A "Shared" Jerusalem Equals a "Judenrein" Jerusalem
Orchestrated to coincide with the brutal political pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu amid Arafat's deliberate dragging out of the so-called Hebron Accord, comes a full page advertisement in The New York Times, part of an anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli campaign composed of a combination of Arab oil money and extreme leftists who are deceptively trying to lend a religious character to their hate campaign.
The ad is a masterpiece of lies and deception. It is also totally misleading and dishonest. It is signed in the name of "Christians." Which Christians? The extremely fine print allows one only with difficulty to unravel the names that the ad bears. But it is obvious that in the main Marxist leftists in Christendom spearheaded the drafting of the ad. Presbyterians, known for their anti-Semitism, are prominently represented, along with Lutherans—the Protestants with roots in Germany, the original home of anti-Semitism. Prominent through their absence are members of the huge membership of Southern Baptists, the largest segment of American Protestantism.
The dishonesty and falsehood represented by the ad is that it hides the fact that it is based on a similar previous ad published some year ago, also calling for "A Shared Jerusalem," which was the result of a meeting in Jerusalem of Marxist Arabs and Jews. However, that meeting was more honest than the present one: It cleared up the question, which "share" do these leftists have in mind for the Jews, the original owners of Jerusalem? Well, if we are lucky, they will benevolently present us with the King David Hotel, Holiday Inn, the Biblical Zoo and surrounding areas. And the share of the Arabs? All of biblical Jerusalem, i.e., the entire Old City.
Below the surface there always lurks in such circles the demand of the pope for control of Jerusalem. The Vatican reserves no place for Jews in the control of Jerusalem, just as the Catholics reserve no space for Protestants in the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. Protestants are allowed only once a year to stand outside in the courtyard and sing hymns!
In short, "a shared Jerusalem" is a Judenrein Jerusalem. The obsession with always taking away Jerusalem from the Jews has its roots in the classical Christian anti-Semitism of centuries ago—the Church claims to be "Verus Israel" (the True Israel) and Jerusalem only exists in heaven, not on earth. Because the Jews forfeited their right to their capital, they must eternally wander around landless and homeless.
Although the signatories claim to be churchmen, not one biblical or religious word appears in the ad. This is logical considering that the signatories are inspired by leftists, in contradiction to the claim of "caritas" (Christian love). The ad also spells the end of inter-faith fraternization. Two thousand years leave Christians where they always were: out to eradicate Judaism and Jewish existence. The years when there was a pretense of a common agenda for Jews and Christians through inter-faith activity are down the drain, as far as these hate-filled Christians who signed this vicious ad are concerned.
I was heartened by the first reaction to the hate campaign against Jewish Jerusalem which came from the prestigious International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Its head, Rev. Willem van der Houven, a wonderful human being and deeply religious Christian, immediately discussed with me plans to counter the leftists with an ad expressing the true Christian feelings about the Jewish claims to Jerusalem. He set himself a very short deadline for inserting a full-page ad in the Jerusalem Post in order to make an impact on the final negotiations concerning Hebron. Despite the brief time limit, dozens of Christian groups and churches from all over the world clamored to get aboard and have their signatures on the new ad Many more could not be accommodated but deserve to be mentioned.
If the spectacle of the anti-Semitic ad would not be so dangerous and tragic, it would be amusing to observe how the episode proves that in Christendom, just as in some segments of modern Judaism, there are totally secular, anti-religious segments who have only a "liberal" agenda, far removed from the original religious mission of their faith. We are learning through this episode that Christians with these leftist, Marxist leanings have no right to invoke arguments on historical rights since they abjure any weight to history. (Similarly, Shimon Peres has often said that Jews should "forget" the past and their own history!)
The fact that this ad is not pioneered by religious Christians but by cold- blooded leftists is shown by the fact that the ad contains a mechanism to influence congressional hearings in the approval of new State Department personalities nominated by President Clinton. Fortunately it is not likely that the broadly religious conservative Christian electorate, which is becoming increasingly powerful, will follow the lead of the secular leftists. It is up to Israel's friends to demonstrate the hypocrisy and deception of the signatories, who claim to be religious Christians while identifying themselves with Moslems and anti-Christian leftists.
The ad mentions not one Jew or Moslem among the signatories. Yet the previous ad listed many Jewish and Moslem founders of the "Jewish Peace Lobby," a leftist PLO front, founded by the likes of Letty Pogrebin and other pro-PLO members of Americans for Peace Now (APN). The current controversy helps finally to ferret out the people who for years pretended to be Zionists and shared the Israeli government's faith in a united Jerusalem under undivided Jewish rule. Having won membership in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by a ruse, the APN's true anti-Zionist program is now apparent. There is still time to disbar them from mainline Jewish organizations so that President Clinton can be shown that the 93 percent of the Jewish electorate which voted for him was convinced that the United States government will support a Jewish Jerusalem.
In confronting the underhanded political propaganda of the anti-Semites who signed The New York Times ad, Jews—as individuals or as groups—should write to members of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee and impress on them that the newly nominated secretary of state, Madeline Albright, should declare her adherence to the traditional American concept of an undivided, united Jerusalem under Jewish control.
We should at the same time encourage our religious Christian friends and express our appreciation for their solidarity in this critical situation.
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