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Dear Friend of the Jewish People...

2 weeks ago, Breitbart News featured an article detailing the work of the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews (IFCJ), led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein in Chicago. Speaking in glowing terms, the article details some of the IFCJ’s many programs which include, but are not limited to, On the Wings of Eagles and Stand for Israel. The former is an immigration initiative which brings thousands from the Former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Western Europe and elsewhere to live in the Zionist State. The latter rallies churches, Christian leaders and their followers to defend “Israel”.

As a former evangelical Christian (now a convert to Torah Judaism), I can say from experience that there are many, many Christians who simply feel an overwhelming need to “bless Israel”. The act speaks to their sense of decency and for a desire to right the wrongs of centuries of anti-Semitism. Their intentions are wholesome. This I know. It’s with the knowledge of their sincerity that I address them now.

Dear Friend of the Jewish People,

Wanting to help a people (seemingly) in distress is a noble emotion. When individuals explain to me that their enthusiasm for helping Jews are motivated by simple concern for Jewish well-being, I’m inclined to believe them. Generally speaking, I take people at their word, be it good or bad.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews helps out in many areas. Almost all of which are in the State of “Israel”. There are exceptions, their work on behalf of Jews stuck in war-torn region of Ukraine being the most recent example, but these are few and far between. The unspoken rule seems to be:

“First get them to Israel, then we’ll help them out materially.”

Again, this isn’t always the case. Just mostly. The IFCJ’s immigration activities do encompass a few countries that are prone to anti-Semitic sentiment and social chaos, but then again, most don’t. Many former Soviet Republics, Ukraine being excluded for the moment, are socially stable. France, from which the Jews featured in the Breitbart article come from, is a notable example.

The State of Israel, however, paints a somewhat less cheery scene in terms of overall stability and safety.

According to the Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2016, Israel rates at 144 among 163 nations, 1 being the most peaceful country on the planet and 163 being the one with the most endemic violence and social unrest. Iceland is 1st, Syria is 163rd. The GPI calculates scores based on a wide range of actors, including political terror, displaced people, violent crime and perceptions of criminality, amongst close to twenty other influences. To put Israel’s 144 place into perspective, it ranks 29 places behind El Salvador, which has the highest homicide rate in the world.

IFCJ does do good work. They feed the hungry and help victims of violence in recovery. But there’s always a prerequisite. Not always clearly articulated, but the undertone is there for all to hear if desired.

“You must first come to Israel”.

Immigration to Israel has been, since its inception in 1983, at the heart of the IFCJ’s mission. Taking French Jews to live in a culture vastly different from their own, often irreconcilably so, is a far cry from the responsible image the IFCJ strives to cultivate (France is number 51 on the list). French Jews are statistically ten times more likely to meet a violent death, G-d forbid, in Israel than in France, even after you factor in the latest string of terrorist attacks to rock Paris and elsewhere.

The IFCJ isn’t alone. Groups like Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) and Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) all have immigration at the top of their agendas.

Sadly, with the emphasis on moving to Israel at all costs, claims of Philo-Semitic feeling on the part of these and other groups start to ring hollow. Especially in light of the fact that much of the money given goes towards West Bank settlements, which place everyone in that region, Jew and non-Jew, in the line of fire. I might be slightly exaggerating by saying that sending someone to live there is like buying your child a house in downtown Aleppo, but only slightly.

Israel’s many provocations, military, diplomatic and otherwise, both in the domestic sphere and abroad, feed anti-Semitism, throwing gas on an already raging fire. If you doubt it, visit the website for the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, a branch of Tel Aviv University. Yearly reports show the clear and undeniable correlation between Israeli militarism and rises in anti-Semitism worldwide. When Israel does or says something foolish or aggressive, people die. Non-Jews die. Jews die.

Dear Friend of the Jewish People,

You say love Jews. If I were to speak candidly, giving charity to organizations that encourage Jews to move to a nation that is, statistically speaking, the most dangerous place in the world for a Jew, is anti-Semitic. Not intentionally so, there is no malicious intent in it, but the fact remains. It’s an action that’s runs against the best interests of the Jews.

If you’re looking for a way to bless the Jewish People, there are many. Encourage them where they are. Show them neighborliness and friendship in your own city, in your own state and in your own country. Lobby your government to permit entry of Jewish refugees from the same countries the Jewish Agency, IFCJ and others are grabbing them from. I assure you, many of them will have a much easier time adjusting than they do in Israel. Sadly, I’ve seen it myself far too many times.

Many of the original immigrants to the nascent state of Israel were not at all excited about moving there. A great many had no choice. The Israeli government helped block the doors of immigration to most other countries after the Second World War, at least for those first crucial years. It was immigration their way or no way and their actions spoke volumes.

“If you don’t want to help build the ostensibly Jewish State, then stay in the DP camps.”

Thus, began Israel’s long history of “merciful” treatment of other Jews. The proof lies in the fact that once nations such as America did start letting in Jews after the war, a great many left Israel. Many want to leave even today. They’re tired of war, tired of death, tired of the failed social experiment they’ve been roped into.

Today, Jews the world over do have a choice. Most of them want to stay where they are or immigrate to a European or North American nation. When you give money to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein or CUFI or any other similar organization, you are unwittingly placing Jews in very real physical danger.

Dear Friend of the Jewish People,

You say you love Jews. But please, show us. Help us to live in peace where we are now. That sort of help doesn’t even have to cost money. A smile is just as good if not better.

Sincerely,
R’ Amrom Freidman & True Torah Jews