Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jew-hating United Church members pretending to be self-hating Jews

Those who have encountered the anti-Israel group called "Independent Jewish Voices" could be forgiven for understanding them to be a group of emotionally-unstable fanatics whose primary purpose is to dispel the stereotype that Jews are smart. The group was founded under the leadership of 9-11 conspiracy theorist Diana Ralph while she was on a 'medical leave' from Carleton University, and its membership is made up mainly of old, unhappy, childless socialists who present themselves as Jews who want their opposition to Israel to be known.

But it turns out that Independent Jewish Voices may not be Jewish at all, at least if one of their representatives is telling the truth.

One of the group's spokesmen with the very Jewish-sounding name of Robert Allison did an interview  presented by the anti-capitalist website rabble.ca in which he was asked about the origins of Independent Jewish Voices. He answered that it began in 2006, when the United Church of Canada was considering a resolution (similar to one eventually passed this year) calling for the boycott of Israel. The resolution instigated accusations of the United Church being anti-Semitic, and according to Allison, "this alarmed some members of the United Church who happened to be Jews." They then formed Independent Jewish Voices of Canada.

The relationship between the two organizations is such that the United Church helped pay  expenses for Independent Jewish Voices' founding conference, making the organization a child of the Boshevist, weak-kneed branch of Protestantism.

The United Church of Canada is a Christian denomination that at least on paper accepts the divinity of Jesus Christ. Anyone who accepts that Christ is God and is a member of a church with that belief is a Christian.  Judaism explicitly rejects Jesus' divinity.

Independent Jewish Voices' claim that they are members of the United Church who happen to be Jews is about as valid as someone who says they are a Sunni Muslim who happens to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church.  These are mutually exclusive terms and you're either one or the other. By their professed beliefs and actions, it seems clear that Independent Jewish Voices is made up of Christians masquerading as Jews for the sole purpose of attempting to lend a sick pseudo-legitimacy to their demonization of the Jewish state.

Mr. Allison tries to explain in the interview that support for Israel violates the principles of Judaism. Nothing could be more indicative that he and his group understand nothing about the basis of the religion they claim to hold. All it takes is a reading of the Old Testament, the core document of Judaic belief, to see the inextricable link between Israel and Jews. It is repeated over and over in text upon text. By embracing the anti-Semitic Kairos Palestine document that seeks to deny a theological basis for the relationship between Israel and the Jewish people, these anti-Israel Jewish poseurs betray that their closest link to Judaism is when they eat bagels and lox.

Unlike most of the misfits of Independent Jewish Voices, I was born after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. My belief in Israel's validity is based not on religion but on the morality of a democratic, freedom-loving,  pluralistic western ally existing in the midst of barbarism and totalitarianism.

But anyone seeking to deny Israel on the basis of Judaism is doing something so absurd as to completely discredit their intellect if not their motives. Just what do they think "The Promised Land" means? Do they realize where it is, and according to the Bible, to whom it was promised and by Whom?

There is something else fake Jews and so-called progressive Christians who actually believe in Judeo-Christian principles should keep in mind.  It doesn't require a nuanced reading of the Bible, both the New Testament and Old,  to see that God always takes a very poor view of the enemies of Israel. If these people genuinely believe in the tenets of the religions they claim, they should be very, very worried indeed.


UPDATE- December 4: The pseudo-Jews of Independent Jewish Voices are again trying to give cover to pathological,  obsessive hatred of Israel, such as that promoted by the fanatical, neo-Marxist website rabble.ca, which is closely associated with NDP Deputy Leader Libby Davies.

A further bit of insight into the mind-set of the flakes in Independent (not really) Jewish Voices comes from an interview one of its founders, Sid Shniad, did with anti-Semitic author Gilad Atzmon.
Sid Shniad: For most of my adult life, I have been active in non-Jewish Palestinian solidarity organisations, antiwar work, and left politics and resisted becoming involved in organisations that were identified as Jewish. But I have come to the conclusion that Jews with good politics on the issue of Israel and Palestine have a uniquely important role to play in combating the influence of the reactionary Zionist organisations that tend to dominate the Jewish community and providing telling criticism of the Israeli government. 
GA: Now I am very happy because for the first time you really start to address my question. You also admit that, Zionist organizations dominate the Jewish community.    
Sid Shniad: This realisation has led me to become active in creating Independent Jewish Voices in Canada in the last two years, where we have found that the organized presence of Jews who militantly oppose Zionist organisations and the Israeli government provides breathing space and a degree of comfort for both Jews and non-Jews who are uncomfortable with what Israel and its allies are doing, but who have been reluctant to come out of the closet on these issues.
The interview is quite revealing - for all his malignancy, Atzmon, who was born a Jew, never cloaks his anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism in the pretense of a religion which he has renounced. Shniad, like his fellow Independent Jewish United Church of Canada Voices stooges, makes it clear that his self-identification as a Jew has come late and  for one and only one real purpose - to demonize Israel.




