Friday, October 24, 2008

I Don't Trust Them

I don't trust the Evangelical movement and their motives for embracing Israel. Some Jews argue we need to accept their help because they are staunch backers of Israel. Maybe I'm too harsh or cynical but I cannot help feeling going this route will end in disaster for Israel. Throughout history, we've seen those who offered welcome to Jews eventually turn against them.

History tells of the forced conversions of Jews in Spain. It tells of the mass expulsions from Europe. It tells us of Poland welcoming those expelled Jews. It even tells us hat happened after the welcome mat was withdrawn. My families history is entwined with one experience: Tulchin. Jews and Poles fought against the Cossacks in that town. Jewish defenders numbered 2,000 and Polish defenders numbered 600. The Cossacks convinced the Poles to give up the Jews and Rabbi Aaron agreed, warning that not to do so, Catholics would turn on Jews as well. After the Jews gave their weapons to the Poles, the Cossacks entered the town. They were given the choice of baptism or death. The thousand Jews who remained steadfast and rejected baptism were tortured and then murdered.

Time after time, Christians have called on easing hatred of Jews. This was done in order to try to attract Jews to Christianity. One of the most famous and vile of these was the leader of the Reformation Movement, Martin Luther.

He stated at the beginning:

The Jews are blood-relations of our Lord; if it were proper to boast of flesh and blood, the Jews belong more to Christ than we. I beg, therefore, my dear Papist, if you become tired of abusing me as a heretic, that you begin to revile me as a Jew.

This was not an acceptance of Jews but merely a means of trying to court Jews to convert. When those conversions failed to appear, Luther turned on the Jews and gave the world some of the most vile anti-Semitism. Some of his one-liners:

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly and I myself was unaware of it will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted)

Mohammad also tried to woe Jews to convert to Islam and when they held steadfast, the curses rained upon them and the attacks began.

It has been barely two hundred years since Jews were freed from the ghettos of Europe. Even this was not a move intended to give Jews greater freedom but a way to speed up assimilation. We all know the atrocious horror of the Shoah. The words of Martin Luther were echoed by Hitler and are now echoed by Iran's leader. Just replace the word Jew with Zionists or Israel, the message of hate is still the same.

Today, Jews are facing another wave of anti-Semitism. Even in the US, synagogues in large cities have to have heavy security. Noted scholars openly state that the Jewish lobby has undue influence on US foreign policy. These same scholars ignore the vast lobbies of others. Since the financial melt-down, there have been more and more claims that Jewish financiers are to blame.

Evangelicals proclaim their love of Israel and are, on the surface, staunch supporters of Israel. But what is their motivation? Is it love of HaShem's Creation? Or is it the believe that by having all Jews in Israel, their messiah will come again? And what happens if their messiah doesn't show up at the proscribed time? Will their thoughts turn, as been the case many, many times through history, to destroying Jews? I know Ann Coulter is the extreme but when spouted that Christians are "perfected Jews", it was largely held that this is standard believe. We see some Christian groups calling themselves Jews for Jesus and trying by deception to convert Jews to Christianity.

History does have a nasty way of repeating itself. Each time Jews or their cause is welcomed, they are later turned on. It took a couple of hundred years for Poland to reverse its welcome mat. It took around a decade for Luther to stop praising Jews and to start vilifying them. What will happen to Evangelical support for Israel in the future? We only have history to go by and I don't trust their motives.

1 comment:

Jack said...

I am with you. I don't like friendship based on ulterior motives and that is what it feels like to me.