CNN Exposes Muslim-hating Christian Zionist, Walid
Shoebat, as Fraud!!
the past five or six years
this site has been putting
up articles and videos
indicating that Walid
Shoebat, who has been
claiming to be a "former
terrorist" is not who he
says he is, and that he has
been using his phony
credentials to spread a
message for huge speaker's
despite a 2008 exposure by the
Jerusalem Post, no other
mainstream media source
picked up the story.
CNN's Anderson Cooper
has done so. And what he and
his colleagues at CNN have
uncovered is devastating to
Hopefully this will put an
end to the fraud.
Christian Zionist leader, John Hagee, is on record prophesying that
Egypt will become the next Iran, meaning, a new head for the many-headed
beast that is Islam, and this despite the fact that those who understand the
dynamics of Egyptian history and society (not to mention the way the
Egyptian revolution came about) say that this is not going to happen. Which
underscores why Egypt is a problem for Christian Zionists.
When Hal Lindsey wrote his Christian Zionist potboiler, The Late, Great
Planet Earth, in 1969 he spoke with great assurance about the critical
nature of the alliance Egypt would make with the Soviet Union in an
aggressive move against Israel as a necessary precursor to the Second Coming
of Christ. Then Egypt broke relations with the Soviets followed by the later
demise of the Soviet Union itself. By the time Lindsey wrote his next book
this scenario was no longer tenable, forcing him to pin his apocalyptic
hopes on another political demon. (which has now more or less become Islam).
One wonders what Hagee and Lindsey and others like them are going to do when
Egypt and possibly other of the Middle Eastern states Christian Zionists
love to villianize in their apocalyptic scenarios, become secular
democracies. Or even worse (from an apocalyptic Christian Zionist
perspective) what they will do if a new democratic Egyptian government helps
bring about a legitimate peace treaty with Israel, one that leads to the
dismantlement of illegal settlements and the creation of a viable
Palestinian state on land Christian Zionists insist belongs to the world's
Jews. In other words, what if unfolding events make the Christian Zionist
End Times scenario no longer tenable? Will Hagee and company continue to
raise the apocalyptic flag even when there is no wind to keep it flying? Or
will they simply close up shop, turning their backs on Israel because she
didn't keep her side of the apocalyptic bargain? Given that this is the
primary basis upon which Christian Zionists like Hagee build their support
for the Israeli state (despite Hagee's assertions to the contrary) such a
scenario is not beyond possibility.
Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism
The Kairos Palestine Document: A
Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart
of Palestinian Suffering A Confession of Faith and Cry of Hope
from Palestinian Christians
Longsuffering is a rich biblical word. It speaks of what it means to
be faithful in a faithless world. For Palestinian Christians it is
something more. It is a definition of their existence. It is
also what allows them to maintain a powerful testimony that has an impact
well beyond their numbers as their longsuffering-ness holds forth a vision
for reconciliation and peace where others have slipped into a cynical
resignation to conflict.
week an historical meeting of Palestianian Christian leaders produced a
document that echoes the faith commitments of courageous documents like the
Barmen Declaration of the confessing German Church during WW II, or the
anti-apartheid Belhar Confession. The Palestinian Christian document is
called "The Kairos Palestine Document," the Greek word, kairos, speaking of
a "ripe" moment in time. The document in its entirety, along with
signatories, can be downloaded fromthe
World Council of Churches site.
how it begins:
We, a group of Christian
Palestinians, after prayer, reflection and an exchange of opinion, cry out
from within the suffering in our country, under the Israeli occupation, with
a cry of hope in the absence of all hope, a cry full of prayer and faith in
a God ever vigilant, in God’s divine providence for all the inhabitants of
this land. Inspired by the mystery of God's love for all, the mystery of
God’s divine presence in the history of all peoples and, in a particular
way, in the history of our country, we proclaim our word based on our
Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith,
hope and love.
today we have reached a dead end in the tragedy of the Palestinian people.
The decision-makers content themselves with managing the crisis rather than
committing themselves to the serious task of finding a way to resolve it.
The hearts of the faithful are filled with pain and with questioning: What
is the international community doing? What are the political leaders in
Palestine, in Israel and in the Arab world doing? What is the Church doing?
The problem is not just a political one. It is a policy in which human
beings are destroyed, and this must be of concern to the Church.
We address ourselves to our
brothers and sisters, members of our Churches in this land. We call out as
Christians and as Palestinians to our religious and political leaders, to
our Palestinian society and to the Israeli society, to the international
community, and to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Churches around
CUFI, William Blackstone and Christian Zionist
"In 1891, the Jewish people were under
attack. Jewish towns and villages throughout Russia were being
ransacked by violent, anti-Semitic mobs. Thousands of Jews had
been killed in cold blood, and more attacks loomed.
While most Americans ignored these bloody incidents, many
religious Christians stepped forward and took action. Led by
William Blackstone, a group of American Christians organized one
of the first pro-Israel petitions in history decades before
there even was a State of Israel! This petition, called the
Blackstone Memorial, declared that the only way to stop the
bloodshed was to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine to serve
as a safe haven for persecuted Jews from Russia and around the
Pentecostal TV evangelist, John Hagee's pro-Israel lobby group,
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is gearing up for
their annual get out the troops rally in Washington this summer.
Part of the preparation involves trying to get people to sign
their "Israel Pledge." On the face of it the pledge is a
simple declaration of support for a secure Israel. Nothing
controversial here, as most all who are working for peace in
Israel/Palestine have this as a key element of their agenda.
We all work and pray for a day when Israelis and Palestinians
can live together in peace either in one truly democratic
republic or as equally viable political entities living side by
side in mutual recognition. But CUFI's evocation of
19th century Blackstone Memorial shows that CUFI's actual
agenda is less peace for Israel than religiously - motivated
The author of the
Blackstone Memorial was a wealthy, well-connected American
William Blackstone whose book,
Jesus is Coming! was the first
dispensationalist blockbuster. Following a story line that
would later be lucratively mined by Hal Lindsey (Late Great
Planet Earth) and Tim LaHaye (the Left Behind
series) Blackstone believed that a Jewish state needed to be
created in order to set in motion a series of events leading to
the second coming of Christ. Many fundamentalists of the
day believed this. What distinguished Blackstone's appeal
was the "memorial" he created calling for the establishment of a
Jewish state in Palestine six years before the first Zionist
congress met in Basil, Switzerland to discuss the possibility.
While ostensibly drawn up out of compassion for suffering Jews
in Russia, in point of fact the basis for the memorial was
Blackstone's End Times theology bound up in this case with the
imperialistic spirit of the age which insisted on the right of
western powers to impose their territorial demands on whomever
they wished, in this case the inhabitants of what was at the
time a province of the Ottoman Empire. Here is what the
“Why shall not the powers which under the treaty of
Berlin, in 1878, gave Bulgaria to the Bulgarians and Serbia to
the Serbians now give Palestine back to the Jews?…These
provinces, as well as Romania, Montenegro, and Greece, were
wrested from the Turks and given to their natural owners. Does
not Palestine as rightfully belong to the Jews?”
What should be noted here is that unlike
Serbia and Bulgaria which were being "given" back to people who
already lived in those countries, Palestine would be given (by
western powers) to people who didn't live there. In Blackstone's
mind Palestine did not belong to the people who actually lived
there. It belonged to European Jews who had never lived there.
It was their "right" to take this land and the western colonial
powers were the ones who were going to take it for them. All
this to help fundamentalist Americans Christians live out their
When we look for reasons why
the peace we all pray for is so elusive we need look no further
than this - the religiously-motivated colonialist mentality that
supports not only Israel's right to exist, but Israel's right to
do whatever Israel decides to do with the land that in the eyes
of people like William Blackstone and John Hagee has always
belonged to them; all of the land, including the West
Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights (not to mention parts of
Lebanon and Syria and Jordan). Peace is possible.
But not on this basis.
I grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois. My family were members of South Park Church,
whose main claim to historic fame may be that it dismissed Bill Hybels as its youth
leader, sending him on his journey to found Willow Creek. Like most evangelical churches
shaped after World War II, our churchs theology included the kind of interpretations
of the end times found in Tim LaHayes Left Behind novels. I recall some
of those complex charts on walls of Sunday school rooms with passages from Daniel and
Revelation giving clues to current events and fueling expectations that the Second Coming
of Jesus Christ was drawing near.
My dad was a business executive, and two of his associatesWally Stolkin and Sid
Luckman, the former Chicago Bears quarterbackbecame close family friends. Wally and
Sid were both Jewish. So I first came to know the Jewish community as a child through
these relationships. I was theologically curious as a young boy. Like other evangelicals
in the 1950s, I would hear interpretations of world events that were pointing to Christs
return. Once, when I was probably 9 or 10, Mom was explaining to me how exciting it was
that the Jews were returning to Israel. This was concrete evidence that biblical
prophecies were being fulfilled and that the Second Coming was near. And I remember
asking, When are Wally and Sid going to move there?
This was the first time in my story that the theology of evangelical Zionism began
colliding with actual facts and relationships in my experience. That would happen many
more times. In 1970, I was working for Sen. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon. He decided to take
a trip to the Middle East. As governor of Oregon, he had visited Israel more than once,
getting to know figures such as Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, Golda Meir, and others. But
this time, he decided to visit a couple of Palestinian refugee camps in addition to
meeting with political leaders.
When he returned, he shared with me the powerful emotional and political impact his visits
to those refugee camps made on him. There can never be peace, he told me,
without addressing the issue of justice for the Palestinians. So he decided to
deliver a major speech on the Senate floor, and I began working on a draft. In that
speech, he said, Voices of moderation are diminishing and polarization is
increasing. If voices that heretofore have been mollifying influences in the area are
further alienated, chances for peace in a rapidly escalating confrontation will be
Forming relations with people of faith
in the Holy Land could help transform the region
In the floor discussion that followed, Sen. Hatfield said, We have found, as to the
present problem in the Middle East, the attitude that if you are not for Israel, then you
have to be for the Arabs; or if you speak favorably of the Arabs, then you are against
Israel. We are being judged by these parties, in some instances, not by how much you are
for them, but by how much we hate the other side. I fear for this kind of
polarization within our nation, Hatfield continued. The United States has the
power, the resources, the idealism ... to be a peacemaker. But if we are going to try to
be a peacemaker there by standing purely on one side of the issue, with one group only,
and say there is no cause and no justice on the other side of the argument, we totally
eliminate the possibility of that peacemaker role.
Sen. Hatfield was surprised, and so was I, by the attacks that followed. His exposure to
facts, experiences, and relationships on the ground in Israel and Palestine collided with
the standard political rhetoric around Israel and Christian Zionism at that time. He spoke
clearly out of his experience and proposed what that might mean for U.S. policy. Today his
measured words seem so painfully prophetic as we witness the tarnished and
catastrophically discredited image of the U.S. as a peacemaker in the Middle East.
IVE TRIED TO REMEMBER when I first learned that there were Christians living in
Palestine and then met them. I know how strange that sounds. But the assumptions of
evangelical Zionism that infused my Christian upbringing made me predisposed as a young
person to believe that Israel was on the right side of any conflict. I didnt know
the stories of Palestiniansand ironically, I didnt really know the stories of
the Jews, but only the version of Jewish settlement in Israel interpreted through the lens
of Christian Zionism. As I learned the histories of these peoples, and navigated the
domestic U.S. politics of the Middle East conflict, I was struck by the contortions of
much evangelical theology as it was applied to these realities. I saw with alarm Israeli
political leaders co-opting evangelicals into religious sanction of territorial
aggression. When Menachem Begin and Pat Robertson were singing from the same hymnal about
Judea and Samaria as illegal settlements were being established on the West Bank,
Christian faith was being distorted and exploited for secular political agendas. Since the
1970s, Israeli settlements have continued to expand, to the point that today more than
425,000 Israelis live in occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank, including East
Jerusalem, creating a situation that implies an intentional permanent acquisition of
additional Palestinian land. In April 2004, the Bush administration reversed 35 years of
U.S. policy by endorsing the large Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem, pre-emptively undermining peace negotiations on this point.
