You may have heard news that one of the world’s foremost Christian Zionist leaders, Rev. Mike Evans, published an anguished and angry op-ed excoriating Israeli Jews who are supporting the ouster of Netanyahu and the upcoming swearing in of a new coalition government to be headed by Naftali Bennett. Now I’m a rabbi, not a New Testament scholar, so I might be showing my ignorance here. But given that Evans specifically describes the anti-Bibi Jews as forming a chorus shouting “crucify him!” in their satanically-inspired desire to end Bibi’s time as Prime Minister, I felt I should do a little fact checking to see whether Evans has a point? Is Benjamin Netanyahu Christlike?
After what can only be described as minutes of painstaking research, I regret to share my perhaps surprising conclusion: no, Netanyahu is actually really really not like Jesus. Like, those two are super different.
Top 10 Differences between Netanyahu and Jesus Christ
- Bibi: Quote most remembered for: “The Arabs are voting in droves!” / JC: Quote most remembered for: “Love your enemies…” (Matt 5:44)
- Bibi: Wields state power and wants to keep it / JC: Defied state power and was ultimately murdered by the state
- Bibi: Doesn’t keep kosher but engages in l’shon hara (harmful and cruel speech, which is forbidden in Jewish law) / JC: Kept kosher and warned about the moral consequences of l’shon hara – urging people to pay attention to the words that come out of their mouths
- Bibi: Doesn’t observe the Sabbath / JC: Observed the Sabbath and commented on special circumstances when other Jewish values should take priority over strict ritual observance of the Sabbath
- Bibi: Has lied to so many people, friends and foes alike, so many times that even those politically aligned with him want him out of power and no one can trust his word on anything / JC: the opposite
- Bibi: Put on trial for 3 different cases for corruption. Claims that the trials are a sham but they’re actually not. Faces possible fines or jail time. / JC: Put on trial for staying true to his spiritual and moral convictions. The trial was actually a sham. He was actually crucified by the imperial authorities.
- Bibi: followers of his party have been shrinking over time / JC: followers of his party have grown into the billions
- Bibi: alpha male narcissist / JC: charismatic altruist
- Bibi: demagogue / JC: demigod (not trying to cause a theological kerfuffle here… just going for the easy laugh. Also, no disrespect intended.)
- Bibi: has lived a life of privilege and luxury / JC: not so much, though did have special access to unlimited loaves of bread and fishes