31 comments:

ebt said...

Sorry, no. If you're born a Jew (ie, if your mother was a Jew) then you're a Jew, whatever religion you profess. Jewish is a nationality, and there is no contradiction at all in being a Jewish Christian or a Jewish atheist.

If your point is that one is a better Jew if one follows the national religion than if one doesn't, I see no reason to dispute that, although it's not for me to make such judgements. If your point is that you don't regard any non-believing Jew as a real Jew, that's your privilege, but the world does not agree with you. In the eyes of the world, these people are exactly what they say they are: Jews who have joined the United Church. If that doesn't suit you, it's really your problem, not theirs.

Al the Engineer said...

I think you are correct that this group misleads when it says they are "Independent Jewish Voices" while being made up of UCC members.

As a quibble though, a person can be of Jewish background/heritage/origin, and if they are non-observant, or secular, or a convert to Christianity, they are still Jewish.

Richard K said...

I believe Adolf Hitler shared the same opinion as you as to those criteria.

But for those of us not obsessed with racial/racist criteria, if you are a member of a Christian church, you are a Christian.

Meir Weinstein said...

They are no longer Jewish.

Ilíon said...

"Independent Jewish Voices' claim that they are members of the United Church who happen to be Jews is about as valid as someone who says they are a Sunni Muslim who happens to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. These are mutually exclusive terms and you're either one or the other. By their professed beliefs and actions, it seems clear that Independent Jewish Voices is made up of Christians masquerading as Jews for the sole purpose of attempting to lend a sick pseudo-legitimacy to their demonization of the Jewish state."

While I suspect that it's probably true that "Independent Jewish Voices'" are not Jews, your argument against them lacks a certain umph. For, after all:

* one can be an 'atheist' ... and still be a "Jew"

* one can be an leftist ... and still be a "Jew"

* one can be a Buddhist ... and still be a "Jew"

* one can even be a Moslem ... and still be a "Jew" (at least in Reform circles)

Apparently, the only dual-loyalty not allowed is to be a Christian who is a Jew.

Richard K said...

They can be "ethnically" of Jewish background. Similarly, one can be a Jewish nonbeliever the way Christians who don't attend church and don't believe or practice sometimes, and quite legitimately refer to themselves as Christians.

But to say that a Jew who actively converts to Christianity or any other religion is still a Jew is a denial and affront to those people's faith, to the faiths themselves, and smacks of racist overtones.

Members of the United Church of Canada who pretend to be Jews under the auspices of Independent Jewish Voices only for the purposes of vilifying Israel are not Jews. I think one could possibly make an argument they are not really Christians either. They are simply deceitful hypocrites of the worst kind.

Anonymous said...

You can be an Israeli without being a Jew. Israel is a nation. Jews are not a "Race".

A Jew is a person who believes in the religious tenants of Judaism just as a Muslim believes in Mohammed or a Christian believes in Jesus Christ.

Ilíon said...

my further comments on this

Richard K said...

Ilíon, some of your observations have some validity and some a lot of the nonsensical to them. It is not just being a Christian that is exclusionary to being a Jew. If a Jew converts to Islam he is a Muslim, not a Jew, same goes for the others (although there are some arguments that Buddhism can be compatible with maintaining religious beliefs of others). But if you think the point of this is anti-Christian, you are way off the mark.

Christianity, as it was preached by Jesus, is a faith of love and peace and truth. The crux of this piece is the deceitfulness of people who claim to be Christians or Jews depending on what political point or social club they want to be part of at the moment.

Meir Weinstein said...

According to the Torah, the Soul is in the brain and when a Jew decides to join another religion, then he is no lomger a Jew. He is not included in a minyan and is not permitted to receive a Jewish burial service.

Anonymous said...

The real question is not whether these Uniteds are Jews, but whether they are even Christians. You don't even have to believe in God to be a UCC clergy.

