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Huckabee in the Holy Land

Evangelical ex-governor loves the Jews; will they love him back?

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Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.(MikeHuckabee.com)

A New Yorker writer catches up with Mike Huckabee—the former Arkansas governor; the once and probably future Republican presidential candidate—at the Western Wall, where he and country singer Pat Boone are leading more than 100 Christian evangelicals on what is Huckabee’s 14th trip to Israel. “I think what I should do is convert,” he says. “This covers my bald spot completely.” He continues: “I have a lot of Jewish friends, and they’re kind of, like, ‘You evangelicals love Israel more than we do.’ I’m, like, ‘Do you not get it? If there weren’t a Jewish faith, there wouldn’t be a Christian faith!’”

While most of the article is a look at Huckabee as a ’12 contender and as the apotheosis of an evangelical political movement four decades in the making, it does address the phenomenon of Christian Zionism—the same thing Tablet Magazine Mideast columnist Lee Smith was pointing to when he noted that American evangelicals had proven Israel’s “unshakable ally.” A prime reason for that, of course, is that Jewish control of the Holy Land is a prerequisite for Jesus’s Second Coming … which will incidentally entail the eternal damnation of all non-Christians. Israelis are evangelicals’ useful idiots.

In the meantime, though, much of Huckabee’s rhetoric matches that of some of the Jewish right. “There’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” The New Yorker has him saying. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.” Whether intentionally or not, Huckabee is setting himself up to benefit from American Jews’ increasing disenchantment with the current administration. “There’s a lot of Jewish money on the right that’s got to go someplace,” says journalist Zev Chafets, who once worked for Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin, “especially if Obama continues to be perceived as unfriendly to Israel.” (The New Yorker doesn’t note that Chafets has himself profiled Huckabee!)

As always, the tension for many American Jews will be where to place Israel among their political priorities. For the American Likudnik, Huckabee would seem a more favorable choice than Obama. But the former governor is also the guy who refers to “the holocaust of liberalized abortion.” Faced with a Huckabee, what’s an Abe Foxman to do?

Prodigal Son [New Yorker]
Related: Friends In Deed [Tablet Magazine]

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Daniel says:

” … which will incidentally entail the eternal damnation of all non-Christians. Israelis are evangelicals’ useful idiots.” That is, they are useful idiots, of course, only if you believe that Jesus’ second coming will in fact the eternal damnation of all non-Christians, and that you can delay it by not supporting a strong Israel. If you don’t happen to believe that, then there is nothing to fear. My guess is the author does not believe in a second coming at all — which makes this just an imflammatory statement (and a weak one at that).

Dahlia says:

G/d love ‘em, perhaps the Evangelicals are Israelis’ useful idiots.

We don’t believe what they believe and don’t anticipate the same consequences to a safe, strong, Jewish Israel; but we’re happy to have their support.

Andrew Palashewsky says:

what’s an Abe Foxman to do?

With all due respect, Abe, you need to rethink abortion, which is the blind spot of all Liberal Jews, at least those who still believe in God. As we all know, many Liberal Jews actually do not believe in God. If there is a God, and if the Human Being has a soul that is imparted by God, then please tell me in what organ the soul resides and at what pint in gestation it comes into the body. Certainly not when the Doctor massages the first breath into the baby. If you cannot answer that question then you cannot say when abortion can be performed without taking human life. Doing so, you are playing God, breaking the first commandment that “You shall not have any God before me!”

From an atheist perspective, if you have no god and no soul, then you are a machine that exists by accident. Then everything is permissible and can only be outlawed by social contract, which lasts only as long as the Law is present. Want a kidney or a heart, go somewhere where life is cheap and law is not present and you could probably get one for a few hundred bucks. Just have someone killed! After all, you only killed a machine that was here by accident. And you are a superior machine who has more money and power and can do whatever you can get away with doing. Equality of humanity, you ask? Where does that come from when there are people who are richer, better looking, healthier and smarter as well as their opposites. Equality is a metaphysical condition only that refers to the fundamental human soul. No soul, no equality.

The moral codes and the law in its most evolved sense exist to protect the weaker from exploitation by the stronger, in whatever form that is. Any predator is momentarily stronger. As powerless as a teenage pregnant girl may be, she is incomparably more powerful than the fetus. And nobody is more innocent than the developing unborn. I speak from experience and, unless you and your people wake up, you are supporting a calumny and a holocaust!

Duvid Tzvi says:

Dahlia has is right.

Out of strongly held religious motives, Christians love and support the State of Israel. Out of strongly held religious, cultural, and historical motives, Jews love the State of Israel. When the Messiah comes (hopefully in our days) we’ll all know the truth. Meanwhile, neither is a useful idiot, both are doing G-d’s work, let’s not look for ways to divide all who support Israel. Anyway, that’s my opinion.

