Triple 666 behind of covid19?

Triple 666 behind of covid19?

triple 666 behind of covid19 More »

Systemic Hypocrisy  by Judith Bergman

Systemic Hypocrisy by Judith Bergman

“Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, More »

Amerika yategetse Ubushinwa gufunga ibiro by’ubuhagarariye i Houston

Amerika yategetse Ubushinwa gufunga ibiro by’ubuhagarariye i Houston

Abazimya umuriro batabajwe nyuma yaho hagaragaye amashusho y’abantu batamenyekanye batwika impapuro aho bajugunya imyanda mu nyubako y’uhagarariye Ubushinwa Leta Zunze Ubumwe z’Amerika zategetse Ubushinwa gufunga ibiro by’ubuhagarariye (consulat/consulate) mu mujyi wa Houston More »

Ivuka ry’Urunani (Rwandan Alliance for Change) ryahungabanije ubutegetsi bw’Ikigali,byaba byatewe niki? N’umutwe w’iterabwoba wa RNC!!!

Ivuka ry’Urunani (Rwandan Alliance for Change) ryahungabanije ubutegetsi bw’Ikigali,byaba byatewe niki? N’umutwe w’iterabwoba wa RNC!!!

Ikiganiro inyangenewss.com yongeye kugirana nabasesenguzi ba politike yo mu karere ko mu biyaga bigari.Twibutse ko iki kiganiro kigizwe naba basesenguzi ba politike yo mw’si baturuka kumigabane itandukanye. More »

Nimwirinda ikinyoma cya republika itemewe n’amategeko,bizabatunganira

Nimwirinda ikinyoma cya republika itemewe n’amategeko,bizabatunganira

Kamana Achille, umuvugizi w’Urunana Nyarwanda Ruharanira Impinduka Mu mujyi wa Ottawa muri Canada havutse ishyaka rishya ritavuga rumwe n’ ubutegetsi buriho mu Rwanda. Urunana Nyarwanda Ruharanira Impinduka (Rwandan Alliance for Change) tariki More »

 

Connecting the Nuclear Dots by Peter Huessy

  • Iran seeks to do us grave harm, potentially with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The threat warnings are clear and we have strong evidence — Iran has attacked us repeatedly over the past 30 years.Instead of heeding the nuclear missile “dots” that are emerging all around us, we are busy promoting trade with Iran, downplaying its violations of the nuclear deal, simply ignoring its ballistic missile developments and dismissing the growing evidence of its terrorist past.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress, the Bush administration, and terrorist experts complained that the country had simply not “connected the dots” provided by prior terrorist threats.

The 9/11 Commission also concluded that the attacks “should not have come as a surprise,” as “Islamist extremists had given plenty of warning that they meant to kill Americans indiscriminately and in large numbers.”

The Commission then listed 10 Islamic terror plots against the US prior to 9/11:

“In February 1993, a group led by Ramzi Yousef tried to bring down the World Trade Center with a truck bomb.

“Plans by Omar Abdel Rahman and others to blow up the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and other New York City landmarks …

“In October 1993, Somali tribesmen shot down US helicopters, killing 18 and wounding 73…

“In early 1995, police in Manila uncovered a plot by Ramzi Yousef to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners while they were flying over the Pacific.

“In November 1995, a car bomb exploded outside the office of the US program manager for the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh, killing five Americans and two others.

“In June 1996, a truck bomb demolished the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 US servicemen and wounding hundreds.

“In August 1998, al Qaeda, carried out near-simultaneous truck bomb attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded thousands more.

“In December 1999, Jordanian police foiled a plot to bomb hotels and other sites frequented by American tourists…

“…US Customs agent arrested Ahmed Ressam at the US-Canadian border as he was smuggling in explosives intended for an attack on Los Angeles International Airport.

“In October 2000, an al Qaeda team in Aden, Yemen, used a motorboat filled with explosives to blow a hole in the side of a destroyer, the USS Cole, almost sinking the vessel and killing 17 American sailors.”

Despite the overwhelming indications that an attack like 9/11 was around the corner, as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the country in her April 2004 testimony to the 9/11 Commission, “The terrorists were at war with us, but we were not yet at war with them. For more than 20 years, the terrorist threat gathered, and America’s response across several administrations of both parties was insufficient.”

Are we now better equipped to “connect the terrorist-threats by dots” than we were prior to 9/11? Certainly we are not still echoing the testimony of Richard Clarke when he told the Emerging Threats Subcommittee in the summer of 2000 that the administration “had not yet” determined how to spend homeland security funds even some eight years after the first World Trade Center bombing of February 1993.

Unfortunately, not only are we not connecting the terrorist dots, we are actively downplaying their significance. Nowhere else is this more apparent than in the virtually complete failure, on the part of the US, to hold Iran responsible for the terror attacks that have killed and maimed thousands of Americans since 1979. This failure is all the more disturbing after the numerous court decisions that have found Iran accountable for nearly $60 billion in damages owed to the victims and survivors of these attacks, including the 9/11 attacks.

The outstanding news analyst and author Melanie Phillips wrote nearly a year ago that Iran had been “…perpetrating acts of war against Western interests for more than three decades — including playing a key role in the 9/11 attacks on America.” Phillips noted that a Revolutionary Guard-Iranian Intelligence (MOIS) task force

“designed contingency plans for unconventional warfare against the US… aimed at breaking the American economy, crippling or disheartening the US, and disrupting the American social, military and political order — all without the risk of a head-to-head confrontation which Iran knew it would lose.”

She explained that the court testimony from former Iranian agents illustrates that Iran “…devised a scheme to crash hijacked Boeing 747s into the World Trade Center, the White House and the Pentagon. … The plan’s code name was ‘Shaitan dar Atash’ (‘Satan in flames’).” Further, the court evidence revealed that Iran obtained “a Boeing 757-767-777 flight simulator which it hid at a secret site where the 9/11 terrorists were trained.”

