Netenyahu Goes Full-On David Barton

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu took part in a ceremony at the American ambassador to Israel’s residence to celebrate the 4th of July and he went full-on David Barton, making false claims about the founding fathers and their reverence for the Old Testament.

The Founding Fathers of America were inspired by the Bible, and specifically by the Book of the Exodus, by the dream of building freedom in a new Promised Land. And as you stand in the Chamber of the American Congress, you see right across you the image of one man – Moses, with a quote from the Bible.

No, it’s not the image of “one man.” It’s images of a whole lot of men, all lawgivers from history (there’s a similar frieze at the Supreme Court, but the one at the Capitol has more people in it). It includes Edward I, Gaius, Gregory IX, Hammurabi, Hugo Grotius, Justinian I, Napoleon, Papinian and many more.

And since the establishment of the United States, that’s two and a half centuries, the vision of justice and the vision of peace espoused by the Prophets of Israel served as a guiding light for Americans from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to many others seeking to form a more perfect union.

Really? Jefferson? The same Jefferson who wrote to William Short in 1820 that the God of the Old Testament was “a Being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust”? That Jefferson? David Barton called, he wants his act back.

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  • StevoR

    The same Jefferson who wrote to William Short in 1820 that the God of the Old Testament was “a Being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust”?

    Er, wasn’t that actually pretty much Dawkin’s description in The God Delusion although Dawkins may have added a few extra abusive words?

  • colnago80

    Re StevoR @ #1

    More then a few.

    The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Ah, the good ol’ days when words in English were closer to their roots.

    Imagine the blowups we’d see if any politician today described terrorists as “terrific”!

  • llewelly

    Dawkins has said his words were inspired by Jefferson’s .

  • StevoR

    @ ^ llewelly : Fair enough then, did not know that.

    @2. colnago80 : Yep. That Dawkins always pulling his punches and holding back on what he really thinks eh?

  • carpenterman

    “… the vision of peace as espoused by the Prophets of Israel…”?

    Really? Since when was peace EVER a priority in the Old Testament? The whole thing is a litany of slaughter and brutality.

  • StevoR

    PS. Also I thought *I* used too many adjectives at times .. !

  • Synfandel

    Personally, I love Stephen Fry’s take on God:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-d4otHE-YI

  • Knight in Sour Armor

    Wouldn’t be a stretch to conjecture that the mythical Founding Fathers were all anti-semites, I suppose?

  • Mr Ed

    Reread this but imagine Bob Marley singing it…

    And since the establishment of the United States, that’s two and a half centuries, the vision of justice and the vision of peace espoused by the Prophets of Israel

    I think this is a lost verse from Redemption Song.

  • busterggi

    “The Founding Fathers of America were inspired by the Bible, and specifically by the Book of the Exodus, by the dream of building freedom in a new Promised Land. ”

    Mr. Netenyahu is apparently unaware that the British colonies had existed for over a century and a half before there was any idea of separation from England and that many of the colonists fought for the Brits.

    But that’s only facts, not ‘truths’.

  • colnago80

    I worry less about Bibi’s imaginings of the motivations of the Founding Fathers and more about what he’s going to do if an agreement is signed with Iran that he doesn’t like.

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Netanyahu-Whats-happening-in-Iran-talks-is-a-breakdown-not-a-breakthrough-408034.

    We already see from an hysterical column last week from one of his sockpuppets, Charles Krauthammer, the opening salvos against the emerging deal.

    http://goo.gl/PgbP4B

  • lorn

    One idea that pops up when I read this sort of directed fiction is that it seems linked to teh idea behind books like The Secret. They are pushing a primitive magic, power of will, mana, create your own reality through thought control sort of dynamic. Barton, and in this case, Benjamin Netenyahu, need the reality to be their peculiar way and, despite abundant and clear evidence otherwise, they feel that repeatedly and confidently asserting their preferred version of reality that they are modifying reality.

    This is their version of plastering their refrigerator with pictures cut from magazines of the house, car and girlfriends they with they could afford to obtain. This is a common theme in primitive religions where it is assumed that repeated concentration on a goal brings the two together by metaphysical means. In one way it does demonstrably work. The clearest example I know of is with stalkers who feel very close to their target after intense study and focus. Even as the rest of the objective world sees no shift whatsoever beyond the stalker’s own shift toward delusion and self-deception.

    In this case Benjamin Netenyahu is doing it less to revise reality through magical means than to try to bring the US policy closer to Israel through false assertion but, in this case, the two ends use a common means.

  • colnago80

    Hey, as much as we may not like Bibi, at least spell his name correctly. Its spelled Netanyahu.

  • colnago80

    As much as the Reich wing likes to criticize France for being effete, it should be noted that it’s the French Foreign Minister holding Iran’s feet to the fire.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/july-6-2015-liveblog/

  • anat

    To carpenterman (@6):

    When Israelis speak of the message of peace in Tanakh we mean things like Isaiah 2:2-4 or the more expanded version in Micah 4:1-5.

  • wreck

    Thomas Paine, anyone?

  • Bruce

    The image in the Capitol includes Hammurabi. The few Exodus commandments that made it into US law (kill, steal) were copied by Exodus from the much older Code of Hammurabi. Saying we were inspired by The fictional Moses is no better than saying we were inspired by Babylon, where the Jews studied that culture during their captivity.

    Also, does Netanyahu think the USA has banned the cheeseburger, because it cooks an animal with its mothers milk?

  • colnago80

    Re Bruce @ #18

    Last I heard, we haven’t banned pork sausages either.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Colnago, to be fair I can think of a six-letter name you seem to be incapable of spelling correctly…

  • shadow

    @18 Bruce:

    To be fair, a cheeseburger is not a kid seethed in its mother’s milk.

  • dannorth

    @8 Synfandel

    Thanks. His rant was pretty awesome. But watching the expression of the interviewer really was the icong on the cake!

  • colnago80

    Re Tabby Lavalamp @ #20

    Hey, I always spell Stephen Harper’s last name name correctly.

  • yaque

    Bibi is perfectly ok. Politicians and officers are generally known by nicknames and first names here.

    If you want to be disrespectful, call him bibiyahoo.

    Also ok. While bibi is considered a bit thin skinned by Israeli standards, this is nothing.

    Blunt informality is an Israeli cultural stereotype, especially with politicians and brass.

    Like you have baby kissing and “God bless”.

    Oh, and to be clear, I detest bibi and the horse he came in on. He grates on me like a smarmy used-car salesman trying to sell me the worst car on the lot. Dishonest pandering is his tried-and-true shtick. I especially hate his deep, sincere, affected voice, I feel my intelligence insulted before he opens his mouth.