Jews against Zionism

What are Christians to think of the modern return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel? Fulfillment of prophecy or not?

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mikemac
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Jews against Zionism

Post by mikemac » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:13 pm

Hi Ariel Ben Ami

I just finished reading your 6 page essay titled Israel: A Prophetic Sign? and found it very interesting.

But I do have some questions and possibly some contradictions. First I want to tell you that I am just a Catholic lay person from southern Ontario, Canada so there is a possibility that I may be wrong in my assumptions. I do find the Palestinian/Israeli conflict very troubling, as do most people around the world.

The first contradiction that I find with your essay is when I do a Google search for 'Jews against zionism'. Here in Canada I find over 350,000 web sites written by Jews that do not support the state of Israel. In case these web sites are being blocked by Google in the USA or Israel or where ever the reader happens to be from I will post a couple of these web sites. But first I have to tell you that most of these web sites written by Jews claim their message is being stifled.

The first Jewish web site that I would like you and the reader to draw attention to is True Torah Jews Against Zionism. On the front page of their web site they quote a different Rabbi every day that basically condemns the zionist state. Today, February 3, 2009 they quote Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk. This is his quote.
Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk (1853-1918), the founder of the "yeshiva approach to Talmudic study," was frequently quoted by his disciples as saying:

"The Zionists do not make Jews heretics in order to have a state, they want a state in order to make Jews into heretics!"

Or, as he once wrote:

"The Jewish people have suffered many (spiritual) plagues -- the Sadducees, Karaites, Hellenisers, Shabbatai Zvi, Enlightenment, Reform and many others. But the strongest of them all is Zionism."

This hideous strength was later explained by his son, the Brisker Rav, Rabbi Velvel Soloveichik (1886-1960) as being due to the Zionists having "attacked the center point of Judaism.
If you go to the above web site tomorrow or any other day you will find similar quotes by other Rabbis. But to confirm the above quote just go to the web page for Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk.

The second Jewish web site that I would like to draw your attention to is Neturei Karta - International Jews United Against Zionism. The photos of thousands of Jews around the world protesting against the state of Israel speak for themselves.

Innovative Minds is another "With three knowledgeable speakers, all of Jewish origin speaking against Zionism". This web site quotes this with some amazing photos.
Contrary to the propaganda put out by Israel's supporters, Israel is NOT supported by the majority of the world's Jewish people. Ariel Sharon does not speak for all Jewish people. And being anti-Israel is not "anti-Semitic"
And there are a lot more if you do a Google search for Jews against zionism.

The second contradiction I have to your essay is 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 1 - 5. It is very well documented that the Zionist do plan to build the third temple in Jerusalem. A lot of Catholics and Protestants believe that Christian Zionists are helping this happen, thus forcing God's hand and actually working for the other side. We have had a fairly friendly discussion with a Christian Zionist on a 6 page thread at the Hub Pages forum. For brevity I will post the thread starting from page 3 because that is where the discussion starts. Please comment on our discussion.


Ariel I certainly hope you do not delete this post. Like I say, I may be wrong with my assumptions. I am very much looking forward to your friendly reply.

Peace be with you
Mike

Ariel
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Post by Ariel » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:16 am

hi Mike,

thanks for your post. It is true that some Jews (mostly Haredim or ultra-orthodox) oppose the current state of Israel - even those who live in Israel now! Some of these groups, like Neturei Karta, are considered to be fringe extremists (their representatives even met with the president of Iran).

Our positions at Catholics for Israel are not determined by polls or popularity of positions in Judaism, but by the Word of God and magisterial teachings of the Church. While the magisterium does not make prophetic statements (as to what current events are fulfillment of prophecy or not), the Scriptures do speak of a certain restoration of Israel near the end of history (see esp. Ezek 36-37). We can't know the details of how this will happen and what it will involve, but these passages typically speak of a restoration in two stages:

1) a "physical" restoration - meaning the return of the Jews to the land of Israel
2) a spiritual restoration - meaning their turning to faith and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them.

Now as with every event of human history this process will be messy, because it involves a mix of divine providence and human sinfulness. Often the tendency is to see in the zionist movement only the human element, particularly because the early zionists were secular Jews who came to Israel not out of any particular religious conviction. But this is exactly what the Scriptures say: they will return in a state of unrighteousness, and then God will pour out his spirit upon them (probably through great affliction).

The same could be said of the Temple: if it is one day rebuilt (we don't have a particular position on that, and certainly don't favor its rebuilding), then it would probably be a human enterprise that God will use in his Providence to further advance the salvation of Israel and the world.

