Yes, they will stop listening to the truth but will turn aside to follow myths. 2 Timothy 3:4

"Christ at the Checkpoint" 2014

See also Christ at the Checkpoint


Israeli Government - MFA comments:

Christ At The Checkpoint Is Problematic

(by David Lazarus - Israel Today online news - March 9th, 2014)

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has issued a last-minute statement suggesting Christians steer clear of the “Christ at the Checkpoint” (CatC) conference that opens 10th March 2014 in Palestinian-held Bethlehem. The statement, which came in response to an investigative inquiry by Israel Today, regards the CatC conference as a serious long-term threat to Israel’s security.

In a personal correspondence with Israel Today, an MFA official said that “unfortunately, we well know about the [Christ at the Checkpoint] conference,” explaining that for the Israeli government, the event “is particularly problematic, because it is designed for the evangelical Christian leadership – an extremely important audience to us.”

The official provided statement from the Israel MFA is as follows:

“The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”

“Using religion for incitement”

In this unprecedented advisory, the Israeli government has taken the dramatic step of warning Christians that an Evangelical Christian event is “using religion for the purpose of incitement.” The Israeli government issued the warning as it became clear that Palestinian evangelicals at CatC are misusing Christian teachings to inflame anti-Israeli passions. Government officials are concerned that the “blame Israel” propaganda coming out of events like CatC ultimately serves, even if unintentionally, to encourage violence and stir up even more radical Islamic terror.

The Israeli government recognizes that depicting Christ suffering at the Bethlehem checkpoint under the heavy-booted and trigger-happy Jews is just the type of religion-fuelled imagery that has in years past resulted in the worst kind of Christian anti-Semitism.

“Stains the person with indelible infamy”

When the government of Israel needs to put out an official warning about a group of evangelical Christians saying that they are “stained with indelible infamy,” they mean business. The government of Israel has made it clear that those who participate in this type of religious manipulation to incitement are marked, both figuratively, and as a focus of further action on the part of the authorities in Jerusalem.

“We have already actively targeted specific participants in the conference, as well as leaders of the groups who will attend the event, in a coordinated effort to expose them to our side of the story,” the MFA told Israel Today.

Furthermore, the government has indicated that it considers certain people involved in CatC to have a reputation for being involved in malicious acts against the state. For example, it was recently revealed that some of the leading figures at CatC have very close ties to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to delegitimize and ultimately to undermine entirely the Jewish state. (See the Bethlehem Call, which was co-authored by one of the CatC organizers and is linked to from the conference’s website)

Evangelical Friend or Foe?

That Jerusalem is so aware and concerned about CatC should be encouraging news to Evangelical Christians around the world. The government of Israel finds them “an extremely important audience,” and the goal of the conference is clearly to drive a wedge between Christians and the State of Israel. Christians around the world should continue to heed the government’s call to distance themselves from the dangerous and politically-motivated propaganda of Christ at the Checkpoint.


Comment by an unknown Israeli Jewish author

in the Jerusalem Post

Many articles and essays are being published in the aftermath of last week’s “Christ at the Checkpoint” in Bethlehem. All of them are well worth your time. Best of all, of course, are blow-by-blow tweets of the conference by yours truly.
During the final session, just as Purim began, Jack Sara, president of Bethlehem Bible College, announced a fourth conference, including its own hashtag, #CATC2016. Everybody there gave a hearty cheer. Well, almost everybody. I was busy tweeting.

Clearly, CATC2014 had no trouble selling its, hmm, rhetoric, to a non-Jewish audience of Christian clergy, Christian pastors, Christian students, Christian publishers, Christian authors, Christian Jews, Christian reporters. Lots of Christians. (Yes, me too.) Oh, and an Islamic spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister who kicked off the conference right after everyone stood to sing the Palestinian National Anthem.

The obvious problem, of course, is that there were no Jewish Jews on the roster. This was puzzling in light of proud and repeated claims by leaders that the conference included all points of view with respect to “the Palestine-Israel conflict.” Certain that organizers of #CATC2016 want nothing more than to correct this shortcoming, here are 10 easy steps for getting a whole boatload of Jews to come:

1. Hold the conference in a swastika-themed hotel. The Jacir Palace, a.k.a. the Intercontinental, was built in 1910 and decorated then with swastikas. The Palestinian Authority refurbished the property in 2000 but some overlooked the need to remove said symbols used by the Nazis.

