Well, pro-Israel Christians have not allowed the demonisers to have it all their own way.
In the course of a spirited challenge to Greenbelt's organisers, one made the following points:
'Israel can only be seen to be being unjust if it has violated historical land ownership rights in the region.
Land bought by Jewish settlers in the 1880’s and onwards was bought from the absentee Turkish landlords, who were eager for funds. The land that was initially settled was uncultivated, swampy, cheap and empty land. It was only later that cultivated land was bought. In his memoirs, King Abdullah of Jordan wrote, “…the Arabs are as prodigal in selling their land as they are in useless wailing and weeping”. Therefore, up until 1948, when the State of Israel was formed, no land was seized or acquired in any way other than through legal means.
....Did you know that there has never been a sovereign Palestinian state and a people group who regard themselves as Palestinians from the point of view of the Arab people groups! In fact, when the first congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in 1919 the agreement was that “we consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria.” The only people who considered themselves ‘Palestinians’ in the first half of the 20th century were the Jewish inhabitants. Even the Jewish national newspaper was called ‘The Palestinian Post’!
[W]ill you tell people at Greenbelt this aspect of the historical facts?
.... Did you know there are 2 historical refugee problems but they have been handled differently?
The 820,000 Jewish refugees who were forcibly ejected from Arab countries where they had often lived for thousands of years were all welcomed and integrated into Israel or the Jewish world elsewhere. There are no Jewish refugee camps.
The 750,000 Arab refugees who were displaced in 1948, were placed into squalid refugee camps by fellow Arabs who had just gone to war as the aggressors (and lost) on their behalf but were unwilling to pay for the consequences. Jesus said the following words in Luke 14:28-30 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, this man began to build, and was not able to finish.” Incredibly, over 50 years later, over a million of these poor people are still in these camps, despite billions of dollars of relief paid by rich Arab states, the U.N.,the E.U. and others. Where on earth has all the money gone? Why on earth are they still in camps and not integrated into Arab society by the oil rich nations that aggressed Israel one day after it was inaugurated as a sovereign state, an act sanctioned by the United Nations? And yet, Israel is the nation left to carry the can!
....Is it reasonable for Israel to concede land by the so called “Palestinians”?
.... [I]s it really reasonable of us here in the U.K. to expect the Jews to re-assimilate a group of people who are driven by a mindset that can be summed up by the work of Yasser Arafat who was dubiously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. I quote the following which is not an exhaustive account of his statements.
Yasser Arafat in 1970 said (Washington Post March 19, 1970)
The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromise.
El Mundo, of Caracas, Venzuela reports Arafat as saying (Feb 11, 1980)
Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations. Since Jan. 1965, when Fatah was born, we have become the most dangerous enemy that Israel has...We shall not rest until the day when we return to our home, and until we destroy Israel.
On September 13, 1995 - the same day that the peace agreement ceremony was held in Washington D.C., Yasser Arafat spoke on Jordan Television:
Since we cannot defeat Israel in war we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there,and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.
The late King Hussein was fond of describing Arafat as a man:
Who never comes to a bridge he can’t double cross.
U.S. News and World Report quoted Arafat as saying (May 1 1989 p78)
I am not seeking the peace of compromise, but the peace of Saladin.
With this mindset running the PLO, you would have to be a nutcase to concede land to a people grouping hell bent on destroying you! This is the same spirit that rose against Israel in 1948 which again was formally recognized and sanctioned by the United Nations.
[W]ill you tell people at Greenbelt this aspect of the historical facts?
.... It is true that Israel ‘occupies’ the land since gaining it as a result of the Six Day War in 1967, but who did they occupy it from? Well believe it or not, the West bank was illegally seized by Jordan after 1948. After doing so, they made it an area forbidden to Jews. Can you imagine the fuss there would be if Israel adopted this same attitude with Arab settlers?
So who did Jordan take the West bank from? Before 1948, the West Bank was a parcel of land administered by the British as part of the British Mandate. It didn’t belong to them, they were just caretakers. Before that, the West Bank, called Judea & Samaria by the Jews was just the eastern part of Palestine, occupied by whoever happened to live there, Jew or Arab! In reality, the West Bank has not legally ever belonged to any State in modern history. So when Jewish settlers make their homes there, they are doing so on land that has been legally bought, not seized from anyone else, whether a State or individuals.'
|"Occupation!" is the name of the game|
'.... Nothing impresses a point on adolescent minds quite so readily as acting it out, something which Jeremy Mood[e]y, CEO of EmbraceME, will be well aware.