Anonymous said...

You are all not quite right. Judaism is a religion, and a race although there are many races who are of the Jewish faith - from black to ivory. The pure Jews are Semites as are their arch enemy the Arabs.

The people under discussion are none of the above, they are idiots.

Exurban said...

That last one's got a point? Can you really call groups like the United Church or the Unitarians Christians? If secular Jews in search of faith look toward Christianity, well I guess I'm okay with that, but the United Church of Canada? Too bizarre.

The R00STER said...

“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” -- Golda Meir

Gibson Block said...

http://bit.ly/VgpIe0

This is a famous story.

Steven Dubner's parents converted to Catholicism and raised their children as Catholics.

When Dubner decided to return to Judaism
he didn't have to convert.

Anonymous Christian said...

I agree that labelling yourself as an 'independent Jewish voice' is deceptive when your real motivations have to do with your CHRISTIAN affiliation. However, from a Christian perspective, you can be both a Jew and a Christian. It's like how most Christians do not identify Mormons as Christians, yet from their beliefs, it makes perfect sense for them to call themselves Christians. They're not being deceptive. It's just what they believe. Similarly, Jesus is thought by Christians to be the Jewish Messiah, and Christianity was a Jewish movement from its foundations. From the New Testament perspective, it is NOT 'another' religion, but the fulfillment of the old covenant. The book of Romans was written to a large audience of Christians who also identified as Jews. I think it's more likely that Christians accepted Christianity as being apart from Judaism because of anti-semitism of gentile believers in the church (denying the Jewishness of Christ and the apostles), not because it's what the New Testament teaches. The point is, you can't judge their self-labelling themselves 'Jewish' as TOTAL deception based on Jewish Jesus-rejecting assumptions. Again, that's like a Catholic saying a Mormon is lying if the Mormon claims not to be a heretic!

Empress Trudy said...

Any student of European Jewish history can tell you that the prime movers behind the Spanish Inquisition were so called "Jews". Second generation conversos mostly who would claim special Jewish knowledge that the Jews were evil child killers and that the Talmud was a secret manual for world conquest.

But in fact they're no more Jewish than I am Ukrainian. My Grandparents were Ukrainian Jews but that doesn't make me that. Because that's all these 'as a Jews' really are: people, like Fleix Mendelssohn who had Jewish ancestors but are not Jewish. It's simply a Halachic fiction to call them Jewish; a convenient law used within the Jewish community to establish who is descended from whom. But it was the racists and psychopaths of the Inquisition who morphed that into a racial delineation for being a Jew just like Hitler did. If these 'as a Jews' are ascribing to Nazi race theory as their defense of criticizing other Jews....well then the irony and horror of that is priceless.

ebt said...

Wow, you can train these trolls to scream "Hitler"! I'm impressed. Hitler indeed saw things this way, for the simple reason that pretty much everybody does. In much the same way, Hitler also thought the sky was blue. I think that, too. I guess I'm eeeevil, eh? But, nobody cares if you like it. Dispute the colour of sky, for all the good it will do you.

Just in case it matters, I doubt very much that these people are Christians. There certainly are Christians in the United Church, even whole congregations of them, but the UC as a body long since went into schism and has devolved into, at best, a vaguely debased Unitarianism, and for the most part a meaningless pose for Marxists. I expect these people are in the latter group.

And yes, I don't doubt for a second that anyone who hates the Jewish people is, from that alone, in serious trouble with the Lord and asking for more.

Brian from Toronto said...

From a Jewish point of view, you're no longer a Jew if you convert to another religion. And since Jews get to say who Jews are, it doesn't matter whether Christians disagree.

On the other hand, as I recall, it's true that if you were previously Jewish or if your mother was Jewish (though you were baptized at birth), then if you want to become Jewish again, the process isn't the same as a conversion for a gentile, but does require immersion in a mikvah (same as for a gentile convert) and of course circumcision if you're a male and haven't previously been circumcised by a mohel.

Brian from Toronto said...

P.S. Richard, thanks for uncovering this - it's priceless!

Doreen said...

For mr. Gibson,

I have also read the interesting book by Dubner. I do not remember if his parents became christians before his birth or later on. In any case, there are differences in the acceptance of a person like him between the reformed Jewry and the (ultra) orthodox Jewry.

I have a friend whose mother converted to christianity after she was born. The father was a christian. She is Jewish. Her brothers were born later on, and are not considered as Jews.

