30 July 2016

Israel and the Dems


On my Facebook page I'm hearing from many people about Hillary Clinton and her stances with Israel. Some think she's pro-Jewish state, and others are equally sure she's the worst thing with the worst record on the people of Israel. I suppose with her daughter Chelsea and son-in-law Mark, and her two grandchildren who are being raised as Jews, this dialectic is odd.

Her official page on the land of Israel is here on her site. There we read, "From the State Department and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Clinton has made support for Israel one of her top priorities." But I'm guessing that this one point is a stickler to those who only have one view on Israel. She has a commitment to "partner with Israel to advance the two-state vision of a Jewish and democratic Israel with secure and recognized borders."

I saw a button on the lapel of Bill Clinton this week at the Democratic National Convention. It reminded me of the Yiddish "Reagan" buttons in 1980 when Republican Ronald Reagan won the election against Democrat Jimmy Carter. I don't know that any other Republican in the then-recent history had captured the minds, the hearts, and the wallets of the previously-staunchly Jewish voting block. The button on former President Clinton read "Hillary" in Hebrew.

I guess it's really hard to be a politician. Anytime I mention politics among certain folk I get an earful as to their view on this candidate or the other. Then among others I get a 'why would you bring that up?' Watching the conventions the last two weeks in the US I imagined that no matter which platform a candidate chose to endorse, almost immediately at least half the country would be against the candidate. Who would want people to dislike them so?

So this notion of pro- or anti-Clinton on the basis of one or two of her stated positions on Israel seems out of line. She has stated her position to "Guarantee Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge to ensure the IDF is equipped to deter and defeat aggression from the full spectrum of threats; and to Renew the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, providing a 10-year U.S. commitment to provide Israel with the security assistance it needs to maintain the most capable military in the Middle East" But that isn't enough for some. They want only ONE thing to be assured. But that's not how politicos conduct compromise and gather friends. They make deals and relinquish certain convictions. They state loudly their opinion on a matter then adjust it to ensure others are equally 'on board.'

No wonder so many dislike politicians. And why I would never like to be one.

And perhaps another reason that Yeshua is so significant in his stated positions and his life in Israel in the First Century. He made it known that politics was not his complete concern, although the Kingdom of God certainly was. He chose to love all people, to die for the sins of everyone, including those who were nailing him to the Roman cross, and to teach a different way than anyone before him.

Marcus J. Borg (1942-2015) was Hundere Professor of Religion and Culture Emeritus at Oregon State University, past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, and author of twenty books. In his short article on "Jesus and Politics", Borg writes "Politics are at the center of the story of Jesus. His historical life ended with a political execution. Crucifixion was used by Rome for those who systematically rejected imperial authority, including chronically defiant slaves and subversives who were attracting a following. In the world of Jesus, a cross was always a Roman cross."

Of course, this is not a universal view among Bible commentators. "It may come as a surprise to many, but Jesus Christ did not involve Himself with the politics of His day. Even though He had a strong interest in government, He chose not to become involved in any of the political factions of the day, either in the Jewish government or in its overseer, the government of Rome." So says Harold Rhodes on a Church of God website

But what true Bible commentators do agree on is that Yeshua was unique; that his death and resurrection accomplished the redemption of mankind, and can bring anyone to the Father. That includes Democrat, Liberal, Libertarian, Labour, Republican, Socialist, atheist, Israeli, anti-Israeli, and more... everyone who humbles himself and receives Jesus as the unique Son of God can have eternal life. Is that you? Maybe we need a new badge?

1 comment:

Margaret Sch. said...

The loudest political commentary from Jesus in my mind was his statement to Pilate: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."