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UCCtruths

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Hate at the altar

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our friend Dexter Van Zile has an Op Ed piece in today's Boston Globe regarding this weekend's Sabeel event at Boston's Old South Church. From the Boston Globe:
For the past three decades, Sabeel has billed itself as the voice of the
beleaguered community of Palestinian Christians in the West Bank, the Gaza
Strip, and Israel. Over the years, Sabeel has been successful in convincing
well-meaning, but largely ignorant Christians in the United States and Europe
that the Palestinian people are innocent sufferers and the Israeli government
their brutal oppressors.

The centerpiece of this effort can be seen in the hostile rhetoric of
Ateek. For example, his 2000 Christmas message portrayed Israeli officials as
Herod, who, according to the Christian gospel, murdered all the infants of
Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus. In his 2001 Easter message,
Ateek wrote, "The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily" and
that "Palestine has become the place of the skull." And in February 2001, Ateek
compared the Israeli occupation to the stone blocking Christ's tomb.

With these three images, Ateek has figuratively blamed Israel for the
attempted murder of the infant Jesus, the crucifixion of Jesus the prophet, and
for blocking the resurrection of Christ the Savior.

In the context of Christian-Jewish relations, language like this -
which has preceded and justified the killing of Jews for nearly two millennia -
is the equivalent of a noose hanging from a tree in the Old South. Its use
during a time of violence can only serve to justify continued violence against
Israeli civilians. Sadly, Ateek's defenders have said that he is merely using
the "language of the cross" to describe Palestinian suffering, but in fact, he
is describing Israeli behavior.
posted by UCCtruths, Thursday, October 25, 2007

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