If you haven’t heard in the news already, Michele Bachmann, a former U.S. Representative from Minnesota, made some pretty interesting comments Nov. 3 on Family Research Council radio about Israel that have gotten some pretty heavy media attention. She stated in an interview with Washington Watch Live’s Tony Perkins that Israel is a “a miracle of the hand of God”, but continued to state how all Jews should convert to Christianity as soon as possible because the rapture is coming and they need to “face God’s wrath.” The congresswoman had just returned from a trip to Israel, and went on in the interview to talk about her faith and religion and how the “spirit is speaking to each of us.”
While I am pro-Israel, and I fully support congresswomen such as Bachmann, I don’t necessarily believe that the claims she has made are entirely beneficial for the argument of the pro-Israel movement.
Israel has enough problems having to brand and represent itself as a state that deserves recognition. As a primarily Jewish state, it already has to deal with Judaism affecting its reputation. It’s essentially a theocracy, and people usually try to steer away from that.
What I’ve been taught in marketing Israel is that it is important to keep it secular, and appeal to the business and economic aspects of the nation. Israel has the second largest number of startups of any nation in the world, with it’s major metropolitan city, Tel Aviv, being a hub for the startup culture. Israel is innovative. Israel is also progressive medically and socially, being one of the first countries to recognize gay marriage. So they have some pretty good things going for them — but as a holy place? I don’t know if that sways people, even though some do believe it does. I am not denying their religious beliefs — I just don’t know how effective it is in attracting pro-Israel supporters.
Additionally, former Rep. Bachmann stating that all the Jews living in Israel and all over the world should convert is so incredibly inappropriate, it’s crazy. Yes, I could be coming at this from a completely biased standpoint because I am Jewish, but then again, how is that appropriate? On a live radio show? Do you think she maybe just didn’t realize what was coming out of her mouth? Or that it was impulsive? I’m not really sure. But I’m pretty sure she meant it.
She is known for bringing religion into her politics, which, from a personal standpoint, I don’t necessarily agree with. I think we should keep them separate.
So, Michele Bachmann, I hear you. I heard what you said. And while I respect how you feel religiously, and allow you to have your own opinion, I don’t like what you said. And while I love that you love Israel and will advocate for it, I don’t really love that you made it about your religion and discriminated against another group. I really just don’t.