You Chose Us From All Nations

Bob, a rep for an artificial insemination services for dairy farms in Wisconsin, told me that the Holocaust could never have happened because the mighty Israeli army would not have allowed the Germans to do such a thing, and then he asked if it is true that Jews love money. Brady, a dairy farmer from Alabama, invited me to his kitchen which was decorated with Confederate flags and rifles of various kinds and stated that he really admired us, the Israelis, because “you, the Israelis, don’t take no shit from nobody”. And Rick, a professional support manager of the dairy industry in Florida, pointed to a Black man who was passing by and said that if “we”, he and I, would have won the war, that Black man would never have walked freely in the streets and rape “our” women. His and mine.

I admit that it took me a while to figure it out that the “war” referred to the American Civil War. So as if to complete Rick’s journey of my education, Amos, former Amish from Pennsylvania, turned salesman of dairy equipment in Virginia, took me to visit General Lee’s monument in Charlottesville, on our way back from a training visit to a Mennonite dairy farm. There, in front of the statue of a treacherous general who led an army of rebels against an elected administration and a serving president, he gave me an insight into the history of “the War of the Northern Aggression”. Well, this is the heart of America, America’s Heartland. It always was, and it is likely that as long as immigrants continue to focus mainly on the shores of the East and the West, it will always be. A land of the Trinity: White, Protestant Christian, Anglo Saxon.

They reject Catholics, because Catholics bow down to the dictator from Rome. Don’t take my word for it. Instead, ask Trump why his father was arrested after he protested with the KKK in Queens, New York City. They despise Muslims or Latino or Blacks because they contaminate Anglo-Saxon white democracy and the American way, and they hate Jews because Jews rejected Christ and “the American media, and the American political system, and the American Federal Reserve, is dominated by a tiny minority: the Jewish Zionist cause.”, as David Duke, the KKK Grand Wizard (retired), told a large crowd last Saturday in Charlottesville, VA. And Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of White Supremacy, mocked the Jewish mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer. “Little Mayor Signer — ‘See-ner’ — how do you pronounce this little creep’s name?” Spencer asked, and the mob responded with a cry, “Jew, Jew, Jew.”

So how can it be that such a strong hatred for strangers, and for the Jews, is turned into such admiration for all that is Israeli?

The very same Spencer, who mocked the Charlottesville Jewish mayor, provided a possible answer to that question at the end of 2016, in a conference where Rabbi Matt Rosenberg of the Hillel Foundation at the A&M University campus in Texas explained to him that people must include each other: “You come here with a message of radical exclusion. My tradition teaches a message of radical inclusion, as embodied by Torah,” and then asked him if he wanted to sit and study a chapter of the Torah together. Spencer replied: “Do you really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel? … Jews exist precisely because you did not assimilate to the gentiles… I respect that about you. I want my people to have that same sense of themselves.” Rabbi Rosenberg was left speechless.

We can, perhaps, let Spencer enjoy the benefit of the doubt that he is not really familiar with the difference between Judaism, which is a religion, and Zionism, which is a political, national and secular movement. And we also can, perhaps, give Rabbi Rosenberg the benefit of the doubt that he was not quick enough to make sure that the Nazi Spencer understood the difference between the two. But there is really no reason to give any of them the benefit of the doubt. Spencer, a prominent leader of Neo-Nazis and White Supremacy, deliberately mixes national political movement with religion, Judaism and Zionism, not only because it helps him claim that he is not anti-Semitic, but also and especially because such a move fits well with one of the main themes of the Religious Right now at the service of the American Alt Right: To bring God back into the book of law, after the Founding Fathers, the Constitution and the Supreme Court expelled him.

Rabbi Rosenberg, on the other hand, cannot enjoy the benefit of the doubt not because he was not quick enough to correct Spencer who mixed Judaism with Zionism, but because Rabbi Rosenberg may have believed that the White Supremacist was actually correct in doing so. Perhaps he thought, like the Nazi, that a Jew and a Zionist are one. After all, in Israel there has been an amazingly similar effort to bring God back into Zionism, exactly like the American Religious Right and White Supremacy effort to bring God back into the American book of law. Because in the absence of a rational justification for slavery, racial segregation and religious rejection, the American Alt Right is left with hatred for all who are strangers, with White Supremacy and with God and his Son; Thus, in the absence of a rational justification for the occupation, for the continuation of apartheid and the brutal control over the Palestinians, Zionism is left with strong hatred for all who are strangers, with You Chose Us from All Nations, and with Unto Thy Seed Have I Given This Land.

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