” does not cover Christianity which not only does not contradict natural science…”

Oh yes it does. From the NT alone: virgin birth, spontaneous creation of matter (loaves and fishes), human being walking on water, healing hands, tree-killing hands, two ressurections of fully dead people. All of those things, as presented in the Bible, are contrary to known science. Then common beliefs like “If you’re good you’ll go to heaven”, which while it sounds grander, is equivalent to “If you break a mirror you’ll suffer seven years’ bad luck” in terms of making unwarranted predictions.

“…but actually provided the conditions for the development of natural science (as did Islam in the Middle East).”

I’m aware organised Christianity has been very supportive of scientific development in some times and place, but that’s not actually relevant to whether or not it’s superstitious.

@ Chaise
Not having read his recantation which has failed to make newspaper headlines, I was not in a position to assume that was his current belief.
Not “organised Christianity”: individual Christians and the concept that there are “laws” that determine the physical nature of the universe.
Christianity does not indulge in astrology, omens or witchcraft.
Superstitions claim that you or I can create an effect that contradicts the “laws of nature”. Christianity does not. There is no magic formula for resurrection, nor for any other of the miracles. Also no other of your list of quibbles is essential to Christianity, not even the doctrine of virgin birth, which doesn’t appear in Mark, the first written Gospel, nor that of John, and the phrase in Isaiah is more normally translated “young woman”; and virgin birth does occur in nature; the gospels do NOT say matter was spontaneously created – they say that Jesus told his disciples to share out what they had and thereafter everyone had enough to eat; there are no tree-killing hands – you’ve misread it – and healing hands are a much-observed but inadequately explained phenomenon right up to present day.
“If you’re good you’ll go to heaven” may be a common belief but it is NOT Christian. If you want to debate that try a Jewish or Muslim theologian, but it is no part of Christian doctrine.

John77

“Christianity does not indulge in astrology, omens or witchcraft.”

Maybe not now although there seem to plenty of Christians who do believe in witchcraft. However it was very different in the past, astrology and alchemy were far from being anathema to Christians, just take a look at the Seventeenth century when the dividing line between science and magic was far from clear. Christianity changed as the world around it changed and sometimes Christianity and individual christians were involved in that change, that’s why it – and Judaism- is much better adapted to the modern world than Islam.

57. Chaise Guevara

@ 55 Judiasm

“Not having read his recantation which has failed to make newspaper headlines, I was not in a position to assume that was his current belief.”

Fair enough.

“Not “organised Christianity”: individual Christians and the concept that there are “laws” that determine the physical nature of the universe.”

It’s harder to suggest that Christianity helped science if you’re talking about individuals, because a Christian making scientific breakthroughs is not the same as “Christianity” doing it. In any case, organised Christianity has been actively supportive of scientific development sometimes, and deserves credit for it.

“Christianity does not indulge in astrology, omens or witchcraft.”

Yes it does. The first two are in the nativity story (star of Bethlehem) and the third has been one of Christianity’s darker errors for hundreds of years. But this is irrelevant: your above sentence is like saying “A cat is not a mammal because it’s not a dog, tapir or elephant”.

“Superstitions claim that you or I can create an effect that contradicts the “laws of nature”.”

No True Scotsman. That “you or I” bit is new, and doesn’t fit omens or astrology anyway. You’re redefining the word as you go so it doesn’t include Christianity.

“Christianity does not.”

Except the whole going to heaven thing. And the power of prayer. And, in some cases, the idea that natural disasters are caused by gay.

“Also no other of your list of quibbles is essential to Christianity, not even the doctrine of virgin birth, which doesn’t appear in Mark, the first written Gospel, nor that of John”

No True Scotsman again. Never said it had to be essential.

“and the phrase in Isaiah is more normally translated “young woman””

No it isn’t. Maybe that’s the correct interpretation, but in English-speaking countries at least, she’s almost always portrayed as a virgin.

“and virgin birth does occur in nature”

In humans, without tech that didn’t exist at the time? Cite. Anyway, it doesn’t happen in nature via divine intervention.

“the gospels do NOT say matter was spontaneously created – they say that Jesus told his disciples to share out what they had and thereafter everyone had enough to eat”

Nope, they said a multitude was miraculously fed from a small amount of food. You’ve just rephrased it to fudge over the miracle. Actually it’s kinda funny that you call them miracles while denying they were claimed to be miraculous.

“there are no tree-killing hands – you’ve misread it – and healing hands are a much-observed but inadequately explained phenomenon right up to present day.”

I’ve only heard the tree thing indirectly. The fact that you buy into the superstition of healing hands does not mean it’s not a superstition. If you have a scientific paper showing that laying on hands heals leprosy, do share.

““If you’re good you’ll go to heaven” may be a common belief but it is NOT Christian. If you want to debate that try a Jewish or Muslim theologian, but it is no part of Christian doctrine.”

I’ve got the rest of the world’s Christians on the phone. They say you don’t get to tell them what they think.

Dude, I get that you don’t like Christianity to be described as superstitious. But you’re reinventing the wheel here to dodge it.

