The Philos Project: a modern version of a colonial missionary project for the Arab world

Robert Nicholson presenting to the 2018 conference on Jews and conservatism on October 28, 2018. (screenshot: Jewish Leadership Conference / Youtube) 
The Philos Project is the latest Christian Zionist organization seeking to drive a wedge between Muslim and Christian Arabs.

By Rev. Alex Awad & Haher Massis | Mondoweiss | Feb 19, 2021

As Arab Christians, we say to the Philos Project that we refuse to be swayed by an ideology that seeks to separate us from our Muslim brothers and sisters.

The Philos Project is a well-financed outfit that is repackaging a worn-out colonial missionary ideology in a revamped format. With the financial backing of well known pro-Israel donors, the organization purports to “equip a new generation of Western Christians to support … liberty and justice” in the “Near East.” It does this by organizing highly subsidized tours of Israel and some Arab countries; pamphlets, podcasts, and video documentaries; and “networking and advocacy opportunities.”

It seems targeted to younger people and minorities who are less likely to swallow a straight-up Christian Zionist ideology that is totally oblivious to any kind of “worldly” rights. Similar to some of the more sophisticated figures on the right wing of the American political spectrum, it borrows from civil rights language to advance its agenda. For example, its Facebook page features a quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr, attacking antisemitism, next to another quotation from Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Danon’s political views are well to the right of Benjamin Netanyahu’s, so much so that an Op-Ed in the Times of Israel said: “It is hard to conceive of a more short-sighted, shameful and damaging appointment than that of [Danny Danon as] UN envoy.”

The perspective of the Philos Project is perfectly illustrated in a recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Robert Nicholson, the organization’s founder and Executive Director.

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