The relationship (between Israel and the Christian right)is not an easy one. Bush-backing evangelists are among Ariel Sharon's best friends in a hostile world. The politics mesh easily but underpinning them is a belief among the fundamentalists that the revival of the Israeli state is a precursor to the Second Coming. And with that goes a desire to get Jews to recognise the First Coming and save themselves from eternal damnation. Israel passed laws against that kind of evangelising decades ago, but these days the Jerusalem Post, like the government, is less concerned with the hereafter than the here and now.Zionist anti-semitism is nothing new of course. It goes back to the inception of the zionist movement. The founder of the movement, Theodor Herzl, was very clear that the enemies of the Jews were the very people who had the most interest in supporting zionism. Zionist collusion with anti-semitism has had tragic consequences for Jews but it has usually yielded benefits for zionism. First there was the collaboration with von Plehve in Tsarist Russia. The commissioner of the Protocols forgery and the instigator of pogroms from the late 19th century to the early 20th was an enthusiastic believer in zionism, a convert no less. Later, Jabotinsky would collaborate with Simon Perliura while the latter's men would slaughter as many as 125,000 Jews. A labour zionist, Abraham Revusky, even became a minister in Petliura's government, the Minister for Jewish Affairs. Later still, many believe the zionists kept a precarious nazi government in power in Germany by breaking an economic boycott and rescuing the regime from bankruptcy. And on to Hungary where 400,000 Jews who could have hidden or resisted were called to transportation points by the local zionist leadership. This zionist collaboration led to their deaths. And also to the death of the main collaborator, Rudolp Kastner. In the 1950s Ben Gurion worked well with anti-semitic French generals, supporting France in Algeria. In the 1970s, former nazi internee and Prime Minister of apartheid South Africa, John Vorster was the esteemed guest of Menahem Begin at Yad Vashem of all places. And in the 1980s we had the unedifying spectacle of Israel supplying weaponry to the Galtieri regime in Argentina even after the junta's exposure as a regime that "disappeared" thousands of people, over 12% of whom were Jews in spite of Jews having been less than 0.1% of the Argentine population.
This latest collaboration with anti-semitism is carrying on a long standing tradition within zionism. Let's see some of Israel's current anti-semitic friends:
"It's interesting at great political rallies," preached the Rev. Bailey Smith, "how you have a Protestant to pray, a Catholic to pray, and then you have a Jew to pray. With all due respect to those dear people, my friends, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew. For how in the world can God hear the prayer of a man who says that Jesus Christ is not the true Messiah? That is blasphemy."Well perhaps the zionists are right this time. Perhaps we will all be saved thanks to their collaborative efforts.
The Rev. Jerry Falwell sanctioned this viewpoint in his book, Listen, America! "The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior. Yet they are God's people, and in the world today Bible-believing Christians are the best friends the nation Israel has."
Falwell correctly points out that he and other American fundamentalist Christians support the nation of Israel. It should be noted, however, that this support is for a piece of real estate, the land of Israel, and not necessarily for the Jewish people.
Pat Robertson, too, thinks of Jews as "spiritually deaf" and "spiritually blind." In the end times, Robertson believes, Jews will be brought in as "offerings to the Lord." He predicts mass conversions of Jews to Christianity, and toward this end, Robertson built a Christian radio station in Lebanon to beam the Gospel into the Jewish state, which Fundamentalists believe will eventually be inherited by Christians. For the present, Jews occupy the land as caretakers.