I have had the good fortune to see my articles in NewsWithViews.com over the years. I say this because being one of the “deplorables” in America today limits our access to many journalistic opportunities, and yet like many of the faithful of publisher Paul Walter, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
As such, many of you who’ve been following Pastor Chuck Baldwin’s philosophical meanderings through the years might have caught a slight dissonance in his recent column, “Is Netanyahu Finished”, as if something was out of sync.
I am using this opportunity to rebut his points, one by one. I look forward to your heartfelt responses to my article. Let me say from the outset: this is a no-holds-barred rebuttal to his opining of Netanyahu, Israel, Jews, and Christians. We all know that if you want to get people riled up, just talk about Israel, Jews, and Christian attitudes to the above and you’ll open the Pandora’s Box.
PB (Pastor Baldwin): “Bibi is one of the most corrupt political leaders on the planet”
RS (Rabbi Shifren): Perhaps it is so, but being in the middle east, surrounded by those who want your demise, is not an easy situation for any leader. Here is a country where literally nothing is normal (I may seem to be leaning here toward Pastor Baldwin, but for different reasons). Fully 50% doesn’t want to, or rebels at, anything resembling traditional Judaism. You have an active, aggressive Gay/Lesbian population eating away at the thousands of years of Biblical prophecy and Divine intervention. And you also have open communists with an axe to grind in the spirit of Marx, Trotsky, and Alinsky.
Then there are Hellenists, who if they had no Israeli passport, would resemble anybody windsurfing at Waikiki or eating sushi in Beverly Hills, and Yeshiva students who never see the light of the sun, squinting at obtuse tractates of Talmudic law under the cover of dimly lit florescent bulbs. Last but not least, there is an active, healthy underground fueled by pimps, prostitutes, and a mafia which would make Meir Lansky blush. So yes, Pastor Baldwin is right about the insanity of Israel….but to be its LEADER, well now, that takes an acute level of ability that the Democratic Party of Waters, Ellison, and Pelosi could hardly dream of.
And he’s right: Bibi is the darling of many Christian groups who want their own fantasy relationship with the people of the Book, the progeny of the Holocaust. What many don’t realize is that Bibi was for many years ensconced in Manhattan during his position in the UN, gleaning from the rich and powerful, all eager to get in his good graces, being close to a real Israeli war hero, regardless of issues of character or philosophy.
Bibi cleverly marshalled his well-honed English fluency, good looks and Machiavellian political moxie to ingratiate himself into the “salon” milieu, managing to be everything to everybody seeking to find an excuse for being pro-Jew/Israeli. Bibi is so well spoken that when you hear him, you believe every word he says.
Pastor Baldwin doesn’t illuminate why Bibi is going down, and I tend to think that even hardened Israelis have occasionally had it with his hegemony. But the good pastor doesn’t get: many Israeli politicos are corrupt. It is endemic, just as the 25% of the underground economy who is fleeing the tax man.
How legitimate could one be to sit in a coalition with Palestinian Arabs enumerating their hatred for the Jewish state from the dais of the Knesset (parliament), encouraging and abetting intifadas and blood-letting. Really, this is one aspect that the media has left unturned: the special ability to reconcile with a perpetual terrorist sword drawn against its very survival, giving the pretense that this is true “democracy.” So yes, nobody normal, least of all the coalition factions of orthodox rabbis whiling away the tedious speeches of the Arabs, the Israeli Left, and otherwise crass corrupt philistines, could imagine the horror of governing such a witch’s brew. Truly, Bibi has his hands full just keeping Israel alive and safe.
PB: “He is pressuring Donald Trump to ratchet up a war against Iran” to give cover and deflect from his misdeeds…
RS: Here the good pastor shows a complete lack of understanding of the Israeli mind-set. Note well: Israel doesn’t need America, and is fully capable of neutralizing the Iranian threat. Nonetheless, a joint coalition would certainly be favorable and elevate the raison de guerre of Israel in her continuous war to find favor in the eyes of the Gentiles. Yet when the boom is ultimately lowered, Israel will stand alone, just as it did at Entebbe and the Iraqi nuclear facility. They know it, American insiders know it–everyone but Pastor Baldwin knows it.
PB: “There is one common denominator that links the mainstream media with the so-called conservative media: infatuation with the modern state of Israel” (wonder what he means here by “modern”…would these pundits have preferred the Israel of King David? I rather doubt it…)
RS: I detest knee-jerk thinkers and groups, Jewish or Gentile. I abhor “Black Lives Matter” because I know who these punks are. In the same way, I detest playing the Holocaust card. It’s so easy to do, and who wants to be labeled in the same Jew-baiting ranks with Goebbels, Streicher, Eichmann….the entire Jewish leadership plays this card to a tee. Pathetic and stifling of any discussion. Pat Buchanan and Mel Gibson will tell you volumes about going against the Israeli/Jewish bulwark.
PB: “He is mobilizing accelerated (illegal) settlements on private land owned by Palestinians”
RS: Is this man a pastor, a man of god? What religion is he representing? This is perhaps his most puzzling statement to date. Does Pastor Baldwin believe in God? Which God? Because if it’s the God of the Old Testament, and the God of Heaven and Earth, then there is only ONE God…and that same God stated: “The Land of Israel will be an eternal inheritance to your seed”. “Those that bless you will be blessed, those that curse you will be cursed.” Genesis 12:1-3.
The problem the pastor has is that his rhetoric and ideology have trumped his divine calling. I know of not ONE Christian (who truly is a Christian, devoid of anti-Semitic leanings), who does not stand behind this doctrine and other pronouncements in Exodus, giving the Land of Kanaan (Israel) exclusively to the seed of Abraham (see appropriate passages regarding the banishing of Ishmael and his claims).
