Avant-garde authors are now publishing some of the frankest discussions of Jews ever to have appeared in US web sites and print publications, raising a firestorm of protest, some of which is no doubt legitimate and some less so.
An honest forthright discussion of Jews, ranging from the intimidating foreign lobby AIPAC to the illegal settlements in Palestine and Syria and the imprisonment and murder of children in the West Bank, from the belligerent encroachment in Lebanese airspace to the unprovoked murders of Syrians engaged in battle with ISIS, to the demonic blasphemy of Israel friend and multimillionaire televangelist John Hagee and his infatuation with wars contrived to spill rivers of American blood and massacre thousands of foreign civilians in their sleep all in the name of our Gentle Saviour, is the ultimate challenge to the limits of Christian love. But if you are a Christian, it is your mission to minister to the people who have perpetrated these immoral acts and to do so in love.
But even without the blemishes, Jewishness is a ticklish subject, in part because the Jews are a hard group to define in the first place. Normally they are defined from the standpoint of either religion or ethnicity, neither of which define them satisfactorily. For example, there are Ethiopian Jews who clearly do not belong in the bloodline of Abraham. Yet the Old Testament says Abraham married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1), and the New Testament tells of Philip ministering to an Ethiopian Eunuch of Queen Candice's court who was reading a copy of the Old Testament (Acts 8:26) when Philip encountered him.
Both of these passages indicate that Judaism was widely accepted in ancient Ethiopia, which clearly had ties to the Holy Land (the Ethiopian languages are in fact Semitic).
Thus ethnicity and genetics are not valid criteria for defining the group.
As for religion, over 50% of today’s Israelis polled have said they were irreligious. So religion is not a reliable criterion either. Therefore the word "Jew" must be defined in the broadest possible way. From the standpoint of politics and notably their influence on US politics, Jews could at least safely be called an interest group.
The Jewish lobby AIPAC has had an inordinate influence on US politics and particularly on foreign relations in the Middle East. In his speech before the group Trump told AIPAC that he would always stand with Israel. Ominously, he also said, incorrectly, that Iran “is the biggest state sponsor of terror,” repeating a Zionist slogan that completely white-washes the role of Saudi Arabia as the sponsor of both Al-Qaeda and ISIS – terror groups being combated in Syria and Iraq by, ironically, Iranian boots on the ground. This statement is in harmony with Israeli propaganda and the Israeli government’s desire to fight Iran, at least as long as the US does the heavy lifting. But s would pit the US against a strong ally of nuclear armed Russia.
AIPAC recently pressured 43 US senators to introduce a bill that would have made it a federal crime to boycott Israel. It is chilling to know that 43 US senators hold the interests of Israel in higher esteem than the US Constitution and would have blithely seen you or me thrown in federal prison for advocating a boycott of a country that illegally occupies territory in Palestine and Syria and bullies its neighbours by launching deadly missile attacks against their armed forces even as the latter are engaged in battle against groups internationally recognized as terrorists. If you do an internet search using “israel attacks Syria,” you will find numerous reports of such unprovoked attacks. In the latest attack, Israel claimed its airspace had been violated by an “Iranian” drone. Journalists did not seem to notice the Israeli disclosure that this “Israeli airspace” was in fact located in the illegally occupied Golan Heights, which belongs to Syria. Makes you wonder if there is anywhere on earth that Israel would not claim as its own if it could get away with it, and whether any journalist would have the integrity to deny such a claim. The White House immediately accepted the Israeli tale and said it would stand with Israel no matter what. You know what that means for world peace.
So why do Americans, who otherwise rush to defend their constitutional freedom of religion and speech, so blithely allow a foreign country to walk all over everyone, allowing a foreign lobby to write a law that blatantly tramples the holiest of all constitutional amendments and allow it to drag the US into defending Israel in its dangerous confrontation with Iran and its allies?
There are two powerful psychological components in the US public’s support for Israel:
Christian Zionism has captivated the minds of millions of Americans, with over 60% of US Evangelicals believing that it is a Christian duty to support Israel, despite the fact that their government acknowledges same-sex marriages performed in other countries and provides sex change operations for its army recruits at tax payer expense – things that, in their own home country, these same Christians strongly oppose. Clearly, “Christian” Zionists see supporting Israeli policy, including wars, as their top priority and taking the Gospel to the Jews as an afterthought if even that.
