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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eileen critiques Christian Zionism

"Wisdom has built her house and she calls to all, 'Come, eat my food and drink my wine and you will walk in the ways of understanding."-Proverbs 9:1-6

"Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership…the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials...The President signed an Executive Order after September 11th giving the Pentagon license to do things that it had never been able to do before without notifying Congress. The claim was that the military was ‘preparing the battle space,’ and by using that term they were able to circumvent congressional oversight. Everything is justified in terms of fighting the global war on terror." (The New Yorker)

A nuclear Iran would make the 'Holy' Land a less desirable home for Jewish settlers, even though Israel's underground WMD facility in the Negev remains un-inspected.

In America, mis-informed Christians have been led by the Armageddon-based foreign-policy views of John Hagee, a false prophet who has captivated a congregation of 18,000 in his Cornerstone Church and millions who tune into his TV show to applaud the drum beat of a full-scale military assault on Iran.

Hagee is a 'Christian' Zionist who believes that the modern state of Israel is a divinely-ordained phenomenon and its establishment was essential to the Second Coming of Christ. Christian Zionists adhere to a misunderstanding of God as a Real Estate broker. Christian Zionists opposes land-for-peace negotiations and have no eyes to see or hearts that bleed for their Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers enduring under a 40+ year military occupation.

Many Christian Zionists fail at the commission to love all, and they seek to convert the Jews to their narrow small god or see them left behind in a nuclear holocaust that they erroneously believe they will be raptured/lifted out of.

The White House has convened a series of off-the-record meetings about its policies in the Middle East with Christians United for Israel (CUFI), Hagee's demented dream which sees CUFI as "the Christian version of AIPAC," referring to the pro-Israel group which is rated a close second to the National Rifle Association as the most powerful lobby in Washington.

Hagee has "endeared himself to key members of the Israeli right. [And] recently united America's largest Christian Zionist congregations and some of the movement's most prominent figures--including the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer and Rod Parsley, an Ohio preacher instrumental in launching Republican Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial campaign--under the banner of CUFI, creating the first and only nationwide evangelical political organization dedicated to supporting Israel." (The Nation)

On November 6, 2007, I attended a Hagee cult event in Miami and heard him claim, "Israel was re-born by an act of God and Israel lives! The Jews have suffered great persecution and survived slavery and the Final Solution! God Jehovah will bury Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran! The flag of Israel will fly over the undivided Jerusalem and be the praise of all the earth! It's 1938 again and the new Hitler is Ahmadinejad! Radical Islamisicts are threatening to develop nuclear weapons in order to destroy Israel and then the USA! But we are indivisible and we are both here forever!"

The oft repeated comment ascribed to President Ahmadinejad, that "Israel must be wiped off the map," was addressed by Virginia Tilley, Professor of political science who wrote:

"In his October 2005 speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad never used the word "map" or the term "wiped off". According to Farsi-language experts like Juan Cole and even right-wing services like MEMRI, what he actually said was "this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.

"In this speech to an annual anti-Zionist conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad was being prophetic, not threatening. He was citing Imam Khomeini, who said this line in the 1980s (a period when Israel was actually selling arms to Iran, so apparently it was not viewed as so ghastly then). Mr. Ahmadinejad had just reminded his audience that the Shah's regime, the Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein had all seemed enormously powerful and immovable, yet the first two had vanished almost beyond recall and the third now languished in prison. So, too, the "occupying regime" in Jerusalem would someday be gone. His message was, in essence, "This too shall pass." (Counterpunch)

What Has Already Passed:

Following the War of 1967, Israel gained an increased portion of USA foreign aid and military budgets, becoming the 'western pillar' of the USA strategic alliance against Soviet incursion into the Middle East.

During this period AIPAC and other pro-Israeli lobby agencies began their ascent to power in shaping USA foreign policy. The Roman Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations began to develop a more balanced approach to the Middle East, bringing them closer to the international consensus on the Palestinian question. Pro-Israel organizations interpreted this shift as being Anti-Israel and in turn began to court the conservative Christians.

In 1977, when President Carter stated "The Palestinians deserve a right to their homeland," the Christian fundamentalists and Israeli lobby responded with full page ads stating:

The time has come for evangelical Christians to affirm their belief in biblical prophecy and Israel’s divine right to the land...and affirm our belief in the Promised Land to the Jewish people.

The Reagan White House hosted a series of seminars from the Israeli lobby and Christian right. This was when Hal Lindsay, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority infiltrated the West Wing.

Falwell received a Lear Jet from the Israeli government for his personal travel and when Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981, Prime Minister Begin called Jerry Falwell -before he called Reagan- to ask him to explain to the Christian public the reasons for the bombings.

In 1996, Netanyahu and Likud ideology dominated Israeli policy and 17 evangelical USA pastors pledged their support of the illegal colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and full support for a Jerusalem under sovereignty of Israel.

The Christian Zionists launched a PR campaign under the banner: “Christians Call for a United Jerusalem.” They ignored the fact that they were in conflict with American policy and the Oslo process as well as a direct attack on Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant unity with the Churches for Middle East Peace that called for a shared Jerusalem.

In 2006, Hagee wrote in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma, "The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty."

This is only the first part of Eileen's article. See the full version on the Fighting Fathers Forum.


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