Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

Friends in Deed

Evangelical Christians have emerged as Israel’s staunchest allies—even as some American Jews are made uneasy by the show of support

Print Email
Pastor John Hagee addresses a crowd waving Israeli and U.S. flags at a 2008 Jerusalem rally. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)

“My time with evangelical Christians has made me a better Jew,” says David Brog, the executive director of Christians United For Israel (CUFI). “It made me take my faith more seriously.” Evangelicals also take Judaism seriously, a conviction that over the last 20 years has variously surprised, pleased, and frightened Jews across the American political spectrum, even as the country’s massive evangelical movement has proven to be Israel’s unshakable ally. While the current occupant of the White House and his Jewish advisors appear eager for any excuse to keep Jerusalem at arm’s distance, evangelicals continue to love the Jewish state.

We’re sitting in the lobby of a Georgetown hotel, and Brog is a bit jet-lagged after just returning from a trip to Israel, where he escorted a group of 600 evangelicals. For many of them it was their first trip to the Holy Land. “Even as a Jew,” says Brog, “I can appreciate the excitement in the eyes of my Christian friends as they trace the trajectory of Jesus’s life.”

Brog’s evangelicals meet Israel’s leaders, like President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Brog’s cousin and Israel’s most decorated soldier. “He was one of my heroes even before I knew we were related,” explains the 43-year-old lawyer who looks more like a mid-career Christian Slater than his cousin, the military hero.

While escorting evangelicals through the landmarks of their faith, Brog introduces his charges to the modern Middle East. The Galilee, where Jesus lived and worked, is where Hezbollah rains rockets down on the villages from which Jesus recruited his disciples; Jerusalem, where he died for man’s sins, is protected by a security barrier against the suicidal designs of the enemies of God’s chosen people. And for evangelicals, even as the Jews rejected Jesus, God never rejected the Jews, who remain God’s chosen people.

The Biblical verse that inspires American evangelicals’ love for the Jews, the nation that gave them their savior, is Genesis 12:3:  “I will bless them that bless thee,” God told Abraham, “and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Their philo-Semitism is a reversal of the millennia-old Christian tradition of replacement theology, or the belief that God’s covenant with the Jews was superseded by his covenant with the church through Jesus Christ. Central to this understanding is the interpretation of the word “Israel.” “Evangelicals read the Bible literally,” says Brog. “If you take Israel to mean Christ’s church, then this can be used as an example of God rejecting the Jews. But if you believe Israel means the Jews, then the Bible becomes a Zionist book.”

The fact that sacred history is alive to evangelicals can make them powerful advocates for the modern state of Israel. Their witness extends beyond the congregations, small churches, and mega-cathedrals spread throughout the country and now reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., where Brog shows them how to put their philo-Semitism to practical use. “When they come up to meet with their congressmen or senators,” says Brog, “we share with them the details of timely legislation like the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act.” That is to say, they show them how to support it.

And it is because evangelicals read the Bible literally that their political language describing Israel’s trials is of a different weight and timbre. For the U.S. policy establishment, the question is whether Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats against the Jewish state may be a rhetorical ploy or a boastful appraisal of Iranian military capability. For evangelicals, there is no question that Ahmadinejad has identified himself as the latest in the long line of the hunters—murderers of Jews—and that he must be stopped by any means necessary.

So, why are American Jews suspicious of Israel’s new best friends? It is both because of and despite the fact that, as Brog says, “for most of our history, Jews have had a very lonely walk.”

“Two thousand years of history suggests that Christian religious fervor is not necessarily a good thing for Jews,” says Walter Russell Mead, a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations who is working on a book about American support for Israel. “If the public culture of the U.S. is more ostentatiously and visibly Christian, I am not surprised that Jews get a little nervous.”

And yet as Mead has explained in a recent series of posts on his blog on the American Interest website, it is hardly news that most Americans stand strongly with Israel—regardless of the feelings of the elites. “Public opinion is moving even more in a pro-Israel direction,” Mead told me over the phone. “While the American elites drift the other way.” This increased polarization between the American public and the elites on the question of Israel, Mead believes, is what’s behind the Israel Lobby phenomenon, or the notion that powerful forces behind the scenes are driving U.S. policy in a direction contrary to the interests and wishes of American taxpayers.

