Saturday, January 9, 2016

Unholy Alliance: Christian Zionists and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict - by Prof. Welton

Would there be a state of Israel today without the British politicians and powerful players like Arthur Balfour, Lloyd George, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia and General Allenby? Could this pariah state continue to commit unfathomable crimes against the indigenous Palestinians without the support it has been enjoying in the USA since at least 1967 from the Christian fundamentalists or evangelists? The credit for this goes to John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) who popularized a new school of thought called dispensationalism, which was later to open the floodgate for Christian fundamentalism. For the pre-millennial Christians, history is a battleground between the forces of good and evil. Conceded to Satan, history’s only hope lies in its own destruction. But contemporary dispensationalists, like Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham and Hal Lindsey, allow a speck of light into this darkened world. If Christians turn from sin, they can stave off God’s judgment on America. The establishment of Israel in 1948 fueled dispensationalism with tremendous nervous energy. They took the restoration of the Jewish nation as a sign that history was moving rapidly towards the final events. When Israel captured Jerusalem in the 1967 war, many dispensationalists thought the end of the world was just around the corner.
Today, Christian fundamentalism is alive and kicking. Most of these fundamentalists and/or evangelists unabashed supporters of the Zionist state of Israel. They are more commonly known as the Christian Zionists. The establishment of political links between American Christian Zionists and the Israeli government and its Jewish lobbies is one of the most remarkable developments in recent history. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president, and dispensationalists like Billy Graham had his ear. With Reagan in the White House, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Christian Zionists found a pipeline to political influence. Reagan’s dispensational sympathies are chilling for our humanity. This perverse theology feeds military build-up, anti-nuclear-disarmament sentiments and a careless attitude to the environment.
Do you know that there are today over 200 different evangelical organizations committed to Christian Zionism in the U.S. and Canada? The U.S. Christian Coalition for Israel forms an umbrella organization. Are you aware that the final tenet of Christian Zionism is its nihilist longing for Armageddon?
Israeli leaders like Netanyahu has been devilishly adept at using the Christian Zionist organizations in Jerusalem to undermine pressure from U.S. and European governments and civil-society associations to negotiate with the Palestinians.

Dr. Michael Welton is a professor at the University of Athabasca. You will find his article (click here) quite informative to understand the unholy alliance between Christian Right and the Zionists. 

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