Two New US Pro-Israeli Right Groups

Two new groups have joined the crowded pro-Israel US lobby scene. Last month Haaretz reported that (link added)

A new group in the United States, Christians United for Israel, will serve as an umbrella organization for Christian congregations that support Israel, and will lobby for Israel.

The usual gang was there:

It is led by evangelical leaders Dr. John C. Hagee and George Morrison; fundamentalist Baptist minister Jerry Falwell; and Gary Bauer, president of the American Values organization aimed at protecting marriage, family and faith.

…Stephen Strang, publisher of Charisma magazine and a founding member of Christians United, has said he wants the organization to be as strong as the pro-Israel lobby known as AIPAC.

And now WND brings us word of yet another group:

A number of Christian and Jewish American groups have announced the formation of an umbrella organization that will lobby against acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to withdraw Jewish communities from the West Bank, arguing in part any withdrawal would be against United States interests.

This new group is called the United Front for the Land of Israel (shades of Life of Brian), and it brings together a number of groups that have often co-operated in the past:

Groups now part of the United Front include Americans For A Safe Israel, the Jewish Action Alliance, Women in Green, Justice for Jews, Friends of YESHA, the Jewish Political Educational Foundation and several university-based groups.

The United Front has been set up by Susan Roth, a successful businesswoman. As everyone does these days, she chose a religious-persecution angle to make her case:

Roth charged Olmert “wants to expel the religious members of Israeli society no matter how he does it to create a secular Israel. He plans on transferring the 250,000 Jews of Judea and Samaria into the Negev to be assimilated with nonreligious Jews.”

WND‘s coverage of the new group is just the latest in its campaign against Olmert (see ConWebWatch) and his centrist Kadima party. Roth argues that the number of Palestinians living in the West Bank is far fewer than is commonly thought, and that therefore Olmert’s demographic reason for withdrawal is false (although of course, we can be sure that this does not mean that Palestinians should consequently be given citizenship of Roth’s Greater Israel). But there’s more:

Joseph Frager, chairman of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project, which joined the Front, told WorldNetDaily, “It is inconceivable that while Hamas talks of destroying Israel, Olmert talks of further concessions and appeasement. This time Judea and Samaria. How can the U.S. allow this? Would President Bush cede territory to al-Qaida?”

Just how Bush is supposed to act against Olmert’s tactical withdrawal is not explained. The Jerusalem Reclamation Project is better-known as “Ateret Kohanim”; its antics have been discussed on this blog previously.

Roth is involved with a number of schemes to publicise the claims of the Israeli religious right. One of the most dramatic is her plan for the descendents of King David to gather in Jerusalem in 2007, to mark forty years since the Israeli capture of East Jerusalem. She explained her rationale to the Jerusalem Post:

Israel is not just a state. It is a country that once was a Royal House, as King David bought the Temple Mount from from Aravna the Jebusite for 50 pieces of silver…As the Jewish descendants of King David, We have more of a right to claim royalty than any of the European royal houses. In light of what Israel is going through today, it is imperative to show that the blood of King David is alive and well in Israel today and that WE are the rightful inheritors of Israel,” Roth says.

A real Jewish-American Princess, then. Roth is also close to the Chabad movement, and she has a mystical side. A 1996 profile tells us:

…What emerged out of her writings, including what she added in Yerushalayim, was her master’s thesis of perennial philosophy through Kabbalah, one of the most unusual books you’ll ever read. Entitled, Moses in the Twentieth Century: A Universal Primer, the book was blessed by the Rebbe at different times while she was researching and writing it. When it was published, in early 1994, Susan sent the first copy of the book to the Rebbe.

…When Israel Expo ’95 was held in the New York Armory last year, Susan Roth, in addition to her own SJR booth display, sponsored the “770 Lubavitch” booth. At the Expo, besides seeing Chasidim put tefillin on men who passed by the booth, her fondest memory of that time was gazing at the Rebbe’s painting that seemed to dominate and affect the whole Expo.

So far, the United Front has no website. The extent to which it will stress mysticism and sacred blood as the keys to peace in the Middle East is yet to be seen.

One Response

  1. […] However, while Phelps is confined to the fringes of fundamentalism, Jones is better-connected: Creation House is one of the biggest conservative Christian publishing houses in the USA, and it is an imprint of Strang Communications, which publishes Charisma magazine. Stephen Strang, who heads the company, has featured on this blog previously – I noted his links to John Hagee here. […]

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