Jews Exploiting Darwin?

Here’s the Hamas Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment exposing a heretofore unexpected Jewish threat:

“There are also theories that were invented by non-Jews, but they disseminate them, knowing that they are scientifically false, such as the theory of Darwin. Darwin was not Jewish, but they exploited his theory. Even though new Darwinist theories have appeared, they spread the original theory, because the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ serves their colonialist needs.”

This will come as news to Rabbi Natan Slifkin, whose endorsement of evolution led certain Orthodox rabbis to declare his books off limits to their followers.

The really striking thing is that this isn’t even the dopiest statement in the interview:

The goal of the Zionist movement is to establish a state in Palestine, which would become a base for ruling the entire world. Its other goals are to destroy the religions it opposes, particularly Islam; to corrupt values and morality; to spread permissiveness and sex; and to generate moral decline.

Yeah, there’ll be peace just as soon as Israel coughs up some land.

For some reason this all reminds me of a scene from Woody Allen’s movie Deconstructing Harry. Allen’s character is arguing with one of his relatives. During the argument he makes a comment about what God would want. “You don’t even believe in God!” yells his relative, angrily. Allen replies, “So we’re alone in the universe! You’re going to blame that on me too?”


  1. #1 Wes
    June 5, 2008

    The goal of the Zionist movement is to establish a state in Palestine, which would become a base for ruling the entire world. Its other goals are to destroy the religions it opposes, particularly Islam; to corrupt values and morality; to spread permissiveness and sex; and to generate moral decline.

    The ultra-orthodox rabbis are probably saying exactly the same falsehood about Palestinian Muslims.

  2. #2 ecoli
    June 5, 2008

    Maybe religious fundies (Jews and Muslims) will achieve peace when they realize they both subscribe to the same irrational belief system.
    When one religious group accuses another religious group of accepting science, and take it as a bad thing, you know the world’s in trouble.

  3. #3 Shaden Freud
    June 5, 2008

    Wait, wasn’t the story supposed to be that Darwin was responsible for the Holocaust? I can’t keep the propaganda straight….

  4. #4 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 5, 2008

    Jason, the people who condemned Slifkin are primarily charedim who are against the state and at minimum are not at all pro-zionist. Wes, similar remarks apply to your comment.

    The majority of the ultra-orthodox in Israel are not pro-Zionist. Most don’t recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state prior to the messianic era. The religious Zionists (dati leumi) are not generally “ultra-orthodox” but generally what one would consider moderate or modern orthodox.

  5. #5 John
    June 5, 2008

    I don’t know what the religious beliefs and principles involved are, but the Israelis main tactic seems to slowly take over Palestine land with their settlements, etc.

    The Palestinians are playing right into Israel’s hand. The Palestinians have been raging jihad for 60 years or so and steadily loosing land. Yet they still persist. They are so blinded by Islam that they cannot see that their jihad is hurting them much more than Israel.

    A pox on both sides.

  6. #6 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 5, 2008

    John, another gross oversimplification. For much of the history of the conflict “Palestinians” were not called that as such and they were fighting for what amounted to pan-Arab nationalism. It is only in the last few years that they have been strongly Islamic. And there have always been other Palestinian groups. For example, the Palestinian People’s Party has been both nationalist and Marxist. The Democratic Front is explicitly secular. I could go on, but the point should be clear: neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are monolithic and attempting to impose our views of how we expect interests to align doesn’t help matters.

  7. #7 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 5, 2008

    Sorry for not including the link to the original interview. That oversight has now been corrected.

    Joshua –

    Thank you for the interesting comments. The fellow being interviewed does not seem to make a distinction between Judaism and Zionism. The terms, and their related ideas are used interchangeably. I don’t think he recognizes the existence of non-Zionist Jews. The particular quote about Darwin talks simply about what Jews have been doing, not specifically pro-Zionist Jews, so I think the case of Rabbi Slifkin is still to the point.

