The Bizarre Religious Motivation Behind Our Support For Israel

netanyahuAlmost since the founding of the State of Israel, the United States has been their strongest ally. Not only have we backed them politically in the United Nations, but we have provided the IDF material and financial support in the billions every year since the 1980’s.

A lot of people will look at this and say, “Why wouldn’t we support them, they’re surrounded by Arab countries?” Alternatively, skeptical members of the left would figure that this is a great way for our defense industry to make some extra money outside of our already bloated military budget.

Both ideas have merit, but there’s another more bizarre and troubling motive behind it which I wrote about 18 months ago on my blog during the GOP primaries. There is a very powerful bloc of Christian fundamentalists who have virtually taken over the Republican Party, and these same people also believe in the “end times prophecy.” Take a moment to Google the aforementioned phrase and instantly, you’ll be transported to a myriad of absolutely loony fundamentalist Christian sites that will make “Coast to Coast AM” seem almost sane in comparison.

So what is the connection between Christians who believe in a weird interpretation of a text written by a guy in a cave years after Jesus died, and our decades-old support of Israel? Ready for it? It’s because they believe that in order for their “End Times” prophecy to come to fruition, there must be a final battle between good and evil near the Golan Heights in present day Israel.

If that wasn’t already bizarre enough, many of them believe only 144,000 Jews will make it into their version of Heaven, which is only 1/4 of the current Jewish population of Brooklyn, NY.

A lot of Jews I know, members of my own family included, find this hilariously crazy and rather insulting at the same time. Personally, it creeps me the hell out that there are some folks out there who have a master plan in which many of my people have to die in order for Jesus to come back.

While I am not opposed to Israel being able to defend itself against massive onslaughts as it did in a number of wars since 1948, I do have a serious issue with new conflicts being egged on and funded by a coalition of defense industry insiders, the religious right and the plethora of “nuke ’em all” armchair patriots.

My uncle and cousin were crew members on one of the ships that attempted to transport Jewish refugees out of Europe after WWII in 1947. While they wanted a safe place for our people, especially after the horrors of the Holocaust, I don’t think they foresaw a future in which a Jewish state was used as a pawn in a polygamous marriage involving “Christian” fundies, the military industrial complex and the politicians who service the latter.

And so now, we have John McCain sneaking into Syria to meet with rebels who probably don’t have Israel’s best interests in mind and Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann predicting that “We are in the last days.” They anxiously await the next flare up of violence in the Middle East, many of them hoping that the next rocket attack from Gaza incites the “Final Battle” leading into a kingdom led by Christ.

If that doesn’t scare you, regardless of your religious views, I don’t know what the hell would.

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  • HappinessRules

    Wasn’t sure where this was going, but I concur 100% … not so much about the defense contractors, but about the christian fundamentalists. Hell, the Messiah can’t come until all Jews return to Israel, and how the hell will the Jews return to Israel if they keep trying to convert us all? They’re NUTS!

    • mary Wms

      Especially defense contractors — they smell $$$ and have the gov in their back pockets.

  • Peter_FairMarket

    Basically, the far right Christian wackos are co-opting the Jewish people as cannon fodder in their imaginary war to end all wars.

    • Chris Knight

      The Israeli right are hardly angels in this alliance. They do their fair share to encourage these bible thumpers because they know it means more U.S. tax money for weapons and illegal settlements.

  • Is there anyone that didn’t know this already?

  • artdude102

    Nothing these psychos do would surprise me- look at the “christian” psychopaths that traveled to Uganda to draft the “Kill the Gays” bill- Warren Jeff’s among them- oh he denied involvement, but only after it got out and he back pedaled like an Olympic swimmer. They couldn’t satisfy their blood lust against “the gays” in the USA, so they had to travel to third world to engage in their sick, twisted version of what they think is “faith” but any rational person would call delusional.

    • BackSeatJesus

      My gaydar goes off big time on Warren Jeffs.

  • I wonder how many of the weirdo christian fundies realize the book of Revelation that they get all this from was written as a metaphor about the Roman Empire’s oppression of the Jews…It’s not a prophecy about what will happen in the future, it’s an allegory about what happened centuries ago.

  • Robin

    The author needs a history lesson; this is total garbage. While I am not opposed to Israel being able to defend itself against massive onslaughts as it did in a number of wars since 1948, I do have a serious issue with new conflicts being egged on and funded by a coalition of defense industry insiders, the religious right and the plethora of “nuke ‘em all” armchair patriots.
    Really? Defend itself? Look it up and rewrite this trash paragraph.