I personally think it would be a pretty impressive feat for anyone to "force God's hand." I will have to work out still a fair amount before I am willing to try it. =o)

hope this helps, God bless,
Ariel
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

mikemac
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Post by mikemac » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Well no it doesn't help Ariel. As I previously posted from one of the Jewish web sites "Israel is NOT supported by the majority of the world's Jewish people", yet you reply by calling them "fringe extremists".

Of course Neturei Karta representatives met with the president of Iran. There are Jews living peacefully in Iran right now. What better way to bring about peace than to talk. Do you actually think that the Israeli and the USA way of doing it by weapons of mass destruction is a better way? You don't actually think that God Almighty condones this, do you?

Did you not read any of the web sites that I posted? This is the Mission of the True Torah Jews Against Zionism.
True Torah Jews Against Zionism - Our Mission

The relatively new concept of Zionism began only about one hundred years ago and since that time Torah-true Jewry has steadfastly opposed the Zionist ideology. This struggle is rooted in two convictions:

1. Zionism, by advocating a political and military end to the Jewish exile, denies the very essence of our Diaspora existence. We are in exile by Divine Decree and may emerge from exile solely via Divine Redemption. All human efforts to alter a metaphysical reality are doomed to end in failure and bloodshed. History has clearly borne out this teaching.
2. Zionism has not only denied our fundamental belief in Heavenly Redemption it has also created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our identity to be a secular nationalism. Accordingly, Zionism and the Israeli state have consistently endeavored, via persuasion and coercion, to replace a Divine and Torah centered understanding of our people hood with an armed materialism.

True Torah Jews is dedicated to informing the world and in particular the American public and politicians that all Jews do not support the ideology of the Zionist state called "Israel" which is diametrically opposite to the teachings of traditional Judaism.

We are concerned that the widespread misconception that all Jews support the zionist state and its actions endangers Jews worldwide.

We are NOT politically motivated. We are motivated by our concern for the peace and safety of all people throughout the world including those living in the Zionist state. We support and pray for peace for the people of the Zionist state but have no interest in and do not support the Zionist government.

We seek to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism from the Zionist Ideology by:

* Providing historical and supporting documentation that Zionism is totally contrary to the teachings of traditional Judaism through the words of our Rabbis, Sages, and Holy Scriptures which oppose the creation of a state called Israel.
* Providing historical documentation on the ideaology and creation of Zionism, the supporters of Zionism and the negative impact of their actions on the Jewish people in the past hundred years, including their involvement in the holocaust up to the present day.
* Publicizing the efforts of traditional Jews to demonstrate that all Jews do not support Zionism, which is being ignored by the mainstream media.
* Convince the news media, politicians and the public to cease referring to the state of Israel as the "Jewish State" but to call it what it is: the "Zionist State".

It is our firm belief that when the state of "Israel" is recognized for what it is, a Zionist state which is not guided by the teachings of the traditional Jewish faith, Jews worldwide will be able to live in peace.
In the New York Times, 11 February, 2001 the True Torah Jews took out an advertisement declaring Why Are We Against The Israeli Government and Its Wars. They should not have to take out an ad, it should be front page news. This is the ad.
Why Are We Against The Israeli Government and Its Wars

Advertisement by Central Rabbinical Congress in The New York Times, 11 February, 2001, WHY ARE WE AGAINST THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AND ITS WARS?
The New York Times
Sunday, February 11, 2001

WHY ARE WE AGAINST THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AND ITS WARS?
Issued By
The Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. & Canada

In the aftermath of the elections in the state of Israel it has become a commonplace that religious Jews and their parties support a candidate who was in favor of slowing down or stopping the peace process. The impression has been created that ultra-Orthodox Jewry, in accordance with traditional Torah belief are the staunchest supporters of maintaining Israel sovereignty over “territories” and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Two thousand years ago, at the time of the Temple’s destruction, the Jewish people were forbidden by the Creator (kesubos 111a) to exercise sovereignty over the Holy Land prior to the Messianic era. They were further forbidden to wage any form of war against other nations during their exile. Rather, the paradigm of Jewish existence in the diaspora is to behave in a civil, honest and grateful manner towards their hosts throughout the world’

For over two thousand years the Jewish people accepted their exile as a Divine decree. Jews never attempted a rebellion against their host nations or other peoples. There were no plans or efforts ever made to wrest the Holy Land from its rulers or inhabitants at any point in the long history of Jewish exile. The sole means employed by Jewry to end their exile, throughout the ages were prayer, penance and good deeds.

In similar fashion, during the waning days of the second Temple, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai defiled the Jewish zealots of his time and initiated surrender talks with the Romans.

