• July 04, 2006
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    Evangelicals not in the pocket
Evangelicals not in the pocket When leading evangelists, some of U.S. President George Bush's biggest supporters, arrive in the Holy Land, they are usually greeted at the airport by a right-wing Jewish delegation. Really important figures merit special treatment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' VIP department.

However, three senior religious figures arriving over the last month did not receive any special treatment. They waited for four hours at the Allenby Bridge until their bus was permitted to cross the border into Israel. They came from the United States and Britain in order to identify with the Palestinian public, and to call for conciliation and a two-state solution.

It is important that we know that the evangelists who are called "Zionist Christians" are not really "friends of Israel." According to them, Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer and their associates represent at most 25 million people, approximately one quarter of all evangelists. In their books and articles, Steven Sizer, Don Wagner and Ann Helmke cite evidence that fundamentalist Christian doctrine, which does not recognize the rights of the Palestinians, does not contain any form of concern for the welfare of the State of Israel. And the same is true of Jesus' doctrine. Sizer argues that behind the love of Israel, the Zionist Christians are concealing an intense anti-Semitism. His organization is behind the boycott of American companies, such as bulldozer manufacturer Caterpillar, whose equipment is being used to harm the population of the occupied territories.

Even in the U.S. Congress, several loyal evangelists have started raising their voices against Israel's policy toward the Palestinian civilians. Harm to the rights of Muslims is not keeping them awake at night. When the bulldozers disrupt the lives of faithful Christians, the chairman of the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Henry Hyde, a Catholic, cannot restrain himself. Last Friday, he quoted in Congress from a State Department report that said the concrete wall around Jerusalem is hindering the path of the Palm Sunday procession, which commemorates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem.

"I have been unable to understand how the currently routed barrier in Jerusalem - which rips asunder the existential poles of Christian belief, the Nativity and the Resurrection, and encloses 200,000 Palestinians on the Jerusalem side of the barrier ? will improve the security of Israel's citizens," the senior Republican representative said. Like the Israeli High Court, a member of the U.S. Congress discovered the connection between the route of the fence and the master plans of nearby settlements. He wondered how this corresponded with President Bush's repeated declarations that the fence is intended solely for security needs. He ended his remarks by expressing concern that important holy sites in Jerusalem and its environs would be transformed from prayer sites for billions of believers into commercial museums.

Comments
1.To Stephen Sizer: Give Christians a break!
 Humans live in peace, December 8, 2006 0:26