No Holds Barred: When an American pastor justifies the Holocaust

Cruz should absolutely reject Bickle’s endorsement. But attacks against Cruz for being anti-Israel are absurd.

Republican US presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks to supporters at his 2016 New Hampshire primary night rally (photo credit: REUTERS)
Republican US presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks to supporters at his 2016 New Hampshire primary night rally
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Recently Sen. Ted Cruz came under fire for accepting an endorsement from evangelical Pastor Mike Bickle of Kansas City who said that Jews were punished in the Holocaust for failing to embrace Jesus. Hitler had become the hunter promised by the Prophet Isaiah.
We’ll destroy Bickle’s repulsive arguments in a moment.
Cruz should absolutely reject Bickle’s endorsement. But attacks against Cruz for being anti-Israel are absurd for the simplest of reasons. Ted Cruz has shown time and again that he will not only support but be hated for his attachment to the Jewish state.
At a 2014 gala held by a US nonpartisan Christian organization, Cruz addressed the crowd on the topic of Christian persecution. The speech started well. But then the topic turned to Israel. “ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, and their state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East... In 1948 Jews throughout the Middle East faced murder and extermination and fled to the nation of Israel. And today Christians have no better ally than the Jewish state.”
On hearing this unflinching support of Israel, Cruz was loudly booed. But he continued, “Christians have no greater ally than Israel. Those who hate Israel hate America.”
The boos grew louder.
Unfazed by the show of animosity, Cruz continued: “The very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”
Then, he shocked the crowd by cutting his speech short, ending with, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Good night, and God bless.”
And he walked off the stage.
This column is not a political endorsement. It need not be. I will defend any candidate who shows sacrifice in support of Israel. And I will defend any candidate who is prepared to lose the support of a core constituency to stand with the Jewish state. Cruz is among the greatest friends the Jewish people have ever had in the history of the United States Senate.
Compare his actions to those of senators who took millions of dollars from the Jewish community over the past few years only to play politics with Israel’s survival and fund the government of Iran that promises the next holocaust.
Still, Cruz had a responsibility to repudiate Bickle’s statements and did so, releasing a statement categorically rejecting Bickle’s comments about Jews and the Holocaust.
“The statements from Pastor Bickle concerning Adolf Hitler are not statements with which Senator Cruz agrees. It is indisputable that Adolf Hitler was the embodiment of evil; he was a grotesque murderer who committed one of the gravest acts of depravity in the history of mankind.
God did not intend anything in Hitler’s evil, and it is wrong to suggest otherwise.”
Next, Cruz should reject Bickle himself.
Now to the pastor.
Those who claim to understand God’s intentions, especially when it comes to genocide, are fools, fakers and fundamentalists.
Fools because they could never know the mind of God.
Fakers because, in the name of religion, they blame the victims for the atrocities perpetrated against them. And fundamentalists because, in their embarrassing ignorance, they take verses from the Bible and interpret them shallowly and without any context.
Hey, Pastor Bickle? When it says that God stretched forth his hand over the Egyptians, do you think he was wearing a Rolex? Bickle, in the ultimate spiritual abomination, makes Hitler and the SS the agents of God while faithful and pious Jews are turned into ash and lampshades. That is not God but the devil.
Bickle is not offensive to Jews but to Christians. He has turned Jesus into a mass executioner. His blasphemy against Christianity ought to be rejected by every believing Christian.
Would a pastor in the name of Christian love consign 1.5 million children to death by poison gas? Would a reverend, in the name of his faith, claim that Nazi officers slept comfortably on pillows made of murdered Jewish women’s hair because it was the will of Jesus? Would a man who leads a spiritual congregation justify the death of Anne Frank because she was not baptized? It would be much worse if Bickle were right. Then we would have to share the cosmos with a God who views gas chambers as cathedrals of doctrinal enforcement.
Anyone feel like praying? I don’t know why God allowed the Holocaust, nor do I care. Any explanation would not lessen the horror of it.
Nor would it bring back my six million murdered Jewish brothers and sisters. Indeed, asking for an answer is itself immoral insofar as it attempts to reconcile ourselves to the irreconcilable and to accept the unacceptable.
Bickle himself has now written an op-ed titled, “What Hitler Did Was an Utter Atrocity,” in which he clarified that “When Ted Cruz thanked me for my support, he did not endorse everything I have said during my lifetime, and I do not expect him to. For those times when I have communicated my beliefs poorly, I apologize.”
Bickle continued, “To be clear: Scripture is clear that the friends of God are friends of Israel. It is the enemies of Hashem who oppose Israel. I pray that I may always be counted among the former.”
Thank you, pastor. Your friendship is much appreciated.
Now you must repudiate utterly any previous mentions of the Holocaust as punishment and repent for having said so. We Jews have suffered enough without you inflicting upon us the final indignity of saying that we deserved it.
Critics were right in asking Ted Cruz to repudiate Bickle.
Now, to Hillary Clinton.
As I wrote in a previous column, Hillary’s emails reveal her admiration for one of the world’s most passionate Israel-haters, Max Blumenthal, who compares the IDF to the SS, calls Israel a Nazi state, and demands that Israel be disbanded and all the land “returned” to the Arabs.
We have emails that Hillary penned personally praising and extolling Max’s disgusting anti-Israel screeds and other unhinged writings that were sent to her by his father, Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal. We have access to the dozens of anti-Israel op-eds and advice that he forwarded from his son, as well as Max’s other rants.
Here are some examples of Hillary’s responses: 7/6/2010 – “Pls print 5 copies but w/out heading from Sid.”
8/17/2010 – “Pls congratulate Max for another impressive piece. He’s so good.”
11/18/2010 – “A very smart piece as usual.”
4/7/2011 – “Will Max’s piece be published anywhere else? It is powerful and touching.”
12/23/2011 – “Max strikes again!” 1/21/2012 – “Interesting reading.”
9/13/2012 - “Your Max is a mitzva!” 12/7/2012 – “Good stuff. Where is he now?” A Jew who compares the IDF to the SS is no mitzva but a Hillul Hashem, a desecration of the divine name.
The mitzva, Madame Secretary, would be to publicly repudiate this hate-filled drivel.
Shmuley Boteach is the international bestselling author of 30 books including his upcoming The Israel Warriors Handbook.
Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.