Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organisers share platform with Holocaust denier

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.vop4

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.

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Paper at Christ at the Checkpoint 2010: Netanyahu has no Jewish blood

Here is Palestinian Lutheran priest Mitri Raheb speaking at Christ in the Checkpoint 2010:

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.

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Paper at Christ at the Checkpoint 2010: Jews behaving like they did in Mohammed’s day

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.

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Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organiser: “People admired Shehadeh’s ability to stand up to the Israelis”

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:

The victims of the Mercaz...

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.

When Shehadeh was assassinated, Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organiser Sami Awad said:

‘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.

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Holy Land Trust employee: antisemites are working for peace and justice

This is Gary Spedding:

Spedding heads up the Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University in Belfast. He also works for the Holy Land Trust charity, whose founder Sami Awad likes to defend and spend time with antisemites.

Sami Awad is an organiser of the controversial Christ at the Checkpoint conference.

Spedding writes, in response to my article on Awad:

What is so funny about this blog is that it holds zero truth to it and uses a fanatical attempt at discrediting three men who work for justice and peace with zero evidence.

Zero evidence that Awad likes to hang around with antisemitic priest Atallah Hanna, of course:

How is Atallah Hanna or Raed Salah committed to “peace” or “justice”?

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Protestant Church in the Netherlands: “We see no point in a public boycott of a country”

In May, following a meeting with leading members of the Jewish community, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands produced this statement:

Jews and Christians share the scriptures of the First Testament. Christians do not replace the Jews in the Salvation history of God with mankind. The bond God made with the Jewish people has not been suspended; in Christ, Christians of all nations share in the blessing of the God of Abraham. The bond means that replacement theology is being rejected, and that the Protestant Church will always declare herself against antisemitism.

In the self-understanding of the Jewish people land and state of Israel play an important part. For the Jewish people, the Holy Land is also the Promised Land. The Protestant Church acknowledges the right of the Jewish people to live safely in the land of Israel. The present state of Israel has a starting point of international law, which is also entirely, and gratefully acknowledged by the Protestant Church. Wherever the continued existence of the state of Israel is on the line or is denied or where the fundamental safety of the inhabitants is an issue, the Protestant Church feels herself to be called upon to speak out against this and to talk to her partners about this. The sense of insecurity Jews in the Netherlands often experience, shows a parallel to the concern regarding the safety of the state of Israel in the region, and indeed in the global community.

On the other hand, the Protestant Church is aware of the appeal of the Palestinian Christians and is called upon to be critical towards the actions of the state of Israel where the rights of Palestinians are concerned. The disunity which is sometimes experienced in this remains undiminished. Standing for the rights of the Palestinians is no abatement from the emphasis on the safety of the state of Israel and vice versa.

Pajamas Media has since reported:

Then a group of clerics and members from the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) organized a petition demanding an end to ties between the Protestant NGO Kerk in Actie and Sabeel after it was shown that officials of Kerk in Actie collaborated with Sabeel — an Arab-Christian group — in propagating blatant lies about Israel.

Although the petition was unsuccessful in separating Sabeel from the PKN, the PKN still considering Sabeel to be a voice of the Palestinian Christian people, the PKN nevertheless said this:

The Protestant Church does not support the aims of the flotilla. We think this is counterproductive. We see no point in a public boycott of a country.This disqualify a nation as a whole. That should not be in the case of Israel and not in the case of Gaza.

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Ben White, the riot clean-ups and “broadly white” “popular fascism”

Ben White is a journalist and poet who writes things like:

I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.

He likes to write about “resistance” in the Middle East – particularly in Palestine – and thinks violent resistance and non-violent resistance are“two sides of the same coin”.

Here he is tweeting about the London riots:

The article he links to is written by Dr. Sofia Himmelblau. She claims:

By the symbolic cleaning, cleansing and casting out of the rioters from the community, the sweepers appear to enact the closest thing to popular fascism that we have seen on the streets of certain ‘leafy’ bits of London for years.

The idea that people cleaning up after riots, are like fascists in any way, is obviously absurd. Moreover, when you’re thinking around the subject of fascism, Ben White isn’t the best person to trust. White recommends the writing of a Holocaust denier, in his book about the Middle East.

