Censorship Chris Hedges

Hedges: The Question of David Icke

A book by David Icke, which a Jewish online magazine has charged is anti-Semitic, has been used to smear the author Alice Walker. Chris Hedges did what most of Walker's critics have not done. He read the book.
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges | Substack

The New Age writer David Icke has been used to condemn Alice Walker, one of America’s most important and courageous authors. The organizers of the Bay Area Book Festival disinvited Walker, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction for The Color Purple, after receiving complaints charging that Walker embraced the anti-Semitic writing of the New Age author David Icke, who she has praised for being “brave.”  The festival organizers also attacked her poem “It is our (Frightful) Duty to Study the Talmud” for being anti-Semitic, blaming it on Icke’s influence. I wrote a column denouncing the smearing of Walker, her disinvitation and called for the public and presenters to boycott the festival over her blacklisting.

Icke was accused of being anti-Semitic and allegedly promoting the forged and rabidly anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a December 17, 2018 article in The Tablet,which describes itself as an “online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture.” The article by Yair Rosenberg was titled “The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book.” The charges made by The Tablet appear to have been accepted uncritically by numerous critics of Walker, few of whom appear to have read Icke’s book.

I don’t allow my students at Princeton, Columbia, Rutgers, or any other college I teach at, to engage in class discussions about the assignment unless they have done the reading. They owe the author, and those who have invested time in his or her work, an informed debate. I asked the festival director if she had read the book. She conceded she had not. 

I ordered and read Icke’s book And the truth shall set you free. I found most charges against him inflated, distorted,  misinterpreted and, in some cases, patently false. He is careful not to be overtly anti-Semitic but he does embrace conspiracy theories that include Jewish organizations. He claims these organizations are members of the vast conspiracy apparatus waged by extraterrestrials against us. It is wrong to call him anti-Semitic, although there are numerous passages and ideas in the book that are justifiably offensive to many people, including Jews. 

I don’t embrace Icke’s world view. It is full of secret cabals, telepathy, the paranormal, reincarnation, extraterrestrials and Satanic control of nearly all the religious, social and political institutions in human society. I remain rooted in the Cartesian, Niebuhrian interpretation of human reality, imparted to me by my father, a Presbyterian minister, and my professors at Harvard Divinity School. This interpretation, known as “Christian realism,” eschews stories of miracles and magic in the Bible to focus on justice, personal morality, freedom of conscience and the call to stand with the “crucified” of the earth. Although very little of what Icke writes resonates with me, Walker’s life and writing exhibit the values and ethic I seek to achieve. 

His cosmology is not dissimilar to other New Age beliefs, such as Scientology, which believes that Xemu, the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy,” brought billions of his people to earth in a spacecraft 75 million years ago. These people were massed around volcanos and killed with hydorogen bombs. The immortal spirits of these victims, known as thetans, adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm. Humans must learn to free themselves from the “encumbrances acquired in this life and in past existences” in order to access full thetan powers. 

Icke believes that extraterrestrials, which he defines as “not of this Earth” but from “other civilizations, consciousness and lifeforms on other wavelengths which our physical senses cannot normally see or hear” hijacked the Earth thousands of years ago. The extraterrestrial civilization, or civilizations, are “highly advanced technologically, but pretty low on love and wisdom.” He believes that “the first human beings on Earth came from a distant star system, perhaps “Vega, 26 light-years from here, and three times the size of the sun.”

Icke has his own version of the Garden of Eden, writing that “in the periods known as Lemuria and Atlantis, hundreds of thousands of years ago in our version of human time, humans lived in what we would call a science fiction world, in which amazing things were possible, as was true in civilizations before those.” 

As an ordained Presbyterian minister, I have witnessed the decline of established liberal religious traditions. Church pews on Sunday are sparsely populated. The church is steadily losing members along with its religious, cultural and social relevance. The loss has spawned new searches for answers and beliefs. The Christian Right, along with New Age gurus, often fill that void. Biblical stories, we have to concede, are also filled with magic, supernatural beings, spirits, angels, demons, the resurrection of the dead and cataclysmic divine intervention in human affairs. They also promise a route to immortality and enlightenment.

When I was based in Cairo for The New York Times, New Age adherents descended on the Giza pyramids, convinced the structures were portals to distant galaxies or were built by aliens . The New Age adherents often believed they were reincarnations of Pharaonic rulers. For their amusement, the Egyptian tour guides at Giza kept running tallies of all the reincarnated Cleopatras and Ramsses IIs they met. Apparently, no one in these New Age groups had been reincarnated from the army of enslaved people used to construct the pyramids. 

Like many of us, these New Age tourists struggled with alienation and felt perplexed by the mystery of human existence. They sought meaning and searched for community. Icke taps into this deep desire and, given his wide following, has done so with some success.

Icke describes sitting next to former president Jimmy Carter at a stage event and “taking energy from Carter’s aura.” Following the show, he became “seriously agitated” and in his room began “writhing around on the bed screaming and growling like some crazed animal.” Two friends knelt beside him, “projecting love” toward him. 

He details the night’s revelations in And The Truth Shall Set You Free

For maybe 15 to 20 minutes, I was experiencing the consciousness that controls the world and has done so for thousands of years.Its malevolence, hatred, arrogance, anger and lack of positive emotion was utterly stunning. When I felt I had experienced enough, I opened my heart energy (love) and in seconds the Prison Warder Consciousness was gone. I learned two things from that experience. Firstly, the Prison Warder Consciousness has no control over love, and secondly, the personalities behind the New World Order over thousands of years have been possessed by this malevolence. So were the Nazis. I could clearly understand why they have acted in the ways they have throughout history.

This is a story that could have come from the fevered testimony of a Christian televangelist.

Icke is not always a clear writer. His passages carry apparent contradictions, sometimes making his position hard to fathom. But Icke, like anyone, deserves to be critiqued for what he writes, not slandered. Now that he is being used as a bludgeon to censor Walker it is important to elucidate his positions. I have listed some of the charges against Icke from his book and summarized his position. A few charges against Icke come from other writings or talks. For example, he has been accused of blaming Jews for the attack of 9/11 and the 2008 financial crash. This 518 page book, written in 1995, predates these events. There is a limit to how much Icke I can read.

Icke excoriates the major world religions as demonic, extraterrestrial mind control:

This is where the ‘gods’ – particularly the angry, judgmental, fire and brimstone gods – originated: negative extraterrestrials. The ‘fear of God’ was born, and this fear and resistance to change (disobeying the gods) is still the collective psyche. Over time, as described at length in The Robot’s Rebellion, these various god myths fused together to form ‘composite gods’, based on themes from many of the earlier civilizations. So it is with Judaism, the Christian Bible, Islam, and most of the others.

