ADL: Evangelicals threat to religious pluralism
Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman tells reporters in Jerusalem that U.S. Evangelicals are threat to America's religious pluralism. In an interview with Ynetnews, Foxman says he is not concerned with Christian support for Israel, does not see Spielberg's new film as attack on Israel
U.S. Evangelicals are threatening America's rich tradition of religious pluralism, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Director Abraham Foxman told a press conference in Jerusalem Tuesday.
While referring to American Christian Evangelicals as "our friends," Foxman went on to warn: "If they succeed on their domestic agenda, to change the balance of the separation of church and state, and bring America closer to a Christian nation, as they wish, if they would judge candidates as they wish to judge them, by whether or not they will act under Jesus' philosophy, how many Jews do you think will eventually get elected?"
Foxman said that Evangelical Christians are attempting to implement changes "by legislation," adding that religious organizations in the United States are aiming to control "what pharmacists may or may not dispense, what operations can or cannot be undertaken, and what books can be read."
"What we found distressing was that, unlike the past when the debate was Judeo-Christian values… today the discussion is: Christian. It's not God, it's Jesus. It's a particularist truth that is being promoted," Foxman said.
The ADL leader dismissed claims made by some Christian conservatives in the U.S. that there was a coordinated campaign against the Christian holiday of Christmas, saying: "There's nobody at war on Christmas. 95 percent of the country is Christian. No body's fighting them. It's a made up conflict."
Foxman added: "What was troubling was that those pushing for a particularist truth have convinced that the majority of America that religion and Christianity is under attack in the United States. It's a growing phenomenon... motivated by faith."
In an ominous warning, he added that while the intent was not anti-Semitic, "the Hollywood media" was a common reply given to the question of who was plotting against Christmas.
"If this campaign succeeds… the unintended result is to undermine the pluralism of our country," Foxman said.
Speaking to Ynetnews, Foxman fell short of extending his domestic concerns over the activities of U.S. Evangelical groups to their relationship with Israel. Their support was "based on theology," he said.
"They believe in the second coming, I'm waiting for the first," Foxman said, adding that he was not worried about the motive behind the Evangelicals' support.
'Spielberg is not the enemy of Israel'
The ADL leader said he had attended a private screening of Steven Spielberg's film, "Munich," which deals with the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists, and Israel's subsequent pursuit of those behind the murders.
"We do not think this is an attack on Israel," Foxman said, adding that there was "no moral equivalency" portrayed between the terrorists and Israeli agents.
"It shows unbridled, brutal terrorism on the part of the Palestinians. It shows the need to respond. Also, this is not a documentary… it's a work of fiction based on a historical event. It was a movie waiting to be made. And if anybody makes it, if I had my choice, it wouldn't be Mel Gibson. It would be Spielberg. And all of the sudden to make Spielberg the enemy of Israel and the Jewish people… is a distortion of what it's all about," he said.