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Samizdata quote of the day – Hamas unleashed hell

IDF spokesman Daniel Agari steps up to deliver some preliminary remarks. “We want people to understand what we are fighting for,” he says. “This is something else. Something has happened to Israel. This is not about rage or righteousness but the sense that this is a crime vs humanity. This is good v bad. Death v life. These [terrorists] will do anything. [commit any crime]. And it’s nothing to do with Islam,” he adds. It is a refrain I hear through the event. Clearly the word has come down to make a clear separation between Hamas, the wider Palestinians and, above all, with Islam.

What is also clear is the emotion. Agari is technically a media mouthpiece, but he veers into rhetoric. “Why did they strap GoPros to themselves? Why do they call the family of who they murdered? Because they are proud of what they did.”

– David Patrikarakos writing I watched Hamas unleash hell. Not easy reading, nor should it be, but read it all. And then spit on the next Hamas apologist you see.

28 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – Hamas unleashed hell

  • Supporting Hamas is the equivalent of unironically supporting the Nazis. I notice that it’s mostly those on the left as well.

    That Jews have to hide their faith in the UK out of fear for their lives is utterly repugnant. This is not the country I grew up in, a country where your religion was irrelevant as long as you obeyed the rules we agree to abide by and don’t be obnoxious.

    The fact that the police seem unable or unwilling to arrest those inciting racial hatred for fear of being called Islamophobic shows how corrupted our institutions have become.

  • Steven R

    Part of the problem is TPTB want to express the horror ow what Hamas has done, but at the same time sanitize it. They’ll tell us about the atrocities, but not show us the footage and pictures. Show it. Show the world how they’ve targeted babies and show the gang rapes and murder of women and disarmed fathers trying in vain to protect their families. Then make the mouthpieces of Hamas and the Palestinians stand up and defend those actions. They didn’t target the military or government, they went after normal people. Make that footage into a 21st century version of the Why We Fight movie from WW2.

    As far as the police not doing anything against Muslims or Palestinians or whoever because they are afraid of it looking bad on TV and being called racists, I’m at the point where the cops need to act and do it. Anyone who doesn’t like it can leave the UK, US, Europe, and every other place they feel oppressed in. The UK police lost that fight when the little girl sex grooming ring was deliberately ignored because they cops didn’t want to be called racist for breaking it up, regardless of the effect it had on the victims. That should never have happened again. It’s no different to me than letting cities burn and black criminals do anything because the cops here in the US don’t want to be called racist. Either enforce the law and protect the innocent or just tell us the social contract no longer exists and normal people can do what is necessary to fix the West.

  • Kirk

    What Islam and its apologists have pulled off amounts to the weaponization of two features of the modern Christian West: One, compassion, and the other would be the way that the modern Christian West cannot wrap its head around the idea that the rest of the human race doesn’t necessarily think the way that they do.

    Islam is an atavistic tribal warrior religion. It’s that simple; most of its features are geared towards converting and weaponizing the baser instincts of young human males that have not been properly (or, at all…) socialized into some sort of civilized setting. Look at the former range of Byzantine territory that was taken over by Islam; where before, it was the breadbasket for a good chunk of the world, after the Arabs and their nihilistic religion got done with it, it’s a desert. The territory that modern Israel was built on was literally a depopulated desert when the Jews of Europe started buying up wasteland from the Turkish overlords of the area. Before they came back, mostly desert… After? Extremely fertile and productive land. Areas still owned and operated by Arabs…? Desert. It’s the same, all across the Middle East.

    Islam is an ethos for desert raiders, parasites living off of the work and effort of the settled farmer and pastoral peoples on the fringe of their deserts. They do not understand how to maintain a civilization, or they would have behaved far differently in their dealings with the world. All they really understand, at a fundamental level, is the behavior of the Barbary Corsairs: Take slaves, raid other men’s property, and do no work for themselves.

    Islam is basically the Comanche on a larger scale; you can’t live with them next door, because the inevitable result of their reaching a critical mass of numbers is exactly what you see in Europe and the United States, right now: They demonstrate and agitate for more and more inroads, more and more “special privileges” and things like laws against blasphemy, which oddly only apply to “insults to Islam”, not the faiths that they themselves denigrate.

