A SOBER VOICE OUT OF ISRAEL – 1

August 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Sherwin Pomerantz

There are a lot of very sensible voices coming out of Israel nowadays – perhaps more than ever before because of the growing gang-up against this beleaguered country by foes growing in number, military capacity and wrath. Even our friends seem to be mostly fair-weather friends. Israel’s struggle to survive has led to a concept known in Hebrew as “hasbara.” Translated directly, “hasbara” means “explanation.” But in the context of Israel’s stand, it means much more than that. It’s a requirement that is unique to Israel in order to combat the enormous amount of falsehood spread about this ancient nation by the neighboring peoples, leaders, politicians and public figures around the world, the media, as well as many Jews and Israelis whose criticism often slips into downright disloyalty and betrayal

All this has aroused a large number of very gifted writers, trying to set the record straight in various ways – through newspaper articles, television interviews, video clips on YouTube, and the use of other social media tools. Many of these people have been highly successful in other careers. Now they devote a lot of their time to “hasbara.”

In this blog we are featuring Sherwin Pomerantz, president of Atid EDI Ltd., a Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm, and a prolific writer and lecturer. He has been sending out a daily blog which presents a countdown towards the upcoming United Nations General Assembly debate on Palestinian statehood. His blog appearing here is “22 days to go” in which he says, “I Agree – Glenn Beck Gets It!” You can read all his other blogs at: http://israelstreet.blogspot.com/

22 Days to Go –

I Agree – Glenn Beck Gets It!

By SHERWIN POMERANTZ

On September 13th at 3 pm Eastern Daylight Time in New York the 66th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly will convene … just 22 days from today. Will the leaders assembled there understand what the real issues are that face humanity at this critical time in world history? I’m not sure.

Glenn Beck, the Mormon commentator who has now allied himself with the Christian Evangelical Movement is in Israel this week for three events associated with his “Restoring Courage” project aimed at making the world aware of the perils that face humanity if support for Israel fails. Should we feel good about that or is he just another charlatan pouncing on a hot topic to grab headlines? As for me, I’m happy he is here and grateful for his support.

You can say what you will about his motives, his carelessness with certain words and his sometimes lack of critical research but, in the words of Barry Rubin, Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Beck “gets it.”

In an op-ed in today’s Jerusalem Post Rubin says that Beck’s common sense, courage, knowing the difference between right and wrong, a willingness to learn and a readiness to admit when one has been wrong has allowed Beck to understand the real truths present in this region and what must be done to address the dangers we must engage. And what does Beck get right? 10 specific points:

1. The main threat in the Middle East is revolutionary Islamism, and the United States must combat it.
2. The problem is not Islam as a religion but revolutionary Islamism as a political ideology that draws on normative Islam to product its own plausible interpretation.
3. The revolutionary Islamist side is winning.
4. The “Arab Spring” contains many dangers.
5. Israel just happens to be largely right and deserves support.
6. One man’s terrorist…is still a terrorist.
7. The Obama administration has messed up the Middle East to a phenomenal extent.
8. One should be fearless in facing intimidation and politically motivated ridicule.
9. We must re-evaluate friends and enemies in this new era of revolutionary Islamism and post-Marxist leftism.
10. Whatever mistakes the United States has made, it is a good country and the hope of the world.

Rubin concludes with the words:

Any criticism one can make of Beck pales in comparison to all of the above points, on which he is quite correct. But then, as Jews, and Israelis most of all, should know, to be falsely reviled in not proof of being wrong or evil.

So, in spite of earlier criticism of Beck by respected members of the American Jewish Community such as ADL National Director Abraham Foxman and this morning’s diatribe against Beck in the Jerusalem Post by Likud right-winger Moshe Feiglin, because Beck “gets it” and he is prepared to put his money where his mouth is, I, for one, welcome his support.

Zev Chafets, who was former Prime Minister Menahem Begin’s Press Secretary writes in today’s Washington Post that in those days Israel was seeing the very beginning of Christian Evangelical support and did not really know how to deal with it. But Chafets recalls that:

“Begin asked his staff how many of these evangelicals there were in the United States. The answer was upward of 20 million. And that settled that. American Jewish leaders, virtually all of whom were (and are) liberal Democrats, were (and remain) scandalized. They argued that evangelical Christians believe that Jews don’t go to heaven and that they will die in some end-of-the-world scenario. Begin – and every subsequent Israeli prime minister of both the left and the right – preferred to let God sort out eternity. Here on Earth, actions speak louder than words.”

I agree with that and in this world, where Israel struggles every day to find supporters I am happy to take the support of the now 50 million Evangelical Christians and even the likes of Glen Beck, who proudly proclaim that they not only love Israel they love the Jewish people. As Pastor John Hagee often says, someday he and his Jewish friends will be walking the streets of the old city of Jerusalem and the Messiah will be coming the other way. At that point in time one of them will need to change their theology. Until then we need to be grateful for their support and bless them for it.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, dangeous lies and halftruths, How to avoid Armageddon, Solutions for Palestine, United Nations. Tags: , , , , , , .

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