The Bethlehem Bible College held its second international ‘Christ at the Checkpoint‘ conference in Bethlehem from March 5-9, 2012. The conference provided a forum for local and international Christians to examine the current situation in the Holy Land in light of biblical texts and principles and a context for Christians who take the Bible seriously to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation.
What made the conference problematic to the Israel-Firsters in Israel and the US – is that it was attended by some of hardcore evangelists (Zionist Christians). According to the conference website, “the conference exceeded all expectations“.
The B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem has condemned the conference for seeking to move Christian support from Israel to Palestinian while demonizing and delegitimizing the Zionist entity and the its narrative of Jewish history.
The leaders of American Messianic Jewish community have also slammed the 600 Zionist Christians from around the world who participated in the conference.
“The Messianic Jewish community has noted the growing opposition to Zionism and the state of Israel within some elements of the Evangelical Christian world. Such opposition ignores the profound and ancient connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and the modern history of the founding of the state of Israel. Equally troubling, this opposition is often linked to a resurgent supersessionism, the doctrine that the church replaces Israel as God’s covenant partner. This theology, which has led historically to anti-Semitism and the tragic oppression of the Jewish people, appears to permeate this entire conference,” said Paul Liberman, President Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.
Hatred of Islam and Muslims within the evangelical movement is well documented. A survey published last year by the Pew Center Forum on Public Life indicated that 67 percent of more than 2,200 evangelical leaders surveyed expressed an unfavorable view of Islam and that 47 percent considered Islam to be a major threat to Christianity. I bet these bigots don’t know that it’s Jews who curse Christ and his mother Mary – while Muslims praise Christ as a prophet of Allah and Mary a Saint.
The opening session of the conference was addressed by the West Bank prime minister, Salam Fayyad and Mayor of Bethlehem Victor Batarseh. Both speakers talked about the importance of non-violent resistance and need to support peace between Jews and Native Muslims and Christians.
The 600 evangelists at the conference included Barack Obama’s spiritual adviser, Rev. Joel Hunter – Tony Campollo, Ron Sider, Lynne Hybels, Pastor Stephen Sizer (UK), community leader Shahen Claiborne, Messianic leader Wayne Hilsden, Asian reverend Sang-Bok David Kim, Colin Chapman (UK) and Gary Burge from Wheaton College near Chicago. A prominent absentee from the conference was Rev. Naim Ateek, local director of Sabeel Center. Watch a video of 2007 Sabeel conference in Boston featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Rev. Rev. Naim Ateek below.
Hundreds of Christian Zionists travel to the West Bank each year on their expense and work as slaves (unpaid workers) at illegal Jewish settlements for few weeks to receive their Salvation. Zionist Christians’ love for Jews is best described by a Moscow-based American Jewish editor of EXILE in 2004 – entitled, ‘Save a Jew, Save Yourself! ’.
“Whatever you (Jews) do, do not invite the Christian Zionist into your house. Because as much as he claims to love you and all of your fellow tribesmen, it’s a different kind of love than you might expect. More like the love that the Manson Family had for Sharon Tate and her party guests.
Ned and about 65 million other fellow American Evangelical cultists love Jews for one simple reason: They hope to bundle every hairy Jewish ass up, air-freight them to the West Bank and East Jerusalem (once those areas have been cleansed of Muslims), and use the Jews as bait to bring upon the Rapture, as kindling in the Apocalypse, the final battle that will bring Jesus back to Earth. None of this can happen until every last Jew is penned into the occupied territories–and the Jews won’t get there unless the far-right runs Israel and America. Currently 65 million American cultists are using everything in their power, from prayer to politics, to make this Helter Skelter scenario come true.”