He writes that “there are many themes [in the Bible] which link the ancient texts with descriptions of UFO sightings and extraterrestrials of today.” He believes that the Old Testament God Yahweh is “based on an extraterrestrial, or more likely a series of them.” He claims that the earth was taken over by what he calls “the Luciferic Consciousness,” “the force which attempts to work through all life forms, human and extraterrestrial, to control the planet. It is an extremely negative energy operating from the Fourth Dimension.” Fourth Dimension extraterrestrials “of the Luciferic mindset came here and genetically rewired the DNA, the inherited coding of the physical body.”

The object of these extraterrestrials, he believes, is to create a “slave race,” although these forces do not control us physically by occupying the planet but “by working through our consciousness from other dimensions.” He says that J.R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings may “resemble the themes of what has actually happened which mirror the claims of what is happening today in the underground bases and genetic laboratories under American and other countries.”

He states that competing extraterrestrial forces “are here to help us.” He promises to connect his followers with the “positive Fourth Dimension (and higher) ET’s” that “are trying to open our minds and hearts” while the “negative ones are seeking to keep them closed.”

“The Global Elite or simply the Elite” manage the slave society. The Elite “are either direct incarnations of the Fourth Dimensional Prison Warders or have their minds controlled by them.”

The goal, the culmination of thousands of years of planning, is to “introduce a world government to which all nations would be colonies; a world central bank and currency; a world army; and a microchipped population connected to a global computer.”

He singles out the Knights Templar — perhaps channeling an inner Umberto Eco or Dan Brown — as one of the dominant forces in this Elite or “negative Brotherhood” that keeps “for themselves the knowledge of the nature of life and Creation and how to exploit the power of the mind, the Earth’s energy fields, and the global energy grid.” The symbols of the Elite or negative Brotherhood, he writes, are “the pyramid and all-seeing eyes, the swastika, the lamb, and apron, the obelisk” among others.  A branch of the “negative Brotherhood,” the Freemasons, orchestrated the American revolution and have controlled the United States in alliance with other negative Brotherhoods ever since. He later refers to the Elite and the negative Brotherhood as the “Illuminati,” referencing a group organized in 1776 by the Jesuit-trained philosopher, German law professor and Freemason Adam Weishaupt.

Icke blames the Illuminati and Freemasons, front groups for the bad extraterrestrials, for most of the evil in the world. They are behind, he writes, “the two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the constant manipulation of the financial system.” He lists the primary leaders of this Elite as “Rockefeller, Rothschild, Morgan, Harriman, Milner, Dulles, Warburg, Roosevelt, House, and Baruch.”

1. Icke is charged with promoting the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Icke writes about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a text perhaps produced by the Russian secret police to justify the Tsarist pogroms against Jews and later adopted by the Nazis, in six pages of the bookHe concedes that it “is quite possible” the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a forgery. He believes the Protocols were a corruption of a document originally written by an elite group within the Christian organization the Knights Templar and argues the contents of that Christian document were later “changed to make it appear as a Jewish plot.”

I know of no historical evidence to support his claim but it is not correct to say that Icke believes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a real document written by Jewish leaders to explain how they would take over the world. He writes that the origin of the Protocols “lies with the Illuminati.” He says that “the Protocols, from wherever they came, were quite a stunning prophecy of what has happened in the twentieth century in terms of wars and the manipulation I am exposing here. Whoever wrote them sure as heck knew what the game plan was. One protocol speaks of the way the manipulators intended to destroy the idea of God in as many human minds as possible.” This leads Icke not into an attack on Jews but an attack on Darwinism.

On page 57 he writes:

In the very late 1800s, a controversial document came to light called the Protocols of The Elders of Zion. I call them Illuminati Protocols and I quote many extracted from them in The Robot’s Rebellion. Some say they were a forgery made public only to discredit Jews, and I use the term ‘Illuminati Protocols’ to get away from the Jewish emphasis. If they were a forgery, something that is quite possible, what were they a forgery of, and by whom? The authors of the best selling book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail conclude that the original Protocols were indeed authentic. They suggest that they were the work of an elite group called The Priory of Sion, the inner, controlling, core of the Knights Templars. They believe that this original document was changed to make it appear as a Jewish plot. I certainly would not dismiss such a conclusion.

While he attacks Zionism, he writes on page 81 that “all Jewish people are not Zionists, and all Zionists are not Jewish. Zionism is not a religion or a race; it is a political movement consisting of people, Jews, and non-Jews, who support the claim for a Jewish homeland. If you support that, you are a Zionist, too, not matter what your race or religious belief. To say that Zionism is the Jewish race is like saying the British Labour Party is the English race.”

He has some singularly unique opinions about Israel, including the belief that the Israeli Mossad, which he describes as “the intelligence agency of the Rothschild-Rockefeller-Global Elite,” assassinated John F. Kennedy. He sees the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as an arm of the global elite that condemns “anyone getting close to the truth” as anti-Semitic. The Jewish service organization B’nai B’rith, he says, “covertly supports and controls the Ku Klux Klan,” a charge that seems at odds with the fact that the Klan targeted Jews as well as Blacks. His conspiratorial view of all organizations does not spare Jewish organizations but even when writing about Israel he avoids the wholesale condemnation of Jews. If he did not see nearly every ruling institution in the world as a force for evil, and targeted Jewish organizations alone, the charge of anti- Semitism would be legitimate.

2. Icke is accused of writing that the Jewish people bankrolled Hitler.

In keeping with the belief that the negative Brotherhood, Elite or Illuminati pull all the stings, Icke does not blame the Jews exclusively for bankrolling Hitler, although he does include the Rothchilds in the list of financiers of the Nazis. Icke argues that the Elite orchestrated Germany’s financial crash to ensure Hitler’s rise to power and provided him with the funds to carry out the war. He lists Hitler’s enablers as Standard Oil, General Electric, International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), The Ford Motor Company, W.A. Harriman and The Dulles Brothers. 

On page 98 and 99, he writes:

The Austrian writer and researcher, Gertrude Elias, identifies Hjalmar Schacht as a major go-between, connecting the Nazis and Wall Street-City of London elite. Schacht became Hitler’s financial advisor and President of the Reichsbank. The two signatures on the document confirming Schacht’s appointment on March 17th 1933, were Adolf Hitler and the Rothchild’s front man, Max Warburg. In 1930, Schacht also founded the Global Elite’s Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. On England, a key figure was Montagu Norman (Comm 300), governor of the Rothchild-controlled Bank of England, and a close friend of Schacht. In fact, they were so close that Schacht named his grandson after him. It was Norman who pressed for and supported the raising of US interest rates by the Federal Reserve, which was the final push that led to the Wall Street crash, the New Deal, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Norman was the most influential banker in the world at the time and his actions, in league with Wall Street, were crucial.

