Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarah Palin, Anti-Semitism and Jewish Prejudice

One of the slanders concerning Sarah Palin is that she is anti-Semitic. The reasoning on which this accusation is based is as follows. She attended a meeting at her church. The speaker, an executive of Jews for Jesus, in remarks not previously vetted by the church or by Palin, said that the Jews' refusal to convert to Christianity causes terrorism. As well, Palin once appeared at an event with Pat Buchanan.

The "Jed Report" makes these claims in a blog entitled "Sarah Palin and the anti-Semitism Question", based on a blog by Ben Smith on entitled "Jewish Voters May Be Wary of Sarah Palin" in which Smith accuses Palin of anti-Semitism because she once appeared on a podium with Pat Buchanan and because she once attended a speech at her church. The speech was given by David Brickner and in it Brickner said that terrorist attacks on Israelis were God's "'judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity'".

To accuse someone of anti-Semitism in good faith there ought to be at least a little evidence. Knowing an anti-Semite or appearing with Pat Buchanan is not evidence, in part because many Jews have been associated with anti-Semites and with Pat Buchanan. Likewise, attending a speech billed as a "Jews for Jesus" speech is not anti-Semitic because all Christians believe in Jesus and there is nothing anti-Semitic about welcoming Jews who believe in Jesus either. Moreover, I have heard Jews make similar remarks. For instance, when I was a teenager a Jewish friend had discovered the Jewish religion and he said to me that the holocaust had occurred because the Jews were not sufficiently observant of Judaism. Coincidentally and tragically, my friend was killed in a car accident not long after.

It is not surprising that readers of the Bible make statements like this because the Bible is full of such statements. The Jews are criticized throughout the Bible for foresaking the path of righteousness, etc. That does not make the Bible anti-Semitic, just the opposite. Jews should not condemn Christians for using the same kind of logic that's in the Bible.

A friend recently e-mailed me with the argument that Sarah Palin is anti-Semitic as follows:

>"...Palin does go to a church that is wildly antisemitic..."

>"Palin's church supports what I consider, although others may not, the most antisemitic group of them all, Jews For Jesus, who have blamed the problems in Israel on the Jews because they have not accepted Jesus. The church's support of this group is incontrovertible, I leave it to you to decide whether they are an antisemitic group."

>"One of the many terrifying things about Palin is that she is an active member of a church that believes that the world will come to an end in our lifetime. I don't want her near "the button"

>"There are many deep conservatives who I respect, even though I may be in disagreement with 80% of their philosophy. I think there is a big difference between Pat Buchanan and a shrill shill like O'Reilly"

Interestingly, my correspondent likes Pat Buchanan even though Ben Smith and the Jed Report claim that association with Pat Buchanan is evidence of anti-Semitism.

Part of the reason for Jews' concern about anti-Semitism is that there has been alot of it, although few left-wing Jews have the knowledge to distinguish between European anti-Semitism and American anti-Semitism, which is much less intense and more the exception than the rule. In contrast, European anti-Semitism is more the rule than the exception.

Jews were expelled from much of western Europe, to include Spain, France and England, from the 13th to the 15th centuries. They were forced to either live in ghettoes as in Venice and Germany, in eastern Europe or the Muslim world. Over the course of the following centuries, eastern Europe, especially Russia and Poland, became intensely anti-Semitic, and much of the anti-Semitism was channeled through the official Russian Orthodox Church. Rape and killing were part of this history, as was official state oppression. Czar Nicholas, for instance, mandated that all Jewish males serve in the army from childhood until age 42. This was meant to be genocidal.

As a result, many eastern European Jews are fearful of Christianity. However, they do not understand that the Protestant Reformation was accompanied by an intensification of interest in and warmth toward Jews. The Cromwellian Revolution was accompanied by England's reopening to Jews. This was also associated with the growth of commerce due to the same historical process. Likewise, at least some of the Puritan thinkers in America were openly Zionist and philo-Semitic. Following the Revolutionary War, Jews were always permitted freedom of religion in the US, with a couple of stark exceptions, such as an edict by General Ulysses S. Grant. Progressivism integrated elements of Populism, which was often anti-urban and anti-Semitic, and was accompanied by a reaffirmation of feudal values that included anti-Semitism. Hence, there was more anti-Semitism beginning in the late nineteenth century through 1950 then there had been previously. However, many Jews, such as Walter Weyl and Walter Lippmann, were prominent in the Progressive movement, and the older, laissez-faire Mugwump movement as well.

When eastern European Jews arrived here between 1880 and 1925 they carried the fear of anti-Semitism with them. This was accompanied by the fact that America, in the throes of Popuulist nativism and Progressivism, was susceptible to various anti-Semitic movements, to include that of Henry Ford and Father Coughlin.

Despite the history of tension that eastern European Jews feel toward Christians, largely because the Russian Orthodox church was virulently anti-Semitic, the Whigs in England and the Calvinist faith to which they adhered, and their American offspring, the Puritans, were often philo-Semitic. Palin's church, Assembly of God, descends from the Puritan heritage. Many of the Puritan religionists of the 18th and 19th century were Zionists.

Christianity is a proselytizing religion that is historically a Jewish sect. The imagery of the New Testament is rooted and imbued with the old. A knowledgeable Christian cannot hate Jews. However, they naturally aim to convert Jews, which is not the same thing.

