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Christian Zionism

"a movement, largely among Gentile Christians, supporting the right of the Jewish people to return to the Promised Land which has, of course, happened right before our eyes during this century"

Christians and Jews in Common Cause

by Inez Weisman

To analogize between the history of the Holocaust and the events surrounding Israel today is, indeed, painful. Not to do so, however, is to ignore the warning signs that are there, while recognizing that there are differences in today's realities. Indeed, those differences are blessedly there--a strong, well-armed Jewish state, an out-spoken American Jewry, albeit a distinct minority, that cannot and will not be stifled, a supportive Christian Zionist community and influential politicians who speak out and act on behalf of a secure Israel. Yes, these differences matter, but if we examine the similarities between those 1930's days and today we must take pause for Israel's military strength has yet to be tested in the new world of the chemical, biological and, no doubt, nuclear arms of Iraq, Iran and today's Syria and Egypt. Even assuming that the United States would at some time during hostilities come to Israel's aid, one must wonder what country would permit the necessary refueling of transported munitions. The Turkey of 1973, now committed to Islamic fundamentalism, can no longer be considered a safe haven. The Christian Zionists, surely good friends today, have yet to be tested in a time of anti-Israel sentiment that I believe will grow in intensity in a situation of joint Arab action, threatening an oil embargo against the United States. In an environment such as this it would be increasingly difficult for political figures to continue to act on behalf of Israel. New realities bespeak new dangers.

This scenario may be dismissed as apocalyptic if one does not examine the similarities between those tragic 1930's days and today. Let us look at such similarities and attempt to weigh their significance in today's world. These would be the role of the international community, and that of the media, print, and radio the now increasingly electronic, most of all of the twenty-four hour a day news broadcasts, as well as the major news programs on cable television, the single most influential force in molding public opinion in my view. There are, no doubt, other considerations, but these will suffice to make the connection between then and now.

The perfidy of the international community toward Israel needs little documentation. The continuing anti-Israel role of the United Nations, the struggle over visitations by European national representatives to Orient House in Jerusalem, visits that give credibility to the Arab right to East Jerusalem, and the on-going meetings between Arafat and the E.U., as well as the hostile statements emanating from European leaders in response to the recent crisis, all suggest a solid block of anti-Israeli forces. As the memory of the Holocaust fades, old attitudes gain in strength. The wooing of the Arabs has at its core the same self-interest that makes the Jews expendable.

The rise of television news reporting as a major influence in molding American opinion needs no explaining. Any serious examination of the text and visual images during the last crisis clearly establishes the hostility towards Israel, pictures of Arab youths throwing "harmless stones" and in return the use of live ammunition by the Israeli army makes the message clear. Infinite interviews with weeping Arab mothers, almost none with mothers of slain Israeli soldiers, the TV audience, ignorant of both history and the realities of the moment, has no choice but to share the views of the reportage. Recent studies have supported the idea that the majority of media people are to be considered "liberal" by their very voting preference, over 85% Democratic. Thus, their bias flows not out of conscious desire to distort the news from Israel but out of a psychological and ideological set, almost impossible to overcome. It is this distorted visual presentation that changes the influence of media from the 1930's to today. It cannot be underestimated in gauging the response of the world community to threats to the very life of Israel. The 1930's with its print and radio influence dims in significance to the bombardment to the senses of today's audience by the powerful imagery of television, controlled by the likes of Ted Turner and, other liberals. The arguments presented here but skim the surface of the thesis that those forces that operated in the 1930's not only operate today but in much more dangerous form, placing the Jewish state , and, thus, the Jewish people in an increasingly precarious position. The difference is that those of us who recognize this and act against it have the opportunity to make the dangers known despite the difficulties we must overcome as a minority.

The purpose of this argument is not to cry havoc but rather to follow Santyana's advice that to forget history is to open the door to reliving it, and, as the people of an often tragic history, we do not have the luxury of ignoring it. For there are those who would destroy the foundation of our very civilization, our nation, our society, our families, as never before there must be sounded a call to arms if the Judeo-Christian heritage is to survive. The battle for the safety of Israel must be seen for what it is, a bastion of strength in this war declared by the radical Islamists and their cohorts here and throughout. Christians must join the ranks of those of us who are committed to the security of Israel, not out of their love for the Jewish state but because they recognize that that tiny piece of land is the battleground for the survival of Jews and Christians alike and for the one God who bestowed that land to the Jewish people as the fountain from which would flow the morality, the willingness to fight the forces of evil in the name of that one God.

Those forces threaten us today, forces of evil that would rule by the sword if victorious-destroying all that we have created-Democracy, a respect for human life, a recognition of the family as the strength of our nation, a set of moral principles that is handed down from generation to generation, yes, including a willingness to fight and to die for that which is right., which our God has commanded us to do. Christians must join with us in the battle to secure Israel, not for Israel's sake but for its own. It has been made clear that if those forces of evil can destroy the Saturday people the Sunday people will be next.

Never has the need for a Christian-Jewish alliance been as clear as now as Israel faces brutal terrorist attacks as bombs claim lives in those places where ordinary Israelis congregate in markets, on buses, in the streets of their cities. Never have the Christians in the middle east been so besieged, forced out of Bethlehem and other cities sacred to their faith victims of the brutal and illegal occupation of Lebanon by Syria, the terrorist haven of the world with the Israeli force no longer standing between 180,000 Christians in the south Lebanon security zone and the tender mercies of the Iranian-armed, Syrian backed, Islamic jihad.

Crying out for an allied voice and action is the threat to Christians, this includes the survival of 10,000,000 in the Coptic Christian community under siege by Islamic fundamentalists in Egypt, and that of the remains of the Christians of sough Sudan who have suffered systematic murder, enslavement, and forced conversion at the hands of the ruling radical Islamic clique in Khartoum. The Islamic cry for "jihad" against what their religion curses as the "infidels" must ring in the ears of Jew and Christian alike.

However, if we stand united, we will push the barbarians outside the gates, isolated and weak. It is the people of Israel who are burying their dead. It is the people of Israel who must live surrounded by terror, shopping in the market, riding the buses, sending their children to schools guarded by armed soldiers., and it must be Israel alone who determines its future, not an American president nor his representatives. We as Americans must stop funding our enemies, whether it be the Egyptian government of Mubarak until he ensures the safety and religious freedom his country's Coptic community or the criminal Arafat who continues to call for jihad and who has broken every word of the Oslo agreement, now revealed in the 35 page document kept secret, until now forced into the open, reflecting the will of the vast majority of Americans as shown in the most latest polls. The moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem, the legitimate capital of Israel, must take place now. All of this can and will take place if we encourage our friends in the Congress with our support, for they can and must call for a comprehensive review of U.S. policy in the middle east.

There are increasing threats of more violence and the potential for a major war in the middle east. We who understand what is at stake must educate those who share our love of Israel, and then we must show our strength by acting with wisdom and spiritual guidance as Americans with all the power to influence at our command.

Inez Weissman, Chairwoman Oregon Americans For A Safe Israel

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