Don’t Gimme that Old Time Religion
Israel runs two public school systems: one secular, the other religious. The elementary school social studies curriculum for the later includes a section called “Love of the Land and the Temple” in which students are told (according to the Israeli newspaper HaAretz) that “It is impossible to talk about the Land of Israel without speaking about the Temple. The Land of Israel and the Temple are attached to one another… The Temple is at the pinnacle of the aspirations of the Jewish people and humanity as a whole.” As part of their studies, students are urged to pray “from the bottom of my heart for the Temple to be rebuilt” and “to have the privilege of carrying out [ritual animal] sacrifice there.”
If all Jews did was pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, I wouldn’t worry. After all, we’ve been praying for this for the past 2000 years and it has yet to work. But if we are raising generations of Jewish militants who see animal sacrifice (the Judaism of the Priests) rather than ethical living (the Judaism of the Prophets) as the pinnacle of Judaism, and who view the Muslim presence on the Temple Mount as illegitimate, and who seek Temple restoration and the destruction of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque we are setting the stage for Armageddon.
As Israel and its military become more religious the chances of a war over the Temple Mount becomes more immanent. Any attempt to rebuild the Temple will unite the entire Muslim world (most likely with the backing of Russia and perhaps even the European Union) and trigger a world war against Israel and, given the Evangelical support for a rebuilt Temple, the United States. The only winner in this war will be China.
The time is coming when Israel is going to force secular and liberal Jews like myself to support a Jewish theocratic State of Israel or abandon Zionism altogether. For me this will be an easy choice.