Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to be the keynote speaker tomorrow at a fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute. This appearance confirms what many have long suspected – that George W. Bush was and is an adherent to Christian Zionist End Times theology.
The goal of MJBI is to convert Jews to Christianity because they believe this will hasten the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
In its Mission Statement MJBI says:
The MJBI equips leaders who will establish Messianic Jewish congregations and ministries in Jewish communities worldwide. Additionally, the MJBI seeks to equip the Church in its responsibility to take the Good News to the Jew first (Romans 1:16). Like Paul, the MJBI helps educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them (Romans 11:11-14).
Mother Jones, in a recent article about the appearance, gave this explanation of the group’s mission from a Jewish convert to Christian Messianism.
Another MJBI board member, Rabbi Marty Waldman of Baruch HaShem, a Messianic congregation in Dallas, described his own conversion experience before making a pitch to the audience to donate money to MJBI. Money, he explained, is needed to hasten the return of Jesus. With the funds it collects, Waldman said, MJBI trains “people to preach the good news of the Messiah to the Jewish people.” That’s important, Waldman noted, because when there are “enough” Jewish people who call Jesus their savior, “some sort of a trigger will go off in heaven, and our father in heaven will say, ‘Okay, son, it’s time to get your bride.'”
On Friday, MJBI took the announcement of Bush’s appearance off of their website, though a Bush aide said he would still attend.
During his presidency Bush played down his connections to Christian Zionism in his rhetoric, but his policies from “compassionate conservatism”, to his benign attitude to Israeli settlements on the West Bank, to the war on Iraq must be seen in a different light based on his clear support of Christian Zionism.
For anyone who knows Bush’s family history, this should come as no surprise. One of Bush’s ancestors, George Bush, a biblical scholar and professor of Hebrew at New York University, in 1844 published The Valley of Vision; or, The Dry Bones of Israel Renewed, which called for the return of Jews to Israel to form “a link of communication between humanity and God”. (Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East from 1776 to the Present by Michael Oren, p. 141)
Since the founding of the state of Israel, the leadership of Israel and American Christian Zionists has had a symbiotic relationship to advance the Zionist agenda. The contradictory objectives of both were ignored in the interests of keeping the U.S. government tied to supporting a Jewish state based on an apartheid system against the indigenous population of the area to form the state of Israel. The infamous speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 24, 2011, where he openly criticized President Obama’s Middle East policies before the U.S. Congress and received 29 standing ovations, is the most blatant example of this symbiotic relationship in the U.S. government. American Christian Zionists are deeply involved in the ethnic cleansing of the West Bank as part of establishing greater Israel to what they consider Biblically mandated borders.
This open endorsement of the conversion of Jews to Christianity as the goal of many Christian Zionists brings to the forefront the major contradiction in the symbiotic relationship between Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists. The Christian Zionist enterprise depends on this conversion. At the same time the increasing xenophobia of Jewish nationalists in Israel clashes with this Christian Zionist objective. As documented by Max Blumenthal in Goliath – Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, in the chapter “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People” there are extreme Jewish nationalists who are hostile to any non-Jewish participation in the Jewish state. A 2009 book, Torat Ha’Melech spells out the Jewish nationalist view of gentiles. Blumenthal quotes the authors in his book (p. 303):
According to the authors, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and may have been killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the seven commandments [of Noah]…there is nothing wrong with the murder.”
While this comment is given in the context of a rationalization of genocide against Palestinians, it is not a stretch that such irrational beliefs include all non-Jews. This is particularly the case since, as can be seen from organizations such as the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, Christian Zionism is just another version of the anti-Semitism that has plagued Western culture since a Jewish rebel against the Roman Empire almost 2100 years ago was turned into a religious icon of the Roman Empire. Christian Zionism treats Jewish people as objects in a great cosmological war at the End of Time. What happens if the Jewish people do not sign on to this fundamentalist mythology? Won’t a rejection of the message of Christian Zionism by Israelis be seen as yet another betrayal of Jesus as the Messiah that will bring the true anti-Semitic core of Christian Zionism to the fore?
The participation of George W. Bush, who was President of the United States for eight years, in the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute conference, can only deepen the crisis of Zionism in all its forms.