Jews for and against Jesus

Jews are evil, and there is a special place in hell just for them. I’d say to them: Believe whatever you want. Practice whatever you preach. Just stay the hell away from us.

Do not rush to denounce me, do not send this piece post-haste to your local branch of ADL or LICRA, do not send police to my home. I did not quote Adolf Hitler, no worry. This was a direct quote from Haaretz newspaper, from an article by the newspaper columnist Bradley Burston. With one omission: “for Jesus”. The evil ones, according to Haaretz, are only the ‘Jews for Jesus’, who should be sent to hell. ‘Jews against Jesus’ are perfectly loveable.

Burston’s outburst of hate deserves to be analysed. Jews are good, he says; what makes some Jews evil is their love to Christ. Ergo, Christ is really hateful in the eyes of Burston; and apparently the most liberal newspaper in Israel finds nothing objectionable in this line. I bet the Christian supporters of Israel also will wipe the spit off their face and claim it was just a spot of rain. The Pope and Kofi Annan issued no reproach, and the Congress did not declare a day of mourning, as they do whenever Jews are mentioned in less than favourable context. The very Christian president Bush did not mention this hate talk to Prime Minister Olmert, when they met in the White House. The newspapers of the West were busy spreading lies about Iran, and paid no attention to the assault on the faith of their silent majorities.

Burston dissimulates somewhat to cover his tracks. Instead of saying outright: “Yes, I hate Jesus and despise Christians”, he looks for another fault of the “Jews for Jesus”: they carry out a missionary activity. Proselytizing is persecution, he whines; do not preach to Jews. If “proselytizing is persecution”, why does the Jewish state spend a lot of their taxpayers’ money (and it includes taxes collected from Christians, too) to proselytise and convert the Christians into Jewish faith? There is an official state program to convert 200,000 Russian Christians in Israel into the faith of “Jews against Jesus”. The program is headed by a government official, and is quite active.

Moreover, if “proselytizing is persecution”, why “Jews against Jesus” carry out their anti-Christian propaganda from New York to Moscow? If you do not like your beliefs being undermined, why do you undermine the beliefs of others? Indeed, Jews often say they do not proselytise. It is true up to a point: while Christians want to turn Jews into their brothers-Christians, the Jews do not want to turn others into full-fledged Jews, they are quite satisfied if others are profaned and turned away from Christ. And they work for it: they sue churches, spread horrible stories about paedophile priests, ban Christmas, propagate the Gospel of Judas. They do it under the cover of “secularism”, which is but a gentile-facing Judaism, a form of Mammon-worship. “Just stay the hell away from us”, calls Burston to the ‘Jews for Jesus’. Well, should not he give this advice to his coreligionists, ‘Jews against Jesus’, and march them back to ghetto?

Burston bewails: “It’s hard enough to be Jewish as it is. It’s tough to be Jewish if you’re secular, and it’s no less difficult if you’re religious. It’s tough to be Jewish in the Diaspora if you live among non-Jews. It’s tough to live there if you live among lots of Jews.” Well, it is tough because it is unnatural. It’s tough to live believing that everybody hates you and wants to kill you. It is tough to deny Christ because His sun warms us all. It is tough and it is unnecessary, like sleeping on sharp nails. People who describe themselves as “Jews” are also human; they also need Christ, and His denial is much more harmful for their souls than any denial of holocaust can be.

“Respect this religion (of Jews against Jesus), let this religion live”, says Burston in his sequel. No way. Your “Jewish religion” which includes “secular Jews” is not a religion. “Secular Jew” is as impossible as “secular Christian” but its implication is much worse: if an observant Jew still believes in God, a secular Jew is a man who placed his ethnic origin in stead of God; a man whose superiority complex of chosenness is not mitigated by meekness required by the faith. Why is it not enough for a secular person to be what he is, an Israeli in Israel, an American in America, a Russian in Russia? Isn’t it just a desire to be special, when one is not? Of them, the Gospel says: “they claim they are Jews but they are not”. There is nothing inherently wrong in the descendents of Jews: after parting with their superiority spirit, they can become as good as any, and it is up to each one to decide whether to claim that one is a Jew or just an ordinary Israeli, American, Russian.

In Israel, as elsewhere, more and more people stop to count themselves among ‘the Jews’ and join the nation they live amongst. An important Israeli writer A.B. Yehoshua and the philosopher Menahem Brinker noticed that the Palestinians are part of their nation much more so than the Jews of Manhattan or Chicago – the connection with whom, in their eyes, is a thing of the past. It is a beginning of an independence movement: until now, the state of Israel is a colony of World Jewry, but we feel that this umbilical cord should be severed as it stops the development of the new nation, which includes all inhabitants of the Holy Land and excludes the Jews elsewhere.

