As promised, here is a review of the first installment of CNN's series God's Warriors hosted by Christiane Amanpour. The topic for tonight is "God's Jewish Warriors." I raised the question Monday of whether the series would engage in moral equivalency by lumping together extremists (or God's warriors) from Christianity, Judaism and Islam. As one reader asked, where are the Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism? Overall I am very glad that CNN is airing this type of show in prime time. The producers clearly spent some serious time putting this together and CNN has done a good job getting the news out about the show. It'll be interesting to see the show's ratings.
But that's neither here nor there. What follows is a running commentary as the show aired.
Spooky Lost-style music raises on scenes of people raising their hands to the heavens, on a cross and a man saying that scripture is the foundation of society. They say God is the answer, but there are people saying that Islam is a threat, religion is too involved in politics and suicide bombers are scary.
Amanpour introduces the series and insinuates that "God's warriors" in Christianity, Judaism and Islam all believe that violence could fix society's problems.
The first story, in an attempt to show how some Jews believe that parts of the Middle East are for the Jews to settle, shows a woman whose father was killed by Palestinians. The family continues to live in the West Bank despite the conflicts.
The show transitions nicely into showing how the Jewish people who believe they have a right to the West Bank inflame sentiments in the Islamic world.
Now we're seeing a nice history of the Six-Day War and the recapture of the Old City.
And now we're at our first commercial. "Later, Jewish settlers turn to terror ... and a plot to destroy one of Islam's holiest sites."
And now we're back. Tanks, soldiers, machine guns, and more on the 1967 Six-Day War. The result of the Six-Day War -- the West Bank settlements -- is now the focus of the series. Scenes from conferences and fundraisers for building up the Jewish settlements are amusing from a Michael Moore investigation style.
Now we're off to another break. Coming up, a Jewish warrior of God tells CNN that the proper response to terrorism is revenge.
Once again we're back in America talking about how the $3 billion provided by the U.S. is something members of Congress could never vote against. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that so much focus is on what's going on in the U.S.
Now we're being told that President George H.W. Bush was nearly a hero for taking on the Jewish lobby. But he backed down just before the 1992 GOP convention. Now we're talking about a hero of the show, President Jimmy Carter, and his efforts to address the matter.
Now we're off to another break and I just accidentally hit the publish button, so everything after this comes after my initial publishing.
The story is now coming full circle as evangelical Christians are introduced as financial backers of the Jewish settlement movement. Portrayed are members of a supposed evangelical church (whatever that means these days) that takes their Jewish heritage so seriously that they worship sometimes on Friday nights. They also dance around in blue dresses and bang on tambourines.
Oh and if you didn't know, the alliance between evangelical Christians and Israel is growing! Lots of money is raised from Christian Zionists to fund bad stuff in Israel and the West Bank. More Americans are supporting Israel by moving there.
Overall the failure to better define "some evangelicals" is a major failing of the show. Evangelicals are not monolithic on anything related to Israel and Judaism.
We're dealing now with more history of the agreement between Egypt and Israel to give back the Sinai Peninsula. I think I like the history portions of this show the most. The plot to destroy the Dome of the Rock gets little attention these days. I'm glad this is being discussed.
An advertisement for Anderson Cooper 360° comes up. Did anyone know Hurricane Dean is coming?
Now we're being told that the Jewish man who killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, because of Rabin's to his efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, is in the same moral category as suicide bombers.
Another break and I'm thankful for DVR because it's getting late.
Things are getting pretty violent as we see Muslims and Jewish terrorists going at it. The rising violence results in support to the radical right ring of Israeli politics. Jewish terrorists are now planning to attack a Palestinian school for girls with a homemade bomb. "Jewish terror to match Palestinian terror," Amanpour says. Bomb makers are stopped and sentenced to prison. Not all Jews condemn the criminals.
After what I hope is the last break (my alertness is fading), it's interesting to see that what was yesterday's news is now part of history. The evacuation of the Gaza settlements seems so fresh in my mind, and it's fascinating to see how it played out in relation to the last 50-plus years.
The violence between the Jewish settlers and the Jewish military and police is amazing to watch. I don't remember this being reported in U.S. media. Does anyone else remember how much coverage it received?
And concluding with the statement that people all over the world are fearful that modern society -- whatever that is -- is trampling on their religious beliefs, Amanpour wraps up the first in this series and I'm off to bed.