    • Adam

      Before you go criticizing others for needing a history lesson, go back and read the entire history of Israel from slightly before its founding in 1948 to now. Israel has had to defend itself numerous times in its short period of existence, so yes, Manny would be correct with his statement.

      This is not saying that I agree with many of the decisions made by the Israeli government over the years. Lasting peace will only be achieved when one side of the conflict decides not to retaliate in kind, which has little chance of happening, especially with the right-wing Netanyahu as Prime Minister. Until they kick Bibi out of office permanently, the situation won’t change.

      • Joseph Caiaphas

        Adam, I believe you might need a refresher in the history of Israel. Yes, the conflicts started long before 1948 (which is the title of the book I am reading right now, about Israel). It actually began around 1880, if memory serves me. But the issue was exactly the same as it is now, the Zionists wanted the land, they believed and still believe God gave it to Abraham.

        Though the Arabs in the region were not organized and there was no “Palestinian” unification, they were still concerned about the encroachment of Jewish people and accurately predicted that they would be pushed out. They appealed to Istanbul and Damascus (the remnants of the Ottomans who were in power at the time) but the Jews bought off the officials in Istanbul in order to get a foothold in the region.

        The OP stated “massive onslaughts” when this is simply not the case. Israel is the only nation with nukes, which they acquired AGAINST the U.S.’s attempts to keep them from getting them, and against the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or NPT. They have pressured the US to hit Iraq, along with Syria and along with Iran. Before 9/11, they and the Israel lobby continued to pressure us to move against Iran.

        They are the ones who created Hezbollah and they are continuously equating Hamas and Hezbollah (who target Israel) with al-Qaeda (who targeted the US), stating that Israel and the US have common interests, which is simply not true.

        I am sorry, but your statement “Lasting peace will only be achieved when one side of the conflict decides not to retaliate in kind,” is simply not true. People have a right to defend their land, and since 1880 Zionists have incessantly encroached the land of the Arabs, specifically the Palestinians. Look at what happened in Hebron in ’68. They went in under guise of Swiss tourists, they lied. Look at their retaliation to Hezbollah where they killed hundreds, I believe it was over 400, civilians. They deliberately targeted civilians through indiscriminate use of cluster bombs. The response to Hezbollah was unequivocally disproportionate to Hezbollah’s raid and Israel even acknowledged it and justified it.

        I am not just espousing regurgitated rhetoric I picked up on Wikipedia, I have read Jimmy Carter’s “Peace not Apartheid,” I’ve read “The Israel Lobby” and am currently reading “1948.” I believe that I am not being biased when I say that peace begins when Israel stops taking land, gives the land back, gives back the Golon Heights, tears down their walls and stops practicing acts of apartheid and racism.

        Know this, I am no friend to Islam, I despise it as a religion and see it as barbaric. Islam gets no sympathy from me at all. But I am capable of differentiating Islamists from secular nationalists, which are what the Palestinians are. In other words, they are Freedom Fighters. And just like we’re seeing in Syria, the more the US doesn’t help, the more likely these Freedom Fighters will turn to Islamic radicals (like the Muslim Brotherhood) for help.

      • mary Wms

        Wonderfully said

  • daniel

    the 144000 jews are chosen and walk the earth as witnesses who are then killed for their faith in the end times, they believe all believers go to heaven. Although I think the Jehovah witnesses believe something similar to this article but they are not the majority. — I believe in time and with scientific based education these beliefs will go away for good. They already are in most of the younger generation as compared to the last 2 previous. I personally believe that the republican party just uses these tactics as a smoke screen to blind people to the fact they are using Israel as a strategic military location. We are a conquering nation whether it is by force, money, or sanctions the worldwide corporations who have bought our government officials want to own everything.

  • Umi

    Israel was delineated (created) by UN Mandate. So were certain other Arab nations. Why NOT support this democracy that thrives amongst vindictive neighbors?

    • Joseph Caiaphas

      The issue is not that it is a democracy. The issue is supporting a nation that perpetuates continuous acts of land-grabbing in the name of divine order. “Because God gave this land to us” is not a reasonable way to execute foreign policy. Otherwise, you end up right where we are at now, which is every Arab nation (and radicals like bin Laden) hating the offending nation and the US for supporting it.

    • mary Wms

      Umi,
      It’s about how Palestinians are treated by the government and settlers. So when you hear about them fighting back, remember they are fighting for their lives. The irony all this is they are being treated the same as Jews were being treated in the 1930’s.

