At least, one reasonably assumes that Gregory III Lahham, "patriarch of the Church of Antioch and the entire Levant for Melkite Greek Catholics" is the patriarch of Robert Spencer's flavor of Christianity, the so-called "Eastern Rite Catholics" (as this Melkite website indicates, Antioch is the institutional heart of the Melkite church; and, of course, it is no secret that Spencer himself is a Melkite Catholic).
According to the online Daily Star of Lebanon, this particular patriarch opined recently concerning attacks on Christians in the Middle East, saying that such attacks reflected a “Zionist conspiracy against Islam.”
“I believe it is necessary to deeply examine fundamentalism … and terrorism that are masked by religion, along with violence and disturbances against Christians here and there and on an increasing level.”
And so, what about all this terrorism, violence and disturbances against Christians in the Middle East? Here's what the good patriarch said:
“All this behavior has nothing to do with Islam. But it is actually a conspiracy planned by Zionism and some Christians with Zionist orientations and it aims at undermining and giving a bad image of Islam.”
Oh wait, the patriarch isn't done yet:
“And it is also a conspiracy against Arabs and the pre-dominantly Muslim Arab world that aims at depicting Arabs and Muslims in Arab countries as terrorist and fundamentalist murderers in order to deny them their rights and especially those of the Palestinians.”
One would think such outrageously scurrilous statements -- both in their scandalous vilification of Jews and in their intolerable exculpation of Islam -- would be singularly news-worthy to Jihad Watch. One reasonably concludes that Spencer is withholding such news from his readers out of filial respect for the patriarch of his church.
While not too long ago, Spencer did publish an article about a somewhat lower-rung clergyman of the Melkite church -- Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, apparently the "eparch" (whatever the heck that is) of the Melkite church in the U.S.A. -- blurting out seemingly antisemitic opinions couched, as is usual for Arabs, in a context of condemning Israel for "occupation" and so forth, Spencer subsequently published -- and recklessly accepted -- a "clarification" by the good "eparch" that did little to allay concerns. Not only that, Spencer laid it on thick by actually apologizing to him!
Indeed, at the time, the vast majority Jihad Watch readers were having none of Spencer's defense of his "eparch". This was apparently just too much for the usually deferentially loyal Jihad Watch crowd.
For example, reader "Amillenialist" wrote:
Now I understand fully his position . . . he owes us and all non-Muslims an apology, for he equates Christianity with Islam and obfuscates for jihad.Any opinion offered on "Palestine" that neglects (or refuses) to tell the truth about jihad is not only a lie but an affront to human decency and a cover for sacralized genocide, pedophilia, rape, and slavery, for it facilitates Islam's "Cordoba Initiative," the "divine" mandate to war against the non-Muslim world until Muhammad's hellish ideology reigns supreme.
And reader "shortfattexan" wrote:
I have a great idea! Let's all bury our heads in the sand!
Meanwhile, reader "Boston Tea Party" wrote:
Does this guy [i.e., the "eparch" guy] honestly see modern, tiny, democratic Israel---as a Jewish state---being more of a threat to indigenous Christians than Muslim rule has been to the indigenous Christian poplulations in Arab lands?
Reader "mgoldberg" had this acutely apposite observation:
I disagree with Roberts' assessment about owing the prelate an apology. I find the man's evaluation, disingenuous, and his assessment of what the Torah states and commands is errant, bigoted as is his nonsensical empty pomposity about 'both sides needing to make compromises' for peace.
And subsequently, the same reader goes on to speculate about the "puzzle" of Robert's apology to the "eparch", noting that:
The prelate states quite pompously, errantly thus: "...Now in the Israeli-Palestinian issue we are in presence of two opposed religious extremist ideologies..."
And he claims both are religious extremist ideologies? ... Christians ought to be ashamed of this assessment by him.
Reader Moishe weighed in with his two cents:
This synod's letter has an inaccurate account of how & why there's a state of Israel, is based on a huge misunderstanding of Islam & why Islam cannot think in the matter suggested, & is contains a recipe for the destruction of the 7 million citizens of Israel.
Reader "charleston" didn't mince words:
...deep, deep, deep down, what you have here is a very ignorant antisemite. *spit*
Meanwhile, long-time reader and copious commenter "dumbledoresarmy" posted a previous article by ex-Vice-President Hugh Fitzgerald, that had to remind readers of the rich reasons why Spencer's "eparch" -- and thus by obvious extension, Spencer himself -- is so grievously wrong on this matter.
Then reader "senorlechero" wrote:
Robert...I'm confused. For what reason do you owe him an apology?And I agree with the poster who called the Archbishop a "tool". Reader "ShyGuy" wrote: From this Torah loyal Jew residing in Jerusalem to the Archbishop: