Tag Archives: Death

Overcoming the Sin of Ungratefulness

Complaining has become a way of life for some. Take the frustrated thief on the cross who Christ, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” Then there was the situation about Martha and Mary. We are going to place these two sisters together because the Bible says “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5). Martha seemed to have been an anxious and high spirited woman who wanted to be helpful in providing food and comfort for Jesus; while Mary was more concerned with sitting at his feet and learning of him. When Martha complained about Mary not helping, Jesus did not correct her; instead, he said that Mary had chosen the right place at the time. “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 NKJV).

Nowhere in Scripture is complaining more prominent than the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt. The Lord provided for them: release from bondage; rescue at the Red Sea; bitter water replaced by sweetwater; manna and quail; daily guidance – by day in a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire; and finally, the Ten Commandments. Despite all this, we see a constant pattern of murmuring from the Israelites.

Complaining (murmuring) is the outward demonstration of a critical spirit. The thoughts and intents of our heart will come out of our mouth (Matthew 15:18 NKJV). A critical spirit fosters bitterness and anger. Others will view a complainer as a malcontent. Nothing is ever enough to him/her. No matter how good or unlikeable something or someone is, the ungrateful person will always find fault.

The Israelites complained three days after receiving the Ten Commandments (Numbers 11:1 NKJV). They were focused on the wilderness rather than the Promised Land. God heard their complaining and sent judgement. How naïve we are to think that God will somehow overlook ungratefulness. Complaining always brings consequences.

Can a complainer change? Can he/she overcome his/her critical spirit? Here are two steps to prayerfully consider:

  1. Renounce Ungratefulness – Call complaining (murmuring) what it is – SIN! No one can do this for you. If you are going to get out of the mental rut you’re in, you must be honest about sin. David said that God desired truth in his inward parts (Psalms 51:16 NKJV). Agreeing with God about sin is the first step toward repentance. Trust God to lift you out of the miry clay of ungratefulness that has engulfed you. When you catch yourself complaining, renounce and repent.
  1. Replace Ungratefulness – It is not enough to just try harder. You must begin practicing gratitude. Thankfulness is the heart attitude that will displace the ungrateful spirit that has tormented you. Let me illustrate: A young lady realized that she wasn’t enjoying life. She described herself as stuck on a treadmill. Her critical spirit was hurting those she loved the most. She was advised to spend time daily reflecting on her blessings. So, she began taking daily photos of things for which she was grateful for. It changed her life. She began noticing little things that she had missed. In the picture where her husband was serving dinner, he put the largest portion on her plate. She had never noticed that! It was his way of preferring her and showing her how much he loved her. Previously, she had found mothering a boring job. To her delight, the photos of her kids revealed them holding out their hands to her, playing and exploring. She began discovering how much joy and wonder there was in her world that she had missed. Ungratefulness had been robbing her of all of these joys.

You may not be able to rake pictures. That’s Okay. Make a list. Start by thanking God and others each day for the blessings they bring into your life.

Love Your Enemies

isis-flag

Isis flag: What do the words mean?

The white banner at the top of the flag reads: “There is no god but Allah [God]. Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.” This phrase is a declaration of faith used across Islam, and is known as the shahada.

Underneath is a white circle emblazoned with black writing reading “Mohammed is the messenger of God”, which is meant to resemble the Prophet’s seal, similar to that used to close an envelope.

al-qaeda-flag

Al Qaeda Flag

Jabhat al-Nusra is an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. Its flag includes the white inscription at the top of the flag, which is the shahada, or the Islamic declaration of faith. Underneath the shahada is the name “Jabhat al-Nusra” in Arabic. Dec 16, 2014

Shahada

The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادة‎ aš-šahādah audio (help. · info), “the testimony”; aš-šahādatān (الشَهادَتانْ, “the two testimonials”); also Kalima Shahadat [كلمة الشهادة, “the testimonial word”]), is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God (tawhid) and the acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet.

The Islamic Declaration of Faith

Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) The most basic requirement of being a Muslim is to publicly state the words “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger”, in Arabic, with sincerity and without any reservations.

Love Your Enemies

Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, told ABC News’ Aaron Katersky on Thursday (June 8, 2006) that he abhors that the U.S. military has killed al-Zarqawi.