  • Contrarian Sam

    For the first 20 years of Israel’s existence, the US was NOT Israel’s strongest ally. In the war of 1948, when Israel was attacked the day it declared its independence by the armies of 5 surrounding arab nations and their local arab militia neighbors, the US was not allowing Israel to buy American arms, and Israel fought with antiquated arms bought from places such as Czechoslovakia.
    In 1956, I think by then they had access to French weaponry. Definitely in 1967, they were flying FRENCH fighter planes, as the US government was still not an ally of Israel. The US finally became an ally of Israel after that, as the USSR became a patron of many of the arab states, so it was just part of the cold war. And for that, the US got its hands on many intact MiG fighters courtesy of Israel.

    Aside from that, Israel’s strongest supporters among the fundamentalists today, such as John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel organization, do so MORE on the basis of the verse, “I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you” (Genesis 12:3), than on the basis of Revelations. I have been to several CUFI rallies and that is the focus of their message.

  • Petzl

    If I were Israeli, I would feel simultaneously pleased but nauseous by the American religious right’s support for Israel. The religious right are powerful, influential, die-hard Israel supporters, by virtue of their interpretation of the Bible. Whatever domestic or foreign policy Israel pursues, nothing is going to sway them. At the same time, the fulfillment of their scripture will see Israel being destroyed and all Jews therein converting to Christianity or suffering for it. The religious right’s continued zealous, thoughtless and mindless support cannot be a good thing for Israel in the long run.

    • jayjay4142

      Petzi You are so very right. They are looking for the return of Jesus and according to how they translate the Book of Revalation it cannot happen without all of the Jews returning to Israel. Seems to me they are going to need a bigger piece of land than they have now.

  • LCrouse

    SOOOOoooo…the republican backed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu comes out and says we…meaning the USA, must do more than just impose sanctions on Iran. That not going to war with Iran would be worse than letting them build nuclear weapons. He says this is not a political ploy. If you honestly believe that…well….kiss your own ass and call yourself stupid.
    Iran is in the European communities backyard….not ours. This obsession of supporting Israel is because they have brainwashed humanity with, “We are the chosen people of God” and this is the chosen land…..BULL SHIT!

    I am fed up with sitting back and keeping silent because people may say I am being anti-Semitic. I have no problem with how, where, when, what or why the Jewish people believe as they do. What I have a problem with, is this incessant belief they have, that the people of the United States have an obligation to protect the people of Israel. They chose to invade Palestine after WWII. They chose to put themselves in harms way. They chose to force the Arab world to except these actions. I do agree that the Jewish people deserve a country. I do not, however, agree that any other nation on earth should be held accountable for the protection for these actions.

    This obsession by the Jewish people, that the gentiles must submit to their demands, is based almost entirely on religious belief. Most prominent of which is “WE the Jews are the chosen people” of some mythical “god”. A “fact” the can not be definitively proven.

    Yes there are religious books, written by people, which we we have no historical support other than what they wrote. Books, we are to believe, are written by people who had some special connection with their mythical “god”. Books and writings, that when analyzed, indicate the desire to control man through the fear of the unknown in their time. Threats of a violent end or after death horrific existence in some “mythical” after life. Intimidation through acts of violence toward or, the ostracizing of, those that do not follow their insane beliefs.

    We are now seeing an increase in this same religious ideology to control and manipulate, not only our daily life and the personal choices we make, but also in our elections and ultimately in our government. They are trying to rewrite our nations Constitution with religious ideologies. Going against the core belief our fore fathers had, the incite to include wording, that prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. Not an establishment of just a defined religious belief, but also the inclusion in are laws, any law based on these religious beliefs.

    In conclusion: Keep your religion and religious beliefs in your home and in your place of worship. Do not try to infuse them into our government or our politics and I will fight for you to keep our government and it’s politics out of your religion.
    Attempt to impose your religious beliefs into our government and it’s politics, I will fight you just as adamantly to keep it out.

  • Wanbli Ozuya

    the devil of empires and his tea party republican devils of empires know there, end! the lord of war, told them so, and they still mock the Christ the was crucified of the sins of this godless world; of know it all white folks in general full of shit about every issue of humanity and life in general! ha, we First Nations can’t wait till you phony white folks Christians get what you and your nation deserves and faithfully believe, and you don’t have to believe, and nowadays the way things are here in this disingenuous blood letting devil worshiping nationhood, something that everyone knows and sees is taken place throughout this world, destruction of life by white imperialist devil lead colonial empires, (peoples)!