Thu Nov 2nd, 2023 at 07:35:04 PM EST
George W Bush's new 'crusade': converting Jews to Christianity | The Guardian - 14 Nov. 2013 |
Bush is speaking at a fundraiser today for Messianic Jews. It's the same imperial mentality that's ravaged the holy land for ages
George W Bush bows his head in prayer during an event marking the 2005 National Day of Prayer. Photograph: Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
Some people think George W Bush did as much as he could to bring about Armageddon with his earlier interventions in the Middle East. But not the man himself, apparently. He has signed up for a fundraising event for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, an organisation which aims to promote the second coming by converting Jews to Christianity, and will speak today at their fundraiser in Irving, Texas.
Such "Messianic Jews" - who accept that Jesus was the promised Messiah - are loathed by most other Jews, and regarded with great suspicion by mainstream Christian denominations. If Jesus really was the promised Messiah, this would restore much of the traditional basis for Christian anti-Semitism, which most Christians have struggled against for the last 50 years.
But a belief in the necessary conversion of the Jews still flourishes on the wilder shores of American Christianity. Portions of Biblical prophecy seem to require it. And there is widespread confusion among evangelicals about whether Israel is really a kind |of America overseas - a recent poll for the Pew Foundation found that twice as many American Evangelicals as American Jews were unwavering in their support for Israel. This is something that successive Israeli governments have deliberately cultivated.
There is a delicious symbol of this confusion in the tat sold off the institute's website - a dog tag bearing the Star of David, with "Defender" written in the middle of it. The description reads:
God is raising up an army of believers to defend Israel, especially in these times more than ever. Wear this to represent your defense of Israel. In so doing, it will create conversations to give you opportunity to give a testimony of Isaiah 31:4-5.
Maybe that's the kind of pickup line that works better in Texas.
Apocalyptic Politics are Clouding the U.S. Response to the Israel-Hamas Conflict and Demonizing Muslim-Americans | Informed Comment |
The Puritans colonized the northeast corner of what became the United States expressly to build themselves a New Jerusalem and welcome the Second Coming, a catastrophe they felt certain would happen any minute now.
Doomsday sects have flourished throughout American history, from the Millerites of the 19th Century to the Branch Davidians to James Watt, Ronald Reagan's notoriously pro-pollution, anti-environment Interior secretary.
Watt figured there was no reason to save the planet when the Lord was going to show up soon and deliver a new heaven and a new earth.
So why not drive that big car and crank up that AC?
Jonesing for the End Times
According to the Pew Center, 60 percent of evangelicals think we are living in the End Times. A Texas preacher, one of Donald Trump's pet pastors, responded to the Hamas assault on Israel by praying, "The last days are coming and are here, when you will come again, for your church and for your people."
This kind of thinking, plus Americans' perennial Islamophobia, gives cover to the rightwing politicians hollering themselves hoarse about reducing Gaza to rubble and never mind the dead children.
The excitable senior senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, told CNN:
"I don't think there's any way Israel can be expected to coexist or find some diplomatic off-ramp with these savages." Hamas must be "eradicated," and if there are thousands upon thousands of civilian casualties, well, it's their own fault for living in Gaza -- not that Israel lets people leave Gaza.
Republican and Democratic politicians are all trying to outdo each other in assuring their voters that they stand with Israel and condemning anyone who suggests that the Netanyahu government -- bellicose at the best of times -- should share a least a little of the blame for the death toll.
True Believer? Why Donald Trump Is The Choice Of The Religious Right | NPR - 12 Sept. 2015 |
When Donald Trump stepped to the podium in a football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, filled with 30,000 people there to hear him spread the gospel of Trump, he was overcome.
"Now I know how the great Billy Graham felt," Trump said last month.
White Evangelicals Made a Deal With the Devil. Now What? | New York Mag Intelligencer - 6 Dec. 2020 |
In the end, white Christian America stood by its man. The exit polls present an imperfect but definitive picture. At least three-quarters of white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in November, a figure largely unchanged from 2016. Evangelicals didn't win Trump another four years in power, but not for lack of effort. While most of America tired of the president's impieties, the born-again found in themselves a higher tolerance for sin.
Interesting insight into a chapter of history ...
Bush Campaign Speech | C-Span - 8 Sept. 1992 |
President George H.W. Bush spoke to Jewish leaders at the 1992 International Conference of B'nai B'rith in Washington, DC. In his remarks, President Bush announced he would ask Congress to allow $10 billion in loan guarantees to Israel to house Jewish immigrants to the region. He said Israel's survival would have been threatened if Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Bill Clinton had been leading during the Persian Gulf War, and said claims that he held anti-Semitic views because he differed with the Israeli government politically were painful to him personally. He responded to written questions from the audience following his prepared remarks. The president was presented with a gift from the organization following the question and answer session.
Rudy Boschwitz brought 15,000 black Ethiopian Jews to Israel ...
Israel's Beast of Burden | Tikun Olam - 4 May 2015 |
Israeli anti-racism protests are turning violent
Police officers on horseback charged hundreds of ethnic Ethiopian citizens in central Tel Aviv on Sunday as an anti-racism protest descended into one of the most violent demonstrations in Israel's commercial capital in years.
I saw this image tonight and had such an intense wave of disgust wash over me. This is the proverbial picture worth a thousand words. It displays a vicious visual `poetry' and deserves to win photographer, Baz Ratner, a Pulitzer Prize. The picture was shot at a protest by thousands of Ethiopian Israelis angry about an assault on an Ethiopian IDF soldier by police.
Of course, the demonstration was about more than this, but that was the match that lit the fire. Ethiopians, brought to Israel decades ago as part of Operation Solomon are the underclass of society. The euphoria and jubilation of the airlift were replaced by the sober reality of life the morning after. Israel has not been a pleasant refuge for them. Poverty, joblessness, and discrimination lurk everywhere. Israeli Jews turn away from Ethiopians in disgust. They often won't let their children study with them in the same classroom.