The other week I was at a bar having a couple of drinks and talking about foreign policy with a fellow patron. I was giving him my shpeal about why the U.S. should stay out of all foreign squabbles and adopt a policy of non-intervention. This person thought that the U.S. should intervene in some situations, especially humanitarian crisis or to "liberate a country."
After a while of pounding down a few beers and debating back and forth, I was thrilled that I had seemed to be making some headway when this person started agreeing with me that, although it's a noble idea for our government to liberate another country or help in a humanitarian cause, the U.S. has historically been hypocritical in getting involved in some countries to "liberate it's people," yet totally ignoring other countries that are going through a severe humanitarian crisis.
Then he said something that startled me. He said that, even though he agrees that the U.S. has been hypocritical in its foreign policy stance, "as a Christian" he believes that the U.S. should "support Israel at all cost." I was very curious to know why he thought this and then proceeded cautiously into asking him. He said that the Bible says that Israel must be given back to the Jews, and Christians need to help defend Israel (or something like that).
Upon hearing this, it immediately reminded me about this anonymous e-mail I once received a while ago (hyperlinks are mine):
The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ
We went to war with Iraq because of the administrations devout religious beliefs. Devout Christians believe that God cannot establish His Son in Israel as King of the Jews unless the Jews are living in Palestine, their promised homeland, so it is God's plan to restore the Jews to Palestine before the Second Coming of Christ. Their belief in God influences the decisions and policies within the Middle East and specifically the war with Iraq; based on what the Bible has to say about The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ?
"But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." (Jeremiah 16:15)
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." (Amos 9:14-15)
This question will never be asked or even addressed, because it would ignite a true religious war between Christians and Muslims. I believe the war in Iraq was not about terrorism, oil, U.S. interests, or the crimes Saddam Hussein has committed against his people. It is clear that today’s administration is driven by Religion and Faith.
When the current administration talks about being “visionary”, they are talking about supporting Israel and the Jews so that the prophecy of “The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ” can be fulfilled. All the main players in the Iraq War have Religious interests at stake.
Fact: George Bush is a Born-Again Christian.
Fact: Condoleezza Rice is a devout Christian that puts her faith in God.
Fact: Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; being Jewish, must support Israel.
Fact: Tony Blair is a devout Christian.
Fact: Saddam Hussein and his sons fully supported the Palestinians.
Fact: In the first Gulf War, the majority of missiles were directed at Israel.
Fact: In the year 2010 the Palestinians will out number the Jews within Israel. When that happens, the Palestinians will demand one man one vote. If they were allowed one man one vote, then the Jews would no longer rule Israel.
Fact: “Israel's demographic time bomb” Professor Sofer testified that unless the demographic problem is solved, "our country is finished in 17 years, and there will be a collapse. Saddam and his sons would have supported and fought (with WMD if they had them by then) for the Palestinians right to one man one vote and the international community would also have to support the one man one vote of the Palestinians. In the end, the Jews would no longer control Israel.
If the Jews no longer control Israel, then the prophecy of “The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ” can NOT be fulfilled according to the Bible and Koran.
Could it be that the real reason that elements of the Bush administration and Israel concocted 9/11 was not so much as a pretext for their "War on Terrorism" to control middle east oil, but to help make way for the second coming of Christ?
Before you scoff at this notion and you don't think the person who wrote the anonymous email knows what the hell they are talking about, just look at what some Christians think must happen before the "second coming" comes (hyperlinks are mine):
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
by James L. Melton (1995)
One only has to read a newspaper or listen to a newscast in order to see Bible prophecy being fulfilled. There have been more prophecies fulfilled in the twentieth century than in any other time in church history. We believe there is a great reason for this. We believe that the time is rapidly approaching for the Lord Jesus Christ to return to this earth and take the kingdoms of this world for Himself.
The Coming Righteous Kingdom
The main theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the main subject is the Kingdom that His Father has promised Him. There are many Bible prophecies that speak of this coming King and Kingdom.
Such Old Testament verses as these state very clearly that God intends to set the Lord Jesus Christ up as King over the earth. There have been many kings to rise and fall throughout history, but God has in mind a PERFECT King for His promised Kingdom.