Therefore, his mention of Palestinian “rights” is curious, suspiciously incongruent with the foundation of Christian theology. Yet, it is difficult to stand up to the nay-sayers in today’s Christian church. Many a man of integrity and knowledge of scripture has given in to the leftists and Palestinian inciters’ relentless assault against traditional belief (It was none other than Arafat that confided that the “Palestinian” cause was bogus, used only as a means to weaken and destroy Israel).
Of course, there have always been malevolent purveyors of Jew-baiting in the history of Christianity. Yet, when candid, these erudite haters will quote you chapter and verse about the exclusivity of the Abrahamic covenant with God, having zero mention of “Palestinian rights.” So, what then must we conclude from Pastor Baldwin’s strange rhetoric? It doesn’t have to be complicated: somewhere, somehow, a Jew stood before him and obstructed his pathway. This is not unique.
PB: “Neither does it hurt that Trump’s son-in-law is a MAJOR financial backer of the (illegal) settlements”
RS: As Reagan would say, “There you go again!” But hey, somebody needs to come up with the green to finance that which the Israeli government has been doing: putting facts on the ground that will never be erased. If God is real (is he, really good Pastor?), and the scriptures are not fake, then this land is part of the biblical Land of Israel, whether we (our congregations/clerics) approve of it, or not. God gave it to Israel, and a lot more than they have today belonged only to them.
PB: “Billionaire Sheldon Adelson is starting to back away from Bibi”
RS: Here’s a man who understands when he’s throwing good money after bad….
PB: “Many Christians have accused me of heresy” for what I said about Bibi
RS: I won’t. You have accurately described Bibi…it’s just that you haven’t seen the big picture. Or that you just have lost your ability to withstand pressure from apostates within your church, or otherwise leftist/anti-Semitic agitators who you might have been courting or perhaps you are the leader in this courting since in one article you stated that the Jews of Israel are not the Jews of the Bible. Well then, PB, who are they? Because many can trace their ancestry back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
PB: “For many professing Christians, the modern state of Israel is every bit as important as Jesus Christ himself and their own personal salvation.
RS: This is probably your only righteous statement. The State of Israel is every bit as important as Jesus Christ because Israel is the Wife of God, and the Church states they are the Bride of Christ. The Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional and includes the land, and God does not lie, and neither does he go back on his promises.
[Editor’s Note: See Bibi Netanyahu and President Trump at a press meeting in DC on 2-15-17]
PB: “Netanyahu is not only a crook, a globalist, and murderer, he is also a Talmudist”
RS: A murderer, really? I wasn’t aware, whom did he murder? Your argument has no feet. Not once in your invective have you called to task the unrelenting war of Arab terror against Jews. You’ve saved your arrows for those evil “Talmudists” like Bibi, who actually teaches a Bible class every week.
But how hysterical are you? Bibi a Talmudist? Even Woody Allen would laugh you off your lectern… Bibi is a politician and puts on a yarmulke when he goes to a Concentration Camp, or a funeral. Do you know his heart? You cannot claim you do.
PB: “If you think the Koran is bad, try reading the Talmud.”
RS: Yes, you’ve finally come to your senses: the Koran is definitely bad! Regarding the Talmud, what about that ever-problematic passage about “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?” Do you know what that means? Of course not, you know nothing of the Talmud except to cherry-pick problematic statements of which you have no clue. Actually, the passage in question refers to monetary damages due to the aggrieved, and not in removing the plaintiff’s eye. So, there you have it, now you can certainly rest. The remainder is a life’s work and toil about what was given over on Sinai, and what was transmitted orally, known as the Oral Law (as opposed to the Bible, or Written Law). Few have the time, patience, and determination to dive into the minutia and profound manner of the arguments given forth…you least of all.
PB: “Iran is being painted as the next big, bad wolf”
RS: For such a smart guy, how could you be so wrong?! The problem you’re facing? You’ve never lived in Iran as a Christian, or anywhere else as a Christian in the Middle East….good luck. Yes, not one American boy should be sacrificed to shut these maniacs down. So, when Israeli jets take off one night during Ramadan, remember I told you so….
PB: “Sanctions against Iran are a violation of the 2015 treaty”
RS: Are you kidding me?! A treaty with Iran, you say? Pastor, this is delusional. Find someone in your congregation that can teach you about Iran….let me elucidate for you a cardinal principle: the Saudis hate Iran, so they’re going to be good news for us. Period. The way of the world.
© 2017 Nachum Shifren – All Rights Reserved
Rabbi Shifren is a southern California native. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Spanish and German literature. He has been a language teacher in LA City schools since 1992. He is also fluent in Hebrew. Having lived in Israel for nearly a decade, he has been an observer and commentator of developments in Israel, the Israeli and foreign press, and the recent rise of Islamic Jihad.
He is also the dirctor of “surf and soul” surfcamp, where teens learn self-discipline, proper attitude, and physical fitness. A Malibu surfer since 1962, he is known universally as the surfing rabbi. Through his seminars and classes, he has taught thousand the challenge and thrill of wave riding and the postive aspects of the surfing life style.
Rabbi Shifren has declared his candidacy for the Calif. State Senate in 2010, and is the only candidate to openly pledge to oppose the advent of Sharia law in the United States. He is a tireless supporter of individual freedoms and preserving the distinctive greatness of America, her language, and culture. Known for his no-nonsense approach to education and prison reform, Rabbi Shifren is in his own class of patriotism and staunch conservative values.