Once Hitler was safely elected, the attitude of the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve to Germany was transformed. Credit was offered to the Nazi regime and after the Nazis successfully invaded Czechoslovakia, Norman released £ 6 million of Czechoslovakian gold to Hitler which was deposited in London. This was done with the agreement of the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. On June 11th 1934, and again the following October, Norman and Schacht met in secret at Badenweiler in the Black Forest to arrange loans for Hitler and the Nazis. But who was behind Norman? His family almost turned the governorship of the Bank of England into personal property. One grandfather, George Warde Norman, was governor from 1821-1889. Montagu Norman spent a period in the United States at the offices of the Rothschild-funded Brown Brothers (later Brown Brothers, Harriman) and was befriended by the family of W.A. Delano (Comm 300), relatives of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States at the same time that Norman was head of the Bank of England. This all-powerful banker was actually a ‘yes man’ for the Rothchilds, and here again, we see the ploy at work. He was portrayed as anti-Jewish.

On page 129 he does single out what he calls the “Jewish elite” as an important part of the negative Brotherhood. He attacks the Jewish elite, but includes them in the list of all elites who seek to enslave their own populations.

He writes:

I strongly believe that small Jewish clique which has contempt for the mass of Jewish people worked with non-Jews to create the First World War, the Russian   Revolution, and the Second World War. This Jewish/non-Jewish Elite used the First World War to secure the Balfour Declaration and the principle of the Jewish State of Israel in Palestine (for which, given the genetic history of most Jewish people, there is absolutely no justification on historical grounds or any other). They then dominated the Versailles Peace Conference and created the circumstances that made the Second World War inevitable. They financed Hitler to power in 1933 and made funds available for his rearmament.

On page 131, he expands on the evil nature of the elites, including the Jewish elites: 

The British hierarchy has probably manipulated, exploited, and sent to their deaths multimillions of British people to serve the ‘national interest’ – the interests of the ruling clique; the German hierarchy has done the same to the German people and the American hierarchy to the American population. These ruling cliques have utter contempt for their ‘unwashed masses.’ They see them as cattle to be used and abused as required. Why is it so amazing that the Jewish hierarchy should see the mass of Jewish people in the same terms?

3. Icke is charged with asserting that the Rothchilds control the world economy.

On page 45 and 46, he makes it clear that he attacks the Rothchild banking house not because they are Jews but because they are Freemasons and part of the Elite or negative Brotherhood. 

He explains: 

I stress here that to highlight the part played by the Rothchilds is not to cast aspersions on Jewish people as a whole, the vast majority of whom have no idea what is happening and certainly would not support it fi they did know. Many of the members of families I will name, like the Rothchilds, Rockefellers, and others, do not know the game plan, either. It is those who control those empires that I am seeking to expose, not everyone whose name is Rothchild, Rockefeller, or whatever. I believe that researchers over the years who have blamed the crime conspiracy on the Jewish people as a whole are seriously misguided; similarly, for Jewish organizations to deny that any Jewish person is working for the New World Order conspiracy is equally naïve and allowing dogma or worse to blind them to reality. We are looking at a common thread – a lust for power and the All-Seeing Eye cult – which goes across all races and, in my view, is connected – sometimes knowingly but most unknowingly – to a higher controlling force: the Prison Warders of the Fourth Dimension.

4. Icke is accused of being a Holocaust denier.

While Icke does not go so far as to deny the Holocaust, he gives credence to those who question the established figures of the Holocaust. He concedes that “the way the Nazis treated many Jewish people is unspeakable.” He accepts that there were “the most terrible atrocities against Jewish people,” but goes on to write that the “whole war was a holocaust.” He questions whether there is evidence for “human soap” being made from Jewish bodies. He holds up David Cole, who challenges the historical accounts of Auschwitz. Cole argues that Auschwitz was not an extermination camp like Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec and Chelmno, which he accepts were part of the Nazis’ planned genocide of the Jews. He believes that the Holocaust ended in 1943 when the Nazis decided they needed Jews for slave labor. He reduces the standard figure of 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis to 4 million. Icke promotes this revisionist view and says people should be allowed to “decide for themselves.” He does not cross the line into Holocaust denial, but he flirts with it.

I do not, in any way, want to give credibility to these views. That was not the point of reading and writing about Icke’s work. Rather, I saw that Icke had been successfully weaponized against Walker by her critics. I thought it was important to lay out in detail exactly what it was he has written. However bizarre, conspiratorial, and fanciful, his work is not the anti-Semitic screed those who use it to blacklist Walker claim. Those who distorted Icke’s views knew exactly what they were doing. They were using Icke to shut down one of our finest writers and one of our most committed and courageous champions of Palestinian rights.


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Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

42 comments

  1. That’s a shame. I would love to go to a lecture by Alice walker.
    The Color Purple was an excellent book……but my favorite book by her was THE TEMPLE OF MY FAMILIAR.
    I try to stay as neutral as possible about a persons religion.
    I don’t see anything that has been written here about Icke’s that’s any less or more fantastical that any of the others I have read and listened too.
    It is a shame that Alice walker and Mr Icke are being painted as anti semectic.
    But in my experience especially the last couple decades it’s really quite easy to acquire that label then it used to be.
    Thank you Mr Hedges it’s always a pleasure to read or listen to you lecture.

  2. Chris: Thanks for reading and trying to decipher the 1995 book by David Icke. He’s 70 years old now and still writing. His book sales and talks depend upon those who have already been recruited into wishful thinking and denialism. He writes in such a way as to accommodate some dangerous and misguided people and groups. By using pre-existing superstitions he amplifies his wide-ranging unresearched theories for sensationalistic appeal.
    His line exists in a netherworld between fantasy and actual events. This is a common malady these days. You can see it in everything from Harry Potter to Washington Week. I see it in the mythos of Ukraine War propaganda , including from NATO and the US State Department. Every interest preys on the lazy minded and the poorly informed so that the phenomenon feeds on itself. We can be sure Alice Walker is not reading David Icke to the exclusion of other sources, but others feed their heads with his defective medicine.

    1. What you’re saying, in fact, is, Icke is just one of us, yourself not excluded!

  3. I am really surprised and disturbed that you would devote so many words to a man who is clearly a psychopath as if he makes a valuable and debateable contribution. And you don’t get back to Alice Walker. If she does, in fact, believe in his theories, perhaps it’s not so much a matter of her being anti-Semetic as dangerously gullible.

  4. Somebody knows more about our corrupted world. Can it get worse? ABOLUTELY!!!!!! It really feels we are fucked every which way possible.

