I don’t mind that the streets of my city are named after the sons of the British Empire.That’s simply part of our history.
My boyhood home was on Palmerston a street named after Henry Temple the former Prime Minster (1855-1865), a biblical illiterate and anti-Semite who for political reasons wanted to see Jews return to Palestine “There exists at the present time among the Jews dispersed over Europe, a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to return to Palestine… the Jews could be useful in buttressing the collapsing Ottoman Empire, thus helping to accomplish the key object of British foreign policy in the area.”
Palmerston’s illegitimate daughter married Anthony Ashley Cooper (Lord Shaftesbury) a real true believer of end time theology. It turns out that Palmerston (Lord Cupid) was a real sexual libertine almost totally ignorant of the bible. He admired the zeal of his stepson Shaftesbury, a genuine reformer and promoter of seemingly lost causes. He was the real deal while his father-in-law was a crude imperialist. The Jews for Palmerston were simply pawns which could be used against Russian and French influence in the holy land.
Shaftesbury for all his good intentions was a Christian Zionist who fell under the sway of Protestant fundamentalist millenarianism—end time nonsense now known as Christian Zionism. In this scenario the Jews would return to Palestine and be converted before the Second Coming of Jesus. This phantasmagoria, believed by 50 million Americans, has caused chaos in Palestine today. Sadly it has propped Israel up despite its blatant anti-Judaic theology.
No serious Jew could possibly buy into this trivialization of their ancestral faith.
Gershom Gorenberg, an Orthodox commentator in Israel, had this to say about Christian Zionism in his book The End of Days:
“The Jews die or convert. As a Jew, I can’t feel very comfortable with the affections of somebody who looks forward to that scenario…..They don’t love real Jewish people. They love us as characters in their story, in their play, and that’s not who we are, and we never auditioned for that part, and the play is not one that ends up good for us. If you listen to the drama they’re describing, essentially it’s a five-act play in which the Jews disappear in the fourth act.”
No matter Netanyahu, Sharon and the AIPAC crowd are happy to dance with this fundamentalist abuse of scripture and which sends millions to Israel and writes blanket checks to the apartheid state
Shaftesbury was beside himself with evangelical fervour.
I shall always remember that God put it into my head to conceive the plan for His honour, gave me the influence to prevail with Palmerston and provided a man for the situation who can remake Jerusalem in her glory.”
Inadvertently this decent man became the embodiment of Shakespeare’s wisdom placed in the mouth of Antony in Julius Caesar:
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.