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Thread: TAC: Hagel Has a Problem With Christian Zionists, Not With Jews

  1. #1

    TAC: Hagel Has a Problem With Christian Zionists, Not With Jews

    Opposition to Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense is focusing on his on-the-record criticisms of Israeli policy. Beneath those criticisms, Hagel’s opponents claim, lies his alleged distaste for “the Jews”. The convicted liar Elliott Abrams has gone so far as to describe Hagel as “bigoted against Jews”. Bret Stephens echoes the charge (link behind paywall), which can be found in even coarser versions around the internet.

    If these accusations had any basis, you’d expect Jewish organizations to work against Hagel’s nomination. For the most part, however, they’ve refused to do so. Arguably the most prominent group, the Anti-Defamation League, is holding its tongue. The more hawkish American Jewish Committee is urging that Hagel’s nomination be considered carefully, but is not committing itself to opposition. And the head of the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Policy, Nathan Diament, has signalled a non-confrontational approach in public statements and on Twitter.

    So “the Jews” can hardly be said to oppose Hagel, although many individual Jews clearly do. Where does organized resistance to his nomination come from? As Jennifer Rubin observes, it’s largely a product of the Christian Zionist movement. In fact, two of the most active sources of opposition are Christians United for Israel and Concerned Women for America. The leadership of both groups is inspired by eschatology based on the Book of Revelation, according to which the resettlement of the Jews in the whole of the Biblical holy land is a prelude to the return of Christ.

    This divergence between the Jews as an organized community and of Christian supporters of Israel movement reflects an amazing transformation of America’s relation to Israel. Until the 1990s, the “pro-Israel” lobby was rooted in the activism and financial support of American Jews. Hagel was alluding to this fact when he used the rather unpleasant term “Jewish lobby” to describe American supporters of Israel.

    Since then, however, American Jews have adopted more dovish views. In addition to their overwhelming support for a two-state solution, younger American Jews are less likely than their parents to see Israel as the centerpiece of Jewish identity. As a result, Jews are probably more likely than other Americans to support the foreign policy positions for which Hagel has been criticized (similar views are fairly common on the Israeli left). In any case, they voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, despite extensive and expensive efforts to shift Jewish votes into the Republican column.

    At the same time, Christian Zionists have mobilized in favor of unconditional support for Israel’s increasingly hawkish governments. In addition to organizing hundreds of thousands of voters, groups like Christians United for Israel have cultivated links with Israeli politicians and activists who defend the occupation, as well as a relatively small clique of American Jewish hawks. Matt Yglesias describes the result as the “Post-Jewish Pro-Israel Movement“, which replaces the old “Jewish Lobby” with an alliance between millenarian Christians and the Israeli right, in which American Jews are little more than figureheads.

    I agree with Yglesias that the Post-Jewish Pro-Israel Movement is bad both for Israel and for America. Nevertheless, it is extremely influential–and serves as the real base of opposition to Hagel. Hagel does have an “Israel” problem. But it’s a mainly a problem with Christian Zionists and their figureheads.
    ...but when the trumpets blew again and the knights charged, the name they cried was "Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!"

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  3. #2
    I think this is absolutely right, and it's the part I keep forgetting. The whole pro-Israel thing is the result of crazy people who will do anything if it means bringing Jesus back soon.

  4. #3
    I can not believe I am seeing and hearing the term "Zionist" in the MSM right now. Although it would be nice for them to point out that it is not just the Christian Zionists. The Jewish Zionists, AIPAC, and Jewish Lobby are also part of the problem. The Christian Zionists fanatics, trying to fulfill their rapture prophecy have been a nice bonus to the Zionist agenda to fuel their cause, and they certainly won't complain about any extra religious fanaticism that helps this idea. Zionism, its tentacles reaching into many different organizations and religious denominations, has a complex agenda and is responsible for the lion's share of bloodshed in the middle east. I am not talking about the Jewish faith, the Israeli people, or Christians as collective groups. If you talk to a lot of people from these groups about Zionism they have no idea what you are talking about. To generalize and blame any of them shows an ignorance of the true problem, which is even hard to research since nobody seems to really want to talk about it. Many of them will tell you they remember people like bin Laden in the press babbling about it and that was the first they had heard of it and they just equated it with his being obsessively anti-Israel. Certainly not a topic you can just bring up with anybody, but one that really needs to be addressed.
    Last edited by paulbot24; 01-08-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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  5. #4
    I spoke with a proud Christian Zionist two days ago at my local grocery. He was so very proud of his non-questioning support of the nation state of Israel and their policy of Zionism aka ethnic cleansing. When I informed him of how the Israeli military attacked the U.S.S. Liberty killing 34 American Sailors the Christian Zionist said to me, "I was not there so I don't care." He than went on to tell me of the evils of Muslims and how they need to wiped off the face of the Earth.

    Nice fella ....
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