When you realize what Netanyahu was doing the night before Irish-Catholic Zionist Joe Biden (yes, we still exist) came to visit, you begin to see how entwined the politics of the Israeli and American far right have become:
A day before Biden’s arrival, Netanyahu appeared onstage with Pastor John Hagee in Jerusalem. The occasion was Hagee’s Night To Honor Israel, an event the far-right Texas-based preacher arranged to tout his ministry’s millions in donations to Israeli organizations and to level bellicose rhetoric against Israel’s perceived enemies.
At the gathering, Hagee called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “the Hitler of the Middle East” and denounced the Goldstone Report as “character assassination by an unbiased and uninformed committee. "Netanyahu welcomed the crowd of 1000 American evangelicals to Jerusalem, a city he described as “the undivided, eternal capitol of the Jewish people. Then, he told them, “I salute you! The Jewish people salute you!” In the audience were top-level members of the Israeli government, from Ambassador Michael Oren to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
So Michael Oren is honoring an anti-Catholic fundamentalist bigot in order to affirm Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem for ever. And the rest of us are not supposed to notice, while he channels the Likud line directly to the Washington Post.
There's a reason that Sarah Palin wore a twinned US-Israeli flag-pin to address the Tea Party Convention.
The evangelicals see permanent Israeli colonization of the West Bank as critical to End-times theology; and they are helping fund it with millions. The neocon gamble - that uniting Jewish fundamentalists with Christian fundamentalists is an international project for greater Israel and permanent Republican majorities in the US - is still in play. And it makes a two-state solution impossible.
This is why Obama matters as much now as ever. Only he can save us from this fundamentalist politics and the religious wars it can and will unleash even further unless restrained and blocked. There are increasingly fewer ways for pro-Israel American moderates to stay silent or dodge this question. Lashing out at realists as anti-Semites is not the answer. It is a distraction. They have to take a stand. Or Israel will be as polluted by the fumes of Christianism as the GOP.
Obama is Israel's last chance to dial back this vicious fundamentalist cycle. And if israel doesn't, the consequences for all of us are grave. Petraeus gets this. When will the neocons?
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