SSPX’s Floriano Abrahamovicz: Jews are the People of the Deicide

So here we have yet another leader of the SSPX sect. He is Floriano Abrahamovicz, or Father Floriano Abrahamovicz to those willing to give credence to an SSPX’s ordination. He is the spokesman for North East Italy of the sect. He says that he has Jewish origins on his father’s side (may G’d help us).

Catholic Culture describes his charming opinions:

In an interview with an Italian newspaper yesterday, Father Floriano Abrahamowicz, spokesman for the Society of St. Pius X in northeastern Italy, called the Jews “the people of deicide.” Insisting that the Society is not anti-Semitic– “it’s truly impossible,” he said, “for a Catholic Christian to be anti-Semitic”– Father Abrahamowicz nonetheless came to the defense of Bishop Richard Williamson’s “imprudent” comments on the Holocaust. Father Abrahamowicz added that he does not know how many Jews died in the Holocaust and whether the gas chambers were used for purposes other than disinfection.

The priest added, “If Bishop Williamson had gone on television to deny the genocide of 1.2 million Armenians by the Turks, I don’t think that all the newspapers would have talked about his statements in the same terms they’re using now. Who has ever talked about the Anglo-American genocide in the bombing of German cities? … And the Israelis certainly can’t tell me that the genocide they suffered from the Nazis is less serious than that of Gaza, simply because they’ve taken out a few thousand persons, while the Nazis took out six million. This is where I fault Judaism, which exasperates rather than honoring the victims of genocide decently. It’s as if there were only one genocide in history, that of the Jews during the Second World War.” The Jews, he added, are “the people of deicide.”

What does the Pope think ? The Jesuit magazine America carries a disquieting article. It suggests that the Pope is preparing a full-fledged rehabilitation of the SSPX people, essentially on their terms. Its seems that the notorious anti-Semitism of the SSPX seems to bother the Pope less than their ultra-conservatism pleases him.

Read also: Deborah Lipstadt’s coverage of the SSPX story

Even in retraction, the NY Times shows bad faith

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., Publisher, NY Times
Portfolio.com

It is now seventy-six years ago to the day that Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany. And the New York Times, as if to mark the event, has been caught red-handed in publishing outright falsehoods against Israel. Now the paper offers a vaguely worded “Editor’s Note” in which it says that, well, maybe we were wrong, maybe we were right, but since the “original source has not been found,” the alleged quotation from an Israeli general “should not have appeared.”

As readers of this blog know (see postings below), the offensive material appeared on January 8 in an Op-Ed piece by Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi. Today’s “Editor’s Note” does not mention Khalidi, who, after all, was the one who made the original false allegation against the Israeli general. Let me try to guess why the NYT is so solicitous about the professor’s reputation: so as to run more Op-Ed pieces by him in the future ?

This Editor’s Note is completely disingenuous from beginning to end. It says that an “original source has not been found” when, in fact, there is a publicly available original source for General Moshe Ya’alon’s views, and that these views are the very opposite of what Khalidi and the NY Times claimed them to be. (See my posting below). I nominate the Times, and Khalidi, for the Anti-Pulitzer Prize for Disreputable Journalism.

CAMERA has published a useful history of the Khalidi hoax.

See also Michelle Sieff’s informative account of this whole affair.

SSPX’s Father Franz Schmidberger: Today’s Jews are Guilty of Deicide

Mit dem Kreuzestod Christi ist der Vorhang des Tempels zerrissen, der Alte Bund abgeschafft, wird die Kirche, die alle Völker, Kulturen, Rassen und sozialen Unterschiede umfasst, aus der durchbohrten Seite des Erlösers geboren. Damit sind aber die Juden unserer Tage nicht nur nicht unsere älteren Brüder im Glauben, wie der Papst bei seinem Synagogenbesuch in Rom 1986 behauptete; sie sind vielmehr des Gottesmordes mitschuldig, so lange sie sich nicht durch das Bekenntnis der Gottheit Christi und die Taufe von der Schuld ihrer Vorväter distanzieren. Im Gegensatz dazu behauptet das II. Vatikanum, man könne die Ereignisse des Leidens Christi weder allen damals lebenden Juden ohne Unterschied noch den heutigen Juden zur Last legen (§ 4).

With the death of Jesus on the cross, the old covenant is abolished. The Church now encompasses all peoples, cultures, races, social classes. With that, not only are the Jews of our days not “our elder brethren in faith,” as the Pope maintained in a visit to a Rome synagogue in 1986. They are, rather, guilty of the murder of God, insofar as they do not embrace the divinity of Christ and accept baptism, the only actions that would distance them from the guilt of their forebears. But Vatican II maintains, wrongfully, that the sufferings of Jesus cannot be attributed either to the Jews of His days nor to the Jews of our days (§ 4).

This is an excerpt from a letter sent by Fr. Franz Schmidberger to the Roman Catholic bishops of Germany in October 2008. Fr. Schmidberger is the German head of that very Society of St. Pius X (SSPX — see previous posting) whose members have now been re-admitted to full communion in the Roman Catholic church by Pope Benedict.

Professor Rashid Khalidi Had Access to What General Yaalon Really Said

Further on Professor Khalidi’s piece in the New York Times (see my previous posting).

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has shown just how Professor Khalidi obtained his (false) quotation from General Moshe Yaalon. It would seem from this that Professor Khalidi had access to what General Yaalon really said, but chose, apparently deliberately, to turn the General’s words into their very opposite. Here is part of CAMERA’s article (click here for the whole piece):

Perhaps most egregious is Khalidi’s conclusion of his column with a fabricated quote. He writes:

“Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: ‘The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.'”

Khalidi uses the same fabricated quote in his book Resurrecting Empire, citing in the footnote an interview with Ari Shavit in Haaretz Magazine, August 30, 2002, as quoted in Arnaud de Borchegrave, “Road Map or Road Rage?” Washington Times, May 28, 2003.

But, in fact, Ya’alon said no such thing in the Shavit interview. On the contrary. He said that Palestinian Arabs must understand that terrorism would not make Israelis into a defeated people. Khalidi, in other words, reverses the meaning of Ya’alon’s words with a fabricated quote.

Below is Shavit’s question and Ya’alon’s answer:

Shavit: “Do you have a definition of victory? Is it clear to you what Israel’s goal in this war is?”

Ya’alon: “I defined it from the beginning of the confrontation: the very deep internalization by the Palestinians that terrorism and violence will not defeat us, will not make us fold. If that deep internalization does not exist at the end of the confrontation, we will have a strategic problem with an existential threat to Israel. If that [lesson] is not burned into the Palestinian and Arab consciousness, there will be no end to their demands of us.”

Ya’alon repeated in the same interview:

“The facts that are being determined in this confrontation — in terms of what will be burned into the Palestinian consciousness — are fateful. If we end the confrontation in a way that makes it clear to every Palestinian that terrorism does not lead to agreements, that will improve our strategic position.”

The story of how Khalidi first came to use this alleged Yaalon quotation, in his book “Resurrecting Empire,” is described in more detail by Alex Safian in his contribution to the pamphlet “Israel’s Jewish Defamers,” Boston, CAMERA, 2008, pp. 42-44. For all those of us who had regard for Khalidi over the years, these disclosures of his sleight of hand will be profoundly disquieting.

Professor Rashid Khalidi and the Method of Indiscriminate Quotation

Professor Rashid Khalidi
photo by Bryn Mawr Now

Professor Rashid Khalidi is a Middle Eastern expert at Columbia University. At various times of his life he has also been active in various Palestinian causes. His scholarly writings, not always uncontroversial, have earned him an international reputation. Whatever his political commitments, he has always maintained cordial relations with people of other persuasions. His friendly relations with Barack Obama, when both lived in Chicago, have become a matter of public notice. He has an enviable reputation for civility in personal and professional relations; in a recent interview, Professor Khalidi remarked that he has about a thousand Jewish friends.

