MembersWho’s More Anointed: Pence, Netanyahu, Abbas or Messianic Jews?

Pence’s recent visit to Jerusalem again highlighted how misplaced the use of the biblical term “messianic” has become.

By Aviel Schneider |
Photo: Flash90

Who can most claim to be an “anointed one” – a Jew who believes in Jesus, an Orthodox disciple of the Lubavitch Rebbe (Chabad), US Vice President Mike Pence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas?

Pence’s address to the Israel Knesset was condemned by Arab lawmakers as being “messianic” in nature. “Pence is a dangerous man with a messianic vision that will drive the whole region into the abyss,” warned Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List faction. On Israeli radio, another Arab Knesset member derided Pence as a “dark Evangelical with messianic politics.”

The previous week, Israel’s top liberal daily newspaper, Ha’aretz, condemned a speech by Mahmoud Abbas to the PLO Central Committee as being similarly “messianic.” In it, Abbas expressed a desire that “Allah would destroy Donald Trump’s house.” Under the headline “A Switch From Politics to Palestinian Messianism,” religious expert Shuki Friedman wrote that a religious-messianic vision is the driving force behind the radical Palestinian nationalism of Hamas. This vision does not recognize any compromise, and desires to rule over all of the...

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