December 19, 2016

Without Merritt

One of the examples of infiltration of the American Evangelical community by the Left can be seen in the rise of Millennial “journalists” who are in fact change-agents determined to remake America along socialist/Marxist principles.

It almost goes without saying that a big target of this group is the Jewish state. From the time of Israel’s founding until now, the Left has hated the commitment to freedom and Zionism that defines the state of Israel.

In all this mix is a key change-agent: Jonathan Merritt. He is what I call “evangelical royalty,” as the son of former Southern Baptist Convention President James Merritt. A graduate of Liberty University, young Merritt now lives in New York City, where he writes for Religion News Service, the Atlantic, and the Week.  From these perches, Merritt writes from a left-wing perspective even as he pontificates about evangelical issues.

A few years ago, he spoke at an event hosted by the Telos Project, a pro Palestinian group. Merritt addressed “storytelling,” a foundational issue for Millennials. In essence, “storytelling” helps a person shape his or her perspective, for the consumption of a particular audience.

An example of storytelling is the claim by Palestinians that the Israelis oppress them. They do this by claiming, as a specific example, that Israel steals “Palestinian land.”

It is very difficult for a person in the United States reading one of these sad stories to verify its truth. Just as past generations actually believed that evening news anchors were unbiased readers of the news (they were anything but), many readers and viewers believe the negative stories about Israel.

Merritt helps the Palestinians and their advocates peddle the narrative that Israel and her supporters oppress the Palestinians.

Last week, Merritt tweeted the conventional wisdom in Washington and New York that Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a provocative act, and one that could lead to violence:

“This move could ignite conflict across the region. Scary.”

His comment was in response to a Politico tweet, quoting Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway as saying that moving the embassy is a “big priority” for Trump.

According to Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post:

“Since 1948 the US has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or even as part of Israel. This policy of non-recognition – embodied by the US refusal to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem – has been maintained by a bipartisan consensus despite the fact that for the past 20 years, US law has required the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy to Jerusalem.

“When Trump promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, his words were greeted with cynicism.

“In one fell swoop, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem will correct a great deal of the damage that eight years of President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have caused to US credibility worldwide.

“There is no single step the US can take that will do more to rebuild US credibility as an ally than moving the embassy to Jerusalem. By taking the step that none of his predecessors would take to stand in support of the US’s most embattled ally worldwide, Trump will show that America can again be trusted. And moving the embassy will accomplish this goal without placing one US soldier at risk, and will cost US taxpayers no more than a few million dollars for construction and moving fees.”

Now, Merritt’s tweet reveals what I believe to be both his left-wing bias about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and his lack of broad-based understanding of the conflict.

Why do I say that?

Because one can rightly wonder where Merritt has been the last 20 years, as the Arabs and specifically Muslim terrorists have burned the whole of the Middle East, accounting for untold casualties.

Ignite conflict? The Palestinians ignited conflict 50 years ago and have never let up, not for a day. Over 20,000 acts of terrorism have been aimed at Israeli Jews.

Really, Jonathan Merritt? An American embassy in Jerusalem—which would be our nation’s first-ever acknowledgement of Israeli sovereignty in its chose capitol—would be the catalyst for conflict in the region?

I call for accountability for his statement. Is Jonathan Merritt so ignorant of geopolitics and Middle East history that he actually believes his tweet? Or is he merely using a left-wing tactic by dispensing false information?

Further, has a 20-year pattern by American presidents to refuse to move the embassy (in violation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act) to Jerusalem resulted in peace and calm?

In fact, it has led to the opposite, for whenever the Palestinian leadership squeezes a concession from the West, 30 more demands surface immediately. This display of American weakness and not standing with a key ally gives the PA/PLO energy and strength.

Americans of a certain age, who stay abreast of the news and history, understand that Merritt’s tweet crosses over into useful idiot status that would have pleased the Soviet leadership. However, to Merritt’s intended audience—next-generation students and leaders—the tweet is akin to any typical Black Lives Matter propaganda: it sounds reasonable.

So long as “journalists” like Jonathan Merritt get away with their propaganda, we can be assured that conflict will continue to be ignited across the Middle East.