Are Christians siding against Israel?
"With increasing frequency it is Israel, rather than Yasser Arafat's regime, that Christians choose to blame," claims Yossi Klein Halevi in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece.
But Halevi, a Jerusalem Post writer and author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God With Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land and Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist, is careful to explain that he's talking about mainline Christians, not evangelicals. "On the face of it, an anti-Israel stance among liberal Christian churches is understandable," he says. "The natural tendency of Jesus' followers, after all, is to side with the underdog. And in this conflict, the underdog seems to be the Palestinians. We Israelis, though, are convinced that we're the underdog. That's because Israel doesn't only confront relatively powerless Palestinians but 22 Arab dictatorships, some armed with unconventional weapons."
Unconditional support for the Palestinians not only "undermines the credibility of Jewish proponents of dialogue and jeopardizes our historic reconciliation," it risks "inadvertently reawakening old anti-Semitic instincts that, since the Holocaust, much of Christianity has tried to uproot."
What's more, Halevi says, automatic criticism of Israel puts Mideast Christians in danger. "Rather than condemning the Palestinian Authority for using Beit Jala as a cover from which to terrorize Israeli civilians, mainline churches have blamed Israel for trying to defend its citizens. In so doing, the churches only encourage the Tanzim: Evoking Christian outrage against Israel is one reason why they chose Beit Jala in the first place."
But Rod Dreher of National Review Online paints a different picture. "Tens ...1
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