By Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online—
Missionaries from Jews for Jesus in Israel are allying themselves with the anti-Zionist Palestinian Christian organization Musalaha in order to attack the Aramean Christian community. After a speaker at a Musalaha conference called Aramean Christians loyal to Israel “collaborators,” the Aramean community responded robustly. JerusalemOnline reported last year that Father Gabriel Naddaf, the spiritual head of the Christian Empowerment Council which is based in Nazareth, Israel, called out the Musalaha organization after its founder Salim Munayer, who boasts his family connections to George Habash, the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, praised Hamas’ terror tunnels as sources of food and drink as well as a means to “get weapons to defend because they want to change the situation.”
In response to Naddaf, missionaries from Jews for Jesus defended Munayer’s stance on the terror tunnels. Jews for Jesus activist David Minsky, who works among many Israeli soldiers and other youth in Israel, asserted that Hamas was merely “defending themselves and the mess they created” during Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014. Labelling Israel’s security blockade of Gaza a “siege,” Minsky also suggested that Hamas may not have been to blame for the deaths of three Israeli teenagers on their way home from school before hostilities began – despite Hamas admitting to having kidnapped the boys. In further online comments, Minsky had suggested that Hamas was “trying to make life better” for the people of Gaza and that Father Naddaf should be sued for libel. Fellow Jews for Jesus missionary Chaim Birnbaum added that Naddaf’s post “had no foundational truths.”
This week, when Father Naddaf criticized a pact signed between Musalaha and leaders from Jews for Jesus, Minsky accused Naddaf’s organization of possessing “worthless, biased opinions.” Naddaf responded to Minsky by highlighting ties between Jews for Jesus missionaries and Anglican Vicar Stephen Sizer, who was banned by the Church of England from talking about Israel for life due to the suggestion that Jews were responsible for 9/11 and for his sharing of anti-Semitic material.
Naddaf wrote to Minsky this week: “You and others in your organization are an utter disgrace. It is well known how your colleague Yoel Ben David had the audacity to accept a preaching invitation from Steven Sizer – a man so eaten with hatred of Jews that he was even disciplined by his own diocese. Jesus endorses our right to defend ourselves, not just from Palestinian terrorists but also theological terrorists, who through insidious agreements such as these, concur with the blood libels of the Palestinian Authority which Musalaha supports, blood libels and historical lies that you also endorse, causing theological and physical violence against Israel and the Jewish people. To your shame, you have chosen to set aside the commandments of our Lord and instead have chosen to be people pleasers- politicians with a theological mask.”
In recent years, Jews for Jesus has embraced anti-Zionist Palestinian Evangelical Christians, whom Father Naddaf accuses of “theological terrorism.” Veteran Jews for Jesus scholar Richard Harvey, who co-authored the recent pact between Jews for Jesus and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-linked Musalaha, who also supports a one-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, spoke at a recent “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Bethlehem and has also spoken in Stephen Sizer’s church.