30 June 2016   Disappointing deal - By: George S. Hishmeh

30 June 2016   Promoting enlightenment - By: Daoud Kuttab


26 June 2016   Brexit and the diseased liberal mind - By: Jonathan Cook

24 June 2016   Uri Avnery: The Second Coming? - By: Uri Avnery

23 June 2016   Who will twist Israel's arm? - By: George S. Hishmeh

23 June 2016   Abbas in Amman back to the routine - By: Daoud Kuttab


21 June 2016   Israel’s fear of the ‘desert' Jews in its midst - By: Jonathan Cook

17 June 2016   Uri Avnery: Petty Corruption - By: Uri Avnery

16 June 2016   Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist? - By: Sam Ben-Meir

16 June 2016   Comments prompted by attack - By: George S. Hishmeh

14 June 2016   Gaza: Resistance Through Poetry - By: Ramzy Baroud










5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)





8 March 2012

Christ at the Checkpoint challenges Christian Zionism

By: Daoud Kuttab
print     send by email

For the second year running a unique event took place in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem this week. Christian evangelicals that many consider as most ardent supporters for Israel (often more so than many Israelis) were guests of a Palestinian Christian gathering.

The “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference, sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College, hosted over 600 evangelicals from around the world, but primarily from the US. Among the leading evangelicals attending this Palestinian-sponsored event were Rev. Joel Hunter, the spiritual adviser to US President Barack Obama, theologian Tony Compello, social activists Ron Sider and Lyn Hybes, British pastor Stephen Siezer, community leader Shahen Claiborne, Messianic leader Wayne Hilsden and Asian reverend Sang-Bok David Kim.

Before it opened at the Jacir Palace InterContinental Hotel, the conference (both organisers and guests) was the subject of multi-pronged attacks. Speakers were pressured not to attend with hundreds of e-mails and phone calls, with accusations that by participating they are giving legitimacy to an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic gathering.

Two rabbis who work on interfaith issues at the Wiesenthal Centre scathingly attacked the conference as potentially shaking up the foundations of the most effective supporters to Israel. Writing in The Jerusalem Post, rabbis Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein said that the conference is “taking dead aim at Israel’s single largest and most reliable supporter: Tens of millions of evangelical Christians who have stood with the Jewish state since day one.”

They concluded that if the conference achieves even some of its aims, “the consequences will be disastrous for Israel and world Jewry”.

Those articles and more produced a level of intellectual terrorism not known within Christian circles that believe in dialogue amongst fellow believers.

Perhaps the hardest hit group were Christian leaders of Jewish origin. Messianic Jews intending to attend were severely targeted and accused of giving legitimacy to an anti-Israel event. They came nevertheless and said that they felt welcomed and respected.

The conference was not an anti-Israel event by any means. Its power derived more from challenging some current theological interpretations than from being a political discourse.

Most of the sessions included debates over rather complicated terminology (for example, of strict dispensationalism — a system of prophetic theology in which Israel is greatly featured as part of God’s will in the end times) or answers to questions (like do Palestinian Christians cause a problem to Christian Zionism, what is the biblical theology of the land, is the opposite of Christian Zionism replacement theology, how does theology affect policy).

Not that the conference ignored the Palestinian reality. Opening the conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Mayor of Bethlehem Victor Batarseh welcomed the international guests and impressed on the 600 international guests the Palestinians’ aspiration to live in freedom and peace alongside Israel. Fayyad talked about the importance of nonviolence and the need to support peace with justice.

The speakers were disarming. An olive branch was extended especially to Israeli messianic leaders and it seemed to produce an unusually warm atmosphere.

Besides attending the conference, most of the international guests were given alternative tours that including visits to various Palestinian communities affected by the Israeli occupation, including families whose land is off-limits because of the Israeli wall and Christian Palestinian families who are suffering because of the continued Israeli occupation.

Most of the participants who attended the conference appeared to have reached the conclusion that it is unacceptable to mix theology with politics and to try to use some isolated texts from the Bible to justify Israeli actions. But what the conference seems to have done is to strengthen and sharpen various arguments that debunk the myths that many consider is the stereotypical position of Christian evangelicals.

In addition to theological discussions, the conference gave participants a unique perspective on Palestine and Palestinian Christians. To many evangelicals, the conference provided a powerful human aspect that makes it impossible for them to continue to divorce some interpretations of Christian theology from their effect on real people, in fact on people who share similar biblical beliefs.

Hardcore evangelicals, televangelists and generally Christian Zionists will undoubtedly continue exhibiting clear bias vis-à-vis Palestinians and be in favour of some messianic solution to the conflict, that does not include any Palestinian, whether Christian or Muslim. However, the ability to deny the suffering and to claim that “we didn’t know” is becoming increasingly more difficult.

The “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference was streamed live and participants will no doubt return to their churches in the West with a different message: that to have peace is to have justice and that peace and justice are the cornerstone of the Christian faith, irrespective of the theological spin Christian Zionists have tried to put on it.

* A Palestinian columnist based in Amman, Jordan. - dkuttab@ammannet.net



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

1 تموز 2016   هذا النوع من الانفلات الدامي..! - بقلم: حمدي فراج

1 تموز 2016   يا لمفارقات التاريخ..! - بقلم: د. سليم نزال

30 حزيران 2016   يطالبون بجثث قتلاهم ولا يسلموا جثامين أبنائنا..! - بقلم: المحامي إبراهيم شعبان

30 حزيران 2016   تركيا: "فلسطين يوك.. اسرائيل يس"..! - بقلم: جواد بولس

30 حزيران 2016   الشجارات.. توجع الضفة وتفرح الاحتلال..! - بقلم: خالد معالي


30 حزيران 2016   مشكلة فهم معنى الحوار مع "الآخر"..! - بقلم: صبحي غندور

29 حزيران 2016   لحظات ما قبل العاصفة: إما الربيع وإما الفوضى..! - بقلم: مجدي أبو زيد

29 حزيران 2016   سبعة آلاف مائدة افطار ناقصة..! - بقلم: عيسى قراقع

29 حزيران 2016   يوميات مواطن عادي (53): أي انتخابات محلية نريد؟ - بقلم: نبيل دويكات

29 حزيران 2016   القيس واليمن والمعاوية: تاريخ أم ملامحم؟ - بقلم: ناجح شاهين

29 حزيران 2016   الاتفاق سيسرع صفقة الأسرى..! - بقلم: خالد معالي


29 حزيران 2016   إذ ترعى إسرائيل القانون الدولي..! - بقلم: علي جرادات

29 حزيران 2016   حلفاؤنا لن يكونوا إلا العرب وما أصعبهم..! - بقلم: حكم عبد الهادي





1 حزيران 2016   أم جهاد: تماسك أخلاقي في مواجهة أعباء النكبة - بقلم: بسام الكعبي








27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


15 أيار 2016   خطابنا الثقافي .. في يوم النكبة - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه


2 نيسان 2016   في حضرة مدام X..!! - بقلم: توفيق الحاج


27 اّذار 2016   دُموعُ الفرحِ..!! - بقلم: د. عبد الرحيم جاموس


8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2016- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية