To try to maintain that religion and national politics are entirely separate is more wishful thinking than fact especially in the case of Israel, America and Iran. It is also a dangerous, if not naive position because it stops people from connecting the dots, from seeing the true picture.
Recently, on another blog, the following sweeping statement was made: to condemn Jews for what Israel does is nonsense.
Now I think that this is a curious statement, one that, for some reason, attempts to clearly separate the Jewish religion from the actions of the Israeli Government. But is it feasible to separate religion from the actions of any government?
Let's start with George Bush, the President of the United States, a man who talks daily to a Christian God, who makes no bones about stating that he is on a Divine Mission, a crusade, that God is on his side. Not much separation there! In his country (unlike in some European nations) the Christian religion is very strong. There are many devout Christians (and Jews) in the Congress and the Senate. The Presidential candidates try to outdo each other in their pious profession of religious belief. In America there are also all manner of Christian fundamentalist groups, some of whom are pushing for a nuclear attack on Iran so that they can, in the firestorm of Armageddon, go to heaven without dying (the Rapturists). Separation - what separation?
Now what about if we take the Muslim religion as another example. Here too religion and politics are inextricably intertwined. There is talk of a Caliphate, a union of Muslim nations run by a Muslim theocracy. In Iran such a theocracy is already in operation with religion strongly influencing and controlling the way the country is run.
Now back to Israel. Israel is, for Jews, their religious homeland, the land of the prophets, of Moses. Jews the world over have been flooding Israel with money and support for decades. I have closely watched the growth of Israel over the last seven years, watched as they have continued to crush the Palestinians, to commit genocide, to commit endless atrocities, to steal more land, to humiliate those whom they have occupied for forty years. And what is fueling their atrocious behaviour?
Their religion of course, their unshakable belief that they are 'The Children of God', that they are special, that all others on earth are goys and therefore unworthy. There are some secular Israelis but the bulk of them are driven by their religion (just as devout Muslims are driven by their religion and many Christians are driven by their religion). And, of course, all religions preach exclusivity for their followers and claim that THEIR god is THE god!
Of course, the Jewish religion not only influences what the State of Israel does but its influence in America via the Neocons is also strong (see my Rogues Gallery post). I've read hundreds of articles that that clearly show that the Neocons are actually manipulating American policy to advantage Israel's own imperial ambitions. It really does pay to read widely and keep an open mind!
My point is that the relationship between religion and politics is always blurred and that religion affects the way people see things and therefore their behaviour. The stronger the belief, the more affected the behaviour. Once I was very religious so I know just how strong the effect can be!
I have argued long and hard on my blog for the lessening of the influence of all religions because religion can and often does lead to a dangerous, divisive, conflict-prone mindset. In fact, the current conflict between the Jewish-Muslim-Christian ideologies could well escalate and destroy our world in the near future.
You can't unscramble eggs by proclamation!