Opinion

The Hand of God and the Soleimani Miracle

In this Sept. 18, 2016 file photo, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran.
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Iranian Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani was a religious man, but no more so than Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun, as can be seen in a totally serious article (“Haman and His Aides; Let Us Bless the Miracle”) in the totally serious newspaper Makor Rishon. There, a leader of the totally serious religious-Zionist movement, which is shaping Israeli society more than any other movement, has written that Soleimani was eliminated by the Holy One, blessed be He.

Through detailed analysis, Bin-Nun provides evidence of divine intervention in the assassination and compares it to an event in the Book of Esther, which describes how the Jews of Persia were saved from annihilation. Bin-Nun notes that “Soleimani, like Haman, spearheaded the plot to exterminate us” and that “experts at the Pentagon proposed several options to their president, with assassination being the most extreme – something raised only theoretically. They didn’t imagine that their president would choose that one, in his typical manner.”

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In other words, Donald Trump is the emissary of Israel’s God. This claim joins another familiar one heard among religious Zionists: Benjamin Netanyahu is also the emissary of God.

I’ll call it the “Soleimani miracle,” and hey, that’s my copyrighted term, the modest role God has bestowed on me as part of the greater miracle. Bin-Nun compares the Soleimani miracle to the great miracles of the establishment of the State of Israel, the Exodus from Egypt and, of course, the miracle of Purim in Persia.

Bin-Nun is convinced that all aspects of the Soleimani miracle attest to the existence of the hand of God, with human beings as his messengers. He urges his readers to give thanks to the miracle performed by God so that “recognition of this fact will spread through Israel, perhaps throughout the world, otherwise it would only constitute one more dramatic news item.” The Soleimani miracle can’t be allowed to become a mundane event. It must resonate in your consciousness.

A secular Israeli finds himself isolated, surrounded by crazed religious fundamentalists. American evangelical Christians believe in redemption through Jesus; Shi’ites see the fourth caliph, Ali, as the sole heir of Mohammed; and religious Zionists see Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel as the beginning of Redemption.

These fundamentalists besiege the secular person; they’re closer to one another than they are to him. They all yearn for divine redemption, striving for its realization in the overcrowded and dirty country in which this secular person lives, works, pays taxes and raises children. They affect his life much more than he affects theirs. They’re crazy. All of them.

And they want war. On the road to their heaven on earth, they’ll shatter the life of the secular person, who only wants to be left alone. Bin-Nun’s worldview is closer to Soleimani’s than it is to mine, even though Bin-Nun and I are both Jewish, because both of those views see the hand of God where it isn’t.

Bin-Nun’s worldview is becoming the dominant one in this country. The miracle that his psychosis makes him believe happened resonates in the collective consciousness. This belief is linked to the violent attempt by Shi’ite Islam, nurtured in Iran, to take over the Middle East, and to the delirious evangelism pulling my country’s strings from America.

These people don’t see me. For me, they’re cut from the same cloth. They love and understand one another much more than they love me. They’re my enemies.