During the actual ministry of Christ, He preached mostly to His people, the Jews (Mat. 10:5-6; 15:24), because Israel is the one nation that God chose long ago to be a shining light to this lost and dying world. In Isaiah 62:1 God says, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." God will not rest until His chosen nation is established in the earth as a BURNING LAMP (Gen. 15:17) to this lost and dying world. Starting with Abraham in Genesis chapter twelve, God begins to focus on ONE CHOSEN PEOPLE to bring forth His King for the coming Kingdom. All of the promises that God made to Abraham and his descendants are still in effect today, and they will soon reach their fulfillment, for the Kingdom WILL come.
Someone says, "If the Jews won't receive their King, then how can God restore the Kingdom? Doesn't this put God in some sort of a jam?" No, God has a master plan. He knows exactly what He will do. In Hebrews 8:8-10, we read some interesting words quoted from Jeremiah chapter 31: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"
The Restoration of Israel
God cannot establish His Son in Israel as King of the Jews unless the Jews are living in Palestine, their promised homeland, so it is God's plan to restore the Jews to Palestine before the Second Coming of Christ:
"But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." (Jer. 16:15)
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." (Amos 9:14-15)
Because Israel rejected Christ, God allowed the Romans to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and the Jews were dispersed among the Gentile nations of the world. Since then they have wondered from nation to nation suffering bitter persecution. However, in the late 1800's a remarkable thing started happening. In large numbers, the Jews began returning to Palestine, and in 1887 they made formal statements that they intended to REPOSSESS THEIR HOMELAND!
When World War I began in 1914, there were 80,000 Jews living in Palestine. England's Balfour Declaration of 1917 gave strong approval for the Jews to establish a national homeland, but England reneged due to Arab pressure. Nevertheless, 400,000 Jews had settled in the homeland by 1939.
Satan saw what was happening. He knew that the Lord was regathering the Jews for a reason, and he knew the reason: the Second Coming of Christ. So Satan raised up Adolph Hitler to murder six million of God's chosen people as an outright act of hate and revenge. This massive slaughter created enough sympathy for the Jews that the United Nations granted 5000 square miles of Palestinian land to them after World War II. Then in 1948 Israel became an independent nation for the first time in many centuries! The Arabs have fought viciously to destroy Israel, but with no success. God wants His people IN PALESTINE (Amos 9:14-15), because the Lord Jesus Christ is coming very soon. During the Six Day War of 1967, Israel even gained possession of the ancient temple sight, and plans are currently underway to rebuild the temple.
Jesus likens Israel unto a "fig tree" in Matthew 24:32-34, and He likens the restoration of Israel unto a fig tree putting forth leaves. He said that He would return during the same generation which witnesses Israel putting forth leaves as a nation. We are living in that generation! There are some four million Jews living in Palestine today. We have seen the Jews return to Palestine, and we have seen the nation of Israel prosper. Friend, there's a reason for all of this: the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon!
The Great Tribulation
It will be during this short time period that the wicked Antichrist will rise to power and dictate the world. He will have nearly everyone deceived into believing that he is the answer to their many troubles (Rev. 13:3). Those who reject the truth today will fall for his lies in the Tribulation, because God will send them "strong delusion," causing them to believe a lie (2 Ths. 2:11-12). The Antichrist will have supernatural powers and great charisma. People will gladly follow after him (Rev. 13:5, 13-14; 2 Ths. 2:7-10).
The Soviet Union will continue with their "democratic reform," and the European Communities will also be unified with their "United States in Europe" as they've dreamed of for so long (Rev. 17:12-13). The world will think that universal peace has been achieved. The Antichrist will head up the "New World Order" that so many are talking about today. He will even confirm a seven year peace treaty with the nation of Israel (Dan. 9:27). Everyone will think that peace and safety has arrived at last, but the Bible says, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Ths. 5:3) Satan, the "god of this world" is leading this world into a trap that will damn billions to Hell forever (Rev. 12:9).