In December 2011, Judge George B. Daniels found that Iran, with the participation of its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was directly and heavily involved in the 9/11 atrocities. Khamenei instructed intelligence operatives that while expanding collaboration between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda, they must restrict communications to existing contacts with al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al Zawahiri and Imad Mughniyeh — Hezbollah’s then terrorism chief and agent of Iran.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (center), is shown meeting in May 2014 with Iran’s military chief of staff and the commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. (Image source: IRNA)

While the 9/11 Commission found solid evidence Iran aided the 9/11 hijackers in their travels from Iran, the “Extensive cooperation in major global terrorist activities,” between Iran, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, including the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia and the 1998 East Africa US embassy bombings, escaped the 9/11 Commission’s detailed attention. Notably, as long ago as in 2000, a US Defense Intelligence Agency analyst was alerting the government to a web of connections between al-Qaeda, the Iranian intelligence agencies controlled by Khamenei, and other terrorist groups.

Many press reports and analysts, cognizant of Iran’s terrorist history and aware that Iran has been designated by the US Department of State as the world’s premier state sponsor of terror, choose to believe the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal should not be derailed over concern of Iran’s possible future terrorist plans. Especially when it is often assumed these plans are aimed primarily at Israel and groups in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and thus not of real concern to the United States.

Is the nuclear deal with Iran thus a good trade? We get to slow Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, but any serious sanctions or military effort to stop Iran’s terror agenda are off the table. Let’s connect the new nuclear-related Iran dots.

First, the world’s expert on Iran ballistic missiles, Uzi Rubin, revealed on July 15 that Iran has five new missile capabilities: they can strike the middle of Europe, including Berlin; they can target with GPS accuracy military facilities in Saudi Arabia; they can launch missiles from underground secret tunnels and caves without warning; they have missiles that are ready to fire 24/7; and they have developed other accurate missiles whose mission is to strike targets throughout Gulf region.

Second, the Associated Press revealed that a side agreement under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear “deal” actually allows Iran to break out of the agreement in year 11, not 15, at which point Iran will not even be six months away from having sufficient nuclear fuel to arm a nuclear warhead, and Iran will be able to install nuclear centrifuges five times more efficient than the ones they have today.

Third, according to German intelligence reports, Iran has, a few dozen times since the July 2015 nuclear agreement, sought to purchase nuclear ballistic missile technology, a violation of previous UN resolutions.

As Americans wonder who will be behind the next terrorist attacks on our country — “lone wolf” terrorists inspired by social media from Islamist groups; organized cells of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah; states such as Iran and Syria; or a combination of all three — we would do well to be reminded of the long-term use of terrorism by the former Soviet Union as one of their trademark elements of “statecraft.”

Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has not been stopped and at best has been delayed. Add to that Iran’s enhanced ballistic missile capability, its growing partnership with North Korea and its history of terrorist attacks on the United States, and connecting the dots reveals a stark reality — nuclear terrorism by missile may be on its way.

During the spring and summer of 2001, US intelligence agencies received a stream of warnings that Al Qaeda was determined to strike. The specific information pointed to threats from overseas. The Bush administration began developing a strategy in early 2001 to eliminate Al Qaeda in three years. The 9/11 attacks happened “too soon.”

Iran seeks to do us grave harm, potentially with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The threat warnings are clear and we have strong evidence — Iran has attacked us repeatedly over the past 30 years

But instead of heeding the nuclear missile “dots” that are emerging all around us, we are busy promoting trade with Iran, downplaying its violations of the nuclear deal, simply ignoring its ballistic missile developments and dismissing the growing evidence of its terrorist past.

In short, we are not connecting these dots; we are erasing them.

Dr. Peter Huessy is President of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense consulting firm he founded in 1981, and was the senior defense consultant at the National Defense University Foundation for more than 20 years. He is now the National Security Fellow at the AFPC, and Senior Defense Consultant at the Air Force

Congo:Niki cyihishe inyuma ya ONU kwikura mu mugambi wo kurwanya fdlr.

Nk’uko byatangajwe na ONU,kumunsi wejo,yavuze yuko yikuye mu mugambi igikorwa cyo kurwanya fdlr kubera yuko leta ya Congo Kinshasa yanze gutanga cyangwa kwirukana abasilikare bakuru (2) umuyobozi mukuru w’igisilikare FARDC ndetse n’umuyobozi mukuru w’igipolice.


Leta ya Kabila yatangaje ko yatangiye igikorwa cyo kurwanya fdlr nyamara byari biteganijwe ko icyo gikorwa izagikorana n’ingabo za ONU,amakuru agera ku inyangenews ni uko icyo gikorwa leta ya Congo yagikoze yonyize aho kugez’ubu udashobora kumenya nimbi bakiri kurwanya fdlr cyangwa batayirwanya

Aya makuru yagizwe ibanga rikomeye kuburyo ONU yo itanemera ko icyo gikorwa cyatangiye,kuko ntamakuru arikumenyekana aturuka kurugamba aho izo ngabo zirimo kurwanya fdlr.

Kuba ONu yikuye muri icyi gikorwa,bishobora kuba bihishe byinshi,ikigaragara ni uko byanze bikunze leta ya Kigali izemera imishyikirano byaba Atari ibyo,bikaba biozagorana cyane kugirango amatora ya 2017 ashyirwe mubikorwa.

Impuguke mu byapolitike mu karere kibiyaga bigari baratangaza yuko fdlr yongeye gutsinda leta y’uRwanda igitrego kimwe kubusa muri dipolomasi politike mpunzamahanga,nk’uko minisitiri w’ingabo Kabarebe yabyivugiye yuko amahanga adashaka kurwanya fdlr,niba ruko bimeze se bon ka leta nizihe ngamba bashyize imbere?

Ese baramva kuyoboka intambara aricyo cyemezo simusuga,ese bayobowe yuko intamabara isenya itubaka,ubu se igihe bibatwaye kubaka igihugu iyo baza kwmera imishyikirano ubu igihugu cyari kuba kigeze hehe?

Byumvikane neza yuko iyo ntambara bashyize imbere ubundi isobanura ubugwari muri politike kuko banze kuyoboka inzira yamahoro,ese niki kibabwira ko iyo ntambara bazayiysinda?Nimba bananiwe fdlr bazabasha gutsinda intambara bazaba barwanywa nabanyarwanda bose cyangwa nisi yose!

Combating Anti-Israelism and Boycotts Who Should Do What? by Malcolm Lowe

  • Up to now, most of the anti-boycott activity has been basically defensive. It assumes that Israel can be vindicated by providing relevant information.

