Wednesday, August 22, 2007

God's Warriors - Part 1: Jewish Warriors

Well, I've just (minutes ago) watched Part 1 of Christiane Amanpour's God's Warriors.

There's gonna be hell to pay... Well made, despite the obvious glossiness and short duration (about one hour and thirty minutes if you subtract the messages and trailers within trailers), jam-packed with topics, balanced (in my opinion at least), it will nonetheless cause a bit of a storm I believe. Personally I didn't expect something quite as hard-hitting as this. I watched with growing astonishment as Amanpour touched on controversial topic after controversial topic and when the film began to veer towards the Israel lobby, I was expecting her to use some euphemism like "American Jewish special interest groups", but she didn't: she called a spade a spade. Then, even more flabbergastingly, she wheeled out
John Mearsheimer , of "Israel lobby" infamy... Then, that other ├╝ber anti-Semite [ahem!], Jimmy Carter.

Frankly, it's hard to find a topic that wasn't covered with regards to the subject of religious Jewish settler movement. Did I learn something? Well, maybe it was useful to be reminded of just how divisive the settlement movement issue in Israeli society is and was right from the start. This issue could well become the object of an Israeli civil war, pitting secular Jews versus deeply religious Jews. Perhaps that's the greatest leverage the settlers have: to remove tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank.(Judea and Samaria) will be the most divisive issue in Israeli history, perhaps even in Jewish history.

But I learnt something else too: forget about atheism/agnosticism as a motivating cause. Despite claims that atheism is on the rise, religious fundamentalism is also ascending and stronger so than atheism I think. Let's face it: rationalism is no match for emotive the feel-good fairy tales from which the religious get their warm-glow-inside, for symbols that provide a flag and a cause to rally behind, for a belief system that, once accepted and internalised, appears strongly to offer the "certitude" so many people crave. Only a militant "faith-based" atheism, with its own symbolism, rally and feel-good get-togethers could provide a counterweight in terms of proselytising force. Rationalism, science and man-made law are also simply too complicated to warm the cockles of most people's hearts. Easier then to flee into the realm of fake certitude and cosmic pseudo-reassurance. And a faith-based atheism/agnosticism would in any case defeat the object of open-minded enquiry, it's self-defeating by definition.

I'm definitely going to try and watch Part 2 (Muslim Warriors) and Part 3 (Christian Warriors) (it appears the parts feature in the order of Monotheism v 1.0, v 1.2 and v 1.1).

Even before I finished watching and started typing, I'd received a comment from a secular Canadian Jew who clearly condemns the film,
I saw part one about the Jews. It was completely one sided against Israel. No mention of pulling out of Gaza. A focus on the two or three terrorist acts committed by radical Jews like Baruch Goldstein.
Jimmy Carter was interviewed, and he sort of brushes aside Arab terrorism.

Proof the Jews don't run the media.

Received today at 12.43 pm BST this seems a little strange. The doc aired for the first time (as far as I know) today at 13.00 pm GMT (14.00 pm BST), finishing at 15.00 pm GMT (16.00 pm BST). Perhaps it was shown somewhere else?

The criticism of one-sidedness against Israel is clearly absurd: this was a film about the religious Jewish settler movement. The Muslim Warriors will have to wait their turn for 24 hours.

Perhaps this commenter was having a quick #2 when the Gaza withdrawal was shown: the film spent an estimated 5 -10 minutes on that subject (just enough time to hear the 'plop' and have missed that segment?)


This is the segment that contains the disengagement from Gaza.

All ten YouTube segments can be found here.

Jimmy Carter didn't spend much time on Arab terrorism, that's true. Perhaps tomorrow?

And only idiots and bigots believe that Jews control the media, it's liberals that own them, stupid... But proof? No. Evidence, yes...


At 11:43 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

I saw it with everyone else in North America. 9:00 PM EST. I commented on your blog after it was long over.

I must have blinked and missed the Gaza part.

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I wanted to watch but completely forgot. I'll watch tomorrow's rerun. I wonder if they show how much the Jewish fanatics irritate us sane Israelis. One of the biggest drawbacks of settelment withdrawal is that we'd have those nuts physically closer to us!

Anyway, I'll have more to say after I watch the documentary.

At 2:10 AM, Blogger Mad Zionist said...

Emmanuel is a textbook example of why there is now civil war in Israel. The divide between religious Zionist and Self-loathing concessionist will not be resolved until one side completely conquers the other. My odds are heavily waited to the superiorly armed self-loathers in the short run, with a slight nod to the more devout Zionists in the bigger picture.

As you said, Gert: Religious fueled ideals are much more powerful a force than secular based political correctness. This does not portent well for the Emmanuel's in Israel over the long run. With every passing day another rightwinger has multiple kids, makes aliyah, and digs in with determination not to be defeated.

For the self-loather, every day another one dies, another one makes uridah, and another one resigns himslef to defeat and gives up the fight. Even Emmanuel himself must concede that the future is very grim for the secular left in Israel.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I'm not self-loathing and neither am I a bleeding heart. I won't explain all my political views right now (in short - I may not like the settlers, but I'm not at all crazy about the Palestinians either).

Yes, current demographic patterns look bleak for secular Israelis. But demographic patterns change. Hopefully, one day our country will be attractive enough for secular Jews to make aliyah and change the tide.

By the way, if you're using demographics - since Palestinian population growth is greater than even that of religious Jews, isn't the future of all Israeli Jews supposed to be just as bleak as the future of secular Jews?

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Good to hear from you again!

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

Emmanuel, no they didn't spend time on the majority of Israelis, only the less than 1% kooks.
It gave the impression that Jews collectively are just as insane as Muslims.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Gert said...


The objective of the series is to investigate religious fundamentalism, not Israel. It wasn't about Israel, it was about deeply religious Jewish settlers. Personally I thought they came off looking entirely human and not kooky at all. Well-meaning people but with the fire of God in their hearts they aren't amenable to compromise. There were plenty of orthodox Jews on display that didn't think like the settlers too.

How can you not see this? Did you see red after 5 minutes? Does that explain why you missed a 2 - 3 minutes segment on the withdrawal from Gaza?

I've missed 2 and will miss 3 too. But I will bet the YouTube copies and report on these too.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Gert said...

"get" not "bet". My bad.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Ralph in USA said...

I agree with the settlers they are the only ones standing between secure borders and the 67 suicide borders. To have Jimmy Carter comment was a joke since he get's money from the Saudi's and also the Bin Laden Family for his Carter Center. By the way I am secular not religous. See my blog also I write about this.


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