Nathan Bond's TART Remarks

Religion: Respect? Ridicule!

The United States and Israel

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The United States and Israel – a peculiar relationship
February 2004

“Are not Religion and Politics the Same Thing? Brotherhood is Religion.”[1]

Noam Chomsky calls the relationship between the United States and Israel a “special relationship,” translated into diplomatic, military, and ideological support for Israel.[2]

Israel possess nothing that the US need or desire. Israel’s Arab enemies possess and control much of what the US wish to control. The US would certainly prefer to control oil reserves to the extend that it could deny specific states a ready supply. This assessment renders the current US foreign policy incomprehensibly absurd.

The US does not need Israel. And only some 3% of the US population are Jewish – representing few votes, unless one simply has to take Florida, that is. Yet, according to a recent International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) poll[3], sixty-two percent of conservative Christians support Israel and endorse its policies for fighting “terrorism”. This statistic represents a significant voting population – one that will not be alienated by George “Jesus-in-my-heart” Bush, for instance.

I maintain that the conceptus of the illogical relationship is a common mythology. Although this relationship has spawned numerous illicit intrenching supplemental relationships, the prime relationship is founded in the American choice for primogenitor Abraham. It is founded in the choice for the Abraham-Sarah line; it is founded in the choice against the Abraham-Hagar line. The US-Israel machination is the direct result of singular resolve to preserve the spin doctored ideogenous legacy of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The admiration for the “people of God” harboured by the Founding Fathers is encaptulated in a statement from a letter by John Adams to Thomas Jefferson: “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation.”

Early American scholars were compelled to study Hebrew – it was compulsory at Harvard until 1787. Yale’s insignia still bears “Urim V’Thummim” (oracle learning). The very smithies of American intellectualism; the crucibles of American leadership; the forges of American influence are becharmed by oracles – obscure allegorical prophecies revealed by priests; believed to be infallible. Clothed in the romantic vestiges of adoration American preoccupation with Jewish mythology nourishes this ongoing mephistophelean, this rogue socio-political dispensation.

The Thomas Jefferson – Benjamin Franklin – John Adams submission for the official Seal for the United States depicted the Israelites crossing the Red Sea with Pharaoh in pursuit and Moses prevailing on the far side. The motto read: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Although an alternative design was eventually accepted, the Liberty Bell retained an inscription from Scripture (Leviticus 25:10): “And Proclaim Freedom Throughout The Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.”

Most all US presidents lauded the Jewish faith and later the State of Israel. Woodrow Wilson claimed that the ancient Hebrew system furnished a model for the American colonists when he stated, “Recalling the previous experiences of the colonists in applying the Mosaic Code to the order of their internal life, it is not to be wondered at that the various passages in the Bible that serve to undermine royal authority, stripping the Crown of its cloak of divinity, held up before the pioneer Americans the Hebrew Commonwealth as a model government. In the spirit and essence of our Constitution, the influence of the Hebrew Commonwealth was paramount in that it was not only the highest authority for the principle, “that rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” but also because it was in itself a divine precedent for a pure democracy, as distinguished from monarchy, aristocracy or any other form of government.”[4]

Lyndon Johnson told B’nai B’rith, “Many of you have roots in Europe, from which you or your forebears came in order to enrich the quality of life here in America. Most, if not all of you, have very deep ties with the land and with the people of Israel, as I do; for my Christian faith sprang from yours. The Bible stories are woven into my childhood memories as the gallant struggle of modem Jews to be free of persecution is also woven into our souls.”[5]

Then presidential candidate Bill Clinton stated in September 1992, “Our relationship would never vary from its allegiance to the shared values, the shared religious heritage, the shared democratic politics which have made the relationship between the United States and Israel a special, even on occasion a wonderful, relationship. Our support of Israel would be part of all those shared things.”[6]

University of Virginia sociologist James Davidson Hunter has observed that a “new ecumenism” realigns American culture between those who believe in a transcendent God who makes objective moral claims upon people (though they may differ somewhat on what those claims are), and those who do not, whether atheist, agnostic, or part of a liberal theological tradition. Religious traditionalists of all stripes find that on important public policy issues, they have more in common with orthodox members of other faiths than with progressive adherents to their own.[7]

William Fulbright once concluded that “… Power tends to confuse itself with virtue and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God’s favor… Once imbued with the idea of a mission, a great nation easily assumes that it has the means as well as the duty to do God’s work.”[8]

The one political cabal that particularly embrowns international relations is underpinned by religion. It is time for vigilant people to rise against the hegemony of ancient oracles; to avow reason as the basis for objective political decision-making.


[1] William Blake, Jerusalem (1804).

————————————————————————————————

[2] Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Boston: South End Press, 1983.

[3] Reported in Harvard Political Review, “Right Turn”, December 7, 2003. According to the poll, 46 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of self-identifying liberals support Israel, compared to figures of 67 and 61 percent for Republicans and self-identifying conservatives, respectively.

[4] From an address on May 7, 1911, entitled “The Bible and Progress”.

[5] From a speech before B’nai B’rith, September 10, 1968.

[6] Address to Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, New York, September 24, 1992.

[7] Cf. Rod Dreher, “Why Christian Conservatives Like Lieberman, But Won’t Vote for Him”, beliefnet.com, 2000.

[8] William Fulbright, American Democratic Politician, Speech to the senate, April 21, 1966

Written by Nathan Bond

January 5, 2009 at 07:29

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