Will Israel survive contemporary Christianity?

The French have thought a great deal about this and Marcel Ophüls’s “The Sorrow and the Pity” examining French cowardice and collaboration. Possibly not enough. When I worked in New York City in the later 1970s I was perhaps the only non-Jewish Bernie to eat breakfast at DuBrow’s Cafeteria in the so-called Garment District. The rest were old Jewish men. Everyone had a relative killed in Hitler’s camps. And so did all Jewish friends my age.

It was the Age of Golem, the rough beast which would sweep across Europe since Rabbi Loeb unwittingly released it in Prague in the 16th century. Golem is still with us, and this time hides behind a cloak of religious respectability.

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As Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper report in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Presbyterians Against Israel,” “the anti-Israel politics of certain powerful Christian bodies hampers interfaith relations and threatens to breathe new life into medieval doctrine that demonized Jews for hundreds of years.”

In 2007, they report, the World Council of Churches, an umbrella organization of mostly liberal Protestants claiming a membership of 580 million worshippers, convened the "Churches Together for Peace and Justice in the Middle East Conference." The conference produced the Amman Call, a document that condemned violence and endorsed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but denied Israel's right to a future as a Jewish state.

Again, in 2008, they say, the World Council of Churches convened a group of Protestant and Catholic theologians to review the underpinnings of Christian attitudes toward Israel. (No Jews were invited.) The group published the so-called Bern Perspective, which, among other things, instructed Christians to understand all biblical references to Israel only metaphorically.

It marks a return to "replacement theology," they say, “the medieval view that the Church has replaced Israel in God's plan and that all biblical references to Israel refer to the ‘new Israel’ — that is, to Christians.”

Jewish friends my age have largely gone over to Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger (did somebody say Golem?). In America, Israel’s only true and reliable friends today are earthy red necks (Johnny Cash, grits, Mammoth Jack mules and Pastor Hagee) of the old rugged cross persuasion. But they seem a worthy crew compared with the art lovers and appeasers of Vichy France and the current World Council of Churches.