Introduction by Andrew D. Robinson, Senior Pastor of Hazel Grove Full Gospel Church
Report by Paul Wilkinson, Associate Minister of Hazel Grove Full Gospel Church
Just over a year ago Hazel Grove Full Gospel Church produced ‘Prophets Who Prophecy Lies in my Name’: Christian Palestinianism and the Anti-Israel Crusade,’ a publication which charts the nature and scale of opposition within the Church towards the modern State of Israel. Anglican clerics like English evangelical Stephen Sizer and Palestinian liberationist Naim Ateek, who are in the vanguard of this crusade, insist that Israel has been replaced by the Church in the purposes of God and that the Land promises made to Abraham and his seed have been fulfilled in Christ. The Jewish nation is thus twice robbed through the medium of replacement theology: of its prophetic Scriptures and its Promised Land.
In fulfillment of the Deuteronomy law of God, the Jewish people are back in their ancient homeland after centuries of exile (Deuteronomy 30:1-9), but today’s neo-crusaders, like their medieval predecessors, are bent on ‘liberating’ the Holy Land from what they see as unlawful occupation. The crusader ranks swell daily, with members of mainstream churches, Islamic groups, political and secular parties, and a host of others, marching on Israel with a determination to bend the Zionist spirit to their will. Like their historical forbears, today’s anti-Israel crusades are an eclectic mix who find common ground and unity of purpose in their collective condemnation of, and virulent opposition to, the modern State of Israel.
Those who support Israel on biblical grounds, be they Jewish Zionists or Christian Zionists, are subjected to intimidating rhetoric from the anti-Israel camp. In a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Willems (June 2011), Naim Ateek, whose Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (‘Sabeel’) was represented at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, described Jewish and Christian Zionists as “a greater threat to us [Arab Christians] than the extremist Islamists.” Stephen Sizer joins the attack, denouncing Israel as an “apartheid State” which he claims is guilty of ethnic cleansing, and demonizing Christians who support Israel as heretical “Armageddonites” whose interpretation of the Bible “provides a theological endorsement for racial segregation, apartheid and war.” These are outlandish sentiments.
This booklet makes for sober reading, but we believe it is of paramount importance that the true agenda underlying the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel Christ at the Checkpoint Conference and associated forums is brought to the attention of both Christian and Jewish communities. One of our purposes therefore is to take the reader behind the scenes to reveal the high level of interconnectedness that exists between Conference speakers, their respective constituencies, and the wider anti-Israel, and in some cases, anti-Semitic world. It is imperative that we recognize that we are not simply dealing with an isolated, self-contained conference with stand-alone presentations, but with a highly sophisticated pro-Palestinian network, in which the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference sits. In my opinion, anti-Zionism is nothing less than politically-correct, internationally sanctioned anti-Semitism. Those who defend their anti-Israel position with a “My best friend is Jewish” gambit, need to explain how that works when their circle of ‘friends’ also includes known anti-Semites.
Early in 1932, Sir Oswald Mosley, the English fascist leader, attended a business dinner at the home of British industrialist, Zionist and philanthropist, Israel Sieff (of Marks and Spencer fame). Mosley was looking for financial support for his newly formed political party from the industrialists attending the dinner. He shared his plans for the New Party, stressing that “a new movement must find somebody or something to hate. In this case it should be the Jews.” Sieff writes: “He did not seem to think he had said anything particularly unacceptable, but the effect on the company was instant. I said ‘I must ask you to leave, Sir Oswald’. He strode out…and I never saw him again…Until that time I did not know what he felt about the Jews.”
The are many Christian Palestinianists, Christ at Checkpoint speakers included, who do know what some of their ‘friends’ feel about the Jews, and yet are still willing to engage with them in platform sharing, press conferencing, political rallying, petition signing, and policy making, if it serves their anti-Zionist purposes. As a Christian pastor, I challenge the basis of such friendships, and urge those who seek to court the enemies of the Jewish State in furtherance of their pro-Palestinian agenda, to think again.
I pray that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will use this document to inform and alert, warn and challenge, encourage and enlighten; that by His grace many eyes will be opened to the true scale of the anti-Israel crusade, which is paving the way for wholesale condemnation of the international Jewish community.
Download a free copy of Paul Wilkinson’s full and complete report from our website:
The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint
A response to the 2nd ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference in Bethlehem, 5-9 March 2012
Replies to: Paul Wilkinson
Tel: 0161 345 8910