Last week's Christ at the Checkpoint conference in the West Bank town of Bethlehem brought evangelical Christians together with their Palestinian sisters and brothers to ask what their faith has to say about the Israeli occupation. Christian Zionists aren't happy about their answers. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Two of the most potent forces insulating Israel from any political accountability for the occupation are right-wing lobbying groups, most notably AIPAC, and the Christian Zionist movement of which the largest U.S. organization is Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Recent months have seen cracks in AIPAC’s influence, most notably defeats…Read More... | 1 Comment
Addressing Christian Zionists who brush aside the occupation by saying, 'it's complicated,' an American Evangelical writes: 'Injustice is only complicated to those who don’t suffer from it.' By Alice Su What would Jesus do if he were standing at a checkpoint in Israel/Palestine today? Asked that question one year ago, I would have given you a blank stare. Growing up as an evangelical Christian, I thought of Israel only as a Bible-place of God’s chosen people, quaintly holy and surely blessed. Checkpoints, occupation, Palestine – these words meant nothing for most of my 22-year-old life. Today I write from Bethlehem…Read More... | 67 Comments
Over 70 Israeli activists publish an open letter in support of the ultra-Orthodox community, as it struggles against a new law that would draft its young men into the army or national civil service. (Translated from Hebrew by Asaf Shalev) We, civilians and activists – religious, masorti (tradition-committed) and secular - wish to express our support for the struggle of the ultra-Orthodox community against forced military enlistment. There must be an end to the empty rhetoric employed by the Israeli government and its constituent parties that are calling for the "sharing of the burden" of military service, by which they…Read More... | 8 Comments
Instead of promoting equality and the non-racialization of citizenship in Israel, right-wing MKs are adopting a classic colonial law to weaken the non-Jewish community’s 'threat' to the country's ethnic order. By Amjad Iraqi The Knesset this week enacted a new law that legally distinguishes between Christian and Muslim citizens of Israel regarding employment opportunities. Though the law does not make a significant impact on its own, more bills are expected to be introduced that emphasize the same distinction. The Knesset member behind the bill, Yariv Levin (Likud-Beiteinu), believes that such measures promoting the division of Palestinian citizens of Israel will…Read More... | 16 Comments
During the annual Palm Sunday procession, Palestinian Christians protest permits delayed and denied during the Easter season. Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Whether during Ramadan or Easter, every year, Palestinians with West Bank IDs face challenges entering Jerusalem for religious worship. Despite claims by Israeli authorities of granting more permits and relaxing restrictions, each year thousands of worshipers are denied entry. This Easter season, early reports indicate that Palestinian Christian communities from the northern West Bank had to cancel their Palm Sunday celebrations in Jerusalem due to a lack of permits. Parishes from the Bethlehem and Ramallah areas received between…Read More... | 16 Comments
We now open our Christmas celebrations with the traditional Islamophobic message from the Prime Minister's Office: While Prime Minister Netanyahu is using the holiday to present his tea-party talking points against anything Muslim, it's a good time to remember that roughly 200,000 more than 170,000 Palestinian Christians are living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, without proper political representation, freedom of travel, equality before the law, and many other civil and human rights. Unlike the Israeli prime minister, the occupation doesn't know the difference between a Muslim and a Christian.Read More... | 59 Comments
Ambassador Michael Oren insists that in all the Middle East, Christians have it the best in Israel, but a history of dispossession paints a more complex picture. The writer asserts Palestinian Christians are emigrating due to Israel's discriminatory policies, and calls attention to upcoming resolutions by churches in the United States to divest from Israeli companies that profit from the occupation. By Philip Farah | Originally published in the Huffington Post on May 1, 2012 In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren claimed that Christians in Israel are better off than their brethren anywhere else in…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian Christians are no different than other Palestinians. We all suffer the same. There have already been a number of articles written in response to CBS’s 60 Minutes report about Christians in the Holy Land. The sexy story in all this appears to be Michael Oren’s interview with Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, and the attempt by Israel, its embassy in the United States and syndicate of lobbying groups to prevent the report in some capacity from airing. The real story told in this piece has been to some degree overshadowed by the Michael Oren story, but also lacks appeal…Read More... | 27 Comments
By Andrew Miller and James-Michael Smith Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. ---Matthew 5:9 We are writing to you, our fellow Christians from the United States, with which the State of Israel has enjoyed a unique relationship since its founding, because we are concerned with the nature of support that many American Christians provide for Israel's policies. Like you, we support the right of Israel to exist and thrive, to be a democracy based on principles of justice described in the Law and the Prophets, and to live in peace with its…Read More... | 69 Comments
In Christmas celebration hosted by the Fatah movement, Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Fatah central committee member, appealed to Christian Palestinians to remain in their land, and to call on their sons and daughters who have emigrated to return to Palestine. Shtayyeh quoted Jesus' words from the Gospel of Matthew, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?".According to a Maan News Agency report (Arabic), Shtayyeh told the Christian attendees that no one is more worthy of this land than the Christian Palestinians. Christian emigration from Palestinian cities has been a…Read More... | 11 Comments
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- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
Look at what the #IDF installed atop the separation wall in #Bethlehem http://t.co/IbuSwHy0RD, by @Ha_Matar http://t.co/2LUgseQVxx
On the arbitrary and absurd laws that prevent Palestinian citizens from reaching the Arab world http://t.co/UY4JkTMPFt
'Beirut’s part in developing our cultural and political identity is far greater and deeper than that of Tel Aviv' http://t.co/UY4JkTMPFt
'When Majd Kayyal traveled to Beirut, he was fulfilling the right of every Palestinian citizen of Israel' http://t.co/UY4JkTMPFt
How one Palestinian citizen challenged Israel's 'enemy state' policy http://t.co/UY4JkTMPFt
Have you checked out @activestills' photos of the week yet? You really should: http://t.co/cW5r17y7FE http://t.co/GdEdFp1dQj
Israeli army installs new remote-controlled weapon atop separation wall http://t.co/IbuSwHy0RD, by @Ha_Matar http://t.co/BM09V3lxsm