Sunday, September 04, 2011

More from people who think they're things they aren't

I came across this interesting article by Zev Chafets (longtime admirer of John Hagee and the CUFI crowd) discussing explanations for Glenn Beck's recent semi-sudden realization that he is the would-be political savior that Israel so desperately needs.

Zev's guess? Beck might be jockeying to become the new Pope of the Evangelicals. Which, considering he is a Mormon, would indeed be quite a feat.

Following the Beck train we have a piece from Larry Klayman, a WND writer who tagged along with Glenn-ha-Maggid to show support, and of course, to show that he doesn't understand how identity works:
 I am an Israeli
Um, no you're not. You live in Cleveland. Wow, we're just on your title and you're already full of it, Larry. Not a good sign.
Let's be blunt. God gave this land to the Jews and by extension to all Christians. The followers of Jesus Christ were largely His fellow Jews, and we are one as a people. I am a Zionist and so, too, is anyone who takes the Bible and our God seriously. Israel is our land, and we must protect it.
Wait, so Israel belongs to all Jews and Christians worldwide, but not to any of its 1.5 million citizens who are Muslim, Druze or no religion? Yeah, let's be blunt, Larry: what the hell?
With great passion and yes courage, Glenn stood at the base of the Wailing Wall, the only remains of the Jewish temple built by King Solomon – the son of King David– and delivered an address that captivated the world and expressed the feelings of all. In essence, he dared those hostile to Israel and the Jews to "take him first," if their intent was to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. Pastor John Hagee, in an earlier address during the week, also summed it up, using an analogy to President John F. Kennedy's speech in Berlin during the Cold War. Kennedy, declaring that Berliners, with their opposition to the Berlin Wall, stood as the first line of defense against communism, also declared himself a Berliner. Hagee and Beck declared in effect that we are all Israelis in our fight for freedom against radical Islam – and to win this war and pay homage to our Lord, we must protect and cherish Israel.
Sigh. Solidarity is fine, but I'm sorry, I can't get behind this "we're you" thing they keep invoking. It's a nice idea, but it's just not true... and it's particularly dicey given that the theological history has involved many years of preachers explicitly saying, "We're you... and you're not! I don't know who the heck you are, but it's not you, I'll tell you that." After all the silliness Hagee has been associated with over the years dealing with replacement theology, he's really the last person I want to see claiming Israeli identity. Standing with someone is fine. Taking off their nametag and slapping it on yourself is just weird.

Larry leaves us with possibly the best throwaway line from Beck's Silly Summer-Stravaganza:
So it was that Glenn Beck set in motion a tidal wave that will catch fire.
Oh Larry, you silly man. How can a person attend a top university, to law school, work for the Justice Department, run unsuccessfully for Congress and be so desperate for name recognition that he hypes the fact that he was parodied on the West Wing in his official bio and still not know that tidal waves aren't flammable?

One last one for the road: We have Pastor Ken Hutcherson writing for WND. He thinks Blacks, Jews and the Poor do themselves a disservice by so predictably voting for the Democrats, even when, in his opinion, it's against their own interests. Hutcherson isn't the first person to point this out, and while I certainly lean left, I can appreciate the argument that if you pigeonhole yourself as always supporting "your party," there is the potential that they eventually start counting on your support and taking you for granted, as opposed to feeling like they need to work to earn your loyalty, like all the Presidential candidates do every four years when they start pandering to the legions of undecided voters.

As a black man who grew up poor, Hutcherson is certainly qualified to give his opinion about two of his three unfortunate groups-- groups he compares to abused women who keep going back to their husbands for one more slap. When it comes to Jews, however, his credentials are a little sparser. So the pastor decides to talk to a buddy of his.

Who does he choose?
Since I am not Jewish, I am going to depend heavily on the wisdom of my close friend and fellow warrior, Rabbi Daniel Lapin. In his book "America's Real War," Rabbi Lapin states, "Liberalism is the eternal search for 'liberation' from God's seemingly restrictive rules. There are those who will always seek – or if necessary, create the escape hatch through which those who find God's rules too limiting can flee. Liberalism, under many different names, has always found eager converts and is a very strong lure of the devils." Furthermore, Rabbi Lapin believes that Jews tend to be liberal because they have been persecuted for so long they choose to empathize with other downtrodden people. He writes, "They assume liberalism to be a kinder, gentler philosophy than conservatism. This leads to a feeling of moral superiority."
On the one hand, kudos to Hutcherson for at least recognizing that it's helpful to actually talk to a Jew (or two!) to be able to speak with any kind of authority about Jewish issues (as opposed to imagining, as per Beck & friends, that since he likes Jews or Israelis that that suddenly makes him one). On the other hand, I like how the rabbi he picks to back up his thesis is resident crackpot and pet-Jew of the right, Daniel Lapin. In the past few years, Lapin has never missed an opportunity to suck up to the Christian right at the expense of other Jews. Whether the topic is The Passion, Darwinism or how persecuted America's Christians are, Lapin's villains are always liberal Jews (though, to be fair, considering the kinds of Jews Lapin does like, I have to consider it kind of a compliment). It must be very comforting for Hutcherson to know there's a rabbi out there willing to be brave enough to stand with upstanding Christians and let them know it's all those "other Jews'" fault.

Incidentally, if Hutcherson thinks liberals are the only ones who espouse moral superiority, he should really read some of Lapin's stuff.


Antigonos said...

It is all of a piece with the outpourings of those American Jews who will fight to the last drop of Israeli blood to "protect" Israel...but somehow can't even find the time or money to visit the country even once.

I ignore people like that. They are just silly.

BTW, Glenn Beck sank without a trace here. The vast majority of Israelis wouldn't even recognize his name, let alone what he stands for. The other day someone asked me if he wasn't a rock artist from the 60s-70s, obviously confusing him with Jeff Beck. It seemed logical enough, with Bob Dylan and Paul Simon giving concerts here recently.

MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

> Wait, so Israel belongs to all Jews and Christians worldwide, but not to any of its 1.5 million citizens who are Muslim, Druze or no religion? Yeah, let's be blunt, Larry: what the hell?

One could argue that while Judaism and Chrisianity both originated in Israel, Islam did not and only developed an interest in Israel after Zionism appeared on the scene.

Friar Yid said...

I think there's a difference between talking about a cultural/religious connection or heritage for Christians (and certainly Jews) and discussing ownership. Klayman is saying that God "gave" Israel to Christians and Jews and that it is "theirs," making no mention of the fact that Israel has a sizable portion of citizens who are neither. To me, this is an insult to Israel's non-Jewish/Christian population and obvious pandering to the religious Christian right.

I think Israel first and foremost belongs to its citizens who actually live there. In keeping with its Jewish character, the next level of "ownership" would be the Jewish diaspora. After that come Christians and Muslims outside of Israel. The idea that random Christians in the US have more of a claim on Israel than Israeli Arabs living there, paying taxes, or even serving in the iDF is absurd and the exact kind of myopic and anti-logical thinking that Beck has been selling for the past several years. It's a totally self-centered worldview that has no time for facts or details because it's too wrapped up in its own pathos. I find it extremely distasteful.