  5. I would like to hear more of why Alice Walker was attracted to his work. Not to condemn her – is it his bold, free-wheeling style?

  6. Mr Hedges,

    There is a small typo:

    “not support it fi they did know”

  7. Unfortunately, some aspects of Icke’s views make sense; particularly in view of the cyclical dynamic of financial crashes creating depressions, which in turn makes entire populations more open to propagandist ‘suggestion’ and men specifically, more susceptible to State and societal subservience…

    “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human”. Aldous Huxley

    ‘Early Warning Signs of Fascism: The #MeToo Truth of Rampant Sexism’ (2020) https://wp.me/p94Aj4-1Y2

    Johnny McNeill
    #GaslightingGilligan (© 2017) 
    Twitter: @GasGilligan (*free download*)

  8. Thank you for your thoughtful commentary and for taking the time to actually read David Icke’s book. Having read several of his books, I find that he continually asks the reader to learn, explore and seek knowledge and to think for themselves. While he does present some far out ideas, his philosophy is based on the belief that kindness, compassion and love are fundamental to a healthy society. He believes that humankind is being manipulated by elites who control our education system, the media and the prevailing narrative.

    For millennia humanity has had rulers called kings or emperors. The more modern version of aristocracy is simply referred to as the elites. He is an equal opportunity critic of religions and institutions that brainwash people to keep them from thinking for themselves. This is likely why Alice Walker finds him interesting.

    1. “manipulated by elites who control our education system, the media and the prevailing narrative.”
      Substitute “an ideology” for “elites” and the cap sorta fits.

  9. Icke, like many New Age writers, is simply cashing in on the gullible, the desperate and the lonely.
    His absurd theories cannot be tested for Truth because they are fictions created to fatten his bank accounts.
    He has fallen into the maws of Mammon and id.

  10. Among the many tepid comments by Hedges in his Ickes review, Im struck that he writes that Ickes does not cross the line into Holocaust denial, but “flirts with it” while weirdly justifying Ickes’ anti-semitic words by saying that since he criticizes other institutions, his attacks on Jewish organizations “are not to be considered anti-semitic.” Im unclear what it means to “flirt” with a theory. Im further confused by the idea that the slander of many, cancels the specific.

    This is an odd display of relativism for Hedges. I will add that Hedges, a White, ordained Minister, does not have the authority to define what is anti-semitism, any more than he can define what is racism.

    1. Anti-Semitism and racism are words in our common language which is how we as members of a common society communicate try to communicate with each other. No one person or group within the society gets to decide what their common definition is. This is decided by all of the users of the language. Obviously, words are powerful because they can help shape our thoughts and the thoughts of others. That’s why there is a good deal of discussion and disagreement about them — and also why one or another group works so hard to control, even police, their meaning and usage. But, ultimately, even in a dictatorship, their meaning and usage is determined by all of the users by their common acceptance, rejection, modification and daily use for the purpose of communication. You can have your own particular meanings but communication is a communal act requiring broad agreement by the users of the language. Everyone is free to try to get their meanings adopted, but asserting an exclusive moral, religious or racial right to exclude anyone, especially Chris Hedges, from participation in the discussion is a bridge too far. That’s not the way language works, fortunately.

    2. I think everybody has the authority to define anti semitism and racism.
      Autonomy over oneself and one’s own thoughts, experiences ,and observations as well as conclusions are the right of every thinking individual. EVERYONE has the self authority to think through their own observations and form opinions.
      For example, looking at what the state of Israel is doing to the Palestinians and calling it exactly what it is.
      Or looking at all the black and brown people being shot and killed by police here and calling it exactly what it is.
      You can’t be the final arbitrator of everyone else’s thoughts and the victim at the same time.

    3. Thank you. I agree wholeheartedly. Hedges does not have an ear for anti semitism perhaps because he’s never been threatened by it himself.

      1. Absurd that Hedges doesn’t have an “ear for antisemitism” because he, what, isn’t threatned by it? We are all threatened by Zionism, CryptoChristian insanity, violence, and deeper violence metted out through banking, transnational finances, the military industrial AI-Surveillance superstructures, whether they are seated in racist Israel or racist UK or racist Canada or USA.

        Good stuff here, on Hedges, and the value he puts in all faiths:

        https://theaccidentalrabbi.blog/2016/05/30/friendship-war-memory-and-community-memorial-day-weekend-2016/#more-1635

        Almost a century later, the American journalist and war correspondent, Chris Hedges, published a book called War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. In it he shares some of what he’s come to believe about war in light of his field reporting from war zones of the early 80s through the beginning of this century – places like Argentina, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Hedges, by the way, was captured and imprisoned by the Iraqi Republican Guard during the Persian Gulf War and was lucky to survive.

        Chris Hedges
        One of his main claims – his central observation – is that even though we take for granted the adage that war is terrible, that it is at best a necessary evil, that even as we honor the valor and sacrifice of our fallen soldiers we also hope to honor their memory by living in a future world without war – even though we say and believe all those things, the truth about us, as a species, is somewhat darker. Hedges describes war as a powerful intoxicant, an addictive drug that is powerful, energizing, and gripping. He writes, “The myth of war entices us. . . . The prospect of war is exciting. Many young men, schooled in the notion that war is the ultimate definition of manhood, that only in war will they be tested and proven, that they can discover their worth as human beings in battle, willingly join the great enterprise. . . .” His words brought me back to the young and initially enthusiastic Vera Brittain and Roland.

        To illustrate his point, he offers this memory from a time when he had been covering the “Dirty War” in Argentina. Hedges writes:

        The military junta that ruled Argentina, and was responsible for killing 20,000 of its own citizens during the “Dirty War,” in 1982 invaded the Falkland Islands, which the Argentines called the Malvinas. The junta, which had been on the verge of collapse and beset by violent street demonstrations and nationwide strikes in the weeks before the war, instantly became the saviors of the country. . . . The invasion transformed the country.

        Reality was replaced with a wild and self-serving fiction, a legitimization of the worst prejudices of the masses and paranoia of the outside world. The secret interior world arrayed against Argentina became one of strange cabals, worldwide Jewry trotted out again to be beaten like an old horse, vast subterranean webs that had as their focus the destruction of the Argentine people. . . .

        All that was noble and good was embodied, like some unique gene, in the Argentine people. Stories of the heroism of the Argentine military – whose singular recent accomplishment was the savage repression of its own people – filled the airwaves. Friends of mine, who a few days earlier had excoriated the dictatorship, now bragged about the prowess of Argentine commanders. . . .

