Republican House Whip Eric Cantor, who is thinking about running about for President (and is Jewish) decided to suck up to the Christian right by telling an evangelical group that US foreign policy needs to be “firmly grounded” in “Judeo-Christian principles.”
The quickest response to this obviously artifical construct is the retort of Barney Frank: “I’ll finally understand what a Judeo-Christian is when I meet one.”
The notion of a “Christian Zionist” is not as artificial, but it is far more misleading. Virtually every report of the Cantor’s line says that he gave the speech in front of a “Christian Zionist” group, which is a patently inaccurate description.
The group is question is Christians United for Israel, which is chaired by John Hagee (he of the “Roman Catholic Church is a whore” fame). But these groups are not Zionists. They are anti-Zionists.
Zionism, at least as currently constituted, is the belief that there should be a Jewish state in Palestine. But so-called “Christian Zionists” do not take pro-Israel positions: they take pro-Likud positions. They oppose any handing back of territory to a Palestinian state, and thus prepare Israel to become a binational state due to demographic factors. As Cantor himself said, “We all know the real stumbling block to peace is posed by those who vehemently deny the nation of Israel’s historical right to the land of Zion.”
The Likud and their Christian allies have somehow persuaded the world that their position is “pro-Israel,” an assertion that groups like J Street and others are currently fighting. But the problem is that J Street does not go far enough. The Likud is objectively anti-Zionist. Continuing settlement of the West Bank is demographic madness: it ensures that Israel will become a majority Arab country within a few years (not to mention the fact that 25% of Israeli schoolchildren inside the Green Line are Arabs, and another 25% are Haredi, creating a future majority unwilling to defend Zionism.).
Israel has long teetered between three goals: 1) being a Jewish state; 2) being a democracy; and 3) keeping the territories. You can have two out of three, but not all three of them. Since so-called Christian Zionists and their right-wing allies have never hinted that they want Israeli democracy to end, and since they insist on keeping the territories, the only logical conclusion is that they want to end Israel’s status as a Jewish state. That, ladies and gentlemen, is anti-Zionism. And it should be called that.