I would add that Jews need to be aware of their own prejudices. Calling someone anti-Semitic merely because they belong to a Protestant Church in itself may constitute bias. As well, America is very much a Christian country. To understand America a deep understanding of Jonathan Edwards, the Great Awakening, the Church in America and the philosophy of tolerance rooted in the Cromwellian Revolution of 1648 is absolutely essential. Jews should be aware that the tolerance of America is an Anglo-exception to the intolerance of socialist Europe. In contrast to Europe, where Jews were repeatedly murdered and oppressed by feudalistic then socialist and national socialist regimes, America, precisely because of its Protestant basis, has accepted and honored Jews. Jews should be aware of this virtue. I do think that there is much anti-Christian bias among liberal Jews, which is as much a form of bigotry as anti-Semitism.


Diogenes said...

OK, let's get this straight:

Sarah Palin can attack Barack Obama because of what was said in his church -- when he wasn't present -- and when he found out about it, he disavowed it.

But nobody can use the same principle to wonder aloud about Sarah Palin, when anti-Semitic comments are made in her church -- when she IS present -- and which she hasn't disavowed?

Let's see: hypnosis... hypnotism... here it is!


Mitchell Langbert said...

Let's get this straight. Barack Obama attended a church where there were ongoing anti-Semitic statements, alliances with Louis Farrakhan and anti-White rhetoric, and that's ok.

Sarah Palin attended a talk by someone she never met before who makes one remark, not necessarily anti-Semitic, but she is anti-Semitic.

There is one word for Diogenes:


Joe Bubel said...

Absolutely Mitchel. Decades long relationships of Obama with 'radicals' (for lack of a better term) supposedly means nothing, has no reflection on what Obama may beleive. But attending a speach or two, by Palin, completely uncovers her ideology, to reflect that of the speaker.

Twisted, that's all I can say.

messianicmatt said...

I am a Jewish believer in Jesus. Most blogs and news services have quoted the same one paragraph of the six-page transcript of the message that David Brickner of Jews for Jesus delivered at Sarah Palin’s church, giving the false impression that he is saying that a bulldozer attack by a deranged Palestinian is God’s judgment on the Jewish people. Please read or listen to the entire message for yourself at so that you can hear Brickner’s remarks in context. Please also take a look at Brickner’s comments concerning his message at Wasilla Bible Church, as well as interviews by Christianity Today and MSNBC with Brickner about this issue, at Among other things, Brickner says, "The comments attributed to me were taken out of context. The notion that the terrorist, bulldozer attack in Jerusalem this summer was God’s judgment on Israel for not believing in Jesus, is absolutely not what I believe. In retrospect, I can see how my rhetoric might be misunderstood and I truly regret that . . . . Let me be clear. I don’t believe that any one event whether a terrorist attack or a natural disaster is a specific fulfillment of or manifestation of a Biblical prediction of judgment. I don’t believe that the newspaper should be used to interpret the Bible. The Bible interprets the Bible. I love my Jewish people and the land of Israel. I stand with and support her against all efforts to harm her or her people in any way."

Anders said...

No, it is not love to want the Jews to abolish their religion!! Torah says it is an eternal covenant!!

The earliest extant Church historian, Eusebius further documented (EH III.xxvii.4-6) that the original Netzarim accepted only the Jewish Tana"kh as Bible and only The Netzarim ("their own") Hebrew Matityahu (NHM) as an authentic account of the life and teachings of Ribi YÓ™hoshua, never accepting the the 2nd-4th century, heavily gentile-redacted (Greek), NT.

The historical Jesus - that is the
first century Jew Ribi Yehoshua said:

"Don't think that I came to uproot the Torah or the Neviim [prophets], but rather I came to reconcile them with the Oral Law of emet (truth). Should the heavens and ha-aretz (the land, particularly referring to Israel) exchange places, still, not even one ' (yod) nor one ` (qeren) of the Oral Law of Mosheh shall so much as exchange places; until it shall become that it is all being fully ratified and performed non-selectively. For whoever deletes one Oral Law from the Torah, or shall teach others such, by those in the Realm of the heavens he shall be called "deleted." Both he who preserves and he who teaches them shall be called Ribi in the Realm of the heavens. For I tell you that unless your Tzedaqah (righteousness) is over and above that of the Sophrim (Torah Scribes), and of the [probably 'Herodian'] Rabbinic-Perushim (corrupted to "Pharisees"), there is no way you will enter into the Realm of the heavens! “
Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu 5:17-20.


“Take heed against false Neviim who come to you in wool like sheep, but inside they are wolves who extort. You shall recognize them by their works. Do men pick grapes from a stinging-nettle? Or figs from a thistle? So, every green tree is unable to produce evil fruit, and a dried-up tree is unable to produce good fruit."”

For words that you don’t understand; se ; the link to Glossaries at the first page.

Ribi Yehoshua warned for false prophets who don’t produce good fruit = defined as don’t practise the commandments in Torah according to Halakhah (oral Torah). See Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:1-6.

Now you are confronted with the very words of historical Ribi Yehoshua [in the above quotes]. You can’t rebel and reject the very words he claims to follow. If you don’t follow Ribi Yehoshuas Torah-teachings, than you don’t follow Ribi Yehoshua.

So why not start following Ribi Yehoshua by practising Torah including Halakhah non-selectively? To follow him by practising the commandments in Torah including helping the needy gives true meaning of life!!

I also recommend you to read: “Who are the Netzarim” ; Israel Mall (left menu); Netzarim (bottom menu)

From Anders Branderud
Geir Toshav, Netzarim in Ra’anana in Israel ( who are followers of Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah – in Orthodox Judaism