Recently I wrote about the contradiction between the peaceful ideals of Mennonite (and some other) Christians, and their hosting a dinner for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he visited the UN this week.
Apparently I missed one of the other guests at the dinner. Also breaking bread with the man who has called Israel a”stinking, rotten corpse” and predicted that it would be “wiped off the face of the earth” — and who is well on the way, with the acquiesence of the West, to obtaining nuclear bombs — was Rabbi Lynn Gottleib, who also spoke at the dinner.
Rabbi Gottleib was in the news this May when — shocked by Sen. Hillary Clinton’s remark that if Iran were to attack Israel, the US would retaliate against Iran and could “totally obliterate them” — decided to travel to Iran as co-leader of an ‘interfaith peace delegation’, where she wrote a poem, ending thus:
Revelation bursts forth from your soil
draped in ten thousand shades
You returned my people to Jerusalem
restored the Temple
provided my relatives with a Persian home for thirty centuries
and I did not know.
Now I jump over fires on Norouz
go to the garden of roses
the first Sabbath after Passover
at Hafez’s tomb
touch my forehead to the clay earth of Jamkaran
where the Mahdi is hidden
but everywhere present.
Lovely, isn’t it? I thought it would be instructive to contrast it with some prose by the honored guest at the dinner, spoken earlier that day at the UN General Assembly:
The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule [sic] minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner. It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premiere [sic] nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to attain financial or media support.
Gottleib’s explanation, when asked why she attended a dinner honoring such a man, said “peace is better than war”.