Regarding Waiting for Godot /JehovahAmerican Evangelicals, not Jews, are realpower brokers [Archives:2004/737/Opinion]

May 13 2004

By Jason Vaught,
[email protected]
For the Yemen Times

Salaamalaik. I am an American who reads the Yemen Times from time to time. I've been reading it more often as of late because I am preparing to move to Sana'a. As to your article on Kerry and Bush and who “loves Israel” more, I would like to offer a few comments if you would indulge.
Your main point on the influence that Jews have in America is well taken. Their political power in Washington is immense, no question about it. The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has so much power that it is known in D.C. as simply, “the lobby”, and anyone who challenges it risks their very political lives.
It funds congressional members in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on both sides of the “isle”, ie. Democrats and Republicans, so that no matter which party is in power, the “power behind the throne” is always right there.
That being said, I think that you missed on a key factor (and I need to tell you that I don't know if you have addressed this in the past or plan on doing so in the future), which is the “Religious Right” – the Christians. The Christians are the true scourge of the Palestinians – not the Jews – and they are the chief supporters of Israel, politically, financially, and morally.
This is because while Catholic Christians are the single biggest body of An-Nasara fii Amreeka, they do not hold the true power. The true power is held by Protestant Evangelical Christians. This is the perpetual death blow for the poor Palestinians.
In America, the only people aside from the Arab and other Muslims that puts forth a steady and respected voice for Palestinian rights and self determination are, in fact, Jews. There is absolutely no sympathy for the Palestinians from the Christian Right. None, whatsoever.
You mentioned the political power and influence of the Jews in Washington and, again, you are correct, but, look at the power of the Christians. There are about 5-7 million Jews living in the United States, and they are mostly a Democratic Party voting block.
The Evangelical Christians, under the leadership of such figures as Billy and Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and other radicals, are a block of 75 million people and over 45,000 churches. These religious figures that I have mentioned are the most prominent, the most powerful – not forgetting Ralph Reid who is another leader and a top political operative for the Bush administration – and they have all spewed vicious lies and propoganda against Arabs, Islam, and the Prophet Muhammad.
Around 70% of these people are Republicans and they support Israel 100% in all matters, regardless of what the situation is and regard the Palestinians as a totally unworthy people, undeserving of statehood or any degree of self determination.
They are absolutely identical to the Likudniks, no doubt. They believe that every inch of Palestine belongs to the Jews – given by God – and that the Palestinians should be treated just like the Canaanites were in the Old Testament book of Joshua who were mercilessly wiped out of the land by the ancient Israelites.
So why this staunchly uniform support for Israel by the powerful Evangelicals? For this answer we must turn to Protestant eschatalogical belief. As a former Protestant myself, I know a little about this, and it's frightening. You see, even though the Evangelicals love and blindly support the state of Israel, they don't care a wink about the Jews. They believe the Jews are doomed in fact, within the greater Christian context that anyone who doesn't believe in exactly what they believe in will burn in hell, end of story.
Christians believe that in the end times Jesus will return to the earth – kind of like the Muslims, but not really – and usher in the “Kingdom of God”. The sticking point though is that this is not possible until the great ingathering of all the dispersed Jews everywhere in the world back into Israel. This is critical to understand.
The massive Christian support of Israel in America – which in my opinion is far, far greater than any Jewish influence – has nothing to do with any particular affinity for Jews, or for the modern concept of “Israel” as a Jewish homeland for that matter when you get right down to it.
Rather, they want all the Palestinians either rounded up in concentrated areas or driven out of the West Bank and Ghaza altogether and replaced by all of the Jews from all over the world so that the return of Jesus will be possible.
Here's the kicker for the Jews though. They'll be wiped out of existence, at least according to some Evangelicals. They believe – fervently – that when Jesus returns there will be a great apocalyptic battle at a place called “Armageddon” which, I think, is somewhere around northern Israel/southern Lebanon, and one interpretation of the end result is that in this battle 2/3 of the world's Jews will be killed and the remaining 1/3 will be converted to Christianity, thus ending them as a people, entirely.
So Jewish influence is, as you said, profound, but the real enemy, the real engine behind America's ridiculous and shameful support of oppression vis-a-vis this issue, are the Evangelicals. Bush is the most outwardly religious Evangelical Christian President this country has ever seen, ferociously dedicated to his religion. Kerry is a very moderate and liberal Catholic. So I don't know which of the two “loves Israel” more, but I'm pretty sure I know which one Israel loves more.