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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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WAKEUP CALL

Citing Betrayal of Trust, Jewish Groups Pull Out of Interfaith Dialogue

Jewish groups have pulled out of a meeting with Protestant colleagues over a letter from Christian leaders to congressmen calling for suspension of aid to Israel.
Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs says the two-state solution will take care of the problem.

Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs says the two-state solution will take care of the problem.

The old adage about going to bed with dogs and waking up with fleas appears to have been proven true yet again, as JTA is reporting that Jewish groups have pulled out of an upcoming meeting with Protestant colleagues over a letter from Christian leaders to congressmen calling for a possible suspension of U.S. aid to Israel.

“While we remain committed to continuing our dialogue and our collaboration on the many issues of common concern, the letter represents an escalation in activity that the Jewish participants feel precludes a business-as-usual approach,” stated a letter sent by seven Jewish groups to their Christian counterparts in canceling their participation in the Oct. 22 -23 meeting in New York.

The event, an annual gathering, is known as the Christian-Jewish Roundtable and began in 2004 when the issue of Protestant groups divesting from their financial portfolios operations doing business with Israel rose to prominence. Prior to the Protestants’ letter to the lawmakers, participants had pledged to update one another on activities regarding Israel, such as the Palestinians’ statehood push in the United Nations and the upcoming Israeli elections.

According to JTA, the letter by the Jewish representatives was signed by the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The Anti-Defamation League had announced earlier this week that it would not attend the meeting.

So, the main reason for the association between Jewish faith officials and the Christian churches—which gave oodles of good press to those churches, seeing as the Jews are dialoguing with them—the excuse for all that, which was that this is the way to prevent them from boycotting Israel – that’s been a sham all along.

Sometimes it’s so much fun to be a self-righteous Orthodox Jew. I’m not advocating against intellectual or even spiritual exchanges with fellow monotheists, including Protestants – but a dialogue is something else entirely. A dialogue implies finding the kind of common ground that makes faiths merge. We won’t have any of that.

Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs umbrella group. told JTA that the Jewish groups quit their participation because “There’s been a betrayal of trust. … We have to discern if there’s a positive path forward.”

What’s the positive path? What do you need from Christian churches? What’s the desired result, a “Judeo-Christian” church?

Signers of the Protestants’ letter to Congress included the heads of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches USA and the United Church of Christ.

Saying they have “witnessed the pain and suffering” of both Israelis and Palestinians, they implored the lawmakers to launch “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel” of agreements with Washington for alleged illegal use of U.S.-sold weapons against Palestinians.

Such peace loving folks, spreading all that good in the world to help not just the poor Palestinian victims, but also to save the souls of their Jewish oppressors…

And guess what – Rachel Lerner, vice president of the J Street Educational Fund, wrote last Friday on the Daily Beast website that J Street shared the Christian leaders’ “concern that conditions in the region are deteriorating to the point where they `threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace.’”

There you go. They’re all so concerned for us, we better go check our Uzis…

Lerner called for American Jews to put “at least as much energy and effort” into pushing for a two-state solution as they are putting into fighting such letters, of which she said there would be more.

Yes, another great idea that hasn’t lost its charm despite the rivers of blood it has spilled since we first tried it out in 1994. Why don’t we just pack our suitcases and go back to Poland – that might stop the boycotts.

Also—this was to be expected—a dozen Jewish clergy allied with Jewish Voice for Peace praised the Protestants’ leaders call. Many of the organization’s members have called for boycotts of Israel.

“It is altogether appropriate – and in fact essential – for Congress to ensure that Israel is not in violation of any U.S. laws or policies that regulate the use of U.S. supplied weapons,” said the statement signed by 10 rabbis, two rabbinical students and a cantor.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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13 Responses to “Citing Betrayal of Trust, Jewish Groups Pull Out of Interfaith Dialogue”

  1. These so-called 'Christian' churches are liberal, apostate churches that have fallen away from the true church. The follow a false 'replacement theology.' They DO NOT represent the true church. True Christians stand with Israel…always have and always will. We believe the biblical view of Israel as the land which G_d gave to His chosen people.

  2. I really can never understand Jews who don't fully and completely support the land of Israel or Jews who vote Obama. I'm a Jew from NYC, I support Israel fully, and you can be sure I will be voting for Romney in November.