“I will not take joy in the death of a fellow human, even the human being who killed my son,” said Berg, who blamed President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — and not al-Zarqawi — for the death of his son because of what Berg said is their role in making possible the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

“Revenge is what killed my son,” said Berg. “My son died in a perpetual cycle of revenge that goes on and on, forever. It’s got to stop somewhere. As far as I’m concerned, it will stop with me.”

“I wish the Iraqi people, and the U.S. soldiers who mistakenly believe they are protecting us, good fortune in weathering the upcoming violence,” said Berg.

A man after God’s own heart. So, why did Mr. Berg  declare to the world that “Revenge is what killed my son.” But at the same time stated, “I will not take joy in the death of a fellow human, even the human being who killed my son,”

The Bible has a great deal to say about revenge. Both the Hebrew and Greek words translated “vengeance,” “revenge,” and “avenge” have as their root meaning the idea of punishment. This is crucial in understanding why God reserves for Himself the right to avenge.

The key verse regarding this truth is found in the Old Testament and quoted twice in the New Testament. God states in Deuteronomy 32:35,

Deuteronomy 32:35 (NKJV)

35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’

 In Deuteronomy, God is speaking of the stiff-necked, rebellious, idolatrous Israelites who rejected Him and incurred His wrath with their wickedness. He promised to avenge Himself upon them in His own timing and according to His own perfect and pure motives.

The two New Testament passages concern the behavior of the Christian, who is not to usurp God’s authority. Rather, we are to allow Him to judge rightly and pour out His divine retribution against His enemies as He sees fit (Romans 12:19Hebrews 10:30).

Unlike us, God never takes vengeance from impure motives. His vengeance is for the purpose of punishing those who have offended and rejected Him. We can, however, pray for God to avenge Himself in perfection and holiness against His enemies and to avenge those who are oppressed by evil. In Psalm 94:1, the psalmist prays for God to avenge the righteous, not out of a sense of uncontrolled vindictiveness, but out of just retribution from the eternal Judge whose judgments are perfect. Even when the innocent suffer and the wicked appear to prosper, it is for God alone to punish. “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies” (Nahum 1:2).

As Christians, we are to follow the Lord Jesus’ command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44), leaving the vengeance to God.

How does a man like Michael Berg love the enemies who beheaded his son? Through God’s undiscriminating love to all people

When Jesus said we are to love our enemies, He was creating a new standard for relationships.

He proclaimed to the crowds listening to His Sermon on the Mount that they knew they were to love their neighbor because the command to love our neighbor was a law of God (Leviticus 19:18).

That we must therefore hate our enemy was an inference incorrectly drawn from it by the Jews. While no Bible verse explicitly says “hate your enemy,” the Pharisees may have somewhat misapplied some of the Old Testament passages about hatred for God’s enemies (Psalm 139:19-22140:9-11).

But Jesus replaced this idea with an even higher standard: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45). Jesus explained to His followers that they should adhere to the real meaning of God’s law by loving their enemies as well as their neighbors.

By using an illustration of the sun rising and the rain falling on both the good and the evil, Jesus shows God’s undiscriminating love to all people. We, as His disciples, must then reflect His character and exhibit this same undiscriminating love for both friends and enemies. Jesus is teaching us that we must live by a higher standard than what the world expects—a standard that is impossible for us to attain by our own efforts. It’s only through the power of God’s Spirit that we can truly love and pray for those who intend to do us harm. (Romans 12:14-21)

After giving us the admonition to love our enemies, Jesus then gives us this command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). As sons of our Father (Matthew 5:45), we are to be perfect, even as He is perfect. This is utterly impossible for sinful man to achieve. This unattainable standard is exactly what the Law itself demanded (James 2:10). So how can Jesus demand the impossible? He later tells us, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). That which God demands, only He can accomplish, including the demand to love our enemies. What is impossible for man becomes possible for those who give their lives to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts.

Depression: God Is Not Silent When We Suffer

If we know anything about God, we know that He comes close to those who suffer.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Never has so much been crammed into one word “Depression”. It feels terrifying. Your world is dark, heavy, and painful. Physical pain, you think, would be much better—at least the pain would be localized. Instead, depression seems to go to your very soul, affecting everything in its path.

Dead, but walking, is one way to describe it. I felt numb. Perhaps the worst part is that I remember when I actually felt something and the contrast between then and now makes the pain worse.

So many things about my life were difficult. Things I used to take for granted—a good night’s sleep, having goals, looking forward to the future—now seemed beyond my reach. My relationships with others were also affected. The people who loved me were looking for some emotional response, but I didn’t have one to give.

Does it help to know that you are not alone? These days depression affects as much as 25 percent of the population. Although it has always been a human problem, no one really knows why. But what I know as a Christian was that God is not silent when we suffer. On every page of Scripture, God’s depressed children have been able to find hope and a reason to endure. For example, take 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV):

Seeing the Invisible

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Come to God with your suffering

I started to experience an inward renewal that the apostle Paul experienced when I came to God with my suffering. God seemed far away at first. I truly believe that He exists, but it seems as if He was too busy with everything else, or He just didn’t care. After all, God is powerful enough to end my suffering, but He hasn’t.

If you start there, you’ll reach a dead end pretty quickly. God hasn’t promised to explain everything about what He does and what He allows. Instead, He encourages us to start with Jesus. Jesus is God the Son, and He is certainly loved by His Heavenly Father. Yet Jesus also went through more suffering than anyone who ever lived!

Here I saw that love and suffering can co-exist. And when I started to read the Bible and encounter people like Job, Jeremiah, and the apostle Paul, I got a sense that suffering was actually the well-worn path for God’s favorites. This doesn’t answer the question, Why are you doing this to me? But it cushions the blow when you know that God understands. I wasn’t alone. If I knew anything about God, I knew that He comes close to those who suffer, so keep your eyes open for Him.

God speaks to you in the Bible

Keep your heart open to the fact that the Bible has much to say to you when you are depressed. Here are a few suggestions of Bible passages you can read. Read one each day and let it fill your mind as you go about your life. 

  • Read about Jesus’ suffering in Isaiah 53 and Mark 14. How does it help you to know that Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief?
  • Use the Psalms to help you find words to talk to God about your heart. Make Psalm 88 and Psalm 86 your personal prayers to God.
  • Be alert to spiritual warfare. Depressed people are very vulnerable to Satan’s claim that God is not good. Jesus’ death on the cross proves God’s love for you. It’s the only weapon powerful enough to stand against Satan’s lies. (Romans 5:6-8, 1 John 4:9,10)
  • Don’t think your case is unique. Read Hebrews 11 and 12. Many have walked this path before you and they will tell you that God did not fail them.
  • Remember your purpose for living. (Matthew 22:37-39, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Galatians 5:6)
  • Learn about persevering and enduring. (Romans 5:3, Hebrews 12:1, James 1:2-4)

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Try one step at a time

Granted, it seemed impossible. How could I live without feelings? Without them I had no drive, no motivation. I couldn’t imagine walking without any feeling in my legs? It would be impossible.

Or would it? Perhaps I could walk if I practiced in front of a large mirror and watched my legs moving. One step, wobble, another step. It would all be very mechanical, but it could be done.

People have learned to walk in the midst of depression. It doesn’t seem natural, though other people won’t notice either the awkwardness or the heroism involved. The trek begins with one step, then another. Remember, you are not alone. Many people have taken this journey ahead of you.

As I walked, I found that it was necessary to remember to use every resource I had ever learned about persevering through hardship. It involved lots of moment by moment choices: 1) take one minute at a time, 2) read one short Bible passage, 3) try to care about someone else, 4) ask someone how they are doing, and so on.

I needed to do this with my relationships, too. You see, when you have no feelings, how to love must be redefined. Love, for you, must become an active commitment to patience and kindness.

Consider what accompanies your depression

As I put one foot in front of the other, I needed to remind myself that depression doesn’t exempt me from the other problems that plague human beings. Some depressed people have a hard time seeing the other things that creep in—things like anger, fear, and an unforgiving spirit. I needed to look carefully to see if my depression was associated with things like:

Do you have negative, critical, or complaining thoughts? These can point to anger. Was I holding something against another person?

