I’m not a fan of the Israelis or the Palestinians. The Middle East is definitely one of those places you can point to and say, “Religion is causing all kinds of trouble here.” Time magazine recently posted a story about Israeli Soldiers refusing to remove Jewish settlers (Aug. 07, 2007):
An Army Mutiny in Israeli Settlements?
Surrounded by over 180,000 Palestinians, the hundreds of Israeli settlers in the ancient city of Hebron are always braced for a siege. On Tuesday, however, their adversaries were not angry Palestinians but the very same Israeli police and security forces that usually protect the settlers.
The Hebron incident has resounded like an explosion deep inside Israeli army barracks. Many Israeli soldiers and officers in the elite combat units were raised in illegal settlements within the occupied Palestinian territories, and their sympathies lie with their religious Zionist brethren in Hebron.
When the Duchifat Battalion was ordered on Monday to support the police in clearing out the settlers, 38 soldiers refused to obey. Using cellphones, the soldiers immediately called their rabbis for moral guidance. They also called their parents, who tried to block the soldiers’ bus from leaving its base in the Jordan Valley. “It was not for this that my son joined the army,” one father, Moshe Rosenfeld, told Israeli Army Radio.
Religion has taught these Jews that Israel – including the Palestinian territories – are given, by God himself, to the Jews. Even worse, a lot of fundamentalist Christians in the US have allied themselves with these hardline Jews, and working politically within the US government to make sure the US supports these hardline Jews and their worldview. Pat Robertson, for example, said that Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke (inflicted by God) because he dared to “divide the land” (i.e. accepted that some of the territory belonged to Palestinians).
John Hagee (televangelist, leader of an 18,000 member church in Texas) has said similar things and quite a few leading Republican politicians believe the same thing.
– Video: Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour (you can see Joe Leiberman and Tom DeLay speaking in this video)
– Interview: John Hagee and his beliefs that unconditional support for Israel is what God wants
– In this article (Aug 2006), John Hagee says that confrontation with Iran is a precondition for Armageddon, so the US and Israel need to join in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West, and that Christians need to pray for the continuation of the war on Lebanon.
Despite all this, DeLay and Lieberman (among other prominent right-wing American politicians) consider Hagee to be an important man of God.
Who are these people that they are supporting? People who hate them. The Zionist Jews accept the support of Christians, but hate the Christians themselves. Here’s a video of one Zionist Jewish settler kid yelling, saying he’s glad the Jews killed Jesus, that God gave the land to the Jews, that he’s going to kill the cameraman and the Palestinians, and a variety of other insults. (I’d hate to be a Palestinian dealing with these arrogant jerks who believe God is on their side.)
There’s plenty more videos of Jews attacking Palestinians, trying to break into their houses, etc. The Israeli soldiers are often sympathetic to the Zionists and will stand around doing absolutely nothing to protect Palestinians.
What the fundamentalists Christians believe will happen is that “the nations” will gather against Israel in the battle of Armageddon, and at the last minute, Jesus will show up to destroy everyone warring against Israel and the Jews will all see that Jesus is God. This means that every time tensions escalate in Israel, Christians become hopeful and gleeful that this is a sign of Jesus Second Coming. What the Zionist Jews and fundamentalist Christians are ultimately doing is playing chicken with an oncoming train. They push the gas pedal down harder, laughing and smiling because – ignorant religious fervor – they think God is going to protect them or swoop in at the very last minute in a glorious rescue. And this car that they’re driving? It’s filled with us – the Jews, the Americans, and lots of people in the Middle East – and, to a lesser extent – everyone in the world.