Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lest Any Man Should Boast

The news from the Middle East continues to be foul, as Israel and its neighbors continue the dance of death that reminds me -- batten down hatches; prepare for bathetic descent into popular culture -- of that episode of the original Star Trek in which the guest star is locked in some kind of time warp battling his alter ego for all eternity.

I'm sure if we all go to Wikipedia we can track down the very episode.

If I were still a fundamentalist Christian, I would be thrilled by the continuing instability because I would believe as a matter of dogma that Israel is the canary in the gold mine: When Jesus embarks on his final comeback tour, chaos in the Middle East will precede it and must precede it.

As all those of geopolitical sophistication know, American Jews love Israel for one set of reasons and fundamentalist Christians for a very different set. Israel must do its Phoenix thing and then be trampled down by the returning Christ, think fundamentalist Christians.

In a recent New Yorker, Adam Gopnik boiled down some recent Benjamin Disraeli bios with his usual elan. He said Disraeli somehow capitalized on his insight that the British so very much disliked a people -- his people -- that their Good Book said they should venerate. (How this insight strengthened Disraeli beats me. I did not linger on the idea, for time is short and New Yorkers are long.)

Anyway, whatever Gopnik meant about what Disraeli knew, in American today among fundamentalist Christians things are different from 19th Century Britain when it comes to Jews.

We love the Jews. We love them to death.


Anonymous said...

You are right to blame fundamentalist Christians for the trouble in the Middle East. But the question is how to pressure the Falwell/Robertson/Dobson crowd to lighten up. Any ideas?

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Nothing less than the end of the world will make these fellows really happy -- though meanwhile a nice car, thousand-dollar suits and the imagined screams of the damned should keep them smiling. And don't forget Jessica Hahn.