Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

"Israel Is The Home Of The Jewish People": Israeli Christian Arab Party Leader

"Delighted to see Christ at the Checkpoint is ruffling feathers among Zionists. Just wait for the Kairos Britain statement to be launched at Greenbelt. The article below is inflammatory but then they don't know any other way other than to prostitute language"

That, I'm told by reader P, is how anti-Christian Zionism crusader Stephen Sizer greeted in a Facebook message an article (in which he's mentioned) by American lawyer Joel Griffith which, far from being how the vicar describes, is in fact a model of straightforwardness and restraint.

"....Christ at the Checkpoint hosts a myriad of religious leaders at a biannual conference in the West Bank under the guise of promoting peace and spreading the gospel. Yet the conference keynote speakers, public pronouncements, and agenda betray the true agenda of these activists," points out Griffith.

"In 2010, the conference invited Naim Ateek, founder and head of Sabeel Center, to give a keynote presentation. Ateek was heavily involved in the first Christ at the Checkpoint conference. And the present director of Christ at the Checkpoint, Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, is a speaker at Sabeel’s upcoming 9th International Conference.
Beginning in 2005, the Sabeel Center took a leading role in encouraging churches to divest from Israel. In addition, Ateek engages in incendiary rhetoric against Israel. Consider his 2001 Easter message remarks:
"The suffering of Jesus Christ at the hands of evil political and religious powers two thousand years ago, is lived out again in Palestine…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. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily."
In a 2011 speech, Ateek stated, “The establishment of Israel was a relapse to the most primitive concepts of an exclusive, tribal God.” Even more jarring is an article written by Ateek which suggests that the Sampson of the Bible was a “suicide bomber.” The close relationship between Christ at the Checkpoint and Naim Ateek indicates an organization bereft of a fully functional moral compass.
Not to be outdone, in 2002, board member and conference organizer, Dr. Bishara Awad, notably defended Dr. Hanan Ashrawi as “very moderate” in an open letter published in Christianity Today. Dr. Ashwari served on the committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and as political director of the First Intifada. She also founded an organization, MIFTAH, which refers to Israel’s founding as Al Nakba (the Catastrophe). Her rhetoric and political alliances are hardly those befitting a moderate. 
Not only does the organization’s leadership maintain ties with radical political leaders, but the organization also aligns with theological sentiments far outside the evangelical mainstream. Stunningly, Christ at the Checkpoint apparently endorses a doctrine long since rejected by most evangelicals known as “replacement theology.” The manifesto states, “Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.” ....
Replacement theology taught that a “New Covenant” granted only to those who believe in Jesus replaces the former Abrahamic Covenant between the Jewish people and God. Mainstream Christianity has rejected the “replacement theology.” Yet Christ at the Checkpoint rushes to embrace it....
An organization truly intent on fostering peace would draw attention to the fact that Arab nations force Palestinian refugees to suffer through lifetimes of isolation by refusing to grant citizenship or economic opportunities. Or such an organization could work to counter the overt racism taught in Palestinian schools.
Instead, Christ at the Checkpoint erodes support for Israel and hinders lasting peace through its distortion of evangelical theology and by lending credibility to extremists...."
It's easy to forget, and pleasingly startling to be reminded, that despite the demonisation of Israel from such organisations as Christ at the Checkpoint and individuals like Sizer, there are Israeli Christians stolidly unaffected by their propaganda.
"Israel appears to be the only country in the region whose Christian community does not have a negative emigration ratio as its members flee West in pursuit of a more promising life. 
Recent newspaper headlines involve Christian Israelis who are setting themselves apart from their Muslim counterparts, disproving the traditional perception of Israel's Arab population as homogenous. They want to join the Israel Defense Forces.
Against the backdrop of hysteria expressed by Arab MKs who object to national service of any kind, but particularly in the army, the comments emanating from Israel's Christian Arab community sound like a cultural and social declaration of independence."
So states Israel Hayom, which continues:

"Now comes the next phase in the independence process: forming a political party. As of today, the Arab Christian party will be named Habrit Hahadashah ... 
This is a historic turning point with profound and far-reaching consequences for Israeli society. If the party is successful, it will provide an alternative for that sector of Israel's Arab population that seeks full partnership in Israeli society, and which sees a Jewish democratic Israel as its home."
The party's leader, Bashara Shlayan from Nazareth, explains inter alia:
"The entire thing started from the fact that I wanted to get my nephew into the army and there were difficulties, they really didn't want him to integrate. Today he is a major in a combat unit.
When I wanted my son to join the army we decided to create a forum for Christian enlistment.... 
We saw that we needed to create a political party. There were articles about us published in the Arab newspapers and it sparked interest throughout the region that there is an Arab Christian in Israel who recognizes the land of Israel as belonging to the Jews....
Firstly we are completely Israeli, and then comes religion....
People see what is happening now in Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. They understand where we are living. I tell them, 'For 65 years we have given to the Arab communist parties; 65 years and they have done nothing!' Give me three years, I will manage and solve their problems....
Look at what the Arab parties have done. Just talking nonsense about nothing but communism; [MK Dov] Khenin and [MK Mohammad] Barakeh (Hadash), what have they done for us? They want us to disappear and are not acting according to the integrity of their country's citizens....
At least in Israel, those who stayed here have been given the right to be a citizen and to integrate. But Israel's first demand, which I support -- and which needs to be understood -- is that Israel is the home of the Jewish people....
They [the Arab parties in Israel] think being against Israel is Arab nationalism, that it is the manly thing. But if you oppose this way of thinking, you are a traitor. This is what needs to be changed. It's stupidity. So I demand that we, the Christians, be recognized as loyal citizens of the state."
Read more here
Hat tip: TheAlmondRod blog


  1. There's also this article about an Arab Christian Woman who wants to join the IDF:
    Raghda Gracie from Nazareth Sttgnd of the next Wednesday: We are Christians and are proud of recruitment

    EoZ has the translation

    Also JNL

    1. Great stuff, Ian. Thanks as usual.