David Cameron: my belief in Israel is ‘very deep and inside of me’ and ‘indestructible’
Against increasing anti-Israel sentiment and expressions of anti-Semitism, one may well ask what is the source of Mr Cameron’s feeling, and why is he giving this feeling any credence at all? For this feeling which is ‘very deep inside’ of him is love.
He just did not call it so.
He spoke of being an ‘unswerving friend’ to Israel, and not only an unswerving friend, but also a ‘true friend’. This is not so much the phileo love of friendship – even though it doubtless be that – or the storge of kinship, but the agape which endures for better or worse. In promising to be ‘a critical friend’, he assures Israel that, although her actions may at times be repellent or offensive, she shall be supported by a Cameron-led government because unconditional love demands precisely that: it is an unbreakable bond.
But if this love does not have its origins in ‘the tragedies of history’ or ‘the realities of today’ or even the Conservative Party’s ‘unstinting support for Israel through the decades’, whence comes it?
When something is spoken of as being ‘very deep inside’ of one, it is effectively written on one’s heart. David Cameron has previously spoken of himself as being a Zionist – again, fearless in his use of a religio-political construct which has, wrongly and unjustifiably, acquired all manner of offensive connotations.
By expressing his love for Israel, Mr Cameron is giving his imprimatur to the Conservative Friends of Israel, to the accomplishments of Lord Balfour, and to the Christian Zionist movement. When he speaks of ‘the right of Israel to exist, to defend itself and to live in peace and security’, he affirms not only the Jewish national homeland but also the unique contribution that Judaism has made to the culture and history of all mankind.
Israel is fallible, sometimes cruel, harsh, unjust and infuriating. But so are all family members, and, although such behaviour may cause us occasionally to dislike them, the love endures; indeed, it is strengthened, for it shown not to be based on the superficial and seeming. And Israel is family, not merely by the historic virtue of Lord Balfour’s patronage, but because we are united in the fraternity of democracy and by the good and noble pursuit of liberty and justice.
The roots of Zionism are deep in history and theology. It is acutely political because it is concerned with the outworking of the religion of a people living in a land surrounded by those who seek to ‘cleanse’ them, purge them, eradicate them from that which they were legitimately bequeathed in perpetuity.
The source of David Cameron’s love for Israel is God, for he is the source of all love. And this love is not a defensive reaction to Jewish victimhood and martyrdom, or to the abhorrent denigration of Judaism, but an expression of unbreakable Christian solidarity in a world of aggressive secularism, hostile atheism and enlightened liberalism.