A response to Christian Zionism

alex awad
Rev. Alex Awad (photo:  Facebook)
The following remarks are from presentation by Rev. Alex Awad at conference “A Response to Christian Zionism” held in Seattle WA Oct 5, 2019. These reflections are his experiences as a Palestinian meeting people who are Christian Zionists.

By Rev. Alex Awad | Kairos Puget Sound Coalition | Oct 5, 2019

The passion of Christian Zionists to bring Jews to the Holy Land and create a Jewish state and their success in achieving their goal was accomplished through piling layer upon layer of wars, massacres, bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, political manipulations and pain.

I am here participating in this symposium because millions of people have been severely and negatively impacted as a result of the political thrust of Christian Zionism. The passion of Christian Zionists to bring Jews to the Holy Land and create a Jewish state and their success in achieving their goal was accomplished through piling layer upon layer of wars, massacres, bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, political manipulations and pain. Millions of Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Egyptians and Jews have suffered death and destruction. This has been in large part due to the theological convictions and political activities of Christian Zionist leaders combined with the political might of secular Zionists and the religious zeal of Jewish settlers. Were Christian Zionism confined to theology and theological assumptions alone, I wouldn’t be so concerned about it and I wouldn’t be as driven as I am in exposing the harmful consequences of its teachings.

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The end of asylum

A boat full of lifejackets on the Greek island of Lesbos, Nov 2015. (photo: Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters)
Around the world, rich and poor countries alike are pulling up their drawbridges, slashing the number of refugees they are willing to accept, and denying asylum to those who might have been admitted in the past.

By Nanjala Nyabola | Foreign Affairs | Oct 10, 2019

Derived from the ancient Greek asulos, which roughly translates to ‘inviolable,’ the word ‘asylum’ first entered the English lexicon in the late Middle Ages, when it was understood to mean ‘an inviolable shelter or protection from pursuit or arrest.’ By definition, an asylum seeker was a person who sought a form of protection that could never be violated, broken, or infringed upon.

A small tent city is taking shape in Tapachula, on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, and its inhabitants are living proof of the systematic erosion of one of the foundational principles of the post–World War II international order. The residents are primarily refugees and migrants from African countries who fled political persecution, social upheaval, and economic uncertainty, taking one of the longest and most perilous migration routes in the world in the hope of reaching the United States.

Until recently, most would have been granted a 21-day grace period to either normalize their residency status in Mexico or continue on to the U.S. border. But since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that the administration of President Donald Trump can deny asylum to anyone who has crossed a third country en route to the U.S. border, Mexico has started denying Africans free passage through its territory. And so the migrants arriving in Tapachula have nowhere to go. They are trapped between hard-line U.S. asylum policies, Mexico’s acquiescence to those policies, and a growing global backlash against anyone seeking asylum.

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Portland Trail Blazers sever ties with company that supplies IDF with rifle scopes after campaign by activists

Portland Trail Blazers game at Moda Center, Portland, Oregon (2013) (Wikimedia)
Portland Trail Blazers game at Moda Center, Portland, Oregon (2013).  (photo: Wikimedia)
Portland Trailblazers respond to protestor demands to drop relationship with sponsor selling rifle scopes to Israeli military.

By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Oct 1, 2019

I think it’s terrible that Leupold & Stevens actively profits from war crimes, as many IDF have been spotted using their scopes in ‘combat’ zones against Palestinian protesters.
— Josuee Hernandez, US Marine

Portland Trail Blazers president and CEO Chris McGowan has announced that the National Basketball Association (NBA) team will no longer partner with a rifle scope manufacturer that has a contract with Israeli military. The move comes after a year-long campaign by local activists to pressure the Blazers to drop the sponsor.

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The impact on The ‘Deal Of The Century’ by the measures to impeach Trump

US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt speaks at a conference in New York City, June 16, 2019. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt speaks at a conference in New York City, June 16, 2019. (photo: Marc Israel Sellem / POOL)
The intersection of Israel’s election, US impeachment efforts and the resignation of  US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt create many roadblocks to what is already a failed peace proposal.

By Adnan Abu Amer  | IMEMC News | Oct 9, 2019

With Trump’s constitutional crisis to consider, as well as Greenblatt’s resignation and the political deadlock in Israel, Palestinians and Israelis are adopting contrasting positions regarding the deal and its announcement.

Palestinians and Israelis are following the ongoing constitutional measures to impeach US President Donald Trump with great interest. They want to know what the implications will be for the so-called deal of the century; will, for example, its formal announcement have to be postponed due to Trump being otherwise engaged? There is also a nagging fear that the US President will be impeached, and that it will have negative consequences for Washington’s already waning involvement in what passes for a peace process.

