Thursday, February 11, 2016

THE PHARISEES OF STATEN ISLAND

UP FRONT News       February 2, 2016 
"The paper that won't be bought and can't be sold."
Published by Tom Weiss
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THE PHARISEES OF STATEN ISLAND
     As was being made very clear in in Rev. Agnes McBeth's Wednesday evening Bible classes that I've attended at St. Philips Baptist Church in the economically fragile neighborhood Port Richmond, Staten Island, the Church a perhaps ten minute walk from Rabbi Gerald Sussman's Temple Emanu-el, Rabbi Jesus got Himself into big political trouble with his peaceful but very confrontational challenge to the Roman rulers and some of the Jewish leaders known as the Pharisees, who were oppressing and ripping off the "99 percenters" in Jerusalem and beyond, who were thereby literally capitalizing on a rigged tax structure. Jesus's reported "miracles" scared the rulers, who could not comprehend that a human being possessed such powers. The Romans and their friends among the Pharisees were not about to tolerate Jesus's exercising what we now refer to in America as the First Amendment-guaranteed rights of free speech and assembly, such as His denouncing at least some of the Pharisees as "hypocrites", that speech reported in Matthew 23, which should be required reading also in the synagogues today.
 And so, with the overt and covert collaboration of the Romans and some politically connected Jewish Pharisees, Rabbi Jesus was betrayed by an associate, arrested, hauled before a kangaroo court, convicted of telling the truth and, with the support of demagoguery-receptive mob, lynched. And that has led historically to the racist notion - brought to its lowest point perhaps by Hitler and the Nazis, that was at least rhetorically supported by demagogues like the late Hugo Chavez and other anti-Semites such as the KKK - that "The Jews killed Christ."
  Rabbi Sussman, a key figure in the expanding Building Bridges interfaith coalition in S.I., reminds us that it was a few of the politically entrenched Pharisees who helped the Roman dictatorship in its silencing of the man who is described by "Rev. Agnes" (as she prefers to be known at Church) and me in political terms as a Jewish revolutionary.
  The is no human behavior that Rabbi Jesus disliked more than dishonesty and corruption. Political/economic dictatorships thrive on corruption and on the "silence of the lambs" that sustain corruption lead to massive - and sometimes genocidal - attacks on people's human rights such as took place under Nazism in Chancellor Hitler's Third Reich and is taking place now under President Xi's Chinese Communism in Tibet - not at all coincidentally in a formerly independent country led by a Buddhist pacifist monk with a Judeo-Christian (i.e. Moses/Isaiah/Jesus) message, that, during what Christian theologian Elizabeth Clare Prophet refers to as "The Missing Years", was Jesus's home for some time.
  As Hitler and the Nazis tightened their power, with the aid of Jews and others who remained silent, a Protestant Minister, Martin Niemöller, said and wrote, "When they came for the unions, I was silent; when they came for the communists I was silent; when they came for the Jews I was silent. And when they came for me there was no one to speak for me." (Niemöller was arrested by the Nazis but survived.)
  Although the colony I refer to as "The People's Republic of Staten Island" is hardly Nazi Germany, when it comes to political corruption, Staten Island, - where the notion of high level Mafia political influence is not a stereotype - is a cesspool. I know of no other borough in New York City or a county in New York State with a state senator whose Chief of Staff is a criminal and an episodically thoroughly psychotic man and an identified mafioso. The Senator is Diane Savino and the mobster - who has terrorized me and reportedly at least one other victim - is Robert Cataldo. I know of no religious leaders outside of Staten Island who remain silent about the likes of their pals Savino and Cataldo. I have not heard a word of protest from Rev. Dr. Tony Baker of the already referenced St. Philips Baptist Church in S.I.. And perhaps Rev. Agnes's husband St. Philips Deacon John McBeth would like to explain his history of harassing and trying to silence me. Some contemporary Pharisees are "Christian."
  I know of no other borough in New York City or a county in New York State with a City Council member whose top political advisor is an "Israel basher"/attempted Tom Weiss basher and a de facto anti-Semite. The City Council member is Debi Rose and the anti-Semite is David Jones.
  I know of no other borough with a (gay) (s)elected official, who, at least in his dealings with me, lies habitually and who in 2014 at a standing room only candidates forum at the Transit Workers Union Hall in Great Kills, S.I. as he began his speech, made a (joking?) reference to having a sexual relationship with Robert Cataldo. I am for full gay rights - but not with a same sex partner who is a mobster. The politician is NYS Assemblyman Matthew Titone.
  Among those who remain silent is Roy Moskowitz, best described as a professional and - at least outwardly- religious "liberal", who is guilty of ripping off the taxpayers by drawing a salary as a member of Titone's staff. Moskowitz is an official in the Democratic Party Machine Club called the Staten Island Democratic Association - which should make Niccolo Machiavelli an honorary member.
  Also a SIDA official is NYS Senate wannabe Gary Carsel. He knows everything about the wacko Mafioso Robert Cataldo and the anti-Semite David Jones in the Democratic Party house and has remained politically catatonic. As far as I can tell, if Gary Carsel were hiding a Jew in his attic from the Nazis and an SS man came to his door asking him if he had any Jews at home - Gary might say, "Please go upstairs- but don't mention my name."
  The Pharisees of Staten Island.

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