“If you’re a university professor at an average east coast college, most of your gentile colleagues are not very sympathetic to Israel. Support for Israel is fading away with everyone you know, except for Jews,” Mead explains. Since we all tend to universalize from our own experience, he suggests, “it seems that ‘everybody’ changed their minds on Israel”—making it hard for university professors to understand why Israel continues to attract support in Congress. What they miss is the fact that the professoriate’s stance on Israel is highly atypical of the way that the rest of the country feels. “Occam’s razor says you don’t need to posit an occult force to explain why Americans support Israel,” Mead says.

In fact, American support for Zionism predates not only the current-day state of Israel, but also the founding of the United States. The early settlers of this country gave their children Hebrew names and imagined they were founding a city on a hill, the New Jerusalem. Still, as Peter Grose explained in his 1984 book Israel in the Mind of America, “It was the idealized Jew of scripture, rather than contemporary reality, that inspired early America.” England was the actual engine of Christian Zionism where, as Barbara Tuchman documents in her Bible and Sword, major figures across the centuries including David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill argued for a restoration of the Jews to their biblical homeland. It wasn’t until after World War II that Americans took over the leadership of the Christian Zionist movement.

“The British couldn’t juggle a relationship with both the Arabs and Zionists,” says Mead. “Their experience of trying to run the Balfour mandate is what soured many of the Brits on Zionism, and as a weak power they were dependent on Arab sentiment to hold their position. The United States realized that we could do things the Brits couldn’t, like triangulate. The Arab-Israeli straddle is not the only one we do. We managed the Franco-German straddle, and we had the same experience with Greece and Turkey.”

Still, the descendants of those early American Christians who, for instance, gave Yale University a Hebrew motto in the 17th century, were not thrilled by the Zionist project 300 years later. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the mainline Protestant churches dispatched missionaries to the Holy Land, where, after finding little success in converting Jews and Muslims, they began to preach America’s civic religion of democracy and liberty. In the Middle East, a doctrine that would elide confessional difference was an attractive alternative to minorities seeking equal footing with the region’s Sunni Muslim majority. Arab nationalism bound Christians together with their Muslim countrymen in a new, nonreligious identity premised on their, ostensibly, shared history and language.

In helping to foster Arab nationalism, American missionaries played a large role in promoting what was to become the ideological underpinnings of the first wave of anti-Zionism. Given their past sympathies with the Arab nationalist project and antipathy to the Jewish one, it is no wonder that mainline churches in America are more likely to promote boycotts of Israel rather than support the Jewish state.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and Israel’s goodwill ambassador to the Evangelical movement, understood back in the ’80s that the evangelical movement was a powerful political as well as cultural force. In spite of stiff opposition from the American Jewish community, he reached out to these unlikely partners.

“When I first brought Jerry Falwell to a synagogue in Chicago 30 years ago,” Eckstein told me in a phone call, “I had my head handed to me. He was not just a lightning rod, but he was seen as the enemy incarnate. At the time, the Jewish community looked to the right for anti-Semitism, not to the left. Jews were traditionally liberal Democrats. So, the Jewish community was scared and anxious, and the first question they asked when they saw Falwell on cover of Time magazine was, ‘Is this good or bad for the Jews?’ Their sense was that it was bad.”

Rabbi Eckstein pointed out that just as you don’t agree with your friends about everything, the Jewish community didn’t have to agree with the evangelicals on every concern—especially issues like abortion, prayer in school, and more recently gay marriage—just to have a fruitful relationship on Israel.

“At a time when you had Methodists supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Pat Robertson was saying we need to stand with Israel, the Jewish community was caught in a situation. They realized that Israel needs friends, and that mainline Christians can’t be relied on, and here is this growing movement that stands with Israel.” In time, as Eckstein explains, the same Jewish organizations that once shunned him for his outreach to evangelicals came to see him as a godsend. “Five or six years ago Hadassah wouldn’t take an ad from us, and now we fund one of their projects.”

Nonetheless, even Eckstein couldn’t have entirely foreseen a situation in which evangelical support would appear to be essential to the survival of the Jewish state. “I didn’t realize 35 years ago that Israel and the Jewish people would be so needy for friends, so alone facing this existential threat and that the ones who would come to stand by them would be these evangelical Christians.”

