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A Fitting Farewell to Falwell

It may be a tad out of date, but Haaretz has just run this no-punches-pulled op-ed by EvanFalwell and Netanyahu Goldstein of the "Moment" magazine about the late Jerry Falwell and his relations to Israel and the Jews.  The title, "A Toxic Legacy," tells you where this is going.  Here are some choice nuggets:

Jerry Falwell... would no doubt be pleased by Abraham Foxman's declaration that he was a "dear friend of Israel"... Was it true?

Falwell comes out of a pre-millennial tradition rooted in... the conversion or death of all nonbelievers, and the dawning of the messianic age.


There can be no apocalypse, no battle of Armageddon, and ultimately no salvation for Christians without the "ingathering of the exiles" to the Land of Israel.


He... preached an uncompromising commitment to the cause of Jewish sovereignty over the West Bank... [and he] forged a series of cynical and opportunistic partnerships with leaders on the Israeli right...

...Falwell typified how philo-Semitism and anti-Semitism tend to coexist comfortably in the same depraved minds.


Theological philo-Semites, like Falwell, seem to relate to Jews more as mythical figures from the Bible than as real living, breathing people. Similarly, Falwell was not concerned about Israel the country - the messy, inspiring, infuriating experiment in Jewish democracy on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. To him, Israel was a symbol, the link between the beginning and the end of things. 

There will not "be any real peace in the Middle East until the Lord Jesus sits down upon the throne of David in Jerusalem," Falwell said a few years ago... Falwell had no use for a prosperous, democratic and Jewish Israel with clearly defined borders living at peace with its neighbors.


The jowly pastor from Lynchburg, Virginia, was many things over the course of his long life - a bigot and a demagogue are two that come quickly to mind - but he was definitely not a "dear friend" of the Jewish State or the Jewish people.


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Comments (2)


Do Israelis appreciate support when they don't agree with its reasons?

Falwell may have been a staunch supporter, but was his support actually helpful to Israel? (People may see that he supported the country, and disapprove of it just because he associated himself with it.)


Falwell was a monster, and sadly his legacy will live on in the damage he has done.

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Daniel Levy


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