Lonely Man of Cake

February 12, 2007

Weekend Story Updates and Commentary

Filed under: Academia,Archaeology,Better Hasbarah,Israel,Judaism,Religion,Temple Mount — lonelymanofcake @ 9:23 am

As some of my recent posts deal with unfolding events, here are some developments which transpired over the weekend:

  • Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski decided to contravene the order of PM Olmert and Defense Minister Peretz to continue work on the Mugrabi Bridge by issuing an injunction late last night to suspend work until further notice. This was an ill-thought out move by a persona who has little–if any–experience in the diplomatic realm, and will no doubt serve to reinforce the the idea of the efficacy of violent protestations and threats by Palestinians and members of the Arab world at large. Lupolianski’s decision also serves to undermine the idea of Israel’s sovereignty over the Mugrabi Bridge area. This is yet another instance where the facts on the ground–which to any objective observer should have been in Israel’s favor–were rendered irrelevant by Israel’s pathetic PR machine. Israel still doesn’t understand that even if its actions are just, it is still more important to bombard the media with prescient talking points than to let the press reach its own conclusions, which are usually dictated by parties not friendly to Israel’s interests.
  • Professor Ariel Toaff of Bar-Ilan University who, as we already noted, wrote a book apparently corroborating the truth of the blood libels, will be summoned by the president of Bar-Ilan to explain his research and conclusions. Again, I haven’t read the book (which to the extent that I am aware, was written in Italian), nor can we use the newspaper coverage to get an accurate picture of the general research. At the same time, however, Toaff acknowledges in his interviews that his conclusions derive from confessions produced by leaders of the Jewish community after being tortured in the aftermath of the murder of Simon of Trent and the libelous attribution of the murder to a Jewish cult. Toaff gives full credence to these confessions, despite their having been induced by weeks of torture, and despite the renunciation of the historicity of the blood libel and the sainthood on Simon of Trent by the Second Vatican Council in 1965. Toaff will have to contend not only with irate Jewish community leaders and smug anti-Semites who feel that he has brought them vindication, but also with the Catholic Church!
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