Mike Johnson, the newly elected U.S. House Speaker, wasted no time last week to let the American public know that his first measure of business was to “support” Israel.
“Our nation’s greatest ally in the Middle East is under attack—the first bill that I am going to bring to this floor, will be in support of our dear friend Israel. And we’re overdue in getting that done,” the Louisiana Republican said to cheers from Congress.
“We’re going to show, not only Israel but the entire world that the barbarism of Hamas that we have seen play out on our television screens is wretched and wrong and we are going to stand for the good in that conflict,” he said.
Johnson was picked after weeks of in-fighting after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy.
Haaretz published an illuminating report last week that could offer a glimpse into Johnson’s decision to list Israel as his top agenda item as speaker in an article titled, “New House Speaker Mike Johnson, an Evangelical Christian, Holds Ties to Israel’s Far Right.”
The paper wrote that his selection was “the most significant victory to date for evangelical Christians’ pro-Israel movement.”
The paper noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relies on Evangelical support in the U.S. as his own government moves to the right and was losing some support from American Jews. The 7 October attack by Hamas only moved the “pro-Israel Evangelical” even more “vocally pro-Israel.”
The report pointed to a trip that Johnson took to Israel in 2020 with a group whose CEO is a “social media activist named Avi Abelow, who emigrated from New York more than 30 years ago at age 18 and lives in the West Bank settlement of Efrat.”
During his trip, he visited Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and called it a “fulfillment of biblical prophecy.”
Ben Samuels, the author of the Haaretz article, posted on X: “House Speaker Mike Johnson holds ties to Israel’s far-right—traveling on a private visit organized by a top settler, meeting with the group behind Israel’s judicial overhaul and touring the Temple Mount with an activist against maintaining the status quo.”
TREND FORECAST: The U.S. Congress and Washington are pro-war and pro-Israel. Minus a massive people’s peace movement, they will continue to fund and fight foreign entanglements to levels of warfare that will ignite nuclear warfare.
TRENDPOST: Before the Israel War began on 7 October, we had reported on the escalating tension between Jews and Muslims at Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem, which Jewish Israelis call the compound the Temple Mount.
Days before the 7 October attack by Hamas, Al Jazeera reported that dozens of Israeli settlers “forced their way into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem to mark the fifth day of Sukkot.”
It was the same day that Orthodox Jews were seen spitting on Christian pilgrims in the vicinity. (See “RELAX, ORTHODOX JEWS SPITTING ON CHRISTIANS IS A ‘JEWISH CUSTOM.’”)
It is not uncommon for Israeli forces to storm the Mosque, which has been a source of deep resentment. We reported in May 2021 on one of these incidents that involved some 1,000 Israeli security forces who roughed up more than 300 Palestinians.
To add insult to injury, the attack came on Jerusalem Day, which is the anniversary of Israel’s 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem from Jordan and the building of settlements.