Throw the Jew down the well
The people of Israel were cursed by foolish and evil rulers long before Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 with that late, great man of peace, Yasser Arafat. Time and time again, the Old Testament pronounces judgment on the kings of Israel with words that rumble like an ominous drumbeat: “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.”
Imagine, if you will, that George Bush were to follow Ariel Sharon’s lead. While anathema to most Americans, many Europeans and the vast majority of Arabs accept the idea that America has been attacked by Islamic terrorists due to its financial support for Israel. And it is even more widely accepted that the primary reason for this material American support is that quiet, but effective alliance of Christian evangelicals with wealthy American Jews who wield significant power and influence in Washington.
By this logic, no doubt Prime Minister Sharon would agree that an excellent way for the president to protect American cities would be to issue an executive order sending every Jew in Washington and New York City to Israel, where they would be receive $350,000 in compensation for the loss of their Manhattan apartments and Georgetown brownstones. Any Jews who did not obey the president’s order to evacuate would be forcibly removed by the New York Police Department and the district police in order to expedite their involuntary aliyah.
Can you imagine the utter firestorm of furious indignation and outrage that would instantly engulf the national media? The New York Times would be shrieking at such a fever pitch that dogs would be bleeding from their ears in Los Angeles. The ABCNNBCBS cabal would be howling for George Bush’s impeachment and execution while the Fox brigade would be calling for the castration of the entire Bush line unto the fourth generation down from Poppy. Within hours, Abe Foxman, Jesse Jackson and James Dobson would be leading a march together that would dwarf the Million Man March, the Promise Keepers and the WTO protests combined.
“We are down with Hymietown,” one can almost hear the Reverend Jackson chanting. The ADL’s Abe Foxman would accuse the president of the most virulent anti-Semitism since Mel Gibson filmed the “Passion,” while a weeping James Dobson would remind the assembled masses that America is not mentioned in the book of Revelations, then lead them in a heartfelt prayer, pleading with the Lord God of Israel to refrain from destroying America for its sin against His chosen people.
This scenario is, of course, utterly absurd. The president knows very well that the violent practitioners of the religion of peace don’t hate us because we send money to Jews, they hate us for our freedom. (Yes, I am rolling my eyes here. I don’t believe the jihadists particularly hate America, it’s just that as the preeminent world power, the USA is the primary obstacle to their dream of global sharia. America is in their way, as the current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan should suffice to demonstrate.)
And even if it could be proven that support for Israel was the cause of three decades of Arab anti-Americanism, no decent citizen would cravenly betray his fellow Americans simply because they happened to be Jewish.
But apparently ethnic cleansing, so appalling in Finland and Pakistan, so outrageous when performed in Yemen, Yugoslavia and Turkey, is perfectly acceptable, even lauded, when Jews are being ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces. Even if removing Jews from the Holy Land is not an offense to God, the removal of the Jewish settlers from Gaza is a violation of their rights to liberty and property, it is a foolish incitement to Hamas and it sets a horrific precedent in a fallen world that has never been overfriendly to the Jewish people.
Sharon’s decision can only be defended on the basis of short-term security. But it fails in military, political, ethical and spiritual terms. It will not be long before Hamas will transform Gaza into a base for operations into Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces will be forced to return there. Sharon is an old man and has no political future, but the president’s support for the prime minister’s action will be rightly seen as yet another Republican dagger in the Christian right’s back.
As for the spiritual aspect, if, as I and many other evangelical Christians believe, the Lord God Almighty intends for His people to return to the Promised Land, then the will of no prime minister or president will ultimately prevail. Israel has been led into disaster after disaster by leaders who did not fear God and it seems likely that Ariel Sharon will prove to be yet another curse on the Jewish people.
Is throwing the Jew down the well OK when it is an Israeli who does the throwing?