I came to know many Christians whose roots were formed in the soil of the Holy Land,
Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, whose churches had stood on that soil for centuries, and whose
families had worshipped there for generations, going back to the time Jesus Christ and the
apostles walked along those same hills. These relationships deepened the spiritual and
human bonds of fellowship with Christians in the region. These experiences also
underscored how most American Christians lack understanding of the historical continuity
of the Christian presence in the Middle East and are ignorant about the Christian churches
living in the Holy Land. This ignorance continues, impoverishing all Christians.
These facts, relationships, and experiences need to be nurtured and built, particularly
between Christian communities in the U.S. and the Middle East, in order to challenge and
overturn the dominant theological and political assumptions of U.S. Christians. We
emphasize today the priority of Christian-Muslim dialogue in our time, and I could not
agree more. But ironically, its actually Christian-Christian dialogue and
solidarity, between churches in the U.S. and the Middle East, that is so urgently needed,
almost as a prerequisite to Christian-Muslim relations. Heres the point: The
experience of Christians struggling to witness, live, and simply survive in the Holy Land
today and throughout the Middle East can transform how Christians in the U.S. respond to
the effects of U.S. foreign policy in the region and to the theological expectations of
Christian Zionism. At some point in listening to this type of reflection, my Jewish
brothers and sisters will say, with passion and fervor, What about our human
realities? What about the innocent children on a bus whose body parts are scattered
by a suicide bomber? What about the farmers and villagers who are forced to live in
underground shelters or face the risk of random rockets that might fall on their lands and
homes? And what about the instinctive passion and joyful wonder experienced by Jews who
bond with the soil and land that has nurtured the roots of their religious culture and
identity as a people more than two millennia ago? Of course they are right. Of course the
task of the Christian is to enter, honor, cherish, and learn from the human experience of
all people, and to discover and to share Gods presence, Gods love, and Gods
justice in each situation. Further, we know that the relationship of Christians and Jews
carries such a particular and weighty significance, both because of the common roots of
our faith and because of the horrific history of Christian anti-Semitism.
Thus, it is deeply tragic for this relationship to be contaminated by the ideology of
evangelical Zionism and distorted by zealous political expectations that define fidelity
to a 2,000-year relationship by indiscriminate loyalty to a narrow national agenda of
military and diplomatic policies. It is my conviction that Christian-Jewish relationships
today must be nurtured in the soil of human aspirations, suffering, and hopes that are not
circumscribed or predetermined by dominant political or theological expectations. And the
same, of course, is true regarding the relationship of U.S. Christians with Palestinians.
These relationships begin not ideologically, but incarnationally.
Therefore, affirming the gifts of land, peoplehood, and identity expressed through the
State of Israel, established now for 60 years, must be accompanied by affirming these same
gifts of land, peoplehood, and identity through the establishment of a Palestinian state.
These relationships today take place amidst the continuing Israeli military occupation of
the West Bank and the intense military siege of the Gaza Strip. That is the context of
human hopes and fears, and for discerning prophetic and biblical calls in this day for Gods
justice to reign in this land.
The devastating effect of the Israeli occupation and settlements on the West Bank is
difficult to understand without seeing and experiencing it. It is a profound assault on
Palestinian hopes. Israeli settlements should not exist. No single action by the Israeli
government has done more to violate international trust and to mock hopes for a just
political resolution than the persistent establishment and expansion of settlements on
lands occupied since 1967. Israeli settlements have purposely established facts on
the ground that intentionally decimate Palestinian aspirations for statehood and
intentionally separate Palestinians from their arable land and sources of water. These
acts are considered by the international community to be illegal by standards of
MANY PEOPLE in the region believe that all U.S. Christians are right-wing Zionists. That
widely held stereotype seems deeply rooted in popular and political opinions. And the
damage that it does is awful. The policies of President Bush and the beliefs of Christians
are seen as united, so Christian faith is perceived as antagonistic to the vast majorities
of those in the Arab world. You can imagine the difficulty this creates for Arab
Evangelical Zionism is the enemy of Christian witness and mission in the Middle East. Its
not just a theological aberration. Rather, its a doctrine that actually endangers
fellow Christians and cripples the effective proclamation of Christian faith throughout
the region. We recently observed the 40th anniversary of the illegal Israeli occupation.
The brutal situation in the Holy Land dehumanizes Palestinians and Israelis alike and
undermines the peace and security of the region and the world. The support of Christian
Zionists and the United States government for expansionist policies and actions of Israel,
and the turning of a blind eye to the persistent illegal activities of the Israeli
government, undermines our ability to serve as peacemakers or honest brokers in that area
of the world. An American Christian in Jerusalem, Marlin Vis, wrote in his blog: A
small Palestinian Muslim child, 4 or 5 years old, burrows his face deeply into the skinny
chest of his 10-year-old brother. Their furniture and clothing, all they could carry, lie
in a heap outside their stone-block home. Big brother has explained that in a matter of
minutes, the soldiers will destroy the home. The little boys eyes express the terror
that his tongue cant describe. An 18-year-old Israeli soldier stands guard over the
seven children of this family. His eyes too tell the story that he would never allow his
tongue to repeat. ... These are the hidden wounds of occupation, and these wounds are as
hurtful and damaging as any other. ... For the sake of that little boy, his brothers and
sisters, and his 18-year-old cousin standing guard, this occupation must end.
The continuing task of Christians is to nurture an incarnational presence in the Holy Land
that informs our perspectives, our witness, and our action. We must follow Jesus again,
today, among those who feel the brunt of military oppression, among those who so readily
exercise dominion over others, among those who seek to be peacemakers, and among those who
thirst for justice and yearn for healing. We must find ways to open our lives to the
actual human experience of those who live in the midst of these realities, and be with
them. And then we must witness to their struggles, their fears, and their hopes. From that
place, we can learn how to pray and act for the peace of Jerusalem.
What DOES the Bible
A Critical Look at the Simplistic
Christian Zionist Reading of the Bible
A Biblical Meditation by Christian Zionist Pastor Steve Sorenson
"Then you shall dwell in the land
that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Much of the Bible speaks of Gods encouragement for the Jewish people to return
to the Holy Land. The return of millions of Jews to their ancient homeland since the
birth of the State of Israel is compelling confirmation that God is a God who keeps his
covenants and fulfills his promises.
Yet Israel's challenges are great. Enemies lurk on all sides of Israel.
Sometimes, it seems like Israel's enemies are too numerous to count and too powerful to
defeat. At these times, more than ever, we must remember that Israel's cause is just
and that the Israeli people need our support. We must also have faith that if we
answer the call, Israel will prevail. Some trust in Chariots, some in horses,
but we will remember the name of the Lord our God!
Every week CUFI (John Hagees Christians United for Israel) sends out a
newsletter to keep the faithful up on the latest news and views.Included
in the newsletter is a short meditation, usually by Hagee, sometimes by another Christian
Zionist pastor.This week a Pastor Steve Sorensen wrote what
might best be called a Christian Zionist boilerplate Bible study (see above). Here, in
encapsulated form, are most of the core convictions of the Christian Zionist movement:
A central, if not the central theme
of scripture is the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East.
Gods people = the Jewish
The return of millions of Jewish
people to this land is a compelling confirmation that God keeps his promises.
Evil people (read Arabs) lurk on all
sides of the divinely favored state. Arabs are evil simply because they oppose the
political perogatives of the Isareli state.
Israels cause (occupation?) is
just.All she does is righteous.
Israel will prevail against the evil
Arabs because God fights for her.
Sounds like a simple, straight forward reading of
scripture.Which is how the Christian Zionist ideology is sold -
as a simple re-telling of the plain meaning of scripture. But upon further examination it
becomes clear that it is less "simple" than simplistic,"
as there are too many issues it leaves unaddressed.Among
The term, Gods people was also
claimed by the New Testament Church (I Pet. 2: 9) as a description of the Christian
community.The creation of the State of Israel led to the
displacement of many Palestinian Christians. Is that what God intended
that one people of God should be displaced by another? How does that jive with
what we know of God's nature revealed in the life and witness of Jesus the Christ?
How do we reconcile the purposes of
the God we know as Love with the violent displacement of 750,000 people, whose
refugee status remains unresolved along with an at times brutal occupation?
What are the boundaries of this Holy Land?John Hagees book, Jerusalem Countdown includes a
map he calls the Royal Land Grant which encompasses not only the territory of
Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, but parts of Syria, Lebanon,
Egypt and Iraq, as well.Is this what God intends?A massive ethnic cleansing of the entire Middle East? If not
Is it right that an American or
European, who may have no verifiable ancestral ties to Israel/Palestine, has a
greater claim to land in the West Bank than the people whose families have been
living there for generations? How does that jive with the core biblical teaching of
Is it true that God condemns
Palestinian Arabs for their struggle to regain stolen property or gain independence from
an oppressive occupation? How can we say that the God of justice is opposed to
those who seek it?
Where in scripture does it say that
political support for a nation state, any nation state, is the measuring rod of
God's standard of right and wrong? Doesn't scripture itself warn about the
idolization of political entities? Wasn't ancient Israel condemned for this very thing?
Christian Zionists love to use the term "the Bible says" to give
justification to what is not only a destructive ideology, but bad theology, as well.
Here's just one example of how important it is to examine their assumptions,
assumptions that often lie hidden behind that conversation stopper "the Bible
Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism
Gary Bauer &
Israel's Tribal Deity
Former Reagan advisor and
presidential hopeful, Gary Bauer, who is now advising John Hagee and his lobby group, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), wrote a
short biblical reflection for the CUFI e-letter this week based on Genesis 28:
13-15. This is the passage where we hear God declare divine fealty to Abraham and
"I am with you and
will watch over you wherever you go,and I will bring you back to this land. I will
not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Like other Christian
Zionists, Bauer makes a direct connection between this promise and the contemporary state
of Israel, the suggestion being that God is a kind of tribal deity to Israel, fighting for
her political perogatives no matter what the consequences for her neighbors. Here is how
Bauer puts it:
Fortunately for Israel
and for all of us who believe in the God of Abraham, the Lord's promises are like a rock.
God didn't say to Jacob: "I will bring you back to the land if the U.N.
agrees." He didn't say, "I will give you this land if it is OK with the
radical Islamists." He didn't say, "I will not leave you unless there is
danger." God's promises to Israel and to all of us are unchanging and unhedged,
direct and reliable."
I agree with what Bauer says about God's
promises being unshakable. What I take issue with is whether or not Bauer has
interpreted this passage correctly. I think not. I think not because what it
assumes is that the God who demands justice for all peoples has decided in this case to
act unjustly. Bauer, Hagee and all others who buy into the political ideology of
Christian Zionism, assume that God was behind the expulsion of 750, 000 Palestinians from
their homes in the '48 war, and continues to stand on the side of those who encourage
Israel to refuse any recompense for what they lost. Ethnic cleansing in
this case becomes part of the divine plan. They assume, also, that Israel has
the right to take even more land than they have already taken, either to occupy or annex
outright. The West Bank, Gaza Strip, parts of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, all belong
to Israel to take whenever and however she wishes. Bauer doesn't say
that here, as Christian Zionists tend to disassemble on this point, but it is a given of
the Christian Zionist position which operates with a biblical map.
If God is, as Bauer and other Christian
Zionists assume, Israel's tribal deity, then, yes, I would agree that we should join CUFI
in opposing any and all moves towards a negotiated peace (desired by the majority of
Israelis) between Israelis and Palestinians. We should join Christian
Zionists like John Hagee and Gary Bauer in encouraging the most militant Israeli voices in
their call for the expulsion of Palestinians from the territories. In
this case, however, the contradiction with what we know to be true about God from the
whole testimony of scripture -- that his compassion is all-embracing, his justice without
favortism -- is too glaring. In this case people who take the whole testimony of
scripture seriously cannot endorse the Hagee- Bauer platform.