Do you want to stay in bed all day? These were parts of my life I want to avoid?

Do you find that things you once did easily now strike terror in your heart? What was at the root of my fear?

Do you feel like you have committed a sin that is beyond the scope of God’s forgiveness? Remember that the apostle Paul was a murderer. And remember: God is not like other people—He doesn’t give us the cold shoulder when we ask for forgiveness.

Do you struggle with shame? Shame is different from guilt. When you are guilty you feel dirty because of what you did; but with shame you feel dirty because of what somebody did to you.

Forgiveness for your sins is not the answer here because you are not the one who was wrong. But the cross of Christ is still the answer. Jesus’ blood not only washes us clean from the guilt of our own sins, but also washes away the shame we experience when others sin against us.

Do you experience low self-worth? Low self-worth points in many directions. Instead of trying to raise your view of yourself, come at it from a completely different angle. Start with Christ and His love for you. Let that define you and then share that love with others.

Will it ever be over?

The question I continually struggled with was “Will I always struggle with depression?” That is like asking, “Will suffering ever be over?” Although we will have hardships in this world, depression rarely keeps a permanent grip on anyone. When we add to that the hope, purpose, power, and comfort we find in Christ, people who are depressed can usually anticipate a ray of hope or a lifting of their spirits.

Questions I Frequently Asked God

As a Christian, is it okay to get medication?

The severe pain of depression makes one welcome anything that can bring relief. For some people, medication brings relief from some symptoms. Most family physicians are qualified to prescribe appropriate medications. If you prefer a specialist, get a recommendation for a psychiatrist, and ask these questions of your doctor and pharmacist:

  • How long will it take before the medication is effective?
  • What are some of the common side effects?
  • Will it be difficult to determine which medication is effective (if your physician is prescribing two medications)?

From a Christian perspective, the choice to take medication is a wisdom issue. It is rarely a matter of right or wrong. Instead, the question to ask is, “What is best and wise?”

Wise people seek counsel (your physicians should be part of the group that counsels you). Wise people approach decisions prayerfully. They don’t put their hope in people or medicine but in the Lord. They recognize that medication is a blessing, when it helps, but recognize its limits. It can change physical symptoms, but not spiritual ones. It might give sleep, offer physical energy, allow you to see in color, and alleviate the physical feeling of depression. But it won’t answer your spiritual doubts, fears, frustrations, or failures.

If you choose to take medication, which I did, please consider letting wise and trusted people from your church come alongside of you (see Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Psalms 1:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:16). They can remind you that God is good, that you can find power to know God’s love and love others, and that joy is possible even during depression.

What do I do with thoughts about suicide?

Before I realized my depression, I could not imagine thinking of suicide. But during those deep moments of depression, my thoughts about death changed. I just wanted to get rid of the pain. A passing thought about death, then another, and another, until death became like a stalker.

Know this about depression: It doesn’t tell the whole truth. It says that you are all alone, that no one loves you, that God doesn’t care, that you will never feel any different, and you cannot go on another day. Even your spouse and children don’t seem like a reason to stay alive when depression is at its worst. Your mind tells you, “Everyone will be better off without me.”  But this is a lie—they will not be better off without you.

Because you aren’t working with all your faculties, keep things simple. Death is not your call to make. God is the giver and taker of life. As long as He gives you life, He has a purpose for your life. One purpose that is always right in front of you is to love another person. Begin with that purpose and then get help from a friend or a pastor. Get help!

Depression says that you are alone and that you should act that way. But that is not true. God is with you, and He calls you to reach out to someone who will listen, care, and pray for you.

Dear Love….From Hatred

John Pavlovitz is an “18-year ministry veteran trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus.” He proudly serves the North Raleigh Community Church as pastor of people in the Raleigh area and throughout the world.

John writes a blog called John Pavlovitz – Stuff That Needs To Be Said (http://johnpavlovitz.com). Recently John wrote one of his “musings” called “Dear Hatred, From Love”; posted JULY 19, 2016.

This is a copy of John’s post:

Dear Hatred, From Love

JULY 19, 2016 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

Dear Hatred

Dear Hatred,

I trust this letter finds you well.

