Burning Incense To Caesar: Regarding Avigdor Lieberman’s Proposed Loyalty Oath In Israel
Posted by Job on February 27, 2009
First, I am thoroughly shocked at the intense and pervasive anti – Israel and anti – Semitic feelings around the globe that has been growing exponentially since the September 11th terror attacks. Now I do have a theory on why SOME of this is taking place, specifically among certain corners of the left. First, there has always been a large anti – Semitic presence on the left, but it has been largely muzzled by an apparently pro – Jewish sentiment in that body. I said “apparently” because it was never legitimate, but rather many of these people’s using the Jews. First, Jews were a bold, intellectually vital, and financially necessary part of the radical left in its early days. Second, it was unbecoming to be an open anti – Semite while simultaneously agitating for equal or special rights for blacks, women, Hispanics, homosexuals, atheists etc. Third, and perhaps most important, Jews were very important as a strategic weapon against conservatives, which at the time was primarily led by anti – Semitic (or at least non – Zionist) paleoconservatives.
Now the situation has reversed itself. The radical left is now mainstream, fully in control of the government and further having made major inroads in our corporate and financial institutions. So, they no longer need the courageous leadership, brilliant ideas, or financial backing of Jewish socialists. Also, multiculturalism and relativism now make it entirely possible – indeed fashionable – to denounce Israel and Jewry as evil while glorifying suicide bombers who target Israeli schoolchildren as freedom fighter servants of “god” through the religion of peace. And most importantly, the left can no longer use the charge of anti-Semitism to attack the actions and motivations conservative opponents, because the paleoconservatism of the recent past has given way to a pro – Zionist neoconservatism, many of whose ideas and leaders come from the ranks of conservative Jews, and much of whose money, numbers, and organizing muscle comes from premillennial dispensational evangelical Christianity. So, where a conservative was often called “anti – Semite” as a political tactic in times past by leftist activists, modern leftist activists now bash Jews and Israel far more overtly, publicly, and viciously than the conservative WASP (or as it were Roman Catholic) bankers and politicians ever did in private, and now use “homophobe” as their weapon of choice against conservatives. The best example of this startling shift: where leftist Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fervent Zionist and employed communist Jews as his speechwriters, organizers, and strategists, Barack HUSSEIN Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright casts his lot with the Palestinian terrorists and counts Louis Farrakhan (and similar) among his support system. Not the Palestinians, mind you, for the overwhelming majority of Palestinians are not violent criminals, but people and groups who have blood on their hands and are thirsty for more of it. And where King was roundly criticized for his Zionist position, Obama and Wright were only challenged – and in an extremely muted fashion – by a few neoconservatives. This is only explicable by a rapid and amazing rise in the climate of anti – Semitism (both that which exists and that which is tolerated in others) which can only be explained by the activity of evil spirits.
So, it is in this context that Avigdor Lieberman is being called – amazingly – “Jewish Hitler” in some circles. I will not even bother to explain how such a moniker, such a comparison, is so grotesquely inaccurate and inappropriate that it can either only be made by someone who is unaware of Hitler’s ideology and behavior and is merely used to calling someone that you disagree with “a Nazi” (which does honestly seem to be increasingly the case … the media and the education system seem fine with willfully refusing to educate people about Hitler and the Nazi regime so that any view or ideology that they disagree with, including those in the New Testament, can be accused of either contributing to the Holocaust or leading us to a new one … a columnist for the Detroit Free Press actually claimed that George W. Bush’s proposals to cut taxes and create private Social Security accounts could lead to a state policy of exterminating low income people, and yes people like her often tend to be pro – abortion!).
And what makes Avigdor Lieberman so monstrous? Quite simply, his proposal for a loyalty oath, that all citizens be required to publicly express loyalty to Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. Those who refuse have to options: to leave Israel (and if I am correct, it is at Israel’s expense!) or to remain there as a sort of second – class citizen. Lieberman has even stated that a person does not need to declare loyalty to Zionism, which comes with a lot of political and religious implications that a lot of people (including haredi Orthodox Jews!) cannot abide. Such a person merely needs to be willing to declare an acceptance of the fact that Israel exists now and of its continued existence in largely its current makeup and form (a secular western democracy with a mostly Jewish population where Orthodox Judaism plays a huge role – indeed a larger role than Christianity ever has in America, as it is modeled more closely after 19th century Lutheran Germany or Anglican England than America) – in Jewish government and institutions.