Andrew Palashewsky says:

which will incidentally entail the eternal damnation of all non-Christians. Israelis are evangelicals’ useful idiots.”
Guess what, Abe Foxman or Mark Tracy. Christians may look forward to the Second Coming of Christ, but they have no say in what form God’s judgment will take place. If there were to be a second coming, then I guess all you folks who deny Jesus would have to conclude that you were historically wrong. After all, you can’t then deny what is in front of your face. That’s OK, I know lots of people who do that regularly. That is why it’s called Denial! If there is no Second Coming, then you have nothing to worry about and can enjoy the friendship and support of your Christian Zionist friends and they would then be the Useful Idiots!

Keep hewing to the Liberal Jewish line (which I know by heart from deep experience) and you will cowtow to and brown nose your enemies, the International Left, which abandoned Israel long ago and is in cahoots with your enemy, Islam. You will understand nothing about doctrinaire Islam, which holds that you all should be killed as the “sons of Apes and Dogs” in order to make way for their Second Coming. And you will pee on you friends and supporters, now on the Right; those who would fund you and actually shed blood to protect you, the Christian Zionists, even if only to make way for the Second Coming. Congratulations! And don’t take their word for it that they love you and that without Judaism there would be no Christianity.

You might also consider that without Christianity, Judaism would not make sense. After all, following all those interventions and revelations, what happened to God? Did he stub his toe on a star and get sucked into a black hole. Did the only Universal God really choose to reveal himself to a small ethnic group of people in a small part of the world and that’s it? The Hebrew process of revelation makes no sense unless it would lead to a universalization of the faith for all of humanity. Food for thought?

Rebecca Shepard says:

I have to ask some of my fellow jews? Do you love your country? Some of you would give it to Hammas or any other terrorist to keep peace at all costs from the way you talk. Then leave Israel and go live somewhere else.

As for trashing the christians that love the jews, you are hypocritical and a neo-nazi to christians!

Jews should support anyone that loves and supports Israel’s right to exist.

Andrew Palashewsky says:

Duvid Tzvi says: When the Messiah comes (hopefully in our days) we’ll all know the truth.

That’s right, Duvid. When the Messiah comes, whether for the first or for the second time, we’ll all know the truth hopefully in our days. But, I fear many, probably including myself, will not be ready. We’ll see, or some future generation will. Peace to you and to us all as much as possible, but not at the cost of reneging on defense from those who would destroy us.

A prime reason for that, of course, is that Jewish control of the Holy Land is a prerequisite for Jesus’s Second Coming.

As an evangelical Christian, i can assure you that we believe no such things. I am not a pre-millenialist but even those that (like Huckabee, who I used to work for) do not believe that Jewish control over the Holy Land is prerequisite to Christ’s return.

Shmuel says:

Andrew: you do realize that Halacha disagrees with you regarding abortion? Or is that also irrelevant?

Shmuel says:

…right, never mind; hadn’t realized Andrew was Christian, and has issues with Judaism in general, not just the liberal ones.

Annette Smith says:

Don’t you just get a kick out of the evangelical Christians! After persecuting Jews for centuries, they are now our best friends!

Andrew Palashewsky says:

Shmuel, I am Christian. I love Jews. My wife is Jewish. I am disappointed in the increasing Leftism of my Jewish friends, against which all reasoned argument cannot penetrate. Quite a number have confided in me that they do not believe in God and are incensed at the thought that other Jews would judge them not to be Jewish enough for that. Some have said that Rabbis have counseled them that it is OK not to believe in God and remain Jewish. I find this laughable. Isn’t Judaism a religion and doesn’t religion mean an acknowledgement of God, Surely Judaism cannot be simply an ethnic grouping or an advanced networking club! My wife has gradually come around to sharing many of my developing views, because she is exposed to so much more information that my friends will ever allow themselves to be. Regarding abortion, I don’t know who Halacha is, so I can’t comment. I do know that throughout Jewish history, abortion was regarded as an abomination, except for conditions involving the health of the mother. This would now be true of Orthodox and probably most Conservative Jews. Among Reform Jews, however, the attitudes toward this issue is in line with the Democratic Party Platform, as on most other social, political and economic issues, In that platform, abortion is simply an untouchable subject. To remain untouchable, it has to be approached very superficially. My arguments to those Jewish people who have turned. My arguments were in point of fact and I presented arguments from both a theological perspective and an atheistic perspective. So, before dismissing me as a Christian who has issues with Jews, why don’t you think about the implications for some of my arguments and, perhaps, answer them.

Andrew Palashewsky says:

Don’t you just get a kick out of the evangelical Christians! After persecuting Jews for centuries, they are now our best friends!

Annette, please. Evangelical Christians are a relatively new phenomenon, mostly radiating from America. Read Lee Slith’s article in this same magazine about the history of the pro-Zionist Christian movement from the 17th century on: http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/28308/friends-in-deed/

Don’t lump all Christians together. History has been exceptionally bloody, but the problems of the Jewish people originated with the Catholic, Orthodox and later Lutheran and other European Protestant movements. Following Vatican II, the Catholic Church did a total about face regarding Jews, with Pope Bebedict proclaiming the Hebrew spiritual tradition as “our elder spiritual brothers.” Reading the New Testament can lead to very anti-Semitic atitudes for people of an intellectually simpler disposition and I often am disturbed by how it reads. We must remember that it was written at a time when the surviving apostles were themselves subjected to extensive martyrdom and persecution from Jews who saw them as Jewish heretics, as well as from Roman authorities, who were often tipped off by unfriendly Jewish people. That can be understood, as history offers few examples of people treating putative heretics well, including the Church. Nevertheless, the anger and sense of betrayal experienced by the early apostles translated into an anti-Jewish tone in the NT. Remember though that the early apostles themselves were all Jews and their arguments carried all the vitriol of a deep family disagreement. Subsequent generatons of Christians picked up on this and saw Jews as both mistaken and ungrateful. Meanwhile, repressed Jews probably found ways to prosper and to revenge themselves on their less business savyy Christian contemporaries, which fed Jewish stereotypes among Christians. Well, all is fair in love and war, or perhaps very tragically unfair.

Andrew Palashewsky says:

Scmuel, when you say that I have issues with Judaism in general, you may be refering to my comment that Judaism does not make sense without Christianity.
A bit of context here. Contemporary, more enlightened, Christians believe that Judaism provides the basis for a process of revelation which culminates in the Messiah, Jesus. So, they are more apt to be friendly and suportive of Judaism, even if disagreeing with the Jewish refusal to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Jewish people, on the other hand, appear to have a stake in categorically denying Jesus as the Messiah, even insofar as many have no real knowledge of the teachings of Jesus. In most cases, we argue what it takes to retain membership in our own special clubs and go no further.
I say that the history of revelation would be absurd if it were to stop with the Jewish people. Otherwise, we would be quite right in each having our own Gods, which would make a joke out of monotheism. So maybe the Messiah has not yet come. Or maybe he has and the reason he was not accepted by many of his people is that he did not deliver on what had been expected. Swords were not beaten into plowshares and he did not come with power, which may be what made some Jews prefer Bar-Abbas (son of the father) to the other man who called himself the Son of the Father, because Bar-Abbas probably preached violent revolution against Romans, which may have sounded good to many oppressed Jews, but led to disaster, as we know.

We also know that the idea of coming with power to fix human political problems was rejected by Jesus (although sadly not by the Church for many centuries). The modern itterations of Tikkun Olam are a throwback to earlier dreams of fixing the world and it finds expression in a great tolerance and interest in utopian philosophies. Remember that the road to heaven on earth passes through Hell first and never comes out the other side (David Solway, Jewish poet, The Big Lie). That has been the history of utopianism.

Roisin Gorman says:

MOST EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS I KNOW, AND I KNOW A LOT OF THEM, SUPPORT ISRAEL NOT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BRING ABOUT THE 2ND COMING OF JESUS, BUT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE WHAT THE TORAH SAYS IS TRUE….THAT G-D GAVE THE LAND TO ABRAHAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS FOREVER. IN FACT MANY OF THESE EVANGELICALS BELIEVE THAT THE BIBLE IS ACTUALLY THE WORD OF G-D…A LOT OF JEWS DON’T BELIEVE THAT. IMHO ISRAEL NEEDS ALL THE FRIENDS SHE CAN GET AND PEOPLE LIKE DANIEL (TOP OF THE PAGE) DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. EVANGELICALS TAKE A LOT OF HEAT FROM THOSE WITHIN THE GENTILE COMMUNITY, WHO ARE AT BEST 2 X PER YEAR VISITORS AT A CHURCH. THEY DON’T NEED NASTY COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE LIKE DANIEL.

tom rogers says:

Meanwhile, Christians United For Israel-founder, Rev. John Hagee prints and films numerous books, pamphlets, and HD videos explaining how the Rothschilds control the Federal Reserve, and how the Jews brought down on themselves all of the persecution they’ve suffered through the centuries:

” “It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day…”

As a nonbeliever, I also must confess that most of us are less than impressed by the logic and reasoning used all sides of the ME situation. Religions of Peace, hah!

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Huckabee in the Holy Land

Evangelical ex-governor loves the Jews; will they love him back?

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