By Jack Golbert,
I do not intend to rehash the whole matter of Ann Coulter’s recent statement that so shocked Jews; that it would be better if the Jews just converted to Christianity, which she averred is the “perfected” Judaism. It was tactlessly delivered but she only said what Christianity teaches and what the believers believe. If there are Christians who do not believe that, I suppose they are much like the Jews who do not believe that God commanded Jews to keep the laws of Sabbath and to eat only what is kosher. We live with the fact that that is the Christian “replacement theology” and the churches are not about to change it. It’s just one of those points of tension between Christians and Jews.
What is of more concern to me is a piece posted on the blog of WorldNetDaily, Coulter is Right by Vox Daly. It is of concern not so much because there is a bigoted Jew hater out there, although if there is one, there are no doubt many. It is of concern that it was posted on Joseph Farrah’s site. Joseph Farrah is not regarded as an anti-Semite and is a strong advocate of Israel. For him to approve of its posting is to give it a certain legitimacy. Farrah himself wrote a riposte to the piece in which he takes issue with the writer. All very welcome but still, posting the piece treats is as somehow acceptable.
Here is the offending piece, with my comments inserted in [italics and brackets].
Coulter is right!
Ann Coulter, being a Christian, understandably knows her Christian theology rather better than her interlocutor last week, a Jewish gentleman by the name of Donny Deutsch. Apparently Mr. Deutsch hasn’t paid much attention to a best-selling book that has been published a few times over the last few centuries, as he took great offense to Miss Coulter’s assent to his question that “It would be better if we were all Christian?”
Given that Jesus Christ and all of the apostles were Jews before they were Christians, it shouldn’t exactly have surprised Deutsch or anyone else that Christians view Jews as pre-Christians, incomplete Christians, elder brothers in faith who are errantly awaiting a Messiah who has already come. Nor did it surprise them; the feigned shock and outrage from the professionally offended performance artists is about as convincing as Hillary Clinton’s robo-cackle.
Scenting a fundraising issue, left-wing Jewish interest groups demonstrated their commitment to human liberty and free intellectual discourse by demanding that the mainstream media stop talking to the best-selling author who also happens to be one of the most popular right-wing commentators in the country. The executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Ira N. Forman, reluctantly admitted that while Ann Coulter has freedom of speech, he would very much like to see her forced to exercise it in private.
“Just as media outlets don’t invite those who believe that Martians walk the earth to frequently comment on science stories, it’s time they stop inviting Ann Coulter to comment on politics,” he said.
In addition to the ineptness of his analogy, this would appear to be an extraordinarily silly demand, except for the fact that Vanity Fair has recently announced that a remarkable 51 percent of the Vanity Fair 100 Power List are Jewish in a country in which Jews make up approximately 2 percent of the population. [Normally, such a thing would be taken to demonstration of the extensive contribution of that group to the quality of American life. In this case, the writer finds it quite threatening.] Jews also make up 7 percent of the current House of Representatives, 13 percent of the Senate, and, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of “The Israel Lobby,” roughly 100 percent of George W. Bush’s foreign policy advisers. [I would pass this off as hyperbole but it is obviously meant seriously. He does not see that it is ridiculous. Farrah spikes it with specifics.] One hopes that Mr. Forman’s co-religionists have the wisdom to ignore his demand for the shunning of Miss Coulter as the Israel lobby’s petulant demand for a third Middle East war [What news source does the man go to? This is beyond fantasy. Farrah also spikes this delusion.], this time in explicit defense of Israel rather than U.S. national security, already has the potential to severely divide America’s Jews from the rest of the country, Christians and non-Christians alike.
America is still quite friendly towards Jews, but the incessant attacks on Christianity by the likes of Deutsch, Forman and Abe Foxman have grown increasingly tiresome. [The “attacks” consist of expressions of indignation over the condescending and judgmental attitude of Coulter’s statements. More on this below.] Given this irritating behavior, and the historical fact that Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries, [This is to say that Jews cause Jew-hatred. It is the fault of the victim in his view.] it is the height of foolishness for a small number of misguided individuals to demand that 80 percent of the American population remain silent about the tenets of its religious faith. Christians are dying for their faith in the Sudan, in North Korea, in China, Vietnam and Myanmar; they are not about to shut their mouths simply because a few Jews in the media disapprove of their beliefs. [When he’s right, he’s right.]
And I have more bad news. Miss Coulter only expressed a desire that Jews would recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but the truth is that Christians believe that one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. [This is also a true statement. That is what Christians believe.] The only choice for you, me, Richard Deutsch and everyone else is whether to do it now, or do it later.
But, until that day arrives, there is no reason why American Jews and American Christians should not get along in perfect amity. Neither Judaism nor Christianity is going to disappear, and it is as absurd for Jews to hold modern Christians responsible for the Jews persecuted in medieval times as it was for those medieval Christians to have held those medieval Jews responsible for persecuting them in ancient times. [Excuse me? It was the Romans who persecuted the Christians. And there is more. The Romans did not persecute all Christians. The Christians who were persecuted, fed to the lions and killed by gladiators in the coliseum and crucified by the tens of thousands were not persecuted because they were Christians. They were persecuted because they were Jews. That was why leadership of the Church passed from Jews, who knew the Torah, to non-Jews, who did not. The non-Jews were the ones who survived the depredations of the Romans. They were the ones who accepted the hijacking of the Church by Constantine and accepted becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire . There were still some Jews, the “Ebonites,” who learned Torah, performed the commandments and believed Jesus was the messiah but they refused to believe that he was God. So Constantine, at Nycea, made sure they were excommunicated and that was pretty much the end of Christianity among the Jews. Then, as a fully official arm of Roman government, the Church took up the persecution of the Jews. For what should we apologize?] As for Israel’s survival, not only are the Israeli Defense Forces perfectly capable of defending the nation against a fourth-rate military power like Iran, but it has the Lord God of Israel on its side. Israel simply doesn’t need the U.S. military to fight its battles for it.
Despite its flaws, America has been one of the best friends the Jews have ever had. It would not only be a tragedy, it would be a stupid and wasteful one if Americans were provoked into developing the instinctive antisemitism that currently pervades Europe, the Middle East and so much of the rest of the world. [What this means is that Jews are not “real” Americans. Oh sure, Jews have citizenship and can vote and stand for office and exercise all the rights and characteristics of citizenship but in the crunch, when push comes to shove, just as every Spaniard knew that Jews aren’t real Spaniards and every German knew that Jews aren’t real Germans and every Pole know that Jews aren’t real Poles, make no mistake: Vox Day is saying, loud and clear, that Jews aren’t real Americans.]
About “attacks on Christianity” I want to go, precisely, back to the Middle Ages. The reason will become clear. Jews were summoned from time to time to disputations to defend their religion and thus persuade the local ruler that they should not be driven out of the kingdom and their property should not be confiscated. Occasionally, the question was, why should the Jews not be given the choice of conversion or death. A Jew was chosen to be the champion. In opposition was a Church scholar of suitably high rank, who was frequently a converted Jew who was eager to demonstrate the depth of his Christianity by being the scourge of the Jews. The rules of the disputation were always such that the Jew could not really win. It was forbidden, for example, to contradict a Pope, no matter what he had said. It was forbidden to insult Christianity. Guess who decided what constitutes an insult to Christianity? (Yale University Press has translated and published the notes of one such disputation in which Nahmanides, one of the greatest sages of the Jewish people, appeared before King Jaime of Aragon. It is called Disputation at Barcelona. Nahmanides won, in the sense that King Jaime did not exile the Jews and confiscate their property, but Nahmanides had to flee for his life or the good Christian bishops would have killed him. As it was, they essentially persecuted him to death. He fled finally to the Land of Israel to die.)
[Reread the utterances of Donny Deutsch that Vox Day sees as “attack on Christianity.” It was protestation over affronts to Jewish honor. Day sees it as an “attack on Christianity” no less. What it means is that the same rules that applied to disputations in the Middle Ages apply to Christian-Jewish relations today. Jews may not “attack Christianity” and it is the Christians who will make that decision, ex post facto. Joseph Farrah sees nothing there that calls for comment. Understand, that the rules of engagement with Christians have not changed since the 13 th Century.]