A conference was recently held called Impact Holy Land which was attended by well meaning Mennonites. It came into being because of the Christ at the Checkpoint conferences in 2010 and 2012 that were supposedly formed to allow conversations between Christians and Messianic Jews. Impact Holy Land was meant to continue the conversation in the U.S. Because of their partnership with Bethlehem Bible College, representatives from the MCC participated in the conference, enlisting the Mennonite Church USA (Peace and Justice Support Network), to help recruit pastors and leaders to attend.
The following is how the article in the February issue of the MB Herald called Anabaptists join conversation to Impact Holy Land begins.
Shireen Awwad Hilal, a Palestinian Christian, has hope for Israel-Palestine.
“Few people view our situation with hope, and the concept of reconciliation is controversial,” she said at the Impact Holy Land conference Dec. 4–6. “Let us commit to see hope where others see hopelessness.”
Hilal teaches and is assistant dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College, a partner of Mennonite Central Committee. She believes in the power of relationships, which she sees in her role as the women’s minister for Musalaha (Reconciliation), an organization developing relationships between Palestinian and Israeli believers.
“When you know names, you have a friendship,” she said. “You begin to see what you have in common with a stranger.”
The conference, organized by Evangelicals for Social Action, was meant to open conversation around differing perspectives on Israel-Palestine. It was held at the Friends Center in downtown Philadelphia.
About 250 attendees came from a variety of perspectives, including more than 50 Anabaptists. MCC U.S. awarded 50 scholarships for Anabaptists to attend…
Do these conferences truly offer hope for Israel, as claimed? Or is there another agenda underway? As Jan Markel warned just today, there are some very big problems with Christ at the Checkpoint and its associations of which these Mennonites seem to be completely unaware. The next Christ at the Checkpoint conference is coming up very soon. Markel warns…
The event, sponsored by the Bethlehem Bible College, is really all about blaming Israel and her evangelical supporters for most of the problems in the region. It is about hammering away at the “occupation” by Israel of the Palestinians. Those who criticize Christian support of Israel will get applause and even standing ovations. Theology that stresses Israel’s important role in biblical prophecy will be put down. Replacement Theology, which teaches that the church is the new Israel, will be an underlying theme although the leaders will deny that.
The group will gather frequently at the partition wall that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories to mourn the persecution of the Palestinians whose lives have been interrupted by this “checkpoint.” There will be little explanation that the wall was built to stop the brutal Palestinian terror incursions into Israel to slit the throats of innocent Israeli citizens. Or to plant bombs on buses that have taken scores of Israeli lives.
What you will hear will be empathy for Islamists and rhetoric about pacifism. There will be endless calls for peace at the CATC conferences but no acknowledgment that Israel has negotiated for peace for decades. It’s just that she does not have a peace partner. Her Islamic neighbors want her pushed into the sea. She offered to accept 95% of Yaser Arafat’s demands at Camp David in 2000. He returned to Palestine rejecting the offer and chose more war.
The well meaning, peace loving Mennonites who are involved in Impact Holy Land and Christ at the Checkpoint would do well to take heed and look to the Prince of Peace to lead them to all truth. When He returns to ‘impact the Holy Land’, it won’t be to ‘occupied territory’!
 Written by Kelli Yoder (assistant editor for the Mennonite World Review, where this article first appeared)http://mbherald.com/anabaptists-join-conversation-to-impact-holy-land-2/
 Jesus Isn’t Coming Back to “Occupied Territory” http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs138/1101818841456/archive/1116572784466.html
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