The Millennial Reign
This will be the great "golden age" which the ancient philosophers only dreamed about. This will be GOD'S New World Order, rather than man's. This will be a time of world peace, for the Prince of Peace will be ruling the world in righteousness (Isa. 9:6; Luk. 1:32; Isa. 2:2-4).
The so-called "lost tribes" of Israel will be fully restored to their proper land divisions (Ezk. 36-48). Jerusalem will be the capital city of the world (Jer. 3:17; Mic. 4:8), and the violent acts of Arab terrorism will not be tolerated.
And if that article isn't "mainstream" enough, then here:
Zion's Christian Soldiers
"This week, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told President Bush that he would start to dismantle some illegal Jewish settlements on the West Bank as part of an agreement with the new Palestinian Prime Minister.
That news has already alarmed those Jewish settlers -- and ultra-Zionist Israelis who believe that the Jewish State should control all of the Biblical Jewish homeland.
But they're not the only group that feels that way. So do Fundamentalist Christian Evangelicals who make up the largest single religious grouping in the United States. Correspondent Bob Simon first reported this story on October 6, 2002.
What's the number one item on the agenda of the Christian Right? Abortion? School Prayer? No and No. Believe it or not, what's most important to a lot of conservative Christians is the Jewish State. Israel: Its size, its strength, and its survival. Why?
There is the alliance between America and Israel in the war on Islamic terror. But it goes deeper. For Christians who interpret the bible in a literal fashion, Israel has a crucial role to play in bringing on the Second Coming of Christ.
American Christian Zionists say they are now a more important source of support for Israel than American Jews or the traditional Jewish lobby.
“It is my belief that the Bible Belt in America is Israel’s only safety belt right now,” says Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the leaders of the Christian Right. That’s the bulk of Evangelical Christians; Falwell claims to speak for all of them.
“There are 70 million of us,” he says. “And if there’s one thing that brings us together quickly it’s whenever we begin to detect our government becoming a little anti-Israel.”
Falwell began to detect just that in April 2002 when President Bush called on Israel to withdraw its tanks from Palestinian towns on the West Bank. So Falwell shot off a letter of protest to the White House, which was followed by a hundred thousand e-mails from Christian conservatives. Israel did not move its tanks. Mr. Bush did not ask again.
“There’s nothing that would bring the wrath of the Christian public in this country down on this government like abandoning or opposing Israel in a critical matter,” Falwell says. The “Christian public” is, he says, Mr. Bush’s core constituency.
What propels them? Why do they love Israel so much? The return of the Jews to their ancient homeland is seen by Evengelicals as a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ. Therefore, when the Jewish state was created in 1948 they saw it as a sign.
Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 also deepened their excitement and heightened their anticipation. And today’s war between Jews and Arabs was also prophesied, they say. They’ve seen it all before – in the pages of the Bible.
“The Bible does not contain the word of God,” says Ed McAteer. “Listen to me closely. The Bible is the word of God.” McAteer is known as the Godfather of the Christian Right. He’s a former Colgate marketing executive from Memphis, and a founder of the Moral Majority.
McAteer believes that the current situation is the beginning of the final battle. “I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully and, without exaggerating, makes me breathless.”
However, the plot is ripped from the pages of the Bible, so it all winds up here in Israel where, according to the Book of Revelations, the final battle in the history of the future will be fought on an ancient battlefield in northern Israel called Armageddon. It will follow seven years of tribulation during which the earth will be shaken by such disasters that previous human history will seem like a day in the country. The blood will rise as high as a horse’s bridle at Armageddon, before Christ triumphs to begin his 1,000-year rule.
And the Jews? Well, two-thirds of them will have been wiped out by now. But the survivors will accept Jesus at last.
“The Jews die or convert. As a Jew, I can’t feel very comfortable with the affections of somebody who looks forward to that scenario,” says Gershom Gorenberg, who knows that scenario well.
Gorenberg is the author of the “End of Days,” a book about those Christian evangelicals who choose to read the Bible literally. “They don’t love real Jewish people. They love us as characters in their story, in their play, and that’s not who we are, and we never auditioned for that part, and the play is not one that ends up good for us.”
“If you listen to the drama they’re describing, essentially it’s a five-act play in which the Jews disappear in the fourth act.”