"Let justice roll down like the
waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
Amos 5: 24
Convention, April 2, 2008
Christian Zionism: Is it good for North American Jews and good for Israel?
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President, Union for Reform Judaism
Let us imagine the following: A
group of Christian Americans affirm their deep love for the State of Israel. This love,
rooted in their Evangelical Christian faith, is expressed through concrete acts of support
and commitment. While remaining resolutely non-political, these Americans visit Israel
whenever they can, condemn acts of terror directed at Israeli citizens, provide generous
financial support to Israelis in need, and are the first to raise their voices when Israel
is under military attack.
If this were to happen, what
should we as Jewish Americans be saying to this group of our fellow citizens? The answer,
it seems to me, is quite simple. We should be saying: Thank you.
I dont deny that I would
have some concerns. Knowing something about their religious beliefs, I would wonder if
they were trying to bolster the Jewish state in order to fulfill their prophecies of
Armageddon and the Second Coming. And I would wonder too at what it might mean to make
common cause with those who oppose both a womans right to choose and basic justice
for gays and lesbians.
Nonetheless, as weighty as these
considerations might be, they would not lead me to change course. For me, the
reestablishment of the Jewish state demonstrates the triumph of the Jewish spirit over the
vicissitudes of history; and yes, surely I would prefer that others embrace Israel for the
same reasons that I do. In my experience, however, motivations are notoriously hard to
judge. Given the profound dangers that Israel faces, and assuming that support for Israel
is not being used as a cover to convert Jews, then perhaps if people are doing the right
things for the wrong reasons, the sensible course is to see that as their problem and not
As for the right to choose and
rights for gays and lesbians, these are not incidental matters for Reform Jews; they speak
to our most fundamental convictions about human dignity and the proper reading of our
tradition. Still, in order to advance both our interests and our principles, our Reform
Movement frequently joins in coalitions with certain groups on certain issues while
disagreeing with them elsewhere; and the fact is that neither abortion rights nor gay
rights has been a litmus test when we determine which alliances are appropriate for us and
which are not. The Catholic Church, for example, opposes our positions in both of these
areas, and yet we work with the Church on immigration and economic justice and a range of
other matters where our values are closely aligned. As a matter of logic and justice,
therefore, we cannot apply a standard to Christian Zionists that we do not apply equally
And yes, I have other concerns
as well. I can think of no compelling reason why American Christians should not raise
money for the Jews of Israel, but I must tell you that it is a phenomenon that leaves me
uncomfortable; we seem to be taking the culture of schnorr to a whole new level. If time
permits, I will return to this subject later. But on balance, I remain committed to the
proposition with which I started: Christian Zionists, as I have defined them, are entitled
to our gratitude, and are surely not a threat to the Jewish state. And I believe that
Rabbi Eckstein tries to operate largely within the parameters that I have described.
But here is the problem: The
Christian Zionists that I have described are not the dominant strain of Christian Zionism
in America today. Indeed, when most Americans, Christian or Jewish, think about Christian
Zionism, they think about something else altogether. They think about Pastor John Hagee
and Pastor Rod Parsley; they think about Christians United for Israel and the
International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. In short, they think about the people and
institutions that have set the course of Christian Zionism and have defined its character
in American eyes.
Let us step back for a moment
and define our terms.
Approximately one-fourth of
Americans, or 75 million people, identify as Evangelical Christians. Evangelical
Christianity has its roots in the Bible belt fundamentalism of the early 20th century,
which was rural, small-town, and sometimes racist, but it has moved in new directions in
the last fifty years. Today it can best be described as a post-fundamentalist phenomenon,
characterized by respect for biblical authority, a high Christology, a commitment to
evangelizing (which means making converts), and a commitment to public life. Evangelicals
are a diverse group. In the public realm, there is near unanimity on opposing gay marriage
and abortion, but much difference of opinion on everything else.
are sympathetic to Israel, as are most Americans, but while most Christian Zionists are
Evangelicals, it would be a mistake to think that most Evangelicals are Christian
Zionists. Christian Zionists are those in the Evangelical community for whom the doctrine
of Jewish restoration is central to their theology and the support of Israel is central to
their Christian practice. Assigning numbers is difficult, but many experts suggest that
perhaps 20 million Americans can be classified as Christian Zionists.
In these circles, as Ive
indicated, the most prominent organizational presence by far is John Hagees
Christians United for Israel. Hagee has brought together under the CUFI banner the leading
religious and political voices of Christian Zionism, including Gary Bauer, Pastor Jonathan
Falwell, and Pastor Rod Parsley. Make no mistake: these are leaders with deep emotional
and religious ties to the Jewish state and who care profoundly and sincerely about her
welfare. And therefore many ask: Cant we work with them on the agenda that we share
love for Israel, travel to Israel, philanthropic support for Israel and put
aside the issues on which we disagree? Cant we build a selective alliance with them
on the same basis that we build a selective alliance with other religious groups?
And the answer is: no, we
This is not a matter of
whether or not we should be engaging in respectful dialogue with Evangelicals and
Christian Zionists. We should always be supportive of such dialogues and we should embrace
in friendship all of our Christian brothers and sisters. It is precisely for that reason
that at the invitation of Rev. Jerry Falwell I traveled to Liberty University, addressed
the student body, and engaged in discussion with university officials.
But we are talking here not
about dialogue but about political alliances, which demand of us a higher standard and
which require both common values and common interests. And I suggest that we should not
enter into such alliances with Christian Zionists for two primary reasons.
The first is that Jews should not
enter into alliances of any kind with those who do not speak respectfully of other faith
communities. And sadly, tragically, Christian Zionist leaders have engaged in repeated
attacks, expressed sometimes in shocking and unacceptable language, directed against other
religious traditions. This is not a matter of highlighting differences in belief but of
making use of overheated rhetoric that spews hatred and vitriol toward the Muslim and
Catholic faiths. We are talking here about attempts by some religious leaders to exploit
prejudice to advance their own theological agenda. Islam has been a particular target of
these attacks, and no attempt has been made to separate terrorists and extremists from the
vast majority of Muslims.
For example, Rod Parsley has
written about Islam that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing
this false religion destroyed. And John Hagee referred to the Roman Catholic Church
as the great whore and called it a false cult system and the
The Jewish community has a special
responsibility to oppose such rhetoric. Supremely sensitive to the power of words, we have
responded aggressively to all who express anti-Semitic or anti-Israel sentiments. And not
only that. Jewish leaders and communal bodies have also demanded that public figures not
only refrain from this language but denounce and distance themselves from others who
engage in such attacks.
Yet many in the Jewish community
seem unwilling to abide by the standards that we ask others to meet. By what right do we
expect others to walk away from those who make anti-Jewish or anti-Israel statements when
we will not walk away from those who make anti-Islam or anti-Catholic statements?
Jewish leaders who have established
relationships with Christian Zionists leaders, including Pastor Hagee, and who disagree
with my position, have told me that these relationships have enabled them to influence and
moderate some of the more extreme views that Hagee and others hold. That seems fair
enough; if you have a friendship with someone who expresses troubling positions, you
should make use of that friendship to offer a corrective. The problem is that the
reservations that are expressed are apparently expressed in private, if at all; rarely if
ever do Jewish friends and allies make public statements critical of Pastor Hagees
or Pastor Parsleys pronouncements. But the contradiction is obvious: when
anti-Jewish statements are uttered, we expect public responses from communal leaders and
will settle for nothing less.
In short, no more double
standards, please. They undermine our message and call into doubt our integrity. We Jews
are among those who believe that the diversity of our society is a blessing that enriches
us all, and we are tireless advocates for a tolerant America. Yes, we have deep religious
convictions, but we never claim a monopoly on truth, and we respond forcefully and
emphatically when others speak of Jews with hatred or disdain. If these are the
expectations that we have created for ourselves, we must expect no less from others. And
if there exist in our midst religious leaders who choose to demonize other religious
traditions, they do not belong in our camp and we do not belong in theirs.
Finally, and most important, we
should avoid alliances with Christian Zionists because what they mean by support of Israel
and what we mean by support of Israel are two very different things. Christian Zionists,
and especially Christians United for Israel, do not offer unconditional support for the
Jewish state. They offer support for a particular religious vision, particular Israeli
leaders, and particular political factions, all of which reflect their own prophecy-driven
view of the Middle East.
The heart of Pastor Hagees
message is to be found in these words: Stop giving the land away. The land belongs
to you. Keep it.
In short, mainstream Christian
Zionists are, by their own admission, not advocates of Israel but
Biblical advocates of Israel, and this means that they oppose any territorial
concessions by the Government of Israel for any reason whatsoever. It follows that their
vision of Israel rejects a two-state solution, rejects the possibility of a democratic
Israel, and supports the permanent occupation of all Arab lands now controlled by Israel.
Are they entitled to such
views? Of course. But we are entitled to say, and are obligated to say, that such views
may advance their theology but they do so at the expense of Israels security and
well-being. If implemented, in fact, these views would mean disaster for Israel, and would
lead to diplomatic isolation, increased violence, and the loss of Israels Jewish
It might be helpful to
remember that the current government and the four previous governments of Israel have all
supported some version of a two-state solution; while the details differ, all are based on
a negotiated agreement that would provide peace and security both for Israel and for a
Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. It might be helpful to remember as well that
such a position is supported by the Government of the United States, by the Democratic and
Republican parties, by the last four American presidents, by all the current presidential
candidates, and by the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community. To say this
is not to say that such a solution is attainable in the short run; in my view, it probably
is not. But there is a huge difference between those who ask Israel to work patiently for
a two-state solution that may be a long time coming, and those who ask that the principle
of such a solution be replaced by the vision of an apartheid state with a Jewish minority,
despised by the world and eternally at war with its neighbors.
Recently some Christian
Zionists leaders have claimed that while they oppose a two-state solution, they do not
interfere in Israels internal affairs. But of course they do. In July of 2007,
Pastor Hagee and other Christian Zionist leaders wrote a letter to President Bush stating
that land for peace is a failed policy of the past. That is interference. In
November of 2007, at the time of Annapolis, Christian Zionist representatives, along with
some Jewish leaders, met with President Bushs National Security Advisor to demand
that the issue of Jerusalem be taken off the table in any negotiations between Israelis
and Palestinians. That is interference. And Christian Zionists actively opposed the
disengagement from Gaza and supported the settlers who were resisting the evacuation. That
is interference as well. Again, they have every right to express these views, but we have
a right and an obligation to make clear what they are saying and what it means for the
I know that there are those in the
Jewish community who argue for working with Pastor Hagee and accepting his support, and
they offer a variety of rationales for doing so.
The claim that we hear most
frequently is that there is a diversity of opinions within the Jewish community, and just
as we work with Jews who oppose a two-state solution, so too should we work with
Christians who oppose a two-state solution. But this is a bogus argument. Surely there are
broad areas of agreement related to Israel within our community, and we are happy to work
with other Jews in all those areas where agreement exists. But most members of the Reform
Movement do not participate in Jewish events that call for settlement expansion or that
oppose the principle of territorial compromise by Israel. And we speak out when our fellow
Jews use fundamentalist theology as an argument against a two-state solution. We also work
hard to make certain that dollars raised through communal structures are not expended in
the territories. And in all cases our views reflect the majority position of the
community. In other words, the fact that anti-democratic and extremist views exist within
the Jewish community does not make those views acceptable or right. We oppose them when
they appear in our own ranks, and so too must we oppose them when they come from outside.
The other claim that is made
is that hard-nosed political realities require us to make common cause with Christian
Zionists. The argument here is that these are difficult times for the Jewish state. Hamas
is a radical, religiously fanatic organization, committed to Israels destruction.
Americans, meanwhile, discouraged by a collapsing economy and disillusioned by our
failures in Iraq, are tiring of overseas commitments. Under these circumstances, Israel
needs all the friends it can get, and the conclusion is that Christian Zionists are an
important source of support.
I agree with these concerns,
but I would draw precisely the opposite conclusions.
In the first place, the central
principle of pro-Israel advocacy in America for half a century has been that it must be
moderate, centrist, and insistently bi-partisan, able to draw advocates from both sides of
the political aisle. The reason for this is that American support for Israel relies as
much or more on shared democratic values as it does on military and strategic factors, and
emphasizing those common values is the most important task of Israels friends in
this country. Keep in mind too, as I have stated, that there are no major differences
between the political parties on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and both parties
support the two-state solution advocated by the Clinton and Bush administrations. And
finally this: American Evangelicals are not moving toward Pastor Hagee; they are moving
away from him. All the evidence that we have indicates that Evangelicals are tired of
stridency and desire more pluralism and moderation, and they see their future far more
with Rick Warren than they do with John Hagee. And most Evangelicals, like most Americans
and most Israelis, support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In other words, this is the worst
possible time to draw Israel into Americas culture wars. On Israeli-Palestinian
politics, John Hagee and the CUFI are extremists. They do not represent Evangelicals, do
not represent Republicans, and do not represent the American heartland. In expressing
contempt for other religions and rejecting territorial compromise under any and all
circumstances, their views run against the American grain. Those who advocate embracing
them now are misreading in a monumental way the American political and religious
It is important for me to say
a few words in Pastor Hagees defense. Those who know him tell me that he is a warm
and engaging man who has deep respect and esteem for Israel and the Jewish people. Unlike
many other Evangelical leaders, he makes no effort to share the Gospel with Jews, and does
not mention Jesus to Jewish audiences. Also, he does not read the Bible to mean that
Armageddon will be accompanied by a Jewish Holocaust. Furthermore, as others have pointed
out to me, he does not need our permission to do what he does. That is quite right, and I
have no desire to engage in a campaign against him or the organization that he heads. But
I do believe that we should recognize the dangers and keep our distance.
Specifically, I think that we
should refrain from participating in the Night to Honor Israel road shows that
Pastor Hagee sponsors. I have listened to my colleagues who have chosen to do otherwise
and have tried to understand. But my view is that most of the time, these evenings will
not increase our political clout. They will reduce our political clout and drive away our
allies. And I cannot accept the argument from Jewish leaders that they can endorse CUFI
events, appear as speakers at these events, accept CUFI money, and still distance
themselves from the positions that CUFI embraces.
These are challenging times
for Israel and her people. Israels government is not blameless, to be sure, but from
the Palestinians we see only relentless terror. Surely the Palestinian national movement,
in its various manifestations, is one of the ugliest and stupidest national movements in
modern history. Just once we would like to see a Palestinian leader come forward and say:
the Jews are not in intrusion here, or an accident of history. Just once we would like to
hear them say: in coming to Palestine, the Jews have come home. Just once we would like to
see a Palestinian Rabin.
But in the meantime, as
understandable as it might be in these circumstances, we must not fall victim to a
theology of despair. It is important to remember, even now, that peace may take time, but
it is not forever beyond reach. It is important to remember, even now, that Israel has
friends, and Jews have friendsour own government most important among them. And it
is important to remember that Israels greatest friends and most important defenders
are not the fundamentalists or the extremists, or those who, with utter confidence, take
their orders directly from God; rather, her greatest friends are those who work for an end
to this terrible conflict, and who pray for peace for all who live in the land that we all
Thank you very much.
Statement on Israel/Palestine
As evangelical Christians committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, we feel
compelled to make a statement together at this historic moment in the life of the Holy
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is near a momentous turning point. The strife has
continuedsometimes simmering, sometimes exploding in terrible conflictfor
In the context of our ongoing support for the security of Israel, we believe that unless
the situation between Israel and Palestine improves quickly, the consequences will be
devastating. Palestiniansespecially the youth who have no economic
opportunityare increasingly sympathetic to radical solutions and terrorism. As a
result, the threat to Israels security is now greater.
Likewise, the threat to Americas national security is greater. Because so many of
the worlds 1.3 billion Muslims see America through the prism of Israel-Palestine,
the longer the current situation continues, the more likely it is that anti-American
attitudes, policies, and terrorist activities will increase dramatically among Muslims
As evangelical Christians, we believe our faith compels us to speak a word together at
this crucial moment.
The Bible clearly teaches that God longs for justice and peace for all people. We believe
that the principles about justice taught so powerfully by the Hebrew prophets apply to all
nations including the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians. Therefore we are
compelled to work for a fair, negotiated solution for both Israelis and Palestinians. We
resolve to work diligently for a secure, enduring peace and a flourishing economy for the
democratic State of Israel. We also resolve to work for a viable permanent, democratic
Palestinian State with a flourishing economy that offers economic opportunity to all its
people. We believe that the way forward is for the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate
a fair, two-state solution.
We are encouraged that the Israeli and Palestinian governments have officially endorsed a
two-state solution and that polls demonstrate that solid majorities in both Israel and
Palestine embrace this path.
We call on all evangelicals, all Christians, and everyone of good will to join us to work
and pray faithfully in the coming months for a just, lasting two-state solution in the
Holy Land. We call on all involved governments to work diligently toward this goal. And we
covenant to pray for the leaders of all the nations engaged in this effort, hoping for
them the blessing of our Lord who said, Blessed are the peacemakers.
As we work and pray, we are strengthened by the truth that Christ will return some day to
complete his victory over sin and injustice, and we are empowered by the knowledge that
until He comes again, He summons us to support the things that promote peace and justice
for everyone in the Holy Land.
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write as evangelical Christian leaders in the United
States to thank you for your efforts (including the major address on July 16) to
reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to achieve a lasting peace in the
region. We affirm your clear call for a two-state solution. We urge that your
administration not grow weary in the time it has left in office to utilize the vast
influence of America to demonstrate creative, consistent and determined U.S. leadership to
create a new future for Israelis and Palestinians. We pray to that end, Mr. President.
We also write to correct a serious misperception among some
people including some U.S. policymakers that all American evangelicals are opposed to a
two-state solution and creation of a new Palestinian state that includes the vast majority
of the West Bank. Nothing could be further from the truth. We, who sign this letter,
represent large numbers of evangelicals throughout the U.S. who support justice for both
Israelis and Palestinians. We hope this support will embolden you and your administration
to proceed confidently and forthrightly in negotiations with both sides in the region.
As evangelical Christians, we embrace the biblical promise
to Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you." (Genesis 12:3). And precisely as
evangelical Christians committed to the full teaching of the Scriptures, we know that
blessing and loving people (including Jews and the present State of Israel) does not mean
withholding criticism when it is warranted. Genuine love and genuine blessing means acting
in ways that promote the genuine and long-term well being of our neighbors. Perhaps the
best way we can bless Israel is to encourage her to remember, as she deals with her
neighbor Palestinians, the profound teaching on justice that the Hebrew prophets
proclaimed so forcefully as an inestimably precious gift to the whole world.
Historical honesty compels us to recognize that both
Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the
lands of Israel/Palestine. Both Israelis and Palestinians have committed violence and
injustice against each other. The only way to bring the tragic cycle of violence to an end
is for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a just, lasting agreement that guarantees
both sides viable, independent, secure states. To achieve that goal, both sides must give
up some of their competing, incompatible claims. Israelis and Palestinians must both
accept each other's right to exist. And to achieve that goal, the U.S. must provide robust
leadership within the Quartet to reconstitute the Middle East roadmap, whose full
implementation would guarantee the security of the State of Israel and the viability of a
Palestinian State. We affirm the new role of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and pray
that the conference you plan for this fall will be a success.
Mr. President, we renew our prayers and support for your
leadership to help bring peace to Jerusalem, and justice and peace for all the people in
the Holy Land.
Finally, we would request to meet with you to personally
convey our support and discuss other ways in which we may help your administration on this
Ronald J. Sider, President
Evangelicals for Social Action
Don Argue, President
Raymond J. Bakke, Chancellor
Bakke Graduate University
Gary M. Benedict, President
The Christian & Missionary Alliance
George K. Brushaber, President
Gary M. Burge, Professor
Wheaton College & Graduate School
Tony Campolo, President/Founder
Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education
Christopher J. Doyle, CEO
American Leprosy Mission
Leighton Ford, President
Leighton Ford Ministries
Daniel Grothe, Pastoral Staff
New Life Church (Colorado Springs)
Vernon Grounds, Chancellor
Stephen Hayner, former President
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor
Member, Executive Committee of the NAE
Jo Anne Lyon, Founder/CEO
World Hope International
Gordon MacDonald, Chair of the Board
Albert G. Miller, Professor
Richard Mouw, President
Fuller Theological Seminary
David Neff, Editor
Glenn R. Palmberg, President
Evangelical Covenant Church
Earl Palmer, Senior Pastor
University Presbyterian Church Seattle
Victor D. Pentz, Pastor
Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta
John Perkins, President
John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development
Bob Roberts, Jr., Senior Pastor
Northwood Church, Dallas
Leonard Rogers, Executive Director
Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding
Andrew Ryskamp, Executive Director
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
Chris Seiple, President
Institute for Global Engagement
Robert A. Seiple, Former Ambassador-at-Large,
International Religious Freedom
U.S. State Department
Luci N. Shaw, Author, Lecturer
Regent College, Vancouver
Jim Skillen, Executive Director
Center for Public Justice
Glen Harold Stassen, Professor
Fuller Theological Seminary
Richard Stearns, President
Clyde D. Taylor, Former Chair of the Board
Harold Vogelaar, Director
Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice
Berten Waggoner, National Director
Max Blumenthal on Christian United for Israel
Daniel Trieman of the Jewish
Daily Forward interviews Max Blumenthal on his latest satirical video from the Christians United for Israel convention
in DC. Blumenthal explains why Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and the Christian
Zionist movement pose a grave threat to the State of Israel
So I take it from this video that you dont think that
American Jews should ally themselves with these Christian Zionists?
Whatever you think about Israel, whether youre a Zionist or not,
whether youre a Likudnik or you support Labor or even a more left-wing party, you
have to recognize that Israels survival depends on a permanent settlement with the
Palestinians. And this organization opposes and lobbies against any sort of negotiation
with the Palestinians or Israels Arab neighbors, and thats extraordinarily
dangerous to Israels short-term security and long-term survival. If you look deeper
in a moral sense, its absolutely immoral for Jews to align themselves with this
organization and cynical, because of their theology, which is openly antisemitic
and culminates in a battle between what one participant in the conference described as a
war between the Christians and the anti-Christians the anti-Christians encompass
Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, anyone who isnt a born-again Christian, including
mainline Christians and Palestinian Christians whove lived in Nazareth and Bethlehem
since the days of the Apostles. So absolutely, I think its cynical and dangerous for
Jews to align themselves with this organization and with Christian Zionists. And those who
have reflect a level of desperation that I think is really troubling.
In part, this is because American Jews feel spurned by some groups
that they had seen particularly liberal Jews had seen as their natural
allies. For instance, the more liberal mainline churches are seen as unfairly placing the
onus on Israel for its conflict with the Palestinians. The Presbyterians had moved forward
on a divestment measure, an effort that weve seen echoes of in other mainline
denominations. And many Jews view the intellectual left or the activist left
including The Nation magazine as hostile to Israel. So people say, Well, Jews
and Israel should take their friends where they can get them, irrespective of what these
friends think is going to happen in the afterlife. How would you respond to people
who say that, who feel because they perceive those on the left as being unfriendly to
Israel, they cant really turn away these people who are coming to them as allies,
and as supporters of Israel?
