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December 20, 2011

‘Tis the Season!

Bethlehem Call.jpg

Christmas is nearly upon us, giving anti-Zionists yet another opportunity to antagonize American and Israeli Jews and depict it as an honest and authentic expression of the Christian faith. It happens every Advent.

Sadly, 2011 is no exception as a group of Palestinian Christians issued “The Bethlehem Call�? earlier this month. This statement, issued by the same folks who issued the Kairos Document in December 2009, is a ham-handed and obvious attempt to delegitimize the state of Israel. It’s so ham-handed and hostile that most mainline churches have been careful not to touch it with a 10-foot pole.

For example, the document dates the beginning of the occupation to 1947. It does this by referring to the Amman call, issued by The World Council of Churches in 2007 as having brought an end to "60 years" of Christian silence regarding the "Israeli occupation of Palestine."

Do the math (2007 minus 60 years equals 1947) and you’ll see the authors of The Bethlehem Call are dating the beginning of the occupation to the year before Israel's creation -- more than two decades before Israel came into possession of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War. This means Israel -- all of Israel -- is on occupied territory and therefore is not a legitimate country.

Another passage of the Bethlehem Call reads as follows: "The delegitimization and criminalization of the Israeli government and international support base is gaining unstoppable momentum."

Now the Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ, one of the few Christian organizations foolish enough to rebroadcast the Bethlehem Call, states that this is an "observation" and "not a position statement" but given the context, its clear that the authors of the document think that the delegitimization and criminalization they describe is a good thing.

Take a look at the instruction to the readers at the top of the document. "To the reader: Read and interpret this text with a Kairos consciousness and gaze of prophetic anger."

The document then declares Israel guilty of a host of crimes while rejecting “any argument aimed at convincing Palestinians and the international community that the problems are caused by Muslims rather than the Occupation.�?

This is simply hilarious given that Palestinian Christians have routinely assailed Christian Zionism. Can any honest peacemaker believe that Islamism is not a problem as well?

Clearly, the document is part of the campaign to delegitimize and criminalize Israel and its government. And yet the folks at the UCC and Disciples of Christ say that the document merely acknowledges the success of this campaign.

Who do they think they are kidding?

The Bethlehem Call is one of a long series of Christian statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict designed to annoy, antagonize and provoke Jews in Israel and elsewhere and depict these provocations as an honest and legitimate expression of the Christian faith.

This might have worked in 2005, but not any more.

Posted by dvz at December 20, 2011 04:17 PM


A web site I visted claims, in 1995 80% of Bethleham was Christian today it is nearly 20%. Pogroms by Muslims have occurred in 2002, 2005 and the Christians are thoroughly intimidated by the Islamists who have driven much of the Christian remnants that predated Islam from the entire Islamic Mediterranean region. In Iran, last week, a Christian minister has been found guilty of conveerting from Islam and is held under threat of death if he does not convert to Islam. One might criticize the Israeli's for not doing more for this minority population being victimized by harsh forms of Islam; But how can one make such a charge without admitting to ones own hypocritical inaction? The older traditional Christians communties have suffered severely since the rise of the Jihadists and if the world at large is not going to admit to the problem anymore than Turkey can admit to the Armenian Holocaust I don't see how the blame all falls on Israel.

Posted by: jeb stuart at December 23, 2011 03:13 PM

A few well placed Arabs are able to steer the direction of world wide churches in an anti Israel direction. The same is true in so many other places world wide. This is all part of the Muslim Brotherhood plan to destroy Israel. Blaming the creation odf Israel for the 80% decline in the Christian population of the middle east is a large part of the anti Israel propaganda machine.

Posted by: Ron Kall at December 25, 2011 06:04 PM

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