Update: Israel’s New Abortion Law: Happened upon an article today which touches on the pondering I did in the previous post concerning Israel’s new state-funded abortion law,
At reading this latest story at a number of Israeli news sites this evening, I couldn’t help but wonder how America’s Christian Zionists will react to this news. As political activists most, if not all, are extreme right-wingers who’s platform consists of being anti-gay, anti-abortion, and pro-Israel. see: Free abortion for all women 20-33, panel recommends
Over the last two weeks I’ve been watching for any response from John Hagee’s org. CUFI, or to see if any other individual Christian Zionist websites had anything to say concerning this news, and so far have found nothing. Apparently I’m not the only one who is curious about the silence coming from Christian Zionist quarters:
At Religion Dispatches,
Israel’s new abortion law, providing for state funding of abortions for women between the ages of 20 and 33, further liberalizes the country’s already liberal abortion laws. But according to the Times of Israel, the change has barely caused a blip. The paper reports:
Israel has always had a liberal stance on abortion, allowing women facing medical emergencies or those who are victims of rape or abuse to receive subsidies to help them terminate their pregnancies. Outside of those regulations, women can apply for abortions for reasons ranging from an emotional or mental threat caused by the pregnancy or for not being married to the baby’s father. All women who seek to end a pregnancy must appear before a three-member committee to state their case, but 98 percent of requests are approved. Women under the age of 20 or over the age of 40 were also previously eligible for subsidized abortions, regardless of the reason.
Among Israel’s religious right wing, there have been low grumblings of protest against the new law, but for a nation where a woman’s hemline or her seat on a public bus can set off a firestorm, the response has been surprisingly muted. Dr. Eli Schussheim, chairman of the pro-life group Efrat, likened the decision to theft, saying that by allocating funding for non-medically necessary abortions, the committee “is stealing… from sick people… and giving the money instead as a prize to 6,000 negligent women.” His sentiments were echoed by Rabbi David Stav, head of the relatively liberal Tzohar group of Orthodox rabbis, who said there is “no question” that in the absence of a medical emergency, abortion is against Jewish law.
It is highly unlikely, however, that Israel will soon see protests that even come near those that target abortion clinics in the United States, where the legality of pregnancy termination remains one of that nation’s most polarizing issues.
But American reporters are curious: if US Christian Zionists, who have significant overlap with the US anti-choice movement, love Israel so much, shouldn’t they be up in arms about the country adopting one of the world’s most expansive abortion policies?
The Daily Beast’s Jonathan Krohn set out to find out (“You would expect conservative groups to go ballistic when it comes to taxpayer funding of abortions,” reads his lede) and got a number of vague answers which suggested that US anti-choicers don’t feel particularly inclined to export the abortion wars to Israel. But Americans United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest, who is Christian, ventured into a suggestion that perhaps the Israelis were getting their own religious laws wrong:
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, the CEO of Americans United for Life (AUL), decided to use Jewish law as a defense, saying “In a meaningful passage, the Talmud teaches that ‘Whosoever preserves a single soul…, [it is] as though he had preserved a complete world.’ Unborn lives are rich with possibilities and worth saving and government should never be used to harm life and harm women.”
Reading the article (mentioned above) at The Daily Beast we get a direct quote from Ari Morgenstern, spokesman for John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Organization, which should now and forever answer any questions concerning the purpose of Hagee and his CUFI group. Straight from the Horse’s mouth, so to speak, we read,
Ari Morgenstern, spokesman for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which boasts more than 1 million members nationwide, the abortion policy won’t change the organizations support for the Jewish State.
“CUFI is a single-issue organization that supports the democratically elected government of Israel regardless of whether or not we agree with the decisions taken by that government,” he said.
Did you get that? I’m speaking to those who support this organization, who wrongly believe they are supporting God’s work when they send that $$ in monthly: you are NOT supporting anything but a foreign government folks….God is NO WHERE in this organization. Straight from the horse’s mouth you have read, CUFI IS A SINGLE-ISSUE ORGANIZATION.
And, from the lack of response from other Christian Zionist groups and/or individuals, I’d say they all follow suit
Think about that and then show me where Christ (or Christianity) can be found in “Christian” Zionism…