MatrixLeaks: July 2014

“They Have To Die”



Israeli Politician’s Comments Calling For Killing of Mothers of Palestinians Trigger International Backlash

The situation in Israel and Palestine continues to grow worse on both sides. First you had the savage murder of three Israeli teens. Then you had the retaliation burning of a Palestinian teenager. Now protests are erupting all over Israel and the world on both sides.

Some of the coverage is focusing on statements made by Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked on Facebook that day before three Israeli men went out and picked up Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, at random and burned him alive. Shaked’s post calls Palestinians “little snakes” and declares that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy.” Now comments by Israeli Knesset member Ayelet Shaked has caused an international outcry including contributing to a continuing rift with Turkey. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced the remarks and denounced Israel in an analogy to the Nazi regime. The situation is clearly getting worse by the day in the region.

Ayelet Shaked is a member of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, which is part of the ruling coalition. She is quoted as calling for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”


                                                                       Ayelet Shaked

Shaked posted a screed on Facebook that various critics are denouncing as a call for genocide. Shaked reportedly stated: “They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists . . . are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.”

The Facebook posting stated:


“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Her comments have become the focus of the rising protests over Israel’s response to the killing of the teenagers and later rockets attacks. Turkey’s Prime Minister responded with to the comments and later Israeli retaliatory strikes with a charge that Israel is now engaging state terrorism. He drew an analogy that itself is likely to enrage many Israelis: “An Israeli woman said Palestinian mothers should be killed, too. And she’s a member of the Israeli parliament. What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler’s?”

Shaked holds degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences and she worked in marketing for Texas Instruments. She has past ties to Benjamin Netanyahu. From 2006-2008, she was the office director for the office of Netanyahu. She then established “My Israel” with Naftali Bennet, but in January 2012 she was elected to serve as the coordinator of Likud. She later became a Knesset member for the Jewish Home Party, a successor party to the National Religious Party. The party is committed to a nation governed by Jewish law under the belief that Jews are divinely ordained to rule over the Land of Israel. The party has been active in supporting the expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestinian terrorizes and largely represents Orthodox Jews according to news report.

Here is what has been posted as a full translation of Shaked’s statement:


The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to define reality with the simple words that language puts at our disposal. Why do we have to make up a new name for the war every other week, just to avoid calling it by its name. What’s so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy? Every war is between two peoples, and in every war the people who started the war, that whole people, is the enemy. A declaration of war is not a war crime. Responding with war certainly is not. Nor is the use of the word “war”, nor a clear definition who the enemy is. Au contraire: the morality of war (yes, there is such a thing) is founded on the assumption that there are wars in this world, and that war is not the normal state of things, and that in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.



                                                                                Gaza


And the morality of war knows that it is not possible to refrain from hurting enemy civilians. It does not condemn the British air force, which bombed and totally destroyed the German city of Dresden, or the US planes that destroyed the cities of Poland and wrecked half of Budapest, places whose wretched residents had never done a thing to America, but which had to be destroyed in order to win the war against evil. The morals of war do not require that Russia be brought to trial, though it bombs and destroys towns and neighborhoods in Chechnya. It does not denounce the UN Peacekeeping Forces for killing hundreds of civilians in Angola, nor the NATO forces who bombed Milosevic’s Belgrade, a city with a million civilians, elderly, babies, women, and children. The morals of war accept as correct in principle, not only politically, what America has done in Afghanistan, including the massive bombing of populated places, including the creation of a refugee stream of hundreds of thousands of people who escaped the horrors of war, for thousands of whom there is no home to return to.

And in our war this is sevenfold more correct, because the enemy soldiers hide out among the population, and it is only through its support that they can fight. Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.



By the way, there was an interesting interview (here) with the Israeli spokesman (who by they way — regardless of how you feel about the merits of his argument — holds up well under a withering series of questions). The interview covers both views of the ongoing conflict.








