Watch from 03:50:
Naim Ateek gave recommendations to the Christ at the Checkpoint 2010 conference.
Watch from 03:50:
Naim Ateek gave recommendations to the Christ at the Checkpoint 2010 conference.
Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 is hosting many well-known Christian speakers, including several Palestinians and a couple of Messianic Jews. One invite that I find particularly odd, is the invite given to Ben White.
As far as I know, Ben White is not theologically trained. Neither is he a pastor, but simply a one-issue campaigner who occasionally aligns his work with nominally-Christian organisations.
How does Ben White understand the role of Palestinian Christians, in Palestine?
A few years back, Ben White wrote an article in the Al Aqsa journal (edited by Islamist antisemite Ismail Patel, who shares with Ben White an apparent admiration for French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy), entitled ‘Palestinian-Christian/Muslim Relations: Myths, Propaganda and Realities.’
What is most interesting is that White frames Muslim-Christian co-operation amongst Palestinians by focusing on their response to Zionism, writing:
‘I will look at how Christian and Muslim Palestinians have traditionally lived and worked alongside each other, with a focus on their united front against the Zionist movement.’
White informs readers that:
‘From the Arab Revolt in 1936, to the flourishing of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the mid-1960s, Christian Palestinians played a significant role in the resistance to Israel.’
White even quotes the founder of the Islamic Jihad movement as having said:
‘in our movement we accept the participation of our Christian brothers in our struggle without them having to change their religious beliefs.’
White, seeking to break down ‘Zionist propaganda’ that Palestinian Muslims persecute Palestinian Christians, even lays the blame with Israel for inter-Palestinian honour killings, writing:
‘Israel’s territorial fragmentation of Palestine has always threatened to affect Palestinian society on a wider-level and indeed, there are worrying signs that the “sociocide” being practised by Israel has gradually pressurized Palestinian society to breaking point. One such indication is the increase in so-called ‘honour killings’ in recent years, a phenomenon that has sometimes been presented as part of a Muslim-Christian conflict within Palestine.’
The impression gained by these articles is that Ben White defines his form of Christianity as a response to Zionism.
Ben White’s equation appears to go like this:
The legitimate Palestinian credentials of Palestinian Christians can be judged by their participation in ‘resistance’ against Zionism.
We see here how Ben White encouages Palestinian Christians to be authentically Palestinian.by showing ‘resistance’ against Zionism. Resistance which means, in practise, killing Israeli Jews. By contrast, consider what White has to say about Palestinians who pursue peace with Israel, ie. those who have given up on “resistance”.
All of which raises a disturbing question:
If this is how Ben White envisages the role of a Palestinian Christian, then why did the Bethlehem Bible College invite him to Christ at the Checkpoint?
Alex Awad is on the organising committee the Christ at the Checkpoint 2012.
This is what he says about Israelis:
I knock at the doors of God’s mercy and pray because Pharaoh, the messiah of modern Israel, is hardening his heart and the leaders of the Western world are clasping their hands in his bloody hands.
Remember, Pharaoh is the enemy of the Jewish people, as remembered at Passover every year.
Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organiser Alex Awad has a track record of preaching anti-Zionism around the world. Most notoriously, in May 2008, Awad attended the Voice of Palestine 60th Nakba Conference hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Here is a picture of Awad (far-right) with Holocaust denier Fred Tobin (second-from-left):
You can read conference-attendee and Holocaust-denier Fred Tobin’s account of events in Jakarta here. You can see the aims of the Voice Of Palestine conference here. According to Tobin’s report, Awad advocated a one-state solution, as did others at the event.
Also in attendance was Ayatollah Khomeini’s daughter Zahra Mostafavi from Iran, who has previously urged children to become suicide bombers. Fellow Checkpoint 2012organiser Stephen Sizer also spoke at this conference.
You can see a list of speakers, including representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah, here. You can see photos of Awad at the conference here and here alongside, among others, Neturei Karta Jews Dovid Weiss and Aharon Cohen.
According to the Voice of Palestine website, Awad was representing the Bethlehem Bible College at this event.
The website Kesher Talk has previously highlighted the controversy surrounding Bethlehem Bible College and the Awad family, and cites Alex Awad and brother Bishara (himself President of the college) as having said:
“Palestinian Christians view Israel, and not Arafat, as the problem.”
And here for more about the Awad family’s views on Arafat.
