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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Friday, February 27 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

City on a hill

All the mentions of anti-Semitism in the news for the past couple of weeks (and for those who've been paying closer attention, extending back for some months before that) have got me to thinking about the United States and Israel. We've considered here before what it is about us Westerners (as Middle-Easterners refer to us Americans and our European cousins) that causes many in that part of the world to hate us so much. We've considered our materialism, our pushing a consumer mindset, our general lack of spiritual motivation.

But all of those factors combined may be less offensive to Muslim extremists than one political stand the United States has been playing out on the world stage for more than a half century: Our generally unwavering commitment to Israel, both the political state established in 1948 and the metaphysical "Israel" that traces its origin to Father Abraham and whose people supplied the human genetic makeup of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I'd even venture to propose that, to the Democrats the modern state is the main issue, because of the roles American Jewish liberals play in their party, and to the Republicans the more ancient Israel is more the point, because of the role it plays in American evangelical Protestantism. (And by way of guest appearances on the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox News Channel, the two parties and their histories of Israel support are bridged by Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State in the Nixon Administration.) Politicians and statesmen alike mouth a formula that goes along the lines that "we are invested in Israel because it is the only meaningful democracy in the whole middle east." But that's just the cover for the real glue that holds the two nations bonded. In fact, if the State of Israel wasn't in the middle east, our national interests there would be greatly diminished; probably no more than economic.

Flanked by Islamic nations of varying characters in every direction, the Jewish State of Israel has been an international flashpoint for as long as most of us can remember, but this seems to have escalated even more since the end of the cold war between the NATO allies and the Communist Eastern European bloc. Maybe the Islamic world, and especially its terrorist fringe, concluded that now that it had our attention it should press its cause.

It's understandable that the United States and Israel would be each other's best friends, even when old friends like France (remember General Lafayette, General George Washington's comrade in arms; remember the Statue of Liberty?) and Germany turned their backs. These, and Russia and probably others, had economic alliances with Saddam Hussein and other Middle East economic powerhouses that were worth more to them than any commitments they may have had to Israel.

Israel is the Old Testament, the Land of Promise, flowing with milk and honey. And more than any other powerful nation in today's world, the United States is the New, the Pilgrims' and Puritans' City on a Hill.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Steven Wrightisms

13. How can you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Lenten thought for today

The universe would be to me no more than a pasteboard scene, all surface and no deepness, on the stage, if I did not hope in God. I will not say believe, for that is a big word, and it means so much more than my low beginnings of confidence. But a little faith may wake a great big hope, and I look for great things from Him whose perfection breathed me out that I might be a perfect thing one day. The more we trust, the more reasonable we find it to trust.

— George MacDonald

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