The Guardian isn't so good
October 28, 2002 4:52 AM   Subscribe

The Guardian isn't so good at letting you link to their articles anymore. But if you use this link then click on "printable version" you might get to the site I want you to link to. My title being: If you're Jewish and American its hard to know whose side your on these days.
posted by donfactor (20 comments total)
I've seen a similar occurence happen here in South Africa as well. At our local Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration (Israeli Independence) day, there's always a stand from Christian Action for Israel and after hearing one of their reps speak, they are more Zionist then most Jews I know.

However they didn't seem to have any ulterior motive (I never saw any prostelytising and they would be crazy too when Ohr Sameyach was right next to them), and from the literature of theirs I read they seemed to just feel that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish State. But I didn't see many people go to their stand that night...

That's just one group but I'm sure there are a few others who use their supoprt for Israel to cover a hidden agenda... I guess they could be classified as Jews for Jesus but taking the secular Zionist angle rather than the religous one.
posted by PenDevil at 5:12 AM on October 28, 2002

Returns an article titled "Meet the new Zionists" is this the one?
posted by DBAPaul at 5:16 AM on October 28, 2002

You can, it appears, link directly to the print version.
posted by boaz at 5:36 AM on October 28, 2002

It all sounds too wacked to take seriously. Until I start thinking about how much influence groups like this actually have.
posted by orange swan at 5:43 AM on October 28, 2002

I don't understand why it counts as news. The fundies and the evangelicals have been spouting the same nonsense for forty years.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:49 AM on October 28, 2002

Just for reference, this MeFi thread links to a similar article from The New Republic (wherein someone links to this similar thread which links this similar article).
posted by boaz at 6:05 AM on October 28, 2002

It's scarier now, eustacescrubb, because of the higher stakes. The messianic Christian political solution to Palestininian independence is hilariously simplistic and uncompromising; that it has now begun to dictate U.S. policy in the region is horrifying.

Spend some time nosing around those two sites for an eye-opener.
posted by mediareport at 6:10 AM on October 28, 2002

Btw, this link to the article in question works fine for me. At least it just did.
posted by mediareport at 6:12 AM on October 28, 2002

From Frontline: Chip Berlett's End Times as A Growth Industry.
It's interesting, too, that neither the Rapture nor the AntiChrist are mentoned in the Book of Revelations--that part of the New Testament which Christianity would have been so better off without...
posted by y2karl at 6:23 AM on October 28, 2002

tell me, please, what I should think and do...this confuses me.
posted by Postroad at 7:07 AM on October 28, 2002

I see that most of you found the article. What I think makes it relevant now is what is mentioned about the number of Christian Coalition lawyers who are now working for the Federal government, and its not only lawyers. Remember, the extreme religious right will be influencing the appointment of all federal judges for the next couple of years at least. It is interesting that the young George was dad's emissary to these people during Bush the First's brief reign.

What to do about it? Vote democrat next week.
posted by donfactor at 7:34 AM on October 28, 2002

Jeez donfactor, is this what MeFi is for you - a running campaign ad for Democrats?

And even at that, you'd do better to provide positive reasons to vote for Dems, instead of supplying reasons for why people shouldn't vote for the Republicans.
posted by schlyer at 8:19 AM on October 28, 2002

No, as a matter of fact, I'm not especially interested in party politics. What does concern me is the take-over of our country by religious extremists who represent the opposite of democracy. The founding fathers were fearful of any theocracy. So am I. At the moment the only protection we have against those who believe we should all behave as they and their imagination of God would have us behave is to vote for the Democrats. If anyone can suggest a better way to go, please tell me.
posted by donfactor at 8:27 AM on October 28, 2002

Stand for Israel is the most prominent umbrella group, organizing things like Oct. 18 Day of Prayer and Solidarity, which involved 18,000 congregations across the US focusing on shoring up support for Israel. Connected with something called the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

It's true that there are elements of dispensationalism and the like in this movement, but it's not exclusive. There's a whole claque of essentially Zionist political blogs (Israpundit is a good starting point, if you're curious) that frame their support in overtly secular terms.