Greenbelt possibly have some way to go to ascend to the dizzy heights of Norwegian-style leftist anti-semitism.
But just imagine someone from Fatah sharing a stage next year with Peter Tatchell and calling for liberation for gay Palestinians.
Come on Greenbelt, how inclusive would that be?'And another has issued a lengthy critique of the Kairos Document which is so dear to the heart of the Israel-demonisers working the Greenbelt crowd.
This is the stuff he gave the troops:
"During the years which preceded the Second World War Political and Religious meetings were being held throughout Europe during which Jews were condemned as a danger to society. Little was done by Christians to stop this teaching which incited the hatred which enabled the mass murder of men women and children to take place. Ordinary men who before the war were upright members of the community joined such units as Battalion 101 who were reservist Police officers and who became the most violent killers in history. Within five short years those men in that battalion, who numbered less than 500, originally defenders of communities, became the murderers of 83,000 Jews. They, who had families of their own, stripped and shot women and children at point blank range and the local Clergy watched. This happened for many reasons but one reason was that people were afraid to do anything to oppose such violence. If you were caught helping Jews you would be arrested and taken to the murder camps or executed on the spot, as were your family.
On Sunday the 25th of August the Greenbelt Christian Youth Summer Camp being held at Cheltenham Racecourse will host Reverend Lucy Winkett the Chair of the Amos Trust who will launch, on behalf of the trust, the Kairos Britain network of Churches. This network, which is also being launched in other countries around the world is targeting Israel as an oppressive unjust and racist nation who give no rights to the Palestinians. They condemn Israel and call out for Justice for Palestinians but they ignore the rights of Israel to defend herself and to live on land rightfully her own. They call for what they describe as an end to oppression and injustice by Israel but refuse to address the oppression of Christians in Gaza or the removal of Human rights of women and young men or the summary executions in HAMAS governed areas. They don’t condemn the firing of 29,000 rockets which have been fired at Israeli communities since 2000 or the suicide bombings which are now being prevented by the security fence. They don’t address the increasing teaching of hatred in Palestinian Arab schools. I could go on but I think I have made my point. [Emphasis added here and below]
Greenbelt are also hosting a number of other speakers who are anti-Israel, one of whom Mark Braverman who calls Zionism Racism. This conference attended by the big names in Christianity such as Graham Kendrick and Steve Chalk are inciting our youth to hate in the same way as European Church leaders did in the years preceding the Holocaust. This incitement is no less subtle and neither is it in any way less dangerous.
We are conditioned to believe that by attending a conference or a meeting held by a pro-Israel speaker and giving our money to support such ministries that we are doing all we can to help Israel. We are conditioned because this is how it has always been done and we go home satisfied that we have done the work that God has called us to do. We have actually become by-standers even by-sitters unless we put the knowledge we gain from such meetings into real action. Why aren’t we rallying at Greenbelt or New Wine or any anti-Israel meetings? Why aren’t we gathering together to pray at such events and show these groups that their teaching is heretical and inciting hatred.
The first part of the definition of Hate Speech is “Speech which generates fear on the part of an individual or group” I believe the Jewish community here in the UK are not as much fearful of the anti-Israel meetings as they are of the apathy within Christendom which allows these meetings to take place without a challenge.
I have written to the BBC who will hold their Radio 2 good morning Sunday programme at Greenbelt when this network is launched to point out that we will be attending because there is another side to the story, but they have not replied. I know the Jewish community have asked Greenbelt to allow them a speaker but that has been denied.
As you know Fathers House/Christians for Zion is taking a bus from North Wales to the Greenbelt event on 25th but I am only aware of one other group who is joining us and that is a car full of passionate believers from Northamptonshire. I am however aware that if there is a Charismatic speaker at a conference in London or Manchester the meeting will be full. Why is this the case, it easier to sit in a conference and enjoy the meeting and do nothing except listen. Is it also because Greenbelt are launching this on a Sunday and all the Israel supporters will be in Church on a Sunday and unable to attend? Is it because it is too far? Is it because it takes us out of our comfort zone? If so then we have become bystanders/by-sitters.
