Senator Brownback's visit
by Jonathan Rosenblum
July 23, 2004
Sam Brownback (R.-Kan), one of the United State Senate’s rising stars, was in Israel on a two-day visit last week. Israeli politicians from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on down were eager to meet with Brownback, who is a member of the powerful Foreign Relations and Appropriations committees. But before engaging in any political discussions, the Senator, who is deeply religious, first visited to the Kotel, and then spent two hours in private conversation with a group of leading English-speaking rabbis, including Rabbi Asher Weiss, Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz, and Rabbi Zev Leff.
The next day the Senator addressed the Knesset Jewish-Christian Allies Caucus. He began by noting that the deepest support for Israel in America today comes not from Jews, but from Christians like himself: "The bedrock of support for Israel in America today is comprised of Christians, like myself, who were raised on the Bible, and who see in the Jews of Israel today the inheritors of the tradition." Brownback’s statement is well-supported by many polls, which show support for Israel dramatically higher among Republicans than Democrats, despite the overwhelming tilt among Jewish voters to the Democratic Party.
Asked by Mishpacha columnist Yonoson Rosenblum what steps Jews in Israel could take to ensure the continued support of Christian supporters in America, Brownback responded by urging the Jews of Israel to "embrace your Jewishness. You will get enormous support when you embrace the lessons you gave the world."
As for the response of the American public if Israel comes to be viewed as simply another advanced technological society dominated by the pursuit of pleasure, Brownback commented that the Jews of Israel would have much more to fear than just the loss of American public opinion. "G-d doesn’t let the Jewish people get too far away from Him," he said. "The history of your survival and continued existence is filled with examples of what happens to a people when they walk away from G-d’s sacred laws."
Not exactly a message heard every day in the Knesset.
Related Topics: Jewish Ethics
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