Of course US support for Israel has always been drawn from both the large Jewish population here but also from elements on the right. Since a formal alliance didn't really arise until the Nixon administration (among other things, early Israeli governments were pretty socialist), the GOP has always had to balance pro-Israel factions (on secular or religious grounds) with 'Arabist' factions (often connected to the energy lobby) and plain old lingering anti-Semitism. The Democrats were in a different position, having drawn the Jewish vote through early left politics and secured it with the civil rights struggle, but these Jews tended to be naturlaly more interested in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship here in America.

What the Guardian is noticing, though, is a new trend where the pro-Israel faction in the GOP has a strong upper hand over the Arabist faction, oilmen in the administration notwithstanding. It's coincided with the religious movement but it certainly isn't limited to it. Largely this is the product of the neo-conservatives -- and groups such as the CCA are in the thick of neo-conservative approaches to longstanding GOP planks relating to the conservative Christian agenda. It's a coming together that may have lingering influence.
posted by dhartung at 9:01 AM on October 28, 2002

At the moment the only protection we have against those who believe we should all behave as they and their imagination of God would have us behave is to vote for the Democrats.

So which Democrats should I support who don't support a God?

PS, Clinton seemed to feel the same way about Israel, I guess he was not a democrat then.

PSS, as a believer, I don't put my faith behind any political party or man, just God. Also it's separation of church and state which you should be worried about. And yes, a lot of politicians cross the line just like some churches that I see who tell their patrons who to support with their vote. Kind of like when the politicians pray out loud in public, keep it silent in my opinion.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:20 AM on October 28, 2002

As it happens, Terry Gross's 'Fresh Air' programme on NPR today covers this issue today. I guess an archive audio file will be available later (although check your local NPR station today if you are interested). Says the web site:

"Novelist TIM LAHAYE is the co-author of the phenomenally popular “Left Behind” series. The books are apocalyptic Christian thrillers. The tenth and latest book is “The Remnant,” and debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. LAHAYE is also the former co-chairman of Jack Kemp’s presidential campaign, was on the original board of directors of the Moral Majority and an organizer of the Council for National Policy which has been called “the most powerful conservative organization in America you’ve never heard of.”

"Journalist GERSHOM GORENBERG is an associate editor and columnist for The Jerusalem Report and a regular contributor to The New Republic. He’s the author of “The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount” (in paperback, Oxford University Press)."

Lahaye begins by saying that the creation of the state of Israel is fulfilling 'the prophecies' - although he then goes on to say "just because you're a Jew doesn't mean you don't have to take the s ame decisions as everbody else does." He also quotes another prophecy that calls Israel a "troublesome stone," asserting that Israel is now "a trouble to the whole world."

So, people can believe what they want - but realising that these views can have in fluence in govt. and foreign policy is kind of scary (especially given that an apocalalypse is something they want to see rather than avoid).Îs
posted by carter at 10:28 AM on October 28, 2002

This article has some factual goofs. Dispensationalism is way older than the Left Behind books.

Oh, and Dispensationalists (who are mostly just called "fundamentalists" in the press, despite the existence of other fundamentalist Christian movements) don't really want to convert all Jews to Christianity. They focus on converting those near at hand before the rapture, but once the end times start, they want to "gather" the Jews to Israel. At that point, 144,000 virgins are supposed to convert, while the rest die in a massive holocaust which precedes the second coming of Jesus. A quick look at the Left Behind books would have cleared this point up for the reporter. The CC-ites do want to convert Jews in the here-and-now...but they also want to herd them all off to a larger version of Israel, where the unconverted are to be killed eventually. How lovely.

(Note that not all of the links above are to sane people: some are to various fundies explaining and arguing for/against these ideas. In other words, links express the opinion of the website author - not me.)
posted by 23lemurs at 10:31 AM on October 28, 2002

It always sucks when wackos take your side.
posted by callmejay at 11:57 AM on October 28, 2002

A quick look at the Left Behind books would have cleared this point up for the reporter.

An informative comment in general, 23lemurs, but isn't this a tad unfair? Don't you mean "a couple of weeks spent poring over the entire Left Behind series would have cleared the point up"? A quick look would have garnered vague blurbs about "search for truth amidst the Rapture."
posted by languagehat at 11:59 AM on October 28, 2002

Here's a transcript of "Zion's Christian Soldiers," a recent 60 Minutes broadcast about the Christian Right's relationship to Israel. It's from a bizarro conspiracy site, but the transcipt is legit and it's the only place I could find it on the Web.
posted by jonp72 at 6:48 PM on October 28, 2002

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