Exposé discounts tales of checkpoint horror

The Jewish Star reports that filmmaker and investigative journalist Ami Horowitz found little evidence for the claims by Human Rights Watch of “onerous” waiting times at Israel’s security checkpoints, or that the waiting times – according to Amnesty International – amount to “collective punishment”.

All of the Palestinians with whom Horowitz spoke said that it took them 10 minutes or less to get through the checkpoint… The filmmaker also hired a Palestinian driver and traveled “over 300 miles” throughout the disputed territories in an automobile bearing Arab license plates. “We were not stopped even once,” Horowitz said.

The anti-Israel lobby routinely circulates stories of horror and oppression without seeking to present a balanced or realistic picture.  Isolated incidents are presented as the norm and facts are stretched to paint Israel as intentionally victimizing Palestinians.  Unfortunately, as the report makes plain, many church organizations have fallen for this:

In 2014, the Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from Motorola on the grounds that the company was assisting “checkpoints that dehumanize Palestinians,” and the United Church of Christ cited the checkpoints in adopting its own pro-BDS resolution in 2015. The Evangelical Lutheran Church has embraced a manifesto known as the “Kairos Document,” which accuses Israel of perpetrating “daily humiliation” of Palestinians at checkpoints. As a result, a number of Lutheran synods around the country have called for boycotting Motorola.

The Church, at least for the most part, has largely abandoned the crude antisemitism that it displayed for much of its history.  Unfortunately the attitude of many church leaders towards Israel today helps to feed the antisemitism that the Church thought it had rejected.

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Holocaust denier’s works should not have ‘pride of place’ at Cambridge library, says academic

From Cambridge News:

A Cambridge college library has moved the work of a historian branded an anti-Semite to a closed area after an academic called his books’ appearance on its shelves a ‘disgrace’.

Dr Irene Lancaster spotted that the controversial author David Irving’s books were accessible in Churchill College’s Roskill Library during a tour of its archives on February 1.

Notorious for his holocaust scepticism, Irving was branded an anti-Semite and racist by a judge in 2000 following an infamous libel case brought to trial by the historian against Penguin Books.

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Bishop condemns Israel Apartheid week

From Jewish News Online:

A national Church of England leader has branded Israel Apartheid Week “neither helpful nor constructive,” in comments likely to reverberate throughout congregations across the country.

Dr Michael Ipgrave, who is the Bishop of Lichfield and Chair of the Council of Christians and Jews, made the comments this week, as events take place across British campuses highlighting perceived social injustices in Israel and the West Bank.

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Review: The New Christian Zionism

By Michelle Van Loon

For decades, it seemed that there were only two basic options in the Church when it came to discussions of Israel. The first, dispensationalism, objectifies the idea of Israel both now and in the future, and requires elaborate charts and the entire fictional Left Behind canon to unpack. The second, supercessionism, says that the Church has replaced Israel. The first two-thirds of the Bible, the Old Testament, becomes nothing more than a long preamble to the “real” salvation story, and the promises God gave to the Chosen People now belong to Christians. Supercessionism spiritualizes the promises regarding the land of Israel. New Perspective theologians like NT Wright express a softened version of supercessionism when it comes to the land promises…

I’ve struggled for years to articulate a thoughtful, balanced line that threads the needle between these two divergent hermeneutical approaches. But I’m just one person.

I found it takes many reasoned and faithful voices to thread that needle well. The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land (InterVarsity Press, 2016) is an excellent example of what this can look like.

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Jerusalem to Tel Aviv: How the anger shifted

In the wake of a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, Michael Horesh writes about how the anger has shifted:

If I normally write about business in Israel and primarily in Jerusalem, the events of last night force me to discuss what happened in Tel Aviv.

Two young Palestinians, dressed up as orthodox Jews, ordered coffee at the popular Max Brenner restaurant in the trendy Sarona market complex in central Tel Aviv. Nothing wrong in that, except that once they had calmly finished their drinks, they slew at point blank range four fellow customers. The security camera captured the massacre.

Since the Autumn of last year, Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, has been the subject of a number of horrendous terrorist incidents. They typically involved random stabbings of innocent civilians.

However, the attack in Tel Aviv has created a new atmosphere, one that has captured the viewpoint of just about all Israelis, whatever their political or religious take. After the anguish, a feeling of deep, deep, deep anger has rushed to the surface. So what was different about last night?

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