Worldwide Biblical Zionists
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:59:32 PM EST
Strategic Biblical Zionist CenterThis is Part Three in a series of articles on why we need J Street, and a new perspective on the meaning of "pro-Israel."  Link to [Part One] and [Part Two.]

Worldwide Biblical Zionists (WBZ) is a project of World Likud and its evangelical arm, World Evangelical Zionists.  It was developed to aid Christian Zionists who wish to make aliyah (move to Israel) with the stated goal of providing assistance for housing, employment, legal services, and pre-military training. To the right is a graphic of the planned Strategic Biblical Zionist Center.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, and other apologists for the partnership with Christian Zionists, speak frequently of the generations of support for Israel by "restorationists."  They fail to acknowledge the dark side of this history, and the potential future consequences as Christian Zionists become increasingly aggressive in trying to move the hand of the prophetic clock.

Danny Danon (also transliterated from Hebrew as Dannon) is head of  World Likud, founded as an umbrella organization for international Likud branches.  Danon challenged Netanyahu for head of the Likud party in internal party primaries in 2007, since Danon viewed Netanyahu as "moving to a centrist view to pander to votes." Danon was recently polled as the Knesset's "most loyal to the right-wing's agenda."

above: Danny Danon (left) with Ron Nachman, founder and mayor of Ariel, and John Hagee.  Ariel is one of the larger settlements on the West Bank and is called the "Capital of Samara"

above: The Billye Brim pool and the John Hagee Building in Ariel are named for their benefactors. Brim is a director in Hagee's Christians United for Israel.

Christian Zionist financial support for the West Bank has been ongoing for years, and  Ariel has been a favorite for donors and adopt-a-settlement programs marketed to churches. However, some Likud party members and Christian Zionists are now taking even more extraordinary measures to populate the West Bank, showing just how far the concept of Christian Zionism can be taken.

In January, 2007, Christian Zionist Joel Bell became director of the World Evangelical Zionists (WEZ), the evangelical department of World Likud.  Bell states that in June of 2007 the "Jewish Zionist Congress and other Zionist organizations began supporting WEZ's affiliation. This launched Biblical Zionists activities together with Governmental Institutions."

A joint Board of Governors Conference with WEZ and World Likud leaders was held in Texas in July 2007, and a new organization was launched in November under the under the name Worldwide Biblical Zionists.  Danon and Bell were joined as keynote speakers at the Texas conference by Sagiv Assulin of Likud, and Christian Zionists William Koenig, former White House correspondent in the George W. Bush administration.   Morton Klein of ZOA was also listed as a speaker in the promotional materials including this flash presentation.  Other guest speakers listed in the promotional material were Keith and Jodie Anderson.  Jodie Anderson heads the Battalion of Deborah, an organization which works with the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus and has, according to Public Research Associates' RightWeb, received funds from Irving Moskowitz.

WBZ is led by Joel Bell, who also heads Frontline Israel,  an evangelical broadcast studio in Sha'ar Benjamin in the West Bank with a mailing address in Allen, Texas. (Jan Willem van der Hoeven, founder of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ) and the annual Feast of Tabernacles event, also moved his new organization, International Christian Zionists Center to Sha'ar Benjamin after leaving ICEJ.)  Bell and Likud's Sagiv Assulin toured the U.S. in July and August of 2008 to promote WBZ and raise funds to provide support systems to aid Christian Zionists in moving to Israel

Their mission states,,

"We actively develop opportunities through partnership for your participation here in Israel.  Investments, jobs, housing, education, military training, community service, and tools you'll need to make Israel your home."
Joel Bell writes in his letter from the director,  
We are a grassroots movement to preserve Jewish lives, bring the lost tribes of Israel home, build in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, Negev, Giled and Lebanon, and to prepare for the Great and Awesome day of Elohim.
The pre-military academy of WBZ is advertised as
"being established for Biblical Zionists to come to Israel and experience a 1 year training course with experienced IDF military teachers."

Regional WBZ coordinators have been chosen for various areas of the world including the U.S., U.K., and several African nations.  One of the U.S. regional directors, Bob Erhardt sent out letters calling for donations to the campaign for Sagiv Assulin in the past Israeli elections.  

"Specifically on November 16 at the World Wide Biblical Zionists inauguration ceremony, some top Likud Party members attended and addressed the approximately 300 attendees.  Those speaking to us were Ayoob Kara, Ullie Edelstein, Gideon Saar, and Sagiv Assulin... Support Sagiv Assulin by donating to his campaign.... Listen to Sagiv's heart as he addresses both Ephraim and Judah at the WBZ inauguration ceremony."
The original link is no longer active but the letter can be seen at Rotterdam4Israel.

The Ephraim reference in the letter means Christian Zionists who view themselves as Israelites with rights to the land of Israel.  They believe themselves to be joint heirs to Israel with Judah, referring to Jews, and describe themselves as Ephraimites or the "two-house" movement.

The two-house movement is a growing phenomenon with some similarities to the British or Anglo-Israelism which was popular in 19th and early 20th century Britain and migrated to the United States.  In British Israelism the British and American "Israelites" were considered to be of the house of Manasseh and Ephraim (the sons of Joseph).  In this belief system Anglo-Saxons, Celts, and often Germanic and Scandinavians, were considered to be the lost tribes of Israel, and therefore shared hereditary rights as Israelites with Judah, or Jews. The British-Israel-World Federation recently celebrated its 90th anniversary. This belief system was not limited to particular denominations and migrated around the globe.  In the United States British Israelism impacted a number of emerging sects of Christianity in varying degrees, including Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God.  

Over time, some British Israelites rejected the participation of their "brother Judah" and became fiercely anti-Semitic.  This further mutated into Christian Identity, the belief system of many of the white supremacist groups in the U.S. They believe that they are Israelites and that Jews are impostors in the family tree. Christian Identity spawned Aryan Nations, Posse Comitatus, Phineas Priesthood, and The Order.  Many Christian Identity groups celebrate their own versions of Jewish holidays, like the Feast of Tabernacles, and use Hebrew terms and symbolism, since they believe themselves to be Israel.  The Christian Identity belief that Jews are Esau-Edomites who have fraudulently infiltrated the house of Judah and control the world through demonic means, is found throughout a wide variety of overt anti-Semitic material.  

The Ephraimite beliefs are markedly different from those of British Israelism in a significant way, although they share the belief that they are Israel.  The Ephraimites are multi-racial and multi-ethnic and therefore clearly not white supremacist. Recent Ephraimite conventions in the U.S. have included members from around the globe, connected not by race but what is sometimes described as "spiritual DNA."  In this movement the term "restoration of all Israel" includes Christian Ephraimites but also includes Jews who are willing to pursue "God's plan for Israel."

There has been negligible publicity about the Ephraimites with the exception of a 2005 article in the Cleveland Jewish Times [see reprint of article here.]   However, this article was published prior to the development of Worldwide Biblical Zionists and the outreach by Likud members to some of the Ephraimite groups.  The group headed by  Angus and Batya Wootten report that they petitioned the Israeli government for their rights to "Judea and Samaria."  They have also reported contacts with Sagiv Assulin of Likud, one of the participants in the founding of WBZ.  The Woottens' organization is called the Messianic Israel Alliance, but is predominately composed of Christian Ephraimites.

In his December 18, 2007 briefing, Wootten expressed his dissatisfaction with the Israeli government (prior to last election) because of the plans to give up settlements in the West Bank. Wootten wrote,

"SOS Israel, an umbrella group of Jewish settlers now living in Judea and Samaria has said that in fulfillment of their biblical mandate they will declare a new Jewish state independent of Israel. They believe in light of the 2005 uprooting of more than 8,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip, the time has clearly come for the Jews of Judea and Samaria to prepare to secede from Israel and establish their own autonomous state. They have already launched a contest to choose a flag and national anthem for the new state."

"Another group of concerned Jews held a preparatory conference concerning the Sovereignty of the Jewish Nation over the Jewish State, in Jerusalem, on November 28, 2007. Their objective is to form a New Jewish Congress that will eventually gain sovereignty of the Jewish Nation over the secular state."

Wootten continues,

"What these groups are saying is, the Jewish Nation and the government of the Secular Jewish State are different entities. And just as the government of the present Secular Jewish State does not represent the Jewish Nation, it also does not represent Ephraim, the other house of Israel, and therefore it does not represent the Nation of Israel. Maybe it is time that Ephraim considers how he can be represented in a government which has sovereignty over the land of Israel."

"To accomplish this representation Ephraim needs to work towards the restoration of the nation of Israel. This goal would be accomplished by uniting the House of Judah and his companions and the House of Joseph, and his companions, into one sovereign nation in which each tribe has an equal inheritance in Eretz-Israel."

In February 2008, Wootten describes the working relationship developed with Sagiv Assulin through Ephraim Frank, an Ephraimite who has moved to Israel.  Frank is the author of Return to the Land - An Ephraimite's Journey Home.  This link is to Key of David Publishing, the publishing arm of the Messianic Israel Alliance.  

The Woottens' Messianic Israel Alliance is just one of several Christian Zionist groups which have shown interest in moving to Israel and the West Bank.  WBZ appears to have stumbled in its early stages due to a parting of the ways between director Joel Bell and well known "two-house" leaders in the U.S., Eddie Chumney and Monte Judah.  However, WBZ is an excellent example of how far Christian Zionism is willing to go to move the hand of the prophetic clock.

Those having second thoughts about this partnership now include  Likud party's Moshe Feiglin who is well known for his extreme right wing political positions. (He has been compared to Meir Kahane and is about as far removed from J Street as one can imagine.)  He was the founder of Zo Artzeinu, in protest of the Oslo Accords, and the Manhigut Yehudit faction of Likud. He had previously worked with Christian Zionists, but Feiglin has recently written in the Jewish Press about the dangers of this relationship, motivated, it appears, by his rejection of the World Likud partnership with Joel Bell.

"The Christian conquest is much more dangerous than the Muslim conquest because it is not direct. It is not violent. Embracing and supportive, it connects with Israel against the Muslim enemy. It supports a Jewish Land of Israel in its entirety - even speaking up for the sanctity of the connection between the Nation of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel. It just forgets to specify which Nation of Israel and which Torah."

Both Feiglin's disillusionment expressed in the Jewish Press article, and the horrific screed posted in the comment section in which Jews are described as "atheistic" and "stiff-necked,"  show the dangers of an Israeli/Christian Zionist partnership built between two extreme right entities, and based on false pretenses.  

What we see taking place today is not passively waiting for a Messiah and then determining who was right, as Jewish leaders joke when they are defending Christian Zionists.  These are groups of activist who are working to make their prophesied millennial utopias a reality, as quickly as possible. The relationship between two entities can not be sustained as their goals diverge, and the fallout threatens Christian and Jewish relations everywhere. The longer this "match made in heaven" between Christian millennialists and right wing Israeli and Jewish leaders goes on, the uglier the divorce is going to be.

[Update by Author on 2/16/10: The Worldwide Biblical Zionists (WBZ) center is well under way. See the video of Joel Bell in the partially finished building. Note that members of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cabinet participated in the inaugural event for WBZ on November 16, 2008, including Gideon Sa’ar, current Minister of Education; Ayoob Kara, Deputy Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee; and Yulie Edelstein, Minister of Information and Diaspora Affairs. Much of the outreach in the United States has been by Sagiv Assulin, the Knesset Leader of the Young.]




Display:
Ms. Tabachnick. I fear that the money being waved around is what keeps their marriage intact.

by trog69 on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:30:52 PM EST

With all due respect for a different opinion, I believe the middle east is not about to get any better, as religion is only one of the core root reasons things are in flames at this time. It will take another decade at least before we can expect any sort of peace treaty to be not only implemented, but also enforced. With Arafat gone, it's time for Israeli replacement as well, as perhaps new leaders might bring peace to this troubled region.

Custom dog tags for dogs

by David Walb on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:53:55 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads - Updated
Cross-posted from The Huffington Post. The head of Maryland's Republican Party, Joe Cluster, has called local candidate Michael Peroutka to the woodshed for a......
By jhutson (3 comments)
Short Takes
Bilgrimage:  Bill Lindsey discusses "an outstanding series of articles" by Frank Cocozzelli here at Talk to Action, originally posted in 2007, about the close......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 1)
In light of the recent US Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby -- which exempts, closely held corporations that invoke "sincerely held......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 2)
The following is the second installment of a three part sub-series regarding the influence of non-mainstream, ultra-traditional Catholics now sitting on the US Supreme......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 3)
"The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (8 comments)
Access Denied: The Religious Right Opens Up A New Front On Its War Against Birth Control
Some commentators continue to insist that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was no big deal. It's a......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
William Barber Takes Us to Church at Netroots Nation
Rev. Dr. William Barber II, the leader of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina gave a rousing, perhaps historic keynote speech at Netroots......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, "The Family"
As I introduce my new Center Against Religious Extremism report Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, "The Family"), In 2010......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Lessons in Taking the Long View in the Long Form
Historian Leo P. Ribuffo recently published a wise and erudite essay at History News Network. In it he discusses trends among historians regarding how......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Missing Pieces of the Story of Sun Myung Moon
The recent coverage of the life and death of Richard Mellon Scaife, a transformational figure in recent American history, was pretty underwhelming. (Fortunately, our......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
When I Won One Over My Old (Former) Friend Jerry Falwell
July 13th was the anniversary of our friend Jerry Sloan's confrontation on live television with Moral Majority founder, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. This......
By JerrySloan (1 comment)
Vatican Defrocks A Bishop Over Sexual Abuse - But Not Finn.
Pope Francis recently indicated he is serious about ending child sex abuse and cover-ups by Catholic prelates by defrocking a former apostolic nuncio (a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Bob Jones University and the Real Roots of the Religious Right
Historian Randall Balmer notes writing in Christian Ethics Today, that the real beginnings of the Religious Right lies not in 1973 Roe v. Wade,......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Becket Or Wreck It?: Little-Known Religious Right Group At Heart Of Hobby Lobby Case
The Supreme Court's recent (and horrendous) ruling in the Hobby Lobby case dealing with workers' access to contraceptives has turned the spotlight on the......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Bishop DiMarzio's Stilted Hobby Lobby Analogy
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the overseer of the Diocese of Brooklyn-Queens New York, recently weighed in on the recent US Supreme Court decision in Burwell......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)

Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (1 comment)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 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.