exercises in compound storytelling

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Victoria Clark: Allies for Armageddon

A medieval drawing by a German traveller of Je...Image via WikipediaI found Victoria Clark's newish book Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism in the new book rack at my local library today.

At first glance she appears to be dealing with something called "Christian Zionism," the idea that Christians support the nation of Israel with its current (post-1967) borders unreservedly because of their interpretation of the Bible.

Let me say from the outset I was raised in this camp; at heart I'm still something of an unreconstructed Zionist. I still buy the idea that Jews need a homeland, and despite their treatment of the Palestinians, which I do not pretend to understand, I tend to back Israel without much further analysis. All that being said, I realize that day to day this is a complicated issue, one I don't understand with themes, subthemes, and inconvenient facts I don't have in hand.

This book is probably a skimmer: Clark starts out from the position that Israel is a United Nations construct, something the United Kingdom forced on the Ottomans, a byproduct of Western colonialism, etc. I can't tell if she's in the camp that says there can't be peace in the Middle East as long as Israel exists, or the camp that claims that Israel can (and should) trade land for peace with the Palestinians.

I'm interested in her telling of the history of the idea of Christian Zionism, though. And of course I'm always interested to see which journalists understand fundamentalist/evangelical Christians and which ones don't. I hope to goodness she's one of the "gets."

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