Secularism: Long on Pride, Short on
Dialogue Hillel Schenker – Israel Shamir
Our Israeli friend
Hillel Schenker, a co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal,
objected to Shamir’s
negative description of secularism. Below is their exchange of views
Dramatic developments in Turkey, where the constitutional
court judges (the most reactionary part of establishment) in union with
Kemalists allied with the pro-American generals supported by Zionists and the
neo-cons staged a coup against Erdogan, a popularly elected moderate friend to
Russia and Iran. The enemies of democracy and our enemies are godless - and it
makes us think twice about plans of "a secular state", “medina chilonit”
of Jewish anti-zionists. Our friend Paul Eisen of London succinctly stated it: a
"secular state" is another form of Judaic rule. We observe it in Europe as well
– the most secular states, France and England, are the most heavily influenced
by their Jewish communities. The country heavily influenced by the Church,
Greece, is the freest from Judeo-American influence. Russia and Iran are
non-secular. In Turkey, secularism is another form of submission to Zion.
Don't you see any connection between secularism, human rights
and freedom of expression? I find that wherever religion has increased influence
on a society, there tend to be limitations on human rights, freedom of
expression, women's rights, etc.
Hillel (a proud, secular Israeli, who is concerned about the
growing influence of right-wing religious forces in Israel, who in alliance with
right-wing secular forces will make a possible resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict that much more difficult).
P.S. My impression was that the greatest level of freedom of
expression in Russia in recent years was during the Glasnost period and the
Yeltsin years. The Putin years are characterized by a growing limitation on
freedom of expression and alternative political activity, and the growth of the
influence of the church has only served to exacerbate these tendencies.
P.P.S. I'm sure you weren't happy with George Bush's attempt
to increase the role of religion in the public discourse in the U.S., and his
alliance with the right-wing evangelical Christians. When he was asked what he
thought about the fact that his father, George Bush Senior, was opposed to
regime change and the invasion of Iraq, Bush Jr. answered that he had a "higher
father" who guides his actions.
Let us begin with your post scriptum. Indeed, the Glasnost
(1987-1991) and Yeltsin (1991-2000) years were the years of great freedom – not
that much of expression, but rather of liberal freedom to amass riches or to die
of hunger. State corporations were broken and privatised, state media was made
private; the Open Society paradigm was experienced by the Russians in its
fullness. Coincidentally, these were the most awful years the living generations
of Russians ever experienced. These were years of material deprivation for the
millions, of rise and rule of the [predominantly Jewish] oligarchs, of Russia
submitting to the US, of the country dismantled, broken to pieces, of millions
of refugees, of civil wars along the southern rim, of pauperisation for the vast
majority, of life expectation shortened by more than ten years, of child
mortality rising, of the population decrease, of science being sold abroad, of
film production zeroing – as any other production.
As for democracy, the democratically elected Parliament was
shelled by Yeltsin’s elite troops, and the parliamentarians were jailed.
Elections of 1996 were falsified on the scale unheard of. As for freedom of
expression, mass media was appropriated by a few Jews, and only the views they
agreed with could be expressed in these years – like everywhere in the Free
World. In order to strip the Russians off their assets, they induced them with
extremely low self-esteem; and once proud nation of Tolstoy and Lenin, of
Sputnik and SS-300 was turned into a herd of broken, miserable creatures ready
to sell their heirlooms for a string of beads. “American boy, take me along with
you”, was the hit of these days, a dollar-denominated prostitute was the
These were hellish years for ordinary Russians. Now, under
Putin, the self-esteem is back, the oligarchs are jailed or ran away to Tel Aviv
and London; life of the ordinary Russians improved, though it is still worse
than what it was before the Glasnost. There are not many Russians (in Russia or
in Israel) who’d share your sentiment – unless it is a fugitive oligarch. Putin
did not limit the freedom of expression. He took away the TV away from the
oligarchs. Now, you may curse the government and the president in a newspaper
you own. Actually, there are many newspapers that do it quite all right. You may
not do this on the state TV, but that’s true everywhere.
As for the Church, this is the spiritual backbone of the
Russian people. The Orthodox Church, the church of Byzantium, unites the
Russians with the people of Bethlehem and Nazareth. The church protects them
from the Jewish takeover the French and the Americans were subjects to. A
candidate to the Russian presidency does not have to wear sack to AIPAC, or
creep to CRIFF. The Russians of the Jewish origin are equal and worthy citizens,
not the ruling caste above reproach. They do not object to the church bells,
they do not hate Christmas and Easter celebrations, they do not enforce
holocaust cult. Anyway they are better off in the Pravoslav Russia than in the
secular but oh so Jewish Israel, and indeed over a hundred thousand of them
moved back to Russia in Putin’s days, and this number is growing monthly.
