« Voice of America Wrong on American Veto | Main | Why the Palestinians' International Efforts Do Not Bode Well For Peace »

December 31, 2014

Will Gabriel Nadaf Speak at Christ at the Checkpoint in 2016?

Father Gabriel Nadaf speaks at an event organized by the Liaison Committee in Jerusalem in 2013.

Every even-numbered year, the folks at Bethlehem Bible College, (a school known for broadcasting anti-Israel propaganda), organizes a Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. At CATC conferences, the elites of Bethlehem’s Christian community tell the world how badly the Palestinians are suffering and how it is all Israel’s fault. They also tell the world just how wonderful life is under the Palestinian Authority.

Some of the people who speak at the conference lie to their guests from North America and Europe about how the security barrier completely surrounds the City of Bethlehem, when in fact it doesn’t. Three people did this at the 2014 event.

Apparently, Westerners who come to the event, which is held at the Jacir Palace Hotel in Bethlehem, enjoy the show, because the folks who put it on are oh so authentic, even if you can’t trust a word that comes out of their mouths.

Attendees are not bothered by the involvement of folks like Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer, an Anglican Priest known for his recent pilgrimage to Iran, where leaders call for Israel’s destruction and portray Zionism as the enemy of all mankind.

For folks who are into that sort of thing, CATC conferences are the Siegfried Follies of Israel bashing.

In 2014, the spectacle was complicated somewhat by the murder of Christians in Syria and Iraq. It’s hard to portray Israel as the source of suffering in the Middle East while ISIS in Iraq is decapitating Christians and Yazidis because of their faith.

Still, CATC organizers were game, rewriting the script somewhat by acknowledging that these things take place, but adding that anti-Christian hostility in the Middle East is rooted in American support for Israel.

It’s more than a year off, but CATC organizers are already preparing the 2016 event. Here’s a suggestion for them. Invite Father Gabriel Nadaf, the spiritual father of the Aramean Christian community in Israel to speak at the event. Let him tell his story.

Nadaf, who, as part of the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, is encouraging Christians in Israel to join the IDF. Instead of attacking Israel, he is lauding it, declaring it to be the one place in the Middle East where Christians can practice their faith in safety. In a recent op-ed, Father Nadaf declared the following:

Christians in Arab countries live on the margins, without rights, with their property stolen, their honor trampled, their children sacrificed and the slaughter ongoing.

Within this chaos, only one island of sanity can be found where the Christians are not persecuted, where they enjoy freedom of religion and ritual, freedom of expression, and where they can live in peace without fear of genocide. That island is the State of Israel.

The story Nadaf tells is exactly the opposite of what the folks at CATC want us to hear. Nadaf tell us, in not so many words, that Israel is the model, not the problem in the Middle East. He argues that Israel’s democracy is buttressed, not undermined by its status as a Jewish state. For telling this story, Nadaf and his family has been threatened, defamed and attacked by Israeli Arabs, who cannot bear to hear what he has to say.

Do the people who organize CATC have the nerve to invite Nadaf to speak?

Posted by dvz at December 31, 2014 12:32 PM


The chances of CATC inviting Father Nadaf are not quite as good as the chances of J-Street inviting Kay Wilson to its conference.

Posted by: cba at December 31, 2014 04:14 PM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)