I was reading a ToI blog post by Ben Gladstone, who is "a liberal Zionist teenager from Boston, MA and a first-year undergraduate student at Brown University". The post is titled The Zionist movement should never depend on the Christian right. Eloquently written, with its rousing references to Yom HaShoah, to the timeless quote from Pastor Martin Niemöller etc, the article cautions us to be aware of "Christian right, as it creeps insidiously into the Zionist movement."
While eloquent, the article made me a bit dizzy in a sense. The author sometimes goes into amazing resolution level*, only to zoom out suddenly when defining other terms like "Christian right"** or "true Zionism, with its leftist, secularist, socialist history". Not being an expert on the subject of American Christians, I still find it hard to believe that millions and millions of US Christians that support Israel all espouse antisemitic views like those described by Ben. Like I find it quite hard to believe that all of them were members of Ku Klux Klan and/or unrepentant haters of folks with different lifestyle. And I definitely disagree with broad-brushing of "true Zionism": far from all of it was leftist, secularist and socialist, like Ben would like you to believe. The two movements are wrongly presented as some monolithic entities, while Ben himself strongly objects to, for instance, presentation of American Islam as a monolithic entity later on.
This arbitrary zooming in and out could be deceptive, as it is in the case of this article.
Not being a part of a Zionist movement, the movement part being over for me, since I and mine are here (see article 8 of our Charter), I have to look at the warning rather as a citizen of Israel. And I have to say that the view I see differs from the black and white picture drawn by Ben. Being a part of this world, Israel maintains diplomatic relationships with a lot of countries and a lot of different regimes, some (many) of them reprehensible. Israel engages in trade with a lot of them, quite a few reprehensible ones included. Israel shares the UN General Assembly forum with tens of revolting and inhuman dictatorships. In all that Israel behaves like any other country, including the most enlightened democracies out there.
So what do I have to say on the subject of out relationships with American Christians? Yes, a small part of them may be antisemitic (not a big surprise) and a rather larger part of them may believe that the Jews should all gather here for the rather distant purpose of the second coming of Jesus (which expectation doesn't bother me a lot: we are a frisky gang and collecting us all in one place is a tall job). Yes, some of the American Christians were members of KKK and some were persecuting gay folks - but rather a smallish number of them persists in these two pastimes.
If you follow Ben's logic from here on consistently, we (Israel) should not only disconnect from the American Christians, but also abandon many (if not most) of our diplomatic and trade ties, leave the dictators club that calls itself UN etc. Actually, if we base our decisions about international ties on the existence of anti-Semites in a nation, I feel safe to say that we should simply fire all our Foreign Ministry staff and be done with it, not to mention closing down all the foreign trade - related outfits.
I strongly feel that Ben's rather politicized (to the left) worldview (not that I am going to argue with it here) and his youthful appetite for over-simplification had a strong impact on the article, denying it a sufficient measure of logic.
All in all - nope. Doesn't work for me, Ben.
(*) In this sentence, for instance:
I thought about how they have already come for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and otherwise non-heterosexual/non-cisgender (LGBTQIA+) community.Some of the (hardly necessary) terms, like "aromantic" will provide me with some future study for sure.
(**) The definition of which, presented at the end of the article, is also somewhat flimsy. Is, for instance, Presbyterian Church of US, which is largely anti-Israel and quite antisemitic, to be considered left of right?