BY ISRAEL TODAY—
Israel Today is attending Christ at the Checkpoint this week to report first hand in our upcoming magazine regarding this conference that takes aim at Christian Zionism and its theology of the Land. In the coming days, we will post some tidbits to our website to let readers know what is going on.
On the first full day of the conference, attendees were treated to a somewhat bizarre lecture by big-name American preacher Joel Hunter, as well as several Palestinian pastors and Christian figures.
We will try to post some direct quotes later, but thought it was instructive to note a few missing facts whose absence from the program has sent the tone for the conference: 1. Christian Zionism is more or less presented as being plucked from the air. The fact that it is based on actual scriptures and divine promises was not mentioned by most speakers, and those who did acknowledge those passages labeled Christian Zionists as morons for taking them literally. Instead of pointing out that some Christian Zionists can sometimes get overzealous and be hurtful toward Arabs, the entire biblical viewpoint is written off as garbage.
2. The security wall on the northern side of Bethlehem is spoken of as though it has been a depressing fact of life since forever. In reality, that barrier is less than 10 years old, and was only very reluctantly built by Israel in response to incessant terrorist attacks against Jews in neighboring Jerusalem.
3. If the Palestinians truly want a separate state, they need to come to grips with the concept of a border and border crossings. The Bethlehem security checkpoint is presented as a kind of prison environment, but the truth is it is no different than the barriers and security checkpoints that separate many nations around the world. In fact, as border checkpoints in highly populated areas go, it’s not that bad.
4. Israel is presented as arbitrarily imposing unjust conditions on the Palestinians. The fact that all Israeli security measures have been implemented in response to Palestinian terrorist aggression has not been mentioned. The fact that 10 years ago, before the last intifada, there were far fewer soldiers around and it was possible to move about much more freely is ignored.
5. Many speakers decry being labeled as anti-Semitic simply because they do not support a Zionist reading of scripture. Yet they are quick to label as Arab-haters those Christians who do not support the Palestinian nationalistic agenda.