A VIDEO that portrays a cross-carrying Jesus being sent to
thegas chambers at Auschwitz, produced by Messianic Jews, has been
condemned as "beyond offensive".
The video, That Jew Died
For You, was made by the group Jews for Jesus, and was
released last month to coincide with the build-up to Easter,
Passover, and Holocaust Remembrance Day in April.
In it, Jews are shown being herded by Nazi soldiers towards the
gates of the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Among them is the
figure of Jesus, carrying a cross. The guards dismiss him as "Just
another Jew", before sending him to the gas chambers, as the words
"That Jew died for you" appear.
In a statement, the chief executive of the Council of Christians
and Jews, the Revd David Gifford, said: "The Council of Christians
and Jews deplores the video That Jew Died For You,
produced by Jews for Jesus. It is insensitive, offensive, and
"The use of Holocaust imagery to seek to persuade Jews or others
towards a particular religious cause is intrinsically wrong. It
will cause hurt and distress to many who watch it. It causes
unnecessary dissension and bewilderment to Jews involved in the
authentic dialogue with Christians."
The associate executive director of Jews for Jesus, Susan
Perlman, told the newspaper The Christian Post that they
hoped to engage Jewish people in conversation."We think that the
conversa-tion about who Jesus is is import-ant for Jews and
Gentiles todiscuss, and especially at this time of year.
"We want Jewish people to understand that the sufferings
inflicted at the hands of the Nazis were in no way based on the
teachings of Jesus. In fact, he suffered and died on our behalf to
show us the love of God."
Since the video was released on 2 April, it has been viewed more
than 1.2 million times on YouTube, but has caused controversy both
in the United States and in the UK.
The vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews,
Jonathan Arkush, said: "To use the Holocaust as a promotional tool
for any cause is beyond offensive. This is a crass attempt to court
controversy at the expense of the victims of the Holocaust, and it
should be treated with the disdain that such behaviour deserves.
This cult seeks to prey on the most vulnerable to mislead about
Judaism and divide families."
Founded in 1973, Jews for Jesus is an organisation of Messianic
Jews who seek to "make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable
issue to our Jewish people worldwide". They hand out evangelistic
tracts, and produce materials to encourage Jews to consider