Wednesday, 2 May 2012
The Church at Christ's Checkpoint
Dr Paul Wilkinson has published a devastating critique of the Christ at the Checkpoint conference, which took place from 5-9 March (during ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ and the Jewish festival of Purim) in Bethlehem. Wilkinson was almost unique among the conference attendees inasmuch as he disagreed with the ethos of the conference, and his report The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint makes disturbing reading.
Wilkinson, who coined the term ‘Christian Palestinianism’ for those in the Church who oppose the state of Israel, became a target at CATC for hostile attack by some of the conference organisers. His report demonstrates that CATC was not an isolated, self-contained conference with stand-alone presentations. Rather, CATC is linked to a highly sophisticated pro-Palestinian network and, in the case of some speakers, to anti-Semitic groups.
The Introduction to the document relates the story of how, ‘Early in 1932, Sir Oswald Mosley, the English fascist leader, attended a business dinner at the home of British industrialist, Zionist and philanthropist, Israel Sieff (of Marks and Spencer fame). Mosley was looking for financial support for his newly formed political party from the industrialists attending the dinner. He shared his plans for the New Party, stressing that “a new movement must find somebody or something to hate. In this case it should be the Jews.” Sieff writes: “He did not seem to think he had said anything particularly unacceptable, but the effect on the company was instant. I said, ‘I must ask you to leave, Sir Oswald’. He strode out… and I never saw him again.… Until that time I did not know what he felt about the Jews.”
‘There are many Christian Palestinianists, Christ at the Checkpoint speakers included,’ the Introduction continues ominously, ‘who do know what some of their “friends” feel about the Jews, and yet are still willing to engage with them in platform sharing, press conferencing, political rallying, petition signing, and policy making, if it serves their anti-Zionist purposes.’
The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint is available free of charge from Hazel Grove Full Gospel Church, 68 London Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport Cheshire, SK7 4AF, Tel: 0161 456 8393 or 0161 682 1157. It is also available to download in pdf format.