        Cars raced through the city streets honking horns and waving the blue and white Argentine flag. Argentines burst into the national anthem and ecstatic cheering at sporting events. . . . I had spent nights with Argentine friends talking of a new Argentina, one that would respect human rights, allow basic freedoms, and perhaps put on trial the generals responsible for the Dirty War. Now such talk was an anathema, even treasonous. . . . This was my first taste of nationalist triumphalism in wartime. . . . It taught me a crucial lesson that I would carry into every other conflict. Lurking beneath the surface of every society, including ours, is the passionate yearning for a nationalist cause that exalts us, the kind that war alone is able to deliver. It reduces and at times erases the anxiety of individual consciousness.

        Hedges explores another major idea in his book. He writes about the role that technology plays in modern war. “Men [and women] in modern warfare,” he writes, “are in service to technology. Many combat veterans never actually see the people they are firing at nor those firing at them. . . To be sure, soldiers . . . pay a tremendous personal, emotional, and spiritual price. But . . . equipped with weapons that can kill hundreds or thousands of people in seconds, soldiers only have time to reflect later. By then these soldiers often have been discarded, left as broken men [and women] in a civilian society that does not understand them and does not want to understand them.”

        It’s his last point that brings me to the final thoughts I’d like to share with you. And it brings us back to the two biblical verses we’re considering – texts that speak to us about the meaning of friendship. The verse from Proverbs reads, again, “There are friends we have who cause us great harm, but there’s also the kind of friend who sticks by you even more than a brother.” Hedges makes the case that, when it comes to our combat veterans, we as a society are not very good friends. When we recruit our young to fight for us, we promise a lot – the chance to gain strength, gain confidence, learn valuable skills, be of service, become brave, and possibly even get a college education paid for. And those are not empty words. But the package that’s presented is a partial truth, not the whole truth. There’s also the truth about War that Vera Brittain and Chris Hedges, and countless others who’ve experienced war, have returned to tell us. And that is that War is a friend who may offer great things, but he’s also a friend who causes us great harm.

        Hedges’ other critique is that we, as a society, too often fail to be the “kind of friend who sticks by you even more than a brother” for our returning combat veterans. Too often, for our veterans who are struggling with their post-war lives, they have been, as Hedges stated, “discarded, left as broken men [and women] in a civilian society that does not understand them and does not want to understand them.” I realize that some of that has shifted in a positive direction, in part thanks to journalistic reporting on the appalling conditions at Walter Reed Hospital during the most recent Iraq War, and in part thanks to the sincere and hard work of American military psychologists and commanders who have worked to eliminate social stigma or shame associated with PTSD or other personal struggles that some returning vets face. There is far more social acceptance and understanding of these patterns of woundedness today than in generations past, but, overall, our commitment to provide the resources and the true friendship our biblical texts talk about lags far behind our growing understanding.

        A quick family story: when I was in my early 20s, in the 1990s, I lived in San Francisco. Two of my Israeli uncles – men in their 50s at the time, both veterans of multiple wars – came to visit the U.S., and I was their tour guide in San Francisco. As we walked down one of the main boulevards of the city, we passed a lot of homeless people sitting on the street, often leaning against tall buildings and displaying cardboard signs asking for help. My uncles were surprised to see so many people struggling in this way, openly, on the streets of the wealthiest and mightiest country on earth. One of them asked me to translate what was written on the signs these people were displaying. I complied, translating into Hebrew the various clipped tales of misfortune on the signs: “out of work, 2 kids,” “sick for months, evicted, anything would help,” etc. A few of the signs read, “Vietnam Veteran – please help.”

        After a short time, my Uncle Yeshua shook his head in disgust and said, “It’s really horrible that some of those homeless men back there would tell lies like that.”

        “What do you mean?” I asked.

        He continued, “The ones whose signs said they were veterans from the Vietnam War. It’s disgusting for people to pretend that they served in the war just to win sympathy. I feel sorry for the other ones, but not people who would lie about a thing like that.”

        Still confused, I said, “But, Uncle Yeshua, I doubt any of those guys are lying. A really large percentage of the homeless in America are military veterans. Many of them have trauma or are struggling with other kinds of mental health issues related to their wartime experiences. It’s a big issue here.”

        He stopped in his tracks and looked at me. “That’s impossible,” he said.

        “What’s is?” I asked.

        “It’s inconceivable,” he said. “It’s inconceivable that a country – no, not any country, the greatest country – would allow that to happen to any of its soldiers. It just can’t be true.”

        I didn’t know what to say. “I wish it wasn’t true, Uncle. But I’m afraid it is.” I never could tell whether or not I had convinced him.

        Memorial Day is upon us and it is important. It’s a sacred day. Like most people I know, I feel a sense of embarrassment that there are so many department store sales and long-weekend-getaways that tend to overshadow the actual purpose of the day. As we remember and honor the very real sacrifices of all those brave men and women who served our country and fell, let us also remember that it is our duty to be a society that befriends every soldier who returns from battle, and the families of all those who have died or come back with serious struggles. Ecclesiastes tells us that it’s not good for us to be isolated and alone. If we have a true friend, and we fall down, a friend can help us back up. We owe it to one another to befriend our vets who have stumbled and struggled in their post-war lives, just as we owe it to our fallen heroes to lovingly honor their sacrifice, just as we owe it to our humanity to try to understand and beware of the intoxicating power of war.

  11. Without access to more information, it’s unclear why Walker would be attracted to a”thinker” like Icke, except that many people see reality as expressions of “energies” and “forces” — a mish-mosh of Orientalist stereotypes, inchoate and half-digested religious doctrine and yearning for “spirituality.”

    “It is our (Frightful) Duty to Study the Talmud” seems to be more useful in understanding her ideas.

    References she makes about Jesus boiling in excrement and Jewish supremacism appear to be taken from “The Talmud Unmasked,” a book considered an anti-Semitic fraud.

    Some observations:

    Monotheistic supremacism is a foundational belief of all three “Abrahamic” religions: each of them demands adherence to its own version of “God” and considers all others as heresy or worse. They are mutually incompatible and terms like “Judeo-Christian” are political attempts to paper over non-resolvable differences.

    Large numbers of their adherents have made adjustments, often accepting intellectual dissonance to keep their “faith” while actually discarding essential elements of it. Practical and moderately civilized, but far inferior to actual rejection of those absurd notions.

    Walker’s poetic comments on Jewish supremacism inherent in Zionism are sound but her source of Talmudic “quotes” is likely bogus. If you read the comments Israelis leave in places like the Jerusalem Post and Zionists in many blogs, you’ll discover all the Jewish supremacism you can stand. Like Christian “Biblical inerrancy” and Muslim fundamentalism — it’s deeply rooted and always available — like atavistic racism — to serve the interests of politcal leaders and imperial rulers.