“The Jews need conversion,” says Kay Arthur. “They need to know that the Messiah is coming. And the Bible tells us what’s going to happen.” Arthur heads an organization called Precept Ministries in Chattanooga, Tenn. She brings thousands of pilgrims to the Holy Land.
The Christian fundamentalists believe the only Israelis who are really listening to God are the hard line Jewish settlers who live on the West Bank and Gaza and refuse to move.
They believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. “Every grain of sand, every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and, and the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Jews,” says McAteer. This includes the West Bank and Gaza.
What about the three million Palestinians who live on the West Bank and Gaza? McAteer suggests the bulk of them could be cleansed from this God-given real estate and moved to some Arab country. Nothing can come between the Jews and their land.
In fact, many fundamentalists believe that when Prime Minister Rabin signed the Oslo accords and offered to trade land for peace, it was not only a mistake, it was a sin.
“They were going against the word of God. You cannot go against the word of God. And I believe that God stopped it ... by the things that happened.” says Arthur. She hints that God punished Rabin by assassinating him. “I think that God did not want that Oslo Accord to go through.”
“God save us from these people,” says political analyst Yossi Alfer, who served 12 years in Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad. Later, he became Israel Director of the American Jewish Committee.
Says Alfer: “When you see what these people are encouraging Israel and the U.S. Administration to do that is, ignore the Palestinians, if not worse, if not kick them out, expand the settlements to the greatest extent possible, they are leading us into a scenario of out and out disaster.”
But many American Jewish leaders who used to shun support from the Christian Right have changed their minds. Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, accepts their support.
“On this specific issue on this day we come together. And what is the issue? The issue is fighting terrorism,” Foxman says.
That is precisely what the Bush Administration and the Israeli Government have been saying since September 11, that they are allies in the war on terror. But the Christian Fundamentalists go further. They say it is not just an alliance between nations but between religions.
“A lot of Muslims feel these days that Christians and Jews are getting together and ganging up on them,” Simon said to Falwell.
“That’s true. I’m sorry, that’s true. I hope it will cease to be so. But I think that is the fact right now,” says Falwell.
Falwell believes most Muslims want to live in peace but, he says, the lines have been drawn. Christians and Jews are on one side, Muslims on the other and, he says, those lines were drawn more than a thousand years ago.
“You wrote an approving piece recently about a book called ‘Unveiling Islam,’” says Simon to Falwell. “And you, the authors of that book wrote, ‘The Muslim who commits acts of violence in jihad does so with the approval of Mohammed.’ Do you believe that?"
“I do,” says Fallwell. “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life, written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war.”
“So, in the same way that Moses provided the ultimate example for the Jews and same way that Jesus provided the ultimate example for Christians, Mohammed provided the ultimate example for Muslims and he was a terrorist,” asks Simon.
“In my opinion,” says Fallwell. “And I do believe that - Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses. And I think that Mohammed set an opposite example.”
What frightens Alfer is that he hears much of Falwell’s world view reflected in the words of the Bush Administration.
“When we hear expressions like “the evil ones,” this kind of black and white view of good guys, the bad guys,” says Alfer.
But as long as Jews are the good guys in this representation, this is good for the Jews, isn’t it?
“It’s not good for the Jews. It’s not good for the Jews," says Alfer. We have to get God out of this conflict if we’re going to have any chance to survive as a healthy, secure Jewish state." - CBS (06/08/03)
And do you remember what Bush did not too long ago?
"US President George W Bush has backed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "disengagement plan" with some significant shifts in Washington's policy in Israel's favour, although he has tried to allay some Palestinian fears.
Mr Bush has welcomed the essence of the Sharon plan which intends to pull out of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
Mr Bush also went further than any previous US president in recognising Israel's settlements in the West Bank and countering the claim that millions of Palestinian refugees have the right of return to their homes in what is now Israel.
Because of "new realties on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centres", the president said a full withdrawal from land captured by Israeli in 1967 was now "unrealistic".
Past US administrations have said Israeli settlement activity which led to establishing these population centres - illegal under international law - was incompatible with peacemaking.
