Turning the cheek, or twisting the knife?

Over at Harry’s Place and the Times of Israel a must read post from Kay Wilson.

Kay’s Times of Israel profile reads:

Kay Wilson is a British-born Israeli tour guide, jazz musician and cartoonist. She is the survivor of a brutal terror attack that occurred while she was guiding in December 2010. Since the attack, she is in a demand as a motivational speaker and also speaks to audiences on issues of human rights and justice for victims of terrorism. She is a lecturer for Global Justice Group and is registered at the Israel Speakers’ Agency.

Kay’s piece, entitled In the shadow of death, starts like this:

Bound, gagged and barefoot with machetes at our throats, we were pushed through the trees to the site of our execution. I whimpered, “Please don’t kill us.” One terrorist looked me in the eye, put his hand on his heart and declared, “I am good, I not kill.” I believed him. I did so because I subscribed to the delusion of reprieve, the hope that if we did what they say, we would be set free.

Throughout three years, where day has blurred into night, I have relived the horror again and again. I shudder to remember their deranged faces contorted by deluded, perverted, intoxicating power. I recall those unfathomable moments of helplessness, placating, pleading and promises of liberation, all meshed together in a concoction of sadistic terrorism.

A few months after the attack, I approached a certain “Christ At The Checkpoint,” (CATC) a Christian conference held in Bethlehem. I wanted the opportunity to speak and honour the memory of my murdered, Christian friend. The conference prides itself on being ecumenical and draws a mixed audience of western Christians and Palestinians. One protagonist of the conference is an Israeli Arab. I hoped that the seeming openness of the CATC towards Israelis coupled with the fact that Kristine was a Christian would grant me a platform. I was declined on the grounds, “there is no space” bizarrely concluding, “this is not what the Lord wants.”

I suspect that I was refused because the CATC manifesto does not allow a voice like mine to be heard. It calls only for partisan justice,“There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored.” This bias conveniently ignores Israel’s innocents, Israel’s murdered and Israel’s maimed.

It’s a variation on freedom of expression. We – say the people of CATC – are the Christians who are free to express ourselves by turning away (or turning the cheek) from Israel’s victims. Or should that be Jewish victims. Bear that in mind.

Kay continues:

The CATC manifesto also states, “All forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally.” However, they have no qualms about inviting violence into their room, by giving the platform to the likes of personalities from the PA, that hateful organisation which overtly sponsors terrorism. They also have no reservations in inviting Victor Batarseh, the Christian mayor of Bethlehem. Batarseh is a supporter of the savage, Marxist terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP’s armed division is the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, which has carried out many suicide bombings in Israel, murdering civilians.

There is hope, however, albeit marred by further church based bias.

For any self-respecting person, and especially for Israelis such as myself, the endorsement of terror by association, at a Christian conference, is obscene. Yet it is also a spurn for Palestinian Christians such as the Bethlehem Baptist minister, Naim Khoury. Khoury has been shot three times and his church has been bombed fourteen times because he advocates Zionism based on his understanding of the Bible. Khoury is too busy to care. He is exerting his energy pastoring a vibrant and unexpectedly, flourishing congregation, even though the PA has informed Khoury that his church now lacks the authority to function as a religious institution – announcing this decision the week following CATC. Unlike Khoury, a Christian minister who is always welcome at conference is the Reverend Stephen Sizer.

Sizer, an Anglican priest who oversees an English congregation, has been accused of anti-Semitism – a charge that he vigorously denies. The allegations arose in part due to links that he posted on his numerous blogs that directed people to anti-Semitic sites. Sizer, insistent that he “loves Jews” and “loves Israel,” agreed to remove the links, although he still has photos of himself standing alongside those who advocate the murder of the very Jews and Israelis whom he loves; people such as Yassir Arafat, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Raed Salach and Nabil Kaouk the senior commander of Hezbollah forces in Southern Lebanon.

