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View Diary: I can no longer wholeheartedly support Israel (243 comments)

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  •  This post is important - please don't trivialise (6+ / 0-)

    Long time reader, occasional poster. As an Evangelical myself who swung to the left because of George Bush, I would like to support Jilly W, because I've made a very similar journey. Christian Zionism is very strong on the Evangelical Right, and I grew up with the ingrained belief that that all Christians should support Judaism and the State of Israel, that any criticism of the Jews brought a curse from God, that the Palestinians had no right to their land, and that any military actions taken by Israel were always justified - because they are the Chosen People.

    This isn't an antisemitic belief system, and I think I have to emphasise this. This is Evangelical Christian Zionism. It was at the heart of the support for George W Bush. Many people here are from the secular left, and really don't understand Evangelical Christianity at all, let alone all its many branches. But let me assure you that a strongly pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, pro-Zionist current is exceedingly powerful in churches that the default leftwing/rightwing political reading would otherwise categorise as "white Southern-USA Christian, therefore by default racist/antisemist, always speaking in 'dog whistles' and racist code". And you'd be completely misreading the situation by doing that. And misreading your political opponents doesn't help win political battles.

    You have a case here where a lot of your political opponents are Evangelical Christian pro-Zionists.  And many of us grew up, as I did, loving the Jews and Israel, hating and fearing the Palestinians and all Arabs and Muslims. We studied the Holocaust in both school and church (or in my case, at a church school). Our church-based political discourse, and the core of our political activism, was based around "protecting Israel and preventing another Hitler". There are Christian groups which advocate as strongy as AIPAC, if not more strongly, for Israel to have a completely free hand in the Middle East, to reshape it in its own image - because "Israel is the Chosen People and therefore nothing they choose to do can be wrong". This isn't some cynical posturing; we don't want to "kill them all or convert them to Christianity". We, I, grew up believing that the modern state of Israel was "God's plan" alongside the Church.

    And these are the people - the hard core of white, Western, Christian supporters of Israel - who are very, very slowly, becoming concerned by Israel's actions. We've been taught all our lives that the Palestinians Are Simply Bad And Wrong, that they're all Jew-haters, and -- pretty much like the Philistines in the Old Testament -- should be exterminated if they resist. We've believed that the mainstream media is always "slanted against Israel" and have self-censored ourselves for decades.

    And our faltering in our commitment to Israel is real, and our analysis of it in terms of what happened in WW2 is also very real, because it's how we've been taught; that everything in politics is potentially a replay of Germany.

    Please listen to what Jilly W has to say. Please don't troll-rate on sight. We are the people you need to reach out to. We're the convincable centrists who, like me, have been making the journey from centre-right to centre-left over the last ten years. If you alienate us, if you jump and consider us "anti-semites", which is the exact opposite of what we are, then we're just going to run away from your bloc.

    (Probably not back to the right, because eww, Dubya Bush ruined that for a generation; but we'll probably just exist the secular political conversation entirely, and go back to our churches where we feel safer.)

    Do you want to win the Evangelical center-right? I mean, maybe you don't, and if you don't, keep shouting at shadows and calling us anti-semites. But if you do, you have a chance. Listen, if you can.

    •  amen. (0+ / 0-)

      thanks for your comment!!  i needed to hear this.  i am here to promote the need for an honest discussion here - and you reinforced the value of having it.

      Romney in a landslide!

      by jj24 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:59:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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