  • Regarding the anti-Israel activists themselves, however, defensive strategies are ineffective. These people have no intention whatsoever to be fair; they treat information offered on behalf of Israel with derision. To deter them and drive them off, one must use strategies that fall under the rubric “This is going to hurt you more than us!”
  • So there are two principal questions. What activities are best carried out by government itself and what are best delegated to private organizations? And should organizations specialize in particular strategies or can a given single organization draw upon all the available strategies?

An earlier article defined and classified various strategies for combating both boycotts directed against Israel other kinds of hostile activity. Not discussed, however, were questions about who or what bodies should be implementing which strategies.

Such questions have become more acute, now that the Israeli government has designated substantial means for defending Israel from boycotts. We shall consider these questions after briefly reviewing the range of available strategies.

Kinds of Strategy

Up to now, most of the anti-boycott activity has been basically defensive. It assumes that Israel can be vindicated by providing relevant information. Either one complains that the anti-Israel activists are misrepresenting reality, by lying or omitting relevant facts or whatever. Or one complains that there are other countries that obviously deserve to be targeted in the alleged respects, but Israel alone is picked out for criticism and attack. Both strategies fall under the rubric “It’s not fair!” They are so familiar as to need no further elaboration here.

Unfortunately, such strategies are of limited utility: they work only with institutions that are obliged to be fair. Thus misleading reports in foreign media can be combated if those media are committed to standards of fair reporting. Likewise, foreign governments and parliaments can be held to standards laid down in their own legislation. Much excellent work is being done in both regards, often by organizations making the most of limited means (see the list in the earlier article). This sort of work is also essential for keeping Israel’s friends on board, reassuring them that the accusations against Israel are undeserved.

Regarding the anti-Israel activists themselves, however, defensive strategies are ineffective. These people have no intention whatsoever to be fair; they treat information offered on behalf of Israel with derision. To deter them and drive them off, one must use strategies that fall under the rubric “This is going to hurt you more than us!” There are at least five ways of making such people feel uncomfortable and even miserable, as we shall see. Four of those strategies were already detailed in the previous article and here we shall add a fifth: Delegitimization. Let us review them, each in turn.

  1. Lawfare. We are all familiar with Lawfare as misuse of the law to attack Israel, such as attempts to ambush Israeli officials with lawsuits in foreign countries. However, the pioneer in the study of Lawfare, Charles Dunlap (2001) insisted correctly that the term has to be defined more generally as “the use of the law in the pursuit of war.” That is, Lawfare has its proper uses as well as its anti-Israel abuses. France, despite its complicated relationship to Israel, deserves credit for introducing anti-boycott legislation already in 2003, under which various assaults on Israel and Israeli products have been prosecuted successfully. Now the United States, including many individual states, and the United Kingdom have followed suit. But even without laws specifically banning boycotts, existing laws in many countries provide opportunities to punish anti-Israel activists, as the Israeli organization Shurat HaDin has shown.
  2. Counter-Boycotts. The previous article gave examples of how boycotters were quickly defeated by a boycott directed against them (as, for instance, by customers of a Swedish supermarket chain that decided no longer to stock Israeli products). Most conveniently, many boycott initiatives include the publication of comprehensive lists of people who have signed on to the boycott, telling us all whom to retaliate against. Regarding anti-Israel activities on campus, there is an organization, Canary Mission, that is patiently compiling a prosopography (a comparative biography) of those activists – whether teachers or students – on campus after campus. Canary Mission does not overtly call to make the lives of such people difficult, but it certainly facilitates counter-boycotts. It has noted with satisfaction cases where students decided to leave anti-Israel groups and delete all reference to them from their résumés, for fear of harming their prospects of employment.
  3. Delegitimization. Why just complain about the unfair delegitimization of Israel and Israelis? The offenders, too, can be targets of delegitimization. Indeed, this is one offensive strategy that has frequently been used. For instance, a list of filmmakers calling for boycotts of Israel was widely derided as consisting mainly of obscure backstage technicians and only two well-known names. (The list was, on the other hand, most useful for counter-boycott purposes, as every film today ends with scores of credits in which all those obscure individuals are included.) Academics can be derided if – as is often the case – they belong to low-level institutions that issue degrees with comical titles; unfavourable reviews of their publications can be sought out and made widely known. When some performer calls for a cultural boycott of Israel, a list of far more famous performers who have appeared in Israel can be produced, letting one deride the obnoxious individual as a second-rate sideman or has-been who is desperate for publicity. And so on.
  4. Digging up Dirt. Just as antisemitism is a symptom of sick individuals, anti-Israelism is frequently a symptom of institutions that are infected by corruption or even in a state of terminal decline. So one strategy, when an institution goes on an anti-Israeli track, is to start investigating what else is wrong with the institution and attack it from that angle. If this is done often enough, moreover, institutions will get wary and hesitate to become anti-Israel in the first place, for fear of attracting unwelcome attention.
  5. Self-Harming. Anti-Israelism is not just a symptom of declining institutions, it can also accelerate the decline. Consider those churches, like the PCUSA, the United Church of Christ and the British Methodists, whose foolish leadership has endorsed boycotts directed at Israel. They were already losing membership year in, year out. There were already frictions between individual parishes and the haughty hierarchy. Instead of begging their leaders to leave Israel alone, they can be told: “Your agitation about Palestine brings the Palestinians no benefits and leaves Israelis unaffected; you merely increase dissention in your parishes and encourage fresh defections. You are engaged in pure self-harming.”

Who Should Do What?

Until recently, the greater part of anti-boycott activity was carried out by private initiatives whose scarcity of funds was matched by tireless devotion to the cause. This author recently visited one of those organizations, which has created a valuable archive on the internet and whose interventions have had a real impact in foreign countries. When he expressed appreciation of so much achieved in such small premises, he was told: “We could move to a larger office, but we prefer to use the money on an extra researcher.”

All this could be changed by the Israeli government decision (June 2015) to allocate 100 million shekels to combating boycotts. The private organization just mentioned, for example, could do fresh wonders with a small fraction of that sum.

