Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Piers Morgan Interviews Benjamin Netanyahu: Winds of Change

11 Comments

After my first post “Conversations with an Atheist Jew”  Zoe mentioned in her comment that she’d seen an interview that Piers Morgan did with Benjamin Netanyahu.  So I decided I’d look it up and sure enough I found it on youtube.com.  For some reason I couldn’t link the video to this post, so if you want to watch it here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McYj0Em3QPg&feature=feedwll&list=WL

Zoe’s comment: On March 17/11 I watched Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Piers Morgan live show. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with your series or that I’m asking any questions. Just a comment about something Netanyahu said about Moses. He said, (not a direct quote but perhaps it could be found on Piers Morgan’s site) – that Moses was a great leader but he wasn’t good at finding a good peace of land. I remember at the time thinking, ‘Why blame Moses? Isn’t it God who directed his path to the “promised land?”‘

It seems to me Harvey that Netanyahu appears to believe some of the “O.T.” is literal. Any thoughts on this?

I did find the interview in written form at CNN.com:

MORGAN: Are you saying that you might actually stop any kind of nuclear
program in Israel?

NETANYAHU: We didn’t have any civilian nuclear energy. We have some
research plants, but not anything on a significant scale. And I don’t
think we’re going to pursue civil nuclear energy in the coming years.
I think, you know, we always blame Moses, that he was our greatest
leader and one of the most gifted people in the world. He brought us
the moral code and so on, belief in one God, but then he was a bad
navigator. He brought us to the only part of the Middle East without
any gas, without any oil.
Turns out he wasn’t such a bad navigator,
because we found some gas offshore. So, I think we’ll go for the gas.
I think we’ll skip the nuclear.

Harvey offered a suggestion that, once again, this is may be an example of the Torah being used to meet political needs. As you’ll recall he stated in yesterday’s post that the book of Genesis was largely politically motivated.  But Zoe’s question stuck in my mind.  She observed that Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, might take some portions of Genesis as literal.  

The allegorical interpretation of Genesis opens up more questions than the theology of Christianity.  If Genesis is allegory and not literal did God lead Moses to the land of Israel?  Did God promise them that this was their dirt?  I’ve always thought that He did and as such have been in support of Israel and our government supporting Israel on that fact alone.  “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3  Is this allegory, too?  What do you think?

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11 thoughts on “Piers Morgan Interviews Benjamin Netanyahu: Winds of Change

  1. Thanks D'Ma. Interesting comments he made aren't they?

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  2. I actually watched all 4 parts of the interview. I thought it was very interesting. I'd not thought of the implications for Israel being the "promised land" until you mentioned that yesterday.

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  3. Thanks D'Ma and Harvey.Just as while being written, the Bible is still being put to political use.Moses as Biblically depicted likely never existed. He is not a unique Biblical figure in that regard. Anyhow, the Exodus entry at wikipedia is a nice starting point for further inquiry, if so inclined. 'Some Mistakes of Moses' by Ingersoll is interesting also and is online.D'Ma! Discus! Wunderbar!Attention other posters: log in BEFORE writing post or discus will eat it.

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  4. Clearly, if you don't believe that the Abrahamic God depicted in Genesis really exists, this question is pointless. If, however, you choose to see all of the Old Testament as a series of allegorical instructions about how to deal fairly and/or kindly with your fellow human beings, the historical accuracy of the accounts is much less important than the philosophical or moral lessons being taught. Even though I am a non-believer, I continue to find great value in Scripture, and this value is not limited to the Torah. In a sense, I choose to ignore most of those parts dealing with how Man ought to relate to God; I still find great wisdom in much of the rest.As an aside, Netanyahu's remark about Moses having "turned the wrong way", leading the Israelites to the only part of the middle East that has no oil is a very old joke among Jews. I doubt that he is exhibiting any real belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible. If one believes in the Biblical account, it should be obvious that God directed him to "a land of milk and honey" at a time in history when the presence of oil or gas was of no value whatsoever, but arable land certainly was.