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State of the Bible Survey



   Bible Skeptics on the Rise

The American Bible Society recently found a rise in the percentage of Americans who view the Bible skeptically, according to its Annual State of the Bible report.

Since 2011, the percentage of those who believe that the Bible is "just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice" has risen from 10 percent to 19 percent of those surveyed.

The report, conducted by Barna Group, details Americans' beliefs about the Bible, its role in society, its presence in U.S. homes and other information about the best-selling book of all time.

"With four years of data from American Bible Society's State of the Bible research, we are now able to see trends in attitudes about and behaviors around the Bible," said Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society. "The increasing polarization in attitudes about the Bible has implications for us as a nation and for our churches and families."


The new report released on Tuesday finds that the percentage of Americans who are engaged with Scripture is equal to the percentage who are skeptical — both at 19 percent. The latest findings are in American Bible Society's fourth annual State of the Bible survey.

The percentage considered "Bible-friendly" dropped from 45 percent to 37 percent, while "Bible-engaged" remained steady. The percentage of those considered neutral toward the Bible, 26 percent in 2014, has remained statistically unchanged.

As in previous years, the survey found the Bible remains a highly valued, influential force in America. But beliefs about the Bible and its role in society are becoming increasingly polarized — particularly when the data is examined by age group.

Overall, Millennials (ages 18–29) are driving the shift toward an agnostic view of the Bible. Among Millennials, the 2014 State of the Bible survey found:

Nineteen percent believe no literature is sacred (compared to 13 percent of all adults), while 64 percent believe the Bible is sacred literature (compared to 79 percent of all adults). Thirty-five percent believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, as compared with 50 percent for all adults.

While 50 percent of all adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society, only 30 percent of Millennials express the same belief. By way of comparison, 61 percent of Elders (those 68+) surveyed said they believe the Bible has too little influence in society.

Thirty-nine percent of Millennials never read the Bible, as compared to 26 percent of all adults.

The most common reason given for not reading the Bible more frequently among those who said their Bible reading decreased remained "busyness." The percentage of Bible readers citing busyness as their top barrier to additional Bible reading grew significantly in the last year, from 40 percent in 2013 to 47 percent in 2014.

                                                            (Infographic: Barna Group)

The way Americans access the Bible is also changing, according to the State of the Bible survey results. An unprecedented 44 percent of Bible readers surveyed have accessed the Bible on a computer. Still, print versions are far from disappearing from the Bible landscape. Eighty-four percent of Bible readers surveyed said a print version of Scripture is still their primary format.

Peterson, who took the helm of American Bible Society in February, believes there is reason to hope for an upswing in Bible engagement in the future.


"American adults, young and old alike, overwhelmingly recognize a moral decline is taking place in the nation," said Peterson. "As they seek solutions, we hope they will find the Bible as the guidebook that can reverse the decline and help its readers make sense of life."

Seventy-four percent of Millennials believe morals are declining in America, while 81 percent of all adults affirm this.

American Bible Society's State of the Bible 2014 survey also found:

The Bible continues to dominate both mind space and book retail space as America's undisputed best-seller.

One in seven people reported buying a copy of the Bible in the last year.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans identify the Bible as sacred.

The Bible is readily available to nearly all Americans with an average of 4.7 Bibles per household.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of all adults read the Bible every day or several times a week, while a quarter (26 percent) never read it.

Among Bible readers, the average amount of time spent reading the Bible is 35 minutes.

One in four Bible readers (42 percent) felt peaceful after reading the Bible, three in 10 (29 percent) felt hopeful and 33 percent felt encouraged and inspired.

                                                            (Infographic: Barna Group)

The King James Version is still preferred over any other translation as 34 percent of all adults read this version the most often.


Survey Methodology: The State of the Bible 2014 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study; one included 1,012 telephone interviews (including cellphone interviews) with adults in the continental U.S., while the second study consisted of 1,024 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured even greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews were conducted Jan. 8–20, 2014, and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted Jan. 28–Feb. 5, 2014.




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