Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interfaith dialogue at its ugliest

[Originally posted at NOW Lebanon]

At first glance, it looks like a gesture of positively saintly compassion and humanity: a Jew - indeed, a rabbi no less - travels all the way from America to visit a neglected synagogue in south Lebanon, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the country's destitute Palestinian refugees, and to proclaim their cause as his own. What, you may ask, could conceivably be more honourable?

Quite a lot, as it happens. For Rabbi Dovid Weiss, like the rest of his Neturei Karta devotees, comes from an ancient, albeit nowadays marginal, school of Judaism that proclaims it an abominable sin to establish a Jewish state in the biblical Eretz Yisrael - until, that is, the advent of the Messiah.

I hope it goes without saying that, as an ideology, this is not exactly Palestinian nationalism. Upon the Messiah's arrival, Weiss and his friends will assist in the utter and total Judaisation of the Levant, involving the submission of Jews on the one hand to fascistic halakha law, and Gentiles on the other to a choice between death and permanent subjugation.

It's an almost-exact mirror image, incidentally, of the vile alliance between Zionists and evangelical Christians, a prominent group of whom Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met just last month. As far as the latter are concerned, the mass immigration of Jews to the Holy Land is to be encouraged insofar as it accelerates the Second Coming of Christ, at which point non-Christians will face the similar dilemma of conversion or extermination.

Moral of the story: if you're cynical enough to conscript religious fanatics to your political cause today, don't be surprised if they try to kill you tomorrow.

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