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Back May 11th, 2004 Forward
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Rabbis Criticize Evangelicals in Israel


Could the influential Rabbis in Israel finally be waking up to the fact that the people donating money to their country do not have their best interests in mind?

This ABC News article talks about their doubts and realization that something isn't right:

Prominent Israeli rabbis are for the first time speaking out against Israel's profitable alliance with evangelical Christians in the United States who have funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Jewish state.
The rabbis fear the Christians' real intent is to convert Jews, their aides said Monday. Others are concerned about the evangelicals' support for Israel's extreme right-wing, opposing any compromise with the Palestinians.

The dispute touches on an increasingly sensitive issue in Israel: the country's dependence, both economically and politically, on conservative American Christians.

Besides contributing tidy sums to projects in Israel, some evangelical Christians have lobbied in support of the Israeli government in Washington.

Troubling to Israelis is the fact that one influential group of evangelicals believes in a final, apocalyptic battle between good and evil in which Jesus returns and Jews either accept him or perish a vision that causes obvious discomfort among Jews.

"I'm worried as a Jew," said Mina Fenton, a Jerusalem City Council member from an Orthodox Jewish party, who has led opposition to the evangelical groups. "I don't want my people to be assassinated, sacrificed, killed or slaughtered because of their beliefs."

The focus of the latest criticism has been the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a Chicago-based group that has raised tens of millions of dollars from Christian supporters of Israel.

Two former chief rabbis of Israel, Avraham Shapira and Mordechai Eliahu, recently approved a religious ruling urging followers not to accept money from the group.


Back May 11th, 2004 Forward