Jewish supporters of Lieberman’s proposed oath point out that the United States requires the same of people beocoming naturalized United States citizens. That is a willfully false comparison, as Lieberman’s oath would be required of everyone, both natural born citizens and already naturalized citizens, as a requirement of retaining their citizenship. In America, it is practically impossible for a natural born or naturalized citizen to be stripped of his status against his will.
However, Israel is not America. Enumerating the many differences between their legal code and its underlying assumptions and our own would be rather unwieldly, but suffice to say that a Christian could spend a year in an Israeli prison for giving a “Gideon’s Bible” containing the New Testament (as they of course all do) to a Jewish 12 year old. Like all parliamentary democracies, Israel lacks freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other things that make America much more of a constitutional republic than a pure democracy.
Also, what Israel chooses to do with its citizenry is ultimately a matter of state, not of the cross. And though I believe Lieberman’s proposal to be exceedingly unwise, as it would be the doings of a democratic state that is not only secular but “founded on and governed according to anti – Christian principles and values” (it is a Jewish state, after all, so cast aside your premillennial dispensational Christian Zionism long enough read the 1, 2, and 3rd John and take its contents seriously) as opposed to the doings of a church or other body of professed Bible believing Christians, my position must be neutral, one of the many things that has happened and will happen in this world until Jesus Christ comes back.
Yet and still, I cannot restrain myself from considering this policy past and future. It reminds me of the persecution against Christians in the Roman Empire. Christians were required to swear loyalty to the Roman state – and its state religion – with Caesar as head of both the state and religion with the status of a minor god in the religion by signing a document and bowing before either Caesar or his effigy. People who did so received certification of having done so, and people found by authorities in a condition of not having this certification either had to burn incense to Caesar or his statue immediately, or be subject to arrest, torture, and death. This policy resulted in the deaths of Christians in numbers exceeding a million, and the imprisonment or torture of still more.
I think that it is fair to point out that some Christians interpret the “mark of the beast” portions of Revelation to refer to this time, while others – myself included – believe the Roman persecution to be a precursor to the much worse persecution still to come under the great tribulation.
With that in mind: consider this. Were Israel to actually implement Lieberman’s policy (which by the way would take major changes to Israel, including but not limited to a major redirection of public opinion, big changes of Israel’s laws, and a complete overhaul of the composition of their largely liberal courts, which are far more likely to sentence conservative Israelis to 6 months of community service for speech code violations for displaying shirts and bumper stickers with slogans offensive to Muslims – again, Israel has no freedom of speech – than approving a citizenship test), then in order to be viable and practical, the government would have to be able to differentiate between who has taken the loyalty oath and who hasn’t. (After all, Christians had various ways of evading detection and capture by the Romans.) This is not the case of apartheid South Africa, where it was very easy to use physical appearance to determine different treatment by government authorities. Israel is not even planning on automatically deporting those who reject the loyalty oath, but rather giving such people the option of remaining as second class citizens.
So, how is this to be done except A) completing a national computerized database or registry of people who have and haven’t declared a loyalty oath and B) requiring people to carry evidence of their loyalty and status with them on their person so that the government officials – and anyone else who decides to enact similar policies of their own, including banks, grocery stores, and other businesses – would be able to differentiate and treat people accordingly? Would it take the form of an identification card that a person would be forced to carry? Well, those can be forged. What about a government – issued microchip?
But that is just Israel, you say? Wrong. Various interests in America have been promoting “national ID cards” and “national registries” for years to combat everything from legal immigration to voter fraud (not to mention databases of people allowed or not allowed to buy firearms, and also of sex crime offenders … are “hate crimes” offenders next?). If Israel adopts a national registration and ID system to implement their loyalty oath policy, then other western style governments are very likely to emulate it for their own national ID systems to address their own (real and perceived) problems. As a matter of fact, dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes are even more likely to.
So, for no other reason than that, Lieberman’s proposal is something to watch and think about, along with the many similar proposals in our own country, especially those who prefer national ID cards over simply building a border fence, or people who claim that there aren’t simple and local solutions to voter fraud.