  8. #8 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 5, 2008

    Jason, you are correct about Slifkin. My comment was more in response to Wes’s remark about the “ultra-orthodox rabbis”

  9. #9 Paul Murray
    June 5, 2008

    “but the Israelis main tactic seems to slowly take over Palestine land with their settlements,”

    Maybe it’s a rumour, but I recall reading somewhere on the ‘net that Israel’s tactics make a lot more sense if you keep a hydrological map handy. The goal isn’t the land – it’s the water. Always has been, in that part of the world.

    Oh, you know they are dumping raw sewerage into the Gaza Strip? Charming. Not that the other side is any better. It’s like Falun Gong and the Chinese government: just because the one is a gang of murderous butchers, does not nessesarily mean that the other is not an insane cult.

  10. #10 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 6, 2008

    Paul, the Israelis have generally been very open that settlement locations are made based on resource decisions among other issues (people wouldn’t want to live there otherwise). But it doesn’t take vast conspiracies to understand the settlement building; the land is cheaper than elsewhere. The combination of cheap land and a nominal ideological cover works wonders (I’m not going to get into the separate but serious issue of what constitutes a “settlement”)
    If there were any serious long-term strategic goal to the settlements they wouldn’t have withdrawn the settlers from Gaza. (Incidentally, do you have a citation for that claim about raw sewage? I have not seen it before and the Israelis generally are careful to reclaim their water, so dumping raw sewage anywhere seems out of character)

  11. #11 Dale Husband
    June 6, 2008

    I hate to bother you, but this website does not exist:

    It is supposed to lead to the website for Discover Magazine, but if you click on it, you go to:

  12. #12 Wes
    June 6, 2008

    Jason, you are correct about Slifkin. My comment was more in response to Wes’s remark about the “ultra-orthodox rabbis”

    Posted by: Joshua Zelinsky | June 5, 2008 11:11 PM

    Except that I did not equate ultra-orthodox rabbis with Zionists. My point was that extremists, regardless of their religion, tend to label their enemies indiscriminately as wanton sex-fiends who hate God, hate morality and want to destroy [insert religion here].

    American fundamentalist Christians do the same thing (Ken Ham’s Creationist Museum and Ben Stein’s idiotic movie blame evolution for almost every form of immorality imaginable, from pornography to the Holocaust), as do many anti-communists in the West and anti-capitalists in the East. The anti-gay nuts in America are yet another example.

    My point was about how many religious extremists, whether Muslim or Jewish, claim that anyone who opposes them is a murderous sex-fiend who is actively seeking to destroy law and order. Whether those extremists are Zionist or not is immaterial to what I was saying. The point is how they exploit people’s most irrational fears in order to foment hatred against outsiders.

  13. #13 Luna_the_cat
    June 6, 2008

    @Joshua Zelinsky — I don’t know about the Israelis deliberately contaminating land with sewage, but there is a great deal of sewage contamination in a lot of the groundwater and all of the rivers, and it has certainly been done uncaringly. The toxic state of the Alexander River, the Basor River, or the Hebron are hardly a secret. Both treated and completely untreated sewage are dumped directly into these rivers in multiple locations, both by the Palestinians and by Israel — and raw domestic sewage from Israeli settlements is part of that, in several places. Plus, there is untreated effluent from industries, farmland, and even landfills that goes straight in. Heck, toxic waste from the Ramat Hovav chemical industry sites even gets washed straight into the Hebron sometimes.

    There have been joint efforts between Israel and Palestine to try to clean up the rivers, even during the really tense times recently, simply because it is such a huge problem. For somewhere that has such a need for clean water and such short supply, you would have thought they would be a bit more careful from the start, but that has not been the case — and even though tens of millions of $$$ have been spent on waste treatment plants and cleanup efforts so far the rivers are still appalling. Worse than American rivers at their worst, as far as I can tell.

    Don’t take my word for it. Google “Israel river pollution”, it’s all quite well documented.

