Posts Tagged ‘Apologetics’

The Anti-Semitism Allegations Show its the BDJ and Jewish Leadership Council Who Are Desperate, Not Corbyn

April 6, 2018

On Monday, Jeremy Corbyn attended a Passover seder with Jewdas, an organisation of religious, politically left-wing Jews. News of this was then leaked by Guido Fawkes, and the Jewish establishment of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council went berserk, as did the Blairites in the Labour party.

One of the right-winger, John Woodcock, tweeted about how this showed that Corbyn was still being anti-Semitic. Woodcock’s a gentile, and so annoyed very many Jews by telling them what their religion was. Michael Rosen, the poet and, I believe, children’s poet laureate, put his feelings into verse challenging Woodcock to tell him what kind of Jew he should be. I can remember reading some of Mr. Rosen’s poetry when I was a kid, in the verse collection Rabbiting On. From what I can remember, it was largely light, entertaining stuff, which I think children need considering the immense pressure now being placed on them by the school and educational system. Other Jews also shared his opinions, and tweeted their views on Woodcock’s presumption. I can appreciate how they feel. When I was arguing apologetics with atheists, I wasn’t impressed when some of them were amazed that I believed in evolution and told me that I shouldn’t.

Then the Board of Deputies of British Jews decided to wade in, with their partners the Jewish Leadership Council. One of the Board’s leaders appeared on the BBC six O’clock news on Tuesday loftily declaring that Corbyn’s meeting with Jewdas showed how he was ignoring the concerns of mainstream Jews and did not take the allegations of anti-Semitism seriously. A spokesman for the Jewish Leadership Council also denounced Corbyn for attending the seder, and said it was a ‘two-fingered salute’ to mainstream Jews.

Jewdas, however, were very appreciative and praised the Labour leader for taking an interest in the Jewish community and seeking their views on the issues that mattered to it.

As the BDJ and Jewish Leadership Council know, Corbyn isn’t an anti-Semite, and whatever they say, the Labour party takes the allegations very seriously. That’s why tens of thousands of people were purged from the party, often just on the unsubstantiated allegations of them or related groups, like the woefullly misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. Arbush, the president of the the Board of Deputies is a true-blue Conservative, who hailed the election of Donald Trump and his Alt Right lackey, Steve Bannon. He’s in no position to moan about anti-Semitism to anybody, given Trump’s support for these Nazis. But the Jewish establishment likes him, because Trump is pro-Israel.

This is the real issue here. Corbyn isn’t anti-Israel, but he is pro-Palestinian, which to the pro-Israel lobby is the same thing. If he becomes prime minister, it will mean an end to the automatic deference given to Israel and complete lack of criticism for its continuing persecution and ethnic cleansing of its indigenous Arab population. The Board and Jewish Leadership Council know this. Hence their smears against Corbyn and his supporters as anti-Semites, even though they are no such thing. Indeed, many of them are decent self-respecting Jews and anti-racist gentiles, who have been abused and assaulted by racists and Fascists. These smears show just how desperate the Israel lobby is.

It seems to me that the Board and the Jewish Leadership Council represent the politically Conservative, neoliberal elite in the Jewish community. The same Conservative, neoliberal business elite which in the wider British community has done so much to wreck the economy and reduce ordinary working people, whether Jews, gentiles or whatever, to even greater extremes of poverty, all for corporate profit.

Corbyn is a left-winger, and it is natural that he should seek the views and company of those, who support him and his plans to undo nearly four decades of Thatcherism. They naturally include Jews, and as the messages of support for him show there are a large number of Jewish organisations and individuals, who do.

This is what worries the Board and the Jewish Leadership Council. They are becoming increasingly unable to present themselves as automatically representing British Jewry. And so they and the Blairites are trying to destabilise Corbyn’s leadership by making false, libellous accusations of anti-Semitism under the pretence that they do.

And even with these, they’re sounding increasing desperate. The Israel lobby has said that such smears are not being taken as seriously as they once were. In other words, ordinary people are waking up to the fact that these scoundrels aren’t concerned with anti-Semitism, only with using it as a weapon to defend Israel. And in America at least, Jewish young people are increasingly either indifferent to Israel, or actively hostile because of its maltreatment of the Palestinians.

Corbyn enjoys the support of a wide cross section of British society for his determination to bring the Thatcherite regime of benefit cuts, outsourcing and privatisation to an end. He is respected because of his decades-long stance against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. He’s a real threat to the Thatcherites, both in the Tories and the Blairites in Labour, as well as the Israel lobby.

But their shrill cries of outrage and smears show that it is they, who are desperate, aware that it is their power and influence that’s waning. And there’s absolutely no reason why Corbyn should listen to them. They’re Tories and Thatcherites to a man and woman, who have tried to unseat him and used the accusation of anti-Semitism to libel his supporters. He has every right to ignore them, no matter how they may try to pose as the representatives of mainstream Jews in this country.

Charles Bell: Surgeon, Expert on the Nervous System, and Christian Apologist

May 27, 2013

One of the contributors to the volume of Natural Theology, The Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God as Manifested in the Creation was the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century surgeon and anatomist, Charles Bell. Bell was the son of a Scots Episcopalian minister, who studied medicine at Edinburgh University. After graduation, he moved to London, where he set up a school of anatomy. As well as doctors and surgeons, Bell also taught anatomy to artists, and his lectures for them were published in 1806 as The Anatomy of Expression. With his partner, Wilson, he took over the Windmill Street School of Anatomy. He conducted research on the human nervous system, publishing A New Idea of the Anatomy of the Brain and Nervous System in 1811. In it he noted that stimulating the anterior root of the spinal nerves resulted in contractions. This did not occur when the posterior root was stimulated. This formed the basis of Magendie’s identification of sensory and motor nerves. Bell also described the trigeminal and facial nerves of the face. It was Bell’s student, Mayo, however, who realised that the facial nerves were motor and the trigeminal sensory. He became surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital in 1814. After the Battle of Waterloo the following year, he and his brother-in-law, John Shaw, rushed over to the battlefield to provide medical aid for the wounded troopers on both sides. During his work there he sketched the horrific wounds the soldiers had sustained during the Battle. In 1830 he published a further edition of his work, Nervous System of the Human Body, which has been recognised as a classic of medical literature. In 1836 he moved back to Edinburgh, where he had been appointed to the chair of surgery. It was Bell, who gave his name to the condition, Bell’s Palsy, and the thoracic nerve of Bell.

Bell was also deeply religious, and he was invited to contribute to the above book of Natural Theology by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. The book was written according to the provisions of the will of the Earl of Bridgwater, who set up a trust fund for that purpose. Bell’s contribution was the chapter, ‘The Hand: its Mechanisms and Vital Endowments, as evincing design, and illustrating the power, wisdom and goodness of God’, published in 1833.

Bell’s career demonstrates that during the 19th century a prominent and brilliant surgeon and medical scientist could not only be a devout Christian, but also use his knowledge to proclaim God’s existence and glory. While the argument from biological design has been largely discredited following Darwin, nevertheless Bell is outstanding as a both a medical figure and someone who tried to put their faith into practice for God’s glory and the welfare of humanity.