So there are two principal questions. What activities are best carried out by government itself and what are best delegated to private organizations? And should organizations specialize in particular strategies or can a given single organization draw upon all the available strategies?

The answer to the second question is a simple one: organizations have to specialize because certain combinations of strategies cannot be pursued without embarrassment. In particular, one and the same organization can hardly both plead the unfairness of boycotts and simultaneously pursue counter-boycotts; these tasks have to be separated.

Thus, in particular, government officials should rarely be involved in counter-boycotts at all. Of course, they are entitled to refuse to meet people involved in anti-Israel activity and, if the case is persuasive enough, to refuse them entry to the country. But these are rights of the government officials anywhere.

This does not mean, however, that government cannot foster counter-boycotts indirectly. For instance, government can compile and publish accurate data on who is involved in boycotts, leaving it to others to use the data as they please. In the case of the Swedish supermarkets, as the earlier article noted, the Ambassador of Israel merely informed all the locals on his mailing list, who then took the matter into their own hands. This case provides the model.

Government can also take a lesson from several European governments, which allocate funds to church-based and humanitarian organizations that, according to their names, are engaged in relieving worldwide famine, poverty and disease. These organizations, as NGO Monitor has widely documented, then pass on immense sums to NGOs that have nothing to do with those noble aims but are agitating politically on behalf of the Palestinians. Likewise, Israeli government money could trickle through one or more cut-outs to organizations that do what government must abstain from.

Digging up Dirt is basically a similar case. An exception might be if personnel within the hostile entity volunteered to supply information to government representatives. Yet in this case, too, government may be on firmer ground if it passes the information on to others who know how to exploit it. It can also find ways to finance those who are engaged in researching the inner workings of hostile entities, as any such project may require a year or more in order to figure out what is going on.

Self-Harming, on the other hand, is a strategy that purports to rescue a hostile entity from self-destruction by weaning it off its anti-Israel agenda. So anyone can use it and those public officials who are well-trained in adopting hypocritical stances might be as good at it as anybody else.

Delegitimization permits greater flexibility. That a person maligned responds by attacking the credentials of the maligners is often regarded as only natural. The same indulgence is accorded to the official representatives of a maligned country.

The most important point about Lawfare is that it is necessarily expensive. Cases may go to appeal and thence to a Supreme Court, so they can go on for years with expenses piling up. They may be won, but without refund of costs. Or they may be lost on a technicality, with costs awarded to the accused. Lawfare is thus eminently a matter for government finance, since government can afford to take losses that would bankrupt private organizations.

Still, the pursuit of justice in the courts of a foreign country is rarely appropriate for government itself. Perhaps the way is for government to support the general budget of relevant private organizations on such conditions as: an organization must have a proven record of success and it should consult government lawyers before pursuing individual cases.

The author would welcome suggestions about strategies that he may have overlooked. But even if there be more, the above discussion may provide sufficient guidelines for discerning how and by whom they would best be employed.

Malcolm Lowe is a Welsh scholar specialized in Greek philosophy, the New Testament and interfaith relations.

Christians Who Demonize Israel: Kairos by Denis MacEoin

  • “Christian children are massacred, and everything is done in plain sight. Islamists proclaim on a daily basis that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth. So are the world Christian bodies denouncing the Islamic forces for the ethnic cleansing, genocide and historic demographic-religious revolution their brethren are suffering? No. Christians these days are busy targeting the Israeli Jews.” — Giulio Meotti, Italian journalist.
  • The Kairos document seems to be so egregiously discriminatory that in 2010, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) declared it “supersessionist” and “anti-Semitic.”
  • We must ask why a presentation of the work of Kairos in an Anglican church made no reference whatever to the many associations with extremism and denial of a more rational Christian approach to the problems faced by Palestinian Christians.

Last September, during the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel — an initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches, St. Thomas’ Church in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, hosted an event titled “Wall Will Fall”.

For anyone unfamiliar with the history, legal issues, and distortions of the Israeli-Arab and Jewish-Muslim conflicts, the deeply one-sided presentations and literature of the event may seem reasonable in the lack of such a context, and this report will, therefore, attempt to rebalance the narrative.

There are, broadly speaking, two clashing narratives about historical and current events in the region. By presenting only one side of the conflict, Wall Will Fall served only to exacerbate the root cause for the failure of peace negotiations: Palestinian rejection of the two state solution. Although Israel was repeatedly condemned — often very harshly — for its treatment of Palestinians, not once in the presentations or in the literature available were the Arabs ever censured for their series of aggressive wars against Israel, or the Palestinians criticized for their decades of terrorist attacks on Israelis, their preaching of anti-Semitic hatred in school textbooks, mosque sermons, summer camps, government-controlled media, and elsewhere. During the event, guilt was placed on one party only: Israel. As we shall argue, Israel is the least likely candidate for censure at such a high level.

Kairos

There were two workshops. One was a PowerPoint presentation and commentary by a local leader of Kairos Britain, an organization based on the much-criticized document, Kairos Palestine. The Kairos document seems to be so egregiously discriminatory that in 2010, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) declared the statement “supersessionist” and “anti-Semitic.” Since the Kairos session and literature associated with it were a core feature of the event, I will analyse the very real and dangerous implications of its support by Christians.

The Kairos Palestine venture was presented as the work of supposedly all Palestine Christians, but it was and is an extremely radical position adopted by a relatively small number of churches and individuals. In 2010, the politically balanced Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East, an organization of Protestants and Catholics in North America, wrote a detailed critique entitled “Cautions to U.S. Churches Regarding the Kairos Palestine Document.” It was endorsed by St. Paul University’s Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, and by Dialogika (as is made clear on the Christians for Fair Witness website). While treating the Kairos document with respect, the cautions expressed were far-ranging and crucial.

The Cautions document begins by saying that “U.S. Churches cannot adopt this narrative without bringing a critical eye and ear to bear upon it and without similarly listening to an Israeli narrative which also has its truth.” That sort of critical eye and openness to an Israeli narrative was wholly absent from the workshop session I attended. The Cautions document continues: “The Kairos Palestine document states that ‘[the Palestinian] connectedness to this land is a natural right.’ (Sec. 2.3.4) We agree . . . But the Jewish connection to the land is also a natural right. Both Jews and Palestinians have legitimate claims to the land, which can and must be accommodated through a negotiated two-state solution.”