    A perceptive observation of Israelis’ PTSD-based mentality can be found in a scene from Jerzy Kosiński’s book “The Painted Bird.” The dark-haired boy has been captured by the Nazis, and an SS officer standing over him with his boot on the boy’s neck. The boy looks up, taking in the sleek black uniform and glittering ornaments — and wants with his whole heart to BE that man.

    Claims to Palestinian land are based on these kinds of repurposed pain and resentment, assisted by the poison of monotheism.

    A routine anti-Semitic theme is that “the Jews” (interestingly, Zionists use this same stereotypical phrase) control the US.

    The exact opposite is true.

    Israel is the American Mini-Me.

    Both nations present themselves as being appointed by “God” and given rights that supersede anyone else on the planet.

    Both nations hold this incurable delusion as a core belief, which shapes all their interactions with others.

    Both nations are founded on replacing other people: the US on ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, Israel on basically same idea — being implemented right in front of our eyes.

    Both states were settled and shaped by desperate, violent people.

    The US was populated with religious fanatics, criminals, debtors, groups feeling economic collapse. Same for the rest of the “New World.”

    Israel was populated with Jews being expelled from Europe: first by the Balfour Declaration and then at the end of WWII. The European idea was to get as many Jews as feasible off its soil, send them to some place they might or might not survive.

    Exile to Palestine was Hitler’s original plan. Same as Lord Balfour.

    One key difference: there are not enough Jews in the world to do in Palestine what the European invaders did in the Americas..

    The US is a rogue, criminal state. If it were a person, it would be jailed and likely executed for its sociopathic crimes.

    A core problem is religion: its monotheistic form is the most dangerous, but it’s all noxious, because it trains people to believe things “on faith” — with no evidence.

    Once you believe your”god” is the “one true” God, the rest is inevitable.

    Rome was a brutal imperium, but it didn’t create the racial hierarchy that has become the powerful menace it is.

    Christianity was and remains a core aspect of the “White Man’s’ Burden,” the nasty heart of American exceptionalism: Manifest Destiny for the Planet.

    The original Japanese response to first contact was the best: they killed the missionaries and started building battleships. Unfortunately, they also imbibed their own version of Western imperialism, which they have never really rejected.

    It will be the work of generations, but the elimination of religion will be one of humanity’s most rewarding projects. Necessary If we are ever to deserve our “sapiens:” moniker.

  12. Remaining a public figure (and the associated income) requires self-promotion, and courting controversy is one means.

  13. ” “Christian realism,” eschews stories of miracles and magic in the Bible to focus on justice, personal morality, ”

    Really? The examples of justice and morals in that book of fiction are horrific.

  14. Hedges, like everyone else, is a hamstrung authority on the validity of anyone’s epiphanies or “revelations”, regardless of how “fevered”. Like it or not, were all just barely smart enough to know what we know…most times, not even that

    However, Chris might find useful mental calisthenics in discovering why Americans were so strenuously urged to “Remember the Maine” but forget the USS Liberty.

    Prior to 9/11, a person’s religious affiliations were given scant weight in most criminal investigations.
    Professional investigators tended to focus on dull motives like monetary enrichment.
    (Tax accountants persevered in putting Al Capone in jail, where other gumshoes had failed.)

    Speculation on the power and influence of secretive organizations like the CIA or Mossad will always be fraught with the danger of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” because face it; among other things, those outfits are in the label making business.

    I will say; Jeff Epstein’s autopsy photos were remarkable, in that the ligature marks were situated barely above the man’s collar bones…. I wonder what on earth compelled the joker to hang himself upside-down???

    Move it along folks…nothing to see here.

  15. the amazingly funny thing is CHRIS … you’ve just made even more clear what I KNOW Beyond “knowing”, what IS TRUE. And, you, actually are part of the dis-ease ill-ness and corruption and lies and greedy deceit.

  16. Imagine you’re a psychiatrist and someone like David Icke is sitting on you couch. He spends his entire session raving about alien lizard men from another galaxy living at the earths core, controlling mankind through a series of elaborate theistic based conspiracies that have played out over eons. However, as you glance to your watch and he realizes he’s nearing his hour, he simply blurts out the all purpose, now Trumpian mea culpa, “well, that’s just what I heard. I don’t personally believe that stuff. After all, that would make me crazy, right?”
    But hey, with the Lord all things are possible, eh Chris?
    Word of advice. Stop trying to defend Ms Walker. She burnt her own ass, now let her sit on the blister. She’s a smart woman who should hav known the knee jerk reaction that American theists and Jews alike would have to her professional references to someone like Mr Icke.
    Oh, and another little piece of advice. Stop trying to separate the supposed bad Christians from the good ones (that you seem to count yourself among). Just like using terms like “disaster” or “crony” to describe Capitalism, using terms like “fundamentalist” or “dominionist” to describe Christianity or any of the other monotheistic religions does us all an intellectual and philosophic disservice. Just like Capitalism, there is only one Christianity. And apologists like you Chris have been giving it a free pass for decades. You and people that share your faith all crawled out of the same religious ooze. But now you want to pretend that it didn’t take the logical evolutionary steps towards totalitarianism that capitalism did.
    At he end of the day, you still all believe that there is a Sky Daddy who created all things with a sneeze about 7 thousand years ago. The only difference between you and the Pat Robertsons of the world is that they still think Sky Daddy does magic tricks.

    1. Hedges habitually provides a clear and incisive analysis of capitalist decline and mendacity, so his role is quite valuable.

      He does lose me also when he gets to the part where he urges us not to lose our humanity in the process of overthrowing this rotten system. Personally, if I get warped by the firing squads, I’ll get therapy. Medical care will be free, after all.

      Puzzled by the fact that he doesn’t see that Jesus as a failure and that Christianity was a giant backward step for humanity. King Ashoka was much more successful: his peaceful kingdom was established by force, not metaphysics. Much of western humanism has its actual roots in “pagan” philosophy that was uprooted by Christian absolutism and superstition.

      It will be the work of generations, but humanity needs to obliterate religion with the same ferocity and relentlessness with which it was imposed.

    2. @Big B
      There’s a HUGE difference between what Jesus taught and what Christianity quickly became after his death. Hedges follows what Jesus taught. The vast majority of Christians follow the perverted version of Christianity. The Jesus version was cool, what part don’t you like? Do unto others? It’s more difficult for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle? Don’t be a hypocrite? Turn the other cheek? The only way to attain spiritual advancement is to follow a spiritual path and eschew material things?