The Holy Land can work wonders. An American Jew cried to Lord saying: “I have sent my son to Jerusalem and he turned to Christ”, and the Lord replied: “It happened to My Son, too”. The old joke may become true on a large scale, as the Jewish state in Palestine proves ethical impossibility and undesirability of Jewish paradigm. All gloomy prophecies of anti-Judaic thinkers were materialised here. The goyim are locked up, starved and bombed in this window-case of Jewish generosity, Gaza strip. When the Jews do not lobby for nuking Iran, they shoot at Lebanon. The foreign workers have zero rights, are frequently deported and even their meagre salaries are often not paid to them. Israeli workers’ lot is not enviable, either: while landlords, usurers and stock exchange players operate tax-free, labour is taxed to brim. The Jewish state is good for dentists, money dealers and rabbis; it is not good for the rest, because it is a Jewish state.

As for Burston’s request for respect, it is impossible for us to respect your “religion” that teaches hate to Christ and Christians. Long before Inquisition, in the first century, the Jews incorporated a special birkat haminim, Anathema to Christians in their daily prayer; it is said even now by pious Jews every morning. T’is better to die than to be healed by a Christian, ruled the Mishna. Talmud improved on it and allowed to kill Christians, especially ex-Jews, at any occasion, and turned it into a commandment. Maimonides, the great luminary of Judaism, turned simple hate into the whole system: a Jew should not follow Christians, should not bow to His image, should not make His image for oneself or for others, but a Jew should burn down a Christian city, and never allow to rebuild it. Furthermore, a Jew has to dislike an active Christian (a “misleader”), not to refrain from hating a Christian, not to save a Christian missionary from death, not to credit a missionary with any merits, not to refrain from doing bad to misleaders etc. To our luck, the Jews of our days do not follow these commandments anymore than they observe the ban on shaving their beards.

Still, Burston chose “Jews for Jesus” as his favourite object of hate. Indeed, Jewish hatred to Christ and Christians is deeply entrenched, but their hatred to their former brethren who defected from the gang, takes the proverbial cherry. The South-Eastern corner of Temple Mount enclosure retains a gruesome memory of an encounter between Jews for and against Jesus. In year AD 65, some thirty years after the Resurrection, love to Christ made great inroads into the community of hate, and burstons of that time decided to deal with Jews for Jesus the only way they know. They invited Jacob, the Brother of the Lord, (apparently he was a son of Joseph from an early marriage and grew up together with Jesus) and asked him to explain to people that Jesus was not the Messiah nor Son of God. Jacob agreed to appear before the people. A huge crowd gathered on the Temple grounds, waiting for the much publicised appearance of Jacob who was well-known for his saintly ways. His knees were like those of a camel for he knelt a lot, said the people. He fasted and prayed all the time for Jerusalem and its unruly folk. Jacob was also the bishop of the Church of Jerusalem, and a man who still tried to be a Jew and a Christian in the same time. The priests asked for quiet, and called Jacob to witness. And the old saintly bishop came up and witnessed: Jesus is Christ. Burstons of the time roared: these Jews for Jesus are evil; and dropped the old man down from the Temple corner. As he did not die immediately, they went down and killed him. That was the end of ‘Jews for Jesus’, for centuries to come.

Since then, many, many Jews embraced Christ, but they did not try to seat on two chairs or dance on two weddings at once. In a way, I agree with Burston: let us leave the appellation of ‘Jews’ to Christ-haters like Burston and Steinsaltz, to war criminals like Mofaz and Wolfowitz, to supporters of genocide in Palestine like Elie Wiesel and Alan Dershowitz, to crooks like George Soros and Marc Rich. Leave this appellation to the small community of Neturei Karta who observe all the commandments and support Iran and the Palestinians, for they are the just men in the Jewish Sodom. But we do not have to stay in Sodom. Much as I sympathise with ‘Jews for Jesus’, and ready to defend them from burstons, I disagree with their clinging to the past. They try to put new wine into old skins (Luke 5:37, Matthew 9:17). Good that they discovered Jesus, but it is ‘Jews’ part of them that should be discarded. They remind of the Talmudic adage: “tovel vesheretz beyado”, they baptise while not letting go of the reptile tail. If they live in the Holy Land, they can be Palestinian (or Israeli) Christians; if they live in the US, they can be Americans of any Christian denomination they choose. They are chosen as the members of a new chosen folk, that of the Church which is New Israel, and they do not need the old trappings. Let them follow bishops and saints of Jewish origin, who gave up the pretensions of Jews and accepted the crown of Christ. Nobody has to be a Jew, and as their crimes in Palestine multiply, it is imperative not to be one.
http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Jews_and_Jesus.htm

Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir is a critically acclaimed and respected Russian Israeli writer. He has written extensively and translated Joyce and Homer into Russian. He lives in Jaffa, is a Christian, and an outspoken critic of Israel and Zionism.