By Paul Merkley.


Throughout the United States and Canada over recent weeks several of the denominations that our media generally include in the category of “mainline Protestantism” have held their national conventions.

At several of these the item of business drawing the most interest, both of  attendees and of observers,  was the passage of one or more Resolutions meant to align the denomination with the programme of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) which is meant to render Israel defenceless against her existential enemies. (See my essay, “What Has Got Into the Churches,” www.thebayviewreview, July 18, 2015.)

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By Paul Merkley.


The Current Campaign of Vilification of Israel and the Jews.

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist who has for several years researched meticulously attitudes of Christians towards Israel and towards the Jews. Among his books are: A New Shoah (Encounter), which details Israel’s experience with terrorism,  and  The Vatican Against Israel: J’Accuse  (Mantua Press), whose content will be evident from the title.

            Meotti is convinced that we have already passed the threshold into a period of re-invigorated anti-Semitism, reminiscent of the 1930s. The current BDS campaign is just one front of a war, conducted under the banner of “anti-Zionism,” whose purpose is demonization of the Jews. To Meotti (as to me) the most frightening aspect of this matter is that a leading role in this campaign has been taken up by prominent church denominations affiliated with the World Council of Churches as well as by the Roman Catholic Church.  And most inexplicable of all is that this is happening at the very moment when Christianity is the most persecuted of all the world’s major religions. Indeed, throughout the Middle East, Christians are now on the path to total liquidation. Continue Reading »


How the Behaviour of Vladimir Putin Complicates Life for Friends of Israel.

By Paul Merkley.


In a previous essay (“WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS: Vladimir Putin and the Jews,” thebayviewreview.com, June 17), I outlined a two-fold paradox.

Part A is that Vladimir Putin is one of the few statesmen in the world who seem capable of understanding and of endorsing out loud the moral and spiritual meaning of the story that put the State of Israel into the world and that has sustained her people in their struggle against unappeasable enemies for nearly seven decades.

Part B is that Vladimir Putin has become the focus of a campaign that seeks to ostracise him from decent company – a campaign in which are participating all of the  major statesmen in our part of the world. In short: in the eyes of our elected leaders, the principle obstacle to improving the world today is the same Vladimir Putin who belongs among the best of Israel’s friends.

As a subsidiary to this same thesis, I note that foremost among the vilifiers of Vladimir Putin is the statesman who has simultaneously the reputation of being  the most zealous defender of Israel in the world arena — Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

The dilemma here for moral philosophers will be obvious.


Stephen Harper, the Steadfast Friend of Israel and Bane of Israel’s Critics and Enemies.    Continue Reading »

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS: Vladimir Putin, Israel, and the Jews.


PART ONE: Revival of Russian Jewry In Putin’s Russia.

By Paul Merkley.


Vladimir Putin: Successor to the Czars. –


Historically-knowledgeable commentators like to draw the analogy between Vladimir Putin, who apprenticed  for his present office as President of Russia under several of the worst thugs of the Soviet regime, and the last Czars of the Russian Empire. There is much to be said for this. Putin’s  atavistic-patriotic nostalgia for the Great Empire, so much of which had to be let go after the Communist revolution, surfaces in his fondness for  ceremonial occasions held in the great palaces, garnished with fanfares and splendid music of the Tchaikovsky age.

There is, however, one feature of the Romanoff legacy that clearly holds no appeal for Vladimir Putin – and that is their profound and loudly expressed contempt for the Jews. Continue Reading »

Published initially at The Conservative Prof.: https://theconservativeprof.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/why-do-environmentalists-dislike-poor-people/#more-254

For fair-minded people who want to examine the data, there are important studies on the liberal policies that cause higher unemployment and greater incidents of family breakdown. Since Charles Murray’s ground-breaking study Losing Ground (1984), numerous scholars have revealed the failure of liberal social policies. Sadly, many of today’s environmentalist activists are equally, or even more, destructive. There are too many environmental activists promoting policies that hurt people. Continue Reading »


By Paul Merkley.


The key to understanding  Mahmoud Abbas’ spectacular  success as a world figure  is that he cannot be embarrassed. This is a virtue that he has in common with his predecessor and model Yasir Arafat, who spent half of the last decade or so of his life travelling around from world capital to world capital, collecting plaques and trophies for his work as a Man of Peace and the other half in his office directing terrorist actions against Israeli  civilians and assassinations against those fellow-Palestinians who wanted some share of this limelight.

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There are Assyrians and there are Assyrians

Recently the western press has been bemoaning the devastation by ISIS in Iraq and Syria of artifacts and monuments from the Neo-Assyrian Empire (See my essay, “A Meeting of Kindred Spirits In Iraq,” www.thebayviewreview.com, May 1, 2015.)

But the proper name “Assyrian” has been appearing with even greater frequency in quite another context and with quite a different meaning. Among such items is one originating with Newsweek, and distributed by AINA (ASSYRIAN International News agency(aina.org/news): “Fleeing ISIS Into Exile, Assyrian Christians Sing the Oldest Music on Earth, ” April 16, 2015.) It describes the exodus in panic of hundreds of thousands of Christians from Iraq and Syria following the capture by ISIS of Mosul and other major centres since January of this year. Continue Reading »


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