This uniformity of belief and practice remained intact until about hundred years ago and the advent of Zionism, Zionist representing a tiny movement, sought the metaphysically impossible. Their stated goal was to reverse the Divine decree of exile.

Zionism, by its very nature, rejects the concept of a divinely imposed exile. In addition, it has been consistently indifferent to the sufferings and dangers to which it and its embodiment, the State of Israel, have inflicted upon Jew and Gentile.

Zionism represents a total and radical break with the beliefs and practices of the Jewish people throughout history
.

Consistently, since its inception, our sages and rabbis condemned the Zionist heresy. To this day Torah true Jewry has remained loyal to the heavenly decree of exile. The literature of Orthodox Rabbinic condemnation of Zionism is vast and well known.

It is only logical that during the Israeli State’s 52 years of existence, its most passionate and consistent opponents have been traditional Torah Jews. Therefore, the ongoing suffering and trail of death unleashed upon Jews and non-Jews by the Israeli state are not the work of the faithful remnant of Torah Jews who have always denounced the state’s very existence.

Thus, ultimate heresy of Zionism, its denial of Divine providence over history was inevitable outgrowth of an overall rejection of G-d and Torah which typified the movement’s founders, The Subsequent history of this bizarre ideology has been a ceaseless record of overt anti-Torah acts. Included in this sorry record are indiscriminate and coerced autopsies, mass desecration of cemeteries, conscription of women into the army and recent efforts to lure Rabbinical seminarians into the armed forces.


Recently, much militant rhetoric has been heard from those who describe themselves “religious Zionist”. Sadly their stance is in violation of the millennial beliefs of Torah sages and masses of Jewry.

The goal of Torah Jewry is to live in quite piety and dwell peacefully with all nations and peoples. Those following this Divine agenda are not linked to any wars that are falsely depicted as Jewish wars but are, in reality, Zionist wars.

We conclude with a prayer that the Creator Himself will soon send His messiah to redeem the Earth and all mankind will forever join together in worship of Him.

Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. & Canada

Established in 1952, is a worldwide organization representing over 150 orthodox communities.

Like Zionist, Christian Zionists as the True Torah Jews say are in "denial of Divine providence over history" and in "rejection of G-d and Torah" or God and the Bible. Ariel you do realize that most Christian Zionists are supporting the state of Israel to bring about THE anti-christ because he has to come before the second coming of Jesus Christ, don't you? Personally I feel you calling the writings of the Church Fathers anti-semetic is anti-Catholic. I trust this helps you as well as the reader.

God bless
Mike

Fidesetratio
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Post by Fidesetratio » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:29 am

mikemac wrote: Like Zionist, Christian Zionists as the True Torah Jews say are in "denial of Divine providence over history" and in "rejection of G-d and Torah" or God and the Bible. Ariel you do realize that most Christian Zionists are supporting the state of Israel to bring about THE anti-christ because he has to come before the second coming of Jesus Christ, don't you? Personally I feel you calling the writings of the Church Fathers anti-semetic is anti-Catholic. I trust this helps you as well as the reader.

God bless
Mike
Hello Mike,

Like you, I too am just a lay person, and I am a very simple one at that.
I had read your post and also the dealings you had with the Christian Zionist too.

My personal feelings are that even though the Christian Zionists are supporting the State of Israel, and some may may be doing this to try and usher in the end times - there is still the possibility that God may allow it to bring about his purpose - do you think this is not possible?
Thats why I dont dismiss the idea totally that the rebuilding of the State of Israel as prophetic for the end times.

As to the commentry made by the Church Fathers - there is no doubt to any reader that some of the comments were anti-semitic. It probably didnt help Catholic - Jewish relations at the time, however it didnt diminish the rest of the importance of the Church Fathers & what they wrote.
Unfortunately through-out whole of history there has been anti-semitism and the Catholic Church was not exempt from this behavior either.
We shouldnt stick our head in the sand but see it and learn from our mistakes - even though it took up to Vatican II to apologise.

In the end I still hold possibilites that God can do whatever he likes - if the current state of Israel is a prophetic sign - then come Lord Yeshua!

Peace

Ariel
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Post by Ariel » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:17 am

Mike,

Naturei Karta are most certainly a fringe group. And I don't know what they hope to accomplish by meeting the president of Iran who unashamedly calls for the annihilation of a whole nation.