Brog was similarly caught by surprise when he was working on the Hill as Senator Arlen Specter’s chief of staff. “Whenever there was a terror attack in Israel, it wasn’t Jews from Philadelphia who were calling in large numbers to express their concern, but Christians from the middle of Pennsylvania.”

Eventually Brog teamed up with John Hagee, pastor of the CornerStone Church in San Antonio, Texas, CEO of John Hagee Ministries, and founder of CUFI. Hagee has been a lightning rod for political controversy, most recently during the 2008 presidential campaign when John McCain first accepted and then rejected Hagee’s support—after the minister was believed to have made anti-Semitic remarks. “Pastor Hagee has spent 30 years of his life defending Israel,” Brog explains. “His whole ministry is about teaching people it’s not enough to love the Jews of the Bible but time to start loving the Jews across the street.”

Hagee’s mistake was in stepping into a theological tradition as old as man’s sense of the divine —theodicy, or explaining the ways of God to men. Hagee reasoned that according to God’s plan the purpose of Hitler’s genocide was to return the remnants of world Jewry back to Israel. “For Christians like Pastor Hagee,” says Brog, “and for Orthodox Jews, God is omnipotent. So, the theological dilemma they must wrestle with is why didn’t this omnipotent creator stop the Holocaust?”

Of course, it’s God plan for the Holy Land that has so many Jews concerned about evangelical support. Since the restoration of the Jews is in some accounts a precondition of Christ’s second coming, it’s argued that the evangelicals see the Jews merely as disposable pieces on a cosmic chessboard.

“Evangelical support for Israel is founded not on a prophecy, but on a promise,” says Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. The South African-born Hedding, who was held in a South African state security court in the ’80s for his opposition to the apartheid regime, is a formidable physical presence, even on the phone. “It is not about trying to use Jews as prophetic pawns,” says Hedding. “It is the promise God made to Abraham that the Jewish people would receive the land of Canaan for the sake of world redemption. The Jewish people became servants of the lord, in order to bring an understanding of revelation of God and his redemptive purpose to the world. Evangelicals defend their right to live in peace and security in land of Canaan, support that comes out of a sense of gratitude for what we’ve received.”

The end of times is in God’s mind, and perhaps man’s future. In the meantime, for the evangelicals, anyway, there is the gratitude that Hedding speaks of—a gratitude that is characteristically absent from Western secular societies that trace their roots only as far back as the Enlightenment and whose spokesmen often stigmatize the State of Israel as an atavistic holdover whose existence runs contrary to the tenets upon which our latest version of modernity was founded. American evangelicals believe that what Christians received from the Jews is nothing less than the foundations of our civilization, which begins not with Voltaire or Jefferson, but with the conviction spelled out in the Hebrew Bible that man is created in God’s image. The same tradition that inspired our Founding Fathers to create a republic in which all men were held to be created equal also inspired the Jews to create a state, supported by evangelical Christians. Their gratitude should not be taken lightly.

http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Sword-England-Palestine-Balfour/dp/0345314271/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268697727&sr=1-8
Print Email
Rachel Tabachnick says:

Have any of the people who write and comment on Hagee’s “Hitler as hunter” sermon quote ever actually watched that sermon (Jerusalem, Countdown to Crisis, 2005) or read his widely marketed books? If you had, you would see that this sermon was about a well established Christian end times narrative of “fishers” and “hunters” in which it is believed that Christian Zionists (fishers) must entice Jews to Israel before another worldwide wave of anti-Semitic violence (hunters). As in the case of this sermon, Hagee often preaches in front of a huge panel of graphics portraying the coming reign of the anti-Christ and apocalyptic wars, not in an atmosphere of philosophical deliberation about the meaning of evil. The fishers and hunters theme is taught by leading Christian Zionists, including several who work with the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, and it essentially requires another holocaust to force Jews to repent of Rabbinic Judaism. While claiming to love Jews and Israel, these millennialists teach narratives that very closely parallel those of historic anti-Semitism and objectify Jews as supernaturally controlling the destiny of others.