The launch of the Kairos Britain Network a week on Sunday will, I am sure, see many Churches join but few if any in the conference will oppose it. Britain can only boast of 13 who are considered Righteous Amongst the Nations (those who rescued Jews during the War) compared with such as 4,767 in the Netherlands and we in Britain did little to help Jews escape the terrors. I know God wants us to help the Jewish people, in fact Yeshua encourages us to do so in Mathew 25 when He says, and you visited me in prison, clothed, fed and helped me because you did it for one of these my family.
Ezekiel 36 makes it very clear that God is gathering the Jews back to the land He promised them, not for their sake, the scripture points out, but for His Holy name. Greenbelt and their speakers are denying Gods Holy name and the people within our Nation are being blinded by such organisations from seeing God in action and being faithful to all His promises.
Please, please, whatever you are doing on Sunday 25th August, join us at the Greenbelt meeting, write to BBC radio 2 tell your friends pass on this plea and become rescuers not bysitters....'On his rallying call, echoed by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and Christian Friends of Israel, over 100 practising Christians from various parts of the UK travelled to Cheltenham to demonstrate support for the Jewish State being so grotesquely maligned there.
Wrote Mike Fryer regarding his counter-attack on the Greenbelt shenanegans:
'I am so blessed by the response to the call for prayer and a show of support from the Christian community at the Greenbelt Festival on Sunday. There is a full coach travelling from Fathers House in North Wales and believers from all over the country are making their way to the main entrance of Cheltenham Racecourse for 11am on Sunday to meet together, pray and show our deep concern for the stance Greenbelt have taken. The call for a gathering at Greenbelt has been supported by ICEJ, CFI and so many other ministries, such in the concern.
Your prayers have been answered because we are meeting with a senior representative of Greenbelt at 12 noon and I am sure he will be impacted by the numbers.
Many of us have written to the BBC who are broadcasting from Greenbelt on Sunday. Today I spoke to the producer of BBC 2 “Goodmorning Sunday” and she has assured me that none of the Greenbelt anti-Israel content will be addressed on the programme. They will be focusing on the music at the event. So praise God that He has heard your prayers.
I look forward to seeing you all at the main entrance of Cheltenham Racecourse the venue for the event at 11am on Sunday.'Amanda Ruth Thomas takes up the story:
'Sheffield-born Business Administrator Marie Reaney, expressed the sentiment of the 50-strong group from Mike’s own ‘Father’s House Sabbath Congregation’:
“If Israel is smashed up, we go down with her. We’re grafted in; we have no choice.”
Other supporters travelled independently, some making long journeys by car or by train.
“We are here to support Israel, to support the Lord of Israel, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, and to help to open the hearts of others who have been deceived.”
Greenbelt Creative Director, Paul Northup, did not accept the need for Greenbelt to host a pro-Israel speaker next year, at Pastor Fryer’s request. However he said he was “impressed” with the co-ordination of the pro-Israel group, and the way in which they carried out their demonstration.
During the course of the day the group, holding Israeli flags and home-made banners, prayed together, read out scriptural promises for Israel, and spoke to some of the Greenbelt delegates and organisers.
Ms Reaney was exasperated but undeterred after one conversation with someone who said he had grown up in a Palestinian refugee camp. “He asked me, ‘How can Israel be a democracy?’” she said. “’Well it’s not Israel’s fault,’ I told him. ‘It’s the fault of the Palestinian leadership!’ It’s like us [Brits] blaming Spain!”
Len Grates, Director of Development at the ICEJ-UK, addressed the Israel supporters:
“Although we are here to stand with Israel and the Jewish people, more importantly we are here to stand with God, for His name, nature and His word” he said. “It’s in your hands and my hands how God will decide to judge our nation.”
Steven Jaffe who is consultant to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, called Pastor Fryer to express the gratitude of many members of the Jewish community for the stand made against demonisation and bias against Israel at the festival. Steven echoed the sentiment of Mr Grates, saying:
“You are fighting for the soul of the Church.”'