Jerusalem Summit a Nadir of Racism

The Jerusalem Post reports on some non-US Christian Zionists at the Jerusalem Summit:

Israel is not getting out its political message to millions of Christian supporters around the world who have a skewed view of the conflict with the Palestinians, Christian leaders who are attending the Jerusalem Summit said Tuesday in a meeting with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.

Dr. Miles [sic – should be “Myles”] Munroe, the head of the Bahamas-based International Third World Leaders’ Association, said Israeli spokesmen should be better at exploiting Christian broadcasting stations to get their message to the hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide who are pro-Israel. He said Israel should also be sending emissaries to Christian conventions such as those his group holds. “Christians are not getting a correct perspective on Israel,” he said, explaining that they have to rely on “biased Western media.”

Does the “biased Western media” include Israeli human rights groups like B’TSelem and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions?  Munroe does not say, but his concerns were echoed by Kenneth Meshoe, president of South Africa’s African Christian Democratic Party, and Rijk van Dam, director of the EU lobby group the European Coalition for Israel.

As it happens, I saw Munroe in London a couple of years ago, but managed to escape the prosperity preacher with my wallet intact. Meshoe is a former associate of Reinhard Bonnke, the German faith healer who holds regular revivals across Africa, (Meshoe’s ACDP also appears to have some links with Doug Giles’s old “His People” denomination). Vam Dam is a former Dutch MEP with the ChristenUnie Party (click on the British flag for English) and his website links him with various Christian Zionist organisations such as the International Christian Embassy (which calls the EU “a colossal amoral and anti-Semitic stronghold”).

The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus is a cross-party attempt by Israeli politicians to liase more closely with Christian Zionists. According to ASSIST:

The Knesset Christian Allies’ Caucus is the outgrowth of an idea that had been brewing over recent years among Israeli lawmakers, particularly after broad segments of Christianity aligned to stop the construction of a provocative mosque next to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. But through MK Shtern’s efforts, the caucus was rushed into being in recent weeks after a number of Christian expatriates residing in Israel ran into difficulties renewing visas in the second half of 2003.

In return for helping the Christians, the MKs want the Christian Zionists to spread the pro-Israeli perspective among the churches, and to hand over some cash:

In one instance the co-chair of the newly formed caucus, MK Yair Peretz of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, who represents a segment of society that maintains little contact with Christians, made a sincere appeal for Christian assistance to help Israel meet the needs of its poorest communities during these tough times. Peretz suggested that due to the nation’s budget constraints, Christians could perhaps distribute Passover baskets to needy secular families this spring and school bag kits to underprivileged children at the start of classes next fall.

Maintaining all those settlements in the West Bank is quite expensive, you know. But what is the “Jerusalem Summit”? According to its website introduction:

On the cross-roads of history Jerusalem has produced new ideas which changed the world and advanced it towards the great ideals of Truth and Peace.

Now is the time of a world-wide crisis when the new ideas are especially needed for developing an alternative to the twin dangers of modernity: religious totalitarianism of the East, as represented by radical Islam, and moral relativism of the West, as represented by atheistic globalization.

New ideas, even the most efficient and needed, are accepted with great difficulties.

Jerusalem Summit strives to gather in the capital of Israel the best minds and souls from around the world to present the most innovative socio-political ideas, so that the combined wisdom of participants will propel the best of these ideas to the global status.

And who are these “best minds and souls”? Erm, a bunch of neo-cons and Christian fundamentalists (as if you were surprised). Reporting on its first session last year:

Among featured participants were many of today’s most gifted policymakers – Richard Perle, Senator Sam Brownback, Congressman Eliot Engel, Prof. Daniel Pipes, Amb. Alan Keyes, Cal Thomas, Benjamin Netanyahu and Uzi Landau.

Meanwhile, the banner across the top of the site gives prominence to Mike Evans, the absurd racist who believes (among much else) a) that God did want Arabs to exist in the first place – they were only created because Abraham disobeyed God’s will and b) that God killed Franklin Roosevelt because Roosevelt made some friendly overtures to the Saudis after World War Two.

This year’s conference, which finished just two days ago, was on the subject of a “humanitarian approach” to the “Palestinian Problem” (their choice of wording): “humanitarian” being a euphemism for racist, extreme-right, self-righteous, pro-Likud, and historically dishonest:

Palestinian conduct over the last six decades proves they neither genuinely desire nor genuinely deserve statehood.

…the entire Palestinian narrative must be discredited and de-legitimized as a historical hoax, totally at odds with historical facts.

How that discrediting is to be achieved, since the narrative has been confirmed even by a number of Israeli scholars such as Ilan Pappé and Benny Morris (the latter of whom asserts that even so, Israel should have expelled all the Palestinians in 1948), is not described, but one suspects shouts of “anti-Semitism” will do the trick, especially with Pipes running his politically-powerful “Campus Watch”.