Being friendly to Israel is sort of a loaded phrase. Its
a very subjective phrase. And I dont know how you would define that, Being
friendly to Israel. But if anyone thinks being friendly to Israel means
encouraging Israel to take more land, encouraging Israel to expand its illegal settlements
in the West Bank, encouraging Israel to ramp up hostilities with its neighbors, then I
think those people need to look in the mirror and assess the consequences of their
priorities, because these sort of initiatives have very dangerous consequences for
Israels long-term survival. If they want to be in a permanent state of war, I think
Christians United for Israel, those are great allies for Israel, and Christian Zionists in
Right Ramps Up Support for Perpetual War in the Middle East
- by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Executive Director of HaMifgash in Los Angeles, CA and
co-director of JewsOnFirst.org and Rev. Dr.
Donald Wagner, professor of Middle Eastern studies at North Park University in Chicago,
On July 16-19, Christians United
for Israel (CUFI) will convene its second annual convention in Washington , D.C. and
again push its apocalyptic war agenda with the Bush Administration and Members of
Congress.Last year CUFIs
inaugural convention drew approximately 3600 Christian fundamentalists and conservative
Jewish supporters.After three days of
sermons by end-time preachers and politicians calling for war on
Iran and additional military support for Israel s war with Hizbollah in Lebanon
, conferees were deployed to Capitol Hill to lobby for these agendas.This years convention is expected to
serve up another diet of end-time Biblical scenarios and perpetual war in the Middle East
with the centerpiece being a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran .
The Christian end time
calculations of CUFI loyalists, coupled withre-build
the Temple settler Jewish allies, and the cynical demands of American and Israeli
politicians form a pathogenic religious brew that is frightening.Most American and Israeli Jews understand that
territorial compromise, a viable Palestinian state and respect for Israeli and Palestinian
security and national rights are the key ingredients for a peace agreement in the Holy
Land .CUFI and company prefer to see
Israel control every inch of the West Bank and Gaza Strip even if the price is war
without end.We believe these policies
are inconsistent with our scriptures, ethical standards, and the future security of both
Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs.
CUFIs President, the Rev.
John Hagee, Pastor of the San Antonio Cornerstone Baptist mega-church, is the most visible
Christian advocate of Christian Zionism and stronger U.S. ties to Israel s right
wing political parties.Despite the
significant growth of CUFI and its close ties with Israeli and American Jewish leadership,
its support is far from monolithic. In the Jewish community, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the
president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest religious grouping in America ,
reminded the Jewish community of the other agendas of the Christian Right and CUFI.In a recent Forward editorial (5/18/07)
entitled When We Let John Hagee Speak For Us, Rabbi Yoffie pointed to
the disastrous results of an alliance with John Hagee, who is contemptuous of
Muslims, dismissive of gays, possesses a triumphalist theology and opposes a two-state
solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.In
addition, the long-held Jewish advocacy for civil liberties, particularly free speech,
concern for the environment, and protection from Christian proselytizing activities in
government sponsored activities are endangered by associating with the CUFI camp.
The end-time fear and death
theology practiced by fundamentalists (Jewish and Christian) conflicts with the teachings
(Torah) of life and the Gospel (Good News).The websites JewsOnFirst.org and Christianzionism.org provide alternative resources
and analysis for Christians and Jews to challenge Christian Zionism and similar
organizations that play fast and loose with their respective scriptures, the protection of
civil liberties, and the separation of church and state.
The mainline Protestant, Roman
Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches reject the theology and practices of Christian
Zionism with five U.S. denominations issuing policy statements that reject the theology
and practice of Christian Zionism.In August,
2006, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem , consisting of Patriarchs and Bishops
representing all major Christian denominations in the Holy Land issued a clear challenge
to Christian Zionism.Citing Christian
Zionisms tendency to frame issues within a theology of war and an end-time
Apocalypticism, the statement said: We categorically reject Christian Zionist
doctrines as false teachings that corrupt the biblical message of love, justice, and
reconciliation .We (further) reject these policies as they advance racial exclusivity
and perpetuate war rather than the gospel of universal love. Most Evangelical
Christians also reject CUFIs militant theology, as reflected in a July, 2002, letter
to President Bush that was signed by fifty Evangelical leaders, which stated:Significant numbers of American evangelicals
reject the way some have distorted biblical passages as their rationale for uncritical
support for every policy and action of the Israeli government instead of judging all
actions - of both Israelis and Palestinians --on the basis of biblical standards of
justice. The great Hebrew prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, declared that God
calls all nations and all people to do justice to one to another, and to protect the
oppressed, the alien, the fatherless and the widow.
The present decade has
demonstrated repeatedly that most political conflicts in the Middle East cannot be
resolved by military force alone, and certainly not by religious extremists.Therefore, we call upon people of faith to
reject CUFIs agenda as false prophecy, reckless politics, and contrary to the
essential teachings of thethree Abrahamic
faiths.We continue to hope that religious
people will embrace the teachings of peace rather than war.Jews, Christians and Muslims must stop blessing war and seek peace based upon
At What Cost?
About the Author:
Cody O Rourke is a senior at Central Michigan University
studying political science. He is currently spending a semester studying Arabic at the
University of Jordan in Amman. He also works with the Israeli Coalition Against House
Demolitions rebuilding houses in the occupied territories of Palestine.
+ + + +
An American university student working in the Palestinian Territories
writes about the devastating effects of CUFI's policies on the lives of
Palestinians. Where is the grace of God in this? he asks.
The Jerusalem Post recently ran an article entitled "Activists fight
uphill battle for greater Efrat. As I read this article on the hot and cramped bus
on the way home from Jerusalem, I began to get sick to my stomach.
It depicts the strategy, the steadfast goal to enlarge the Efrat
settlement, which is already over 6.5 kilometers over the 1967 borders. A group of Zionist
expansionists are lobbying the government to reroute the Apartheid Wall to enclose Givat
Haeitam a large portion of Efrat.
Datya Yitzhaki and Nadia Matar from the Women in Green describe this land
as "undeveloped, even though it is land with ownership rights to Palestinians.
. . .
Aside from the massive 40 million dollars that will be allotted to the
settlement of immigrants from our government, massive financial and political support for
the settlement flows unimpeded from the Christian Zionists in America.
One such organization is the Christian Friends for Israeli Communities.
Their website boasts, "From around the world have stood up for Israel and become
valuable friends and supporters of the pioneers of Biblical Israel. Through CFOIC
Heartland, churches, ministries, and individuals have visited the communities and linked
with them directly through the adopt-a-settlement program. Thousands of Christians have
provided financial support for community projects and have made a real difference in the
ability of these communities to cope.
Their elaborate selection of programs is impressive, ranging from special
security needs to state of art recreation facilities.
So how do these American-based organizations finance operations that are
against international law? Their political power.
You can take a look at the more astute, more aggressive Christians
United for Israel, headed by the Christian entertainment tycoon John Hagee, who
has a 18,000 member Cornerstone Church and hosts a TV ministry that spreads his message to
millions around America.
Max Blumenthal from the "Nation" reports that "With the
help of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who once spoke at a massive pro-Israel
fundraiser at Cornerstone Church, Hagee has raised at least $8.5 million for Israeli
social work projects."
Hagee is trying to build what he calls "The Christian version of
To prevent the Bush Administration from following through with the Peace
Accords which would demand that the Israelis concede land to Palestine, Hagee brought
together 400 Christian evangelical leaders representing as many as 30 million
Christians for an invitation-only "Summit on Israel."
Hagee aspires to create workshops in all 50 states to lobby congress and
the president on issues that are critical to sustain expansionist policy.
The sickness in my stomach on the bus that day wasnt just the fact
that fathers would have to wake up one morning to the roaring sounds of bull dozers and
excavators and frantically evacuate their belongings and children from the house before it
The sickness didnt even so much come from the fact that those
displaced children would never be able to visit the land that belonged to their
grandparents to take in the history of love and relationship that was built on that land.
The sickness came from the fact that there are Christians maybe
even some in our own community supporting and advancing the destruction of lives.
And from the fact that so many people are yearning for the Grace that
Jesus has to offer searching for his abounding mercy and they are offered
President of the Union of Reform Judaism Raises Questions
about Jewish Embrace of John Hagee
The American Jewish community must decide: Does it want to connect young Jews
to Israel, or does it intend to drive them away?
By supporting Birthright Israel, the community was wise enough to see that even our
most disengaged young people have a yearning for connection to the Jewish state.
Birthright is one of our proudest achievements.
Still, Birthright alone cannot create Zionists or committed Jews. What it can do is
ignite a spark of Jewish interest that we must carefully tend so that it grows into a
roaring fire of devotion to Israel and to Jewish life.
Yet we are faltering in tending that spark. Our most committed young-adult Jews are
living Jewish lives in which Israel plays, at best, a peripheral part.
I am referring here not to the alienated and uninvolved, who are distanced from all
things Jewish, but to Jewish activists who create havurot, join minyanim
or find a place in established synagogues or Jewish community centers. These future Jewish
leaders are not hostile to Israel, and many have positive memories from Birthright or
youth-movement trips, but Israel today is a marginal part of their Jewish consciousness.
There is no single explanation for their disaffection, but surely one important reason
is the increasingly right-wing and even reactionary tone that some elements of the
organized community have adopted in their pronouncements on Israel. American Jews have
always been moderate in their views on Israel, and this is especially true for the young.
Of course, the fact that some national and umbrella bodies express hard-line sentiments
that do not reflect majority opinion is not new. What is new and deeply disturbing is that
local communal bodies are now following their lead. Proof of this trend, as reported in
these pages earlier this month, is the willingness of some local Jewish federations to
support and endorse events sponsored by Pastor John Hagee and his lobbying group,
Christians United for Israel.
In March, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee departed from past policy
and gave Hagee a prime slot at its national convention in Washington, his new status in
the Jewish community was confirmed. I am an admirer and supporter of Aipac, but this
decision was a mistake for two reasons.
The first is the way that Hagees appearance would be perceived on Capitol Hill.
The central principle of Israel advocacy for half a century has been that support of
Israel must be broad and bipartisan, and this means appealing to the Republican and
Democratic mainstream and avoiding identification with controversial minorities in either
Second, and even more worrisome, was the question of how Hagees Aipac speech
would be interpreted by the Jewish community. My fear was that it would confer legitimacy
on him and that local communities would be tempted to embrace him as Aipac had, in the
process alienating many Jews, including most young Jews and this is precisely what
We know a great deal about Jewish young adults. We have learned from extensive research
that these young people are often more socially liberal than their baby-boomer parents.
They are pluralistic in their thinking, and they are tolerant of difference, especially
differences in gender and sexual orientation.
They respond negatively to those who disparage other religious traditions and who make
exclusivist religious claims. They are insistently centrist in their political views on
the Middle East. And they are suspicious of a Jewish establishment that they see as too
focused on money and insufficiently focused on values.
And so whom do we offer to these young people as a spokesman for Israel? John Hagee,
who is contemptuous of Muslims, dismissive of gays, possesses a triumphalist theology and
opposes a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. If our intention was to
distance our young adults from the Jewish state, we could not have made a better choice.
Even worse, a primary motive here seems to be that we see Hagee and his Christians
United for Israel as a source of dollars for federation coffers. The pattern has been that
in return for federation sponsorship of dinners hosted by the lobbying group,
contributions are made by Christians United for Israel to our federation fundraising
campaigns. The conclusion that our young people are most likely to draw from this
arrangement is that we are simply selling our souls.
Let me be clear: I favor dialogue and extending a hand of friendship to Hagee and to
all Evangelical Christians. Lets learn about each other and discuss areas of
agreement and disagreement. I traveled to Liberty University last year to meet with the
late Reverend Jerry Falwell for precisely this purpose. But there is a vast difference
between respectful dialogue and an endorsement that makes John Hagee our communitys
champion of Israel.
Our federations are community organizations that operate on the principle of consensus.
I urge our federations to conduct broad-based discussions to determine if a consensus
really exists on endorsing Christians United for Israel events. Lets weigh if we are
trading short-term advantage for long-term disaster. Lets ask if we are creating
connections with Birthright that we are then tearing asunder with Hagee.
