Thursday, January 21, 2010

Did You Ever Wonder Why Some Jewish-Canadians Put Up With Harper's Antisemitism?

I have been extremely puzzled over why so many in the Jewish community do not speak up over the antisemitism portrayed by the Harper government.

As they have aligned themselves with Christians United for Israel, the horrible organization headed up by John Hagee and Charles McVety, they have portrayed the worst form of bigotry there is.

Luring the unsuspecting into a web and then destroying them.

McVety and Hagee promote dispensationism, and a teacher at McVety's Canadian Christian College, Dean Bye, outlines what that means to the Jews.

“It is estimated that upwards of six million Jewish people are still dwelling (or sleeping like Jonah) in North America. That is, North American Jews must recognize they must all return to Israel" and he warns: “the time of the U.S.A. being a safe haven for the Jews has ended!”
He adds that “we don’t throw them overboard [like Jonah] but lovingly assist them home to Israel.” But as Dr. Stephen Scheinberg suggests: "Unfortunately for Dean Bye, most of the Jewish community has not responded to his generous proposal that they leave their homes for aliyah to Israel."

I came across an article from Time Magazine (actually two linked articles), that suggest the Jewish community is well aware of the motivation for the support of the Christian extremists, but for now are enjoying the benefits.

Is Pastor Hagee Good for the Jews?
By David Van Biema
June 20, 2008

Cutting ties with John Hagee has proved to be a lot easier for Senator John McCain than it has been for some of the very Jewish groups most offended by the conservative Evangelical pastor's statements about God and the Holocaust.

McCain moved to dissociate himself from Hagee after a 1999 sermon was publicized in which Hagee claimed that God intended the Holocaust, and had prophesied it in the Book of Jeremiah. "And that will be offensive to some people," Hagee boomed. "Well, dear heart, be offended. I didn't write it. Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen.

Why did it happen? Because God said, 'My top priority to the Jewish people is to get them back to Israel.' "

But despite this Abe Foxman of the the Anti-Defamation League explains, is reluctant to denounce Hagee. The Time article explains:

The reason for Foxman's reluctance to abandon Hagee may have been summed up in a letter from the pastor carried on the ADL's website, in which Hagee points out, "I have devoted much of my adult life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the state of Israel."

Hagee's support for the Jewish State — he also heads up the influential organization Christians United for Israel, and was a key speaker at last year's conference of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — has brought Israel millions, if not billions of dollars from Evangelical tourism, and it has delivered political support for a strong pro-Israel policy in Washington.

When Hagee spoke at the Canadian Christian College, he lauded Stephen Harper for jumping on the nutbar train.

As Hagee confided to a reporter before his Toronto appearance, he first broke bread with George Bush back in the Texas statehouse, “so I know that he is
with us.”

Now he has reached the same conclusion about the man ensconced at 24 Sussex Drive. On stage, Hagee lauded one of Stephen Harper’s first post-election acts: after Hamas militants won power in the Palestinian Authority, Harper became the first world leader to cut off its funding, trumping even Bush. “God has promised to bless the man, the church, the nation that blesses the Jewish people,” Hagee purred from the podium. (Marci McDonald. Stephen Harper and the Theocons)

And this my friends, is how he plans to bless the Jewish people:

As important as it has been to Israel, such backing has always come with an asterisk: Hagee's affection for Israel derives from a belief that for the Second Coming of Christ to occur, the Jews must return to Israel and rebuild the Temple destroyed by the Romans. The catch in this belief is that once the End Times roll, practicing Jews will be killed off during a period called the Tribulation — only those who convert to Christianity will survive.

Asked about this theology in a 2006 interview with NPR's Terry Gross, Hagee said that Jews would not be "raptured" and would be exposed to the Tribulation, although he said an unspecified number of survivors will accept Jesus as the Messiah and thereby attain eternal life. Many Jewish supporters of Israel tolerated Hagee's disdain for their beliefs, reasoning that his friendship was useful to Israel and that his End Times scenario was but a harmless fantasy.

But the 1999 sermon jolted many, because of its implication that Hagee could look with equanimity upon the mass extermination of Jews not only at some point in the hypothetical future, but also in the recent past. And, dear heart, they were offended.

So Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper may feel that they're pulling a fast one, but Israel knows exactly what their motivations are. However, not everyone in Israel sees it that way:

One pastor in Jerusalem from a mainstream church expressed skepticism about the motives of the Christian Zionists — and of the cynicism of Israelis who play along. "It's the worst kind of anti-Semitism," says the cleric, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the issue. "At the end, these Evangelicals say that all the Jews will be dead except those who become Christians. But in the meantime, the Israelis are happy to fill their hotels with them and use their help to get American weapons."

Shortly before Hagee's tour, American Rabbi Eric Yoffie from the liberal Reform Jewish Movement denounced the friendship between Israel and Christian Evangelicals, not only because Hagee and his like-minded brethren reject the two-state solution (with East Jerusalem as capital of a future Palestinian state) but because they are often at odds with liberal Jews in the U.S. over such incendiary topics as abortion and gay rights.

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