Trent Franks On Why We Should Support Israel Against Hamas: The Bible Tells Me So

Of the reasons someone might choose to support Israel, "God says so" would obviously count among the most irrational.

Yet Trent Franks, a Republican Congressman from Arizona, espoused this kind of rank superstition last night on KTAR (620 a.m.) radio in reference to the Jewish state's current war with Hamas:

"There's an old Abrahamic covenant that says, 'I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse it,' and so I feel pretty confident it's a good idea to be on Israel's side," Franks said Sunday night on News/Talk 92-3 KTAR's "Jay Lawrence Show."

Franks, a Republican, added that Israel "is very much like we are and, if we turn our back on Israel, I believe that the equation will be so bad for America, so bad for the world, that we simply don't understand."

Franks has been a prominent supporter of Israel -- and now we know why. It's his religion, first and foremost.

Here's the passage to which he's referring, as it reads in the King James Bible:

Genesis 12

 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 

In fact, this passage is often used by hardcore Christians or Jews to justify an alliance between the United States and Israel. Bible-thumping talk-show host Dennis Prager in 2002  claimed the concept was "verifiably true," and for proof he offered the examples of what happened to Spain and Germany because of those countries' treatment of Jews.

Like most other parts of the Bible, though, the meaning of this passage is in dispute. Muslims, not surprisingly, don't seem to agree with the interpretation of Franks' and others.

With the lack of theological agreement over the meaning, combined with its status as a quaint anachronism, it seems clear that Genesis 12:1-3 is, at best, a questionable foreign policy guide for our country's leaders. -- Ray Stern