On January 7, however, he published an op-ed piece in the New York Times that has caused consternation to at least some of his well-wishers. Not only does Khalidi here do what scholarly practice forbids — use indiscriminate quotation as a method of proof — but he also, as we shall see, claims a quotation is genuine when, in fact, it most likely is a forgery.

Khalidi’s piece is entitled “What You Don’t Know About Gaza,” and suggests that Hamas had no part in causing any difficulty in the Gaza situation. Israel’s Gaza operation, according to Khalidi, has no justification at all that he can detect:

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

So the war, according to Khalidi, “isn’t really about rockets” but rather, exclusively, about the malice and the evil intentions of Israelis. This strong assertion, it would seem, needs strong evidence.

But what does he offer ? Nothing but a single quotation which, he says, stems from an Israeli general, some seven years ago. He does not tell us how he obtained the text of this alleged statement, nor does he give any information about the circumstances under which it is said to have been made. Nor did he seem to have searched for statements by other influential Israelis that may be relevant. ( Nor does he address himself to the question of a possible relevance of statements by Hamas leaders, who routinely threaten all Jews with death; but that is another matter.) In other words, he did not do what a scholar must do under the circumstances, viz. determine, assuming the statement is genuine, whether it represents Israeli policy today, as he claims it does. I am afraid that Professor Khalidi, to the dismay of those in academia who wish him well, has here abandoned the method of the scholar to embrace the method of the propagandist: the notorious Method of Indiscriminate Quotation (MIQ).

MIQ is bad, and routinely earns graduate students failing marks. The reason that MIQ is so disreputable is that literally anthing can be proven with it: the world is flat, the moon is made of green cheese. But quite often, when lucky, practitioners of MIQ can get away with it in the non-scholarly public because, on its face, the method looks so persuasive. Often its practitioners are even praised by their friends as great researchers, “scrupulously,” as it is sometimes said, “documenting” all kinds of outrageous assertions. Unfortunately, people often do not ask whether quotations are presented with adequate context.

But in this case, Professor Khalidi is not so lucky. It turns out that the quotation on which he has so carelessly relied is most likely wholly specious. We now know, thanks to the excellent detective work of Jason Maoz, that Generally Yaalon apparently never said what Khalidi claims he said. (Please read the whole article by Maoz; just click on his name above.)

Remember, this is what Khalidi claims Yaalon said:

The Palstinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.

Here, according to Maoz, is what Yaalon actually said

I defined it from the beginning of the confrontation: the very deep internalization by the Palestinians that terrorism and violence will not defeat us, will not make us fold. If that deep internalization does not exist at the end of the confrontation, we will have a strategic problem with an existential threat to Israel. If that [lesson] is not burned into the Palestinian and Arab consciousness, there will be no end to their demands of us….

What Yaalon wants Palestinians to understand, deeply, is that Palestinian violence will not defeat Israel. Professor Khalidi turns that into something completely different, viz. a desire by Yaalon to have Palestinians see themselves as defeated. As Maoz shows, other anti-Israel propagandists, before Khalidi, have twisted Yaalon’s words in the same way, and it appears that the distortion is being handed around from one to the other. Perhaps Khalidi sincerely believed in the accuracy of what he was quoting, but that certainly does not explain away his irresponsibility of passing on this deception without checking the sources.

Professors are human, professors sometimes enter the political fray, and yes, professors sometimes discard all scholarly probity when they allow themselves to be propagandists. These are facts, but not facts that can make us happy. I do worry about that campus up on Morningside Heights and other such places (which, by the way, use up a great deal of public money in the form of grants and tax privileges); I worry about what is happening to the ethos of scholarly responsibility.