NASHVILLE—An Israeli woman and Palestinian man who both lost children because of ongoing violence in the region discussed their mutual love and support for one another during the annual three-day Q Conference which is built around the belief that "Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals."
In 2007, Bassam Aramin's 10-year-old daughter, Abir, "was shot in cold blood by an Israeli soldier while standing outside her school with [her] classmates." Two years before his daughter was killed, Aramin had started a reconciliation organization called Combatants for Peace, where he continues to work alongside "former Israeli and Palestinian combatants" in an effort to "create political pressure on both governments to stop the cycle of violence, end the occupation and resume a constructive dialog."
Prior to launching his peacemaking organization, Aramin had been jailed for seven years after he was caught, at age 17, plotting an attack on Israeli forces. His plan was to take revenge on the soliders because at age 12, he had witnessed the shooting of one of his peers during a Palestinian demonstration against Israel. more >>
Last week in Ukraine, leaflets were being disseminated saying Jews were required to register with the government or face being thrown out of the country and their possessions seized. More and more, they have been debunked as a hoax. Jews in America, and worldwide, should nonetheless take this seriously, and recognize that - when the time comes - if they don't fight back, they will die.
US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoff Pyatt, confirmed that the leaflets were real, according to Jake Tapper of CNN:
ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles," the leaflet goes on to note. more >>
Palestinian Christians are complaining that Israeli authorities have intentionally excluded them from Holy Week celebrations in East Jerusalem by limiting entry permits to the week's festivities.
According to a report from Radio Bethlehem, the government requires special entry permits for Palestinians hoping to join Palm Sunday celebrations, but arbitrarily distributes them. Consequently "in many cases, when families apply to get permits through their churches, Israel deliberately grants some family members permits and denies permits to others, and therefore, the whole family won't be able to attend."
For Jews and Christians, the Passover season is a special time for reflection on the rich spiritual truths contained within this remarkable holiday. Indeed, we can all observe the command to "remember" the incredible Israelite deliverance from bondage in Egypt.
For Christians, the events of a momentous Passover some 15 centuries later have given added meaning to this holiday, so that the truths of the first are reinforced in the latter. Deliverance from Pharaoh's taskmasters became freedom from slavery to sin. The blood of a lamb on the doorposts became a typology of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
Yet the parallels between Pesach and Easter were lost for centuries to most Christians when the early Church fathers deliberately severed our faith from its Jewish roots. In time, this hostility to Judaism produced vicious blood libels against Jews at Passover. more >>
There is no doubt that there is real suffering among the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank (which is actually ancient Judea and Samaria). The question is who, precisely, is most responsible for their suffering?
Certainly, Israel is far from blameless in its treatment of the Palestinians, and it helps no one when we overlook or whitewash Israel's failings, as some Christian Zionists are prone to do.
But is Israel primarily responsible for the difficult living conditions faced by the Palestinians today? more >>
During the recent Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference in Bethlehem, Rev. Stephen Sizer, one of the leaders of the movement to separate Evangelicals from Israel, referenced an old and false quote attributed to Pastor John Hagee. Several years ago, CUFI's spokesman wrote an op-ed exposing this quote as phony. A month later the author most responsible for advancing the quote admitted it was fake. CUFI's spokesman tweeted both relevant articles to Sizer, and Sizer even responded to one of the tweets, but that didn't stop Sizer from advancing the fake quote in a subsequent blog post.
That Sizer knowingly lies about Hagee is troubling, but truth-be-told Sizer's impact is minimal. Despite his best efforts, Christian Zionism is on the rise, and the organization Hagee founded, Christians United for Israel, continues to grow in both size and influence at an astounding rate.
None-the-less it is important to note that Sizer's dishonesty is consistent with the strategy employed by the larger movement to separate Evangelicals from Israel. Put bluntly, this movement is built on duplicity. Their stated goals, are not their real goals; their "facts" are not the real facts. more >>