[Miami, Fl. November 6, 2007] The James L. Knight Center was packed to the rafters with John Hagee's tribe of Christian Zionists and south Florida's right wing Jewish community. Zion's Fire Banners, dancers, singers and a band whipped the crowd into a frenzy of spinning, jumping, clapping, twirling and moved the rotund Hagee to link arms with men in skull caps and dance the Hora-not to Hava Nagila, but to repeated choruses of,
Shout for joy and victory! Bat Yerushalyim.
From one end of the stage to the other, the largest American and Israeli flags I have ever seen were draped side by side and by the end of the evening I imagined every star on the red-white-and blue had morphed into the Star of David.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez pointed to the flags and exclaimed: "Isn't that beautiful up there together? I get goose bumps! All nations have been created by an act of man, except Israel was created by an act of God."
Rabbi Freedman delivered the Invocation, "We are all friends of the only democracy in the Middle East."
I immediately recalled what American Israeli, Jeff Halper, the Founder and Coordinator of ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions told me during one of my five journeys to Jerusalem:
"Israel is a not a democracy but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control and structured to keep them in control.”
Rabbi Freedman continued on, "From Mount Sinai to Mount Zion to Mount Vernon we are all Zionists! Israel is second to America in how many immigrants we have absorbed."
Immigrant absorption in Israel comes with perks and is called Aliyah, ["go up"] and is a fundamental concept of Zionism enshrined in Israel's Law of Return, which permits any Jew from any where in the world the legal right to government assisted immigration and settlement in Israel, automatic Israeli citizenship, unemployment benefits, free medical, and subsidized housing. Young adult immigrants receive free room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months and 100 percent of their tuition is paid by the government.
Hagee's mastery of manipulating the fears of his audience garnered him a standing ovation as the shofars blew, "Israel was re-born by an act of God and Israel lives! The Jews have suffered great persecution and survived slavery and the Final Solution! God Jehovah will bury Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran! The flag of Israel will fly over the undivided Jerusalem and be the praise of all the earth! It's 1938 again and the new Hitler is Ahmadinejad! Radical Islamisicts are threatening to develop nuclear weapons in order to destroy Israel and then the USA! But we are indivisible and we are both here forever!"
The oft repeated comment ascribed to President Ahmadinejad, that "Israel must be wiped off the map," was addressed by Virginia Tilley, Professor of political science who wrote:
"In his October 2005 speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad never used the word "map" or the term "wiped off". According to Farsi-language experts like Juan Cole and even right-wing services like MEMRI, what he actually said was "this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."
"In this speech to an annual anti-Zionist conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad was being prophetic, not threatening. He was citing Imam Khomeini, who said this line in the 1980s (a period when Israel was actually selling arms to Iran, so apparently it was not viewed as so ghastly then). Mr. Ahmadinejad had just reminded his audience that the Shah's regime, the Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein had all seemed enormously powerful and immovable, yet the first two had vanished almost beyond recall and the third now languished in prison. So, too, the "occupying regime" in Jerusalem would someday be gone. His message was, in essence, "This too shall pass." http://www.counterpunch.org/tilley08282006.html
Being a Christian of the Beatitudes-sticking to what Jesus taught and not worshiping any state or nation, I hope that the zeal of particular Christians for the state of Israel will also pass and because of their love for the Jewish people, I have hope they will have ears to hear the wisdom of the American Jewish progressive political and spiritual community and organization, Tikkun.
Tikkun is Hebrew for mend, repair and transform the world.
Tikkun researched to discover that there are three distinct elements energizing the Christian Zionists: 1 | 2
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