Actually, from the looks of things out there business is booming for you lately. I’ve got to hand it to you, you’ve managed to keep yourself in the news pretty steadily and these days that’s no small feat. Your ability to reinvent yourself is a credit to your persistence and to you knowing your audience. I’ll confess, your brand is a whole lot stronger than I’d realized. Somehow you’ve been able to leverage all that fear out there into a pretty impressive little cottage industry. I see you’ve even secured a Presidential candidate.

To be honest, I’ve been in a pretty deep funk with all that’s happening, myself. For a while I’ve been struggling to find any real momentum; one step forward, eighteen steps back. I’d started to think maybe I was obsolete, like I’d finally become passé; destined to be a dusty relic of the past and relegated to faded t-shirts and power ballads. I was seriously considering calling it a day.

But this morning I realized something: I’m. Freaking. Love. Dammit.

I am the glorious, beautiful response to all the havoc you wreak out there.

I am the relentless dawn that chases away your heavy darkness.

I resurrect all the hope that you seek to destroy.

I am the defiant middle finger raised in the face of death, evil, and your pervasive lie that Humanity is beyond saving.

I am the redemptive song that people keep finding a way to sing together no matter how difficult the days become.

Sure, maybe I’ve had a rough stretch lately, but I’ve been through this all a million times before and I’ve always been able to answer you.

And trust me, I will answer now too.

Let’s face it, deep down we both know how this is going to play out, don’t we? You’ll grab the headlines and make a dramatic statement and chaos will briefly come, and you’ll feel and seem like you’re winning. You’ll get a bit of traction and you’ll celebrate for a moment. But it won’t be long until I rise up and slowly drive back beneath the ground all the terrible Hell that you managed to raise.

Like yeast in the dough I will quietly and silently do the healing work I do; person by person, heart by heart, breath by breath. And then I will be the one dancing.

You’ve probably noticed that I don’t resort to all the bombast and theatrics you’re known for. That may move the needle and make the news, but it doesn’t last and anyway it’s never really been my style. I prefer to just keep going—and waiting. Because the truth is, goodness is Humanity’s default setting, and when people stop to breathe, when they step away from the screaming fray, when they draw nearer to one another they recognize that goodness in the other’s eyes—and then you’re screwed.

People will always return to compassion and mercy because those are the most powerful forces on the planet. And when they do, they find me there waiting. They embrace me and I them.

Yes, you may occasionally corrupt the system, but I am the system. I am the truth that people know without knowing they know it. I am the deepest sacred place the human heart will always seek at its level. When hurting, grieving, weary souls search for rest, I am where and when they finally find themselves home.

So you can have your eye for any eye, and I will keep making peace.

You can demand revenge and I will keep forgiving.

You can spew venom and I’ll turn my cheek.

You can posture and incite with a closed fist, and I will stretch out my open hand.

You can gloat and brag and feel quite pleased with yourself for the momentary terror you’ve manufactured—and I will press firmly into that which endures and defeats it.

Yes, you are powerful and resilient, friend, but you’ll never overcome me and you won’t outlast me.

No matter what unspeakable damage you do, I will bring even greater healing.

And no matter how much you say I will always have the last, loudest word—trust me on this.

Look around you. Look beneath the headlines and the noise.

Look deeply into the eyes of those who get me and see how much they’re willing to do.

My people will not be denied.

You can’t win this one, friend, no matter what you or the papers say.

This place is mine.

Sincerely,

Love.


This is my post in riposte to his:

Dear Love….From Hatred

JULY 25, 2016 / GARRETT SOULEN

Image result for hate love

 

Dear Love……

It’s been a long time since we have met. How are you? I was busy so I couldn’t write you. Now instead of being monotonous I will straight away write you what I feel.

Ok, ok I guess you are annoyed with me. I know the situation right now. This day is what you call in Hindi a “kali yug” (a day of strife, contention). People hate me, but at the same time my name is stable because of this feeling of hate. Yet not all this hate is aimed at me. Some like terrorists, kidnappers or those whose hearts are filled with me and  wanting to take revenge on those who hate me. Indeed, they are the only ones who are filled with me. They want that people should develop a sense of hostility, suspicion and contempt. Isn’t that delightful?  Because of what’s in their hearts, now the people are filled with rage, hostility, hatred and revenge. Me! Filled with me! But don’t be sad, there are also those people in this world who still have endless love and compassion. I know that all the great leaders throughout history have taught mankind that this love is a wonderful thing. You are a powerful weapon which can sweep away all the envy, jealousy and scorn. I am happy for you.

Now, because of the terrorist attacks and killing of police officers that are filling many hearts with despair, feelings of hopelessness, desperation and fear, I am seeing the headlines and feeling the drama and chaos playing out in the streets. But you know what, something really perplexes me. We both can’t exist together. Where there is love, there’s no place for hatred and where there is hatred, there’s no place for love. But we both are important. Ok friend, I know I am creating a situation which is a paradox for you. But just think about it. If God has made sorrow, He has also made happiness; if He has made night, He has also made day; if He has made problems, He has also made solutions; similarly, if He has made you, He has also made me.

Love has been preached from the heights of Mt. Zion to the valley below.  I know I am not good but I am not all that bad either. Yes, only you can heal the world from this sickness. But if there is hatred in the hearts of mankind, there is no love. God does what is  good for His people. If He disciplines mankind because of something he has done wrong,  it is to teach him the message of faith, hope and love and to rely on Him.

So please look at the other side of the coin.

Yours affectionately,

Hatred

Palestinian lives don’t matter to US media

Palestinian lives don’t matter to US media

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

 

As Israel ramps up its deadly attacks on Palestinians, mainstream US media outlets are actively concealing the alarming displays of genocidal racism emanating from Israeli Jewish society.

Violence against Palestinians is nothing new. Israel’s ongoing colonial project requires enormous levels of brutality against Palestinians. But this daily reality is only newsworthy when it blows back against Israeli Jews, which has been the case during the last week with a number of violent incidents against Israeli settlers.

Every unsavory act allegedly committed by a Palestinian since the drive-by shooting of an Israeli settler couple last Thursday has garnered major headlines. During the same time period, Israeli settlers and soldiers have terrorized Palestinians across the occupied West Bank in attacks that have injured nearly 1,000 Palestinians, including at least 66 people with live rounds.

Yet these acts of systematic violence have barely registered as an afterthought in establishment press reports, sending a very clear and chilling message. Palestinian lives, it seems, have no value until Israeli Jewish lives are affected.

Meanwhile, incitement to murder by Israeli leaders and Jewish lynch mobs chanting “death to Arabs” were comprehensively omitted from US media coverage, much like they were in the lead up to the burning alive of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair last year.

“Death to Arabs”

Following a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City that killed two Israeli settlers last Saturday, hundreds of Jewish extremists paraded through the streets of Jerusalem demanding collective vengeance against Palestinians.

Chanting their hauntingly routine “death to the Arabs” rallying cry, they broke into lynch mobs hunting for Palestinians to attack.

Anti-Palestinian race riots have erupted with increasing regularity in Jerusalem since the lead up to the 51-day assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014 that killed 2,251 people, the majority of them civilians. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “this time it seems that the Jewish mob which took to the streets was accepted by Jerusalemites with understanding, if not downright approval.”

The crowd was made up of extremists from an assortment of far right groups, including activists from Lehava, the anti-miscegenation group that equates mixed Arab-Jewish relationships and assimilation with genocide of the Jewish people. There were also more female participants than usual and they played a key role in riling up the crowds.

“We have to kill them all, including the Arab Druze in the army,” one woman was quoted as saying.

“Where were you at seven in the evening?” another woman shouted at the police. “Go beat up Arabs.”

“Let the people of Israel enter the gates and kill Arabs,” hollered a youth at the police.

Despite their hostility towards the police, the mob attacked their Palestinian targets with relative ease under Israeli police escort throughout the weekend.

On Saturday night Israeli extremists targeted a Palestinian worker with tear gas and attacked a Palestinian driver who struck a pedestrian in his frantic attempt to flee.

At the Jerusalem light rail, extremists asked passengers if they were Arab to determine whether or not to attack them. More disturbing than the mob itself was the lack of concern from bystanders, who “responded apathetically and tried to look the other way,” reported Haaretz.

