Why outreach is more important than ever.
American Jewish support has long been viewed as vital for the State of Israel’s political interests. The particulars of the recent high-profile Pew Research Center survey of American Jews should result in radical re-thinking of that theory (with the exception of Orthodox Jews.) Those who are concerned with Israel’s future must now consider placing even more emphasis upon the Evangelical Christian community. The study found that Christians are more supportive of, and potentially more important for the needs of the State of Israel. Israel’s political future in America has become increasingly contingent upon Evangelical Christians; not the American Jewish liberal communities.
While liberal American Jewish organizations publicly condemn Ministers in the Israeli government for criticizing a "Two-State Solution," those very American liberal Jews are overseeing the largest rate of assimilation ever. Norman Podhoretz’s words can now be seen as prophetic – as he proclaimed, “liberalism has become much more than a set of political opinions for political Jews: It has become a religion in its own right, with its own Torah of liberalism and its own set of commandments." For them, “The new Torah will always trump the old.”
And with the Pew survey showing that 71 percent of non-Orthodox Jews intermarry and two-thirds of Jews do not belong to a synagogue, the proof is that years of American Jewish liberal leadership have led Jews away from Judaism and now, the State of Israel too. Assimilation and the pursuit of liberal values to the extent that it rejects true Judaism are simply not in the best interest of Israel, or America, and now we know that it is also not good for Jewish continuity.
Valuing America as a Judeo-Christian nation means stressing the common ethical standards of Christianity and Judaism, which liberal American Jews no longer do as they have abandoned traditional values. The Evangelical audience’s religious faith is predicated upon Israel – and unlike liberal Jews they practice their religion, and do not try and force their liberal values upon the State of Israel. Evangelical Christians simply stand by the Jewish state, care for Israel, and raise money for Israel and needs of the Jewish people.
When Jewish organizations were built in America, the leadership had a common sense of social values that dictated freedom and equality for all because they knew the cost of racism and bigotry. They pursued those ideals to protect Jews and preserve their abilities to remain proud Jews. Today, generations later, liberalism has now been amended to oddly reject Judaism. It seems that advocating for the rights of those who would see Jews and Israel disappear by opposing Jews as well has become the mantra of liberal Jews.
This schism is the reason that the Pew survey found that 61% of American Jews say “Israel and an independent Palestinian state can coexist peacefully,” and only 42% of Evangelicals agree. Evangelicals are more hawkish and strident about Israel’s defense than American Jews – with the exception of traditional, religious Jews.
54% of American Jews say American support of the Jewish state is “about right,” while 31% say the U.S. is not supportive enough. Thirty-one percent of Evangelicals say American support of the Jewish state is “about right,” while 46% say the U.S. is not supportive enough. (Politically speaking, even if support was enough, why not ask for more?).
As a proud American Jew, I believe closer partnerships with the Evangelical community will encourage more pro-family values, which would benefit the American Jewish community; which will also make America a greater, stronger country. By building even closer ties, Jews and Israel can be strengthened in the manner that is in American Jewry's and Israel's best interests. It is also in the United States of America's best interest.
More focus should be put on people like Pastor John Hagee, the ACLJ and their brilliant leader Jay Sekulow, David Cerullo and Inspiration Network, and not American Jewish "leaders" like David Harris's American Jewish Committee, The New Israel Fund or J Street. It is in the best interest of the civilized western world. May G-d bless America and the State of Israel.
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