The most dangerous man in Israel


The most dangerous man in Israel, journalist Gideon Levy a man despised by most of his fellow citizens came to Toronto last night.

Two things came to mind.

First, Levy was warmly welcomed by the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral Douglas Stoute. He seemed to understand that even in the heart of Anglican Toronto, a biblical prophet was among us, a man struggling valiantly for peace in the Holy Land. The cathedral fundamentally exists to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of the most dangerous man in Palestine, Yeshua ben Miriam or as he is known to us by his Latinized name Jesus of Nazareth.

Even the most established church in Canada which celebrated the funeral of Tory Finance Minister James Flaherty, saw that it was right and fitting to provide a listening post for another brave Jew who is speaking truth to power in Israel.

Secondly, there was the absence of any fellow Jews to listen to Levy. This was very troubling. So inward looking and so defensive has diaspora Judaism become that it dared not open a major synagogue for him to challenge their ongoing blindness and failure to live up to the call for prophetic biblical witness. The silence of the synagogues over Palestinian oppression is staggering.

Contemporary Judaism desperately longs for the voices of prophetic men like Maurice Eisendrath, a towering American Reform rabbi who served Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple from 1929 to 1943 and dove into ecumenical and social justice work while he was here. “Nobody slept during his tenure,”wrote another rabbi, “for he was a disturber of sleep who brought discomfort to the comfortable.”


Eisendrath was followed by another “dangerous” man Abraham Feinberg (1943-1961) who championed radical causes and anti-war work. And then there was Reuben Slonim,the brilliant Conservative rabbi(d 2000) who was shunned as an Arab Lover for his criticism of Israel

Saddest of all for Catholics was the fact that our cathedral could never open its hermetically sealed (to the prophetic) doors to a man like Gideon Levy. As per usual no putative Catholic leaders were present last night.Catholics of course are used to this non-presence of institutional leaders.

Pope Francis has challenged what he believes is the Church’s fundamental illness: ecclesiastical narcissism.
“When the Church does not come out of itself to evangelize,” he said, “it becomes self-referential and then gets sick.” And irrelevant he might add.

It was Johann Baptist Metz who reminded us that danger is a fundamental category for understanding the life and message of Jesus. Only in the face of this danger does the vision of the kingdom of God that has come near in him light up…the lightening bolt of danger lights up the whole biblical landscape especially the New testament scene.Danger and being in danger permeate every New Testament statement…thus the discipleship stories are not entertaining but stories in the face of danger, dangerous stories.

Fr.Metz went on to say “in bewilderment and mourning” when we lose “the dangerous memory of Jesus” we end up with a bourgeois domestic religion.’

And that’s where we are today, safe in the church and not in the streets, a danger to nobody and no threat to the unjust status quo..

Amazingly the cathedral was packed to hear this “dangerous man” who calls himself a true Israeli patriot sent to wake up his smug countrymen, comfortable with occupation and morally obtuse and apathetic.

The change in Israel needs to come from pressure from the outside. Alluding to his ecclesial surroundings he reminded us that miracles do happen.And as Christians move into holy week once again we are reminded that there is no Easter without Good Friday



  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    We have descended into a terrible abyss of complacency- frightening to view where we are headed given the level of narcissism and ignorance of the real world.
    Always regreshing to see disturbance amid such complaceny!

  2. 2

    The Anglican cathedral was crowded. I would like to think that a goodly number of Catholics – at one with Pope Francis – were in the congregation. Do they have clergy among their leaders? Men who embrace danger, despise mediocrity?..Do they have good shepherds?..

  3. 3

    “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

    Gideon Levy reports on what takes place on the ground in Palestine, and that’s very important. But he chooses what he going to cover. Like every other journalist, the information he provides is limited, and no conclusion bearing upon the entire Israeli/Palestinian conflict can be drawn as a result of the limited window he provides on the ground. The situation is very complex. He could just as well document the injustices coming from the Palestinian terrorists, but he chooses not to. I guess that’s fine. But that does not make him a prophet. You call him a prophet because he seems to have totally embraces the “Israeli-bad/Palestine-victim” narrative. Again, anyone who agrees with you is a prophet, anyone who has doubts and challenges is thoroughly denegrated. Vintage Ted. Nothing ever changes.

  4. 4

    BTW, that quote at the start of 3 was from Bertrand Russell. He’s not a prophet, but non-prophets can say a lot of truthful things, like Gideon Levy. A prophet speaks for God, not Ted and his ilk.

  5. 5

    Looking through your posts, Ted, I noticed that there are so many issues you simply do not talk about, especially issues here at home. What about a post on the injustice of Judicial Activism, witnessed most recently in the Supreme Court’s decision to wipe out the law against doctor assisted suicide? What will be the long term repercussions of this decision? What’s happening to the rule of law in this country? What is that going to mean for the future? And what is the underlying message about the value of human life in this decision? Is the Individualism of the 70s and 80s actually behind us? Or is it alive and well? Doesn’t indifference to justice begin on the personal level? Aren’t you putting the cart before the horse?

    Just some thoughts.

  6. 6
    mushafta Says:

    Finally, the authoritative voice of God has arrived!
    Thought he was gone forever!

  7. 7

    The authoritative voice of God has been here all along as the author of this blog. 49francesco is the voice of doubt, a skeptical voice, a voice that hesitates to condemn the Church hierarchy and everyone else who disagrees with the Most Reverened Ted Schmidt, the true voice and mouthpiece of God almighty.

    • 8
      mushafta Says:

      After all these posts on Israel our good friend Francesco has returned to insult you! I thought we had seen the end of him Ted! And now he’s telling you what topics to write on.
      How thoughtful! Never realized you had a “suggestion box” here Ted.

      Here are a few of my suggestions!

      Why is Harper joining the axis of evil countries- Iran and Syria that Bush linked with North Korea, in fighting ISIS?

      What plans does Harper have to govern Syria after he’s bombed the hell out of it- assuming Assad has lost interest in governing his brutal regime?

  8. 9

    After all these posts on Israel our good friend Francesco has returned to insult you! I thought we had seen the end of him Ted! And now he’s telling you what topics to write on. How thoughtful! Never realized you had a “suggestion box” here Ted.

    Isn’t this the irony of ironies. Ted’s posts are for the most part indirect insults directed to the Church, Ted always chastises them for what they do not talk about, and he criticizes the Church for not having suggestion boxes for the laity.

    Why is Harper joining the axis of evil countries- Iran and Syria that Bush linked with North Korea, in fighting ISIS?

    He’s not joining them, they are joining him. And the reason? Because ISIS is slaughtering everyone in their way, especially Christians. Cutting off their heads, crucifying them, etc. If ISIS were made up of Jews, and if their victims were Palestinians, we’d hear about it on this forum. Otherwise, SILENCE!

    What plans does Harper have to govern Syria after he’s bombed the hell out of it- assuming Assad has lost interest in governing his brutal regime?

    I have no idea. I don’t think he needs a plan. What plan does Iran have after it nukes Israel? What plan did Canada have when it went to war against the Nazis? I guess we cross that bridge when we get there.

    • 10
      mushafta Says:

      Francesco! Did you get a look at this yet?

      Published on Mar 28 2015
      Tony Burman
      Benjamin Netanyahu has a Winston Churchill complex. When he stares into a mirror, the Israeli prime minister peers through the cigar smoke and sees a 21st-century incarnation of a swashbuckling world saviour. But his fantasy has taken a hit. Given his astonishing statements in recent days, I suspect that future historians, when they stare back, will not be so glowing.
      In the context of Israel’s chaotic parliamentary democracy, Netanyahu’s election victory was far from a landslide. His party actually received fewer than 25 per cent of the overall votes. This means that more than three out of every four Israelis voted for someone else. You won’t hear that from his loyal acolytes and enablers in Israel, the U.S. Republican Congress or Canada’s Conservative government.
      But what we are all hearing about is how the Israeli prime minister ultimately won. On election day, he played the race card by warning potential supporters that “the right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves.” A day earlier, he abandoned his government’s solemn commitment to the United States and other Western allies by promising there would be no Palestinian state if he were re-elected. The result is that he will soon lead a government that is the most far right and extremist in Israeli history.

  9. 11
    mushafta Says:

    No matter the insults you hurl at thick skinned Ted Francesco, I know he can take it and I know he still loves you and welcomes your contributions here.
    As for ISIS- yes, bad news but let’s face the facts. What good did we do in Afghanistan, Libya? How many innocent muslims have we killed along the way? What is the exit strategy? Harper fails to elaborate and articulate.
    How do we incorporate the love aspect of Jesus command in all of this? Did He not say he was willing to lay down his life for his sheep?

    Our Ottawa leader chose to hide in a closet/ the good shepherd that he is.

    Welcome back Francesco 49!

  10. 12

    First, a message for Ted. The talk you gave at JP II Secondary School, you didn’t realize it, but the daughter of a former student of yours was present, and she was deeply saddened by your talk and lack of fidelity to Church teaching.

    ISIS is bad news? That’s how you describe them? Bad news? And you lighten it even further by comparing this to our involvement in Afghanistan? You are unreal! You should be the object of study in the science of Heuristics and Biases; we’d get a lot out of studying your posts.

    I know people who are from Afghanistan, and they are very grateful for the American presence. As for killing Muslims who were innocent, you simply don’t know what you are talking about. You have lost all credibility. Show me where and when we deliberately took Muslims and cut off their heads? Are you not able to distinguish between intentional killing and killing that is praeter intentionem

    The love aspect of Jesus’ command? Lay down his life for his sheep? What does this mean to you? Pacifism? I’m willing to lay down my life for the sheep. I’m willing to take up arms and fight ISIS. If you are suggesting that Jesus’ command of love means that we can say to Middle Eastern Christians: “good luck, have fun laying down your heads on the chopping block for the great slicing that is about to come your way”, then you don’t know the gospel from the Toronto Star. Worse, if you are suggesting that we have to sit back and do nothing in light of Jesus’ command to lay down our lives.

  11. 13
    mushafta Says:

    Peace be upon you my dear good brother Francesco! Delighted to see your return from safari- adsuming you were holidaying in warmer land!

    My good friend, war journalist renowned for his honesty Gwyn Dyer claims that the Americans have killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi muslim innocents after 9/11.

    The mass bombing of Baghdad which permitted the “shock and awe” quote from Rumsfeld was one of the greatest war crimes of history.
    Bush, Blair and the rest have yet to be put on trial.

    While you worship at the altar of Harper and Netanyahu whose duty it is to wipe out all of Israel’s enemies I remind you yet again of the gospel imperative to love one another.

    Slightly different from Harper’s gospel of prosperity at any cost.

  12. 14

    If Gwyn Dyer said that, then he smokes too much pot. And why would you “assume” that I was holidaying in warmer land? My gosh, your entire modus operandi is narrative construction.

    • 15
      mushafta Says:

      You have not read my other post Francesco!
      I thought you read everything!
      Yes! Gwyn Dyer said all of that following the invasion of Iraq.
      Condolesa Rice still has not provided “the proof” of weapons of mass destruction. Remember Chretien’s reasons for not going into Iraq? Remember Harper’s full desure to going in?

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