Dear Ms. Owens,
I have never met you but have appreciated you from your emergence in the public eye, as during that early Congressional hearing and your early debates on Fox with Cornell West. You became a superstar as your career was boosted by the likes of David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, Dennis Prager’s “Prager U.,” and Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire. I would write you privately if I knew how to reach you, but I don’t. Therefore, because I am blessed to write for The Jewish Press and other publications, I hope this letter reaches you.
I speak with some authority. I am an Orthodox rabbi of 41 years, a recent lung-transplant survivor at age 70, and national vice president of Coalition for Jewish Values, who represent 2,500 traditional rabbis. I also am a law professor of 20 years. Much of my last decade’s work and opinion can be found here. (And, yes, I long have supported your friend, Tucker Carlson.) But this is not about me. It is about my reaching out to you.
The past few days, social media buzzed with some comments you made about the “Muslim Quarter” in Jerusalem’s Old City. And then with a kerfuffle between you and Ben Shapiro. In recent days you posted this on X (Twitter):
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of G[-]d. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both G[-]d and money.
I now write, aiming to be a peacemaker.
You also posted “Christ is King.” I love when Christians proclaim deep religious conviction. It means that, like Orthodox Jews, you love and care about protecting the lives of the unborn. You oppose assisted suicide. You detest efforts by teachers’ unions, woke school boards, and progressive “teachers” to groom children with garbage about “transgenderism,” lesbianism, and homosexuality.
That Christian declaration implicitly affirms all of humanity are binary, male or female. A G-d-fearing Christian has no tolerance for rampant crime and Soros District Attorneys. A religious Christian believes in marriage, male-female marriage, and not in living together in sin publicly without shame. A Christian wants his or her children to grow up with religious values of humility and charitable love, caring and modesty, and respect for parents and all symbols of authority. Such a Christian fears not only G-d but also what will happen when the kids grow old enough to attend college.
When religious Christians proclaim their religious devotion, our predominantly non-Jewish secular society still has a chance to survive the pandemics of secularism and wokeness and progressivism threatening to destroy what elevates civilization: our national culture and society. They have engulfed our campuses. They work for the mass killing of millions of others, disproportionately Black, in mothers’ wombs.
And religious Christians are inspired by Scripture: G-d’s pledge to Abraham the Patriarch that He will bless those who bless the Jewish people and will curse those who curse the Jews. Genesis 12:3. History has evidenced G-d’s word. Ancient Babylonians dominated until they invaded Israel, burned the Holy Temple of Solomon, and exiled most Jews from Israel/Palestine. That began the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar’s dynasty, the famous handwriting on the wall. Daniel 5:25-26.
Thus has it gone throughout history, Ms. Owens. As England and France expelled their Jews in the late 1200’s and early 1300’s, they became dumps, soon were wiped out amid the Black Death bubonic plague of 1348-1351, and history’s spotlight moved instead to Spain and Portugal, the next great world powers who became world leaders in exploring the Americas. Then in 1492 Spain expelled her Jews, Portugal five years later, and within a century the Spanish Armada was destroyed in 1588. The Iberian peninsula no longer mattered to world history to this day.
For reasons only of length, I jump to the Twentieth Century. England was assigned the Palestine Mandate by the League of Nations after World War I, with the mandate to prepare Israel/Palestine to be a Jewish national home. The perfidious Albion soon deviated, choosing to hold Israel/Palestine as yet another colony among its colonialist holdings. As England barred Jewish immigrants from entering Israel’s/Palestine’s borders or even blowing shofars at the Western Wall, a Jewish liberation movement arose to de-colonize Israel/Palestine, restoring the land to its rightful Jewish indigenous people. Palestine became free in 1948, and its name formally was changed to “Israel.”
England had defied Genesis 12:3, and its empire shriveled. Nazi Germany defied Genesis 12:3, and it was destroyed to rubble by the Allies. The Communist Marxist Soviet Union persecuted the Jews, and that mighty empire crumbled. Through it all, G-d has blessed America.
Though it is not the only Jewish home, America uniquely has been a haven in the Exile for Jews. Although anti-Semites, historically White Supremacists until the past forty years when Jew-hatred became more pronounced on the progressive-woke Left and among certain Blacks, have tried delegitimizing Jews in the United States, America — through its leaders and institutions — always has stood with and protected its Jews. This was true of George Washington who wrote to the Jews that “happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” It was true of Abraham Lincoln who acted decisively when anti-Semitism erupted briefly in the Union army. It was true of President William Howard Taft when he and Congress abrogated the Russo-American Treaty of 1832 after Tsarist Russia imprisoned a Jewish American citizen traveling in Russia. And in the more recent era, it has been true, supporting Israel and Zionism, the Jewish right to be free and independent in Israel/Palestine.
Ms. Owens, as you saw when visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, there are four so-called “quarters.” As Wikipedia writes:
The Muslim Quarter . . . is one of the four sectors of the ancient, walled Old City of Jerusalem. . . . The quarter is the largest and most populous of the four quarters and extends from the Lions’ Gate in the east, along the northern wall of the Temple Mount in the south, to the Damascus Gate—Western Wall route in the west. The Via Dolorosa starts in this quarter.