“There were many drivers who honked in solidarity and vocally supported them. The cafes and restaurants along Jaffa Road were full of people watching the march of hatred passing back and forth.”

In stark contrast to the saturation of headlines about the Palestinian attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers, just one major US media outlet mentioned the hate fests but only after four Palestinians were stabbed by an Israeli Jew in Dimona following a week of incitement and race riots that went unreported.

How to whitewash a lynching

The race riots continued into early Sunday morning, with a mob of rightwing Jews chasing 19-year-old Fadi Alloun, shouting to Israeli police, “Shoot him! He’s a terrorist! Shoot him!” and “Don’t wait! Shoot him!”

The police obliged, firing several gunshots. Alloun, unarmed and visibly terrified, was executed on the spot and the racist crowd rejoiced in celebration, cheering, “Yes! Yes! Son of a bitch!” and “Wow!” and “He’s an Arab!” and “Death to the Arabs!”

Israeli officials quickly justified the killing by claiming without a shred of proof that Alloun was shot after stabbing a 15-year-old Israeli boy.

Despite publicly available videos showing Alloun being shot in cold blood while posing no threat and despite Israel offering no evidence to corroborate the accusation that he stabbed an Israeli, US media outlets accepted Israel’s version of events as fact.

The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren and correspondent Isabel Kershner parroted Israeli police claims, reporting that Alloun “stabbed and wounded a 15-year-old Jewish boy on a road outside the Old City.” They went on to whitewash the video footage of Alloun’s killing, describing the lynch mob who hunted him as “Israeli civilians in pursuit,” as if they were good Samaritans tailing a dangerous criminal.

The New York Times published at least ten news stories about the recent spate of violence, yet it wasn’t until the tenth report on 9 October that it found space to report on a “death to Arabs” rally.

The Associated Press followed a similar rubric.

“A Palestinian teenager stabbed and moderately wounded a 15-year-old Israeli early Sunday morning in Jerusalem before being shot dead by an Israeli officer, police said,” was the extent of its coverage of Alloun’s killing.

The article went on to detail several instances of Palestinians allegedly behaving badly toward Israelis by hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers, though a vague recognition that Palestinians had been injured by Israeli forces was buried towards the end of its report.

In a follow-up report the AP whitewashed a massive gathering of “thousands of Israelis” outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence on Monday night who were “demanding tough action,” according to the AP.

Who were these “thousands of Israelis” and what “tough action” were they demanding? The AP doesn’t say.

According to Haaretz, the protest was organized by the Samaria Settlers’ Committee, a far right group that produced an animated video earlier this year, which employed classical anti-Semitic tropes to incite against left-wing Jews.

In attendance were Israeli cabinet ministers Haim Katz and Yariv Levin, who demanded Netanyahu respond to Palestinian attacks on settlers by building more illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlement construction, saidLevin, will allow Israel “to beat terrorism in the most Jewish way possible.”

“Freezing [settlement] construction encourages the villains,” he told the crowd.

“Burn them in their villages”

Despite the US media’s refusal to report on them, the “death to Arabs” rallies have continued unabated.

On Thursday evening, hundreds of Jewish extremists marched through Jerusalem chanting “death to Arabs” and “burn them in their villages.”

They were reportedly led by extremists affiliated with Lehava and the notoriously fascist Beitar Jerusalem soccer fan club La Familia.

If not for social media and a handful of English-language Israeli media outlets, the existence of these lynch mobs would be virtually unknown.

 Palestinians were attacked in Netanya, a city in present-day Israel, the same night by a hate mob chanting “death to Arabs” and “Netanya residents are taking care of the Arabs.”

Lighting the next match

The next lynching of a Palestinian isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

Even Israel’s security cabinet expressed concerns, predicting that another deadly attack by Jewish extremists similar to the burning of the Dawabsha family over the summertime is likely to occur.

And once again Israeli leaders will have lit the match.

Slamming Netanyahu for being too soft on Palestinians, Israeli justice minister and genocide advocate Ayelet Shaked openly agitated for collective punishment. “We need to do things that will hurt [the Palestinians], so they understand [terrorism] doesn’t pay,” said Shaked.

