Thursday, July 26, 2007

Who Would Jesus Ethnically Cleanse?

Max Blumenthal just posted this documentary taken at last week's Christians United for Israel rally in DC. As Blumenthal's footage makes abundantly clear, these people are extremists committed to bringing about the Apocalypse. Think I'm kidding? You really have to watch it to understand the bigotry, zealotry, and resentment which powers Christian Zionism. And then shudder at how many conservative leaders were in attendance.

Here's the text of Joe Lieberman's speech to the rally, in which he compares CUFI founder John Hagee to Moses. What do you think would be the response if a U.S. Senator had spoken before a gathering of Muslim fundamentalists who refused to recognize any Jewish claim to Palestine, who who claimed all of Palestine for Islam? An organization that was actively raising funds to support the expulsion of Jews from Palestine? Why do I think we'll never find out?

The mutually cynical relationship here is stark: The largely secular Israeli right cultivates support of loony American Christian fundamentalists in order to help maintain the unquestioning support of the U.S. Congress for the occupation. Loony American Christian fundamentalists support the expanionist policies of the Israeli right in order to speed the return of Jesus, at which time the Jews will be given the opportunity to convert, or go to hell. No, really, literally: Hell. At one point the rally organizers approach Blumenthal and request that he not engage attendees in discussions about eschatology, lest anyone out themselves as barking mad, I suppose. Oops, too late. In a brief interview with former Sharon adviser Dore Gold, Gold perfectly embodies Frankfurt’s definition of bullshit by denying that CUFI is at all concerned with "moving the clock of eschatology forward," claiming that "the only one who believes that [he can do that] is Mahmoud Ahmedinejad." Gold clearly knows what he's saying is false, he just doesn't care.

For the effects of the policies supported by CUFI, see this morning's Washington Post article on life in Israeli-occupied Hebron in the West Bank. Hebron provides us a view of the Israeli occupation in perfect miniature: Palestinians are coralled within a series of ghettoes, watching from behind barbed wire and concrete as their crops die, as their homes and lands are taken over by radical Jewish settlers, enduring daily harassment and violence by those settlers who are supported by the Israeli army. Any resistance by Palestinians is immediately labeled "terrorism," brutally suppressed, and used to justify more closures, stricter curfews, and the expropriation of more land. It's a considerable understatement to say that U.S. support for this sort of thing doesn't win us friends, at least not the friends that we want.