Wikipedia explains that those “quarters” are not literally segregated ghettoes. Rather, these are historical names dating back to an 1840’s effort by a British cartographer to map out the Old City:
The Old City is today divided into four uneven quarters: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Jewish Quarter. Matthew Teller writes that this four-quarter convention may have originated in the 1841 British Royal Engineers map of Jerusalem, or at least Reverend George Williams’ subsequent labelling [sic] of it.
This 19th-century cartographic partition into four quarters represented the historical development of the city that had previously been divided into many more harat; the Christian and Jewish areas of the city had grown considerably over the preceding centuries.
Despite the names, there was no governing principle of ethnic segregation: 30 percent of the houses in the Muslim quarter were rented out to Jews, and 70 percent of the Armenian quarter.
(Emphases added. Notes and translations omitted.)
Another leftist woke misconception: the contemporary defamation about “apartheid.” Ms. Owens, you have visited Israel. In the Middle East, Gaza is apartheid; no Jews live there. The “Palestine Authority” in a portion of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) is apartheid; no Jews may live there. Any Arab who would sell land there to a Jew is to be executed, by law. Saudi Arabia is apartheid, as are 15 other apartheid Muslim and Arab countries that ban Jews.
Israel differs. Israeli Arabs enjoy full equality under law and in practice. They vote in national elections. There are all-Arab parties and other parties with Arab candidates alongside Jews. An all-Arab party associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, Ra’am, was a critical component of the prior governing Israeli coalition. Arab Muslims serve among judges in Israel’s courts and even on Israel’s Supreme Court. Arabs attend Israel’s universities and are among their professors. Israel pays stipends to people to have children, to increase the country’s population; Arabs receive the same Israeli stipends to have Arab babies. Arabs participate equally in every walk of Israeli life, including entertainment, journalism, and high tech. Their holy places are meticulously protected.
Ms. Owens, who knows better than you (and I) (and this publication’s readers) (and Ben Shapiro) that mainstream media and woke influencers lie so much that we no longer need to call them “Fake News.” The “Fake” is baked in. “CNN” stands for “Cable Network Fake News.” “Trump Russian collusion”? “Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Putin ploy”? You know they are lying. They also lie about Israel.
For example, on “colonizers” and “de-colonizers.” When a Mother Country expands its world influence by controlling far-away lands, it is “colonizing.” A classic example: small England colonized from Canada to India to New Zealand to South Africa to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to Australia — and of course to “The Thirteen Colonies.” It once was said that “the sun never sets on the British empire.” Eventually, one by one, those colonies attained their independence, de-colonizing often by driving the British out. When a colonialist entity loses its colonies, its people retreat to the Mother Country, as with England.
In terms of Israel/Palestine, Jews are indigenous, the original inhabitants whom your Bible tells you inherited from the disappeared Phillistines. When Babylonia exiled the Jews, the Bible tells us the Jews returned seventy years after and rebuilt the Holy Temple. Ezra 1-2. When the Romans burned the Second Holy Temple in the Year 70, and thereafter Masada fell in 73, Jews remained in the Land of Israel/Palestine. When Fortress Betar fell in 135, marking the Roman defeat of the desperate Bar Kochba Revolt, Jews remained in Israel/Palestine in places like the Talmudic academy of Yavneh and throughout Galilee. Your Bible says that Jesus lived in Israel/Palestine throughout his entire life, dwelling among Jews, from Galilee in the north, through Judea and Samaria, to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. There were no Muslims nor Arabs among Jesus and the indigenous Jews. Islam began half a millennium later with the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in the 600’s. Jews never left Israel.
In the Twentieth Century, long before Hitler and the Nazis, Jews were immigrating back to Israel. Throughout 2,000 years of The Second Exile, persecuting anti-Semites asked: “Why don’t you all just go back to Israel/Palestine?”
So we did.
In our time, Ms. Owens, millions of Arab Muslims have flooded into European countries like Sweden, Germany, France, and England. Are they “colonizers” or “immigrants”? In America, too, is Ilhan Omar a “colonizer” from Somalia? Are the other 43,000 Somali immigrants in Minnesota colonizers? Rashida Tlaib’s parents? AOC’s from Puerto Rico? Kamala Harris’s mother entered from India and her father from Jamaica. Colonizers or immigrants?
Likewise, the millions of Jews, including 900,000 who returned home to Israel/Palestine after being expelled from Arab Muslim countries, arrived as immigrants, hardly “colonizers.”
As a Christian posting “Christ is King,” you surely embrace Pastor John Hagee, a pure-souled Christian, as he recently decared to 300,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. for Israel: “Israel is the apple of G-d’s eye. Israel is the shining city on the hill. . . . Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel today and forever.”
As you posted, Ms. Owens, one “cannot serve both G[-]d and money.” Was that an anti-Jewish snap? Regardless, the Big Money is with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain. By contrast, Israel at this time is of humble size, population 9.5 million, comparable to New York City’s 8.8 million, way less than Tokyo’s 14 million. When you stand with Israel, you are turning your back on money while serving G-d in all His glory and gain G-d’s blessing.
A Jewish comedian on a podcast is not where one learns about G-d and Israel or forges peace. As we prepare for the 2024 fateful presidential election that either will restore American greatness or hasten its downward trajectory, we must be one team: Never Trumpers together with MAGA Republicans, and you and Ben Shapiro back in synch. Please accept this rabbi’s offer to be a peacemaker.