Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Foreign Agents of the Day
A dozen Christian university students from the US will spend the day receiving advocacy lessons at the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) on Sunday. —Lede to a story in Israel Today
It goes on to say—
The visit is part of the Israel Experience College Scholarship Program, referred to by some as the “Christian Birthright,” which is put on annually by New York-based Eagles' Wings Ministries.
The program is an effort to “raise up educated ambassadors who are articulate about the truth about Israel's situation, about God's promises to Israel, and about why it's important for Christians to pursue that,” Eagles' Wings program director Joel James told Israel National News.
Israel is regularly portrayed as an oppressive and illegitimate state on American university campuses.
The students will be hosted at the Knesset by the parliamentary Christian Allies Caucus, which exists to strengthen political ties between the Jewish state and the Evangelical Christian world.
I decided to toddle on over to the Eagles' Wings website to find out how I might become an ambassador for Israel. They immediately gave me the background I would need for my venture into
On campuses across the country, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to demonstrations and activism by pro-Palestinian groups fueled by hatred for Israel and Jews.
Shorter version: It's all about anti-Semitism and has nothing to do with the injustices visited upon the Palestinians.
The University should be a place of open discussion and an exchange of ideas, not a forum for hatred and intimidation.
Shorter version: We need to silence those pro-Palestinian voices on U.S. campuses.
To further these goals the Israeli government has offered its full support—
The Israel Experience is in full cooperation with and endorsed by the Christian Allies Caucus of the Knesset (Parliament). Students will have a private audience with the Mayor of Jerusalem, dialogue with influential leaders from all levels of society, tour IDF [Israeli Defense Force] bases, interact with Israeli university students as they put their hands and feet into the landscape of scripture.
Well, hello, Sailor!
Why, it's remarkably similar to the experience enjoyed by former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey when he visited Israel in 2000. McGreevey, you'll recall, brought back a dashing young former naval lieutenant in the IDF whom he eventually appointed to be his homeland security advisor, among other things.
This makes me hopeful that if I play my cards right, I may find love and be able to bring back my very own Israeli agent. I'll do my best to convert him, of course, once we're alone.
Will I need to register as a foreign agent?
This brings me to wonder what my own status will be after I return from training: If I'm an Israeli "ambassador," do I need to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)?
The Department of Justice website says that—
The purpose of FARA is to insure that the U.S. Government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws.
What a good idea! But are there exemptions for those who would influence us on behalf of a foreign power? Of course.
Persons whose activities are of a purely commercial nature or solely of a religious, scholastic, academic, scientific or fine arts nature are exempt.
So I can avoid registration if I insist on the religious nature of my calling, and I just won't mention that the Israeli government and Defense Force are secular institutions.
Converting the Jews
While in Israel I hope to convert as many Jews to Jesus as I can, but I'll have to do it on the sly. Despite the clear need for my help the Israelis can be downright hostile when it comes to Christians. Only this Sunday I read that the HOT cable network is petitioning to drop its Christian channel—
HOT filed a request with the Israeli Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting last week for authorization to cut Daystar out of its programming, arguing that the Christian network is targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity.
This grieves my heart.
Once I've received my ambassadorship training there'll be lots of work to do, but we're fortunate to be assisted by some of the top media personalities. Take, for instance, Glenn Beck of CNN. Israeli Insider gives us the lowdown on the fine work he's doing for Israel—
Beck, 42 and host of what is considered the fastest-growing TV show in cable news, can make Bibi Netanyahu look like a dove. The baby-faced former Top 40 radio disc jockey has been known to describe Saudi Arabian leaders as "nut jobs" and "dirt bags" and says that if America doesn't support and protect Israel, "we will lose our only strategic ally in the Mideast and we will lose our souls."
Yes, Beck, an admitted former alcoholic and drug addict, is now a devout Christian who believes in an Armageddon in which millions will die. He also believes in God's love for Israel, and he is not shy about discussing his own support for the Jewish state on his hour-long show that airs nightly at 7 p.m. on CNN Headline News....
And speaking of Armageddon...
A friend sent me a link to an interview with an Anglican priest whose book Zion's Christian Soldiers has recently been released.
The interviewer from radio station WMNF introduced Father Sizer this way—
Two of the best-selling authors in the United States—Tim LaHaye of the Left Behind series and Hal Lindsay's Late Great Planet Earth—postulate that we're in the "End Times."
Our next guest is a Christian minister from England who's studied the "End Times," who says that in Israel conservatives there are cooperating with Christian Evangelicals who believe that we are in the "End Times" to try to hasten some sort of Armageddon.
Fr. Sizer's remarks are well worth a listen, though you have to skip a few minutes of the recording to get to the interview.
Well, with Armageddon coming, maybe Israel doesn't really need me as an ambassador after all. What they seem to want more than anything are some Christian guns.
7/26/07 - 6:30 pm
The video opens on a brief interview with former Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay—
BLUMENTHAL: And how much of an inspiration is the Second Coming in your support for Israel?
DELAY: Obviously it's what I live for. I hope it comes
CUFI was founded by multimillionaire pastor John Hagee, who appears to be the sluglike Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt in very thin human disguise. Well ... maybe not so thin.
Christo-Republican cadres (6/22/05)
Word of the Day (7/13/05)
Novak acknowledges Israeli policy of apartheid (4/9/07)
Headline of the Day (7/17/07)
One more reason not to vote for Giuliani: He's gone Neocon (7/20/07)