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Report: Carter decries Zionist-Christian links

Former President Carter reportedly said Jews should not align themselves with Zionist Christians. Tikkun magazine editor Michael Lerner said Carter made the May 2 remarks at an interfaith gathering, according to The New York Jewish Week.”He said it was a terrible error for Jews to become allied with Christian Zionists who actually desire our conversion or burning in hell,” Rabbi Lerner related in an interview Tuesday with The Jewish Week. “He pointed out that the Christian Zionist view is part of that general theology that essentially views the Jews as an obstacle, not as friends, but temporarily views the Jews as friends in the process of bringing back Jesus and at that point having all of us convert.”Some of Carter’s remarks will appear in the left-leaning Tikkun, including Carter’s call for Christians to show support by acknowledging Judaism as a “legitimate path to God” rather than focusing on Israeli government and politics.Rabbi James Rudin, an American Jewish Committee expert on Christian-Jewish affairs, was skeptical of Carter’s concern.”The Jewish community is much more sophisticated than maybe the president thinks,” he said. “We certainly understand that there are people such as he is describing, but that’s not the majority of Christian Zionists.”Rudin suggested it was possible Carter was using the issue as a distraction from continued criticism of his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” A large portion of the one-hour meeting between the delegation and Carter was devoted to the issue of what many Jews see as Carter’s pro-Palestinian bias.