05 June 2008

Reverend Goldstein and the Jewish Question

This funny and fairly unusual material comes courtesy of CAMERA:

The Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, a denomination that is considering divesting from Caterpillar in protest of Israeli policies at its upcoming General Conference, has published a “Mission Study” by Rev. Stephen Goldstein, an ordained Methodist Minister who serves as Assistant General Secretary for the Mission Personnel Program Unit of the General Board of Global Ministries.
That's some title. Let's call it AGS for MPPU of GBGM for clarity, OK? So what does the Reb. Rev. Goldstein say about them heathen Israelis?
The main thesis of Rev. Goldstein’s blurry, inaccurate and one-sided hagiographic treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that Israelis are too obsessed with the Holocaust to affirm the humanity of the Palestinians and too crippled by their history of suffering to take the risks needed to make peace. In his text, Rev. Goldstein, a Jewish convert to the United Methodist Church, portrays Israel as exhibiting the same characteristics of Jewish life and Judaism that he found repellent and dissatisfying as a youth while growing up in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Uhu... Never been in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Dunno. But a childhood trauma is definitely there, we need only to find out what it was.

On page 102, Rev. Goldstein writes, “Standing behind each Arab or Palestinian, Israelis tend to see SS men determined to push them once again into gas chambers or crematoria.” In his discussion of the Six Day War (discussed below), Rev. Goldstein portrays Israelis as suffering from a “psychosis” and as “hysterical.”

Ultimately, Rev. Goldstein portrays Israel as congenitally incapable of completing one of the most basic tasks required of any sovereign state – maintaining peaceful relations with its neighbors. He does not, however, fairly or accurately describe the obstacles Israel has faced in the pursuit of peace.

Oh boy. SS man behind every Arab (or Palestinian, whatever it means to the Rev.)... Heavy stuff, dude. But what clinched it for me was that long word "congenitally". I have looked it up, and here is what the dictionary says:

Congenital: Present at birth but not necessarily hereditary; acquired during foetal development

Wrong word, Reverend. But I wonder, whether this unfortunate choice of the adjective has something to do with a small problem acquired by Rev. Goldstein after the birth? I mean that circulation... no... circumstance... no... aw to hell with these long words! Anyway, here comes the Jewish Question:

Did they cut off too much?