    And, all the idiots of the West applaud this crap, in the name of “Diversity and Inclusion”. The diversity is an existential threat to your culture, and the inclusion will only last as long as it takes for the freakishly inhuman Islamics to infiltrate and take over your institutions. You see that in the way the campuses are demonstrating for the “Palestinian Cause”, when those creatures are not actually an ethnicity or nationality, and when they’re behaving worse than animals.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like what Hamas did in the Negev recently, outside of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen. Sending messages to the families of victims on their own cell phones, boasting proudly to their parents about how many Jews they killed, again using their victims cell phones… The litany of evil just goes on and on.

    I spent some time watching the released video off of captured GoPro cameras and cell phones. After viewing that, and juxtaposing that with the fevered celebrations in Gaza at the news? Here’s my solution to the Gaza Arab “problem”: Extermination with extreme prejudice. We should do with them what should have been done with every single card-carrying member of the Nazi party, and run them through the camps they build to exterminate the Jews and other “deplorables” of Europe. In Gaza’s case? Cut off the supplies, cut off the aid, and then slowly advance the fenceline until it’s twenty feet out into the surf of the sea. Leave the broken land as a monument to the Negev dead, and let it serve as a warning to others.

    Nothing in Gaza should still stand stone-on-stone, and no thing-that-walks-on-two-legs should be left alive.

    Any other “solution”? You’re just setting the stage for this crap to spread along with the mind-virus of Islam, in all of its evil glory.

    Don’t forget: This is all in their “holy book”, the Koran. They’re acting in accordance with the word of their “god”, who I suspect was actually Satan. No other religion tells its adherents to lie, deliberately, in the service of that religion. None. Nowhere in the world will you find a “faith” that mandates this, or says it is at all “correct”.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    I recall reading a book about Israel’s secret services, and one technique they got down to a fine art was going after a terrorist, killing him or her (there were plenty of women) and then, just an hour or so before the deed, would send a small wreath to the family of said scumbags, with a message such as “Condolences from the State of Israel.”

    This sounds all very hard, and cold, but right now, there are lots of Israelis (I have a few pals over there) who have hardened their hearts about what needs to be done. They are beyond the blandishments of those who insist that people adopt the altruist morality of self-sacrifice and surrender.

    Over in some areas of social media, I have noted one or two people try to excuse what happened, or “put it into context”. I have made it a point not to engage in argument. There’s no point. All I do is avoid and shun them.

  • Mossad needs to return to the approach of “Reciprocity”.

    There must be a price to pay for dead Jews or the Holocaust means nothing.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Kirk: What Islam and its apologists have pulled off amounts to the weaponization of two features of the modern Christian West: One, compassion, and the other would be the way that the modern Christian West cannot wrap its head around the idea that the rest of the human race doesn’t necessarily think the way that they do.

    Absolutely spot-on. I would add that this talk, by this chap in the UK, Nikos Sotirakopoulos (he’s Greek by origin, as you can tell from his accent), makes the point very well about how the refusal to do what is necessary in self-defence is part of a version of Christian-inspired altruism/turn-the-other cheek mindset that has become, as Kirk puts it, “weaponised”. And it is certainly weaponised by the Left in its desire to disarm us, morally as well as physically.

    As a side-point, consider, for example, the demonisation of people who practice self-defence, with or without firearms, or who work out and get very strong in a gym. Some lefty idiot recently suggested that those who get big in a gym are somehow “fascists”, as if being weak, fat around the tummy and unable to pick up a bag of groceries when you are 60-plus is the aim of socialism. In a way that’s most revealing.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Johnathan Pearce (London):

    Over in some areas of social media, I have noted one or two people try to excuse what happened, or “put it into context”. I have made it a point not to engage in argument. There’s no point. All I do is avoid and shun them.

    I think to @Steven’s point above, perhaps the correct response to “put it in context” is a photo of a beheaded baby, or a video of an innocent grandmother being gang raped and then shot… with the words “here’s your context.”

  • bobby b

    ” a photo of a beheaded baby, or a video of an innocent grandmother being gang raped and then shot…”

    Imagine a society in which this is what you do to impress your friends, or your god.

  • Kirk

    bobby b said:

    “Imagine a society in which this is what you do to impress your friends, or your god.”

    Imagine the society that not only condones and excuses this, but lionizes it and celebrates it.

    Oh, wait… I don’t have to. It’s the one I find myself living in.

    And, people wonder why I have become the asshole I have become. I saw this crap coming a couple of decades ago, and if you didn’t observe the reaction in some quarters to 9/11 and then extrapolated out to the “intifada in the streets” we see in places like New York City…? Well, you suffered a failure of the imagination, I fear.

    We’re in for some rough times, thanks to the weak-willed and weak-minded among us.

    I do have to acknowledge a certain degree of schadenfreude, observing and extending the current LGBTWTFBBQ love-affair with Hamas. It’ll be a hoot, watching what happens when the rubes finally tumble to the con, and wise up. Unfortunately, I suspect that a bunch of them are only going to do that on their trip down from the top floors of the buildings they live in…

    Bit late, that.

  • Kirk

    Over in some areas of social media, I have noted one or two people try to excuse what happened, or “put it into context”. I have made it a point not to engage in argument. There’s no point. All I do is avoid and shun them.

    I have to wonder what “context” you place a dead baby in, in order to excuse the raw fact of that baby’s having been brutally killed by some degenerate?

    One would hope that such “context-seeking” individuals find their context for such things while huddled, hiding unarmed, in some shelter while the killers are trying to get in at them. Or, as they listen to them splashing fuel around their safe room, in order to incinerate them.

    They might get the “context” then. Maybe. From watching the video of that horrible “peace activist” that was taken hostage, I find it hard to stomach anyone advocating for peace with Hamas. On whose behalf does that arrogant bitch speak? The dead children? The raped little girls? Whose?

    There’s a point past which understanding and compassion towards killers becomes a positive evil in the world. That creature passed it by decades ago, and can’t even make the sign out in the rear-view mirror.

    Somewhere, several holy books speak along the lines of “do not suffer a witch to live”. My take on it? Don’t suffer a baby-killer to live. Period. That someone could tie mother and child together with wire and then set them afire, to die screaming in the flames? That’s a sickness you can’t cure with anything other than a damn bullet. Imagine waking up one fine day and finding that creature as your neighbor, thanks to the wunnerful immigration policies of our deluded leadership?

  • Bruce

    Once again, there is the PATHETIC pabulum about ‘This is not Islam”.

    TOTAL FAIL.

    IT IS core islam.

    The REAL “radicals” are the ones genuinely abhorring such behaviour, both of them.

    ALL the rest are straight-up,by the “book”, doctrinaire, observant muslims.

    Trawl through the Suras in that book They clearly DEMAND the slaughter, forcible “conversion” or enslavement of all “infidels”; with “special sauce” reserved for Jews.

    The filth-column, “fourth estate” in the “west” are KEY enablers of the Caliphate. Any suggestions to the contrary will be met with deep skepticism. I am about as Kosher as a pork chop, but I still “get it”..

  • NickM

    Of course it has nothing to do with Islam! If it was to do with Islam they would’ve shouted “Allahu Akbar!” 😉

    If the god you worship exults in the rape, torture and murder of innocents then it’s time you got a new one.

    Those videos need to be made public.

    In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”

    -General Dwight Eisenhower on visiting a concentration camp near Gotha, Germany.

    Yes, it’s utterly horrific and that is why everyone needs to see it. Yes, even the sort of things that could make George Patton lose his lunch.

    I’m not sure how I would take to such images but I know I want to puke whenever I hear equivocation about October 7th 2023 or “From the River to the Sea!”. Hell’s teeth. If December 7th 1941 lives in “The History of Infamy” then God knows. The Japanese at least attacked a military target which made some strategic sense. This, though, was, as King Theoden put it, “Wreckless Hate”.

  • NickM

    There’s a point past which understanding and compassion towards killers becomes a positive evil in the world.

    Kirk, you hit the nail square-on.

  • Paul Marks

    As the statements of the President of Turkey and the Secretary General of the United Nations show – this is a lot more than “Hamas” (which is just a name of a group – there are many such armed Islamic groups).

    Islamic forces want to exterminate Israel – exterminate the Jews, that is hardly a shock, one might as well say “water is wet”.

    But non Islamic forces, the “International Community” ALSO want to get rid of Israel – partly because it “creates difficulties with the Islamic community” (as if Muslims in the West would start to love the West – if only those pesky Jews could be got rid of) and partly because the International Community hates all independent nation-states, any independent nation state.

    The International Community wishes to wipe out the concept of an independent nation state – and make all people, everywhere, its serfs – under the same basic policy “agendas” everywhere.

    Again this is no secret – it is “and water is wet” stuff.

    So when a Western leader (government or corporate) expresses support for the International Community – this is what they are supporting.

    By the way “India Today” seems to be the only English language television station that is broadcasting the telephone calls, and social media messages, and so on, that the Islamic attackers made as they attacked.

    They wanted their friends and relatives to hear and see as they cut up unarmed men, woman and children, and laughed as they did it.

    These are the forces that the Secretary General of the United Nations loves so much – and he is NOT a Muslim, he is a Peruvian socialist, much as the head of the World Health Organisation is an Ethiopian Marxist – a Doctor of Philosophy (Marxist Philosophy) not medicine.

    That is the International Community.

  • Stonyground

    Why is Satan always cast as a bad guy? Polite, scrupulously honest, the enemy of the vile Abrahamic god. In my view that makes him one of the good guys.

  • Zechariah

    Polite, scrupulously honest…..

    Only an utter fool would call the Father of Lies “scrupulously honest”.

    …the enemy of the vile Abrahamic god. In my view that makes him one of the good guys.

    You massively misunderstand Christianity if you can say this a straight face. I don’t have the time to write out a full apologetics screed right now, so I’ll have to settle for directing to good sources – S. Thomas Aquinas is generally considered reliable. If you don’t have time to read (or find his logical argumentation to difficult to follow), there are several podcasts you can listen to such as Catholic Answers is pretty good. If you want a more Eastern perspective, Ancient Faith Ministries in general, and Lord of Sprits in particular is very good. Granted these are geared more toward people who already believe, but they should at least help you better understand Christian Theology. I hope you find these links helpful, but I fear that your name may be too apt.

    Finally, I think it is worth pointing out that the term “Abrahamic Religion” could very well be an error. There are several decent polemics that cover this, but simply put there are a number of very important differences between the God of Christianity and the god of Islam.

  • Zechariah

    PS: I wish to point out that what Hamas has done this October, and what they plan to do, is demonic. It is as demonic as anything that Amalek and the Amorites ever did (human sacrifice [if training children to be suicide bombers is not that what is it?], killing of children, rapping of women and their corpses, etc.), and Israel right to eliminate Hamas and those responsible for these acts.

    I know I plugged Lord of Spirits podcast in my previous post, but I want to point out episode 7 as I think it’s oddly applicable to this subject. Concerning the pacifism prevalent in today’s world – I think it’s an artifact of Quaker error seeping into the wider culture. Christianity is not, traditionally, a pacificist religion – it’s theologically more circumspect about war than Islam or historic paganism, but it does recognize that force and violence is justified (and even required) in certain circumstances. A war for survival, such as Israel finds itself in, is definitely one of them.

  • Paul Marks

    Stonyground – I respectfully disagree.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Zechariah
    PS: I wish to point out that what Hamas has done this October, and what they plan to do, is demonic. It is as demonic as anything that Amalek and the Amorites ever did (human sacrifice [if training children to be suicide bombers is not that what is it?],

    I was going to let this slide but the irony in what you are saying really bothers me. I wonder if you know why Saul was deposed as King of Israel? The answer is given in 1Samuel 15. The prophet Samuel gives Saul the bad news — because he had disobeyed God’s command to destroy the Amalekites. Here is the command: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

    A little technicality, the Hebrew word translated “infants” here literally means a child still nursing at the breast. Kind of sounds to me like what happened in the Kibbutzim on October 7th. Saul was not condemned for DOING this but for NOT doing this. I wonder how you feel about that in regards to your comments on Hamas? “Demonic” does seem like the right word.

    Me? I think they are both an atrocity, and any god who commands that, Jehovah or Allah, is atrocious too. That is what is in the Christian’s book. That is the Bible’s theory of just war. However, most Christians would be utterly horrified by such a thing, and instead focus on the nice parts of the Bible. As a consequence most Christians are, in my experience, lovely, kind, generous and helpful people. I’d say exactly the same about the Muslims’ book and the Muslim people — terrible book, mostly very nice people.

  • Zechariah

    Fraser are you implying I’m calling for genocide of the Palestinians? Let me be clear, I’m not, and the fact that you think that invoking Amalek means I am, that shows a shallow understanding of the Bible. I think we’ve had this discussion in the past, but I don’t mind rehashing it because this is important.

    1) keep in mind the Old Testament is an ancient near eastern document, and extreme hyperbole is common place in all near eastern texts. Egyptian carvings talk about the great victories against enemies, but the victories keep getting closer to to Egypt. In the Bible itself there are many examples (to many to count right now) were they say they “utterly destroyed” a city and “not one survived” but a few chapter later we hear about how that city or that tribe causing causing trouble again. One of my favorite examples is how David’s Army claim that they tie ropes around a city that the would be usurper Absalom is in and drag it into a valley so not one stone remains – that obviously didn’t happen. So no, the Israelites are not killing everyone.
    2)Keep in the mind the ancient world didn’t conceive of identity as we do today – they didn’t think of races or ethnicities or any of that. Tribal identities were much more about the god one worshiped and communal rituals that bound people together. Phineas the High Priest is possibly in part Sub-Saharan African decent (Phineas means “the Dark One” in Hebrew. It’s egyptian cognate was often used when referring to Nubians). Caleb was a Kennizzite, one of the tribes that lived in Canaan – but by the end of the conquest was accepted as an elder in the Tribe of Judah. Ruth was Moabite woman who ended up joining Judah. They did this by abandoning the pagan religion and participating in the rites of Israel. To destroy a clan in this context is to force them to abandon one set of rights and assimilate them into another. That’s what’s going on with Israel’s conquest.
    3) The command that God gave to Israel when conquering the land (Dueteronomy 20) was not a general censor – they were told to wage war against specific tribes, and to leave the others alone(unless attacked). Basically they’re not to engage in aggressive warfare to take territory and spoils (which is unheard of in the ancient world). Amalek is not in this list, but are a bit of a special case as they attacked Israel and God while at Mount Sinai.
    4) The total warfare that Israel is supposed to make against these specific tribes is the kind of warfare that all of Israel’s neighbors waged against everyone, all the time. So that’s not the exceptional part; that’s the more normal part. The excepting everyone else in the world from that is the strange part about the Torah. These are just to be treated the way you would normally treat enemies back then, with one exception even there, and that’s to reinforce the fact that it wasn’t them defeating them, that it was Yahweh, their God, defeating them. That this was an act of his judgment not just their military might and expansionist tendencies, they weren’t allowed to take any of the spoil —all of the wealth of these tribes was considered to be tainted by what they had done. So it was all dedicated and considered accursed and put under a ban and had to be destroyed.

    The closest thing to the ancient Israeli conquest of Canaan that has happened somewhat recently would probably be the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The Aztec empire was a brutal slave empire that would cut the still beating hearts out of there captives to feed there gods. They dedicated there major temple by sacrificing 80000 people in 3 or 4 weeks. The Aztec empire was destroyed and there sacrifices stopped – but there was no genocide – there are still Aztec and other native people alive in Mexico today. They were assimilated into the Spanish/Mexican culture. The British did similar things in India with Sati. Or look at what happened in WWII – the Nazi’s were destroyed, but not the Germans. Yes, many Aztecs, Indians, and Germans were killed (including children – but there’s a difference between purposeful murder and unintended deaths) ending these evils, but I don’t think you would call them atrocities. Sometimes violence and war is the only appropriate response to evil.

    So what am I saying Israel is in it’s rights to do in Gaza? I’m saying Israel has the right to destroy Hamas – to make sure that are removed from power and are no longer in a position to kill Israeli civilians. Do to Hamas what the Allies did to the Nazi’s, or the Spanish to the Aztec empire. This isn’t Genocide.

  • Zechariah

    Note: I left this part out of my message when I pasted it and missed that fact until after the edit timer expired. Please read this as after point 4 but before closing paragraphs:

    So lets put this all together and get back to Saul. The specific clans that Israel is commanded to wage war against were committing abominable acts – burning children alive, cannibalism, ritual fornication, etc. So God orders Israel to wage war on them and to end these practices – to act as Gods instrument in bringing judgement on them. To emphasis this they are not to take any spoils or loot, and say that this was the Most High God’s Judgement. And what does Saul do? He breaks each and every one of these commands. He takes the city and spoils(not destroy it) and slaves. He claims that HE was the one who conquered Amalek, not God, and he lets their Priest King (who performed and participated in all the rites) live (it is Samuel who corrects that error). And this isn’t just a one time thing with Saul either, he had repeatedly disobeyed God – this was just the straw the broke the Camels Back, so to speak.

  • Colli

    The specific clans that Israel is commanded to wage war against were committing abominable acts – burning children alive, cannibalism, ritual fornication, etc.

    So kill all the children and infants? This makes no sense. It was determined who had to be killed on whether they were Amalekites, not whether they had committed these abominable acts, so it must not have been the abominable acts that their god was worried about.

  • Zechariah

    So kill all the children and infants?

    I recommend you read the entirety of my post, specifically the section about literary hyperbole (point 1) and tribal identities in the ancient world and what it means to ‘destroy’ them (that’s point 2). You might find them helpful.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Zechariah
    Fraser are you implying I’m calling for genocide of the Palestinians?

    I said nothing even vaguely resembling that. On the contrary, although you are apparently in cahoots with a rather brutal and evil god, imagined or not, as I said, most of the Christians I know are kind, warm and generous people. I don’t doubt for a second that you are one of them.

    1) keep in mind the Old Testament is an ancient near eastern document, and extreme hyperbole is common place in all near eastern texts.

    So you are saying that you can’t rely on what the Bible says, even in the reporting of the most basic facts? How about the obviously hyperbolic claims that Jesus is the son or God, born of a virgin, raised from the dead. They seem ridiculously hyperbolic to me, can I toss those out too? I mean I agree with your disdain for the text, or its veracity or reliability, but I am surprised to hear you say it.

    And perhaps you are right; perhaps Saul’s army didn’t kill ALL the babies, and ALL the children and ALL the women. But how exactly is that different from 10/7? The death rate there was, by all accounts 10%.

    2)Keep in the mind the ancient world didn’t conceive of identity as we do today

    I entirely agree that they had a screwed up idea of things like personhood, individual rights and the sanctity of life. The massacre of the Amalikes was typical of the way people behaved at this time in history. However, don’t tell me that the leader of such a thing that we would today rightly call an abomination, was somehow the moral arbiter of the universe, or somehow someone that you should follow personally as your moral guide. I mean that is plainly ridiculous. You can’t claim your deity is transcendent in morality and transcendent over time and then justify his evil demands by claiming “it was the way it was back then.”

    It reminds me of this crazy idea I hear from religious people that we wouldn’t be moral were it not for their teachings. But that is self evidently not true. Christians and westernized Muslims take their morals from what society has decided, and try to squeeze their books into them. Why aren’t you in favor of killing homosexuals after all? Three hundred years ago Christians most certainly were in favor of such a thing. The Bible is pretty plain about it. You aren’t because humanity has moved on and developed a moral code by moral evolution that demands freedom of choice in such intimate matters, and you are put in a position where you have to shape your Bible morals around it. You might dress it up with hate the sin love the sinner, but that isn’t what the Bible says AT ALL.

    Nonetheless, I don’t particularly want to attack your religious beliefs, you can believe whatever you want. It just struck me as very ironic that you invoked the Amalekites in this context when the similarities between the God’s demand for the genocide of the Amalekites has shocking similarities to the attack on the Kibbutzim.

  • Zechariah

    I said nothing even vaguely resembling that.

    I’m sorry, when you compared my comments with the actions of a genocidal organization like Hamas, I thought you meant to imply a similarity or parallel between the two.

    So you are saying that you can’t rely on what the Bible says, even in the reporting of the most basic facts?

    I’m saying that these texts were written in certain contexts and if you wish to understand what their authors are saying and claiming you need to understand what those contexts are.

    How about the obviously hyperbolic claims that Jesus is the son or God, born of a virgin, raised from the dead. They seem ridiculously hyperbolic to me, can I toss those out too?

    Greco-Roman biographies are a different genera than ancient near eastern universal history that’s a thousand years older. Applying the rules of one to other makes about as much sense as much sense as trying to read the Geoffrey of Monmouth the same way as a modern history. And your approach makes even less sense for the old and new testament.

    The massacre of the Amalekites was typical of the way people behaved at this time in history. However, don’t tell me that the leader of such a thing that we would today rightly call an abomination, was somehow the moral arbiter of the universe, or somehow someone that you should follow personally as your moral guide. I mean that is plainly ridiculous. You can’t claim your deity is transcendent in morality and transcendent over time and then justify his evil demands by claiming “it was the way it was back then.”.

    Well I guess it’s my turn to misinterpreted. I wasn’t justifying Israel’s actions as “it was the way it was back then” or anything like that – point 4 was arguing quite the opposite in fact. The restrictions put on the Israeli’s warfare by God were unique in the ancient world and a positive moral development over the then status-quo. If you point 4 as an appeal to “that’s just the way it was”, then no wonder you misread the Bible.

    It’s obvious that we’re talking past of each other, and I doubt further discussion will be fruitful. I admit I could have put more detail into the argument, I was trying to avoid writing a Paul Marks style pamphlet in a post, but at least he doesn’t get misinterpreted. If you wish to continue this discussion in more detail, let me know in your response and I’ll oblige, but I think I’m done for the time being.

  • Colli

    literary hyperbole (point 1)

    It is irrelevant whether what was written is actually what happened. As a matter of fact, I am almost sure that God did not do anything, because I am almost certain that he does not exist. The point is that if you believe in this religion, you believe that this did happen. You can’t just pick and choose what parts of the religion you believe, you either believe in the religion or not.

    tribal identities in the ancient world

    No one is wondering why the Israelites wrote this down or why they thought it was justified. This is not relevant to whether one should think it was justified today (unless one happens to be an ancient Israelite).

    what it means to ‘destroy’ them

    Given that this is a translated work, the translator chose the word “destroy” based on the English meaning, he didn’t just make up some meaning specifically for this occasion.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Zechariah
    If you point 4 as an appeal to “that’s just the way it was”, then no wonder you misread the Bible.

    If by “misread” you mean “fail to perform the mental gymnastics to twist the plain meaning of words into something I feel better about”, then misreader be I. It is the same sort of hermeneutical pretzel that leads to things like Roe vs Wade. Decide what you want the text to say then twist it and turn it until it vaguely resembles that. What is it they say in science? If you torture the data long enough it will eventually confess.

    And if you really believed the Bible, you’d believe and accept what it says on its face. It is only because the infidel world demands a better morality from you than one found is a dusty old book written by bronze age peasants that such mental gymnastics are necessary. Let’s be clear — you are trying to whitewash the massacre of babies and children here. I’m afraid my stomach isn’t strong enough for that.

  • Alisa.

    Clearly the word has come down to make a clear separation between Hamas, the wider Palestinians and, above all, with Islam.

    Of course it has, because the main reason all this happened now is the Abraham accords – with some of the most important Muslim countries, the most recent being Saudi Arabia. So I dunno about others, but I’m all for this “clear separation”, at least for now.

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