I got the sense talking to people on both sides of the Green Line that grassroots activists in Israel and Palestine haven’t totally caught up with the evolution of Israel politics in the United States. It’s still the case that if you gaze over at Capitol Hill your typical strongly pro-Israel politician is a Jewish liberal such as Henry Waxman or Anthony Weiner who may feel some dissonance between their general political views and heavily militarized Israeli nationalism. But stories like this one from Rachel Slajda reflect the shape of things to come:
A legal attempt to stop the construction of a mosque in middle Tennessee is getting expensive. The preliminary hearing has dragged on, with several days of testimony stretching over more than a month. The county has added $50,000 to its litigation budget to cover expected defense costs and is warning that that number could go up.
So who’s funding the plaintiffs — three local residents who don’t have access to taxpayer money?
Their lawsuit is being supported, in part, by a Christian Zionist group called Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. PJTN hired, and is paying, one of the two lawyers for the plaintiffs.
The point here is that PJTN’s views on Israel are just part of a larger worldview that casts Muslims and Islam as the enemy. You see a secular version of this in Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders’ strong support of Israel. To Israel’s advantage, these are people who won’t even be nominally interested in whether or not Israel adheres to human rights norms or other dictates of humane conduct. To Israel’s disadvantage, however, these are people for whom the conflict with the Palestinians isn’t a problem to be solved. Instead, on this view the whole point of Israel is to wage war against Muslims and peace would render the state superfluous.