Christians Who Demonize Israel - Part III
Sabeel: An Anti-Semitic Cult within the Church
by Denis MacEoin • March 3, 2016 at 5:00 am
Sabeel's theology distorts the Old Testament by denying Jews any ongoing connection with the land of their origin, and treating them as a people abandoned by God. There is also repeated disparagement of Judaism as "tribal," "primitive," and "exclusionary."
Where most modern churches have left the anti-Semitism of the past behind and recognize that the Romans, not the Jews, crucified Jesus, this cult of what has been called "Christian Palestinianism" denies any historical or theological connection between the biblical Israel, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.
Perhaps the gravest error made by Kairos, Sabeel, and other Christian groups who pursue a one-sided campaign is that they take away from the Palestinians any form of agency or self-reliance. If the Israelis are to blame for all that is wrong and the Palestinians are only victims, then Palestinians must be treated as children, without the will and power to act on their own behalf. Or who can act only through violence and hate.
Are these campaigns, replete with fraudulent charges, as in the Inquisition, really not about Palestinians at all, but just the latest incarnation of the old racist and religious hatred of Jews, and a clear expression of the "New Anti-Semitism"?
Church of England Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer meets Nabil Kaouk, a commander of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, in Lebanon. Rev. Sizer is a leading representative of Sabeel in the UK. (Image source: Daily Mail)
The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is an arguably anti-Semitic and supersessionist organization that has recently been criticized by several Anglican clergy. Sabeel was founded in 1989 by an Anglican priest, Naim Ateek, former Canon of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem. Still based in Jerusalem, it has eleven chapters in Western countries. In Ateek's theology, Jesus is no longer a Jew living under Roman rule, but "a Palestinian living under an occupation." Ateek has spoken without irony while preaching that
"it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him. It only takes people of insight to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull."