Protestant Churches & Israel

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Whose Side are We On?


   The continued effort by the Arabs to destroy Israel and murder another six million Jews receives a good deal of support from the so-called “main line Churches” associated with the National Council of Churches of Christ in America.  It is that organization which turned a blind eye to the Holocaust and even to the persecution of Christians in Moslem lands while supporting the Arab terrorists at every turn.

   Now any normal person would therefore assume that no one in the Jewish community would want to deal with such an anti-Jewish group. Yet, to our shame, exactly the opposite is the case. The NCCCA consists of such “liberal” churches as the Episcopalians, the Methodists, the Presbyterians and others, all devoted to the cause of destroying Israel by any means. These are also the people dear to the hearts of our “liberal” Jewish establishment.

   An example of the anti-Jewish attitude of the NCCCA came during the administration of Prime Minister Netanyahu when the Presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations sent him a letter demanding that the Arabs be given their rights in Jerusalem; that the U.S. not move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; that Israel give Syria the Golan Heights and that 200,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria be made homeless so that their lands and homes can be given to the Arab terrorists.

   These demands were made by those who pretend not to have heard of the Holocaust and who generally deny those mass murders.

   Note also that the dictator of Syria recently told the Pope that “the Jews crucified Christ etc.” Here a Moslem attempted to gain influence with the Pope by reciting the vicious Christ killer story which Christians have rejected in recent years. Yet, the NCCCA wants Israel to hand the Golan to those haters.

  The NCCCA also places anti-Jewish advertisements into the New York Times and collaborates with the very governments such as Saudi and Afghanistan which prohibit the Christian religion in their countries.  In short, anti-Jewish activities are more important to the NCCCA than protection of its own people.

   Today, Beth Lechem (Granary) is entirely in the hands of the PLO. As a result, the Christian population there is treated in so gross a manner by the Moslem majority that many have left, particularly since tourism is almost gone since the Arab occupation of that town. Nevertheless, the NCCCA continues to pretend that somehow Israel is responsible for the destruction of the economy in Bethlehem.

    In November 2000, after hearing an anti-Jewish speech by Ziad Asali, Arab Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem,  the NCCCA passed a resolution concerning the “Conflict in the Middle East”. That resolution totally ignored the Arab terrorism against the Jewish population and found fault only with the effort of Jews to defend themselves against murder. The Holocaust didn’t happen, but Jews must not defend themselves. That is the NCCCA message.

   The NCCCA resolution knows all about the rights of the “Palestinian People” but finds no reason to remember the remnants of the Holocaust who are surrounded by 200 million Arabs ready to slaughter every one of us.

    Yet, the large Jewish organizations favor these “liberals”.

    One year ago, in August of 2000, the dictator Arafat rejected the offer by Prime Minister Barak to accept a so-called “Palestinian” state in 90% of Samaria and Judea and the Old City of Jerusalem. This was rejected because Arafat feared that an end of the fighting would leave him without a legitimate reason to continue his dictatorship.  Yet, the NCCCA never noticed the rejection of this opportunity Arafat had to establish his “Palestinian” state.

  Yet, despite all this anti-Jewish activity our “major” Jewish organizations participate with the NCCCA in denouncing the plan by President Bush to make this country oil independent. Isn’t it obvious that our dependence on Arab oil is a great danger to Israel and the survival of our brethren there?  Whose side are we on?  It ought to occur to our “liberals” that Israel cannot be destroyed unless American support is withdrawn from Israel.  That, however, can only happen if we are to have an administration so anti-Jewish that the concerns of the American Jewish community become of no interest to our government. This means that American Jews are no more secure than Israel since our own survival is linked to that of Israel by popular opinion. In short, those who would uphold us will also uphold Israel. Those who seek our destruction will also seek the destruction of Israel.  There is no difference.  Anti-Israel is anti-Jewish.

   Now, there are Christians in America who understand that full well and who support us all the time. These folks are not “liberal”: I write here of the Rev. Jerry Falwell and of Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition. These people and their 55 million followers are committed to the survival of Israel.  Consider this.  On July 3, 2001 Pat Robertson spoke in Jerusalem on his most recent visit. In that speech he strongly supported the right of Israel to defend itself against Arab terrorism and said, “I am absolutely in support of an Israeli policy that says, ……surgical strikes of a military nature against the architects of terror are …..appropriate.” Robertson also remarked that Arafat speaks of peace in English and then tells his people in Arabic to destroy Israel. Robertson also said he encourages his followers to visit Israel, advice which he and his wife have followed in order to show Americans that it is safe to visit there.

   Evidently, then, the Christian Coalition are our friends. Yet, not a day goes by that our “major” Jewish organizations do not denounce the Christian Coalition over such so-called “issues” as the presence of a creche on public property or the singing of Christmas carols in a school. If Israel is destroyed by our “friends” in the NCCCA what good will those denunciations do us then?  This is not to say that we should keep silent on those issues.  However, we must keep in mind that THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FOR ISRAEL, an arm of the Christian Coalition, has just published these statements.

1.     “The NCLCFI is appalled at the horrendous escalation of terrorism against Israel etc……

2.     “No sovereign nation can allow its citizens to be shot at, run down or blown up by terrorists.

3.     “….no negotiations can take place while Israel and its citizens are under attack...

4.     “the NCLCFI calls on Chairman Arafat to turn away from violence etc.

In addition the NCLCFI “reaffirms its conviction that Jerusalem should remain the single, undivided, political capital of Israel.”

    Look at channel 12 (in the suburbs - channel 23 on Buffalo cable) some time.  Indeed, that channel is devoted to Christian religious efforts. However, that channel also broadcasts numerous programs in support of Israel and the immigration of Russian Jews to Israel.

    Unlike the major media in this country, which are almost all anti-Jewish, the conservative Christian broadcasters support us all the way.

    That makes a big difference. Almost all American Jews voted for the Democratic candidate in the last presidential election. Obviously, then, the current administration owes us nothing.  As usual, the American Jew has an income like an Episcopalian and votes like a Puerto Rican. Why then has the present administration largely supported Israel in its struggle to survive the terrorists?  Surely not because of the Jewish community, which is blindly supporting the “liberals” no matter how anti-Jewish. The reason for continued American support of Israel is the huge, 55 million member voting bloc represented by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and others. These Christians are our friends. They want us to live. Their continued influence is in our interest.

     Then why do we run after “liberals”?  Wake up, Jews.   Cowing to the haters did no good in Europe and it won’t wash here.  Be a Jew.  Stand up for your interests.  Support Israel by supporting its friends and remember Hillel who said, “Im ayn anee li mee lee” or “If I am not for myself, who will be?”

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of Stigma:  How We Treat Outsiders (Prometheus Books, 2001) and over 60 other publications.

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