Middle East Eye posted a powerful piece on how Christian Zionism got Trump and Pence elected.
Arch-Zionist Pastor John Hagee believes, as the first above-linked article states, that it is Christians' responsibility to support Israel because the Second Coming depends on this. The thinking behind this is as twisted as it comes. The Christian Zionists argue that, since 2 Thessalonians 2 prophesies that the Anti-Christ will sit in the Temple of God, generally thought to be in Jerusalem, then that temple – destroyed in 70 AD – must be rebuilt, and Christians must support this reconstruction. But this passage is in fact a description of an ungodly use of the temple, and it is absurd to think that God would want His people involved in setting the stage for one of the wickedest events of the future world. Indeed nowhere does the New Testament say that Christians should involve themselves in the fulfilment of any prophecy, let alone of something evil. But aside from that there is a more likely explanation of this from the site christianitybeliefs.org.
“Keep in mind that when the Apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, the Jewish temple was still standing, as it wasn’t destroyed by the Romans until 70 A.D., so any reference to a physical temple would have been to that temple, not an end times temple.”
Based on their blasphemous distortion of scripture, the Christian Zionists believe that Christ will not return until Israel becomes a nation with its capital in Jerusalem. They therefore believe it is their sacred duty to support Israel in all its policies – including its illegal occupation of land in Palestine, Jerusalem and Syria and its abuse of children in Palestine, up to and including murder. Jesus’ teachings on love seem to be the last thing on their minds.
The fact is, Jesus said, in Matthew 22:39 that he would not come back until the Jews accepted him as having been sent by the Lord. He never once told his followers that they must help organize and support a secular state called Israel. In fact, Ezekiel 37, on which much of Christian Zionism rests, prophesies a resurrected Israel that is obedient to God, certainly anything but a secular state half of whose populace does not accept the God of Abraham. All of this cult is non-Biblical and supported on the flimsiest interpretation of obscure passages, a blasphemous distortion to suit the specific ends of Zionists.
At variance with Christ’s words, Cristian Zionists' message to the Jews is: you do not need to accept Jesus. Uniting as a nation -- even as a secular nation without any religion – is your chief mission.
The greatest danger here is that Zionism supported on religious grounds ignores the real and imminent danger inherent in confronting powerful nations because it carries the tacit implication that the policies forged and implemented by Zionists are of God and therefore, God will save America from the consequences of their foolish actions. This blind belief in divine invincibility is the same notion that propped up the pious leaders and participants of the Peasants’ Revolt, which targeted churches and property and killed priests. The fanatics were all eventually rounded up and executed for their crimes. Only as the flames licked the soles of their feet did they realize that they had never been on God’s side. We may not allow a similar misguided fanaticism to bring tragedy to the world at large.
There is no question that this interest group is the most influential lobby in US politics.
Multimillionaire televangelist John Hagee has had personal contact with Netanyahu and has had the ear of Neocon notables such as John McCain and GW Bush. He urged the latter to bomb Iran and after this conference with Hagee, Bush apparently became tougher on Iran. Here is a pastor who is not afraid of nuclear war, believing that God is on his side.
But what if God has His own plans for Israel and for America? What if He wants Americans to obey Him instead of ruling His world by their own rules, based principally on war and subversion of stable governments?
Assuming that is so, then American Christians had better get down to heeding the words of Jesus, who said the Jews would not see Him again until they were ready to welcome Him. That means ministering to the Jews, not congratulating them on the creation of a secular state by warlike means -- on land from which God had banished them for disobedience. If Israel ever does truly accept the Prince of Peace, then they will start seeing the world through eyes of love and start treating their neighbours fairly, going with humility to the bargaining table with Palestine, Iran, Lebanon and anyone else they have mistreated in the past, being prepared to return illegally seized territory to its original owners.
If you are a Christian familiar with prophecy, you know this will happen sooner or later. How about sooner? How about applying the Great Commission to the Jews for a change? Is it not selfish -- indeed anti-Semitic -- to continue denying them the salvation you enjoy?