By ISRAEL TODAY—
With the third biannual Christ at the Checkpoint conference just a week away, a majority of Israeli Messianic Jews continue to find the event too politically-charged and too undergirded by anti-Semitic themes to be taken seriously as a platform for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Jewish and Arab believers.
While many Messianics are choosing to reserve comment until after Christ at the Checkpoint, others believe the content of the previous two conferences is reason enough to speak out now, and make clear why they simply cannot participate.
The following is a petition circulated by Israeli Messianic academic, author and rabbi, Dr. David Friedman, and signed by many local and foreign Messianic leaders.
It begins with a letter addressing directly the organizers and sponsors of Christ at the Checkpoint:
To the sponsors of the Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC) Conference,
We hope you will give consideration to our objections, and not dismiss them out of hand, given their serious nature.
None of us desire a state of conflict or war between Israelis and Palestinians; however, neither do we desire to see anti-Semitic insinuations at what purports to be a reconciliation effort. And we have seen such via the first two CatC conferences.
If either Rev. Jack Sarah or Rev. Munthar Isaac desire at any point to dialogue with Dr. David Friedman regarding the anti-Semitic contents of previous conferences, such can certainly be arranged. We are saying that wide changes in the CatC approach need to occur, and some contents from past conferences need to be repudiated, in order for the anti-Semitism of past conferences to disappear.
The petition that Israeli Messianic leaders were asked to sign (along with those signatures) reads:
To the sponsors of the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference,
We, the undersigned, will not attend or support the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference because of our assessment of its anti-Semitic content and undertones. We cannot remain silent at a time like this, and as a matter of conscience, we express our serious concern for both the sponsors of this conference, and over the content, message and activities of the past two conferences.
We urge all participants to check their own hearts and minds regarding their attitude towards the Jewish people and the Jewish nation. Anti-Israel politics and political correctness have emerged as focal points of this conference, to which end the state of Israel and the Jewish people have been singled out for constant and severe criticism. The conference sponsors retain connections to pro-jihadist movements or persons, whose political stances threaten the entire Middle East. By retaining such connections, the conference has failed to uphold points #6 and #10 of its own manifesto.
As sincere believers in Messiah Yeshua, we cannot, and we will not, endorse this conference.
Sincerely, and with grave concern,
Dr. and Mrs. David Friedman, Israel
Mr. Elyahu ben Haim, Israel
Mr. Marvin Kramer, J.D., Israel
Mr. Chuck Cohen, Israel
Mr. Ofer Amitai, Israel
Mr. Howard Bass, Israel
Mr. Philip Lerner, Israel
Mr. Dror Shannon, Israel
Mr. and Mrs. Nissim Lerner, Israel
Dr. Liron Shani, Israel
Mr. and Mrs. Ariel Berkowitz, Israel
Mr. Tal Ellis, Israel
Mr. and Mrs. Z. Leonard, Israel
Mr. David Deikun, Israel
Ms. Karen Berger, Israel
Ms. Connie Sinkler-Thomas, Canada
Mr. Allan MacLeod, Canada
Ms. Joyena Abraham, Canada
Mr. Richard Gibson, UK
Rev. John E. Young, UK
Mr. Adrian Glasspole, UK
Mr. James Mendelson, UK
Ms. Lynda McLean, UK
As one who attended the 2014 “Checkpoint in Philadelphia” Or Impact Holyland conference, I agree that a strong voice for Israel will be helpful. To just attend, as I did, I’m afraid, will only fuel the anti Israel fire. Blessings as you discrn your way
I would love to be able to add my name to this petition. Far too many Christians do not see this for what it really is.
I, too, would like to add my name to this petition. Too many Christians are placing their trust in propaganda over the world of God. What a terrible error!
I too would add my name to the petition and to stand against these so-called Christians who have forgotten or have not read their Bible. Don’t they realize that we Christians are grafted in to the Olive tree called Israel or that Jesus aka Yeshua (His Hebrew name) was Jewish. I pray that our Heavenly Father will open their eyes to their abominaiton that they speak against the ‘apple of God’s eye’ before He makes them answer for their anti-semitic madness.
As a believing Gentile Messianic, I agree totally with the Jewish Messianic movement in keeping away from the misguided-by-satan crowd, who are poking the Apple of His Eye, and will soon see the consequences. In fact they are already seeing some of the consequences in their nations. If we bless the brothers and sisters of Yeshua, we will be blessed; we are not their judges. But any who curse them by lying to the world and setting themselves up as judges over Israel, will themselves by judged by the King of the Jews, to Whom “all power in Heaven and earth is given.”
I have been very,very disappointed at the Anti-
Semitic comments that were given at the CatC conference. I pray that God will show these participants in a very visible way how very wrong they are to turn their back on His Land!
I too would like to sign the petition and stand with Israel.