Erdogan Nails It and US Replies…

On Wednesday at a United Nations conference in Vienna that was to encourage dialogue between the West and Islam, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted, “It is necessary that we must consider – just like Zionism, or anti-Semitism, or fascism – Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”

On Friday, the White House responded with a statement rejecting Mr. Erdogan’s equation of Zionism with other crimes against humanity as “offensive and wrong.”

What is offensive and wrong is US Policy that supports and sustains the objectionable ideology of Zionism, which presupposes a particular people are superior and thus entitled to legally owned Palestinian property!

State Department officials traveling with John Kerry claimed the comment was “doubly unfortunate because it sent a tense ripple through a visit that otherwise was focused on topics where the US and Turkey have been working closely together: Syria, Iran, Egypt and counterterrorism.”

On page 147 of the “9/11 Commission Report” it is written, “By his own account, KSM’s [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

John Kerry added Erdogan’s comment “underscores the importance of our efforts to try to find a way forward to make peace in this region and to resolve the kind of differences that excite the passions that the foreign minister has just articulated and the difference of opinions about words and about their impact.”

Author and Middle East analyst, Alan Hart wrote, “A few days ago I was talking with a very dear Jewish friend of mine, Dr. Hajo Meyer who survived Auschwitz….Hajo said this: ‘Zionism is today’s Nazism.’ Because he is a Nazi holocaust survivor, Hajo speaks with a moral authority that neither you [John Kerry] nor I possess.”

My Polish Jewish Grandfather died before I could learn how many of my relatives were gassed or fried because good people looked the other way and did nothing for too very long and that baggage has caused The World great harm!

As a struggling Christian Anarchist I claim there is nothing Christ like about Zionism, anti-Semitism, fascism or Islamophobia!

Case In Point:

Tikkun is Hebrew for mend, repair and transform the world.

Tikkun is also an interfaith organization, which researched to discover that there are three distinct elements energizing Christian Zionists:

1. A strong commitment to conservative and ultra-nationalist American politics (so strong, I believe, that if the U.S. were to decide to break with Israel, this part of the Christian Zionist leadership would go along with that and drop its defense of Israeli policies).

2. Dispensationalist religious commitments that lead many of the Christian Zionists to yearn for a cataclysmic “end of history” eschatological war in the Middle East that will precipitate the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture in which all true Christians will go to heaven and all Jews who have not yet converted to Christianity will burn in hell for eternity.

3. A widespread understanding among many Christians that atonement and repentance is needed for 1700 years of murder, rape, and oppression of Jews that was frequently generated by the Church (though, of course, the Evangelicals do not recognize that church as their church). In this category are many Christian Zionists who genuinely feel terrible about what has happened to the Jews and genuinely want to help the Jewish people. Their philo-Semitism is real and sincere. [-Rabbi Lerner, Tikkun Magazine page 9, Nov/Dec. 2007]

Only if we truly love our friends will we always tell them the truth and call them on their bad behavior; and as Don Hewitt taught:

“The formula is simple and it’s reduced to four words every kid in the world knows: Tell me a story. It’s that easy.”

So, I tell again the story that I told in Chapter 16 in my first book-KEEP HOPE ALIVE: A CONFRONTATIONAL CONVERSATION

“Father Paul, you cannot possibly be telling me that an Episcopal priest has been taken in by fundamentalist theology?” Terese incredulously asked the new assistant to the rector at St. Joan of Arc Episcopal Church in Orlando, who also served at the noon mass every Wednesday.

Father Paul Hendricks was a passionate evangelist on a mission to convert every Jew he encountered to become a Christian. Terese had kept her silence for the first six months she had been listening to his Wednesday noon sermons, but finally broke her silence after the rest of the parishioners had departed.

Paul sighed and shook his head. “Look, Mrs. Hunter, I read your op/ed in the newspaper about Israel and Palestine, and we both agree we want peace; we just go about it differently.”

