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Israel’s red cow will blow up the region

August 16, 2023 at 7:30 pm

This picture taken on April 27, 2023 shows members of the Boneh Israel (“Building Israel”) organisation Moriel Bareli (L) and Haim Berkovits feeding red heifer cows imported by the organisation from the US, at a farm in Hamadya near the northern city of Beit Shean. [Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

A report by the Hebrew Channel 12 a few days ago highlighted the repercussions of the rise of religious Zionism in Israel, its efforts to turn it into an extremist Jewish religious state, and the increasing pace of preparations for the construction of the alleged temple by the current Israeli government, the culmination of which is to accelerate the pace of the Judaisation of Jerusalem.

Settlers are awaiting the appearance of a ‘blemish free’ red cow, which, according to Judaism, is central to the prediction about the “end of times”, and therefore paves the way for the acceleration of the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque to make way for the so-called Temple. 

The cow’s promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world, is what far-right Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has been waiting for before he storms Al-Aqsa Mosque. 

So important is the red cow, that the so-called Temple Institute has dedicated itself, since its inception in 1987, to find the cow. It went on to raise funds to transplant frozen embryos into the uterus of a cow raised in a local barn in an attempt to employ biotechnology to fulfill the biblical prophecy in a programme it called “Raising the Red Cow in Israel”.

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The institute transferred the research to the US state of Texas, as it is a larger market for raising cows, and received donations from local zionist groups which are funded by evangelical Christians. The best five candidates were then selected and shipped by air to Israel on 15 September 2022, and they are being raised secretly at a farm belonging to the Temple Institute in Beisan in the northern Jordan Valley.

Israel will now use this red cow – if one of them is deemed blemish free – to impose new facts on the ground in occupied Jerusalem.

This myth reveals that the Zionist project itself is a reactionary project that is far from modernity, and that this extremist religious class is the one leading the Zionist project, not just Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. This group enjoys government support because it has become the majority of the ruling class, although its ideas are far from rational.

The Zionist project presents itself as an advanced modern project, with Israel an oasis of development, progress and democracy in the region. The reality is, however, contrary to this. With the rise of the right-wing leadership, it has become clear that this project is based on baseless religious myths, and the group that describes itself as secular and used to see Israel as a haven for persecuted Jews from Europe has been sidelined by a religious group that believes in biblical and Talmudic interpretations and adopts the most extreme of them. This group adopts Judaisation in Jerusalem and settlement in the occupied West Bank without restrictions or borders, working to religiously resolve the identity of Jerusalem, annex the West Bank and carry out a policy of ethnic cleansing towards the Palestinians.

Even those parties that describe themselves as secular have allied themselves with the religious Zionist current and facilitated it, including the current leader of the “secular” opposition, Yair Lapid. 

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As the world talks about political solutions, Israel is moving backwards, and becoming ever more racist. Through the years global powers have chosen to support the colonial Zionist project until the end. Even now, as it witnesses internal turmoil and disunity, world leaders are ready to support Israel diplomatically by expanding normalisation and militarily by providing it with the latest weapons and technologies, while Palestinians are told to remain calm or face a boycott if they resist the occupation.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.