That Jewish natural right was not once raised during the Wall will Fall presentation. Only Palestinian rights and demands were considered of relevance to Christians.

The Cautions document also states: “The Kairos Palestine document professes that ‘an end to Israeli occupation… will guarantee security and peace for all.’ (Sec. 7) … But is that true? There was no security or peace prior to the occupation.” This analysis continues with a list of Arab violence against Jews, the PLO’s 1964 objective of liquidating Israel, and a clear statement that “There is no reason to believe that ending the occupation alone would bring security and peace to Israel and Palestine.”

That this is empirically correct should be clear from the fact that, although Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip completely in 2005, the take-over of Gaza by Hamas has led to endless rocket attacks and other provocations. These have caused three wars and the enforcement of tight security to prevent Hamas terrorists from entering Israel to attack civilians. Security and peace?

The Cautions document continues by citing repeated Israeli peace endeavours and their rejection by Palestinian leaders: they are in direct contradiction to the way the Kairos document places the blame for a lack of peace squarely on Israel alone. In an appendix added some days later, Christians for Fair Witness cited another article:

“The Kairos Palestine document speaks of a ‘reality on the ground’ that is dominated by Palestinian suffering under war and the Israeli occupation. (Sec. 1) Our churches must understand this suffering”.

And Christians for Fair Witness commented thus:

“But the document is silent with regard to another dominant reality on the ground — Israeli suffering under terrorism and decades of wars waged against it by virtually all of its neighbors. Our churches must understand this history and this suffering as well.”

The presentation at the Wall will Fall event appears to have deliberately and consistently ignored all discussion of the suffering to which the people of Israel have been exposed.

The Kairos Palestine document, elevated at the event as an outstanding moral appeal, also presents statements such as this:

“The West sought to make amends for what Jews had endured in the countries of Europe, but it made amends on our account and in our land. They tried to correct an injustice and the result was a new injustice.”

The suffering of the Jewish people goes back two thousand years. Persecution of Jews in Europe had parallels in Islamic countries, even though these remained at the level of massacres rather than genocide. But Israel was not a response to the Holocaust, even if it played a role in the creation of a Jewish state. This pinning of blame on Europeans and Jews displays a distinctly un-Christian response to the Jewish diaspora and the millennial yearning to return home.

Kairos further reads:

“We also declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God.”

This says nothing about the basic human rights of the Jewish people, rights trampled on and scorned for two millennia, or that the Jewish people in Israel are affording the Arabs living there more rights than they would get in any Arab country. It also ignores the reasons for the so-called occupation, a response to an aggressive war of elimination waged against Israel in 1967 by five Arab nations, supported by nine Muslim states. The Arab League compounded Israel’s security problems when it declared in its infamous Khartoum Resolution just after the war: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it…”

Should Christians not be concerned by the following statement in the Kairos Palestine document:

“The Palestinian people… also engaged in peaceful struggle, especially during the first intifada.”

The words “peaceful struggle” surely stick in one’s throat. During the first four years of the intifada, more than 3,600 Molotov cocktail attacks, 100 hand-grenade attacks and 600 assaults with guns or explosives were reported by the Israel Defense Forces. The violence was directed at civilians and soldiers alike. During this period, 16 Israeli civilians and 11 soldiers were killed by Palestinians in the territories; more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and 1,700 Israeli soldiers were injured. Approximately 1,100 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops. And Palestinians were stabbed, hacked with axes, shot, clubbed and burned with acid, not by Israelis but by Palestinian death squads.

At this juncture, it may be worth quoting recent remarks by the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, who has written widely about Christian attitudes to Israel:

“Christianity is dying in Syria and Iraq. Christian churches are demolished, Christian crosses are burned and replaced with flags of the Islamic State, Christian houses are destroyed, entire Christian communities are displaced, Christian children are massacred, and everything is done in plain sight. Islamists proclaim on a daily basis that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth. So are the world Christian bodies denouncing the Islamic forces for the ethnic cleansing, genocide and historic demographic-religious revolution their brethren are suffering? No. Christians these days are busy targeting the Israeli Jews.”

There are other reasons to believe that the Kairos document and the Christians who support it are a cause for concern to those churchmen and women who seek a nuanced and balanced Christian understanding of this conflict.

Among the authors of the document were Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Michael Sabbah, Rev. Mitri Raheb, Rev. Naim Ateek and Father Jamal Khader. The coordinator and the spokesperson of the Kairos group is Rifat Odeh Kassis. There is no time to look at all of these individuals, but it will be worthwhile to mention a few. In the view of many, their virulent anti-Israel rhetoric equates with anti-Semitism within the definitions used by Kenneth Marcus[1] and most other modern authorities, including the International Working Definition and the US State Department Definition. It is alarming that some Christians would support them at all.

The first mentioned, Theodosias Atallah Hanna, was the Archbishop of Sebastia from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and a former spokesman of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. He called for the creation of an Islamic-Christian union that would foil the “American offensive” against Iraq and “release Palestine from the river to the sea” (which would entail the elimination of Israel). “The suicide bombers who carry out their activities in the name of religion are national heroes and we’re proud of them,” he has allegedly said, according to the ASSIST News Service. He also said, in a speech in Dubai, “Some freedom fighters adopt martyrdom or suicide bombing, while others opt for other measures. But all these struggles serve the continued intifada for freedom. Therefore, we support all these causes.” (This is according to a Jerusalem Post report based on a police investigation.) Although Hanna has denied support for suicide bombing, he seems simply to have redefined “suicide”: “The attackers do not commit suicide as several claim, nor do they carry out acts of terrorism as others claim, for they are fighters against occupation,” Hanna added in his message, which came after 22 people were murdered that same month in Israel’s bloodiest suicide bombing in nearly a year. He ” not only continued to express support for suicide bombing but also for a Jew-free Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in remarks on three separate occasions during January 2003,” according to FrontPageMagazine. According to ArabicNews.com, the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, Arinous 1st, criticized Hanna and fired him as an official Orthodox spokesman for “supporting Palestinian terrorism.”