Lets consider if in return for temporary financial benefit, we are alienating
those who will be our leaders and donors tomorrow. And while we make these decisions,
lets remember that Israel is the most precious possession of the Jewish people and
it belongs to us all.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie is president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Fri. May 18, 2007
Congressperson Speaks out Against CUFI
We applaud the courage of Minnesota congressional representative, Betty
McCollum, for not only declining CUFI's invitation to attend one of their "Nights to
Honor Israel" which have in the past turned out to be little more than anti Muslim
war mongering rallies, but taking the time to make public the letter she wrote to CUFI
detailing the reasons why she declined. We are happy to print the letter below
in the hope that other congress people will join her in protesting what CUFI has come to
stand for. The full copy of the letter is available in a pdf file on Rep.
McCollum's letterhead with attachments. Please make it available to your own
congressperson or anyone else who you feel needs to understand the danger CUFI
presents to the peace process in the Middle East and our own democratic traditions.
Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism.
REPRESENTATIVE McCOLLUM'S LETTER:
April 25, 2007
Pastor James M. (Mac) Hammond
Living Word Christian Church
9201- 75th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
Dear Pastor Hammond:
A letter of invitation to your
church's April 29th event, "A Night to Honor Israel," was received in my St.
Paul office. In response, I am writing to inform you that I must decline the invitation.
Your event and events like it
are "being coordinated and conducted around the country by Christians United for
Israel," according to the invitation. The founder of this organization, Pastor John
Hagee, is prominently highlighted on the invitation as an event speaker, along with
Israel's Consul General Barukh Binah.
Pastor Hammond, freedom of
speech and the freedom to practice one's religion are cherished American rights. However,
well publicized public statements by Pastor Hagee demonstrate extremism, bigotry and
intolerance that is repugnant. For example:
believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God ... I believe that
Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."
(Fresh Air, 9/18/2006)
who live by the Quran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews." (Fresh Air, 9/18/2006)
would hope the United States would join Israel in a military pre-emptive strike to take
out the nuclear capability of Iran for the salvation of Western civilization." (Jerusalem Post, 3/21/2006)
These statements are not
representative of the people of Minnesota nor do I believe they reflect the views of the
people of Israel whom the Pastor purports to be advocating on behalf of your church. How
does one "honor Israel" with an individual whose toxic statements pollute the
environment of peaceful religious coexistence, cooperation and respect that we strive to
achieve in America, and especially in Minnesota, among Christians, Jews, Muslims and
people of all faiths?
Pastor Hammond, it seems I am
not alone in this belief. A clergyman from Pastor Hagee's own hometown of San Antonio, TX,
Rabbi Barry Block, was identified in the Jewish Weekly as a supporter of Israel and
characterizes Hagee as promoting, "...extremist anti-Palestinian
positions and anti-Muslim prejudice..."and
states, "I do not believe
Pastor Hagee's activism is good for Israel."(Jewish Weekly, 3/9/2007)
My support and much of
America's support for Israel is built on a historic partnership between our two nations
and peoples, sharing a common goal of living in peace, security and freedom. Unlike Pastor
Hagee, I support working for the "roadmap for peace" in the Middle East, Israel
living side-by-side in peace and security with an independent Palestinian state. This is a
goal many of us in Congress share with both Israeli political leaders and citizens.
Pastor Hammond, your invitation
says this event's purpose is for people to "speak
and act with one voice in support of Israel and the Jewish people."
As an elected official and a person of faith, I feel compelled to speak out against a
voice, like Pastor Hagee's, that promotes or, even worse, preaches intolerance and bigotry
- whether in churches, synagogues or mosques. Minnesota is a state in which
multiculturalism, religious tolerance, honest debate and a spirit of respect are
treasured. Pastor Hagee's voice is clearly inconsistent with our Minnesota values
and I believe with the values of the people of Israel .
Member of Congress
Cc: Minnesota Congressional
His Excellency Sallai Meridor, Ambassador of
The Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco
gave us a heads up about this
story, suggesting it would make a good Muzzlewatch entry. According to
CAIRs own press release:
The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV)
today called on campus police at the University of California - Davis (UC Davis) to detain
a speaker who openly states that he has committed acts of terror.
The UC Muslim Student Association also joined in the call, right before Shoebat
was to appear before a sold-out UC audience.
At first glance, it seemed to make sense for Muzzlewatch. Walid Shoebat, a
self-proclaimed former terrorist and Palestinian, who had converted to evangelical
Christianity and discovered a new love for Israel, certainly had a right to speak at a
public university, even if one disagreed with him.
But there was another question about Walid Shoebat, a longtime favorite on the
Israel-right-or-wrong speaking circuit. Why exactly did CAIR and the MSA want him
It was true, in an age of hyper-vigilance about terrorism, when even nuns get stuck on
airline watch lists, and Muslim academics have a hard time just getting into (or back
into) the country, it does seem odd that a supposed former terrorist who admits killing
Israelis is running around the country, popping up on Fox and CNN, with nary a care in the
world about getting hauled in by some enforcement agency.
But the real issue, it seemed, which CAIR and the MSA should have kept focused on, was
that Shoebat is a religious extremist bigot who doesnt deserve a platform at a
public university. In fact, the question really should be, why are groups giving this guy
even a second of airtime?
(By the way, he was invited
to UC by the campus chapter of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies,
which as we reported earlier,
is part of the Carter was bought by Arabs smear campaign.)
If anything, that CAIR and the MSA felt they had to resort to the PR tactic of calling
for Shoebats detention to get anyone to notice is a disgusting indictment of the
fact that nobody else really seems to care if this guy is an Islamophobe. Hating Muslims
just doesnt rank as anything to get, you know, worked up about.
But theres more.
To understand how disturbing it is that Jewish groups promote a Christian Zionist
like Shoebat, it helps to understand the end times belief.
Josh Nathan-Kazis, a reporter for New Times, the
only national magazine written by and for Jewish college students, wrote:
As an evangelical Christian, Shoebat has a vision that goes beyond annexing the entire
West Banka vision that he avoids mentioning to his Jewish audiences. In private,
though, Shoebat explained that he believes there will be a great battle at the
end the children of Ishmael versus the Jewish community. Christians believe [the
Jews] will recognize that Jesus is the Messiah in the end. Then he added,
but that is beside the point, this is not my agenda in the universities.
Coming out of the
Himself to be a Christian Zionist
President Bush gave his standard speech at the
Israeli Knesset on the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary. It was full of the
usual simplistic platitudes painting the world in colors black and white.
But there was something unique about the Speech this
time; something that confirms what we have long suspected, but could never affirm with any
kind of certainty. President Bush is a Christian Zionist.
This is evident in what Bush said about the
establishment of the Israeli state which he apparently considers to have been a divinely
ordained event for a chosen people.
Sixty years ago in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion
proclaimed Israel's independence, founded on the "natural right of the Jewish people
to be masters of their own fate." What followed was more than the establishment of a
new country. It was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and
David -- a homeland for the chosen people Eretz Yisrael.
This chosen status, according to Bush, is
what binds Americas destiny to Israels. This is not a mundane
political partnership. This is a match made in heaven.
The alliance between our governments is
unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded
in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul.
When William Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah:
"Come let us declare in Zion the word of God." The founders of my country saw a
new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan.
What this means is that Israel (and by inference, her
divinely chosen soul mate, America) stands as a beacon of divine purpose in the
world; from her Gods light shines most brightly.
You have raised a modern society in the
Promised Land, a light unto the nations that preserves the legacy of Abraham and Isaac and
Jacob. And you have built a mighty democracy that will endure forever and can always count
on the United States of America to be at your side. God bless.
There is something deeply troubling about the president
of our nation making statements like this, particularly in a situation so fraught with
moral ambiguity as is the founding of the State of Israel.What Israel
celebrates as independence, the Palestinians mourn as al-nakhba (the
catastrophe).What Bush lauds as evidence of Israels divine
favor, Palestinians experience as oppression.The truth is surely
somewhere in-between.But that it is in-between is
Those who have held out some faint hope that this
president could be a source of healing and hope in the Middle East are bound to be
disappointed.There is no hope here, as the kind of extreme
Christian Zionist ideology reflected in Bush's speech only adds fuel to the fire.
Obama is right. It's time for a change.
He has showed you, O
man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to
love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8b)
The time is coming
when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate
for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to
the truth and wander into myths (2 Timothy 4:3,4)
John Darby (1800-1882),
the British father of a fundamentalist school of thought known as Dispensationalism,
created a dualism that has since plagued the Christian Church and now threatens the
national security of both Israel and, according to many, America. His thesis was
that, contrary to the Christian messianic proclamation of the one Kingdom of God, there
are two Kingdoms an earthly, material Kingdom promised to the Jewish people and a
spiritual Kingdom promised to Gentile believers in Jesus Christ.
This theme was picked
up by the very popular Scofield Reference Bible published in 1909, followed by the Ryrie
Study Bible in 1994.
Not all who call
themselves Dispensationalists would fully agree with Darby.What they
do agree on, however, is the forensic distinction between Israel and the Church.Thus, they would view many or all of the Old Testament prophesies as yet to
be fulfilled in the modern nation-state of Israel.This dualism assumes
both the dispensation of the Mosaic Law and the New Testament age of Grace to be running
concurrently with different objectives.As the Gentile believer cannot
be reconciled to God outside the person and work of Jesus Christ, so the Jewish people
cannot be reconciled to God outside the land that most Dispensationalists would consider
to be Historic Palestine the land at least from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan
It has been heartening to note that prominent Jewish spokespersons are
beginning to become vocal about something that has been highlighted on this site since its
inception, that the apocalyptic wing of the Christian Zionist movement
represented by John Hagee and his Christians United for Israel
are no friends of Israel. Where most Israelis are seeking ways to move beyond the
perpetual conflict that marks their lives, John Hagee and his CUFI allies advocate
policies that would exacerbate that conflict. Where most Israelis support a two
state solution to the dilemma created by endemic war and occupation, John Hagee and CUFI
oppose it. With friends like these . . .
The latest evidence of this is seen in the establishment of a new Jewish
Lobby group called "the J Street
Project." Composed of prominent American Jewish leaders and
philanthropists and endorsed by at least two dozen key Israeli political and
military figures, J Street seeks to counter the deleterious influence of
Christian Zionist groups like Christians United for Israel by advocating for a
negotiated two state solution. In doing so J Street signals their desire to re-define the
term "Pro-Israel" tying it to advocacy of positions and policies
which will help bring peace and prosperity to both Israelis and Palestinians.
"The definition of what it means to be pro-Israel
has come to diverge from pursuing a peace settlement," said Alan Solomont, a
prominent Democratic Party fundraiser involved in the initiative. In recent years, he
said, "We have heard the voices of neocons, and right-of-center Jewish leaders and
Christian evangelicals, and the mainstream views of the American Jewish community have not
What the members of this new lobby group are recognizing is that those of
us in the mainstream Christian community - Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox -
evangelical and non - who oppose Christian Zionism are "friends of
Israel." We are friends of Israel because we raise our voices against
expansionist policies advocated by Christian Zionists which do nothing but perpetuate the
conflict. We are friends of Israel also in the desire we express for a
negotiated peace (opposed by Christian Zionists) which, in recognizing the
legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for their own independent states
within internationally recognized borders, encourages them to deal with each other as
equal partners in the peace process. In saying this we also raise our voices
in opposition to the extremists among the Palestinians whose call for the
destruction of Israel has done nothing to further the interests of the Palestinian
people. As true friends of Israel we seek those things which make for peace.
It's the only position acceptable to those who understand the core message of the
scriptures holy to Jews and Christians.
We wish the new J Street Lobby all the best in their efforts to work with
the Jewish community here in America to become advocates for policies which can lead to
peace. We will certainly do what we can to advocate the same. We are friends
of Israel. We are friends of Palestinians. We are friends of peace.
Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism
In Our Opinion: A Matter of Clarification
People who are unfamiliar with Christian Zionism, its history, its
theology, its political ideology, may make the assumption that those of us who
challenge it are also challenging Israel's right to exist or even expressing what could be
construed as anti Semitic sentiments. While this may be true with some who jump on
any bandwagon critical of Israeli political policy, it is not true with the
Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism. We fully support the right of Israel
to live within secure internationally recognized borders at peace with its neighbors,
which, of course, means the right to defend itself against those who seek its
destruction. We also support the right of Palestinians to a state of their own free
from the devastating strictures imposed by the current occupation (which echoes majority
opinion in Israel itself).
But this is not our primary concern. Our primary concern is with a
theology/ideology which distorts the Christian message by redefining the
mission of Christ from that of reconciliation with justice for all to a narrow nationalism
leading to an apocalyptic scenario which recasts the Prince of Peace into the role of a
Vengeful Warrior. Bad theology leads to bad practice. Christian Zionism is bad
theology. The fact that it lends itself to the worst kind of militaristic
nationalism justifying the theft of land, the dehumanization of both Palestinians
and Israelis (who become less flesh and blood neighbors than characters in an
eschatological fantasy) and the denial of Palestinian identity, only underscores why
this bad theology needs to be challenged.
We are not anti Israel. We are certainly not anti Semitic. We
are believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus whose demand for justice,
reconciliation and peace is the unmistakable core of the biblical message. Please
read nothing on this website as anything but .
How About a Night to Honor the Kingdom of God ?
by Dr. Donald Wagner
Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism
As an Evangelical Christian and a
professor at an Evangelical Christian university, I have been studying trends within the
movement called Christian Zionism for several years. This
weekend, San Antonio hosted a major event that showcased this movement: A National
Night to Honor Israel at Cornerstone Baptist Church.
Before the event began I clicked on the
Cornerstone website and read the calendar of events for this weekend that Pastor John
Hagee calls the
three most action packed days on Cornerstones calendar for this year.One would think that Easter or Christmas would
receive as much attention, energy, and budget as this one does, which includes an Israeli
marketplace with over 70 vendors, fireworks, and leading Israeli military analysts.
When Rev. Hagee launched Christians
United for Israel (CUFI) in Washington , D.C. in July, he claimed to speak for over 40
million Evangelical Christians.I prefer to be
omitted from that number and would seriously question the 40 million figure.Rev. Hagee does not speak for me nor does his
interpretation of Jesus message and his Middle East policy resonate with the
beliefs of the Evangelicals I know and associate.Hagees
is a militant, Crusader type of Christianity that seems to have missed the central themes
of reconciliation, forgiveness, and non-violence that are at the heart of Jesus
message and ministry..
A related concern is the fact
that Hagee and CUFI have no contact nor any apparent compassion for Palestinian Christians
who are suffering under Israel s oppressive military occupation in East Jerusalem,
the West Bank , and Gaza Strip.Virtually all
of these Christians are extremely critical of Christian Zionism and the brand of
Israel , right or wrong that CUFI proclaims, as was stated in an August, 2006
Declaration signed by Palestinian Christian Bishops and the Catholic Patriarch
in Jerusalem .It states: (Christian
Zionism) places an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather
than living Christs love and justice today.
Many Jews such as Israeli writer Gershom
Gorenberg, author of The End of Days, are extremely uncomfortable with many
anti-Semitic aspects of Christian Zionism, including the teaching that foresees two-thirds
of all Jews being killed in the latter day wars and the remainder converting to
Christianity.Gorenberg summarized his
feelings on a 2002 CBS 60 Minutes interview: As a Jew, I
dont like my chances in their drama.
Jesus was always careful to
separate one-sided political projects from his message concerning the Kingdom of
God .In several places he cautions his
followers to avoid predictions of the end of history and instead to focus a faithful
witness to Gods love.Pastor
Hagee and CUFI in contrast proclaim a cult-like Christianity that substitutes the Gospel
of Jesus Christ and the ethics of the Kingdom of God for an apparent worship of the
state of Israel . In Acts 1:6-8, these issues are addressed by Jesus just prior to his
Ascension when one of the Disciples asks: Lord, will you now restore the Kingdom to Israel
?Jesus response was clear
and is relevant for CUFIs followers: It is not for you to know the times or the
seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.In other words, dont turn the Bible into a
predictive tool for the latter day events.This
is not for us to know. Nor should we put our
primary energy and worship into a political state, whether Israel or any other state.Let God be God.Then Jesus adds: But it is for you to be my witnesses in Jerusalem , in
all Judea and Samaria , and unto the ends of the earth.
We are called to live lives that
manifest Gods love and to take that love into the difficult places, as Jerusalem
was for Christians at that time and the Holy Land is for all of Abrahams children
today.Stop reducing the Gospel of
Jesus and the Kingdom of God to benefit one side of the conflict.Perhaps it is time for a Night to
Honor the Kingdom of God pursue a just peace for all of the people of the
Holy Land .That would truly honor God.
From Religious Rant to Political Bombast
by Rev. Art Preisinger
If John Hagees Night to Honor Israel extravaganza is any indication, Christian
Zionism is a misnomer. From happy-clappy Jewish praise music, to love songs crooned
to and about Israel, to a kitschy Hava Nagila; from invocations and benedictions
that turn out to be sermons; from Muslim-bashing to Israel lauding; from dramatic
processions to keynote addresses; from offerings taken and offerings given there
was not a shred, a trace, a scintilla of Christianity in the proceedings. It could
well have been sponsored by the PTA or the Rotary Club.
Of course, if Hagee wants to honor Israel and give it gobs of non-governmental funds that
is certainly his privilege. But to promote this under the aegis of
Christian is, frankly, fraudulent.
But the Night to Honor Israel was worse than a fraud it was idolatrous,
and this in two ways.
First, what was worshiped was the state of Israel, and more particularly, Jerusalem.
Select passages culled from the Hebrew Bible, referring to Israels right
to the land all of Palestine and an undivided Jewish Jerusalem were repeated
again and again ad nauseam. What was not quoted were those passages that speak of
the obligation to do justice and practice mercy.
Part of the problem is in the word prophecy. Christian Zionists, as well
as most fundamentalists and millennialists, use that word almost exclusively as a means to
understand present, and predict future, events. Contemporary events, seen through
the spectacles of prophecy, lead to Rapture and
Tribulations and Second Comings and Armageddon.
Biblical passages are interpreted to coincide with that scenario.
On the other hand, prophecy in its initial sense is a human agent (the prophet) who speaks
Gods word for a particular existential situation. Christian Zionists would be
well-advised, for example, to read the book of the prophet Amos as a corrective to these
skewed interpretations of various passages often quoted from Ezekiel. Daniel, and
Second, the adulation of John Hagee, as one who is becoming the most important leader of
contemporary Christian Zionism, if not idolatry, comes awfully close to it. This
cult of the personality was most striking at the Night. David Brog,
Executive Director of CUFI
(Christians United for Israel) extolled the virtues of Hagee in the words, Pastor
John Hagee is not an important man. Pastor John Hagee is a great man!
With the cheering and clapping and whistling and stomping of feet and raised arms of the
3000 disciples at this announcement, I was reminded of Leni Riefenstahls film,
Triumph of the Will, about the Nuremberg rallies in Nazi Germany. Hitler had his
Goebbels; Hagee has his Brog.
Interspersed with religious rant from misinterpreted Hebrew Scriptures (the New Testament
was not mentioned once, nor was Jesus; God got a tip of the hat only occasionally) was
political bombast. This was supplied by Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice President
of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
Two things were most disturbing: the advocation of violence and the racism of the
Christian Zionist movement. Time and again Hoenlein, as well as Hagee, called for
the bombing and possible invasion of Iran. Diplomacy is not an option since it
simply conveys weakness to the 300 million (count em) Muslim terrorists who
hate freedom (that old canard) and who, if not stopped in Iran, will
eventually come to our shores with suitcases full of nuclear bombs.
What is inherent in this scenario is the racism that declares the superiority of the West
and western culture over against the East (read Middle East). And that racism is
Manichaean in stark terms they are evil, we are good (so
Hoenlein). The good must not only defend itself against the evil, it must wipe it
out; it must obliterate it.
Finally, I am struck by the fact that throughout the speeches and the hoopla the
centuries-old complaint of Jewish victimhood was juxtaposed with Israeli military triumph
(also of the will), which (God?) will grant Israel. Victim or conqueror: You cant
have it both ways.
Hagee closed his speech with God bless Israel and God bless the United States of
America. Implied is and God damn all those who are not
Suspicions Raised About "Ex terrorist" Christian Zionist by
Self proclaimed "ex-terrorist" Christian Zionist, Walid Shoebat
In an astonishing expose suspicions were raised this
week by the conservative Israeli English daily, The Jerusalem Post, that
prominent self-proclaimed ex-terrorist, Walid Shoebat, is, as some of his critics have long suspected, a
fundamentalist Christian Zionist scam artist who has concocted a fictional persona
to give credence to an anti-Muslim, apocalyptically-driven evangelical message
for a steep speaker's fee. The
Jerusalem Post article takes him to account for
both issues the veracity of his biography and questionable financial
While others have made similar accusations of Shoebat, noting that many of
the claims he makes about his "terrorist" past lack
credibility, the Post article represents the first time a journalist has done
the work of speaking to Shoebat's family members in Palestine as well as checking on
claims he has made about the status of his charitable foundation.
Of particular interest to the Post reporter was an incident which Shoebat
uses on the circuit to establish his bona fides as a legitimate "ex-PLO
terrorist." It was an attempt to bomb an Israeli bank. But, as the Post reports, this account runs counter to the recollections of his
family as well as officials at the bank in question.
"Shoebat's claim to have been a terrorist rests on his account of
the purported bombing of Bank Leumi. But after checking its files, the bank said it had no
record of an attack on its Bethlehem branch anywhere in the relevant 1977-79 period."
According to the Post, Shoebat's family members also wonder why he claims
to be living under a pseudonym for fear of reprisals when in fact he is using his own
name. They also are puzzled as to why he claims to have grown up as a
Jew-hating Islamist when the ideology with which he was raised was
actually "rather mild." The fact that this occurred at a time when
Palestinian nationalism had not yet become wedded to a militant interpretation of
Islam gives even more weight to his family members' recollections.
The Sunday Telegraph described Shoebat as a man who "for much of his life...
was eager to commit acts of terrorism for the sake of his soul and the Palestinian
In that interview he described how he and his peers were indoctrinated
as children "to believe that the fires of hell were an ever-present reality. We were
all terrified of burning in hell when we died... The teachers told us that the only way we
could certainly avoid that fate was to die in a martyrdom operation - to die for
But an uncle and a cousin of Shoebat, who still live in Beit Sahur in
the Bethlehem area, where Shoebat grew up, said that Shoebat's education was rather mild
ideologically, and that religion did not play a dominant role.
Even more potentially damning is what the journalist who wrote the piece
for the Post uncovered about the foundation Shoebat established to receive monies for his
work. According to Shoebat this foundation is a registered charity in
Pennsylvania. When state officials were contacted about this, however, there
was no evidence that this was the case, not, at least under Shoebat's name. Even more
suspicious is the way donations are received on Shoebat's website:
Visitors to Shoebat's Internet site are encouraged to make a donation
to his foundation to enable him to disseminate his message. However, a notice on the page
states that for "security reasons," the money will not be debited to his
foundation, but rather to a company called Top Executive Media. The name Top Executive
Media is used by a greetings card firm from Pennsylvania called Top Executive Greetings, a
company with an annual turnover of $500,000. When one makes a donation through the Shoebat
Internet site, the Web address changes to topexecutivegreetings.com/shoebat.
This seems to be the only active page for the company; its homepage is
Asked by the Post whether the Walid Shoebat Foundation is a registered
charity, Shoebat replied that it is registered in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania State Attorney's office said it had no record of a
charity registered under this name.
