Friday, January 06, 2006

Fundamentalists of all religiouns threaten Middle East peace Jan. 6, 2006

Christian fundamentalism drives American extremism and racism

Arab American Media Syndicate, Jan. 6, 2006
Permission granted to republish

By Ray Hanania

Imagine, Israelis are outraged with the anti-Semitic comments of their frequent ally, Christian Fundamentalist Pat Robertson.

As he and other Christian fundamentalist demagogues have done in the past, Robertson has offended Jews. He said that the brain hemorrhage of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is God’s punishment for "dividing" the land of Israel and compromising with the Palestinians.

He said the same about Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered by an Israeli extremist. And he continues to blast all those who urge compromise and non-violence as a basis for a Middle East peace accord.

Robertson is typical of American racists who exploit the Arab-Israeli conflict for personal gain. Their support sustains American foreign policy and conservative leaders like President Bush.

In reality, Robertson and the Christian fundamentalists are worse than the Islamic extremists that they, Bush and other American conservatives constantly attack.

Robertson is a Christian Ayatollah. His equivalent of suicide bombing is his "suicide bombast." I am certain that if Christian Fundamentalists in America were to ever find themselves in the same situation as the Palestinians, for example, they would defend suicide bombing as a "justified" form of combat.

Israelis know that Robertson and the Christian fundamentalists are a double-edged scimitar.

I watched one Israeli spokesman on CNN hem and haw in shock when confronted with Robertson’s comments. Instead of denouncing Robertson, the spokesman distracted the issue to inflaming the hatred of Iran’s president who often spouts anti-Semitic and anti-Christian comments.

To extremist Israelis, they, too, exploit Christian Fundamentalism to strengthen their own ideological goals. The dirty, ugly secret of Israel’s embrace of the Christian Evangelical movement is that deep down, they know that Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are in fact more anti-Semitic than the Iranians, and may be the most anti-Semitic people on Earth.

Christian fundamentalism is built on a latent hatred of Jews. But they are not beyond exploiting Biblical prophecy to drive their own money machines, disguised as Christian Ministries. They downplay their anti-Semitism and exploit the tragedy of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Christian fundamentalists like Robertson believe Jesus cannot return to cast judgment on humanity until Israel is established and the Jewish Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem.

But the core of the Evangelical movement is the belief that all non-believers, including Muslims, moderate Christians and especially Jews will be dispatched to an eternity of hellfire on that Judgment Day.

Ironically, most moderate Christians who wince at the outrageous comments of Christian fundamentalists like Robertson and others tend to ignore these anomalies and contradictions to true Christian belief.

Moderate Christians believe that all people who believe in the One God, be they Christian, Muslims or Jews, will go to Heaven. Fundamentalist Christians, however, believe that only those who embrace their interpretation of religion will go to Heaven.

It is an uncomfortable reflection of the core beliefs of extremist Muslims, too, who believe that those who do not embrace Islam will also burn in hell. That includes all Christians, all Jews and even secular Muslims.

Christians constantly criticize this Islamic view, but their silence on the ignorance of Robertson and other Christian Evangelical Ayatollahs is deafening. Their silence is the real sin, the true violation of Christian belief.

While Robertson preaches his disguised hatred in the United States, Christians who are suffering in Palestine, the Holy Land, never attract his support.

As far as Robertson is concerned, Palestinian Christians are no different from the Jews, except in terms of how they may be exploited. There is no benefit to Robertson and his Christian Evangelical Ayatollahs in defending the rights of Holy Land Christians. That’s why they sacrifice them on the altar of their own selfish fundamentalist cause.

The Jews, on the other hand, offer Robertson and the other Grand Muftis of the Christian fundamentalist movement a political opportunity to feed their supporters.

Christian Fundamentalists need the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in order to build their flock of blind sheep. They do not want a Middle East peace. Everything they do is designed to prevent peace, including pressuring American administrations to pursue one-sided foreign policies that aggravate rather than resolve the Middle East conflict.

Although the Christian Evangelists claim to pray for Judgment Day, they are the ones who should fear it most.

Like all tyrants, demagogues and dictators, Christian fundamentalists do not practice what they preach. They don’t believe God will really come down to judge mankind.

But they do know that the fear of that Judgment Day allows them to easily control their followers and, more importantly, to fill their pockets with money and accumulate power.

Regardless of which religious book they carry, the Torah, the Bible or the Qur’an, fundamentalists of all three religions threaten the future peace.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist and former national president of the Palestinian American Congress. A Christian, Hanania can be reached at


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