The first thing I would like to say is I believe that Israel has to remain the Jewish State. Yesterday I was at the Iron Dome conference sponsored by AIPAC. The brought a Israeli-American rocket scientist to support Iron Dome. It was a wonderful conference but and this is the big Butt or the Elephant in the room. They would not say anything about the Evangelical Christians that attend their policy conferences.They would not say anything about the Evangelical Christians coming to Israel in crowds,droves and packs because of the MONEY they bring. They probably even help them go on policy trips.
The Christians whenever they made anti-Semetic remarks accused us the Jews of being money grubbing and miserly. I was talking to my Jewish friends yesterday about this. This Jew and her family are not for sale.My Jewish friends are NOT FOR SALE.We would like to provide more monetary support and go to conferences but WE do not feel comfortable around Evangelical Christians especially that at first they claimed they were not trying to convert us. but even Reneged on that promise.Now they are even trying to convert our Israeli family
Please give me feedback.This discussion is sorely needed
AM ISRAEL CHAI
JewishIsrael feels that a lot of committed Zionists feel uncomfortable with an evangelical presence at pro-Israel conferences. So you bring up an interesting and important topic.
Fear over losing funding and political support may account for a portion of the remarkable silence among Jews when faced with evidence of evangelizing (missionary) activities in Israel.
It's so important that American Jews understand the situation in Israel. and that American Evangelical sources are supporting and funding the growing "messianic" community in Israel.
However it's also important to remember that a good number of Christians are taking a moral stand with Israel and are not involved in overt or covert missionary efforts in Israel
Dear Jewish Israel,
There is an organization that does not allow any proselytizing. It is run by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein or something like that I think it is called the American Conference for Christians and Jews. There are Catholics and some other Christians that do not proselytize but the problem with AIPAC is they except the especially the Evangelical Christians and let them run rampant over the Israelis. When you ask them they say these people are members and there is not they can do. My husband and I refuse to be members of AIPAC because of this.JewishIsrael is a fine organization but what can we do stop the Messianic Community in Israel?
Dear Jewish Israel,
I would like to clarify my remarks, My family was approached and subject to a proselytizing or evangelizing experience by some Evangelical Christians while taking an El-Al flight home from Israel. I have seen evangelizing and proselytizing activity by Evangelical Christians passing out pamphlets and stopping Israelis on the street. When I have called and complained to AIPAC about this problem they said that everyone is allowed to become a member of their organization. I must admit I have never been to a policy conference but I heard enough complaints from other Jews about this problem. There are some Rabbis especially Rabbi Yoffe who is a Reformed Rabbi and has addressed CUFI and Hagee in the press. The Rav Yoffe has told Hagee that Israel does not need his support. There have been other Jewish voices as you well know.
With regards to your reference to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, please be aware that while not allowing overt proselytizing at his fundraising events or in his messages, Eckstein's presentation and approach is not without problems. He does work with missionaries who support the growing messianic community is Israel and he blurs the lines between faiths. You can see a sampling of JewishIsrael's reports which challenge Rabbi Eckstein here here, and here.
JewishIsrael has also been very critical of some of the Jewish and gentile personalities who endorse and are involved with CUFI and Pastor John Hagee. However we feel that Reform Rabbi Eric Yoffie missed the mark when he was critical of Pastor Hagee. You can read our critique of Rabbi Yoffie's position here and our opinion as to why Jews should not lean on Pastor Hagee here.
As you can see, things are complex. With regards to AIPAC, we feel that all Jews need to put Jewish unity and Jewish continuity as top priorities, and that these issues should not become mixed with partisan politics and political-cultural leanings allegiances and agendas. Nor should interfaith involvement cloud the Jewish world's determination to protect and defend Israel's spiritual and physical borders.
Gentiles taking a moral stand with Israel is a great thing, but as long as evangelical involvement in pro-Israel advocacy promotes the theological angle, things will remain complex and very uncomfortable.
JewishIsrael remains dedicated to our mission of creating public awareness and networking with Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.
This is an interesting article about AIPAC that was recently published in the Jewish Journal:
Sure, AIPAC has done important outreach and coalition building with Christian groups and minority demographics across the country, but its membership and staff are overwhelmingly Jews, and no non-Jew has ever served in a leadership capacity, whether lay or staff. And that’s OK. If Evangelical Israel-lover Rev. John Hagee suddenly became the president of AIPAC, its membership rolls would nosedive overnight.