Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shmuley Does it Again!

No matter how much I see support of Israel and the Jewish people by Evangelical Christians, I am wowed every time I read about it. It seems like it's increasing exponentially every day. Shumley Boteach's report from CUFI is nothing short of amazing! As an important aside - it is also interesting to note how this avowed (but rejected) Lubavitcher seems to disavow in clear and unambiguous terms the idea that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is or ever will be Moshiach:

We can never accept the Messiahship of any personality, however noble or well-intended, who died without ushering in the age of physical redemption.

That was from a later portion of that article that was no excerpted. The following is what I DID excerpt. From today's Hufffington Post:

The Christians United for Israel dinner in Washington, DC was an experience I won't quickly forget. Until you sit in a room with five thousand Christian lovers of Israel and absorb their enthusiasm for the Jewish state and the Jewish people you would be hard pressed to think it possible. But there I was, surrounded by Christians from all over the nation waving Israeli and American flags, pledging eternal love and support to the most vilified country on earth.

The speeches came fast and furious. The statements bold and unapologetic. Israel must never trade land for peace. Every attempt to do so has led to terror bases for Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel is one of the freest and most democratic nations on earth. President Obama better stop pressuring Israel or pay for it at the polls. Iran is an existential threat to both Israel and the United States. Those who treat the Jews poorly are abandoned by G-d, as history has shown time and again. The American University campus has become a hub of anti-Israel hatred. We're deploying our legions to fight it.

Sheesh. I could scarcely sit down. Nearly every line deserved an ovation.

The crowd was anything but monolithic. The head of CUFI's campus operations is a young African-American student who pledged his life to fighting for Israel. Shades of all colors were to be found in the audience with a smattering of yarmulkes dotting the landscape as well. Glenn Beck, the keynote speaker, is a Mormon even though the vast majority of participants were evangelical Christians who are often suspicious of Mormonism.

An orthodox Rabbi gave the opening benediction. My friend Dennis Prager addressed the crowd the night before the banquet, and my friend Michael Oren, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, gave a moving historical account of Christians over the last century who were moved to support Israel based on Biblical teaching.

Israeli music filled the room, sung by Christians from Texas whom I could swear sounded indistinguishable from musical acts from Tel Aviv. "I am an Israeli," declared CUFI founder Pastor John Hagee, swearing to forever defend Israel against attack at the risk of life and limb. "It's not only the support we offer Israel," said Beck, "that matters. The reason for doing so is also important. We can't do this because we think it will bring final salvation or for any other reason.

Rather, it's about love. Why did Ruth declare to Naomi, "Where you go I'll go. You're G-d is my G-d. Where you die I'll die, and there I'll be buried. Because she loved her. This has to be about love." His words directly addressed the discomfort some Jews feel with Christian support for Israel as being based on end-of-days prophecy and a necessary precursor for the return of Christ.

I sat there thinking, if only the Jewish community could offer such unequivocal support for Israel...

Evangelical Christians have emerged as Israel's most stalwart backers. They have been at the forefront of calling out President Obama for his pressure on Israel to make concessions while requiring little if anything of the Palestinians. While many Jews made peace with President Obama's reference to Israel's 1967 borders, evangelicals have refused to give an inch.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lawlessness and Disorder

What do you get when there are so many people saying that their values supersede the values of the nation? You get lawlessness.

There is so much anti government or anti police feeling among various opposing factions in Israel that even if they are at each other’s throats, they will stand as one when it comes to calling the police thugs, Nazis, …what have you.

Charedim and Religious Zionist extremists can’t be farther apart ideologically. But when it comes to the police - they are all on the same page. That’s why there were 2 lawless protests when two religious Zionist rabbis were questioned by police. There are no 2 ideologies further apart than the Eida HaCharedis and Religious Zionism. But the Eida jumped at the opportunity to join forces with the them so they could protest the government.

The end product of this kind of disdain for the government is lawlessness and vigilantism by ideologues.

The government is ignored because they know popular support is waning. Especially when mainstream respected personalities join in the severe criticism against them. The following story from Ynet is just the latest example of that:

Who is trying to hurt Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch? The Western Wall rabbi received a personal bodyguard several weeks ago after getting telephone threats and being harassed on a regular basis for the past few months.

In the past month, unknown assailants threw stones at the rabbi's car. Luckily, he wasn't hurt. In a separate incident, the car's tires were slashed.

"There are radical groups of settlers and haredim which are trying to hurt the rabbi," says a source involved in the affair. "They opposed his activity at Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's tomb on Mount Meron, when he tried to find a solution for the control struggles around the complex, and the
renovation of Joseph's Tomb by Arabs, which the rabbi was responsible for.

"Settlers have been making statements against the rabbi, like 'If you harm the Land of Israel – you'll be harmed."

In the past, the rabbi was attacked by an angry mob, members of the extreme Eda Haredit faction, while leaving the home of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

The Prime Minister's Office, which the Western Wall rabbi is subject to, is funding Rabinovitch's security expenses following the police's evaluation of the situation.