JFNA rejects Jewish Democrat’s anti-Evangelical remarks

JFNA rejects Jewish Democrat’s anti-Evangelical remarks

US Jewish umbrella group ‘strenuously objects’ after Greg Rosenbaum says some Christian Republicans are ‘building a stairway to heaven on backs of Jews’

Former congresswoman and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (Courtesy/File)
Former congresswoman and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (Courtesy/File)

WASHINGTON — The Jewish Federations of North America has distanced itself from a Jewish Democrat who said at the federation umbrella group’s annual General Assembly that some evangelical Christian Republicans support Israel in order to hasten the “End of Days.”

“Federations work closely with pro-Israel churches and church leaders across the continent,” Rebecca Dinar, the group’s spokeswoman, said Thursday when asked to respond to comments by Greg Rosenbaum, the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “We strenuously object to any characterization that calls into question their motives for supporting the State of Israel.”

Rosenbaum was speaking Tuesday at a debate with Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, moderated by Jewish Insider.

Brooks had noted the widening gap in polls between Democrats and Republicans over whether they identify more with Israel than with the Palestinians.

Greg-Rosenbaum (Courtesy)
Greg-Rosenbaum (Courtesy)

“Are their motives to support a Jewish Israel? Are they supporting Israel as a natural homeland for the Jews?” Rosenbaum said.

“Or are they in support of Israel because it represents the avenue for people who are evangelicals to get to heaven?”

“I’ve always said, you’ve got evangelical Republicans supporting Israel because they are building a stairway to heaven on the backs of the Jews in Israel. We don’t get to go with them unless – as Michele Bachmann said over the weekend – all of the Israeli Jews convert to Christianity, as soon as possible,” he said.

Bachmann, a former congresswoman and a vier for the GOP presidential nod in 2012, said last week during an Israel trip that Christians should anticipate the imminent return of Jesus by bringing more non-believers, including Jews, into their ranks.

Rosenbaum later sent Jewish Insider and Christians United for Israel a clarification of his GA remarks.

“To be clear, my remarks were meant to refer specifically to those evangelical Christians who agree with former Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s offensive statements surrounding Israel and the ‘biblical prophecy,’ specifically her call to convert as many Jews as possible in the context of ‘seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes, even while we’re on the ground,’” he said, “not the many Christians, both Republicans and Democrats, who disagree with her.”

Christians United for Israel, a group led by Pastor John Hagee, who has advocated within the evangelical community against proselytizing Jews, slammed Rosenbaum for his remarks.

“If he ever bothered to talk to pro-Israel Christians, Mr. Rosenbaum would learn that believing Christians support Israel for the same reasons as observant Jews,” David Brog, a member of the group’s board of directors, told the New York Observer.

“This support has nothing to do with salvation, which Christians believe stems from faith alone. Christian support flows from a moral worldview that can distinguish between Israeli decency and the evil of radical Islam.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: