Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reading CUFI's Torch

While reading For God's Sake by Lee Marsden I learned that among Evangelical Christians in the United States the main pro-Israel organization is Christians United For Israel (CUFI). It was founded in 2006 by John Hagee. It has over two million members.

It publishes a magazine entitled The Torch. Let's see what they have to say.

Many articles are written by persons outside of CUFI.

It is noticeable that there is little discussion of domestic Israeli politics or the harsh facts regarding military operations conducted by the State of Israel's military and police personnel. The viewpoint presented is well defined. There is little curiosity to be found.

Their letter from the editors talks about an article about CUFI by The Hill.

One article talks about the problem of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities within Pakistan. It is certainly true that this is a severe problem.

One article discusses how world opinion has turned against the State of Israel since 1967. The rise of Palestinian nationalism after the Six Day War is cited as one factor.

One article says the deal with Iran will be terrible and awful. Within it is stated that only realistic course of action regarding Iran is:
The elimination of Iran's nuclear capabilities by a combination of genuinely crippling sanctions and targeted military strikes. (p. 15.)
One article talks about Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's lackeys trying to set up shop in the Gaza Strip. May ISIL's efforts miserably fail.

One article talks about the negotiations with Iran being extended yet again.

One article talks about Palestinian condemnations of Israeli Jews visiting the Temple Mount. Such Palestinian condemnations of visits are condemned as incitement that could spark a new intifada. Those Israeli Jews advocating for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount (which is contrary to the status quo) are defended. The possibility that discouraging such talk might calm things down is never discussed.

One article by the Executive Director of CUFI mentions the murder of four Rabbis and a police officer in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014 by a murderer who happened to be Palestinian. It is insinuated that the murderer was motivated by claims regarding Al Aqsa Mosque being demolished or somehow partitioned. This is mentioned to say that Palestinians are foolish to believe that Al Aqsa Mosque is somehow in danger or is about to be destroyed.

One article insists that the political struggles of Palestinians and African Americans are not alike in any way.

One article written by a pastor describes a confrontation with an unnamed "replacement" theologian. At one point he mentions how in 1 Samuel 13 an enemy nation gave sadistic terms to the Israelites to either gauge out one eye or two to everyone in an Israelite town held hostage by the enemy. The pastor then offers this punchline.
I suggest to you that the terms of "peace" being offered by the enemies of Israel are every bit as ghoulish. (p. 27.)
So are Palestinians "ghouls" in some way?

One article talks about the delays for the negotiations with Iran.

One article discusses Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, who was hailed by Prime Minister Netanyahu as a godfather of the Israel Defense Force during a ceremony for the reburial of his ashes in Israel.

One article promotes an organization that arranges for Evangelical Christians to visit the Holy Land. Worry is expressed that American Evangelical Christians are starting to not support the State of Israel.
Disinformation, propaganda and bold face-lies have infiltrated and are actually swaying this once rock-solid demographic. (p. 31.)

This issue promotes CUFI On Campus.

Mention is made of a shameful incident in which swastikas were made on a Jewish dormitory in a shameful act of hatred. This incident is used to discredit those who call for a boycott of the State of Israel.

The letter from the editors contains the following condemnation of the protest movement boycott, divest and sanction the State of Israel (BDS) that has been ongoing since 2005.
The tactics associated with BDS are nothing short of appalling. They demonize the Jewish state. They lie about the actions of the Israeli government. And they bully and intimidate pro-Israel students. (p. 2.)
A student at Liberty University describes how she saw a Student Senate debate discussing an attempt to pass a resolution supporting BDS.
I watched live online the UC Davis Student Senate debate and for the first time I saw vitriolic anti-Israel sentiment on campus. (p. 2.)
So does this mean that this writer has no experience with this sort of rhetoric? If this is so how can we trust that this person is experienced enough to understand in an informed way what happened?

One article promotes an organization that takes Christians to the Holy Land and learn more about it first hand.

One article talks about how CUFI has over two million members, or more specifically people who get sent their emails. Its organizational strength is discussed.

One article talks about women being oppressed with the Gaza Strip.

One article talks about Liberty University passing a resolution forbidding any boycott of the State of Israel.

One article talks about Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to Congress on March 3, 2015. It ends with the author's declaration that he was more determined:
...to bring the Jewish and Christian communities together in a closer bond and to fight with every ounce of my being against the rising forces within America that hate everything our Judeo-Christian civilization is built upon. (p. 17.)
One article talks about CUFI agreeing with Netanyahu's speech.

One article talks about a federal court in New York ordering the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to pay $218.5 million in compensation for terrorist attacks that killed American civilians.

One article mentions how various Arab states are aligning themselves against Iran in the wake of the possibility of an agreement with Iran.

One article mentions one proposed act making its way through the Senate that if passed would make it easier for Congress to not approve the agreement.

The letter from the editors promotes an ornament to encourage Christians to pray for the State of Israel every Friday at noon.

One article states that God stands with the State of Israel therefore Christians must do so as well.

One article compares President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Chamberlain. The negotiations are characterized as appeasement like Chamberlain's. The article ends with these words insinuating that this deal might lead to a second Holocaust which is to be directed at the State of Israel.
Over the next month it is essential that we do everything possible to stop this bad deal. CUFI will be at the forefront of the battle. Watch for our alerts and action items so that we can prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, which will threaten Israel with a second Holocaust while driving the United States into a retreat from the Middle East. (p. 9.)
One article condemns the agreement with Iran as leading to war.

One article talks about Israelis participating in the rescue efforts in Nepal following its earthquake.

One article talks about an American pastor still imprisoned in Iran. This is cited as part of an attempt to discredit the negotiations and eventual agreement with Iran.

One article is from an African American pastor in Virginia who mentions adopting various Jewish practices to show support towards the Jewish people.

One article calls upon African Americans to support the State of Israel citing Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin.

One article condemns how difficult it would be for the Senate to block any agreement.

One article talks about the Palestinians in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

One article discusses CUFI's boot camp to train students to counter those promoting a boycott of the State of Israel on campuses.

One article interviews David Horowitz, a man labeled by the Center for American Progress as being part of what it called the Islamophobia Network.

The letter from the editors discuss their opposition to an agreement with Iran.
We cheered wildly when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared the truth about Iran during his address to a joint session of Congress. We got increasingly nervous as details began to emerge about the Obama Administration's Iran negotiations. We were appalled when President Obama announced the Iran Deal. We were blessed to bring 5,000 CUFI members to Capitol Hill to tell their elected officials to oppose the Iran Deal. Sadly we were heartbroken when President Obama received enough support to uphold his disastrous Iran deal. (p. 2.)
One article by a Rabbi describes CUFI as "the Christian AIPAC". In the article are the following words describing a meeting with a South Carolina Congressman.
At least in South Carolina, support for Israel is apolitical, [a South Carolina Congressman] told me. In his words, supporting Israel "transcends party and race. It's a matter of American patriotism." Thanks to his efforts, "South Carolina Stands with Israel" is an approved vanity license plate available through the state DMV. (p. 14.)
In the same article one student is interviewed saying the following words relating to an event described in the Spring 2015 issue above in which shouting a commonly used phrase often used for many different reasons that happens to be of religious origins is equated as being like attempted murder.
[A student] was watching the live stream of the meeting and when [a friend at the meeting] and her friends left the room she was horrified: students yelled Allahu Akbar at their backs, like jihadis closing in for murder. Shortly thereafter, the Jewish fraternity at UC Davis was graffittied with swastikas. (p. 14.)
One article talks about turmoil in Palestinian refugee camps within Lebanon as some affiliated with Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's lackeys try to set up shop there. May ISIL's efforts fail miserably.

One article written by a man whose daughter was murdered in a suicide bombing in 1994 condemns a move by the Obama Administration to list Mohammad Deif, the leader of Hamas' armed wing, as a designated terrorist as merely a slap on the wrist. He calls for Deif to be extradited to the United States to face trial.

One article discusses the University of California contemplating passing rules to prevent incidents of anti-Semitism.

One article sarcastically marvels at how President Obama's agreement united so many Chrisitans and Jews to oppose it. While discussing a petition supporting the agreement he insinuates that the Jews who belong to J Street, including the rabbis associated with them, are not Jews.
A look at the names of the signatories reveals a veritable who's who of the progressive advocacy group J Street. The self-described "president's blocking back" in Congress tends to enlist rabbis and activists whose religion is liberalism, not Judaism. (p. 27.)
What a way for CUFI to show solidarity and support to American Jews who happen to have different political opinions: publish an article that questions their Jewishness.

One article mentions the shameful incident of the S. S. St. Louis which was forbidden from reaching Cuba and then the United States even though it carried hundreds of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. Tragically they were sent back and many were murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis. This is mentioned to condemn the agreement with Iran and to insinuate that Iran's Supreme Leader is now encouraged to destroy the State of Israel.


And so 2016 begins but this post ends here.

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