As for the Palestinian refugees, Mr Bush said a "just, fair and realistic" way to end their five decades in exile was for them to settle in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel.
These positions pre-empt the international peace plan known as the roadmap, which stipulates negotiations to decide all the so-called final status issues - refugees and settlements, as well as permanent borders and the status of Jerusalem.
Palestinians are reeling from Mr Bush's denials of their strongly-held negotiating positions - complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, the illegality of settlements and right of return of refugees under UN resolution 194.
He also spoke at length in support of Palestinian aspirations to gain statehood, calling for "a viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent" state.
But he did not address Mr Sharon's recent assertion that "in the unilateral plan, there is no Palestinian state".
All this will do little to mitigate the fact that President Bush has endorsed a plan which if implemented effectively settles all of Israel's issues, and hardly any of the Palestinians', without the need for further negotiations.
What happens if the disengagement plan is implemented?
Gaza would become a single Palestinian entity, but without controlling its own land or sea borders or airspace.
Palestinians in the West Bank might be enclosed in several cantons divided by the six settlement blocs that Mr Sharon has said he will hold onto.
Hebron might remain a serious flashpoint, with three Jewish settlements in the heart of the southern West Bank's largest Palestinian town.
The status of Jerusalem would be almost impossible for Palestinians to put back on the negotiating agenda as the city would be separated from the West Bank on three sides by the Givat Zeev, Gush Etzion and Maale Adumim settlements." - BBC (04/15/04)
By Endorsing Ariel Sharon’s Plan George Bush Has Legitimized Terrorism
What better recruiting sergeant could Bin Laden have than the President of the United States?
So President George Bush tears up the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and that's okay. Israeli settlements for Jews and Jews only on the West Bank. That's okay. Taking land from Palestinians who have owned that land for generations, that's okay. UN Security Council Resolution 242 says that land cannot be acquired by war. Forget it. That's okay.
Does President George Bush actually work for al-Qa'ida? What does this mean? That George Bush cares more about his re-election than he does about the Middle East? Or that George Bush is more frightened of the Israeli lobby than he is of his own electorate. Fear not, it is the latter.
Heaven spare us all. Give up the puny illegal Jewish settlements in Gaza and everything's okay: the theft of land by colonial settlers, the denial of any right of return to Israel by those Palestinians who lived there, that's okay. Mr Bush, who claimed he changed the Middle East by invading Iraq, says he is now changing the world by invading Iraq! Okay! Is there no one to cry "Stop! Enough!"?
Vast areas of the Palestinian West Bank will now become Israel, courtesy of President Bush. Land which belongs to people other than Israelis must now be stolen by Israelis because it is "unrealistic" to accept otherwise. Is Mr Bush a thief? Is he a criminal? Can he be charged with abetting a criminal act? Can Iraq now claim to Kuwait that it is "unrealistic" that the Ottoman borders can be changed? Palestinian land once included all of what is now Israel. It is not, apparently, "realistic" to change this, even to two per cent?
What Bush has actually done is give way to the crazed world of Christian Zionism. The fundamentalist Christians who support Israel's theft of the West Bank on the grounds that the state of Israel must exist there according to God's law until the second coming, believe that Jesus will return to earth and the Israelis - for this is the Bush "Christian Sundie" belief - will then have to convert to Christianity or die in the battle of Armageddon.
I kid thee not. This is the Christian fundamentalist belief, which even the Israeli embassy in Washington go along with - without comment, of course - in their weekly Christian Zionist prayer meetings. Every claim by Osama bin Laden, every statement that the United States represents Zionism and supports the theft of Arab lands will now have been proved true to millions of Arabs, even those who had no time for Bin Laden. What better recruiting sergeant could Bin Laden have than George Bush. Doesn't he realize what this means for young American soldiers in Iraq or are Israelis more important than American lives in Mesopotamia? - Independent U.K. (04/16/04)
I don't know if one of the main goals of 9/11 was to "clear the way" for the "Second Coming," but just remember what one Former Prime Minister of Israel said about 9/11:
"Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, "It's very good." - New York Times (09/12/01)
- Bush: US would defend Israel against Iran - Reuters (02/01/06)