Jonathan Rosenblum is a newspaper columnist, who usually functions as an apologist for the Haredi world (In general) and Agudat Yisrael (in particular). As a result, it isn't very often that I find myself agreeing with him. Last week however, he wrote a column in Maariv that was (IMHO) right on target.
Rosenblum was addressing the fears that most American Jews have of George Bush's religiousity, and of the rightward (and increasingly Christian) turn of American society. They fear a breach of the separation of Church and State, which has protected Jews from anti-Jewish persecution. Jewish opposition to any government involvement in religion is dogmatic. As Rosenblum says:
Out of fear of aiding and abetting religion, major American Jewish groups, including the Reform movement, consistently adopt the most extreme positions on separation of state and religion. Noted constitutional scholar Nathan Lewin has quipped that the only Wall at which American Jewry worships is the wall of separation between state and religion. As an example, the Reform movement recently advised its congregations against accepting any Homeland Security funds for guarding their temples and schools from terrorist attack, despite the obvious appeal of Jewish institutions for Islamic terrorists.
The truth of the matter is that separation of Church and State is more a religion for the established Jewish Community, than is Judaism itself. Of course, there are real reasons to be concerned about Christian missionizing, and certainly not a little evangelical support for Israel may turn out to be a double edged sword. Nevertheless, Rosenblum points out that this argument is specious.
Eli Valley, the author of a recent Jerusalem Post piece, who works for Jewish philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, warns that President Bush’s evangelical supporters are bent on “converting the Jews and ending the Jewish religion.” Given the phenomenal success of American Jews themselves in ending the Jewish religion through intermarriage and assimilation it is unclear why the evangelicals should cause shudders.
Quod Erat Demonstrandum.