A former aide to President George W. Bush has expressed discomfort with the fact that his former boss is scheduled to speak to a Jews for Jesus fundraising event in Dallas, CNN reported on Thursday.
Tevi Troy, an Orthodox Jew, worked for Bush as a liaison to the Jewish community and a deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, CNN said. He was quick to remind CNN’s Jessica Ravitz what a friend the President was to both Jewish Americans and to Israel during his tenure; Bush was both an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism, and a supporter of israel when the Second Intifada broke out in 2006, Troy said. Bush was, “A very good president to the Jewish people,” he told CNN.
On the other hand, Troy said, he has “yet to meet a Jewish person who hasn’t heard about this,” and admitted “there’s good historical reason for the Jewish discomfort,” referring to the period when forced conversion of Jews was commonplace and the Church was “imbued with the power of the state,” Troy said.
The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute have refused to comment on the story, but a unnamed source close to Bush told CNN that Bush is known to speak with lots of different types of groups, from the secular to the religious.
The news about the former President addressing the MJBI broke last week on Mother Jones, and cause a small uproar in the Jewish community, especially among those who counted Bush as a pro-Israel ally. The Anti-Defamation League’s National Director Abraham Foxman released a statement on Monday expressing his disappointment that his friend, “who has an abiding love and respect for Israel and the Jewish people,” would address this “evangelical proselytizing group whose stated goal is to convert Jews to Christianity.”
“I know that he does not represent or embrace the purpose or the mission of this group, and therefore I wish he would not speak there,” Foxman said in a statement.
The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute is a Texas-based missionary group with a stated goal to convert Jews to Christianity, based on a passage in in the book of Romans from the New Testament about “provok[ing] the Jewish people to jealousy and thus sav[ing] some of them,” (11:11-14), and eventually bring about the second coming of Christ. Mother Jones reported tickets for the event featuring President Buch range from $100 to $100,000.