Good for Israel. Good for the Jews?

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Last week the Cornerstone Church of San Antonio held its 26th annual “Night to Honor Israel.” With more than 6,000 in attendance, the church raised more than $8.5 million dollars, $6 million of which went to aliyah organizations.

The church is led by Pastor John Hagee, a familiar face on the pro-Israel Evangelical scene. As reported by the Jerusalem Post:

Despite its focus on Israeli culture and Jewish history, the Night to Honor Israel was aimed squarely at Evangelicals. There was no better reminder of this than the “Song of Zion,” a history of the Jewish people told with video, live music and interpretive dance.

According to the presentation, today’s Jewish state is but a continuation of the Israel of the Old Testament. The country it describes is romanticized and biblical, all beards and harps and attractive dancing girls in flowing robes and sparkling tinsel breastplates. It jumps suddenly from exile to return to exile, presenting the Holocaust and the rebirth of the state as but the most recent phases in that cycle, the one the sole cause behind the other. It ends on a high note in 1948, with an Israel that is strong and secure. There is no mention of wars or conflicts or politics. (MORE)

There was a Jewish presence at this event. Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, accepted a check on behalf of Nefesh b’Nefesh, Dennis Prager was the keynote speaker, and representatives from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston attended along with local Jewish leaders.

There is little doubt that the money donated provided essential support to Israeli organizations.

But is mega-philanthropy from a mega-church and mega-Christians good for the Jewish people?

Posted on October 22, 2007

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4 thoughts on “Good for Israel. Good for the Jews?

  1. The Doctor

    When I lived in Texas we would hear all sorts of glowing stories about how the christians should support Israel. Sometimes they came clean and admitted that the only reason to support Israel was so that the Jews could be ingathered and converted which would be the signal for You Know Who [not Voldemort, please] to come back.

    In the short term the support of evangelicals may look good, but I do not trust them to have our interests at heart in the long run.

    As the British used to say, once you pay the Danegelt you never get rid of the Dane…

  2. The Doctor

    Problem is, sometimes the evangelicals come clean and admit that their interest in Israel is simply to have a place where they can get all the Jews together and convert them so that You-Know-Who will get his signal to come back.

    While it may be in Israel’s short term interest that these folks are supportive I am convinced that long-term they do not have our interests at heart.

    There’s an old English saying, dating back to the days when Norse raiders were hired to protect against raiding parties: Once you pay the Danegeld, it’s very hard to get rid of the Dane.

    If Israel gets cozy with the evangelicals and they start working against Jewish interests in Israel, will it be too late to disengage?

  3. mbczion

    בס’’ד

    I tend to take the middle of the road approach with the fundamentalist Christian supporters of Israel. In a nutshell, I don’t think we should paint all of them as salvating at the thought of converting Jews. However, on the other hand, it would be naive to think that NONE of them have ulterior motives for supporting Israel.

    The way I see it though is, even if there are Christians who only want to see the Jews back in Israel because that is one of the preconditions of Jesus “coming back”, so what? As long as that is what they BELIEVE, but do not force Christianity upon Jews whether in Israel, America, or elsewhere, then let them believe that by all Jews making aliyah, a fire breathing dragon will descend from the sky for all I care.

    Just like all other religions and/or ethnicities, I think that there are fundamentalist Christians who are sincere friends of the Jews and Israel and there are others who are fake. Like anyone else, we just have to go by the individual.

    מנחם בן צבי הכהן

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