donderdag 31 juli 2014

I don't understand

There are a number of things about Israel that I do not understand.

This number does not, to be clear, include the current military action in order to curb rocket attacks from Gaza for some time. Because I can understand it – however terrible the war suffering is. No country, democratic or not, can just let itself be shelled while it has the means to stop the shelling. Sooner or later it will deploy those resources. Nobody likes that, I can see that, but apparently at this moment fighting for both Hamas and Israel is worthwhile.

One of the things I do nót understand is the unconcearn with which Israel perpetuates the occupation of the West Bank, and even actively strengthens it. I can see it no different than that the illegality of it, combined with the humiliation of the Palestinians, is a serious threat to Israel’s future.

I’ve also never understood the light-heartedness with which Israel lets itself be supported by Christian Zionists such as American Evangelicals or Dutch Christians for Israel. From an opportunistic, short-term perspective I can indeed understand that. In a world with a lot of hostility directed against Israel, you welcome any support that is available.

But the question is whether is that opportunism is a wise position to take. I think not. First, because such support is fundamentalist inspired. Characteristic of the groups referred to is their belief in the authority of the Bible, which they explain in such a way that the state of Israel figures as willed by God, namely in preparation for the second coming of Christ on earth. This appears to me to be an alien motif within the secular-Jewish project that Israel essentially was and still is. If motifs are that far apart, you should be careful with close ties.

A second reason stems from the very same fundamentalism. Because it implies that the Christian Zionists are not primarily interested in the Jewish cause, but in an idea that is linked to their theology. In the absence of an intrinsic human concern a switch in that theology or exegesis may as easily lead to a switch in attitude. Enthusiasm for the Jewish state can then change into indifference or even hostility.

At present something like that seems to occur indeed in certain Evangelical circles. There is talk of a return to the good old ‘fulfillment theology’. Which implies that the Kingdom of God was established by Jesus on earth and history was then fulfilled. The Jewish people, according to that vision, for God has no meaning any longer, neither has the State of Israel. From this kind of theology a lot of trouble for the Jews emerged already earlier in history.

Before you trust the sincerity of your supporters, it is important to know who you are dealing with and what their motives are. Jews should understand that anyway.

Also see The many dimensions of Ari Shavit and Accurate enough