As “death to Arabs” riots erupt across Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat is imploring Israelis to carry their guns at all times to shoot potential Palestinian “terrorists.”

In the Israeli lexicon the word “terrorist” refers to any Palestinian who resists Israel’s matrix of oppression, including children who throw rocks. Israel’s security cabinet recently made it official by approving the use of live fire against Palestinian rock-throwers.

Therefore urging Israeli civilians to shoot “terrorists” amounts to giving vigilantes license to kill not only Palestinians who attack settlers but also children who throw pebbles or any Palestinian perceived as threatening to Israel’s colonial system.

“Eliminate the enemy”

During a visit to the far right protest outside Netanyahu’s home, Naftali Bennett, Israeli education minister and leader of the ultra-nationalist Habeyit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, applauded as heroes Israeli settlers who shot alleged Palestinian assailants dead over the last week.

“Against the cowardly Arab terrorism, a wave of Jewish courage is rising to defeat it,” he told the protesters, encouraging them to “eliminate the enemy.”

“For the past 120 years, people are trying to kill the Jews here. The enemy changes, but we remain here, growing and building our land,” said Bennett. “We are the eternal nation, and we are raising our heads. Jewish heroism will defeat the enemy.”

Eli Ben-Dahan, the settler rabbi and deputy defense minister who decreed that Palestinians are “beasts,” called for faster demolitions of the family homes of Palestinian attackers and for the expulsion of their families.

“Demolishing terrorists’ houses and deporting their families is the best deterrent and most efficient way to deal with terrorism by individuals,” Ben-Dahan told an army radio station. He also urged Israelis armed with guns to “be alert and prevent another terrorist attack.”

Yinon Magal, an elected reperestive of Habeyit Hayehudi in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, tweeted and then deleted, “it is important to make an effort so that terrorists who carry out attacks are not left alive.”

He later clarified, “I’m not saying we should take the law into our hands and lynch people.”

He added, “Whoever is trying to kill us should be taken out.”

It remains unclear how this is different from his original tweet.

During a right-wing sit-in protest at the site of a stabbing attack in the Old City, Moti Yogev, a member of the Knesset from Habeyit Hayehudi, was captured on film shouting at an elderly Palestinian woman, “Go to the grave. You will not pass here! Only Jews!”

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears uninterested in provoking a Palestinian uprising at the moment, he is being pushed further to the right by the ultra-nationalist hardliners that dominate his governing coalition.

Not to be outflanked by Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu has declared “a fight to the death against Palestinian terror.”

This incitement has deadly consequences. Israeli soldiers executed six Palestinian protesters and injured another 60 in Gaza for allegedly throwing rocks at the border fence. And on Friday, a Jewish Israeli in Dimona stabbed four Palestinian workers.

The Associated Press, which has avoided covering incitement by Israeli leaders, rushed to report Netanyahu’s condemnation of the attack and then blamed Palestinians for fueling the unrest.

As Israel’s culture of hatred spirals out of control, the media outlets concealing the incitement from top Israeli leaders and the “death to Arabs” riots they help spawn are complicit, again.

Editors Note: At initial publication, none of the US media outlets discussed in this article had addressed “death to the Arabs” rallies. The article has been updated to reflect that after more than a week of ignoring the phenomenon, The New York Times eventually mentioned it in a report.

Dispatches from the Underclass

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

As Israel ramps up its deadly attacks on Palestinians, mainstream US media outlets are actively concealing the alarming displays of genocidal racism emanating from Israeli Jewish society.

Violence against Palestinians is nothing new. Israel’s ongoing colonial project requires enormous levels of brutality against Palestinians. But this daily reality is only newsworthy when it blows back against Israeli Jews, which has been the case during the last week with a number of violent incidents against Israeli settlers.

Every unsavory act allegedly committed by a Palestinian since the drive-by shooting of an Israeli settler couple last Thursday has garnered major headlines. During the same time period, Israeli settlers and soldiers have terrorized Palestinians across the occupied West Bank in attacks that have injured nearly 1,000 Palestinians, including at least 66 people with live rounds.

Yet these acts of systematic violence have barely registered as an afterthought…

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