Michael Sabbah, former Archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (1987-2008) has been described by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) as an “anti-Israel polemicist” who encourages “resistance” (muqawwama) and intifada. In Palestinian Arabic parlance, “resistance,” although it can be peaceful, generally means the use of violence. It is enshrined in the full name of Hamas, Harakat al-Muqawwama al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Resistance Movement), which is a radical religious, political and military organization, not an international reconciliation forum. Here, as elsewhere, the Islamic character of “resistance” is central to the concept. Sabbah cannot be oblivious to this common understanding, yet he does not choose his words wisely when speaking of it. His own organization, the Society of St. Yves, has close ties to all the most politically extreme NGOs in the region. A co-founder and legal advisor, Linda Brayer, has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” and alleged that the Israeli government views Palestinians as “not fully human,” likening Israeli law to “the kind of law they must have had in Germany in 1935.” These are two of the most poisonous anti-Semitic slurs used by anti-Israel activists.

Mitri Raheb is the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. He has claimed that Israelis are “ethnically cleansing” Christians, but given that the Christian population of Israel is the Christian population in the Middle East to have grown solidly by over 1,000% since 1948, and given that the exodus of Christians from the West Bank and Gaza has been precipitated by extremist Muslims and the Palestinian authorities, Raheb’s claim has no basis and even seems pathological. The majority of Christians in the West Bank live in cities such as Nablus, Jericho and Ramallah, all of which are under Palestinian control. Before 1995, under Israeli auspices, Bethlehem’s Christian population grew by 57%. But under the Palestinian Authority since 1995, the number of Christians has plummeted. Palestinian gunmen seized Christian homes — compelling Israel to build a protective barrier between them and Jewish neighbourhoods — and then occupied the Church of the Nativity, looted it and used it as a latrine. Today, Christians comprise a mere one-fifth of their holy city’s population. In Gaza, most Christians have fled in fear of attacks from Hamas gunmen.

If there was ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians, it was under Muslim rule: two-thirds of Christian Arabs left the areas between 1949 and 1967, the period when Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank, and Egypt controlled Gaza — years before Israel governed those areas. Raheb’s claim of “ethnic cleansing” is a blatantly elevated and false statement, yet his influence on the Kairos document was considerable. Israeli Arab Christians are on average more affluent than Israeli Jews and better-educated, even scoring higher on standardized tests. In the Palestinian territories, Christians are severely discriminated against.

According to a report by the Jerusalem Connection, an American Christian organization:

Ever since the Oslo Accords handed over control of large parts of Judea and Samaria to the Muslim Palestinian Authority, Christians in Bethlehem have been suffering many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion documented by Justus Reid Weiner of Hebrew University.

PA officials are reportedly directly responsible for many of the attacks, and some Muslims who have converted to Christianity have been murdered. The Christian population went from a 60 percent majority in 1990 to a 40 percent minority in 2000, to about 15 percent of the city’s total population today, according to Weiner.

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, wrote that “As 800,000 Jews were once expelled from Arab countries, so are Christians being forced from lands they’ve inhabited for centuries” throughout the Middle East. Citing statistics, Oren wrote that Ramallah was 90% Christian before the 1947-48 War of Independence, and Bethlehem was 80% Christian. Today Ramallah is a large Islamic city and Bethlehem’s Christians are near extinction.

Why were none of these facts presented as balance for an informed discussion among Christians presented in this workshop? Why was everyone instead subjected to a single-minded and patently false claim that Israel is responsible for all the bad things that happen to Christians in the West Bank and Gaza?

Father Jamal Khader, of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, has been the object of considerable criticism from other Catholics in the region. He has engaged in bitter argument with them. He is associated with Sabeel, a supersessionist and arguably anti-Semitic organization[2] that has been criticized within the Church of England, and about which we shall say more.

Finally, we should mention Rifat Odeh Kassis, a co-author of the Kairos document and its overall coordinator and spokesman. Kassis is the director and founder of Defence for Children International – Palestine. One of his board members is Shahwan Jabarin, a prosecuted member of a major terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been responsible for the murders of large numbers of Israeli civilians, including many children. It has been described as a terrorist organization by the USA, Canada, and the European Union. It was the first terrorist organization to hijack international airplanes. That a confessed Christian is willing to tolerate the presence of a PFLP operative on the board of an NGO he has founded is disturbing to say the least.

Rifat Odeh Kassis, co-author and general coordinator of the Kairos Palestine initiative, is pictured above giving an interview to Al-Manar TV, the official TV channel of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist organization. (Photo source: Kairos Palestine)

Kassis made a public attack on then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, following Williams’s 2011 interview, in which he expressed anxiety about the expulsion of Christians from the Middle East and referred to a situation akin to ethnic cleansing of Christians from the West Bank. In his refutation of Williams, Kassis defended extremist Muslims, claiming that Israel, not radical Islamists, had caused the flight of Christians, while ignoring the simple fact that Christians do not flee from Israel. In the same response, Kassis expressed antagonism to church leaders in general:

“We are no longer expecting support from church leaders around the world. Our Hope, Faith and Love come from elsewhere. However, at the same time, we request you and every leader, especially church leaders, not to use us and our cause for your own purposes. We are so thankful to Your Grace for the ‘International Conference on Christians in the Holy Land’ that you are holding in your Palace in July, but we feel it will be useless, not to say harmful to us, indigenous Christians in the land of the Holy One, if the outcome will be in the same spirit as your interview.”

We must ask why a presentation of the work of Kairos in an Anglican church made no reference whatever to these many associations with extremism and denial of a more rational Christian approach to the problems faced by Palestinian Christians. Attempts to query statements made during the presentation were blocked by the speaker.

Dr. Denis MacEoin has lectured and written about the Middle East since the 1980s


[1] The Definition of Anti-Semitism, Cambridge University Press, 2015

[2] See the following:

Christians Who Demonize Israel – Part III Sabeel: An Anti-Semitic Cult within the Church by Denis MacEoin

  • Sabeel’s theology distorts the Old Testament by denying Jews any ongoing connection with the land of their origin, and treating them as a people abandoned by God. There is also repeated disparagement of Judaism as “tribal,” “primitive,” and “exclusionary.”

