The BDS movement has been heavily engaged in targeting the Churches because (as stated on its website):
“Religious institutions are seen in many communities as embodying important moral and ethical principles. As such, their support of the Israeli state imparts a sense of legitimacy onto its actions. Religious institutions must understand that the Israeli state operates on exclusionary basis and actively discriminates against non-Jewish religious faiths. This applies especially to Palestinian Christians and Muslims.”
Robert O. Smith, Program Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America/Middle East and North Africa, and co-moderator of the Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches, authored a book, More Desired Than our Owne Salvation, in which he argues that “fundamental presumptions about Israel’s innocence and collective immorality of Palestinians have been conflated with general suspicions of Islam, suspicions developed through Western Christian history.” Smith portrays American Christian Zionist leaders as “lunatics, heralding God’s judgments with an apocalyptic literalism,” yet he fails to make any case against the validity of Christian Zionism. He opportunely ignores the historic Jewish struggle against Arab nationalism and voices such as that of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, both of whom have called for the death of all Jews.
Returning to the “Christ at the Checkpoint” manifesto: it states that “Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam.” One wonders what these organizers think that context is, given the bloodshed in Syria, the widespread slaughter and persecution of Christians in Islamic states, the violence between Shia and Sunni traditions and the genocide against non-Arabs in Sudan’s Darfur region, as just a few examples.
As for the manifesto stating that it “condemns all forms of violence unequivocally,” the CATC conference gave a warm welcome to a protagonist of violence on its Facebook page: “We are glad to confirm that his Excellency the Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah will attend and speak in the opening session of the conference.” Hamdallah — who reportedly ended up backing out the last minute — once oversaw a Hamas-sponsored “Splendors of Terror” exhibition put on at An-Najah University in September 2001, where students reenacted the gruesome suicide bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem that had taken place only six weeks before the exhibition, in which 15 civilians, including seven children and a pregnant woman, were murdered, and another 130 wounded. Under “Hamdallah’s tutelage, [the attack] was commemorated as a heroic act of Palestinian resistance.”
In terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, long before Israel even became a state, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was working with Hitler to wipe out the Jews. Another point missing from CATC is understanding the sacredness of Muslim lands to the faith of the Islamist as well as the duty of conquest. In 641, two decades after Muhammad’s flight to Medina, Caliph Umar issued a decree that Jews and Christians be expelled from Arabia in accordance with Muhammad’s eventual decree upon his deathbed: “Let there not be two religions in Arabia.” To this day, Islamists seek to wipe Israel’s existence off the face of the map, as is routinely done — literally, symbolically and wishfully — in Palestinian textbooks and maps, in which Israel has been totally displaced. Israel was attacked by Arab states in 1948; forced to engage in a pre-emptive strike in 1967, and is currently under constant threat of obliteration from surrounding Arab States. It is worrisome, as recognized by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that any Christian conference such as “Christ at the Checkpoint” can profess an agenda of peace, while attempting “to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda,” presumably for Israel’s destruction.