So should Palestinians be given equal citizenship with Israelis instead then? No, of course not: the “humanitarians” prefer an offer that can’t be refused:

Generous financial compensation to Palestinians who relocate and resettle elsewhere in the Arab or Muslim world.

For the individual Palestinian, the alternative to rejecting the offer of the generous relocation and the chance of a better life for him and his family would be either life under continued Israeli control or life under a Palestinian regime which has proven even more onerous and oppressive.

Since the Palestinian regime option would be unacceptable to the “humanitarians”, what Pipes, Netanyahu and the rest are really offering is ethnic cleansing or continued political disenfranchisement under Israeli military control.

However, another part of the site looks particularly odd from a conservative Christian viewpoint:

The Jerusalem Summit to be held on November 28, 2004, will launch the development of the Council of Civilizations, which is intended to evolve into a new model for unifying the international community and providing it with an ethical compass.

Admission to the Council of Civilizations is subject to recognizing the following realities:

1. The spiritual laws that serve as common basis to all religions must also serve as basis for taking decisions in all the human activities. Most important of these laws are:

Consciousness defines Being

Human life is sacred

People have equal rights and freedoms

Religions are diverse and all equally lead to God

Jerusalem has always served as a source for the universal concern for all the nations on earth. The Bible indictates that in addition to Israel, there are seventy ancient nations which are the roots of the diverse national groups and cultures which exist today and which are based on the number of descendants of Noah which are listed in the Book of Genesis, after the story of the great flood. Seventy names are recorded, and at the end of the section it states, “These are the families of Noah’s descendants, and from these nations were separated on on the earth after the flood” (Genesis 10:2). The Bible commands the people of Israel to bring seventy offerings on behalf of the seventy nations to the Temple on the Festival of Tabernacles to pray to the Almighty for continued life, sustenance and blessings for the seventy nations. Representatives of the seventy nations were present in Jerusalem at the time at the presentation of these offerings. The seventy nations are the main players in the modern world. Today they are categorized as the major superpowers that represent separate civilizations. Other individual civilizations are represented by the clusters of countries, or regional groups. The major threat to the world peace comes from the clashes of these civilizations.

Of course, the purpose of this statement is merely to cloak the Summit’s extremism with a bit of moderate language. But surely, the claim that “Religions are diverse and all equally lead to God” should have every conservative Christian hopping: and for those who subscribe to the Tim LaHaye fantasy of the anti-Christ setting up shop in Jerusalem and announcing world peace I would have thought the whole agenda would be setting off alarm bells. But perhaps, as I suggested before, with Christian fundamentalists finally tasting real power, the last thing they want is to be raptured. And what’s one sentence about religious universalism when stacked against the chance to share in the space-cadet glow of Israeli militant expansionism?

UPDATE: WorldNetDaily has an unsurprisingly gushing report on the summit from David Dolan.

6 Responses

  1. You may also be interested in a Tennessean article that ran last week… Rice Broocks (president of Morning Star International) hosted a get together in his home for the Christian Allies Caucus: http://tennessean.com/opinion/columnists/chavez/archives/04/11/62103678.shtml?Element_ID=62103678
    Also, this link shows some of the other “evangelical Christian” supporters of said caucus: http://www.nppn.org/CIR/Calendar/Day%20of%20Prayer%20Oct%203%202004.htm

    Being that Rice Broocks includes a glowing reference to “the renowned Roman Catholic theologian, Hans Kung” in Every Nation in Our Generation(173)…

    who just so happens to support a one world religion under the auspices of the UN… http://astro.temple.edu/~dialogue/Center/kung.htm

    shouldn’t surprise you that said group of Christian Zionist supporters, who mostly are also part of the New Apostolic Reformation (resurgent New Order of the Latter Rain) don’t go along with the “Left Behind” view of the Rapture. In fact, there are those in this group who would likely argue that the Rapture either has already taken place or won’t take place… is instead a “spiritual” Rapture.

  2. […] Christian Democratic Party (which has seven South African MPs and seventy councillors, and is also robustly Christian Zionist): The ACDP is funded mainly by the Louis Group of Companies, who also publishes […]

  3. […] is a prosperity gospel preacher, whom we’ve seen before on this blog; he’s also a prominent Christian Zionist (and a major ally of Ron Wexler on the new […]

  4. […] Summit has been featured on this blog before, where I noted its neo-con character. Its first session was in 2003, and featured “Richard Perle, Senator […]

  5. […] blogged on the KCAC here. Parshall also complains about the efforts of Shas to have evangelization banned (a development we […]

  6. […] I’ve blogged before, the Jerusalem Summit brings together neo-conservatives like Daniel Pipes and Baroness Cox with […]

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