I am aware that the ultra-orthodox are generally opposed to the state of Israel, but they are certainly not the "majority" of Jews. Plus majority or minority is not that important. The Word of God is what counts. And as I ceaselessly say, to be "for Israel" does not imply that we agree with everything that Israel does.
most Christian Zionists are supporting the state of Israel to bring about THE anti-christ because he has to come before the second coming of Jesus Christ
This is an irritating common cliche that is mostly stated by people who have had little or no personal contact with Christian Zionists. If this is true, then find me some reliable primary sources of Christian Zionist organizations stating this (and not from their opponents or detractors)

(please avoid posting long quotes on the forum though, short quotes and a link to the source are sufficient)
you calling the writings of the Church Fathers anti-Semitic is anti-Catholic
See this article on Antisemitism in early Christianity

Obviously not all Church Fathers were anti-Semitic. A better term is probably 'anti-Judaic' because their polemic against Judaism was religiously motivated and not racially based like it became in modern times. But to read some of the things John Chrysostom wrote and say that he was not anti-Semitic is a bit like saying that Ahmadinejad loves Israel. The Church acknowledges that Christian anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in (inauthentic) Christian tradition, and it encourages us to turn away and repent from it:
The hostility or diffidence of numerous Christians toward Jews in the course of time is a sad historical fact and is the cause of profound remorse for Christians. Memory and Reconciliation: the Church and the Faults of the Past
"In the Christian world—I do not say on the part of the Church as such—erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people and their alleged culpability have circulated for too long, engendering feelings of hostility towards this people". Such interpretations of the New Testament have been totally and definitively rejected by the Second Vatican Council. We Remember: A reflection on the Shoah, quoting Pope John Paul II
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

mikemac
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Post by mikemac » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:44 am

Fidesetratio thanks for reading the 3 pages at the Hub Pages forum. I think it should be noted that the Church Fathers were obviously remembering that the first Christian persecutors were Jews. Regarding Catholic - Jewish relations at the time the Church Fathers had just one goal, the same as it still should be today, to bring God's Word (Jesus) to all people. Regarding Christian Zionists you may want to read the editorial review for Grace Halsell's book, Forcing God's Hand.

Thanks for the two links to the Vatican site Ariel. I have not had time to read them yet. I'll read both first before replying to you. Actually I have so much information to share regarding this I feel I should put it on a web site. If I do I will post it here.


In the mean time you and your readers may want to show your fidelity to the Catholic Faith and the Holy Father by signing this petition as he contends with wolves both outside and inside of the Faith.
Second International Declaration in Support of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

God bless
Mike

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Re: Jews against Zionism

Post by Gerat Tzedek » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:29 pm

Let's talk about this.

There are two sets of Jews that are opposed to the Secular Jewish State of Israel.

The first are the Ultra Orthodox, which make up a very, very tiny portion of the Orthodox. They cannot rightly be called anti-Zionist because in fact they are very much in favor of Jews returning to Eretz Israel. They are certainly strong believers in Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) belonging to the Jews forever by Covenant. What they are opposed to is the SECULAR state. They are preparing for the return of the Messiah and the establishment of a RELIGIOUS STATE of Israel complete with Jewish Law. So it is really a mis-nomer to say they are not Zionist. They are simply a different form of Zionist.

The second are your leftist, secular Jews such as Finkelstein and Chomsky, your self-hating Jews. There will always be Kapos who will sell out, believing if they just appease the enemy they will survive.

But the overwhelming majority of Jews, both secular and religious, support the right of Israel to exist.

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Re: Jews against Zionism

Post by Gerat Tzedek » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:34 pm

It is a mistake to think that anti-Semitism is racism. Anti-Semitism in all its forms stems from anti-Judaism. To say that the church fathers were merely anti-Judaism is only to beg the question.

The best book to read on this subject is WHY THE JEWS? by Dennis Prager.

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Re: Jews against Zionism

Post by mikemac » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:25 pm

Hi Gerat. The Wikipedia on Semetic describes Semites as quite a few more linguistic and ethnic groups besides just Hebrew. The Wikipedia on Ashkenazi Jews describes Ashkenazi Jews as sons of Japheth not Shem and that they make up approximately 80% of Jews worldwide today. I think if you get a Wikipedia account you can edit these if they are not correct.

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Re: Jews against Zionism

Post by Athol » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:40 am

It is definitely not true that most Jews are anti-zionist. Even most Haredi Jews are not anti-Zionist- many support the State of Israel and are involved in its political system. As Gerat points out what religious jews are opposed to is a purely secular Zionist destiny for Israel they are praying and preparing for a religious zionist future of Israel. the term anti-semite refers purely to those who are anti Jewish and does not include the wider term for Semites as those speaking languages originally spoken by the descendants of Shem. when one of the Popes said that Catholics were spiritual Semites he meant spiritual Jews or Israelites not Arabs or other non- Israelite Semitic- speaking peoples.
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