caught in the thorns

Classically, in politics, going back even to Machiavelli or Lord Chesterfield, one’s adversary is not a demon or an enemy to be obliterated at all costs. The opponent is just another player in a game with set rules and defined limits. At issue, is when religious crusaders, like the Jeremy Gimpel case in Israel, where he called for “blowing up the dome of the Rock,” reveals that religious crusaders do not play games, and in this case the ideology of land and territory is a religion. What ends up is the most impassioned and cruel of all conflicts: a religious war of doctrines elevated to faiths within the secular battleground.

It is a confrontation of messianism, and its utopian vision complicated by self-righteousness and a crusading proselytizing spirit akin to that of a high spirited missionary; and the very slippery slope to become a cynical dreamer and tyrannical prophet determined to save or redeem his land, Zion, if if it has to be destroyed in the process a “cleansing” through some form of nihilism, holy nihilism, messianic violence, but destruction and rubble anyway.

---Image ID: 1702653 Der Jude im Dorn.  [The Jew among thorns.] (1912) ---click image for source...

—Image ID: 1702653
Der Jude im Dorn. [The Jew among thorns.] (1912) —click image for source…

Even within Israel, it highlights the miasma of mistrust, fear and suspicion that sees both Left and Right failing to understand their context as it is, and seeking to reshape it according to their own native experiences, where all the prejudices and muck are dressed up in utopian terms:

(see link at end)… If Jews and Christians could pull together, he promises, a ‘revolution’ could happen – positing Islam as the common enemy of this Judeo-Christian alliance.

“We (Jews) weren’t meant to be the target, we were meant to be the light….If we’re not the target, and we go off to Saudi Arabia – they should be the target! They need to learn about love! They need to learn about redemption! They need to learn about the God of Israel! What a partnership! Do you understand the revolution that could happen?”…

---"The Jew in the Thorns" is one of the Grimm's Fairy Tales. There were many folk versions of this story in Germany. In this anti-Semitic legend, a Jew is abused by a magical fiddle, and hung for his greed.---Leo Baeck Institute...

—“The Jew in the Thorns” is one of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. There were many folk versions of this story in Germany. In this anti-Semitic legend, a Jew is abused by a magical fiddle, and hung for his greed.—Leo Baeck Institute…

The Israeli media – and perhaps, the Bayit HaYehudi party itself – failed to scrutinize Gimpel more closely because until recently, his election to Knesset in the no.14 position seemed so unlikely. But his activities and statements have been closely watched for years by anti-missionary organizations in Israel who keep a close eye on rabbis who they view as overly cozy with the Evangelical Christian community. They are very familiar with Gimpel, his website and speaking tours in which he accepts donations from parts of the pro-Israel Judeophile evangelical Christian community in the United States.

Gimpel and his partner Ari Abramovitz have been repeatedly criticized by Jewish Israel, an organization and Internet site whose mission is to “take a critical look at Israel’s alliance with Fundamentalist Christian groups” and to ‘monitor aggressive missionary campaigns now targeting Jews for conversion in the Jewish state.” The group has long included Gimpel on its own list – a list of Israeli rabbis and political figures who benefit from financial support from Israeli-philes in the Evangelical Christian community, turning a blind eye to their efforts to not only bring Christians to Judaism but to bring Jews to Christianity.

This post from 2010 on the Jewish Israel website focuses on the relationship between Gimpel and Abramowitz and an organization called Texans for Israel, a tie so tight that a photograph of the two young Israeli rabbis appears front and center on their home page.

Texans for Israel describes itself as the “dream and vision of four young men from Amarillo, TX, spoken into their lives as young college students, cultivated through dynamic individuals and leaders that God placed into their lives along the journey, and borne fruit through personal relationships with their Jewish brothers in the Land, meeting practical needs.” …Read More:http://www.ha

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