Christian Zionists Gain Israel's Inner Sanctum
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jan 09, 2008 at 02:40:32 PM EST
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein's International Fellowship of Christians and Jews declared funding partner of the Jewish Agency for Israel

After raising more than two hundred million dollars for various projects in Israel, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and his organization, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which he founded and is president of, has hit pay-dirt.

In late December, the Jewish Agency for Israel, which helped found the State of Israel, announced that the IFCJ "will be declared a funding partner of the Jewish Agency... [and] Eckstein will ... receive new voting powers that will include spots on the committees that oversee the agency's budget and that meet with the prime minister and his Cabinet," the Jewish Daily Forward reported.

The announcement indicates a major shift in agency policy. Nearly 10 years ago, the head of the Jewish Agency "refused to be photographed taking a check" from Eckstein. "Now, it has publicly, and apparently proudly, acknowledged that the IFCJ would be donating 45 million dollars to the agency over the next three years, almost all of it raised from evangelical Christians in North America," according to The Forward.

"For the first time, Christians, who are mainly my constituency, will have a seat at the table," Eckstein told the Forward.

Christians become 'strategic partner' with Agency

Eckstein told the news service JTA that "This elevates" the fellowship and "thereby Christians around the world to strategic partner with the worldwide agency..."

"Appointing Eckstein on the basis of how much money he can bring raises wider questions about who should be making policy for the agency -- which is supposed to be the bridge between Diaspora Jewry and Israel, not simply a philanthropy -- and how the Jewish community is represented," Gershom Gorenberg told me in an e-mail.

Gorenberg, the author of "The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount" and "The Accidental Empire", pointed out that "If money is the sole criterion, if this is simply a philanthropy, then there is no reason for the institutionalized relationship with the government."

"The Jewish Agency is essentially saying that pro-Israel Christians are joining with the Jewish community worldwide in helping aliyah [Jewish immigration to Israel] and in strengthening the security and welfare of the State of Israel. That has never happened before," Eckstein added.

The Forward reported that the agreement, which is pending approval by the agency's board, states that the IFCJ will donate 15 million dollars a year to its "core budget for immigration and resettlement, historically IFCJ priorities".

The donation is nearly double last year's 8 million dollars. The IFCJ will also be designated a "funding partner" of the Jewish Agency, a status previously shared only by United Jewish Communities, the umbrella organization for U.S. federations, and Keren Hayesod, which represents international federations.

"Eckstein will also become a voting member" of the 26-member executive committee "and will gain seats on the budget and finance committee, which makes recommendations for how the Jewish Agency allocates its funds, and the coordinating committee, which meets with the prime minister and Cabinet members," the Forward pointed out.

"I think we accept, with reservations, the political involvement of the evangelical community on behalf of Israel," said Jewish Agency board member Richard Wexler, chairman of the United Israel Appeal. "It would be rather cynical, having accepted the political help, to reject the financial assistance which has become more and more vital given the reduction in allocations and financial distributions from the federation system in America."

Previously, Eckstein has been a "nonvoting member of the executive board," the Forward reported. Now he will be IFCJ's representative on the board.

"It's not like all of a sudden you're going to have Pat Robertson on the committee," Eckstein joked.

Building relationships with conservative Christians

Over the years, Eckstein has raised more than 250 million dollars, much of it from conservative Christian evangelicals, for his organization's various projects in Israel. He is often credited as being one of the first Jewish religious leaders to advocate building relationships with conservative Christian evangelicals.

In late February of 2002, Eckstein and Ralph Reed, the former executive director of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition and the head of Century Strategies, a Republican Party-oriented political consultancy, founded Stand for Israel. According to its website, Stand for Israel, which Eckstein chairs, "aims to engage people both spiritually and politically on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, by encouraging them to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem' and providing them with the facts they need to advocate for the Jewish state and fight anti-Israel bias in media."

While Eckstein has flourished, Reed hasn't done as well. Although his company is still functioning and he appeared as a pundit on CNN during its New Hampshire primary coverage, he has been damaged by revelations of his close relationship with the now imprisoned Republican Party uberlobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Earlier this year, at a conference at the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College in New York City on the state of world Jewry titled "Is it 1938 again?" Eckstein, in answering the question in the affirmative, called for a strategic alliance with evangelical Christians, because they are "our best friends and closest allies".

"He brushed off concerns about their supposed ulterior motives -- converting Jews and advancing Armageddon -- as a 'figment of, if I can say it, this liberal, Jewish and journalistic imagination,'" the Florida Jewish News reported.

Eckstein's organization "represents a community whose interest in Israel is based on their own theology," said Gershom Gorenberg, who is also a senior correspondent for The American Prospect:

"However much they proclaim love of Israel and Jews, their priorities are not based on Israeli or Jewish evaluations of what's in Israel's interests. They may oppose a two-state solution, for instance, because it doesn't fit their theology -- which is different from right-wing Jews who believe that such a solution is dangerous to Israel's future. I disagree with the right-wing Jews as well, but it is a different type of disagreement."

Eckstein lambastes Iran  

In addition to raising great sums of money for Israel and devoting two-plus decades to building alliances with Christian Zionists, Eckstein has become an outspoken critic of Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In a late-November piece for The Jewish Week -- written prior to the CIA's National Intelligence Estimate that maintained that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and is unlikely to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb until at least 2010 -- Eckstein argued that dealing with the "threat of Iran" is one of Israel's greatest "challenges".

"There are signs that the world is beginning to understand the necessity of doing something about Iran's reckless pursuit of nuclear technology," Eckstein wrote. "In the U.S., Americans appear to be leaning toward decisive action that goes beyond toothless United Nations resolutions and sanctions."

Eckstein compared the plight of the 25,000 member Jewish community in Iran to "the state of Jews in Nazi Germany." "While the historical circumstances may be different, the parallels are obvious: ... Adolph Hitler publicly identified Jews as uniquely evil and placed upon them primary responsibility for the ills affecting German society at the time."

Ahmadinejad also "does not make his hatred of Israel and Jews a secret. ...Echoing Hitler's infamous statement in his autobiography, `Mein Kampf,' that `the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew,' Ahmadinejad proclaims that Jews are the `personification of Satan.' To correct the situation, Ahmadinejad proposes his own solution: Israel, which he calls a `disgraceful stain on the Islamic world,' is to be `wiped from the map' in a `war of destiny.'"

Eckstein is also the subject of a chapter of Zev Chavets' recent book "A Match Made in Heaven:  American Jews. Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance."  

On Dec. 25, 40 Jewish immigrants landed in Israel, making it the largest-ever single group of Iranian immigrants brought by the Jewish Agency. The agency has declared its intention to do whatever it can to bring as many Iranian Jews to Israel as possible.

"It feels like we're losing control," said Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, a co-founder JewsOnFirst, a Web site monitoring the religious right and Christian Zionist groups. "Those who will be in charge of the Zionist enterprise will not be Jews, but the senior partners with the most money."

While Eckstein's role in the Jewish Agency raises serious questions, Gershom Gorenberg pointed out that the "ad hoc relation that sometimes exists between Israel and conservative Evangelicals ... is parallel to the ad hoc coalitions sometimes created by circumstance between feminists and fundamentalists on issues such as prostitution or pornography. They may jointly support a particular measure, but there is no real community of interests, no coalition."

Have to getting the best update here to easily clear bing history delete the all browser way so must be save the all windows setting for find to new feature forever thanks.

by Thanos on Fri Nov 23, 2018 at 02:06:35 AM EST

The organization of the Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein is claiming to work for the benefit of both Jews and Christians for a very long period of time. Website https:/ is helpful in research paper online. However, I would say that this is a pretty big association which should also work for the individuals of other communities.

by Abbot45558 on Fri Jul 24, 2020 at 01:15:14 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (330 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (178 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (98 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (93 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (105 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (127 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (115 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (79 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (228 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (55 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (153 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (53 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (54 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (210 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (240 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (87 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (171 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (143 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (141 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (146 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (144 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (123 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (185 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (142 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (83 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (189 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (77 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (107 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (105 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.