February 2008 Archives
Once upon a time - in 1946, to be more precise - American Christian support for Zionism was expressed through an organization called the American Christian Palestine Committee. Its membership was drawn principally from liberal churches, and in the run-up to the establishment of Israel it played an important role. Some years later (1967), Dr. Franklin Littell founded "Christians Concerned for Israel," again drawing mostly on mainline churches, and in 1978 CCI grew into the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel.
So "Christian Zionism" has roots in this country.
Recently, in yet another effort to clean up old files, I stumbled on an essay I wrote five years ago and had entirely forgotten. Some things have changed since then; more have stayed pretty much the same.
I do not know whether I any longer agree with myself, but much of the analysis strikes me as on the mark. Make of the conclusions what you will; the heart of it is the analysis, not the prescription.
Oh yes: It's long. Here goes:
October 8, 2003
"We fed our heart on fantasies
Our heart's grown brutal on the fare."
-- Ted Hughes
What to make of current Israeli policy regarding settlement construction?
On the one hand, we have Ehud Olmert's solemn commitment at Annapolis: No new settlements, no settlement expansion. And on that same hand, more or less (perhaps minus one or two fingers), we have the PM's explicit letter Of December 31, instructing the ministers of defense, housing and agriculture to refrain from authorizing any construction in the West Bank without his and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's prior approval. Specifically, "construction, new building, expansion, preparation of plans, publication of residency tenders and confiscation of land stemming from other settlement activities in the (West Bank) area will not go forward and will not be implemented without requesting and receiving in advance approval by the defense minister and the prime minister."
Clear, yes? Unambiguous, yes?