Monday, 19 November 2012

An Open Letter to Rabbi ‘Professor’ March Saperstein


Leo Baeck’s Former Principle Defends Israel’s Genocidal Attack on the Palestinians

The fake Cambridge Professor who defended the murder of Palestinian children

Saperstein Responds - See Below!

I assumed from your letter to the Guardian defending Israel’s unilateral attack on Gaza that you were actually a professor at Cambridge University.  However your only connection with Cambridge is that you might live there!
According to 'Professor' Saperstein, Israel only targets military installations

Strangely enough, as per your description on the web site of the Leo Baeck College site (a college for ‘progressive’ Judaism) you describe yourself as ‘Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein’ a Professor of Jewish History and Homiletics.  For some reason you omitted this.

In your letter of today to the Guardian you speak of the ‘calumny’ of pointing out that the present attack on Gaza is being perpetrated for electoral reasons.  Clearly words have no meaning for you, except in an Orwellian sense.  According to my understanding, a ‘calumny’ would be a malicious and false statement designed to mislead.  It would appear that the only calumny is your own erroneous description as a Professor of anything but bigotry.
A thousand non-Jewish lives isn't worth a Jewish fingernail

As is well known, and not just to ‘professors’, Israel’s previous attack on Gaza was also carried out just before a general election in Israel, in 2009, to prove how tough the ruling party, Kadimah, was.  But perhaps your memory is failing you on this as well as your Professorship at Cambridge?

You say ‘Whatever one's views of the larger picture’.  The larger picture, of sustained attacks on Gaza by Israel, the murder of fishermen, the killing of a mentally disabled teenager who wandered too near the security fence is very much to the point. To any semi-decent human being, the deaths of 1,477 Palestinian children since 2000 compared to 129 Israeli children speaks volumes.

Perhaps you subscribe to the views of the popular Chair of the Yesha Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Dov Lior, that a Jewish fingernail is worth more than a thousand Palestinian lives or the views of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira’s Torat HaMelech that the killing of Palestinian children and babies is justified?

Since this view is shared by Israel’s military rabbinate, these are not isolated or cranky views but ones which are being urged on Israeli soldiers by rabbis who accompany them in the field.
The larger picture of an occupation for 45 years and an apartheid system both within and without Israel, is very much the reason for what is taking place. 

Your suggestion though that Hamas, an organisation in part created by Israel as a counter-weight to secular Palestinian nationalism, targets civilians whereas Israel targets only military installations is, to use your own words, a calumny.   Perhaps you would like to tell that to the al-Dallu family, if anyone is left alive, after 11 people were killed today.  Perhaps you would like to feast your eyes on the picture of the remains of 4 young children.

Instead of acknowledging that the unjustified siege of Gaza, because they elected a government which would not cravenly acquiesce in everything Israel demanded, like Mahmoud Abbas, in return for absolutely nothing, is the real reason for the current situation.  However you seek to blame the victims using weasel words such as ‘Demonising the other… undermines any hope of compromise and accommodation, and serves simply to inflame passions in this dreadful situation.’

When Gilad Sharon, son of the war criminal Arik Sharon, writes in today’s Jerusalem Post
that ‘There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.’ you say nothing.  Nor do you have anything to say about the mobbing of a silent protest on Haifa University campus by Israeli Jewish students or the ‘death to the Arabs chants.’  It would appear that openly genocidal and exterminationist views are now also becoming mainstream in Israel and people like you to their best to sanitise such views.

Your duplicity in trying to mislead people as to your own bona fides is frankly trivial compared with what you are trying to defend.  However I am not at all surprised that someone who was the Principal of a religious college, named after an open and vile collaborator with the Nazis, who deliberately hid the truth of Auschwitz from the inmates of Theresienstadt, now defends actions and opinions of the Jews worst enemies.* 

I suggest you read the letter beneath yours from a Jewish Emeritus professor Leslie Baruch Brent who escaped the Holocaust in a Kindertransport 74 years ago.  Professor Baruch is ‘dismayed that both the British and American governments have given Israel carte blanche for these acts of barbarity in Gaza.’  He asks ‘Has the world learned nothing since Guernica?’  I assume that, despite your invented credentials that you are aware of what happened at Guernica?

Tony Greenstein

*    Professor Ruth Linn, ‘Escaping Auschwitz – A Culture of Not Forgetting citing Barkai, A.  Leo Baeck:  Leadership & Thought 1933-1945.  Baeck also maintained that it was better that Jewish officers should ‘help assemble the Jews in preparation for their deportations… because they would be more gentle than the Gestapo…’ 

Saperstein Responds

I note that you do not deny that your 'professorship' is bogus and you deliberately omitted the title rabbi - not that my father (being Orthodox) would have considered you that either.

I stand by everything I wrote.  What is more vicious?  Challenging your credentials or supporting a war desgined to burn children alive?

It is no accident that once again a war against Gaza has been begun just before an Israeli general election and as Chief Rabbi Sacks pointed out, when he thought the mike was off, it has to do with Iran not Gaza.  People like you are just sophists who are ever ready to justify the murder of non-Jews whilst crying foul when they are subject to what you term 'ad hominem' attacks, i.e. the truth.

Those who planned the latest attacks could not have but known that innocents would be butchered.  The problem is that rabbis, even 'professor rabbis have no sense of morality these days.  There was a time when Reform Judaism stood apart from the Orthodox bigots  but no longer.

As Dylan Thomas wrote, 'the hand that signed the paper felled a city.'  You are guilty as the pilot who killed those 4 children who were featured on the front page of today's Guardian.  But you are more concerned with the affront to your own self-esteem than the consequences of what you wrote.

Tony Greenstein






From: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein
To: Tony Greenstein
Sent: Monday, 19 November 2012, 12:27
Subject: RE: LBC web site: Your Letter

Your vicious ad hominem attack does not deserve a civil response. I will therefore correct only one of the multitude of mis-statements in your message:

"In your letter of today to the Guardian you speak of the 'calumny' of pointing out that the present attack on Gaza is being perpetrated for electoral reasons.  Clearly words have no meaning for you, except in an Orwellian sense.  According to my understanding, a 'calumny' would be a malicious and false statement designed to mislead."

If you had actually read my letter, you would have known that I was responding to the statement by the Egyp;tian author that "Israel is a democracy where politicians may order the murder of children to score electoral points." Setting aside the issue of motivation, which no-one can be certain about (and about which neither you nor MS Soueif has any proof), the assertion that Israeli politicans "order the murder ofchildren" is a textbook example of your own definiition: a malicious and false statement designed to mislead." Your own message is filled with not a few such statements as well.

I have no interest in continuing this correspondance.
Marc Saperstein

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Greenstein [mailto:tonygreenstein@yahoo.com]
Sent: 19 November 2012 01:40
To: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein
Subject: LBC web site: Your Letter


This is an enquiry e-mail via http://www.lbc.ac.uk/ from:
Tony Greenstein <tonygreenstein@yahoo.com>

I assumed from your letter to the Guardian defending Israel's unilateral
attack on Gaza that you were actually a professor at Cambridge
University.  However your only connection with Cambridge is that you
might live there! According to 'Professor' Saperstein, Israel only
targets military installations

Strangely enough, as per your description on the web site of the Leo
Baeck College site (a college for 'progressive' Judaism) you describe
yourself as 'Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein' a Professor of Jewish
History and Homiletics.  For some reason you omitted this.

In your letter of today to the Guardian you speak of the 'calumny' of
pointing out that the present attack on Gaza is being perpetrated for
electoral reasons.  Clearly words have no meaning for you, except in an
Orwellian sense.  According to my understanding, a 'calumny' would be a
malicious and false statement designed to mislead.  It would appear that
the only calumny is your own erroneous description as a Professor of
anything but bigotry. A thousand non-Jewish lives isn't worth a Jewish
fingernail

As is well known, and not just to 'professors', Israel's previous attack
on Gaza was also carried out just before a general election in Israel,
in 2009, to prove how tough the ruling party, Kadimah, was.  But perhaps
your memory is failing you on this as well as your Professorship at
Cambridge?

You say 'Whatever one's views of the larger picture'.  The larger
picture, of sustained attacks on Gaza by Israel, the murder of
fishermen, the killing of a mentally disabled teenager who wandered too
near the security fence is very much to the point. To any semi-decent
human being, the deaths of 1,477 Palestinian children since 2000
compared to 129 Israeli children speaks volumes.

Perhaps you subscribe to the views of the popular Chair of the Yesha
Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Dov Lior, that a Jewish fingernail is worth
more than a thousand Palestinian lives or the views of Rabbi Yitzhak
Shapira's Torat HaMelech that the killing of Palestinian children and
babies is justified?

Since this view is shared by Israel's military rabbinate, these are not
isolated or cranky views but ones which are being urged on Israeli
soldiers by rabbis who accompany them in the field. The larger picture
of an occupation for 45 years and an apartheid system both within and
without Israel, is very much the reason for what is taking place.

