Slate has an article by Steven I. Weiss that needs to get some attention. Most Jews, particularly most progressive Jews, have issues with the Evangelical community. They don’t trust them. The main reason that progressive Jews do not trust Evangelical Christians is because they believe that the reason that Evangelicals support Israel is out of some crazed notion of looming Armageddon. Jesus will return amidst the fire and wreckage and then show Nazi Germany and the medieval Catholic Church how the Holocaust and anti-Semitic persecution should have been done.
Weiss argues that this is nonsense and for that I am grateful. He points out:
Most Christian Zionists are dispensational premillenialists, who don’t think there’s a single thing they can do to hasten or delay the Messiah. These Christians don’t think they bring the Messiah, but will simply act when the Messiah comes. (Cutely, as CUFI Executive Director—and Jew—David Brog points out, there is a religious group that does believe getting more Jews to Israel will hasten the arrival of the Messiah: many Jews.)
Yup. Much of the Jewish community needs to figure out who their friends are and who they are not. Here’s a hint: progressive anti-Zionists, however much they may claim that their hatred of the Jewish state derives from their concern for the well-being of the Jewish people, are not friends.
Who could think that expressions of hatred are actually expressions of friendship?
Evangelicals, however, are friends of the Jewish people. The Evangelical movement has been hugely supportive of Israel and Jews need to give credit where credit is due.
Referring to Christians United for Israel, Pastor Hagee’s organization, Weiss notes:
At their annual gathering, you can take in utterly surreal scenes: Young, black Southern Baptist women join white, old Minnesota Lutheran church ladies in hora circles; high-on-life college boys don talises and blow shofars; Texan church choirs lead the crowd in singing Israeli folk songs in their original Hebrew. For a Jew like me, the experience is very, very weird: It’s like any Jewish event of my youth, but in an alternate dimension. Everything’s familiar, yet eerily different.
And I love that! I love that for the very same reason that I love this, Hava Nagila TEXAS STYLE!
I don’t have to agree with all Evangelical opinions or politics to appreciate the obvious fact that they are much, much better friends to the Jewish people than, oh, say, western progressives.
It is important to recognize and acknowledge the obvious.
I wish more of my fellow Jews would do so, like Weiss has done.
I am sorry if it is unfashionable to say so, but Evangelicals are great friends to the Jews and left-progressives simply are not.