History also teaches us that “philo-Semitic” millennialism can be very dangerous to Jews. The wave of British Israelism in the late 19th and early 20th century was initially philo-Semitic but with millennial disappointment the beliefs of these “Ephraimites” evolved into the extreme anti-Semitism of Christian Identity, the belief system of many of the white supremacists groups in the U.S. These virulent anti-Semites also celebrate the “Feast of Tabernacles” and take on “Hebrew” customs because they see themselves as the real Israelites and Jews as impostors. To base Israel’s legitimacy on biblical prophecy leaves all Jews vulnerable to the volatility of these end times narratives.

Last Monday night after Joe Biden arrived in Israel, Netanyahu attended a Hagee-led CUFI extravaganza that was clearly meant as a snub to attempts at peace talks. Meanwhile World Likud and members of his cabinet have supported an organization called Worldwide Biblical Zionists whose mission is to aid today’s “Ephraimites” to move into the West Bank. Christian Zionism is pro-Israel in the sense that it calls for the expansion of the boundaries of a “greater Israel” in preparation for a 1000-year Christian millennial Kingdom that will be headquartered in Jerusalem. Hagee writes, “In modern terms, Israel rightfully owns all of present-day Israel, all of Lebanon, half of Syria, two-thirds of Jordan, all of Iraq, and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia.” Of course, the repercussions from this kind of statement are okay for Hagee because his prophecy narrative requires that the rest of the world turn against Israel in a bloody war.

Lastly, the idea that Jews don’t have to worry about this futuristic and supernatural end times narrative is nonsense. Despite Hagee’s teaching of the rapture, the vast majority of his CUFI leadership and most of today’s Christian Zionist activists believe that they are mandated to move the hands of the prophetic clock in the physical realm, in the here and now.

See my articles on these topics at http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116367/ and http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116518/ and in the special focus box on John Hagee and Christian Zionism in the left panel of http://www.talk2action.org

I am sorry Mr. Smith, but John Hagee’s own writing indicates Hagee was not promoting “theodicy.” I am the person who precipitated much of the controversy over Hagee in the first place, by posting a several minute audio segment from a sermon John Hagee gave in late 2005, in which Hagee stated that Hitler was sent by God, to drive Europe’s Jews to Palestine.

I have watched video of that sermon dozens of times. In it Hagee repeats almost verbatim what he wrote in his 2006 book Jerusalem Countdown. On page 133 (of my copy – there are several editions with different pagination) in a section titled “Fishers and Hunters,” which Hagee makes clear refers to the Book of Jeremiah, 16:16, he writes,

“The fisherman come before the hunters. First God sent the fishermen to Israel. These were the Zionists, men like Theodor Herzl who called for the Jews of Europe and the world to come to Palestine to establish the Jewish state… A fisherman is one who draws his target toward him with bait… Herzl was deeply disappointed that the Jews of the world did not respond in greater numbers.

God then sent the hunters. The hunter is one who pursues his target with force and fear. No one could see the horror of the Holocaust coming, but the force and fear of Hitler’s Nazis drove the Jewish people back to the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel.”

If that’s not horrific enough, consider what Hagee writes on page 185, in a chapter entitled “Who is a Jew”,

“God promised to be at war with the descendants of Esau and Amalek forever, until their remembrance was stricken from under heaven. (See Exodus 17:8-16.) Esau’s descendants would also produce a lineage that would attack and slaughter the Jews for centuries… It was Esau’s descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension.

Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau.”

Readers who have accounts at Amazon.com can verify the accuracy of my quotes, above, by going to the paperback copy of Jerusalem Countdown that offers a “look inside” feature and searching on the terms “Esau” and also “Theodor Herzl.”

Best,
Bruce Wilson

“…No one could see the Holocaust coming…” but some saw the rise of fascism and were very worried about it, both Jews and non-Jews. Some Jews even supported the rise of fascism which has been defined as “totalitarian, monopoly capitalism”, according to Jacob Neusner; militaristic and imperial in its aims, anti-leftist, anti-modernist, anti-democratic, and racist in its arguments to remove the diverse including homosexuals and the disabled from society by eliminating them. To see this movement as only a pogrom against the Jews, though it was that, is to limit our grasp of its nature and scope and prevent us from guarding against its resurgence. To interpret it as the will of God is dangerous idiocy.

