web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Deriding Israel’s Christian Supporters



The Monitor’s oft-stated rule of thumb is that when a reporter quotes unnamed sources, those sources invariably buttress the reporter’s own viewpoint and agenda. Case in point: James D. Besser, the Washington correspondent for a handful of Jewish newspapers (the New York Jewish Week among them) who for the past several years has lamented the growing ties between members of the Christian Right and pro-Israel activists in the Jewish community.

In an article last week on the mounting woes of lobbyist Jack Abramoff – a Jew closely associated with several leading lights of the Christian Right, including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and political consultant Ralph Reed – Besser conjured the old boogeyman of right-wing anti-Semitism, painting a stereotypical picture of conservatives whose latent Jew-hatred is so close to the surface that a political scandal is all it might take to unloose the Furies.

Besser kicked things off by stating that “Allegations against super lobbyist Jack Abramoff – almost always identified as an observant Jew in news stories – may play into traditional stereotypes about greedy Jews and revive the traditional anti-Semitism of the religious right, some analysts say…” – before proceeding to name just one such “analyst” in his article.

Put aside for a moment this bigoted notion of conservative Christians and their feelings toward Jews (a notion discredited time and again in recent years, most notably when a much predicted backlash in the wake of the Jonathan Pollard spy scandal never materialized and when fears of movie-goers turning into pogromists after viewing “The Passion of the Christ” proved unfounded).

Focus instead on Besser’s claim that “some analysts” are sounding the alarm over a possible outbreak of anti-Semitism on the religious Right. As mentioned, Besser names just one, University of Richmond political science professor Akiba Covitz, whom Besser quotes as saying, “There will be some who will paint with a broad brush and say, this is what happens when you make coalitions with these cursed people, the Jews.”

(“These cursed people”? Talk about preconceived ideas as to how people think or talk. Anyone who’s had contact with conservative Christian supporters of Israel – whose love of Zion puts most Jews to shame and is hardly affected by the changing fortunes of individual politicians – will recognize the ludicrousness of Covitz’s statement.)

Besides Covitz, here’s how Besser identifies his other critical sources, presumably four separate individuals: “an official with a major Jewish group”; “a veteran Jewish lobbyist”; “a top Jewish activist”; and “an official with a Jewish defense agency.”

Relying on anonymous sources is bad enough, but Besser chooses not even to disclose the political affiliation of his unnamed interviewees. Then again, Besser is hardly a disinterested party in all of this. In an opinion piece last October, Besser worried that “More and more Jewish groups are welcoming the help of groups with which our community has absolutely nothing in common on the home front, while jeopardizing vital coalitions with groups like the Episcopalians and Presbyterians….”

Besser even has a handy excuse for the anti-Israel initiatives pushed by the liberal church groups whose friendship he covets: it’s the fault of the pro-Israel Christian Right. In an article earlier this year on the move by mainline Protestant denominations to impose economic sanctions on Israel, Besser speculated that this “may be one of the prices the Jewish state is paying for the growing and visible support of Evangelical Christians in this country,” and he rounded up several individuals who agreed that an intense dislike of Evangelicals and President Bush was fueling the liberal denominations’ hostility toward Israel.

Never mind what it says about those denominations if that’s all it takes for them to assume such a fiercely anti-Israel stance (these days it seems the epithet “these cursed people” is more likely to come from some trendy leftist clergyman than the Evangelicals who inhabit Besser’s night fevers). What’s really troublesome is the dishonesty or historical illiteracy – it has to be one or the other – inherent in the idea that liberal groups like the Presbyterians are merely reacting to the statements and actions of pro-Israel conservatives.

The anti-Israel mindset of America’s liberal Christian denominations is not at all a new phenomenon, whatever Besser may try to tell his readers to the contrary. It is heavily documented and goes back to the Six-Day War (in some cases even prior to that), well before the Christian Right became a force in American politics.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Deriding Israel’s Christian Supporters”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran’s Zarif Paints Iran as a Lamb, Israel as the Lion
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/deriding-israels-christian-supporters/2005/05/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: