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In the pages of Commentary and The Weekly Standard, the significance of Bush’s faith was consistently downplayed. Never mind the billions of dollars that Bush’s administration diverted to Christian organizations – ironically, some of the largest beneficiaries of foreign aid, so loathed by some Republicans, are Christian missionary organizations working in Africa. Never mind the nightmarish consequences of relying on personal faith (in Jesus or Vladimir Putin) rather than reasoned analysis. Don’t worry, Jewish Republicans said, Bush is good for the Jews.
Well, now the ex-emperor has no clothes. Unless you think that helping Jews find Jesus is “good for the Jews,” this latest act of Bush’s evangelical faith – entirely consistent with previous ones – should set that myth to rest. Evangelicals like Bush sincerely love the Jews, but they love us in a very particular way: because, by ceasing to become Jews, we play an instrumental role in the Christian apocalyptic narrative.
Appearances like Bush’s should also make clear that the Christian supporters of the Israeli Far Right, the people writing checks to build more settlements in contested territory, do not really have Jewish, or Israeli, interests at heart. These are people with their own agenda, and it involves either the Jews’ conversion, or our destruction.
Indeed, given the demographic catastrophe the settlements are rapidly bringing about in Greater Israel, that may just come about.
“The Bible predicted that the day would come when the blindness would come off the eyes of the people it all began with,” said ‘Rabbi’ Jonathan Berris, a Messianic Jew, at last year’s MJBI conference. Berris’s prophecy refers to all Jews, of course. But I wonder if it might now apply to some Jewish Republicans.