It can’t be news to any adult Israeli that the strongest support for that nation, in terms of numbers and fervor and resistance to unwelcome facts, comes from a body of Americans who collectively are not friends of Jews.
They are Endtime evangelical Protestants who believe the return of the Hebrews to the Promised Land is necessary to the Second Coming of Christ, upon which event the Jews will convert to Christianity or spend Eternity in a lake of fire.
Much as modern thinkers, even believers in a Higher Power such as myself, may chuckle and shake their heads at the persistence of biblical literalism, the fairy tale approach to spirituality is a bloody real force on this side of Heaven and very well could, in this day of ungodly technological weaponry, bring about the Armageddon that Revelations promises. In the meantime, those who tell us it’s all about the Second Coming will build and bask in secular power.
The carnage in Gaza that has been Netanyahu-Trump’s remorseless answer to an oppressed and displaced people’s desperate uprising lays bare the ugly Americanism behind Middle East volatility as perhaps never before.
While troops went virtually unscathed gunning down protesters, journalists, aid workers and random people of all ages 40 miles away, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim mega-preachers and a racist rabbi christened a new U.S. embassy in the most provocative location on Earth while Trump’s anointed family members and a GOP king-making casino tycoon gushed self-congratulations, blamed the dead for the violence and declared peace imminent at last.
In fact, peace flapped away on its battered wings, if it remained around at all after decades of military occupation of the begrudged areas into which Arab residents were expelled after European colonists commandeered their land 70 years ago. Instead, the slow, bitter war that began even before the founding of Israel, dating to Great Britain’s imperial designs of the 1920s, can be expected to continue and probably escalate. Most of the world, industrialized and otherwise, is arrayed against the current rightwing regimes in Tel Aviv (not Jerusalem) and Washington (not Mar-a-Lago), but isolation and playing with fire only seem to entice these men whose own populations have become nearly as fearful as their many enemies.
Unlike Jews, here and in Israel, American “Christians” of a certain stripe pledge unqualified allegiance to the first U.S. president to stop pretending the Palestinian people matter. And when people don’t matter, neither do your rules for their proper conduct.
Erasure of one’s neighbors is not a truly Judaic position, and not a truly Christian one, either, in the opinion of myself and many other followers of the Jew from Nazareth. It is, in fact, anti-Semitic. With potentially existential consequences.
So much for “friends” of Israel who’ve also made friends with a president whose whole life is a mockery of religious faith. Throw in Mike Pence, a virtuoso in the political uses of piety, and you have a holy alliance that could take us to the End, or damned near. If that happens, don’t blame Jesus, Jehovah or Allah. Give credit to the guys who make a habit of taking it.