From: "Thomas Weber"
I cannot but help to feel that the discussion of European attitudes towards
Israel on this list has relatively little in common of what is going on in
Europe at the moment.
True, 120 European academics might have signed a petition to boycott
Israeli academics but we also should bear in mind that probably tens of
thousands of academics work in Europe.
Further, it is beyond my comprehension
how recent developments in Europe constitute an "eliminationist anti-Zionism".
In another contribution we could read today about German anti-Israeli
attitudes. True, but then we should also mention that all parties in the
Bundestag (the lower chamber of parliament) stressed their support for
Israel the other day and how Joschka Fischer, the German foreign secretary,
and Jack Straw, his British counterpart, refused to vote in favour of a
motion which they thought blamed only the Israelis and not Palestinians for
the recent escalation of violence in the Middle East.
In short, Europe is much more diverse than recent contributions on this
list suggest and by and large philo-Semitic.
Tom Weber, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University
3. From: "Eric Schendel, M.D."
Subject: Thanks, and a question
I've enjoyed getting your emails and thank you for sending them.
A question puzzles me. If the USA is Manasseh and western Europe the rest
of the ten tribes, we must be talking about at least several 100 million
people (also confirmed by the prophecy that Jacob's descendants would be as
the sand of the sea). If so, how are they all going to fit into the land of
Israel, even if it is enlarged to the Nile and the Euphrates? I know the
wisdom of man is nothing compared to the wisdom of God, but, frankly, I like
uncrowded, wide open spaces and think I probably would prefer to live in
America (you should visit Seattle here in the Pacific northwest--it is
spectacular! Snow-covered mountains, deep forests, and ocean beaches!).
We do not know how things will turn out.
One concept is that somehow the sanctity of the Land of Israel will spread out
and encompass other lands and that only a representative proportion of the
Tribes will physically return to the area of Greater Israel.
We are also warned by the Prophets to repent or disaster is liable to come
In the Last days great changes will take place, changes of climate and of
physical geography including earthquakes and upheavals.
The situation will be different.
4. >From: Johnstembridge1@aol.com
>Subject: Fwd: National Review Online (http--www.nationalreview.com)
>May 7, 2002, 8:45 a.m.
>Israel s enemies and friends.
>By Rabbi Daniel Lapin
>The shocking revival of anti-Semitism in Europe has brought much grief to
>America's Jewish community, and to our Christian fellow citizens as well.
>President Bush reacted to recent events with the heartening statement that
>"We reject the ancient evil of anti-Semitism, whether it is practiced by
>the killers of [Wall Street Journal reporter] Daniel Pearl or those who
>burn synagogues in France." Commentators have sought an explanation for
>the seemingly unkillable hatred, practiced as street violence by youthful
>Arab hoodlums in European cities and looked upon with indifference by the
>European elite, a hatred sparked by Israel's attempt to defend herself
>from Palestinian terrorists.
>A question that doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone is this: Why does
>such vile enmity wrack Europe, while America not only remains free of it
>but persists in standing by Israel in the present clash with the
>Palestinians? Why do Americans so overwhelmingly favor Israel, while
>Europeans regard the Jews there as wretched interlopers?
>The answer is to be found in the Bible specifically in the first words of
>Genesis: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
>Everyone knows the Five Books of Moses are concerned with defining the
>laws that govern Jewish life. Why then does the Torah begin by recounting
>the Creation of the world? Why not start like any other legal code,
>launching directly into a recitation of laws?
>The Midrash prophetically teaches that this is to provide a response to
>critics who call the Jewish people "thieves" of land, as Europeans and
>Palestinians do today. One message of Genesis 1:1 is that "All the earth
>belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. He created [Israel] and bestows it
>upon whoever he chooses." The verse is like the opening clause of a deed
>of ownership: The land of Israel is Jewish land because God made the earth
>and can divide it up among the nations as He wishes. Anyone who accepts
>the text of the deed will accept the Jewish claim on the land.
>So we see why Christians are so sympathetic to the Jewish side in this
>painful conflict: It is because they revere the Bible. And America, quite
>simply, is the most enthusiastically Christian nation on earth.
>Muslims, on the other hand, disdain the Bible and revere the Koran.
>Secularists disdain all Scripture. And Europe is now a secular land,
>having shed its former Christian faith.
>It may be attractive to think of Christians, Jews, and Muslims as forming
>one great "Abrahamic" civilization, linking all believers in the One God.
>But the truth is that today we are witnessing two distinct religious
>civilizations in conflict: that of the Koran, allied with the believers in
>no God, violently challenging the civilization of the Bible, of
>Christianity and Judaism.
>In Belgium and England, Italy and Ukraine, Greece and Holland, Germany and
>Slovakia, most especially in France, Arabs and post-Christians join
>together in reviling the Jews of the land of Israel, and by extension Jews
>everywhere. Synagogues burn. Cemeteries are desecrated. School buses and
>soccer teams are assaulted. Rabbis are beaten and knifed. And newspapers
>and political leaders look on, either denying that it is anti-Semitism or
>running editorial cartoon demonizing Israel, suggesting, as one member of
>the House of Lords told a writer for the London Spectator, "The Jews have
>been asking for it."
>Meanwhile, in America, Christians rally alongside Jews as they did in
>large numbers at the marvelous April 15 rally for Israel on Capitol Hill
>pleading that the Jewish state be allowed to defend her civilians. It is
>no coincidence that President Bush who told the Saudi Crown Prince "We
>will not allow Israel to be crushed" is himself an evangelical Christian.
>In America, Irish Catholic journalists like Sean Hannity and Michael Kelly
>put some blasé Jewish Americans to shame with their passionate support of
>Israel. Indeed, American Jews seems at last to be waking up to the
>blessing of friendship with America's Christians.
>For ten years the organization I serve, Toward Tradition, has been calling
>on American Jews to recognize who our friends are. One could not think of
>a better time than the present to do so, and to express gratitude.
>Rabbi Daniel Lapin is the president of Toward Tradition, a national
>coalition of Jews and Christians.