Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Unholy Alliance and Its Consequences

by Dee Newman

White supremacist James von Brunn’s attempt to murder Jews and others at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. was extremely disturbing. Fortunately, his shooting spree was cut short by the heroic efforts of a security guard, Stephen Tyrone Jones, who sacrificed his own life so others might live.

James von Brunn was driven by a twisted and perverse perspective that regards Jews as being “flawed.” This perception is held and openly espoused by many Christian fundamentalists. They believe that until Jews accept Jesus as their Messiah and savior, Jews are condemned to hell.

And yet, as absurd as it may appear, during the last decade many Jews, both here in the U.S. and in Israel, have established and participated in an unholy alliance with the Christian fundamentalist community – all because of the unwavering support of Christian fundamentalist for the Israeli government’s immoral and illegal actions towards Palestinians.

Many of the leaders and spokespersons of these right-wing conservative Christian fundamentalist groups have made enormous fortunes off of creating, provoking, and promoting hatred and contempt for a variety of many different people –including gays, liberals, Democrats, foreigners, feminists, Muslims, and yes, unconverted Jews.

Others too, like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter, have cashed in on hate and fear mongering, exploiting the ignorance, xenophobia, and superstitions of fundamentalist Christianity, as well as, the racial hatred and paranoia of many of their most ardent followers.

When confronted and challenged on the vicious and destructive character of their efforts and actions, they consistently claim that their First Amendment rights to free speech are being threatened.

Seemingly unable to understand the difference between free speech and irresponsible speech, their aggressive and unrelenting attacks continue without regard to the truth or consequences of their vitriolic assertions. They seem to have no compassion for or willingness to understand the point of view of anyone but those who echo their ignorance, rage and bigotry.

Nor, do they seem willing or able to comprehend the cost and consequences of their so-called free speech and take responsibility for their part in the blood shed and the unbearable grief felt.

When will the Jewish Community, both here and in Israel, realize with whom they have allied themselves?

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