As I See It
Strange as it may seem, the largest and strongest Zionist group in the United States is no longer the Jews. It is the radical Fundamentalist Christian Right.
There are currently approximately 10 million Jews in this country, and they are deeply divided over the Israeli government’s policy toward the Palestinians. The majority may support Ariel Sharon’s hard-line policy, and many are in favor of Israeli occupation of the Palestine sectors of Israel, namely the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But a significant number believe that a policy of greater accommodation toward the Palestinians stands a better chance of securing the peace that most Israelis and Palestinians so desperately want.
The Fundamentalist Christian Right in this country numbers at least 20 million, and is firmly united in its unyielding support of the Zionist goal of total Israeli occupation of all of Israel.
Following religious leaders like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham, who have declared Islam a false religion and called Muhammad a terrorist, they are caught up in a religious fervor, not so much on behalf of the Jews as for using the Jews to further the catastrophic cataclysm which they believe to be a prerequisite for the second coming of Christ.
They believe that the Bible predicts the return of the Jews to Israel, and that the Jews must occupy all of Israel and rebuild the Temple, leading to the Armageddon predicted in the apocalypse. This final battle will result in the salvation of all true believers, including those Jews who have converted to Christianity, and in the eternal damnation of all nonbelievers, including all Jews who have not converted. According to their fundamentalist beliefs, all of this will prepare the world for the second coming of Christ.
This Fundamentalist Christian Right is so obsessed with the second coming of Christ that they are convinced that it is their religious duty to do everything in their power to promote the actions which they believe must happen in order for the second coming to occur.
They find it perfectly acceptable for our present civilization to be destroyed in the process, because, in their minds, this will lead to their everlasting salvation.
The ultimate battle between good and evil will inevitably be between Christianity and Islam, and the present tensions in the Middle East are seen as the perfect opportunity to bring it about.
Consequently, the Fundamentalist Christian Right has become the largest and strongest supporter of Zionism, and advocates the continued illegal Jewish occupation and settlement of the remaining Palestinian areas. This would fulfill the requirement of a totally Jewish Israel, and further aggravate the potentially explosive unrest between Jews and Arabs, in hopes of bringing the entire world into an all-consuming religious conflict.
One has to ask oneself whether this attitude in any way reflects the teachings of Christ – the virtues of kindness, tolerance, and love for one another. It is more a poisoning of the mind and the soul in hatred and vengeance against anyone whose beliefs differ from theirs. As one Jewish spokesperson has said, “God save us from these people.”
The recent rapprochement between the Israeli leadership and the new Palestinian leadership has generated new hope for a peaceful resolution of the decades-long conflict between the two sides. Let us also hope that the Fundamentalist Christian Right will come to its senses, accept the true teachings of Christ, and abandon their goal of the Armageddon. Let’s hope that they and Hamas, their Islamic counterpart, can both see the light.
Glenwood Springs resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Posy Independent.
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