Clearly this needs to be investigated further. One wonders, in fact, how
all of this got past officials at the Air Force Academy who welcomed Shoebat and two
other self-professed "ex terrorists" to speak to their students last
month. One wonders, too, at the wisdom of any group who would invite Shoebat and his
cohorts to speak while these accusations remain largely uninvestigated. This
includes Christians United for Israel, who plan to
showcase the "three ex-terrorists" at their annual
summit meeting in Washington this coming July.
The Jerusalem Post has done a great service in taking the first steps
towards the encouragement of a more thorough investigation of of Shoebats public personae and his fundraising practices.
It's important that others now pick up where they left off.
A LUTHERAN PASTOR REFLECTS ON THE JERUSALEM STATEMENT ON
In the last part of the Apostles Creed we
confess that we believe in the
resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Hope for the coming
of the kingdom in all its fullness has always been a part of the Christian
faith. Our hope for eternal life - the life where there is no hindrance
on Gods love, gracious will, and unlimited vitality - guides our deeds
and actions in this world. What we are promised in the kingdom we strive
to make a reality now.
We cannot imagine that the problems that
human sin brings to this world
hunger, war, injustice, oppression, violence, hatred, greed, and the like
will be a part of the kingdom we long for. So now, when we see these
dark things loose in the world, we commit ourselves to follow the
teaching of Christ to overcome evil with good.
But there is a disturbing misuse of our
hope for the kingdom that makes
me so sad when I see it. This arrogant and deceitful theology plays on
human fear and not the love of God, claiming to know when the end is
It unfortunately often manifests itself
in American religious life among
those who pretend to offer secret insights from the book of Revelation
into the true meaning of events in the middle east. In times of war,
especially if involves the state of Israel, proponents of this harmful
teaching encourage war instead of looking for ways to bring peace. When
they should be calling for understanding and reconciliation, they enflame
hatred between Israelis and their Arab neighbors and between Christians
and Muslims. They do this because they claim that Christ cannot return
until the whole world is at war with Israel. My friends, I cannot say
strongly enough that this is a terribly harmful distortion of the
Christian faith, and a terrible insult to all the people of the middle
Recently our Lutheran Bishop in
Jerusalem, along with the bishops of
several other ancient and prominent Christian denominations, signed a
declaration calling for Christian leaders throughout the world to oppose
this hate mongering and instead promote love, reconciliation, justice,
and understanding in the middle east.
We call upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their silence and speak
for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principles as an
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God. In turn they
are called to honor the dignity of every human being and to respect theirinalienable
We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living together
with peace, justice and security.
There is more, but you can see their essential point: That it is wrong
for Christians to lose their hope for peace for any of the peoples of the
world. And to deny that hope by the use of the Bible is particularly
like to know the future. Life is difficult, and our hope for
the kingdom keeps us motivated to follow Jesus even when times are hard.
But as Jesus did not claim to know when
the end would come, it is
presumptuous of us to think ourselves wiser than he. Blessed are the
peacemakers, he taught. Let that be wisdom enough for us.
Rev. Franz J. Schemmel
Messiah Lutheran Church
Holy Land churches attack Christian Zionism (statement
By Matthew Tostevin
Thursday, August 31, 2006; 1:53 PM
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Vatican's envoy
in the Holy Land and bishops from three other churches have launched a rare joint attack
on the Christian Zionist movement, accusing it of promoting "racial exclusivity and
Christian Zionists form a growing part of the pro-Israel lobby in
the United States, the Jewish state's main ally. They believe the return of Jews to the
Holy Land and establishment of Israel are proof of God's promises to biblical patriarchs.
Churches in the Middle East often appear closer to the
Palestinians, whose Christian minority makes up a substantial portion of their clergy in
The "Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism" was
signed by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, a Palestinian, and by bishops of the Episcopal,
Evangelical Lutheran and Syrian Orthodox Churches in Jerusalem.
Many Christian Zionists are evangelical Protestants, and the
declaration is a sign of a growing struggle between the groups.
"The Christian Zionist program provides a world view
where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism,"
said the declaration, accusing Christian Zionists of hurting hopes for Middle East peace.
"We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that
facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual
war," the declaration added.
The three main Christian Zionist groups in Jerusalem said in a
statement that they were concerned at the declaration's "inflammatory language"
and that it was far from the truth.
Christian Zionists stress Christianity's Jewish roots. Some back
the movement to settle the occupied West Bank, the cradle of Jewish civilization, which
Palestinians want as part of an independent state.
"We pray for peace. But we note with sadness that the
present Palestinian government is totally dedicated to the destruction of Israel,"
the Christian Zionist groups said in their statement, referring to the governing
Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
The prospect of Middle East peace talks has looked even more
unlikely since Hamas's election victory in January. The group is formally dedicated to
"The problem in the region is not as simple as the Jerusalem
Declaration makes out," the Christian Zionists' statement said.
Some Christian Zionists believe that the return of the Jews to
the Holy Land will bring about the end of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Some also believe Jews themselves will have to become Christians or perish.
The Christian Zionist groups in Jerusalem said they had no
"thirst for Armageddon" and do not base their theological position on "end
time prophecy." They called for dialogue with the clerics behind the declaration that
Christian Zionism is strongest in the United States, where
support is much higher than in Europe or other parts of the world for Israel in its
conflicts with the Palestinians and in its recent war with Hizbollah guerrillas in
James Rudin, senior advisor on inter-religious affairs for the
American Jewish Committee in New York, said there are "millions and millions of
American Christians" who support Israel but who do not consider themselves Zionists.
He said they represent a core of support far larger than those
who base their backing of Israel on the Bible.
(Additional reporting by Tom Heneghan in Paris and Mike Conlon in
from the heads of various indigenous Christian churches in
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called
the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political
movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming
detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel. The Christian Zionist programme
provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire,
colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic
events leading to the end of history rather than living Christs love and justice
today. We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts
the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.
We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian
Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the
United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and
domination over Palestine. This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that
undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.
We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate
and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather
than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ.
Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate
themselves from the ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue the
healing of the nations!
We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent to pray
for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering as victims of
occupation and militarism. These discriminative actions are turning Palestine into
impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements. The establishment of the
illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian
land undermines the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and security in the
We call upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their
silence and speak for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principles as
an alternative way:
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God. In
turn they are called to honor the dignity of every human being and to respect their
We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living
together within peace, justice and security.
We affirm that Palestinians are one people, both Muslim and
Christian. We reject all attempts to subvert and fragment their unity.
We call upon all people to reject the narrow world view of
Christian Zionism and other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of others.
We are committed to non-violent resistance as the most
effective means to end the illegal occupation in order to attain a just and lasting peace.
With urgency we warn that Christian Zionism and its alliances
are justifying colonization, apartheid and empire-building.
God demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security
or reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands of justice
will not disappear. The struggle for justice must be pursued diligently and persistently
What does the Lord require of you, to act justly, to
love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
This is where we take our stand. We stand for justice. We can
do no other. Justice alone guarantees a peace that will lead to reconciliation with a life
of security and prosperity for all the peoples of our Land. By standing on the side of
justice, we open ourselves to the work of peace - and working for peace makes us children
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not
counting mens sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of
reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:19)
His Beattitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah
Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem
Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal,
Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Bishop Munib Younan,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
EVANGELICALS CHALLENGE CHRISTIAN
ZIONISTS: CONTRARY TO JESUS LIFE AND TEACHING
The images that are being portrayed in
the press and the United States are not deterring the Evangelicals from wholeheartedly
supporting Israel. Pat Robertson during his recent visit to Jerusalem,
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 9, 2006.
On July 19 & 20 Christians United For
Israel (CUFI) met in Washington DC with an agenda which included encouraging Israel to
give serious consideration to a pre-emptive strike on Iran as well as calling for
full American support for Israel's increasingly violent campaign in Lebanon and the Gaza
Strip. This approach to the issues of our day is harmful to all persons
Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Middle East and around the world.
MORE . . .
The Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism
(ISCZ) represents a different perspective. With the vast majority of U.S.
Evangelicals and an even higher percentage of U.S. Christians generally, the ISCZ believes
that seeking Gods justice and peace is a crucial element of Jesus mandate for
his Church. We believe that the ideology of Christian Zionism turns the good news of
Jesus Christ into a militant, Crusader ideology that justifies violence in the name of
God, increasing the cycles of terrorism, insecurity, and injustice. ISCZ works and
prays for the security of all of Gods people in the Middle East and fears that
CUFIs call for military solutions makes not only Israelis and their Arab neighbors
less secure, but also citizens of Europe and the United States more vulnerable to
potential terrorist acts.
In the present conflict, we denounce violence and
the suffering of innocent lives on all sides: in Israel, in Lebanon, as well as in the
Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank. We grieve for those who are victimized
by the endemic violence which accompanies the conflict between Israel and her Arab
neighbors. We grieve as well over the damage which has been done to the life giving
message of Christ at the hands of Christians who condone and even celebrate the violence.
Self-identified as Christian Zionists, these church leaders claim to bless
Israel through unconditional support for the states military policies on the basis
of a questionable interpretation of Gods promise to Abraham: I will bless
those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse (Gen. 12:3). Yet by
advocating for violent solutions to this conflict, the Christian Zionist
effort as blessing has in fact become a curse; and not only for Israel, but for all
ISCZs panel of scholars is united in their
concern for the Peace of the Middle East which includes Jews, Muslim, and
Christians. The above statements are from the Evangelical members of the ISCZ to
fellow Christians and most especially Evangelicals. Muslim and Jewish members of
ISCZ share the sentiments and concern for achieving a just and peaceful world.
The founding purpose of the Institute for
the Study of Christian Zionism is to promote the study of the history, theology, and
politics of Christian Zionism while offering a biblical nonviolent vision about the
conflicts surrounding Israel and Palestine, and their global impact.
Christian-Zionist Support of
by Baruch Maoz (Israel)
In times like these, excitement brews in many evangelical circles in which Israel finds
a solid support base: "perhaps these events will lead to Armageddon!" I cannot
understand the excitement, almost glee, with which some welcome such an awful event, nor
the tendency some of these brethren display to ignore the moral issues involved in a
For the record: I am a Christian and a Zionist. But I am not a Christian-Zionist. I am
a Christian first and intend to labour, God giving me grace, so that my Christian
convictions qualify any of my other views, including my Zionism. I, therefore, share my
people's discomfort with aspects of some Evangelical support of Israel.
ON July 28, the Wall Street Journal carried an extensive article describing the enlistment
of evangelicals in support of Israel, particularly the kind represented by Rev. John
Hagee. My letter to the correspondent, given below, will perhaps best summarize my
concerns and thoughts on this matter:
As a Jew and a Christian, as a Zionist and as Pastor of one of the larger evangelical
churches in Israel, in which both Jews and Arabs worship, I wish to go on record decrying
the motivation, the tone and the nature of Mr. Hagee's support of my nation, while
welcoming support as such all too infrequently offered to my people over the last
I do not believe anything anything! should ever be considered as capable of
absolving us from our moral responsibilities as we conduct the present war. The almost
total lack of moral consideration represented by Mr. Hagee's professedly Christian support
of Israel is less than Christian. I am grateful for the support Mr. Hagee has sought to
encourage for my nation, but do wish it were more biblically informed. The true focus in
the message of Israel's prophets was always spiritual and moral; the predictive element
had last place and was always subservient to the former two.
The West need to wake up! The present conflict is not between Hezbollah and Israel so much
as it is between a radical, determined, world-wide Islam and the liberties accorded the
West by its biblical roots. It is indeed "a clash of civilizations", in which
Israel is considered by the radical Moslem world as the forefront of western civilization,
to be destroyed and replaced by a Talibanized society that will harbinger the future of
the world at large. When will America, when will Europe awaken from the slumber of its
smug self-confidence? Will they awake before it is too late?!