Benjamin Netanyahu has been courting American evangelicals for, quite literally, decades and he has repeatedly collaborated with them to undermine peace initiatives. Consider:
In 1998, en route to meet with Yasser Aarafat and President Bill Clinton concerning a US-backed Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first stopped off to attend a Christian Zionist rally at which pastor John Hagee led a crowd in frenzied chants of "Not one inch!" - referring to land-for-peace proposals at the heart of the peace talks. Jerry Falwell, who staged the event, described it as an intentional attempt to undermine the peace initiative.
2010 saw a replay of the stunt. On the eve of Vice President Joe Biden's arrival in Israel to jumpstart peace talks, Netanyahu and top members of the Israeli government attended one of John Hagee's Christians United For Israel rallies in Jerusalem. Hagee, who represents the opinion of tens of millions of American evangelicals, has for decades consistently maintained that any peace plan requiring Israeli to cede land to the Palestinians is against the will of God.
Benjamin Netanyahu's and Likud's carefully cultivated alliance with the American Christian Zionist right goes back all the way to the late 1970, when Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin gifted Jerry Falwell a Learjet. Falwell was the first leader Begin called, even before calling Ronald Reagan, after Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. That's how important the political alliance is.
This is why news of pastor John Hagee's worldwide distribution of anti-Jewish slurs, memes, and conspiracy theories matters.
It would not be easy for Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud to work so very closely with John Hagee and his Christian Zionists were news to get out to Jews worldwide that Hagee claims Rothschild bankers rule the world and are scheming to bankrupt America (Hitler espoused an extremely similar theory). Hagee also claims Hitler was a "half breed Jew" and says the AntiChrist figure Hagee predicts to soon arrive on the world stage will also be "at least partially Jewish" and gay.
In May 2008 I posted a video with an audio clip from a late 2005 Hagee sermon in which pastor Hagee claimed God sent Hitler, a "hunter" claimed Hagee divinely tasked with persecuting Europe's Jews towards Palestine, the ancient land of Israel that is, according to Hagee, the only home God ever intended for the Jews.
The clip went viral and helped force presidential candidate John McCain to renounce his long-sought endorsement from Hagee. That's the power of the material I study, and presumably that's why John Hagee's Christians United For Israel lawyers and PR operatives managed to strongarm the New York-based Jewish Daily Forward to shut down, several weeks ago, a series I had been co-writing for Zeek magazine, a co-production of the Forward.
That series (1, 2) investigated the nature of John Hagee's "pro-Israel" evangelical tendency and its alliance with the Israeli right, especially the Likud Party. Israeli blogger Richard Silverstein has covered the Hagee pressure initiative, which managed to even win John Hagee an op-ed on the front page of the Forward, in depth (1, 2).
[below: my post, from yesterday, Friday June 4th, detailing the Glick video]
"Israel does not need enemies: it has itself. Or more precisely: it has its government" writes The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier in a bitingly titled column, Operation Make the World Hate Us: The assault on the 'Mavi Marmara' was wrong, and a gift to Israel's enemies.
It's not just an Israeli government initiative. Operation Make The World Hate Us has another valuable asset - the Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post Caroline Glick, who under the auspices of the US-based Center For Security Policy has just released one of the most gratuitously offensive (and on so many levels, it's quite remarkable) video creations to afflict the year 2010, "We Con the World", which appears to mock the nine dead (or more - six are still reported as missing) activists killed on the Turkish Mavi Marmara when Israeli Defense Force commandos stormed the boat. According to a British eyewitness interviewed by UK-based The Press Association, 48 people aboard the ship received gunshot wounds.
Two notable organizational patrons of Glick's video are the Center For Security Policy and Christians United For Israel. Glick's industrial-strength polemics include claims that there is a "totalitarian jihadist ideology which is ascendant throughout the Islamic world." According to the Jewish organization Jews on First, Glick has advocated the unilateral bombing of Iran.
The Center For Security Policy is so proud of Glick's video it's up on the organization's web site front page. Christians United For Israel website also has a front page link to Glick's inadvertent anti-hasbara masterpiece. The video features, among other lyric elements, the line "Itbach el Yahud !" (slaughter the Jews!) and claims that children in the Gaza Strip lack "cheese and missiles" (according to a 2009 UN survey 65% of babies 9-12 months old in Gaza suffer from anemia.)
It's not especially surprising that Caroline Glick was inclined to produce "We Con the World" given that in 1997 and 1998 she served as assistant foreign policy adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu's. What's astounding is Glick's obvious pride in associating herself with the video, which features shaky production values, procession of anti-Islamic stereotypes, bad singing, and mockery of the dead. Not only has Glick posted it on her personal website but she acted in the video, which at the end identifies her as Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post.
As Caroline Glick Wrote on her blog post concerning her video,