Probably because of Bethlehem’s rich Hindu heritage. Anyway, this is the perfect venue to persuade Jews to attend your conference!

2. Get the Right Reverend Doctor Stephen Sizer to help plan the conference.

Awarded his PhD in 2004 for dissertation-now-book, Christian Zionism – Roadmap to Armageddon?, today he is a respected writer for Friends of Al-Aqsa News and regular guest on Press TV and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. The Ayatollah Khomeini’s daughter is so impressed, she is sponsoring translation of his Christian Zionism Armageddon book into Farsi. Whatever it takes, put this guy on your planning- purpose-mission committee!

3. Get a speaker who thinks God protected Hitler against assassination.

Like CATC2012 presenter Shane Claibourne, who thinks “the cross lost” when Christian pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler, who was “very interestingly protected” from death. Jews will definitely sit through a lecture about what you are not allowed to do to stop Jewish genocide. An excellent choice for CATC2014!

4. Repeatedly deny that Palestinians had anything to do with Nazism or the Holocaust. Like Alex Awad did at CATC2014. After all, nobody will remember Adolph’s buddy, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Palestinian nationalist and grand mufti of Jerusalem.

5. Get a German theologian to call Jews “dummkopfs” as Manfred Kohl did in his distinctive accent at CATC2012.

6. Recruit a Hamas-loving speaker to call for a “Christian jihad.” Like CATC2010 speaker Brother Andrew, who went on record asserting that violent jihadists have “every right” to attack the West.

7. Deny a Jewish terror survivor the chance to speak. Meet Kay Wilson, stabbed 13 times by a Palestinian terrorist. CATC2012 turned her away because “it’s not what the Lord wants.” Perfectly understandable. After all, who wants to hear about Jews who suffer and in spite of it stubbornly choose life? Boring, boring, boring.

8. Explain that Christians are drawn to replacement theology because of the Jews’ evil deeds. Jews love feedback. Why not? Jews tend to take feedback well. Why not patronize them by asserting that anti-Semitism is somehow understandable given the evildoing Jews collectively do? Better yet, make sure the one who says this is an Israeli Jewish Christian.

9. Make sure Jews know that any dissenting Jews, especially critical blogger-tweeters, are practicing Satanic acts.

10. Or maybe they are pigs banished to hell! As everybody’s favorite vicar, the Right Reverend Doctor Stephen Sizer, judged Israeli Ron Cantor.

So, Jews, Bethlehem Bible College is already preparing #CATC2016 to make you feel as welcome as possible. C’mon down! (Note: I have written this with permission from and an ode to the original “10 Easy Steps” essay published by the rogues at

The author is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. He currently lives in Jerusalem

Response by Shadi Khalloul,

Shadi Khalloul is chairman of the Aramaic Christian Association in Israel, spokesman for the Christian IDF Forum and a representative of those Arabic-speaking Christians who have chosen to embrace Israel, rather than fight against it.

A growing number of Israeli Christians have been speaking out with a new voice and calling for integration into Israeli Jewish society. At the same time, many of us are asking for a halt to the cynical use of local Christians as pawns in the Palestinian cause or other Arab efforts to destroy Israel as a democratic Jewish state.

Like the majority of Israeli Christians, I feel that many Church leaders are betraying the Christian message and ignoring the rights of fellow Christians in the Holy Land in service to Islamic propaganda against our country, Israel.

To see Christian leaders participating in anti-Israel political conferences like “Christ at the Checkpoint” makes me feel like vomiting. I am ashamed of the duplicity of these leaders. In Israel, these Christians enjoy full rights and freedoms, even the freedom to publicly slander the state without fear. By contrast, they and their families would quickly be killed for so publicly criticizing the Palestinian Authority.

Our situation in Israel is better than any other Christian community in the entire Middle East. As we have witnessed of late, many Christians across the region have been migrating or converting to Islam by force.

What worries us as Israeli Christians is seeing fellow Christian continue in their fearful approach to the Arabs by joining with those who routinely abuse and kill our own people in order to falsely accuse Israel, the only country in the region where Christians are actually protected.

