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Zionism’s unholy alliance

Christian plus Zionists equals unholy allianceTonight is Colorado Springs’ first annual A Night to Honor Israel, an event put on by the local chapter of Christians United for Israel. On the face of it — at least on the flyer for it — the gathering appears to be an outreach of the Christian community to our Biblical compatriots in their “hour of need”, whatever that means. Ostensibly a lovely gesture, but below the surface it’s murkier.

Does anyone remember Jerry Falwell? In 1979, Falwell founded the political lobby known as the Moral Majority on the following four principles:

1. opposition to abortion
2. support of the traditional family
3. strong American military
4. unconditional support for Israel

Abortion, family, even military I understand. But unconditional support for Israel? Why would right-wing Christians be unabashedly pro-Israel? Jerry Falwell saw Israel’s fate as a crucial international issue for Christians because of the role it plays in Biblical eschatological schemes.

To Christian Zionists, the land of Israel is covenant land — land that belongs not to Jews or Arabs but to God himself. It is on God’s land that the Second Coming of Christ will occur. It is on God’s land where the Chosen, the Jewish people, will perish by the millions in the battle of Armageddon, excepting those few Jews who accept Christ’s final offer of salvation. To Christians, Israel is a key player in the Biblical apocalypse and little more. Christian Zionism is, at its core, supremely self-centered and anti-semitic.

Not surprisingly, Christian Zionists are a major obstacle to a just peace between Palestine and Israel, pressuring both the U.S. and secular Israeli governments to refuse to cede a single inch of the Promised Land, indeed to take the entire West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and all of Jerusalem — a message that American Jews are more than happy to embrace.

Since 9/11 a growing contingent of the Christian Right has been aligned with Israel in another important respect. Both see militant Islam as the greatest threat to Judeo-Christian culture, a common enemy that must be defeated. Pastor John Hagee, who founded Christians United for Israel with the active assistance of none other than Jerry Falwell, has called for Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, not to ensure the safety of the Jewish homeland, but to hasten Christ’s return to earth and the certain annihilation of the Jewish people. I guess it is acceptable to be anti-semitic as long as you’re pro-Israel.

Although called to be peacemakers, Christian Zionists are happy to warmonger in the Middle East and will keep continued pressure on the U.S. government to support Israel’s right to exist and be safe in the midst of the Islamic world — at least until the Second Coming provides the Final Solution.

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