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Prophets and Peaceniks

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On March 22, 2006 I was back in Jerusalem and once again visited with Jeff Halper at his ICAHD office. I sought his advice that day after reading his new book "Obstacles to Peace: A Reframing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict."

I was encouraged by what he wrote because a part of the issue of reframing the Israeli Palestinian conflict is what I have been trying to do by focusing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was ratified by Israel in 1948 and was contingent upon its becoming a state.

Jeff told me that "Israel has no constitution but has a Declaration of Independence which promised that Israel would abide by conditions and UN resolutions. They have not fulfilled the agreement which was the basis of their independence."

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was signed May 14, 1948 the day the British Mandate over Palestine expired. The USA recognized Israel that very night and the USSR three days later. The Declaration affirms that the state of Israel "will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisioned by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion...and will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, education and culture: it will safeguard the Holy places of all religions, and it will be faithful to the principals of the Charter of the United Nations."

Jeff has consistently stated that, "Israel is a not a theocracy but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control and structured to keep them in control. The other day someone mentioned to me that all elections are bullshit everywhere and if the people in power actually thought elections would change things, they would eliminate them!

"One out of three Israeli children live below the poverty line. It's probably about 80% for Palestinians. Jews are like everyone else, those who have been abused grow up to be abusers. Things here have been turned on their head: its victim mentality and denial about the occupation. Once Israelis accept the fact that they are occupiers they will have to admit their State Terrorism."

"Christian Fundamentalism is a big problem. John Hagee and Falwell have established Christians United for Israel and they are the Christian AIPAC. There's a big meeting happening in D.C. which Israel supports with big money. They are the ones you need to interact with."

We conversed on how I should go about this and then I ask Jeff to look into the future and he responded, "I think things will blow before people will wake up about the injustice which is just not sustainable. That is the hopeful part about this conflict; it will end, for injustice is unsustainable."

After I left Jeff I walked down to the Zionist International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem which is a group of fundamentalists who financially support Israel's policy of Aliyah: the immigration and absorption of Jews. I hoped to ask them about supporting the UN Resolution affirming the right of return to Palestinian refugees but no one was available to speak to me. I left my card and hoped someone there would read the WAWA blog and interact with me. So far, no takers.

Every right thinking Christian understands that Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism which is detrimental to a just peace within Israel Palestine. These fundamentalists share a worldview that preaches a gospel identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. This is not the Gospel Christ preached, for he taught we must love, forgive, do good to all and it is the peacemakers who are the children of God.

After all, who would Jesus bomb? Nobody!

Christian Zionists emphasize-and hope/pray for- apocalyptic event that will lead to the end of history and they totally ignore Christ's love and compassion for all. Their theology is the fastest growing cult in America, partly because mainline churches have remained silent about the forty year occupation of Palestine.

Sabeel, the Jerusalem based and rapidly spreading international movement promotes a theology of liberation and denounces oppression and occupation. The following is excerpted from "Challenging Christian Zionism" which was compiled after their 5th International Conference.

"We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teachings that undermine the biblical message of love, justice and mercy. We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with extremist elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently seeking to impose their unilateral preemptive strategies and militaristic rule over others, including Palestine and Iraq. As a result of the April 14, 2004 Bush-Sharon memorandum of understanding, the crisis in Israel and Palestine has moved into a new phase of oppression of the Palestinian people. This will inevitably lead to unending cycles of violence and counter violence that are already spreading throughout the Middle East and other parts of the world. We reject the heretical teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these extremist policies as they advance a form of radical exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ.

"Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from ideologies of militarism and occupation and instead to pursue the healing of the world. We call upon the Christians in churches on every continent to prayerfully remember the suffering of the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are victims of occupation and militarism. The recent construction of the Israeli wall on Palestinian land precludes a viable Palestinian state.

"Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principals as an alternative way: we affirm that all people are created in the image of God and called to honor the dignity and respect the equal rights of every human being.

"We call upon people of good will everywhere to reject the theology of Christian Zionism and all parallel religious and ideological fundamentalisms that privilege a particular people at the expense of others.
"We are committed to the power of non-violent resistance to defeat the occupation and attain a just and lasting peace.

"With renewed urgency we warn that the theology of Christian Zionism is leading to the moral justification of empire, colonization, apartheid and oppression.

"...The ideal and best solution has always been to envisage ultimately a bi-national state in Palestine-Israel where people are free and equal, living under a constitutional democracy that protects and guarantees all their rights, responsibilities and duties without racism or discrimination-one state for two nations and three religions...Justice alone guarantees a peace that will lead to reconciliation and a life of security and prosperity for all the peoples of the land...and working for peace makes us children of God.- April 18, 2004 statement from the 5th International Sabeel Conference "Challenging Christian Zionism".
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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of Staff Member of, A Feature Correspondent for Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
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