The Palestinians welcome the legal and constitutional procedures against Trump, not least because he has put them under great pressure to accept the deal. Moreover, the so-called US peace envoys have stopped visiting the region, and Jason Greenblatt has announced his resignation. This coincided with Israel’s General Election and the political deadlock that has resulted.

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Over 100 Jewish scholars condemn Trump admin for exploiting anti-Semitism

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit a memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Tuesday, October 30, 2018, following the mass shooting that left 11 worshippers dead. (Andrea Hanks/White House)
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit a memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Tuesday, October 30, 2018, following the mass shooting that left 11 worshippers dead. (photo: Andrea Hanks / White House)
More than 100 Jewish academics sign open letter demanding the Trump administration stop exploiting anti-Semitism in order to quash criticism of Israel on college campuses.

By Joshua Leifer | +972  | Oct 6, 2019

‘We have the Department of Education leveraging an attack on a conference related to Gaza to have a chilling effect on free speech overall on campuses.’
— Lara Friedman, president of Foundation for Middle East Peace

Jewish academics are fighting back against the Trump administration’s attempts to silence criticism of Israel on college campuses. More than 100 Jewish scholars have signed an open letter to the U.S. Department of Education in response to its demand that the Duke-University of North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies modify its curricular programming or face defunding.

The open letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose signatories include renowned scholar Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, and artist Molly Crabapple, condemns the Education Department’s recent investigation of the consortium and subsequent ultimatum as “an unfounded and anti-democratic campaign of intimidation” and charges the Education Department with “exploiting fears of anti-Semitism” and “using Jews and our concerns over anti-Semitism to try and justify repressive policies.”

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Top court puts end to Palestinian poet’s four-year legal saga

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was released from prison on September 20, 2018. She was arrested in October 2015, and later convicted of incitement to terrorism and violence for poems she published on social media. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour after her release from Damoun Prison, September 20, 2018. (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)
Four years ago, a Palestinian citizen of Israel was arrested because the security services decided a poem she wrote and published on her personal Facebook page was ‘incitement.’

By Oren Ziv  |  +972  |  Oct 3, 2019

The efforts to taint her poetry as a criminal act were now at an end.
— Attorney Gaby Lasky

Dareen Tatour, the Palestinian poet arrested in 2015 over a poem she published on Facebook, is finally free. After years of house arrest, months in prison, and dogged efforts by the government to secure the maximum conviction possible, the Supreme Court last week rejected the state’s petition to restore her overturned conviction for incitement to violence. With that, Tatour’s legal ordeal came to an end, more than four years after it began.

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The Unwanted Wars – Why the Middle East is more combustible than ever

Rifles and rifts: Houthi rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, December 2018. 
(photo: Hani Al-Ansi / Picture Alliance / dpa / AP Images)
A complex and paradoxical mix of polarization and integration in the Middle East creates uncertainties and potential for all-out war.

By Robert Malley | Foreign Affairs | November/December 2019

When it comes to the Middle East, Tip O’Neill, the storied Democratic politician, had it backward: all politics—especially local politics—is international.

The war that now looms largest is a war nobody apparently wants. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against the United States’ entanglement in Middle Eastern wars, and since assuming office, he has not changed his tune. Iran has no interest in a wide-ranging conflict that it knows it could not win. Israel is satisfied with calibrated operations in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza but fears a larger confrontation that could expose it to thousands of rockets. Saudi Arabia is determined to push back against Iran, but without confronting it militarily. Yet the conditions for an all-out war in the Middle East are riper than at any time in recent memory.

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Documentary Film: Gaza Fights for Freedom

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Please join viewing of documentary by Abby Martin and team of journalists reporting on Palestine during the Great March of Return protests.
Date: Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019
Time: 7:30– 9:30 pm
Location:  Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle WA 98122
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: BrownPaperTickets
Event Details

This debut feature film by journalist Abby Martin began while reporting in Palestine, where she was denied entry into Gaza by the Israeli government on the accusation she was a “propagandist.” So Abby connected with a team of journalists in Gaza to produce the film through the blockade.

This collaboration shows you Gaza’s protest movement like you’ve never seen before. Filmed during the height of the Great March of Return protests, it features exclusive footage of demonstrations where 200 unarmed civilians have been killed by Israeli snipers since March 30, 2018.

The documentary tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. Victims are heard from the ongoing massacre, including journalists, medics and the family of internationally-acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar.

More information here →