This article argues that discourse used to define and understand Israel
by prominent American Christian Zionists is a discourse of national
idealisation. Drawing on Durkheim’s (2008)
notion of symbols as sources of social solidarity, I argue that this
imagined Israel reflects conservative social and military values that
are shared among Christian Zionists and their supporters – values which
many in this broad category see the United States failing to uphold.
Following this, I show how one of America’s most prominent pastors –
John Hagee – and his organisation – Christians United for Israel – have
taken on the role of a contemporary Jeremiah, criticising the American
government for not adequately supporting Israel. This article concludes
by considering how Christian Zionists are calling America to renew and
align itself with God by ‘blessing’ Israel, and acting like Israel.
During the last decade of the twentieth century, leading Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin has returned several times to the issue of redemption and the figure of the Messiah, both heavily laden with political-theological meanings in Israeli culture. The article explores Levin’s messianic moments as an alternative to the prominent Israeli discourses regarding messianism. Instead of entirely debunking the Jewish messianic tradition, as other Israeli playwrights of the period have done (and while scathingly criticizing it), Levin recharges this tradition with new political and theatrical meanings. Levin’s drama includes a line of weak, seemingly “failing” Messiahs and, through them, asks questions about the conceptualization of dramatic time and the power structures of spectatorship, within and without the theatre.