Let us move to your PPS. The
“higher father who guides actions of” President Bush is rather a collective
figure of his Neocon-ADL-AIPAC mentors than One-You-Think-Of. That is the same
“higher father” Obama, Clinton and McCain came to worship together last week.
This is the ‘higher father’ of the weird crypto-Judaic sect of Christian
Zionists. This sect was created and promoted by Jewish media lords. Indeed,
before Robertson discovered the light of Zion, he was a penniless preacher.
After this discovery, he received his own TV station, sympathetic coverage in
the mass media, even a private airplane. Afterwards, other preachers moved to
Zionism as to a new Klondike. If tomorrow, Obama were to act like Putin and
return the TV to people, Christian Zionism would disappear like smoke at night.
As for the role of religion in the American discourse, one
needs more of it. The American people seek Christ, but the priests of secularism
forbid them the direct approach. They forbid them even to refer to Christmas.
That is why the Americans turn to bastardised forms of religion offered by their
“higher father”. In a similar way, womenless men in jail turn to sodomy. If
religion would be free in the US, there would be no Iraq war: the Pope, the
Patriarch and Ulema condemned it.
And now, let us turn to your signature.
You refer to yourself as to “a proud, secular Israeli, who is concerned about
the growing influence of right-wing religious forces in Israel, who in alliance
with right-wing secular forces will make a possible resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict that much more difficult”. I wonder what you are
proud of. Secular Israelis committed the dreadful crime of Nakba. Secular
Israelis instituted apartheid. Secular Israelis blocked and derailed “a possible
resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. All Israeli prime ministers and
ministers of defence and chiefs of staff were and are secular. Some of them,
notably Ben Gurion, the father of Nakba, were notoriously anti-religious. The
left-wing leader Barak, the instigator of the Second Intifada and the right-wing
idol, Sharon the Butcher were equally removed from the Synagogue. A religious
voice in Israel is that of Avrum Burg, who is more enlightened than any secular
politician. Please do not frighten us with “the growing influence of right-wing
religious forces in Israel” – they can’t be more awful than the secular lot.
The religious Jews do not care much about non-Jews, true. But
the secular Israelis – naturally white educated Labour-voting Ashkenazim – do
not behave like brothers even to other Jewish communities, never mind the
Palestinians. They, the secular Labourite Ashkenazim, tried to break up and
enslave the oriental Jewish communities, undermining their self-esteem and
destroying their family traditions. They tried to do the same to my own Russian
community. Now they have enforced the neo-liberal paradigm, had built the Wall,
pauperised and despised other Israelis.
It is not coincidence. Godless (“secular”) people are short
of compassion and big on arrogance, though I really do not know what is there to
be proud of. Not in vain, when the Oriental Jews organised their first
independent party, it was a religious party, SHAS, and it was a pro-peace party.
Their leader was immediately jailed on trumped-up charges.
The secular Israelis, being devoid of compassion, are unable
to make peace with their neighbours – they want to rule, above all. Look at the
icon of peace-loving secular Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. He imported Fatah from Tunis
in order to suppress First Intifada “without limitations of the High Court”; and
trained their security forces in obedience to Israel and to the US. Naturally
they were cruel to locals and stole all they could. That is why the Palestinians
preferred the compassionate Hamas. That is why the secular Israelis fight Hamas
day and night – because they can’t deal with people who believe in God, only
with the Godless ones.
Look at another idol of secular Israel, at the High Court.
These men and women authorised torture, permitted kidnapping of Vanunu, allowed
“targeted assassinations”, blessed the Wall. Actually, the war between Jews and
Palestinians began in 1987 (“First Intifada”) because of Dorit Beinish, the
present head of the High Court and the very paragon of a secular Israeli.
Beinish invented a quasi-legal device how to confiscate the Arab lands: she
asserted that pubic lands, “lands of Sultan”, now belong to the Jewish state,
and allowed to give them to the Jewish-only settlements.
And now we can answer your main question,
is there any connection between secularism, human rights, women's rights, and
freedom of expression? You bet there is. Secularism is a denial of compassion
and a denial of brotherhood of men; it is a form of supreme arrogance which
leads to totalitarian dictatorship – whether a Nietzschean strongman
dictatorship, or a Straussian Hidden Hand rule. Secularism denies human rights
of ordinary people, of vast majority – their human right to self-esteem, right
to employment, right to peace of mind – for the sake of minority. That’s why it
was easily converted into the cult of holocaust under its so-very-secular high
priest Yehuda Bauer. As for women’s rights, secularism is especially good in
turning Woman into a widow or a divorcee. Freedom of expression? Try and publish
any of my texts in any mainstream secular Israeli publication, and then we shall
return to this topic again.