In Real Life, It’s a Country Full of Women Who Can Kick Your Ass

GoldenI (which, is clearly pronounced Gold-en-eye, but in my head, until recently, I’ve been pronouncing it Goldini, like Houdini, but… well… not) has a great post today on how weird it is that the pro-Israel conservatives* are so in love with Israel, when, if we tried some of the stuff they take as a matter of course there here, the above-mentioned conservatives would have a stroke.

I keep trying to think rationally about why this is, but I have to admit that, when I think of Israel, the first thing that springs to my mind is a picture from one of those Illustrated Stories of the Bible that I used to sit and look through while I was waiting for my dad to do his rounds at the hospital when I was a little girl.  In it are Joseph, standing, and Mary, on a soft, sturdy donkey, looking out over a tiny Bethlehem made of something like adobe under an enormous sky.  Joseph looks kind and caring.  Mary looks tender and delicate.  The donkey, like I said, soft, and the houses look like a strong rain would melt them.

Now, in my head, I know it’s an artist’s imaginings of a scene from 2,000 years ago–so, obviously, things weren’t like that even then and Bethlehem isn’t even in Israel.  But that is the first connection my brain makes when I think of Israel–to that picture from when I was a kid.

And I can’t help but sometimes think that it’s that imaginary place some conservatives are so infatuated with.

*That’s not quite a satisfactory term, but it’s the best I can do right now.

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7 thoughts on “In Real Life, It’s a Country Full of Women Who Can Kick Your Ass

  1. The pro-Israel Evangelical Christian block supports Israel because they believe it necessary for the second coming of Jesus. In their mind, Jesus won’t come until all the Jews go back to Israel. I find “imaginary place” a very apt description of this belief.

    The support of Evangelical Christians makes many liberal Jewish people uncomfortable: my rabbi has done a couple of sermons on how he disagrees with conservatives on every issue imaginable, and is uncomfortable with how important their vote is in maintaining U.S. support for Israel. He will then go on to bewail his liberal Protestant friends for not supporting Israel.

  2. Possibly if American Jews were willing to make it more clear that AIPAC doesn’t exactly speak for us, or for Israel, liberal Protestants would find it easier to understand that “supporting Israel” does not equal “supporting the right wing of the Likud Party.” I know that the Christian right doesn’t understand that, but then they don’t understand that opposing Bush on Iraq doesn’t equal treason, either.

  3. I’ve been pronouncing it Goldini, like Houdini

    Heh.

    And yes, it’s a fairly common sight in Israel to see a 5’0 woman carrying a loaded M-16.

  4. Pingback: Volunteer Voters » Why Do Republicans Like Israel?

  5. In their mind, Jesus won’t come until all the Jews go back to Israel.

    Ahem.

    Iryl, I was a Jerry-Falwell-following-Independent-Fundamentalist-Baptist Evangelical Christian for over 30 years (now, I consider myself a Christian), and never once did I ever hear anybody teach that all Jews had to go back to Israel in order for Christ to return.

    I was taught that I should support Israel, but it was never taken as far as you state in your comment.

  6. What Ginger said.

    For the record, there are many other reasons besides precursing the pareusa for Protestant and Anabaptist Christians to support Israel.

    1. Many P &A Christians believe that since the Jews are God’s “Chosen People” we are to support them as a way to honour God.

    2. Many P&A Christians believe that the church’s lack of support for the Jewish people during the Holocaust was a failure to uphold the name of Christ and believe that continued support of the Nation-State of Israel is a necessary reparation for those decades of neglect.

    3. Aunt B. is right in part about the deep degree to which the P&A branches of the American Christian Church has romaticised Israel. My grandmother went so far as to mention bottles of water from the River Jordan (one of her most prized possessions) in her will while neglecting to address large sums of money. The whole “walk where Jesus walked” thing has a lot of resonance for many Christians, especially those who grew up in the years immediately post-partition and through the Six Day War (1948-1967).

    4. Which brings us to the 4th reason. Anti-Muslim bias. Many Christians of all stripes truly fear Islam on a gut instinct level. To say one supports Israel is somewhat akin to saying that one is “pro-life” instead of “anti-abortion”. It does sound much better to say “I really like Group A!!! A Whole lot!!!” than to say “I hope all of Group B burns in hell!!!”

    I support Israel openly and honestly. I have family there. I’ve paid to have trees planted there. Some of my support of Israel can be traced to parts of all the first three reasons I mentioned.

    Mostly I support Israel because to do so is pragmatic on a geopolitical level. It makes sense to want to have a likeminded political ally in a country near so much oil producing land which also has many ports. As long as there have been people on Earth, that particular piece of land has been the subject of a lot of interest. It doesn’t hurt to be buddies with the guys who control things.

  7. Thanks to Ginger and Katherine for the correction on evangelical beliefs. I think there is a large group that believes something like that described in the “Left Behind” series (by LaHaye and Jenkins) will occur, but it is good to know not all evangelicals fall into that group.

    Thanks also to Katherine for reasons to support Israel I had not previously come across. For reason #3, I don’t understand why there has to be a Jewish State on that land (as opposed to a Muslim or a secular State). Personally, I believe Israel as a state is a bad idea (I wrote a lot about it here), but reasons #1 and #2 help me better understand and sympathize with the pro-Israel POV.

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