      I don’t like monotheism, it’s totally fanatic and authoritarian. Buddhism is a far superior path to spirituality, but even Hinduism and Ancient Egyptian mythologies are better than monotheistic religions. But that said, Jesus was reforming a monotheistic religion, and his version of it was a very big improvement. I see nothing wrong with that. The problem is what Christianity became, which is pretty much the opposite of what Jesus taught.

  17. It seems to me that Mr. Hedges’ insights and edge have been dulled in the past few weeks. I can guess it has to do with the censorship he’s experiencing, but I don’t know.
    Reviewing Mr. Icke’s book seems a safe, if not downright bizarre, step.

  18. It looks to me like using ”antisemitism” to shut down critiques of capitalism. Not a good look.
    Particularly bizarre is saying that anyone who says that 4 million Jews were killed, not 6 million, is a “Holocaust denier”.
    This is similar to people opposed to pedophilia, including among the elites, being accused of being “Qanon”.
    As an atheist I find all religions equally unbelievable. I don’t have a favorite.

  19. Is Icke controlled opposition, whose work in effect if not by design is used to discredit conspiracy theory, or rather reality, following standard propaganda of taking truths and wrapping them in larger lies, and contexts which reduce them to absurdity and confusion? Or maybe it’s more to the point to ask why, beyond collegial support, Hedges is devoting such careful attention to this passing episode within a much greater imposition of thought control by Big Brother he has either ignored or actively supported since the covid coup.

  20. Thanks, Chris, for the primer on Icke. I heard Alex Jones also talk about lizard people from another dimension. Sounds kooky, but so does any other religion or fantastic claim made without evidence. Any of it could be true, but we haven’t verified anything that would support the possibility. That said, anti-Semitism has been a potent tool used by some Jewish people to control the conversation for decades.

  21. Socialist Yiddish poet Avrom Lesin, who grew up in Minsk in the 1870s and 1880s, recalled that as a child he visited a local tavern whose owner he knew. There he saw “[Gentile] drunkards lay around on the dirty floor, embracing and jostling one another, singing with hoarse voices, snoring,” as the Jewish owner stood at the door and “laughed with such deep contempt that his whole body shook.” Writing about his experience in the New World, Yisroel Kopelov, a Russian-born radical, who arrived in America in 1882 and became active in the anarchist movement, remembered his days (late 1880s) as a traveling salesman in New York’s poor neighborhoods. As he walked through the city’s Irish sections, Kopelov was shocked by what he witnessed: “In the Irish neighborhoods the dirtiness was exceptional!” and “roused disgust when looking at them. Just the smell from the house was unbearable!”i

    Many scholars have argued that American Jewish liberal/ progressive leanings are a direct result of the alleged universal values of Judaism, and/or Jewish historical experience. According to those interpretations, Jews often identified “down,” that is, with the downtrodden and other marginalized groups.

    Jewish historical experience, however, reflects a different streak altogether. Throughout most of their history, Jews had usually shown little interest in—and quite often utter contempt toward— the surrounding lower-class and lower-stratum non-Jews. In eastern Europe, the muzhik/poyer (peasant) usually embodied those low-class Gentiles. In Yiddish folklore, in numerous memoirs and autobiographies, and in the Jewish press, certain archetypal images of the peasantry were entrenched: the local peasantry (whether Belarusian, Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian, etc.) was usually portrayed as strong, coarse, drunk, illiterate, volatile, and sexually promiscuous.

    That imagery yielded songs like “oy, oy, oy/ shiker iz a goy / shiker iz er / trinken muz er / vayl er iz a goy” (drunk is a Gentile / drunk is he / drink must he / because he is a Gentile); sayings like “a Gentile remains a Gentile”; “when the Gentiles have a feast they beat up Jews”; “when the Jew is hungry he sings. When the Gentile is hungry he beats up his wife”; and “the Jew is small and Vasil (a common Ukrainian name) is big.”

    There were also contemptuous names for Gentiles, especially peasants, such as zhlob (a boor or yokel), dovar akher (literally “other thing,” figuratively meaning something impure like a pig or an abominable person), shkots, orl (a more contemptuous term than goy, referring to the uncircumcised), poperilo, kaporenik (figuratively someone who is worthless), or just “Ivan.”
    That approach could be found even among ideologues on the Left, who espoused working-class solidarity. Such attitudes continued to manifest themselves in America, where Jewish immigrants often cast structurally low-class groups, such as the Irish and African Americans, as the New World’s reincarnation of the Slavic peasants, with many of their perceived negative characteristics.

    Contempt and fear of the non-Jewish lower classes had to do with the Jewish socioeconomic position as middlemen, who were also members of an ethnoreligious minority, and reliant on central authority for their ultimate safety. Therefore, the prevailing historical pattern was that Jews tended to identify “up” rather than “down.” More often than not, Jews aligned themselves with the central authorities who protected them from mob attacks, and many communities relied on Gentile rulers for their livelihood as well. Anxiety about non-Jewish masses was interwoven with disdain for their behavior.

    source: https://www.associationforjewishstudies.org/publications-research/ajs-perspectives/the-hate-issue/drunkards-lying-on-the-floor-jewish-contempt-for-non-jewish-lower-classes

  22. Having never read a David Icke book, but remembering him as a top presenter and sports pundit on British television in the 1980s . He packed all that establishment entertaining in after becoming disenchanted while working for the BBC. I saw an interview with Icke by none other than Terry Wogan, Icke was a popular guest on his show when he ventured in to writing, where he explained with great insight that it does not matter what a person believes to be true for even if it’s not true or disingenuous, the spark that inspired this thought is still true. It’s vital to understand this theory in the age of technologically controlled mindsets and especially in this current sloth of petty governance of disinformation. I thought it was a flash of brilliance but I must admit that I have never read any of his work and only now reading your excerpts Chris. I may not have articulated this point of his so well but I suggestif you dig in the video archives I’m sure you will find it and be pleasantly surprised. Summarily Icke may not agree with what he writes but something else is transpiring here if you read between the lines.

  23. With 1 in 5 reptiles facing extinction (5/02/2022-Democracy Now) David Icke may soon be losing credibility. New Agers may soon have to take their noses out of his books and turn up the A/C. Self-indulgent Denialism has lost viability.

  24. What we need in this country is more Chris Hedges. While I have a very open mind and like to listen to David Icke’s presentations, I view them from my perspective and never pre-judge the man. Most people are quick to throw the baby out with the bath water, simply because what he says is not within their experience. When we see groups of people acting in the manner stated in Chris’ article, we see prejudgment without first reading the material, and making a fair assessment as Chris and everybody else does. This is part of our dystopian existence. And it needs to change as does the entire system. Some people believe our souls chose to come here at this time. If I did, I’d like to know why.