58. Chaise Guevara

@ 56 Thornavis

“Christianity changed as the world around it changed and sometimes Christianity and individual christians were involved in that change, that’s why it – and Judaism- is much better adapted to the modern world than Islam.”

My reading is that Islam, or at least parts of it, changed in the wrong direction. Back in the day it was seen (and derogated) as being very liberal.

Chaise
“My reading is that Islam, or at least parts of it, changed in the wrong direction. Back in the day it was seen (and derogated) as being very liberal.”

That’s a possible interpretation but I think there’s a danger in reading back modern ideas into past events, as John77 seems to be doing to an extent with Christianity and superstition. I’m not sure it can be said that Islam changed either, what seems more likely is that it didn’t change much and the apparent liberalism of earlier times, which was a product of particular political circumstances, disappeared as Muslims largely lost interest in the outside world, particularly the Christian world. Bernard Lewis’ book “What went wrong” covers this very well I think.

@ Chaise
It might help if you actually checked some of your allegations before shooting your mouth off.
The Magi were not Christians, nor Jews, so to claim that they demonstrate a Christian belief in astrology and omens is just plain nonsense.
Christianity and Judaism is opposed to witchcraft: you claim that means Christians indulge in witchcraft!?!
All three of your claims are false based on your not having bothered to read the text that you claim supports your argument. You aren’t normally bigoted so why in this case?

I can’t share examples of laying on hands curing leprosy because that wasn’t how it worked.

I agree with Hill’s comments about the need to distinguish between Israeli nationality, and the political policies of the Israeli state – i have written more on this here.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tony-mckenna/george-galloway-politics-of-nationality_b_2783658.html

It was obvious as reported by Galloway, that this meeting was a deceptive setup, that as most are aware, where after the fact is edited to manufacture purposed propaganda intended.

Now if the young man had character such as the forced IDF military today calling themselves “Breaking The Silence”, certainly then not this contrivance for Media Propagnda, matters would have been much different. Instead, concerning IDF willing agents as quite apparent this young man, consider Galloway has no kindred spirit with ‘Breaking the Bones’ children involved in Apartheid.

As far as not recognizing the political (secular) State of Israel, this has a long faithful Jewish part that began in year-1897, continuing (outside US Media concern) to this very day rejecting a secular and political State… with long history (unreported) in Apartheid.

Perhaps with all the free tossing about of anti-Israel, it needs be understood these were no ordinary people, but from beginning were faithful and covenant people with God.

More, not all these House of Judah left the land of Israel during the scattering beginning 70AD. Also afterward in following centuries many returned to (establish settlements) in the land now called Palestine, calling it their ‘homeland’.

So for 2000-years from 70AD to 1900′s these faithfull made no attempt to re-establish Israel in Palestine, but lived in peace with their Arab (Christian and Muslim) neighbors, with a population at one time over 300,000.

Note then, this was almost 2000-years before secular Zionism formed in year-1897 their Zionist Congress, and in year-1917 wanted a British Befour Declaration to help establish Jewish (settlements) in Palestine.

So be very careful in terminology, much like Jew/Jewish as an English word, not being found in manuscript or bible before the 18th century.

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 60 John77

“It might help if you actually checked some of your allegations before shooting your mouth off.”

Have done. Again you’re confusing your personal preferences with the world.

“The Magi were not Christians, nor Jews, so to claim that they demonstrate a Christian belief in astrology and omens is just plain nonsense.”

Well, we’re into a semantic game now, which doesn’t exactly surprise me, but I’d say they were Christians on account of accepting Jesus etc. Much, much more to the point, the whole “followed the star” thing is part of the Christian nativity tale and is presumably meant to be read as truthful. So the story includes astrology and omens as alleged fact.

“Christianity and Judaism is opposed to witchcraft: you claim that means Christians indulge in witchcraft!?!”

No, and no amount of interrobangs changes that. It means that some Christians have believed in witchcraft, which is why they saw the need to murder people to eradicate it. Someone who didn’t believe in witchcraft would not have a desire to burn witches. I’m not opposed to witchcraft any more than I’m opposed to giant space lobsters, because I don’t believe either exists.

People who believe that smashing mirrors brings bad luck try not to smash mirrors. It’s superstition even if you’re scared of it.

“All three of your claims are false based on your not having bothered to read the text that you claim supports your argument.”

No, it’s based on me not sharing your instinct for equivocation and desperate desire to never hear anything bad about Christianity ever. And on top of that, your attempts at falsifying have failed somewhat.

“You aren’t normally bigoted so why in this case?”

My word! Someone on the internet making unsupported accusations of bigotry! What are the fucking odds?

“I can’t share examples of laying on hands curing leprosy because that wasn’t how it worked.”

You could start by showing evidence (not examples) of it working on anything other than an achy back, or anything else where it would have an obvious reason to work. Cancer, blindness, disability etc.

I notice you’ve ignored the majority of my last post. Guess you missed it? But feel free to shout “bigotry!” and “ignorance!” at me until your throat is hoarse. That’s always convincing and conducive to sensible debate.

65. Chaise Guevara

59 Thornavis

Sorry, meant to reply earlier. Aren’t you still saying it changed? That it turned its back on (comparative) liberalism as it got more introverted?


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