Bill Berkowitz reports,
In a move geared toward solving northern Israel’s unemployment crisis, increasing tourism to the country, and solidifying relations with U.S. evangelical Christians, the Israeli government has offered 35 acres of land on the shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) for development by Christian evangelicals.
In May, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and former Prime Minister and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who resigned his post due to opposition over what he called the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza settlements, made the offer at a meeting with a host of evangelical leaders.
But it’s all good. TV Rabbi Shmuly Boteach has faith in the integrity of Christian Evangelicals, like Ted Haggard of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.
Rabbi Boteach, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist and the author of 15 books, believes that while Israel should always maintain “a sizable Jewish majority,” evangelical Christian immigrants should be welcome in Israel as long as they “respect the integrity of the Jewish faith by foreswearing the proselytisation of the Jewish population.”
After all, the Christian Evangelists of Colorado Springs have a pretty solid record of respecting the beliefs of non-Christians, right?
Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, which is located near the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, has some advice for Weinstein. He tells the Post that even though the Academy graduate may not like it, “it is the job of an evangelical Christian chaplain to evangelize. It’s protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion.”
As they can find a way to rationalize their proselytizing in the Air Force Academy, Israelis are supposed to trust them not to proselytize from the banks of Lake Kinneret. Does anybody still truly believe there is anything Jewish, at all, about the “Judeo-Christian” values of the religious right?