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October 18, 2002 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DOCTOR

THE PATIENT

are partners in ac iVing optimal health

INDIVIDUALIZED

want it modified before passage. But
the religious right has become Israel's
the United Jewish Communities,
new best friend in this country.
which supports the CARE bill, asked
A survey conducted by Stand for
its activists to weigh in for passage of
Israel, a project of Rabbi Yechiel
the bill without amendments. UJC
Eckstein's International Fellowship of
officials say the goal is to avoid.
Christians and Jews, found that while
changes they claim would make the
a majority of Americans support Israel
bill harder to pass in the frantic final
and its efforts to stop Palestinian ter-
days of the congressional session.
rorism, support is weakest among
Specifically, UJC, the umbrella for
"Democrats and liberals," with just 46
North American federations, backs
percent of the former and 45 percent
provisions that could benefit the social of the latter expressing support for the
and health service agencies it supports, Jewish state.
including a "IRA charitable rollover"
According to the report, "Evangel-
provision that.would allow donors to
ical Christians who frequently attend
transfer assets in their retirement
religious services are among those
accounts directly to charities without
most supportive of Israel. Fully 62
tax penalties, and the restoration of
percent of conservative Christians say
Social Services Block Grant funding,
they support Israel and its policies and
which supports community-based
actions towards Palestinian terrorism,
services.
and among conservative Christian
But other Jewish groups argue that
men this figure jumps to 77 percent."
while the bill may be good for Jewish
Only 35 percent say they support
philanthropy, it could be a church-
Israel "because it is the place prophe-
state Pandora's box. Michael
sized for the Second Coming of Christ
,
Lieberman, counsel for the
in the New Testament,'
Anti-Defamation League's
according to the report.
Washington office, said ADL
.r Rabbi Eckstein's group is
"will not support the bill
also sponsoring a nationwide
unless our concerns are
Day of Prayer for Israel on
addressed."
1. Sunday, Oct. 20, with some
Specifically, ADL and
i_ 16,000 churches already
other church-state groups,
committed. One endorser of
want explicit provisions bar-
the event: the Rev. Jerry
ring religious discrimination
Falwell, who this week apol-
in hiring at religious agencies Rev. Jerry Falwell ogized for his televised com-
that get government money.
ments calling the prophet
They also want language bar-
Muhammad a "terrorist."
ring proselytization. ADL also wants
Rev. Falwell's comments were
language that explicitly requires reli-
denounced by the Anti-Defamation
gious materials be removed from the
League, but the group's director,
places where the non-religious services
Abraham Foxman, said there's no rea-
are being provided.
son pro-Israel groups should spurn the
Richard Foltin, legislative director
help of the Lynchburg, Va. preacher
for the American Jewish Committee,
— or any other "Christian Zionist."
said another reason for stiffening Er
"When they do get out of line,
Jewish resistance to the CARE bill is
when they do resort to bigotry, they
"the increasingly active campaign by
should be condemned," he said.
the administration to implement char-
Referring to comments by one of
itable choice even without legislation."
the co-hosts of the Christian Coalition
The AJC will support the CARE bill event, Foxman said, "So what if there
"only with implicit safeguards" on
were people at the rally who said
church-state matters, he said.
church-state separation is a 'satanic
plot'? We'll fight them in the courts to
Evangelical Support
protect the separation of church and
Last week's Evangelical rally for Israel
state, but that doesn't mean Israel
didn't draw the record turnout the
shouldn't accept their help or that we
Christian Coalition had predicted, but
shouldn't accept their prayers for the
the event — which was moved from
peace of Jerusalem."
the grounds outside the White House
Last week's Christian Coalition con-
to the Washington Convention Center ference and pro-Israel rally produced
because of rain — did produce its
another Jewish firestorm: Rep. Tom
share of controversy.
DeLay, R-Texas, the House majority
At the same time, promoters of the
whip, urged participants to "put peo-
growing alliance between Christian
ple in office who stand for everything
conservatives and pro-Israel groups
we believe in and stand unashamedly
marshaled new evidence to show that
with Jesus Christ."

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10/18

2002

37

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