Brian Heller says:

Evangelical Christians are supportive of Israel to the extent—and no further—that it quickly fills with all the world’s Jews so the ECs can get on with their End of Times festivities, which will include the ascension of the “faithful” (all who have accepted Christ as their savior) into heaven while joyously bidding adieu to all the “unfaithful” who will remain on earth awaiting their comeuppance.

David says:

Why is it so shocking and offensive that John Hagee, a believing Christian whose life and preaching are premised on the idea that God takes an active hand in the world, believes that the Holocaust was also part of God’s plan? If God has a plan for mankind, then it presumably includes the Holocaust, the Super Bowl, the Obama Administration, and many other earthly events. Was God simply taking a nap during the Holocaust? Was the Holocaust a mistake that God wishes he could take back?

In fact, most orthodox Jews, Hassidim, and other Jewish believers would agree with Hagee’s attempt to see the Holocaust as part of a divine plan, whether knowable by humankind or not.

While believing in God after the Holocaust may be obscene, Hagee’s version of divine providence is widely shared by Jewish believers. To use these beliefs to paint Hagee as an anti-Semite is a tiresome form of left-wing intellectual gymnastics that is intended to spook Jews into thinking that religious Christians hate them.

Ares says:

I wish all these nutcases who believe the Jews are more important than everyone else would move to Israel and see just how the Jews treat non-Jewish people.

“If you’re a university professor at an average east coast college, most of your gentile colleagues are not very sympathetic to Israel. Support for Israel is fading away with everyone you know, except for Jews”

In other words, as is plain to anyone with honesty, support for Israel is dead or dying among liberals, and primarily exists among Conservatives. If not for American Conservatives, the US would have the same antipathy to Israel as liberal Europe.

That Jews keep voting for and identifying with liberals in spite of this obvious fact is an embarrassment and disgrace.

To believe that whatever happens, notably the Holocaust, is a part of an inscrutable divine plan is to remove all culpability for individual human will and action and removes responsibility from Adolf Hitler, et al.
Judaism is fundamentally a liberal religious view, attributing an equality under the Law to humankind and taking an historical opposition to the autocratic and most often tyrannical and oppressive rule of Kings or Emperors. Abraham could contend with God through discussion. He listened and he argued. Both parties did. We have all been required to “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly” with our God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I don’t believe that support for Israel is dying among liberals. Support for the right of Israel to exist as a geographic homeland for Jews to live as Jews is and will remain strong. I hope there is not much sympathy for Israel as an agent of evangelical christian politics or as an extension of radical right-wing political ideas.

ransomorama says:

A few commentators here seem to think that all Christians who support Israel are part of some theological groupthink. I am a Christian. I spend a lot of my time in Israel. And I support the Jewish people. My reasons have nothing to do with “End Times” and much to do with the history of the Jews, the horrors they have experienced–too often in the name of “Christianity”–and the fact that Judaism is the ancient root of my faith. But far more important, I also happen to enjoy the Jewish community’s company, humor, natural curiosity,often-brilliant conversation (well, excluding certain taxi drivers) and hospitality. So count me out of the insane prophetic muddle and in on, as Hedding points out, sheer gratitude. And, finally, I am appalled by the transparent and manipulative lies that never stop being spewed forth into the world about this wonderful and inspiring country. My intention is to find ways to speak the truth–not from political loyalty but from experience.

“God then sent the hunters. The hunter is one who pursues his target with force and fear. No one could see the horror of the Holocaust coming, but the force and fear of Hitler’s Nazis drove the Jewish people back to the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel.” – John Hagee

[page 133, Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War - written by John Hagee, published in 2006 by Frontline]

Willow Arune says:

Oh for goodness sake…

This is not the type of ally that Israel wants or needs. Hagee is an example of the worst of christianity, not its best. Suspicious? To quote one recent governor, you betcha. All Jews must return to Israel to be either converted or killed? This is an ally?

Better to cancel the 1600 new apartments in East Jerusalem and keep the USA, Canada, Germany and many other nations as allies. If Hagee is the best of our friends, we do not need enemies.

David says:

Except for the word “God,” the idea that “the force and fear of Hitler’s Nazis drove the Jewish people back to the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel” would be entirely at home in any Israeli high school history textbook. The only differences between what Hagee says here and the standard Zionist historical narrative are

A. Zionists would argue that the Jews of Europe should have seen it coming, as opposed to Hagee, who lets them off the hook.

B. Hagee is a Christian who believes in God — he’s a Christian Zionist.

So how again is Hagee an anti-Semite? Because he believes in the Christian God, or because he believes in the Zionist historical narrative?

It seems like Jews have enough real enemies these days without trying to make our friends into enemies, too.

bucky says:

There is no liberal secularr Jew in the world who can look past his/her bias agains
right wing Christians. Secular Humanism and liberlism are their religion, not Judaism. This has nothing to do with Theology, but everything to do with politics. The average secular Jew feels much more in common with your average liberal Protestand than any Orthodox Jew. See this hostility for what it is. Jews who are not Jewish except in some very mild forms of practice, but are actually atrheists or agnostics at best who reent all people who believe in Hashem. Ask your average Jew who was jesus’ mother and father and they will answer immediately. Ask them who Moses’ mother and father were, you will get a blank stare.

Beyond his claim that God sent Hitler to drive Europe’s Jews towards Palestine, John Hagee also blames anti-Semitism on Jews themselves.

In his book Jerusalem Countdown, which when I last checked was still on the shelf at my local Barnes and Noble bookstore, John Hagee claims Jews themselves “birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.” [page 93, Jerusalem Countdown] – Why ? Well, as Hagee explains on page 92, “It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day.”

As Hagee explains on page 93, that “disobedience and rebellion” was “utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God.”

Talk about blaming the victim. It’s vile.

Having been raised in on ultra-orthodox community, I recall many times hearing things like “the Holocaust is part of a divine plan,” even from the many survivors in my shul. Indeed, some form of Hagee’s ideas are widely shared by Jewish believers. Unfortunately, for left-wing secular Jews, many of whom are more left-wing than they are Jews, this poses a fundamental problem because of their anti-religious, maybe even anti-G-d, stance. This is the crux of their problem with Hagee and with Christian Zionists.

Eli – What Hagee espouses is not comparable to Rabbinic theodicy.

According to John Hagee, Israel is the only home God ever intended Jews to have. Diaspora Jews do not move to Israel, Hagee says, will be first “fished” – encouraged and lured to move there. Then, they will be “hunted” by violent anti-Semites who will perpetrate a second, worse Holocaust… which, according to Hagee, will be initiated by a satanic, gay, “partly Jewish” antichrist figure.

John Hagee has broadcast video of that claim, quite literally, around the globe.

And, you might want to look at this article of mine:
http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116292/

Christian Zionists such as Hagee are rewriting the Holocaust to make Jews themselves the villains. It’s horrific.

Unfortunate rhetoric about God and the Holocaust exists within Christianity but also within Judaism. What about Neturei Karta claiming Nazi uniforms are more acceptable than IDF uniforms, or the Satmar Rebbe claiming Zionism was to blame for the Holocaust, or Breslov rabbi Pinchas Winston envisaging a future Holocaust before the Geula in which 4 out of every 5 Jews in Israel die?

There are people on the extremes of uber-nationalism and anti-Zionism re. Israel in Christianity, and the same is true with Judaism – it’s just the way it works in religion.

Joseph,

One can always find individual extreme opinions, sure, but Christian Zionism is a mass, worldwide phenomenon. To define John Hagee as being “on the extremes” misses the fact that his religious tendency represents tens of millions of Americans. The religious ideology might be extreme but this is not a fringe phenomenon.

And, Jews with such opinions as you have cited do not, to my knowledge, possess the means to disseminate their opinions on a worldwide scale. Christian Zionists such as John Hagee do.

Hagee’s sermons are broadcast to over one hundred nations. Some of his books sell a million or more copies each. And, John Hagee is not the only Christian Zionist doing this on a grand scale.

My colleague Rachel Tabachnick has elaborated on some of the myriad ways Christian Zionists vilify Jews and Judaism. Here:
http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116247/
http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116367/

Marjie Marino says:

I think my experiences as a Evangelical Christian are very typical, and can best explain this devotion that we feel toward Israel and the Jewish people. Until about fifteen years ago I never gave the Jewish people a thought one way or another. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I became very curious about the faith of my Lord. I started to read everything I could about Judaism, and what I found both opened my eyes and my heart. I love the Jewish people and Israel not because I think “I” can move Gods hand (HOW ARROGANT IS THAT?!)but because my faith owes them big time. We owe them first because they gave us the God of Abraham, they gave us Jesus, but mostly we owe them for the centuries of persecution done in Jesus’ name. It is the least we can do.

