Activism

Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa

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A guerrilla-style documentary video produced by news organization AJ+ (which is part of the larger Al Jazeera Media Network) offers viewers a candid glimpse into the topsy-turvy world of American right-wing Christian Zionists (that is to say, Christians who believe God gave the land of historic Palestine to the Jewish people).

Host Dena Takruri visited a conservative summit in Iowa, where Christian Zionists, among other things, exposed their anti-Semitism on video.

The following are the particularly egregious excerpts from Takruri’s interviews:

(Screenshot: AJ+)
(Screenshot: AJ+)

This is interesting. I wonder what happened to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, and Iraq.

An attendee also openly maintains that Iran plans on bombing the US.

(Screenshot: AJ+)
(Screenshot: AJ+)

Another conservative claims the Iran nuclear deal—made explicitly to prevent Iran from having anywhere near the nuclear potential to create a nuclear bomb—is “gonna give them the pathway to the bomb.”

The interviewed Christian Zionists also claim that, if they do not support the Israeli government, God will abandon them.

(Screenshot: AJ+)
(Screenshot: AJ+)

Significantly more American Christians (55%), and particularly white evangelical Christians (%82), believe God gave the land of historic Palestine to the Jewish people than American Jews themselves (just 40%).

(Screenshot: AJ+)
(Screenshot: AJ+)

These same Christians, whose Zionism is rooted in Christianity, appear to be blissfully unaware of the existence of Palestinian Christians—one of, if not the oldest Christian population in the world.

(Screenshot: AJ+)
(Screenshot: AJ+)

The most striking moment in the brief video, however, is when a Christian Zionist admits that his diehard support of Israel is ultimately rooted in a form of eschatological Christian anti-Semitism that sees Jews as future potential Christians. In this fundamentally anti-Semitic view, Christian Zionists believe Jesus will (imminently) return and, upon his Second Coming, Jews will either accept him as their savior or die and burn in Hell for all eternity.

(Screenshot: AJ+)
(Screenshot: AJ+)

I have written before about the anti-Semitism that sits at the heart of Christian Zionism.

Evangelical pastor John Hagee, the leader of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the US’ largest pro-Israel organization, with over two million members, adamantly reassured critics that his Christian Zionism is rooted in the idea that Jews who do not accept Jesus will be doomed to suffer in hellfire.

Hagee is a raging anti-Semite and Holocaust revisionist who called Hitler a “half-breed Jew” and who blames anti-Semitism on Jews. He is also a close ally of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, both of whom have spoken glowingly of CUFI at its annual summits.

As I wrote before:

Hagee, who thinks we are the last generation of humans, is no stranger to controversy. In late 2014, he claimed that Ebola (along with the civil rights protests in Ferguson and elsewhere) was God’s way of “punishing” America, because Obama was trying to “divide” Israel.

The pastor has even gone so far as to essentially defend Adolf Hitler.  In a 2005 sermon, Hagee asserted that God sent Hitler as a “hunter,” in order to “hunt them [Jews] from every mountain and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks … to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

Once again, these are the views of the leader of, in CUFI’s own words, “the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States with over two million members and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.”

The Washington Post indicates that CUFI “can boast that it has members from every congressional district in America.” Foreign Policy included John Hagee in its list of the 50 Republicans with the most influence on foreign policy. The evangelical Christian Zionist was a much sought-after figure by the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential election. He ended up endorsing John McCain.

While the Israeli government aligns itself with extreme right-wing Christian anti-Semites, progressive organization Jewish Voice for Peace publicly asks “Who will stand up against Hagee’s anti-Semitism?

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These folks think everyone who is not Christian will not be saved and thus not go to heaven and so they set out to convert non believers for their own good. All non Xians, not just Jews. Deluded? Absolutely in my view. Feel themselves superior to The Other? Sure. Specifically anti-Semitic? No. They treat Jews the same way as they treat all other non believers (other than their support for Jews “returning” to Israel to… Read more »

“In this fundamentally anti-Semitic view, Christian Zionists believe Jesus will (imminently) return and, upon his Second Coming, Jews will either accept him as their savior or die and burn in Hell for all eternity.” If you think it’s anti-Semitic for people to believe their religion is the right one and Judaism isn’t, you’re going to find yourself sharing a world with an awful, awful lot of anti-Semites, many of them neither Christians nor Zionists. And… Read more »

In contrast to the numb-skulled outlook portrayed here – Likud’s coalition of dim bulbs – the NYTimes has an opinion piece up today actually quoting some of the Gatekeepers, the Israeli security establishment figures who know too much to drink Likud Kool-Aid: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/in-israel-some-support-the-iran-deal/?ref=opinion&_r=0 [former heads of Mossad, Shin Bet, IDF Intelligence, etc.] Netanyahu’s slim hold on power is an ongoing disgrace, elevating fear and stupidity over realism and intelligence. Power has been put in the… Read more »

There is a controversy among Christian fundamentalists concerning so-called “dual covenant theology.” This is the belief that only Gentiles need Jesus to be saved because we Jews already have a share in the world to come thanks to our own covenant with the Almighty. Remember that pretty rainbow he sent us after the flood to promise he won’t do it again? The relevance of this is that although Hagee denies it when challenged he has… Read more »

The attitude of some Christians towards Israeli Jews is best described as “Filosemitism”: liking the Jews because the 1948 restoration of Israel is proof that we are living in the End Times. The Messiah (Jesus) is just about to return. By way of disclosure, I should add that I grew up in a Protestant Christian family, and as a child I thought it “obvious” that Catholics were mistaken. I also thought (as a child) that… Read more »