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  5. I thought I'd give Discus a try because blogger seems to be pretty hungry these days. Plus I like being able to reply directly to the person's comment. It just flows better that way to me. And thanks for the heads up on the wiki Exodus entry and the Ingersoll article. I'm slowly getting around to reading all this material. 🙂

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  6. "As an aside, Netanyahu's remark about Moses having "turned the wrong way", leading the Israelites to the only part of the middle East that has no oil is a very old joke among Jews."I actually kind of wondered about that myself. Sort of like when I make a mistake and say to the person next to me, "why'd you make me do that?". More or less I was wondering if the whole of Genesis is meant to be allegory what implications that has for an Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, promised land, Moses, or any other of the figures that are supposedly patriarchs. "Clearly, if you don't believe that the Abrahamic God depicted in Genesis really exists, this question is pointless."I see your point there. I'm not at all certain of what I believe. I'm kind of on a journey here. Though I am having my doubts about the God depicted in the Bible as the true God.

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  7. Although I realize that these posts generally represent your efforts to reconcile the religious teachings you grew up with to the realities of the Universe you have been recognizing of late, it must become apparent to you that Scripture in general and the New Testament, in particular, are the major source of dissonance between Christianity and common sense. In my experience travelling the same road, trying to understand or econcile the Bible's many inconsistencies with reality only gets in the way. It is much more important to come to conclusions regarding whther any God exists, let alone how one should relate to such a God.

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  8. 'it must become apparent to you thatScripture in general and the New Testament, in particular, are the major source of dissonance between Christianity and common sense.It has become very apparent. The extreme pacifism among other teachings in the New Testament have been a major source of cognitive dissonance. I've rationalized many things over the years and when the teachings of the NT ran in direct conflict with my better judgment and common sense I just shut my brain off, closed my eyes, and ran into the burning building so to speak."In my experience travelling the same road, trying to understand or econcile the Bible's many inconsistencies with reality only gets in the way. It is much more important to come to conclusions regarding whther any God exists, let alone how one should relate to such a God. I just commented on PF's post this morning that I've spent many years trying to explain things that happen, saying "This is just part of God's plan". I'm finding that less and less satisfying. If such a Sovereign being exists and this is his plan it sucks. You'd think an omnicient, omnipotent, omni-present God could do better.

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  9. "You'd think an omnicient, omnipotent, omni-present God could do better."I get some amusement from this consideration: God's enterprises: 1)Heavenly realm – fail – Satan and one third of angels rebel (Satan had to be dumber than a box of rocks, but at least the clear knowledge of the existence of God did not interfere with his 'free will' ), solution expel Satan et al but permit them to exist and tempt the next endeavor2)Eden – fail – snake problem, God evidently was wrong when he told Adam he would die ON THE DAY that he ate the fruit, God seems to have told Adam but not Eve, etc, solution expulsion3)Post Eden pre flood world – fail, solution copious quantities of water4)Covenant with chosen people – fail, too stiffnecked, solution send Jesus5)Post Jesus world – fail, Jesus could have done more if he had shown himself to his enemies (which he failed to do tho he said this would be the one sign he would give them); also fail of Holy Ghost to unify and guide Christians as promised; solution create a Hell for defective creatures

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  10. Kicking this discussion to a new comment because these could get ridiculously skinny:)

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  11. Exrelayman said:2)Eden – fail – snake problem, God evidently was wrong when he told Adam he would die ON THE DAY that he ate the fruit, God seems to have told Adam but not Eve, etc, solution expulsionIt's amazing to me the amount of gymnastics Christians go through to explain away all the points you made, but specifically this one. God wasn't wrong, he just meant a spiritual death. Adam and Eve spiritually died that day because of their separation from God. OR, another take, thought they didn't die that day they got the death sentence that day because God kicked them out of the garden so they couldn't eat from the tree of life so that in a sense they died that day. I've successfully jumped through the hoop, done my stint on the uneven parallel bars and stuck the dismount, eh?

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