Link: Israel denies it’s roots by denying refugees | Giles Fraser

It wasn’t until I moved to south Africa that I encountered deeply held convictions regarding zionism and the modern day state of Israel. In the churches I was a part of in the UK, the attitude it seemed was that it was rather impolite to bring up divisive issues such as Israel, the end times and other such fanciful beliefs (which don’t seem often to be held by anyone but ardent evangelists for the side of their particular issue). 

In a world where people are either aggressively for or against Israel, backed to the hilt (or so it seems to them) with theological reasons, it was fascinating just to read Giles Fraser speak about his secular zionism. 

Here in south Africa we are well acquainted with living along side refugees, and in one sense, we are selves are migrants, which means from a distance the European refugee situation doesn’t strike us as quite as apocalyptic as it is being portrayed for the host nations. 

Giles Fraser claims Israel is refusing the very foundations of its nation state both in its secular and theological imagination;

In the theological imagination, Israel exists because of a covenant, a treaty, between God and his people. But the terms of this pact are provisional, containing a severance clause if Israel doesn’t keep its side of the bargain.

And, as described in Leviticus, the consequences of such a failure are catastrophic: “But if you [Israel] will not listen to me and carry out all these commands … I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies.” Secular people can happily ignore this as a dusty old book. But those on the religious right, who claim the Bible as their title deeds, ought to take the provisional nature of their contract more seriously. And the call of the ram’s horn is an appropriate time for such much-needed reflection. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

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