  • Where most modern churches have left the anti-Semitism of the past behind and recognize that the Romans, not the Jews, crucified Jesus, this cult of what has been called “Christian Palestinianism” denies any historical or theological connection between the biblical Israel, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.
  • Perhaps the gravest error made by Kairos, Sabeel, and other Christian groups who pursue a one-sided campaign is that they take away from the Palestinians any form of agency or self-reliance. If the Israelis are to blame for all that is wrong and the Palestinians are only victims, then Palestinians must be treated as children, without the will and power to act on their own behalf. Or who can act only through violence and hate.
  • Are these campaigns, replete with fraudulent charges, as in the Inquisition, really not about Palestinians at all, but just the latest incarnation of the old racist and religious hatred of Jews, and a clear expression of the “New Anti-Semitism”?

(See also Part I: Christians Who Demonize Israel: Kairos and Christians Who Demonize Israel – Part II)

The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is an arguably anti-Semitic and supersessionist organization that has recently been criticized by several Anglican clergy. Sabeel was founded in 1989 by an Anglican priest, Naim Ateek, former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. Still based in Jerusalem, it has eleven chapters in Western countries. In Ateek’s theology, Jesus is no longer a Jew living under Roman rule, but “a Palestinian living under an occupation.” Ateek has spoken without irony while preaching that

“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. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.”

Here, he is drawing on the familiar canard of Jews as Christ-killers, a trope rejected by most mainstream Christian churches. The concept has, as we know, been the basis for all earlier Christian persecution and murder of Jews.

Sabeel’s theology distorts the Old Testament by denying Jews any ongoing connection with the land of their origin, and treating them as a people abandoned by God. There is also repeated disparagement of Judaism as “tribal,” “primitive,” and “exclusionary.” Judaism has also been unjustly described as a “theology of contempt”.[1]

Where most modern churches have left the anti-Semitism of the past behind and recognize that the Romans, not the Jews, crucified Jesus, the exponents of this cult of what has been called “Christian Palestinianism” deny any historical or theological connection between the biblical Israel, the Jewish people, and the modern State of Israel. In doing this in a period that has seen a massive upsurge in anti-Semitism throughout Europe, North America, and the Islamic world, Sabeel openly states that history’s most persecuted community, the Jews, has no right whatsoever to a land in which it can defend itself from assaults and the current open threat, this time from Iran, of another genocide. Sabeel seems to have turned its back on all the work done by organizations such as the Council of Christians and Jews, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, or the World Congress of Faiths. (For a list of other statements by Ateek, see here.)

Sabeel has been widely criticized by both Christians and Jews. Anglican Friends of Israel has listed several Christian critics. Dexter Van Zile from the United Church of Christ is convinced that Ateek is dangerous:

“He’s able to wrap up Palestinian nationalism in the language of Christian Witness and essentially that agenda then gets legitimized by Churches in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia. He gives legitimacy to a dishonest historical narrative.”

Sister Ruth Laut, a lawyer and Dominican nun, of Churches United for Just Peace in the Middle East and Rev. William Harter of Presbyterians Concerned for Jewish Relations and the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, have spoken against the Sabeel’s agenda.

Charles McVety, the president of Canada Christian College and an evangelical Christian leader, has said that

“These groups do not speak on behalf of Christians in any way. They are a radical fringe indulging their anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bias under the guise of neutrality.”

Nor are these individuals alone. Anglican Friends of Israel reported in 2005:

“Deeply concerned about the programs and message that Sabeel is bringing to North America, a body called The Coalition for Responsible Peace in the Middle East has been formed. It includes the United Church of Christ. The Coalition has stated that “They (Sabeel) undermine hopes for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, for greater understanding about the conflict and for the spread of religious tolerance.”

The journalist Jeff Jacoby has stated that “Sabeel and Ateek’s denunciations of Israel have included imagery explicitly linking the modern Jewish state to the terrible charge that for centuries fueled so much anti-Jewish hatred and bloodshed,” and that “In Ateek’s metaphorical telling, in other words, Israel is guilty of trying to murder Jesus as an infant, of killing Jesus on the cross, and of seeking to prevent his resurrection.”

Jacoby quotes Adam Gregerman, Assistant Director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Relations at Saint Joseph’s University (a Jesuit institution in Philadelphia). Writing in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies in 2004, Gregerman observed that “liberation theologians” such as Ateek “perpetuate some of the most unsavory and vicious images of the Jews as malevolent, antisocial, hostile to non-Jews. … As such, liberation theology impedes rather than fosters any serious attempt at understanding or ending the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

In the UK, the leading representative of Sabeel is the notorious Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer, the incumbent of the Anglican parish of Christchurch, Virginia Water, in Surrey. I say “notorious” because of the trouble he has brought on himself within the church. On January 20, 2015, Sizer posted a link on his Facebook page to a lengthy 9/11 conspiracy theory article entitled “9/11 Israel did it.” The article included claims which, among others, seek to connect wealthy American Jews to the attacks, through their ownership of buildings, political affiliations or links to Israel. Sizer asked: “Is this anti-Semitic? If so no doubt I’ll be asked to remove it. It raises so many questions.”

Later, he removed the post, not necessarily because he no longer thought it was true, but because Britain’s leading Jewish organization, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, had asked for it to be taken down. In correspondence with Jewish News Online, he asked that evidence be provided to refute the conspiracy theory.

Church of England Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer meets Nabil Kaouk, a commander of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, in Lebanon. Rev. Sizer is a leading representative of Sabeel in the UK. (Image source: Daily Mail)

On January 29, 2015, the Church of England stated that the comments made by Sizer were unacceptable and that the Diocese of Guildford would launch an investigation. The following day, Sizer issued a statement of apology and announced that the diocese had suspended him from all social media and blogs. The Board of Deputies of British Jews also published a statement condemning Sizer’s behavior. On February 9, it emerged that he had been banned from social media by the new Bishop of Guildford, the Rt. Revd. Andrew Watson, for at least six months, for his allegation of Israeli responsibility for the 9/11 atrocities. Sizer has also been banned from commenting on issues relating to the Middle East and will not attend further conferences on this subject. In his letter to the bishop, Sizer accepted that if he were to break the undertaking he has made not to use social media for that period, he would have to resign his ministry.

The Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, who chairs the Council of Christians and Jews, has said that

“The content and the delay in removing the link from Mr Sizer’s Facebook page was disgraceful and unbecoming for a clergyman of the Church of England to promote. Members of the CCJ have described the website as ‘obscenely antisemitic.'”

Simon McIlwaine, known as a man of integrity, is the founder of Anglican Friends of Israel. He has called for Sizer to be defrocked.

We have to ask why, in the light of what we know of Sabeel, Naim Ateek and Stephen Sizer, an Anglican church in Newcastle chose to display and distribute literature from this organization, containing quotations from Ateek. This is not a light matter. It raises profound questions. Perhaps the gravest error made by Kairos, Sabeel, and other Christian groups who pursue a one-sided campaign is that they take away from the Palestinians any form of agency or self-reliance. If the Israelis are to blame for all that is wrong and the Palestinians are only victims, then Palestinians must be treated as children, without the will and power to act on their own behalf. Or who can act only through violence and hate.

This infantilization of a people who have taken thousands of innocent lives, committed grave sins, and openly rejected offers of peace makes them, instead, passive recipients of suffering rather than the actors that, in fact, they are. By disengaging Palestinians from responsibility for their own hatred and actions, anti-Israel churchmen and lay members trap the very people for whom they evince the greatest love inside thoughts and policies, many of them inspired by Islamic teachings, that call for the oppression of Jews and Christians as dhimmi peoples (tolerated, second-class citizens) that render them more powerless. They permit the Palestinians to persist within an atmosphere of hatred, rather than calling them to love. There is no place, in our opinion, for the support of hatred within a Christian church, just as no hatred is ever expressed within a synagogue.

Or, as many people increasingly suspect, are these campaigns, replete with fraudulent charges, as in the Inquisition, really not about Palestinians at all, but just the latest incarnation of the old racist and religious hatred of Jews, and a clear expression of the “New Anti-Semitism”?

In conclusion, let us present the Shalom Declaration, a statement that has been presented to Christians of many denominations and signed by them as a token of their trust of Israel and the Jewish people. It speaks for itself.

The Shalom Declaration:

We deeply appreciate that Israel is the only country in the Middle East which extends freedom of worship to all its citizens and where the Christian community is growing. We grieve and stand with families in Israel and the wider Middle East, who have lost loved ones and with all who are persecuted by the rise of violent extremism and intolerance in the region. We pray that those inciting trouble and disharmony in the Middle East and who threaten the existence of Israel will be thwarted. We further pray that the peacemakers will see their patience and vision rewarded so that Isaiah’s prophecy of “swords beaten into pruning forks” and the declaration of Jesus that “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God,” will soon become a reality. We draw succour from the vibrancy of the State of Israel, from its democratic political system, its academic and cultural creativity and its remarkable contribution to humanity in terms of science and technology. And we call upon the spiritual leaders and elected representatives of our nation to work tirelessly to combat anti-Semitism and violent extremism across the world and to strengthen understanding and co-operation between the peoples of our nation and of Israel.

We call upon the Anglican Church to consider this report and to examine the Wall Will Fall event and the false claims of Kairos, Sabeel and like organizations in the light of Christ’s message of love and forgiveness. It must be the Church’s judgement whether there is need for a call to repentance. But if there is no coming alive to the injustice and deceit of Christian anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, then this ungodly bigotry and confusion within the churches will continue to fester.

Appendix

Unfortunately, the structure of the workshops at the “Walls Will Fall” event, held in St Thomas The Martyr Church in Newcastle upon Tyne, meant that one could only attend two out of the four available workshops and not the film.

The first workshop was on “Palestinian-Israeli collaboration,” and focused on the Villages Group, an NGO involving some Israelis with rural Palestinians in two villages near Nablus. This project seems in many ways commendable, and I can understand why some Christians support it. But the group’s own website and Facebook page are avowedly anti-Israeli, taking on causes for the Palestinian side only. This became clear during the workshop, which condemned Israeli security checkpoints, the Israeli security barrier, and related topics. Although I had not intended to say anything during the day, these accusations grew so vicious that it felt necessary to address some of the points made.

An attempt was made to explain that the “Wall” is only a tiny fraction of the Israeli security barrier, well over 90% of which is a wire fence some 430 miles in length. There is no doubt that the barrier and checkpoints make life difficult for the Palestinians, but in the workshop I pointed out that it was built in response to the huge toll in lives taken by suicide bombers and other terrorists; since its construction many hundreds of lives have been saved, as illustrated in the chart below:

Two other matters seemed relevant. When there were checkpoints during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, most people (including the present writer and his family) were grateful for their presence to prevent terrorist attacks. Then, back in the Middle East, we meet a Gazan woman, Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss, who was arrested at a checkpoint on June 20, 2005, while wearing a massive bomb strapped to her thigh. She planned to go as an outpatient to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, Israel, where her life had been saved after she suffered burns in a domestic accident. Her orders, given by Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, were to explode the bomb among the doctors and nurses, killing as many children as possible. At that time, Palestinians trying to smuggle bombs and other weapons through checkpoints were arrested almost every day.

The only response to this information was a statement that “this is all nonsense” or words to that effect. Given the Christian context of the workshop, one could only be at a loss to understand such a very clear indifference to the concept of saving human life. No-one present (in a packed room) voiced any objection to that callous remark.

Literature

There is no space here for a full discussion of the many leaflets, pamphlets and booklets that were made available on the dozen or more bookstalls at the event. With a couple of exceptions (such as information on some girls’ schools in the West Bank), none of the material contained even a brief mention of the Jewish, moderate Christian, or Israeli side of events and policies. Much seemed heavily and sometimes viciously expressive of hatred for the State of Israel; placed one hundred percent of the blame for any conflict on Israel or Jewish settlers. Much also discounted, excused, covered up or ignored decades of Arab and Palestinian violence and PLO and Hamas calls for the eradication of Israel because it is a Jewish state and therefore unacceptable in Islamic law. Some of what was there was gross, much of it was subtle. For anyone with a limited knowledge of the history and ideological underpinnings of this dispute, the glosses and mis-statements were persuasive and, unsurprisingly, designed to draw readers into the Palestinian narrative.

Dr. Denis MacEoin has lectured and written about the Middle East since the 1980s.

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