Jerusalem Post columnist Michael Freund continues to put his faith in an Israel-Evangelical relationship. Last week his article, "Time for faith-based diplomacy," called for "developing the equivalent of a Birthright program for young churchgoers", among other things.
Jewish Israel responded with the following letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post (published in the Friday, January 14th paper):
In his column of January 7th, "Time for faith-based diplomacy", Michael Freund expressed a belief that Israel should switch to "faith-based diplomacy" and rely heavily on "faith-based Christian support", because Jewish efforts will not be enough to stem the tide of international pressure currently being directed at the Jewish state.
But it appears that Michael Freund is using "the Book of Books", as a mere fig leaf to hide Israel's growing dependency on fundamentalist Christian support.
In addition to the significant influence and presence already enjoyed by evangelicals in Israel, Freund's formula further calls for establishing "a Prime Minister’s Conference for Christian Leadership, developing the equivalent of a Birthright program for young churchgoers and establishing 'Israel prayer battalions'. "
The great majority of Christian organizations and leaders Freund lauds in his article are, in addition to supporting Israel on the political and humanitarian fronts, directly involved in supporting a growing Christian messianic restoration in Israel, and in missionary efforts directed at the Jewish people. These existential costs were not addressed nor assessed in Freund's article.
Rather than asserting himself as a proud Jew who has returned to his land, Michael Freund sounds like a frightened, lonely Jew who would forgo Jewish sovereignty and, instead, run to the warm theological embrace and security found in foreign numbers, foreign faith, and foreign leadership.
Until we Jews in Israel and the Diaspora possess enough dignity and self-respect to assert ourselves and institute an honest, accountable and limited partnership with our evangelizing friends, we best establish our diplomatic efforts and alliances on strategic, moral, and Judaic grounds, rather than any interfaith footing.
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