It is worth noting that Alex Awad blames Israel for suicide bombings, and claims:
“When we fight for a piece of land, we use religion to rally people, to excite people to build zeal among the people so they will help accomplish a goal. Religion is used in the conflict, but it’s about land. The Muslim is fighting the Jew because of what the Jew took by force.”
One blogger reviewing Alex Awad’s book Palestinian Memories wrote:
“While Alex Awad has no problem detailing many instances of injustice committed by Israelis against Christians, he completely denies that there are any injustices committed by Muslims. Alex Awad has allowed his hate of Israelis to affect biblical worldview.”
Awad’s writing is used approvingly by the Amos Trust, who were recently criticised in the press for manipulating Christmas to advance a political agenda. Awad himself frequently writes articles critical of Israel and Zionism.
Whilst the faculty at Bethlehem Bible College are busy asking questions of Israel, it seems they have a lot to answer to themselves.
Actually, Israel represents Rome of the Bible, not the people of the land. And this is not only because I’m a Palestinian. I’m sure if we were to do a DNA test between David, who was a Bethlehemite, and Jesus, born in Bethlehem, and Mitri, born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I’m sure the DNA will show that there is a trace. While, if you put King David, Jesus and Netanyahu, you will get nothing, becauseNetanyahu comes from an East European tribe who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. I said that I would be pushing a bit the envelope but so far you are surviving. I’m glad for that.And being born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I always loved to say that most probably one of my grand, grand, grand, grandmas used to babysit for Jesus.
It is a myth that Jews aren’t really Jews by blood, and it is absurd to suggest Palestinian Arabs have more common DNA with the Biblical Israelites than Israeli Jews today do.
So why does Raheb make this unsubstantiated claim?
I think we know why.
I wonder how the Messianic Jews attending Christ At The Checkpoint 2012 will respond to these outrageous claims. I hope they will respond assertively.
What is the value of this statement?
Anti-Zionist author Colin Chapman speaking in 2010, at Christ at the Checkpoint:
The early biographies of the Prophet show that he had a very difficult relationship with the three large Jewish tribes in Medina. He probably hoped and expected that they would recognize him as a prophet in the line of the OT prophets and was no doubt disappointed when they refused to recognize him and actively plotted against him, even siding with the pagan Meccans. Some of the harshest verses in the Qur‟an are directed towards the Jewish people; for example: „You will find the most hostile people to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists …‟ (3:64; cf 4:155; 5:64; 5:82-83). For centuries Jews and Christians lived relatively peacefully under Islamic rule throughout the Middle East and North Africa as dhimmis. But what seems to have happened is that the bad experience of Palestinian Muslims with Zionist immigrants after 1880 has reminded them of Muhammad‟s bad experience with the Jews of Medina, encouraging them to apply the harsh verses about Jews in the Qur‟an to Israeli Jews today. It must seem to Palestinian Muslims as if Jews of the modern period were simply repeating the hostile behaviour of Jews many centuries earlier towards the Prophet.
The yeshiva massacre of 2008 at Mercaz HaRav:
The 8:45 p.m. shooting at the yeshiva in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood broke a two-year lull in terror in the capital and sent students scurrying for cover from a hail of gunfire – a reported 500-600 bullets – that lasted for several minutes.
“There were horrendous screams of ‘Help us! Help us!'” recounted Avrahami Sheinberger of the ZAKA emergency rescue service, one of the first to respond to the scene. “There were bodies strewn all over the floor, at the entrance to the yeshiva, in various rooms and in the library.”
The teenage victims:
Arabs believe the act was planned by Mohamed Shehadeh:
IDF forces located and killed terrorist Muhammad Shehadeh and three other senior terrorists, aged 35 to 48, in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Bethlehem Wednesday.
Arab sources said Shehadeh was the mastermind behind the deadly terror attack on the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem a week ago. Israeli security officials flatly denied the claim.
‘People admired Shehadeh’s ability to stand up to the Israelis,’
Is planning the murder of teenagers, something that Sami Awad considers “standing up to the Israelis“?
Why does Awad not comment on the “peace” and “justice” of murdering eight teenagers, instead dwelling on how he was popularly “admired”?
I find it incredible, that Christian and Messianic leaders are willing to participate in the Christ at the Checkpoint conference, without a greater awareness of who is organising proceedings.