  25. note to Chris Hedges
    ye were a hero of mine back when ye took positions which mattered. like writing about kids getting shot and killed in Jenin, by the noble israeli defense force who never do wrong…
    and now? ye wax pseudo-philosophically about the merchants of death and the idea of war and david icke and so much other totally irrelevant shite, and ye have NOT YET FOUND THE TIME TO JUST MAYBE, IN PASSING, CONDEMN THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE? ye noticed that innocent kids get killed in Ukraine, too, by the noble Russian forces? yer paycheck coming from Moscow now or what the hell happened? the Chris Hedges ye once were, back when ye called out the israelis for war crimes, that Chris, what on earth happened to him??? i can’t believe that ye have nothing to say on the war crimes happening in Ukraine. or the budapest memorandum. the right of self-determination. the absolute LACK OF A CLEAR AND PRESENT THREAT TO RUSSIA when they started this stupid war. or is yer paid-for opinion that this is what self-defense looks like? the worst thing i can say is that ye have become irrelevant, i did not even care to read the above article…. there might be nuclear war coming, and ye wax on about david icke… what’s next, the kardashians?
    ye were a hero to me once, now i just feel contempt for a sellout…..

    1. To ARVO – As much of the left left falls into an incoherent frenzy of virtual-signaling and jingoism over Ukraine, I’ll take Chris and Noam Chomsky as steady, principled and wise guides through the intellectual rubble over people like you who think putting their statements in ALL CAPS makes their arguments stronger.

      1. Chris – mebbe abstain from assuming ye know what others think? cause ye don’t.
        i use caps for emphasizing core points. as did ye… so attack me punctuation, grammar, or spelling, but if ye have no RELEVANT arguments to bring forth, i consider this conversation closed.

  26. “The times they are a-changin”! Six minutes of the remaining freedom of speech?

    How about an extra spoke in the wheels for those deep thinkers who would not permit David Icke the time of day!

    In his day, the Christian Church, dogmatically holding to the myths of its rigid orthodoxy, condemned the visionary, Galileo Galilei, for seeing as far as he was capable at the time; deviating from the “right opinion” and holding to the truth, as he saw it; proven to be correct a mere 300 or so years later.

  27. Oh? So it’s only the Christians that are backwards. Come on, I know Israel and the Star of David are line items for the USA in the form of multiple billions a year of taxpayer money shipping to “Israel,” but that country, those Zionists, those believers, they are something else, too.

    Similarly, German-born Col. Yehuda Wallach, a brigade commander in the 1950s and afterward a military historian, had a positive view of the Yemenite soldiers in the IDF, who quickly became effective soldiers. A 1952 report he wrote shows he was less impressed by members of the Moroccan community. “I have met three major types of Moroccans,” Wallach wrote. “For example, the educated urban Moroccan who was schooled in France and digested certain cultural values. There’s the urban Moroccan who came into contact with culture but did not digest it – he’s the Levantine type whom we know from the Beirut, Damascus or Jaffa Arab. And the Moroccan who comes from rural areas, who is ignorant and is at least a thousand years behind in terms of civilization.”

    Israeli academics did not resort to such crude language, but their conclusions about the immigrants from the “oriental” communities were substantively identical. Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt, the father of Israeli sociology, was deeply troubled by the possibility that the immigrants from Islamic lands would undermine Israel’s supposedly Western orientation. In a 1948 study, he noted that “members of these [Mizrahi] families, and particularly the males, having been cut off from their full communal life, are powerfully attracted to some of the delights that exist in every urban setting (including oriental ones): playing cards for money, spending hours in dubious cafés, visiting brothels, smoking hashish and more.”

    Eisenstadt developed a process for the socialization of the Mizrahim, which he termed “desocialization” and “resocialization.” First, the state must divest the immigrants of the oriental cultural baggage with which they arrived in Israel; in the second stage they would be refashioned according to European cultural values. The experts argued about whether the immigrants from the Orient suffered from genuine mental retardation or from primitivism, which could be uprooted. As scholars such as Henriette Dahan Kalev, Etan Bloom and Sami Shalom Chetrit have shown in recent years, these ideas were not much different from the theory of civilizing colonialism espoused by the European empires. In the eyes of the Ashkenazi elite, Israel, too, had shouldered “the white man’s burden.”

    Source: https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-the-silenced-history-of-the-idf-s-mizrahi-problem-1.5392070

  28. As an atheist, I have found all middle eastern religions to be a “my way or the highway” form of belief that has caused them to fight to the death over who has the best imaginary friend.
    I also believe the Jews stole the term holocaust to mean only the persecution of the Jews in ww2. All war is a holocaust!

  29. Thank you for this thorough and evidence-based explanation of David Icke’s ideas. Alienation among so many people in the age of neoliberal exploitation and void forces people to look for answers. Icke’s is one of many, as you mention. At least he offers love as a solution, and that doesn’t hurt–mostly. But I can’t but feel sympathy for him offering to resist and rebel against oppressive elites (however wordings he chooses to describe the enslavement and oppression)
    I was wondering if you could recommend a book on Christian Realism? I consider myself a Marxist who believes in socialist and revolutionary Christian and Islamic religions.

  30. If you had asked me several decades ago who my favorite authors were, Alice Walker would definitely have been in the top five. However Hedges and others who are now defending Alice Walker against charges of anti semitism mistakenly assume that all of the charges against Walker are based on her strong support for the Palestinian people and her admiration for David Ickes.

    I totally agree with Walker’s support for the Palestinian people and her condemnation of the terrible atrocities committed against them by Israel.

    I was horrified beyond belief when i discovered that Alice Walker does hold very deeply anti semitic beliefs that have nothing to do with the actions of Israel. These beliefs are based solely on her belief that Jews desire to take over the world, to kill non-jews, and what she believes is language in the Torah supporting the raping of three year olds, etc. etc. All the usual inanities expressed by anti semitic people.

    This article by a Jewish black woman in New York Magazine describes similar contradictory feelings–immense admiration for Alice Walker literary creations and many of her past actions, and horror about her anti semitic beliefs, of which the author of the article gives examples. She also speculates that the reason AW’s Jewish daughter Rebecca refuses to communicate with her mother may have something to do with Walker’s anti semitism. (Rebecca’s father was Jewish and was less than supportive of Alice when his racist family tried to exclude and denigrate her.)

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/alice-walkers-anti-semitic-poem-was-personal.html?fbclid=IwAR1WaDRd_s22yuQdq1H4_4M

  31. Chris – mebbe abstain from assuming ye know what others think? cause ye don’t.
    i use caps for emphasizing core points. as did ye… so attack me punctuation, grammar, or spelling, but if ye have no RELEVANT arguments to bring forth, i consider this conversation closed.

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