The staff and board members at JewishIsrael are Torah observant Zionists with a number of political views and preferences. We strive to address complex issues in an honest and forthright manner, which will appeal to all Jews regardless of political persuasion.
Although we regularly run critical reports on Knesset members across the political spectrum, we deliberately avoided commenting on the election. However, we feel that the uproar caused days before Israel’s election over Israel’s Bayit Yehudi party’s candidate Jeremy Gimpel's remarks to a church group, recorded back in 2011, requires a truthful response, because all political sides chose to ignore what's most fundamentally wrong with that video clip.
An election blow-up should not have focused on a "what if" comment about the gold dome. It's a given that Jeremy is a media personality and a performer and that his zealousness in speech frequently runs roughshod over wisdom. But it is the second half of the clip which should give every committed Jew cause for concern. Excerpt:
"…We laid the corner stone of the Temple in Jerusalem. Can you imagine…none of you would be here. You would all be like 'I'm going to Israel, right?!' …I would say things that are so radical I would be thrown out of Israel, but I'm gonna say it anyway. The Jews would build churches. We would build them! …"
Jewishisrael takes issue with Gimpel's end-days vision and his vigorous invitation and promotion of Christendom and his dream of Jews building churches for throngs of Christians in Eretz Yisrael. Gimpel's wholehearted endorsement of Christianity as an ideal faith would seem to run contrary to Judaism and particularly the state of complete recognition of the absolute Oneness of G-d which will be the prevalent belief and hallmark of messianic times.
When the time comes to raise the Third Temple, throngs of gentiles will indeed be welcomed here, but Jews will not be building churches for the Christians any more than they will be building pyramids for Egyptians.
Jewishisrael has met in the past and corresponded with Jeremy Gimpel and his partner, Ari Abramowitz. JewishIsrael has repeatedly taken issue with their speaking at messianic venues, their partnering with and accepting funds from missionaries, and with their radical statements, which at times seem to depart from normative Judaism.
Naftalie Bennett and the rest of the Bayit Yehudi faction should certainly keep an eye on Gimpel’s words and activities and pull in the reins when necessary.
Tzipi Livni, of the Hatnua political party, as well as the media, surely missed the mark by focusing on Gimpel’s Dome of the Rock "what if" remark, but Gimpel of Bayit Hayudi is simply off Judaism’s path.
JewishIsrael is more than happy to sit down with the members of Bayit Yehudi (Jeremy Gimpel included) to discuss the complexities and disturbing costs involved in Israel's relationship with evangelical entities, including those involved with Jeremy.
A horse of a different color
Bayit Yehudi came under a scathing and unfair attack by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the Shas Party. Rav Yosef declared that Habayit Hayehudi is "a party of goyim", a "home for non-Jews", they uproot the Torah and that "anyone who votes for them is a heretic.”
The photo below of Shas leaders with baby Jesus, Mary and a Christmas tree should perhaps signal to the good Rabbi that Jewish people in glass houses should be careful where they toss their stones.
JewishIsrael hopes and prays that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be able to form a government of strong Jewish leaders who will be good for the Jewish people, for Judaism and for the State of Israel.