  14. #14 bobyu
    June 6, 2008

    Settlements motivated mainly by availability of cheap land? No long term goals there? Just a coincidence that settlers as a whole are fundamentalist and fanatical in the extreme?
    Give us a friggin break. The Israelis have the power, and are not using it at all well. The emotional logic of the few dominates the rational outlook of the many. The few got the wrong message from the holocaust. Do unto others before they do unto you has a powerful emotional ring – especially if you are a survivor. But it’s still counter-productive when you have the power to do unto others what you would have preferred they had done to you.
    And yes, at bottom it really is that simple.

  15. #15 SLC
    June 6, 2008

    Re Luna the Cat

    This issue came up about a decade ago when Suha Arafat, during a speech in the presence of then First Lady Hillary Clinton accused the Government of Israel of deliberately poisoning the Palestinians’ water supply. The fact that Ms. Clinton did not react caused her too run well behind other Democrats among Jewish voters when she ran for the Senate from New York.

    Actually, this issue was the subject of several stories in the Jerusalem Post prior to the Arafat speech and it appears that Ms. Arafat was partially correct in that Israeli Government actions (or lack thereof) were having an adverse effect on the subject water supply. However, it was evident that this was due to incompetence, not malice, as the Israeli water supply was also affected.

  16. #16 Luna_the_cat
    June 8, 2008

    SLC — it was around 1998, I remember seeing a comment in press by an Israeli general (I wish I could remember his name!) who was pissing off the Israeli government by going widely public with his condemnation of the river pollution. His concern was not so much environmental, though, as it was for the health of his soldiers, which he said could not afford to be exposed to river water on maneuvers because of the health effects. This was my introduction to this issue, but when I dug into it, I was absolutely appalled at just how bad it was — that general wasn’t exaggerating. Remember the Yarkon River bridge collapse? One person drowned; three died from the toxicity of the water.

    I never thought it was malice on the part of anyone in Israel — just an unwillingness to admit that it was a real problem, or to curb their industry or building to deal with it, until it really was at a catastrophic level. Even now, they have a long way to go, even with it not being swept under the rug any more.

    …I wish I didn’t think this is a model for how the world is going to deal with climate change….

  17. #17 Explicit Atheist
    June 8, 2008

    Wes, have you read the Charter of Hamas The Hamas Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment isn’t some fringe religious individual, he is an official Hamas spokesperson who expresses Hamas’ standard propaganda. Here is an excerpt from the charter, but you really need to read who thing to understand what is going on here:

    ‘For Zionist scheming has no end, and after Palestine they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates. Only when they have completed digesting the area on which they will have laid their hand, they will look forward to more expansion, etc. Their scheme has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [conduct] is the best proof of what is said there. Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason and it will bring curse on its perpetrators. “Who so on that day turns his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly has incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.” Sura 8 (al-Anfal—Spoils of War), verse 16 We have no escape from pooling together all the forces and energies to face this despicable Nazi-Tatar invasion. Otherwise we shall witness the loss of [our] countries, the uprooting of their inhabitants, the spreading of corruption on earth and the destruction of all religious values. Let everyone realize that he is accountable to Allah.’

  18. #18 Explicit Atheist
    June 8, 2008

    That should have said “you really need to read the whole thing to understand what is going on here”.

  19. #19 Larry Fafarman
    June 8, 2008

    The Anti-Defamation League’s support for Darwinism is beyond all sense and reason. The ADL equates criticism of Darwinism with anti-semitism. The ADL’s fanatical support of Darwinism is described in the following post on my blog —

  20. #20 SLC
    June 9, 2008

    Re Larry Fafarman

    I wonder when Prof. Rosenhouse is going to follow Ed Braytons’ and PZ Myers’ lead and consign holocaust denier Mr. Fafarman to the banned list. Mr. Fafarman is the slime of the bottom of the cesspool.

  21. #21 Oldfart
    June 10, 2008

    Was the settlement land cheaper before or after the Israeli bulldozers visited it? These two groups of pathological killers are going to get the rest of us embroiled in a world war. Bad enough that our candidates for president feel they have to be vetted by AIPAC, one of our ex-candidates promised to wipe Iran off the face of the earth. I assume she included all the women, children and old people along with the moderates and the few Jews who live in Iran too.

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