Israel will continue to be the everlasting home and safe haven of the Jews, and also of its Christian, Druze and even Arab minorities. The world needs to know these facts and to understand that the people who would cynically put Christ at the checkpoint do not represent the real Christian voice in this region, or anywhere else in the world.

We all long for peace in the Holy Land, but not a peace based on lies that can only lead to trouble for local Christians.

Shadi's full article, which explains why local Christians can not accurately be described as 'Arabs' and why Israel offers the first chance in millennia for local Christians to reclaim their Aramean heritage, can be read in the March 2014 issue of Israel Today Magazine.

The April 2014 issue of Israel Today Magazine features follow-up stories regarding Christ at the Checkpoint and Messianic Jewish participation there.

SUBSCRIBE NOW to read it all!


Response by Dr David Friedman

Dr Friedman is a rabbi in the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and an active participant in two Arab-Israeli reconciliation movements.

I am compelled by my conscience to speak. It was time for another Checkpoint conference, and I was asked by one of the sponsors, "Why do you choose not to go? This is your chance to be heard."
My choice is based upon the foundations of the Checkpoint conference. Such foundations are politically motivated, with little effort to meet their declared "enemies" in any way that promotes reconciliation. The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, stated: "If the only country you want to single out [for criticism] is Israel, that's anti- Semitism." This is what I see happening at the conference.

It seems strange that a "reconciliation" conference would have such controversy surrounding it. After all, what can be wrong about "reconciliation"? Nothing could be more biblical. Yet, we
must ask why so many Messianic Jewish leaders refuse to attend.

When I listen to some of the conference speakers, I do not get the impression that their focus is networking and prayer, at least not towards Israelis. I do get the impression that complaining about the existence of Israel as the Jewish state to western Christians is the prime goal of the conference.

Conference sponsors deny that they oppose a Jewish state in Israel. However, if we follow the logic of their arguments, we can reach no other conclusion. I am not speaking from an ivory tower; I have debated two of the conference sponsors, and I well remember their rejectionist ideas toward the Jewish state.

The Checkpoint conference must be judged by what it intimates about the ability of Jews to live in our homeland, and by what it insinuates in its anti-Semitism by consequence. For a conference to be anti-Semitic does not require its speakers to rant about the "evil" Jewish people, as Joseph Goebbels did. Instead anti-Semitism can be the result of the content of a given conference, speech, or body of work. All that content has to do is communicate the lowering of the value of Jewish people, or of Jewish values, or of a Jewish presence (a.k.a, `Zionist presence') in any given area at any given time in history to fit solidly into the definition of anti-Semitism.

The delegitimization of Israel wears many masks; labelling us an `apartheid state is one of them. This allegation is definitely an attempt at portraying us as a criminal entity. The charge is anti-Semitic (and a lie, as well).

As a Jew born in the land that produced the most lethal anti-Semitism of the 20th century (Germany), I be came sensitive to the phenomenon at young age. I'm fairly experienced at filtering out idealistic, political talk that harms no one, from verbalized aim: that represent an existential threat to my people. If I believed that the Check point seminars were a simple forum for theological debate with no connection to anti-Semitism, or to the political end of dismantling and ending the world's only Jewish state, I wouldn't speak out now.

Repetition of the Church's historic minimization of the Jewish people continues on in the rhetoric of the Check point spokesmen. Their statement; concerning the Jewish people are based upon the same theological premises than provided political platforms for the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the European church's collaboration with Nazi Germany.

"What, marginalize and oppose the Jewish people? Never!" the Checkpoint sponsors often say. "We love Jews; we're just targeting Israelis [who happen to be ...Jewish!]." Please draw your own conclusions about such a misleading insinuation.

For all of these reasons, I speak out I can do no other.

Article from April 2014 Israel Today





Wildolive comment

I have been criticized for raising criticisms of anti-Semitism that will be rejected by supporters of Bethlehem Bible College as the hysterical rantings of Israel nuts.

But are evangelical Christians - followers of Jesus of Nazareth - really happy to have the name of our saviour Jesus, who is the Messiah of the Jews, brought so low in the eyes of, not just Jews, but also Messianic Jews and believing Arabs, who are our brothers and sisters?

If our opponents refuse to hear us because we charge them with anti-Semitism does it make any difference; they refuse to listen anyway.


Posted 03/11/18

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