I had a curious, and thankfully brief, discussion with Mom on Sunday morning prior to Mass. Mom – a member of the UMC – has issued an ultimatum. If the Methodist Conference this summer decides to sell off its stock in Caterpillar trucks, she’s going to leave the Methodist Church forever.
Well, evidently the impetus behind the divestment is that Caterpillar sells (gives?) bulldozers to Israel in order for them to destroy Palestinian houses and build settlements. If the UMC divests it will be anti-Israel and, well, we have to support Israel always!
(Mind you, Mom’s not your standard Evangelical American Supporter of Israel, she’s rather liberal/left in just about all other aspects of her politics and religion.)
I took the tack that Israel must be held accountable for the demands of Justice in the Bible. Mom broke off the conversation almost instantly. I nearly never have these conversations with my parents. Yet it is something I feel passionately about – as a Christian or as a Jewish Wannabe: If Israel is to be a 100% secular state in the modern world, then political opponents or supporters need to debate the steps of Israel. If Israel is to be a Jewish (religious) state then I think the biblical demands of Justice are in force and Israel should be held accountable for them. It is possible to disagree with Iraeli political actions and still be a devout follower of Israel’s God and a devoted lover of the Jewish people.
Of course, I say that as an Outsider. And I’m open to other views and corrections. BUT as of just now: were I to convert, I fear I might end up on the official right-wing Zionist S.H.I.T. List
It was the strangest conversation – I’m not even sure how it came up. But it called to mind several stories that have been circulating, recently.
Mixed Multitudes presents a discussion of Israel in Modern Jewish Identity. I sound like the younger folks.
For all that Republicans like to talk about about “our only democratic friend” in the middle east – making comparisons between Modern Goodguy Israel and the Evil, Horrid, Backwards Muslims – the news that Israeli women are dressing like ultra-pious Muslims is distressing both from a political view as well as from the distortion of Judaism implied. (Mindful that, by some readings, the Muslim tradition they are aping is a distortion of Islam.)
And here’s another, parallel, post on women and Judaism