An analysis of the U.S. political scene would reveal that it is the Evangelical Right, also known as the Christian Zionists, led by extremist televangelists such as John Hagee, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who, along with the Jewish lobby, call the shots, in so far as the U.S. Middle East policy is concerned. It must, however, be said that mainstream Christianity (including the Catholic Church) does not identify itself with the fanatical beliefs of Evangelical Right such as those discussed below.
In a recent article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz titled Why Christian Zionists really support Israel Hagee wrote; “Our support for Israel starts with God’s promises in the Hebrew Bible, but it does not end there. Christian Zionists recognize that we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. As I have stressed to my Christian audiences for years: If you take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity, there would be no Christianity.”
By “God’s promises” Hagee is actually referring to the deliberate misrepresentations of certain biblical verses. One such verse promises Prophet Abraham and his descendants the land “from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). In another one God offers to give Abraham and his “seed” after him the entire land of Canaan (Palestine) “for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8). It may be noted here that according to the Old Testament the Arabs and the Jews are the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael and Isaac respectively which, hypothetically speaking, makes them the joint owners of the “promised land.”
But for obvious reasons the Zionists and their Christian supporters do not recognise Ishmael as the legitimate son of Abraham as he was born to a “slave woman” named Hagar, the handmaiden of Sarah, the first wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac (Genesis 16:1-6). This divide was further aggravated by St.Paul who advised the Christians saying, “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way [Ishmael] persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit [Isaac]. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? ‘Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.’” (Galatians 4:28-31).
It is therefore the belief of the Christians Zionists that the occupation of all Arab lands by the Jews (in fulfillment of the prophesy in Genesis 15:18), after driving out the children of the “slave woman”, is a prelude to the Second Coming of Christ and Armageddon, the biblical concept of the last battle between the Good and the Evil before the day of Judgment (Ezekiel 38-39). It is in this context that the US attitude to Iran must be seen and understood, and once again John Hagee personifies this extremist mindset. In his provocative book Jerusalem Countdown Hagee advocates a war on Iran saying; “The rise of terrorism in our world and the emerging crisis in the Middle East between Israel and Iran are part of a much bigger picture – that of God’s plan for the future of Israel and the entire world. We are going to discover we are facing a countdown in the Middle East – the Jerusalem Countdown, a battle such as the world has never seen or will ever see again.”
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It is a strange paradox that, on the one hand we have the Christian Zionists supporting Israel with financial, moral and military aid in the dogmatic hope of one day converting all the Jews to Christianity, and on the other, we see the cunning Zionists – who never accepted Jesus as their Messiah – successfully manipulating the Christian Right using their own Bible to further their diabolical expansionist agenda. The ultimate victims of this unholy scheming between two Machiavellian religious groups are the innocent Palestinians who have been rendered refugees in their own homeland.
From A Faizur Rahman's article in Indian Muslims. More Here.
A. Faizur Rahman is the Secretary General of Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought Among Muslims in Chennai.. He may be reached at email@example.com