  3. Yanover calls himself an Orthodox Jew. Yet he seems to agree with the cluster-bomb-and-white-phosphorous enthusiasts that Israeli military policy trumps Jewish moral principles. What does that mean for Judaism? No doubt the next time someone accuses the Jewish community of complicity in Israel's crimes, these same militarists will croak "anti-Semitism" — leaving others to wonder how they can degrade their religion, foment anti-Semitism, and then boast of their ritual purity. And they "worry" about trouble from the liberal Protestants…

  4. Gil Gilman says:

    I must take you to task, Yori, for not welcoming these poor misguided souls into Abrahams bosom. In reality these Protestants are groping for something to believe, and to which to adhere, acknowledging, as they do, only themselves, and their political meanness. The true reason for these dialogues, is that they secretly wish to be persuaded against the error of their bleak pertinacity ;-)

  5. You obviously believe the garbage spewed by some rather violently anti Semitic bigots. Unfortunately there are Jews who subscribe to that nonsense. Whenever impartially investagated (even by UN) they're found to be completely fabricated. The fact is Israel's justice dept bends over backwards for Arabs ie land ownership ownus of proof is on Jews(particularly in Judea & Samaria )

  6. Mark L. Shane says:

    sure let them instead, invite other 5th column american Jews and muslim monotheists ; who, in takkiyah mode should help things at their dialogue meetings sound all so sugar and spice.

  7. Mark L. Shane says:

    michae lesher- your dual standard at work here.l- if our enemies attack us on yom kippor you expect us to defer to our spiritual guidelines and not defend ourselves with our "white phosphorus" .How clever of you to hold us to your own subversion. We are not christians like you who by Jesus' example would instead lay down their arms and follow christ's example. We are instead encouraged to face the real world instead. We are 5700 years old.

  8. Until the traditional representations of the 'Christian' church truly repent and turn from the pagan anti semitic rites, rituals and heretical teachings established when 'Christianity' became the official state enforced religion of the mostly pagan Roman Empire. Until the calender of Feasts and festivals G-d ordained for His people as a sign of their love and real obedience to Him, are re instated and the pagan fertility cycle, practices and symbolisms are rejected, and until the church stops believing and behaving as if Yeshua was some sort of Pseudo Gentile guru who taught as if the Tanakh was irrelevent, when the church can finally acknowledge that the first evangelists and believers who founded the church were all described as observant/obedient Jews and when the Jewish people can see that Christians are people who live their lives in the true love and respect of the mitzvot, not as man made rules, of the G-d of Israel, then maybe the Jewish people could begin to trust an 'interfaith' dialogue. I am a gentile and I believe Yeshua is my Messiah but I have been horrified at what has been done to the Jewish people, both in word and deed, by those who claim to be saved by Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit. It took G-d to give me the strength to study the churches history of persecution of the Jews and it's pagan structure and I am thankful that there are more and more who are trying to get the church to face up to it's condition. Anti semitism is a cancer that begins at the deepest spiritual level. It blinds and distorts and creates a veil of inhumanity between those it effects and those it focuses upon. It is diametrically opposed to the Creator of life.It is nothing less than the mark of Cain.
    These are thingsthat every Jew throughout history has had demonstrated to them again and again.
    If the church seeks to be able to teach anyone about G-d then it had better be right with Him and He is the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, the same yesterday, today and forever, who's promises are eternal and who blesses those who bless His people and curses those who curse them. Yeshua taught that a person must remove the rafter from their own eye before taking the splinter from someone elses. I only pray that the gentile world can wake up to this truth.

  9. Helen Robinson says:

    i am wondering why you feel the need to put all of this on Facebook?

  10. A practical reason is that there is an automatic connection directly to the comments feed on the article. But also I speak about the reality of my life and what moves me the same way we all do. It's something that I'm deeply intereseted in and forms a great part of my life. I'm happy to have it on my Facebook page same as everybody puts what moves their life on theirs. I suppose it's free speech really.As far as I know it's only coming through my page which is not public. Only friends visit it. Most of the articles are things I have discovered that don't get an airing in other ways

  11. Gloria Graves Gregory says:

    Okay, Protestant Christ-follower here. Please be kind; I am looking for the truth and the reality of this situation. #1, is this article true? Which Christian churches (ie, denominations) have declared this? #2, If so, does that mean that the primary purpose of Jews in inter-faith dialogue was to ensure the political and financial backing of Christians to save and defend Israel? If not, why leave the table? And to please help me understand further, if you personally believe (as several commentators state below) that Israel is the land given to Abba's chosen people, why do you not live there, instead of in other countries (ie the UK and/or America? What is your personal reasoning for that? I really do not understand all of this; please help me understand.

  12. Sue Johnson says:

    I would love to live there. My family is here. And there is so little available land in Israel for the Jewish people themselves, I would feel guilty taking up space that they need for themselves. But, I would if I could.

  13. Roc Diaz says:

    kick every christian ****** out of bethleham and israel and make more room for the indiginous jews that live here and wish to migrate here. we have not forgotten how you tortured our people and forced converted us when you had the upper hand. now get the F#$*k out!

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