Marie says:

PRETRIB RAPTURE POLITICS

Many are still unaware of the eccentric, 180-year-old British theory underlying the politics of American evangelicals and Christian Zionists.
Journalist and historian Dave MacPherson has spent more than 40 years focusing on the origin and spread of what is known as the apocalyptic “pretribulation rapture” – the inspiration behind Hal Lindsey’s bestsellers of the 1970s and Tim LaHaye’s today.
Although promoters of this endtime evacuation from earth constantly repeat their slogan that “it’s imminent and always has been” (which critics view more as a sales pitch than a scriptural statement), it was unknown in all official theology and organized religion before 1830.
And MacPherson’s research also reveals how hostile the pretrib rapture view has been to other faiths:
It is anti-Islam. TV preacher John Hagee has been advocating “a pre-emptive military strike against Iran.” (Google “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism.”)
It is anti-Jewish. MacPherson’s book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books etc.) exposes hypocritical anti-Jewishness in even the theory’s foundation.
It is anti-Catholic. Lindsey and C. I. Scofield are two of many leaders who claim that the final Antichrist will be a Roman Catholic. (Google “Pretrib Hypocrisy.”)
It is anti-Protestant. For this reason no major Protestant denomination has ever adopted this escapist view.
It even has some anti-evangelical aspects. The first publication promoting this novel endtime view spoke degradingly of “the name by which the mixed multitude of modern Moabites love to be distinguished, – the Evangelical World.” (MacPherson’s “Plot,” p. 85)
Despite the above, MacPherson proves that the “glue” that holds constantly in-fighting evangelicals together long enough to be victorious voting blocs in elections is the same “fly away” view. He notes that Jerry Falwell, when giving political speeches just before an election, would unfailingly state: “We believe in the pretribulational rapture!”
In addition to “The Rapture Plot,” MacPherson’s many internet articles include “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” (massive plagiarism, phony doctorates, changing of early “rapture” documents in order to falsely credit John Darby with this view, etc.!).
Because of his devastating discoveries, MacPherson is now No. 1 on the “hate” list of pretrib rapture leaders!
There’s no question that the leading promoters of this bizarre 19th century end-of-the-world doctrine are solidly pro-Israel and necessarily anti-Palestinian. In light of recently uncovered facts about this fringe-British-invented belief which has always been riddled with dishonesty, many are wondering why it should ever have any influence on Middle East affairs.
This Johnny-come-lately view raises millions of dollars for political agendas. Only when scholars of all faiths begin to look deeply at it and widely air its “dirty linen” will it cease to be a power. It is the one theological view no one needs!
With apologies to Winston Churchill – never has so much deception been foisted on so many by so few!

[Also Google "David Letterman's Hate, Etc."]

Jose P says:

I’m Christian and I will not discuss religion here, and also give my support to the Jews and Israel, because it is already committed a lot of injustice, and beaten severely for many years against this people. Now they have the right to defend itself. (When a child ever abused, when adult, is hostile and suspicious.) Here is a whole nation that wants to live in peace with the world, living inside of Israel many people of various religions without problems, why would the Jews are persecuted in other countries? There is no logical reason for this.
Phobia against Israel, there is much anger and envy, because they are united and more developed, the Jews have built a nation from nothing, the barren ground, and soon discovered one of the strongest and most developed nations of the world. This is the reason for the feud. Long life for Jews and Israel.

I came across your blog’s link put up by a friend on Facebook. Thanks for putting useful info on the world wide web. It’s hard to find these things these days.

What i don’t realize is actually how you’re not actually much more well-liked than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!

I’ve said that least 4165738 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

It is very rare these days to find sites that provide information someone is watching for. I am glad to see that your site share valued information that can help to many readers. nice one and keep writing!

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Friends in Deed

Evangelical Christians have emerged as Israel’s staunchest allies—even as some American Jews are made uneasy by the show of support

More on Tablet:

Italian Politician’s Primo Levi Parody Panned

By Stephanie Butnick — Beppe Grillo under fire for anti-government poem based on ‘If This Is a Man’