It is truly amazing how self-destructive some of the Jewish leaders are in their relationship to those who, as never before, want to stand at Israel’s side at a time when its precious people are again threatened with genocide, as they were by the Nazis.
The recent remarks of Dr. Eric Yoffie – head of the Union for Reform Judaism in the United States – are only one example of this self-destructiveness which repeatedly reveals itself, especially in relation to what even Israel’s top politicians have described as the best friends Israel has among the Gentiles today.
It is sad and appalling that, whereas Christians have been rightfully upbraided for not having done what they could to assist the Jewish people before and during the days of the Holocaust, and whereas many Christians have now learned at least this lesson of history and wish to fight for Israel’s survival in the face of the new and ever-growing danger of elimination, these tender-hearted Christians are now rebuked by the very people who once justifiably criticized them before concerning the Holocaust.
What, then, is Dr. Yoffie’s narrow-minded reasoning for rejecting this worldwide Christian support as shown today in many forms, organizations, and actions?
Well, he does not agree with the political agenda of these Christian friends of Israel. A majority of them are against homosexuality. And they are for a one state solution: Israel should be allowed to live in its God-given land, with Arabs choosing either to live as loyal Israeli citizens in that land or to live in one of the 21 already-sovereign Arab states.
And this, Dr. Yoffie, is your set of reasons for denying these Christians as much as a warm – well meant – thank you or encouragement?
It reminds me of the amazing outburst of the very-leftist Israeli politician Avraham Burg, a guest with me on the popular Popolitika TV talk show here in Israel, who jabbed his finger at me said: "And you – you are one of the most dangerous men in Israel." This in spite of the fact that both my children served their full time in the Israel Defense Forces.
What did he mean? That when fellow Jews or Israelis belong to the right politically, this is already bad enough; but when non-Jews are saying the same things, basing their positions on the teachings of the Tanach, they have to be silenced or ostracized because they are dangerous to the ideology of the left?
So there are, unfortunately, many Jews and Israelis who hold exactly the same views as Dr. Yoffie.
Should we Christians say that we reject the sacrifices and activities these right-leaning Jews and Israelis are involved in: the settlers, those fighting in elite units of the Israel Defense Forces, those on the barricades for a purer Jewish and Israeli lifestyle, shocked or adverse to the increasingly gentilized – or should we say paganised – character and lifestyles of new Tel Aviv?
Is this a reason to upbraid, criticize and reject as unacceptable those Jews and their Gentile friends who want to stand for a strong and Jewish Israel on all their God-given land; writing them off as unacceptable because their mainly Tanach-inspired love and dedication does not square with the often more liberal and Gentile-oriented lifestyle of some?
Jan Willem van der Hoeven is Director of the International Christian Zionist Center
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