The Obscured “We’ll Bury You” Message of Christian Zionists

It cannot have escaped the attention of Israelis, one presumes, that some of their staunchest allies in the United States, the so-called “Christian Zionists,” are people who by and large believe the benefactors of their money and political support will all be killed or will lose their religion when the End Times they are trying to trigger arrive.

But as Sarah Posner explains at Religion Dispatches, Israelis do not generally understand the apocalyptic views of many of their conservative evangelical “friends.” And a new report from a progressive Israeli think tank, Molad is trying to change that:

Christian Zionists, says Liat Schlesinger, Molad’s researcher for the report, are routinely referred to in the Israeli press as “Christians who love Israel.” But that description obscures their theology. “It doesn’t allow a critical look into their theology, what is their purpose, what is their interest in Israel,” she said in an interview in which she shared many of the report’s findings.

The hidden “we’ll bury you” sentiments of many Christian Zionists towards Jews is significant not just as a matter of exposing motives, but as a way to help explain the rather selective assistance these people provide to Israelis. It’s no accident it tends to be concentrated on right-wing politicians and the settler movement, who pursue the confrontational policies most likely to set off the general war known in the Christian apocalyptic tradition as Armageddon.

It will be interesting to see how much attention the Molad report received in Israel. Here in the U.S. it should be of special interest to Zionists–most especially Jews–who are tired of being told they are less friendly to Israel than Christian Right types who believe God will soon offer Jews the Holy Warrior option of death or conversion.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.