David Guy said...

I bet these as-a Jews see Israel's Law of Return as truly racist.

There is something truly ironic in a group who have rejected the laws and customs of Judaism only to demand they be accepted as Jews, on the basis of Jewish Law, for the sole purpose of attacking the actions of the largest group of Jews, those who either live in or support the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

I think Eye on a Crazy Planet has it completely correct.

Those using the Halachticly Jewish (BTW which Halacha?) test are making a huge assumption that these Independent Jewish Voices are all Jews by ethnicity or by descent. If one could (and had the time to waste) check their credentials I'm betting many were born to parents who publicly rejected their Judaism by conversion to Christianity or Atheistic Communism before they were born and gave them no Jewish education at all. Some at least like Madeleine Albright. former US Secretary of State, probably only discovered their Jewish background as adults and that by accident. Very convenient when it comes to libelling that same background.

Is there anything similar in any other religion? I haven't come across it. Is it just overcoming the feeling that their new 'friends' won't really accept them if they don't actively blacken their past life, however remote it is? Or is there something more?

Ilíon said...

"When Dubner decided to return to Judaism he didn't have to convert."

That's because -- contrary to what some are asserting -- Judaism holds that one can never cease to be a Jew, and that, recursively, one is a Jew if one's mother was a Jew.

Thus, according to Judaism, some of my (now distant) cousins, who haven't thought of themselves as Jews for generations, are still technically Jews.

At the same time, since many Jews hate Christianity with a white-hot passion -- and the less 'observant' the Jew, the hotter the passion (*) -- there seems to be an agreed-upon codicil that conversion to Christianity is equivalent to suicide.

(*) to the point that most atheistic Jews cannot decide which they hate worse: Judaism or Christianity.

Shtrudel said...

Sorry, I know that this may be complicated for some but here's a list of facts:

* With the possible exception of extraterrestrial race(s) there is only ONE race - that being the Human race!...

* Judaism is a dual identity: it defines your religion and it defines your membership in the people (nation)...

* You can be a secular Jew... You can even be a non believing Jew...

* As one can join (convert) the "tribe" by conversion it follows that one can leave the "tribe" by conversion out of the tribe (e.g. to Christianity or Islam)...

* Obviously, one could still Jewish heritage in such a case but I don't see how one could claim to be Jewish...

Of course, in this particular case the claim is no more then a paper thin veneer of "Jew Washing"... In other words, they're basically claiming to be Jewish to, supposedly, add "value" to their rubbish views...

Richard K said...

I am inclined to agree with you, Shtrudel

Anonymous Christian said...

I don't disagree with the conclusion with regards to IJV and the UCC. However, I have to object to the premise that one cannot sincerely believe themselves to still be 100% Jewish identity in honesty and believe what the New Testament says about Jesus, particularly if they still hold to all things Jewish, laws and customs. Even if they are no longer considered Jewish by their communities, God gets the final word on who his people are according to both Jews AND Christians. In fact, an early major controversy in the church was whether or not one needed to also convert TO Judaism to be a Christian. (Again, I refer you to Romans). There are many of the Jewish people IN ISRAEL who believe this way. That's all I have to say.

Anonymous Christian said...

PS: We can argue whether that's right or not, but the point is that there are many who sincerely believe themselves to be Jewish to the core and live it outwardly who are Christians (though I find it unlikely these UCC members would be examples).

Richard K said...

I would not presume to speak on behalf of the Almighty. However were I to speculate, I would not imagine He is segregating souls on the basis of corporeal ethnicity or terrestrial denominational affiliation.

That said, I can't imagine anyone who isn't unbalanced who, not under duress, would join one religious denomination while claiming to be part of another.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the interview it's clear Allison is somewhat confusedand wasn't around at the time - for instance he says the UCC passed a motion to boycott Israel in 2006 which it actually didn't so I don't think his comments can be taken as accurate or as meaning anything.

Anonymous said...

Richard, are you going to respond to or comment upon the CJN article on this issue? http://www.cjnews.com/canada/pro-palestinian-jewish-group-linked-church

Richard K said...

I'll be writing another post in the next week or two on the subject, though not specifically addressing the article. I will say that for people who wear their religions on their sleeves, to the point of making it the centre piece of their organization like the Independent ( not really) Jewish Voices, and for that matter, many in leadership positions in the UCC, they are a disingenuous lot.