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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dexter Van Zile’

New Anti-Semitism Tailored for Evangelicals

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

In what was dubbed an “unprecedented advisory,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to Christians to steer clear of the “Christ at the Checkpoint” [CATC] conference that took place from March 8th-15th in Bethlehem, and coincided with Israel Apartheid week there. Israel Today , a publication that investigated the conference, concluded that it could pose “a long term threat to Israel’s security.” According to the official statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”

A ministry official stated that, “the conference is designed for the evangelical Christian leadership leadership — an extremely important audience to us.” Christians around the world should pay close attention to the Israeli government’s concern about the dangerous propaganda being fanned and fueled at “Christ at the Checkpoint.” According to the conference website: “the checkpoint and the wall become a focal point and symbol of the conflict.” Yet the reason for the wall and the checkpoint is never mentioned — not the daily incitement to destroy Israel, the countless terrorist attacks against it which necessitated the barrier, nor the seemingly corrupt leadership of the Palestinian people.

Looking further into the agenda of this event, the Jewish National News Service pointed out that “Christ at the Checkpoint” emphasizes replacement theology, which teaches that the Christian Church has replaced Israel and the Jewish people in God’s purpose and plan so that the Jews are no longer God’s “chosen people,” and that Christians have replaced them. This is a source of division in the Churches and a stance many Christians resolutely oppose.

Bethlehem Anglican Canon Rev. Naim Ateek , president of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, spoke at the inaugural CATC in 2010; he is one of the first church leaders to connect Liberation Theology with the Palestinian cause. Liberation Theology is a political movement in the Catholic church that stresses liberation from unjust economic or political circumstances; in the Palestinian cause, it replaces the Jewish Messiah in scripture with that of a Palestinian Jesus or martyr. As an aggressive anti-Israel campaigner, Ateek stated in an Easter message he once delivered: “In this season of Lent, it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him. It only takes people of insight to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.”

Executive Director David Brog of Christians United for Israel described the speakers of CATC as the “who’s who of the new anti-Israel narrative…in a guise of love…. who claim to be “pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace.” Just before the conference convened, Brog warned that “almost every speaker will blame Palestinian suffering on Israel and Israel alone.” He calls CATC a “dangerously one-sided propaganda campaign against Israel.”

According to a World Net Daily report, Brog later lamented about the conference that: “They are so careful about excluding possible justification for Israel’s actions that not a word was uttered about the 60 missiles fired from Gaza into southern Israel. … they are so disconnected from real Christian suffering that there’s been no mention of the besieged Christian communities of Egypt, Iraq or Syria.”

Anti-Zionist Christians Use Jewish Voices To Defame Israel

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Speaking in the basement of Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) in Minneapolis on July 3, 2010, Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, offered a relentless denunciation of Israel to a group of Presbyterians.

During his talk, Halper expressed hope that efforts to brand Israel as an apartheid state will get more traction going forward partially as a result of the deaths resulting from the fighting on board the Mavi Marmara a few weeks earlier. For Halper, the deaths highlighted Israeli intransigence, not the hostile intentions of those on the vessel.

“I think we have turned a corner with Israel’s help,” he said.

Throughout his talk, Halper gave his audience advice on how to challenge those who defend Israel from attacks like his.

“What people are going to tell you all the time is you’re not being fair to Israel,” he said. “You’re not being balanced.” There is not a symmetry of power, Halper said, and as a result, there’s no reason for criticism to be balanced. “There’s only one occupying power,” he said. “The Palestinians are not occupying Tel Aviv.”

Halper’s advice on how to respond to efforts to defend Israeli policies as responses to security threats was particularly pointed.

“Say, ‘What about home demolitions?’ That will shut them up.” Advertisement

Halper’s commentary fit right in with the agenda of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the PC(USA), which sponsored the luncheon at which he was speaking. The luncheon was one of a number of events organized by the IPMN that assailed the legitimacy of the Jewish state during the PC(USA)’s 2010 General Assembly. Other events on the IPMN’s roster at the WPC included a review of Alan Hart’s recent book, Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews, a review of The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand and personal testimony by Linda Ramsden, whose talk was titled “My Journey Away from Christian Zionism.”

Two days later, Halper testified in favor of an overture submitted to the PC(USA)’s General Assembly declaring Israel guilty of the crime of apartheid. Speaking before the committee charged with dealing with peacemaking overtures related to the Middle East, Halper argued that the PC(USA) should affirm the resolution to help “prevent the establishment of new apartheid regime in the world.”

During his testimony, Halper asked rhetorically what it was about South Africa’s apartheid regime that mobilized activists all over the world. “How did that affect us here in Minneapolis or in the United States or anywhere else?” He continued:

Because if you have a state based on racism that’s in our international family, it sullies all of us. This was a global issue, apartheid. It had to do with global morality, global politics and so we all spoke out against it. It’s the same in the case of Israel. Israel is a global issue. The Israel-Palestine conflict is as General Petraeus says, compromising American interests, but more than that, the South Africans mobilized the churches all over the world.

The churches are the moral voice. If the churches go away, if the churches simply go on with business as usual while apartheid regimes are established in front of our eyes, then where are we? So there’s a special responsibility of churches.

Israel is establishing an apartheid regime. There is no more occupation. The occupation has become a permanent bi-national reality and I ask you all to speak out while we can against a new apartheid.

With these utterances, Halper portrays Israel, out of all the countries in the Middle East, as uniquely worthy of contempt and criticism and Christian churches. In Halper’s worldview, Israel, which has regular elections and grants ethnic and religious minorities the right to vote and participate in governance, is condemned while truly racist regimes that murder their political opponents are ignored.

As harsh and unreasonable as this testimony is, he has said worse to other groups. Speaking at a Sabeel Conference held at Boston’s Old South Church in 2007, Halper suggested Israeli officials were contemplating a “final solution” in regards to the Palestinians. He told the audience that Israeli leaders “don’t believe that peace is possible” and that “the Israeli government has done the same thing that the Bush administration is trying to do – mystify the conflict, to depoliticize it so that there’s no solution – the problem is them. And if the problem is them, then of course to put it in very harsh terms then of course the only solution the final solution.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/anti-zionist-christians-use-jewish-voices-to-defame-israel/2010/08/25/

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