Robert Myles, who has a pretty good series going on reviewing Crossley’s ‘Jesus in an Age of Neoliberalism’, has another post along the same lines- this time focusing on the views of Bruce Malina.
I’d just add two observations (and I am not a ‘fan’ of Malina’s work, but when someone is telling the truth, well, he’s telling the truth).
1- Malina is simply following Shlomo Sands and other researchers when he points out that there is no connection between modern Israelis and ancient Israelites.
2- There is in fact something amiss in our labeling of Israeli’s as ‘settlers’ when they take Palestinian land. And it is in fact the case that Christian Zionism is tremendously problematic as both something Christian and as Zionism.
Indeed, Myles’ quote from Malina isn’t at all evidence of Malina’s ‘wrongness’ on the subject. Quite the contrary, Malina is right when he says-
Consider the language used in the United States relative to contemporary Israel. Israeli squatters are called ‘settlers’; Israel’s army of occupation is called a ‘defense force’; Israel’s theft of Palestinian property is called a ‘return’; Israel’s racist anti-Gentilism is called ‘Zionism’; and any and all criticism of Israel’s chosen people’s behavior is labeled ‘anti-Semitism’!… Dissidence, as my statements indicate, is in essence a semiotic phenomenon employing meaningful signs that result in cognitive disorientation of true believers. Israelis and Christian fundamentalists in the United States find my statements quite disorienting; as a matter of fact, they are sufficient to label me ‘an enemy of Israel,’ or, more derogatorily, ‘an anti-Semite.’
There’s nothing untrue in that paragraph.
As to Myles’ other points they are of less interest to me (sorry). But Myles’ criticism of Malina on the above two points seems inappropriate.