In the article that White thinks is “brilliant”, Dr Himmelblau claims that:

The strikingly middle-class, broadly white efforts to sweep issues of inequality under the carpet of a simulated big-society photo-op has been a telling, if little discussed, aspect of the recent rioting, making little headway in the scramble of blogposts and tweets attempting hasty analyses of the unfolding turmoil.

To illustrate her point about these “broadly white”, Oswald Mosley-type fascists, Himmelblau posts this image:

But what’s this?

Blabber Drive has uncovered something interesting!

Click the image below, to enlarge it:

It seems that Dr. Himmelblau edited out black people from her image, so she could portray the riot clean up as “broadly white”. She thinks this point strengthens her argument about the riots being close to “popular fascism”.

This is the kind of racist trash that Ben White swallows as serious political analysis.

Sorry Ben, stick to the poetry mate.

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Islamic Republic and Peter Rushton

Important post from Potkin, an Iranian liberal blogger, about further connections between the neo-Nazi Far Right and Iran’s Press TV – this time concerning the white supremacist Peter Rushton.

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Sami Awad on nutty priests and Swastika-lovers

This is Sami Awad a BDS activist, who heads up the Holy Land Trust:

Awad talks about “nonviolent” resistance, but he’s not too hung up on the point, saying:

Our goal is to involve all people in the popular resistance. I call for every person to ask themselves each day when they wake up what they can do that day to resist the occupation, whether it is coming up with a new slogan or music, writing something, it doesn’t matter what. What does matter, what is crucially important, is that all people are engaged in this popular struggle.

This is not a substitute for the armed struggle. This is not a method for normalization with the occupation. Our goal is to revive the popular resistance until every person is involved in dismantling the occupation.”

Awad will be talking at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference 2012, alongside various Christian antizionists who have been associated with terrorists, and recommend the writings of Holocaust deniers.

Ben White has been pushing this conference on the Methodist blog Connexions.

Sami Awad presents himself as a moderate, but he is not quite so moderate as he appears.

Certainly Awad doesn’t help his own credibility much, by hosting the crazy antizionist Greek Orthodox priest Atallah Hanna at the Holy Land Trust:

 

According to reports in  popular evangelical magazine Christianity Today, Atallah Hanna supports suicide bombings – a position that drew outrage from the paper. Hanna apparently said this:

As you know, political parties in Palestine agree to the continuation of the intifada, which includes different approaches of struggle. Some freedom fighters adopt martyrdom or suicide bombing, while others opt for other measures. But all these struggles serve the continued intifada for freedom. Therefore, we support all these causes.

[…]

We are part of the intifada, so you don’t expect us to keep distance and watch. We are in the struggle, whether it’s martyrdom or any other means, we are part of it.

Hanna has since denied these things, although mpac-UK report he has. Here you can see Hanna ranting about “Satanic” and diabolical Zionism, and promising that Palestine will be free “from the river to the sea”:

Both Sami Awad (RTing Sizer) and Atallah Hanna have been defending theantisemite and Swastika fan Raed Salah, in public.

I hope other speakers at Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 will challenge Awad on his ties to Hanna and his defence of Salah, which ought to cause great concern about his ministry.

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Sami Awad compares Palestinian terrorists with Jesus, and Israel with Herod

Sami Awad, writing in Independent Catholic News:

 Troops who passed the Holy family in vigour entering Bethlehem from all corners in order to search for and kill the potential baby ‘terrorist’ who was some day to lead a revolt against oppression, become King and put an end to the reign of Herod. I was not able to take this story out of my mind as we were driving on dirt roads around Bethlehem and Beit Jala trying to leave Bethlehem slowly in a car with big TV letters (Press) taped to it, passing by big Israeli army tanks and army personnel carriers each pointing their guns at us. Israeli army troops were being brought from all corners into Bethlehem like Herod’s soldiers. Herod had lied to the Wise Men when he said that he wanted to find the baby Prince of Peace in order to honour him. Sharon lies to the world when he says that he wants to enter Bethlehem (and other Palestinian cities) in order to bring peace to the Palestinians and Israelis by rooting out “terrorist” cells and destroying them.

 

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