Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Scary Christian Zionists

This rhetoric is sad, sick, and twisted; but I still think it is worth knowing about. I haven't written too much about Christian Zionism on this blog. So by way of introduction, Christian Zionism is "a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy (wikipedia).


John Hagee, the founder and pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX, is the head of a Christian Zionist organization called Christian United for Israel (CUFI).


CUFI is pretty scary and makes the connection between biblical prophecies and the modern nation state of Israel. I came across Eileen Flemming's blog We are Wide Awake which had an interesting report from CUFI's 2007 annual conference which was held in Florida.
[Miami, Fl. November 6, 2007] The James L. Knight Center was packed to the rafters with John Hagee's tribe of Christian Zionists and south Florida's right wing Jewish community. Zion's Fire Banners, dancers, singers and a band whipped the crowd into a frenzy of spinning, jumping, clapping, twirling and moved the rotund Hagee to link arms with men in skull caps and dance the Hora-not to Hava Nagila, but to repeated choruses of:

Shout for joy and victory! Bat Yerushalyim

From one end of the stage to the other, the largest American and Israeli flags I have ever seen were draped side by side and by the end of the evening I imagined every star on the red-white-and blue had morphed into the Star of David.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez pointed to the flags and exclaimed: "Isn't that beautiful up there together? I get goose bumps! All nations have been created by an act of man, except Israel was created by an act of God."



Rabbi Freedman delivered the Invocation, "We are all friends of the only democracy in the Middle East."

I immediately recalled what American Israeli, Jeff Halper, the Founder and Coordinator of ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions told me during one of my five journeys to Jerusalem:

"Israel is a not a democracy but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control and structured to keep them in control.”

Rabbi Freedman continued on, "From Mount Sinai to Mount Zion to Mount Vernon we are all Zionists! Israel is second to America in how many immigrants we have absorbed."

Immigrant absorption in Israel comes with perks and is called Aliyah, ["go up"] and is a fundamental concept of Zionism enshrined in Israel's Law of Return, which permits any Jew from any where in the world the legal right to government assisted immigration and settlement in Israel, automatic Israeli citizenship, unemployment benefits, free medical, and subsidized housing. Young adult immigrants receive free room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months and 100 percent of their tuition is paid by the government.

Hagee's mastery of manipulating the fears of his audience garnered him a standing ovation as the shofars blew, "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!"
Hold your children close to you tonight, give them a kiss, and tell them that loving people is the most important thing, and tell them that nationalism is evil. ;)

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