“Father, let me say that the fastest growing cult in the U.S.A. is the cult of Christian Zionism. Approximately 25 million U.S. Christians believe as you do, and I am most depressed to see that the simple answers of fundamentalism have reached their tentacles into the thinking man’s church!

“You just preached for thirteen minutes on Genesis 12:3–‘I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse: and in you all the families of the world are blessed’–as if God meant blessings to be political power and military might. Father, surely you understand that the belief of the ancient Israelites, who held that they were chosen, as if they were somehow special from others, as if God esteemed them above others, is just basic primitive nationalism. Come on, Father, looking down on one’s enemies to foster one’s own tribal interest and praying to God to smite one’s enemies is what the ancients did. Isn’t it about time we moved beyond that limited thinking?”

Father Paul clenched his fists and held them behind his back, as he suppressed a simmering rage. He stood nine inches above Terese’s upturned head, and with a slick smile and condescending tone told her, “Mrs. Hunter, you are very misled. The text is understood to mean a blessing to Abraham’s lineage–”

Terese cut in. “Agreed! And Genesis 12:3 was promised even before Ishmael, the father of the Arab nation, and Isaac, the Jew, were born! And what about the very first mention of Israel? Jacob was renamed Israel for having wrestled and struggled with God. That is how I understand Israel; everyone who struggles and wrestles with God is Israel, too. Israel means more than a geographical location, Father Paul.”

“Mrs. Hunter, the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of the prophetic scriptures, and God’s covenant with Israel is eternal, exclusive, and will not be abrogated. I refer you to Genesis 12:1-7, 15:4-7, 17:1-8; Leviticus 26:44-45; and Deuteronomy 7:7:8.”

“And Father, I refer you to Matthew 5:43-45, which does not only critique Genesis 12:3; it blows it apart, for Christ commanded, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despite-fully use you, that you maybe children of your Father.’”

The two had reached Paul’s SUV and he silently prayed he could make a swift escape, but Terese had positioned herself at the driver’s door, and if he were to open it swiftly, she could be easily moved aside. Father Paul entertained the thought for more than a moment, but remained mute and still, as the tiny woman exploded with a torrent of words.

“Look, blind allegiance to the Israeli government has allowed them to become a big bully, and isn’t God always on the side of the oppressed? My sense is that you Christian Zionists see the political state of Israel as a replacement for Christ and that certainly is not Christianity! How do you take Genesis 12:3 to literally mean that blessings equal land and political power, yet ignore God’s promise in Genesis 21:17-20 to ‘make a great nation out of Ishmael’s descendants and that ‘God was with the boy.’ Yet your way of thinking allows the growing apartheid wall to continue, and supports occupation and oppression of people that God also made promises too!”

“Mrs. Hunter, why don’t you make an appointment and we can discuss this further? I really have to go.”

“Okay, I can take a hint, but let me leave you with this: when religion and politics are in bed together, everybody gets screwed!

“The Israeli government is using you Zionists as apologists in support of their agenda of illegal occupation and settlements in the West bank, Golan, and Gaza, on literal biblical grounds taken out of context.

“Your blind allegiance to every act of Israel, understood as being orchestrated by God and which should therefore be condoned, supported, and even praised, makes me want to puke!

“And I wonder about the true motives of Christians who actually relish the idea of Armageddon and love to speculate on who gets ‘left behind.’

“Christ was very clear that there will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who were so sure they were in, but get left out!

“God has always been on the side of the oppressed, and your uncritical endorsement and justification for Israel’s racist and apartheid policies are an abomination.”

The stunned and silent priest watched in relief as Terese turned, flipped her braid, and walked away………

I will not, I cannot walk away or look the other way until US policy changes course and Gaza Palestine are free from a brutal and illegal military occupation because “Everywhere except in America, the Palestinian narrative is well known.”-Rashid Khaladi  Read more...

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