Your suggestion though that Hamas, an organisation in part created by
Israel as a counter-weight to secular Palestinian nationalism, targets
civilians whereas Israel targets only military installations is, to use
your own words, a calumny.  Perhaps you would like to tell that to the
al-Dallu family, if anyone is left alive, after 11 people were killed
today.  Perhaps you would like to feast your eyes on the picture of the
remains of 4 young children.

Instead of acknowledging that the unjustified siege of Gaza, because
they elected a government which would not cravenly acquiesce in
everything Israel demanded, like Mahmoud Abbas, in return for absolutely
nothing, is the real reason for the current situation.  However you seek
to blame the victims using weasel words such as 'Demonising the other...
undermines any hope of compromise and accommodation, and serves simply
to inflame passions in this dreadful situation.'

When Gilad Sharon, son of the war criminal Arik Sharon, writes in
today's Jerusalem Post that 'There is no justification for the State of
Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten
entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn't
stop with Hiroshima - the Japanese weren't surrendering fast enough, so
they hit Nagasaki, too.' you say nothing.  Nor do you have anything to
say about the mobbing of a silent protest on Haifa University campus by
Israeli Jewish students or the 'death to the Arabs chants.'  It would
appear that openly genocidal and exterminationist views are now also
becoming mainstream in Israel and people like you to their best to
sanitise such views.

Your duplicity in trying to mislead people as to your own bona fides is
frankly trivial compared with what you are trying to defend.  However I
am not at all surprised that someone who was the Principal of a
religious college, named after an open and vile collaborator with the
Nazis, who deliberately hid the truth of Auschwitz from the inmates of
Theresienstadt, now defends actions and opinions of the Jews worst
enemies.*

I suggest you read the letter beneath yours from a Jewish Emeritus
professor Leslie Baruch Brent who escaped the Holocaust in a
Kindertransport 74 years ago.  Professor Baruch is 'dismayed that both
the British and American governments have given Israel carte blanche for
these acts of barbarity in Gaza.'  He asks 'Has the world learned
nothing since Guernica?'  I assume that, despite your invented
credentials that you are aware of what happened at Guernica?

Tony Greenstein

*    Professor Ruth Linn, 'Escaping Auschwitz - A Culture of Not
Forgetting citing Barkai, A.  Leo Baeck:  Leadership & Thought
1933-1945.  Baeck also maintained that it was better that Jewish
officers should 'help assemble the Jews in preparation for their
deportations... because they would be more gentle than the Gestapo...'

http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/an-open-letter-to-rabbi-professor-m
arch.html




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10 comments:

commie sympathizer said...

Theresienstadt!

Tony Greenstein said...

thanks!

Anonymous said...

You write and sound like a conspiracy theorist! Showing pictures not from the present conflict to justify your outrages comments, now the death of any person adult or child is unfortunate but in war everyone is a victim! Both sides.

Tony Greenstein said...

An interesting platitude. So in South Africa, the whites were also victims? And in Europe, the Nazis and Germans were also victims so everything was ok? This means no one is to blame. Typical liberal cobweb in the head.

No some are victims some are aggressors, some cause wars some receive them, as it will always be under capitalism.

Fahim said...

According to the Palestinian resource, Israel got on its knees and shouts for an agreement.
We won........ lets see Israel smashed,

spikele said...

Whatever the virtues (or non-virtues) of Saperstein's letter, it's a little unclear to me why you think he's not really a professor. He does indeed live in Cambridge, he does indeed teach in London, and it's unclear why either of these facts is spurious for you.

Tony Greenstein said...

I guess it is because, not having given the institution in which he was a 'professor' - the Leo Baeck College, which as u say is in London - he gave the impression that he was at Cambridge University.

Religious professors are an oxymoron

spikele said...

See, yeah, no, he didn't give that impression. It's common practice for letters to the editor to be followed by the city in which the writer lives. The letter before Saperstein's, for instance, is signed by one Bruce McLeod, and - per convention - is then followed by Mr. McLeod's place of residence (Skipton, North Yorkshire).

Definitely NOT defending Saperstein's point of view - but this thing about him being a "fake professor" or some such is just silly.

Tony Greenstein said...

You may indeed be right spikele, but as I say that was my impression.

The fake professor bit doesn't relate to Cambridge but to being a professor of colleges that have no worthwhile academic output and are based on an irrational belief in god in the first place. Further that they are hitched to the Zionist wagon.

Mr Burns said...

He is right Tony. And you know it. Less of the 'you might be right' bullshit please.