A few days ago, We Hold These Truths posted a podcast entitled “Christian Zionism is a War Based Religion,” which includes a discussion on the so-called “just war” theological doctrine often used by Christian leaders to justify their support for US wars.
I am referring, of course, to Christian leaders such as John Hagee, of Christians United for Israel, or CUFI.
Back in 2003, Hagee supported the US war in Iraq, and even later, after it became glaringly apparent there never had been any weapons of mass destruction and that Bush had lied about the war, he continued to be a vocal supporter of the US aggression.
“Christian Zionism is a war based, political religion wrapped around the notion that the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy,” reads the podcast description put up by We Hold These Truths. You can go here to listen to the podcast. It’s a fairly interesting discussion.
I mention it because just today CUFI, which is the largest Christian Zionist organization in America, sent out an appeal to its email subscribers calling for an end to US financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. A friend of mine who is on their email list forwarded it to me.
What exactly has the PA done that has so upset the CUFI? You’ll read about it in the text of the email, which I reproduce below, but basically it comes down to support for the families of Palestinians who have been either killed or imprisoned by Israel–people the CUFI views as “terrorists.”
Of course, anyone who gets killed by an Israeli soldier automatically has to be labeled a “terrorist,” and there have been reports of soldiers planting knives on the bodies of their victims. Apparently this is of no concern to CUFI, however. It isn’t mentioned in their email.
The illegal settlements, the ongoing 50-year occupation of the West Bank, the targeting of residential buildings and hospitals in Israel’s periodic attacks upon Gaza–all these things, too, go unmentioned.
Another key point is that under international law people have a right to resist occupation. By this measure, attacks by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers are not acts of terrorism. To make the assertion that they are would be the equivalent of branding the founding fathers of America as terrorist leaders.
But perhaps the main thing to keep in mind is that this appeal is being made by an organization that supported the US war in Iraq, and which has yet to apologize or concede that the war was fought under false pretenses or that Christian support for it was a terrible mistake. Another thing you might also want to reflect upon, just as a matter of interest, is that the executive director of Christians United for Israel, David Brog, is not in fact a Christian–he is Jewish.
The CUFI communique includes the following graphic at the top of the email:
The text then reads as follows:
Since September of 2015, the beginning of the so-called “stabbing intifada,” Palestinian terrorists have murdered more than 50 innocent people and wounded hundreds more.
The media often describes these terrorists as “lone wolves” completely disconnected from Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA). But the fact is that the Palestinian Authority makes generous lifetime payments to every Palestinian imprisoned for killing Israelis. And if the terrorist dies during his attack, his family receives these payments. This financial support for terrorism is actually required under legislation passed by the Palestinian legislature.
The United States provides the PA with approximately $300 million in aid each year. The PA makes approximately $300 million in payments to terrorists and their families every year. There is no way around this troubling reality: our taxpayer dollars are being used to fund terrorism. This must end!
Earlier this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham re-introduced a critical piece of legislation–the Taylor Force Act. Representatives Lamborn and Zeldin introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives. This bill requires that we cut all U.S. aid to the PA until it stops funding terrorism.
This bill is named after Taylor Force, a West Point graduate who who survived tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan only to be murdered in Israel by a Palestinian terrorist.
Today we ask you to stand up for Taylor Force. We ask you to stand up for Israel. And we ask you to take a stand against terrorism.
Click here now to ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Taylor Force Act.
Help us end the PA’s Pay to Slay policy today!
Blessings to you and those you love,
Pastor John Hagee
The appeal ends with the following words written in large white letters on a red background:
“NO MONEY FOR MURDER”
While I am not a big fan of the PA, one thing that might be said in their favor is that they do not have a lobby in Washington to speak of, and that we have never fought a war on their behalf. I have my doubts as to whether this bill will be passed or signed into law, however. It is necessary for Israel to maintain the diplomatic pretense that Palestinians in the Occupied Territories exercise some measure of self-determination, no matter how small. It is the PA that provides this fig leaf. Take away the fig leaf and Israel stands exposed as an apartheid state for all the world to see. My guess is this is probably one of the only reasons aid to the PA was ever begun in the first place.