Read it all, here. The conclusion should strike home with an awful resonance; the sound of antisemitism making its way along the mainstream of modern society. Again.

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Turning the other cheek too far

Based alone on what Malcolm Lowe wrote at the Gatestone Institute, if I were a Christian, I’d be ashamed:

The World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva claims to represent and serve 345 churches worldwide. What has it done to help the persecuted churches in Iraq, Syria and Egypt? Or the flood of Syrian refugees into Jordan and Lebanon? Answer: it has devoted the whole of 2013 to promoting a World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel (September 22-28). That is, it has poured its Swiss francs into stirring up the one corner of the area that is currently almost calm.

Why is this happening?

The excuse for this absurd imbalance is that the WCC has maintained for decades, and insists on maintaining against all evidence, that the churches of the Middle East have no other real problem than the Palestinian issue. Earlier this year (May 21-25), the WCC held a conference on “Christian Presence and Witness in the Middle East” near Beirut, Lebanon. Its closing statement proclaimed: “Palestine continues to be the central issue in the region. Resolving the conflict between Israel and Palestine in accordance with the UN resolutions and international law, will greatly help resolving the other conflicts in the region.”

It looks as if slamming Israel is more important than saving lives. The WCC, it appears, is also short for Without a Christian Conscience.

Read it all, here.

[First seen at CAMERA.]

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A Christmas query

Another reason why it’s not a good idea to trust the mainstream media completely; another reason why people in Israel are rightly dismissive about much of the criticism directed at the Jewish State: a certain blind spot. To put it another way, a certain unwillingness to face up to the forces of darkness, repression, and – frankly – evil; a chilling disregard for the assault on Christianity. (But, hey, keep blaming the Jews. Nobody cares.)

In short, another Elder of Ziyon cracker:

Somehow, zillions of reporters in Bethlehem missed this story

What story? The Elder, reprints this piece from Holy Land Missions:

Pressure from the local community is forcing the hands of the Bethlehem municipality to take down a large Christmas billboard sign that has Jesus on it.

In the birthplace of Christianity, we have seen over the years that the Christmas holiday has been reduced to snowmen and bells,” said Pastor Steven Khoury of Holy Land Missions; the ministry behind putting the 1200 square foot sign up. He added, “The essential message of the holiday season has been taken away for fear of what the dominant factors in Bethlehem would say.”

Vandals had cut the electric cable surrounding the sign to ensure that it would not be lit up during the night. Barraged with phone calls from the local community, the municipality informed Pastor Khoury that many are campaigning asking us to take down the sign. …The billboard sign is located at Manger Square with the slogan “Jesus born to die and rose again. Invite him into your heart so you might live – Merry Christmas”€ has caused some people to come out of their cars and take pictures.

Out of fear of repercussions, no one is willing to sell electricity access to the billboard. So Pastor Khoury has been going out with a portable generator and several high beam spotlights and lighting the sign up himself. Anticipating that the sign might be coming down any time, Khoury quickly did one last film next to the billboard sign.

The Elder’s commentary is something certain factions (eg, the Guardian and the BBC) should read and then hang their heads in shame:

How did every single reporter in Bethlehem miss a story about a pastor who was trying to put up a billboard with a Christian message?

It has an attractive protagonist, who speaks English well. It is an underdog story. It is about freedom of religion. It has the irony of Jesus being absent from Bethlehem. This story is made for TV and print media.

There must be a reason why the reporters ignored this story. Perhaps because of the types of people who are against the sign? Pastor Khoury doesn’t identify them, so it is unclear who they are. All we know is that they are dominant in Bethlehem (so they can’t be Christians), that they are from the local community (so they can’t be Jews) that they are threatening those who support the message with violence (so they can’t be Quakers,) and that reporters are reluctant to report when these people are acting against freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

This is a tough one.

I fell like I am back in school, now: “Please sir…I know the answer…”

Do you?

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