It's a wretched mistake for Americans to give uncritical support to the modern Israel because the ancient Israel holds a privileged place in the Scriptures.He goes on to suggest that "the ancient Israel" of the Scriptures is now embodied by the Christian Church. I can only imagine what a Jew might have to say about that, but I think there's already plenty to say about the small passage quoted.
A number of interesting terms jump out of the text. It's one thing to say that it's a mistake to give uncritical support to something, but to characterize the mistake of giving uncritical support as "wretched" calls out for analysis. The Oxford English Dictionary says that "wretched" means "distinguished by base, vile, or unworthy character or quality" and says that something that is "wretched" is also "contemptible". So a "wretched mistake" is a pretty bad mistake. Surely it's right to to frown upon "uncritical" support for anything, but when I come across students in my classroom who defend their views in an uncritical way, I don't usually think of them as wretches who are base, vile, or downright contemptible. I think that they are young and inexperienced and that they will eventually learn to be more critical.
On the other hand, when someone like John Kerry comes along, claiming to be a Catholic while at the same time saying that there is nothing at all wrong with endorsing policies that would make it much easier to get abortions, I don't hesitate for a moment to think that such a person is wretched, because that is a person who ought to know better, whether or not he does, in fact, know better. So perhaps Tucker thinks that the folks who are less critical than he in their support of the modern state of Israel ought to know better, whether or not they do, in fact, know better.
Ought to know what better? That they should be more critical of the modern state of Israel? Critical of what? Tucker doesn't say. He seems to think that the faults of the modern state of Israel are obvious enough that he doesn't need to say what they are. If you support the state of Israel, he appears to be saying, there is a good chance that you are doing so uncritically, since any critical person would hesitate to give them support, especially in light of the fact that, Hey, these folks aren't even the real Jews of Scripture anyway!
But what of that last bit? We're not supposed to give Israel "uncritical" support merely on the grounds that the Scriptures speak of them as the Chosen People of God. Granting for a moment that "uncritical" support is not an intellectually sound approach to geopolitical problems, surely there is an implication running through this text that one of the reasons why we need to be more critical in our support of Israel is because they are not the Chosen People of Scritpure, we> are. If they were the Chosen People of Scripture, we might be warranted in cutting them a little more slack.
This has got to be one of the most naive and dangerous views about the Middle East Problem that I have ever seen. Forget the Chosen People of Scripture argument--as laughable as that is it is at least roughly within the bounds of sanity. But to think that folks who support Israel do so "uncritically" because they don't, in the end, feel the same way about Israel that Jim Tucker appears to feel, is just plain bizarre. It seems to me that it is at least possible that the folks who support the state of Israel simply have different first principles than Jim Tucker, and that is why they come to different conclusions about what level of support is warranted.
So Tucker has conflated the truth that we are all Sons and Daughters of Abraham with the strangely familiar accusation that contemporary Jews aren't the Real Jews of Scripture. That accusation, of course, has been bandied about by plenty of folks for the last 150 years or so, if not longer, but it is distressing to find it in a 21st century Catholic writer.
In fact, it's more than distressing: it's wretched.